Any device connected to a Gigabit LAN will have maximum read and write speeds of 125MB/sec. However, just as the controller chip on an SSD has a huge effect on how fast a drive is, the same is true for NAS boxes. As they’ll be used for storing lots of tiny files as well as large video files, in order to see how flexible each box was, we used two 5GB folders (one full of small files and the other packed with large video files).
Our test involves writing to then reading from each NAS box separately. The small file folder was filled with 10,000 files that included photos, Word documents and short videos, while the large file folder comprised three 1.7GB videos. We installed the same 1TB Samsung SpinPoint F3 in each NAS box connected to a Netgear Gigabit Ethernet switch for all of the read and write tests. We recorded the time it took to transfer each folder in seconds, and used this result to work out the average transfer rate. Please see the final page for the speed test results.
To read and write from the NAS box, we used a PC built around an Asus P7H55-M motherboard, 4GB of Crucial DDR3 RAM and an Intel Pentium G6950 CPU overclocked to 4GHz. To eliminate any reading or writing bottleneck at the PC end, we also used a Corsair X128 SSD.
We then get the NAS box up and running and try out all the features such as shared folders, iTunes servers, iSCSI and Bit-Torrent clients to see just how easy they were to set up and use on a regular basis. In addition, we also took into consideration how noisy each was as well as how cool they managed to keep the hard disk and how well built they were.