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QNAP TS-470 NAS Review: Four GbE Links, With 10 GbE Scalability

Testing QNAP's TS-470 NAS

QNAP sent us a review sample with four 4 TB Seagate ST4000VN000 hard drives already installed and configured in RAID 5, yielding 12 TB of accessible capacity. The internal file system is ext4, and our TS-470 came with QTS version 4.0.5 installed, dated 10-23-13.

Test Client Specifications
MotherboardGigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH, Rev. 1.0, Intel Z77 Express PCH, BIOS: F11
CPUIntel Core i3-3220 (Ivy Bridge) 3.30 GHz, 3 MB Shared L3 Cache
RAMCorsair Dominator Platinum DDR3 2 x 4 GB (8 GB) (reduced to 2 GB to minimize the risk of caching)
eSATA ControllerIntel 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller
Hard DiskCorsair Force Series 3 120 GB, Firmware 1.2
DVD ROMSamsung SH-D163A, SATA 1.5Gb/s
Graphics CardHD Graphics
Network CardIntel Gigabit CT Desktop Adapter
Sound CardIntegrated
Power SupplySeasonic X Series 760 W
System Software & Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Professional 64 Bit SP1
Intel Network DriverVersion
Intel Chipset DriverVersion
Intel NAS Performance ToolkitVersion 1.7.1 (Test Backup with a trace from Version 1.6)

We determined the transfer rates with version 1.7.1 of the Intel NAS Performance Toolkit. If you are interested in details of this test methodology, you can read up about it in Benchmarking With Intel's NAS Toolkit.

The HD Station tests, which include media playback, are recorded with the Elgato Game Capture device, plugged in between the NAS and display. It gets power from a USB connection that's also used to retrieve the audio and video streams.

Sound Level and Temperatures

QNAP's TS-470 is not completely silent, but it's quiet enough. Unsurprisingly for a network-attached device, its fan is the number-one source of noise. Fortunately, QNAP uses a fairly conservative fan that emits a barely-audible 30.3 db(A).

The system’s temperature stays quite constant. Its CPU operates at 43 degrees Celsius (109 degrees Fahrenheit), and its motherboard sensor reads 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit). The hard disks remains quite cool at 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit).

Power Draw

When it comes to power consumption, the TS-470 is a mixed bag. On one hand, it's EuP-certified, which means it satisfies an EU requirement mandating the low power draw of inactive electronic devices. However, it neither supports wake-on-LAN nor automatic power-up after an outage in that mode. Makes you wonder how much value there is in EuP if it requires shedding functionality.

Even the power numbers for standby and wake-on-LAN mode are conservative, though, registering 1.2 and 1.6 W, respectively. If we were going to criticize any reading, it'd be the 26 W draw in disk-off mode, which is too high.

In the chart below, we also have readings for consumption while the TS-470 plays back high-def video.

Power Consumption
Off (Standby)1.2 W
Off (EuP)0.4 W
Off (Wake On LAN)1.6 W
Disk Power Off26.3 W
Idle41.4 W
Work (Copying Data)48.3 W
Peak (Booting)102.1 W
Media Player (HD Video Playback):54.4 W

Performance Chart

Because the TS-470 sports relatively potent hardware and commands a premium price, we have high expectations of where its performance should end up, and QNAP's solution doesn't disappoint. Using a single gigabit Ethernet port, we often approached the interface's theoretical limit.

The device demonstrates its processing performance during tests with an encrypted volume, where it maintains approximately 90 MB/s.

For the sake of an easier comparison, we tabulated the test results for the plain text volume and the encrypted volume in a single graph.