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Asus TS Mini Windows Home Server Review

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OWNED66 19th February 2010, 10:27 Quote
this sucks
but the case looks nice
Digi 19th February 2010, 10:33 Quote
The case does indeed look quite fancy though. Shame about performance. I am surprised you are required to connect via RDP to setup printers though seems like a bit of an oversight.
amacieli 19th February 2010, 11:42 Quote
Not sure about you guys, but my WHS shares its local printer just fine - maybe I didn't understand Alan's comment about printer sharing...
Denis_iii 19th February 2010, 12:20 Quote
:( i was looking forward to this ASUS home server but after reading its a definate no no. WHS looks nice though.
fingers crossed Microsoft will soon give WHS the treatment its given Win7/Win mobile 7/Zune and Xbox + add RAID support then would be a beauty though I'd rather have hardware RAID.
Shagbag 19th February 2010, 12:21 Quote
Does it come with IIS?
Bindibadgi 19th February 2010, 12:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagbag
Does it come with IIS?

Although I've not specifically checked, Google does tell me WHS does come with IIS. This Asus uses a standard install of WHS too.
Burnout21 19th February 2010, 14:01 Quote
that is piss poor transfer speed in both directions. I would expect write speeds close to 50MB/s or higher to be exceptionable.
Pookeyhead 19th February 2010, 15:14 Quote
Woeful transfer speeds, and no RAID, and £400 for the privilege. Probably a good idea for technophobic purchasers, but I doubt anyone on here would want this.

It is way too slow to use as a back up device, and while it will stream OK.... so will most NAS boxes costing much less.

It does look nice though.
Fod 19th February 2010, 15:26 Quote
man.... I built a WHS with three times more storage than this, and much higher performance, for £130 less. From scratch I might add. It helped that I got a WHS license for dirt cheap off a friend with access to the MS employee store at the time.
leviathan18 19th February 2010, 15:39 Quote
i dont know why asus would use the atom if they have the holly grail of CULV with their UL laptop line

just use the same laptop HW and built it inside that case and you will have a much better performance with almost the same thermal requirements
Bindibadgi 19th February 2010, 15:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leviathan18
i dont know why asus would use the atom if they have the holly grail of CULV with their UL laptop line

just use the same laptop HW and built it inside that case and you will have a much better performance with almost the same thermal requirements

Atom is much, much cheaper.
Mathemabeat 19th February 2010, 16:59 Quote
Something is very, very wrong with the benchmarks of this machine.

Either the gigabit ethernet drivers are wacked up and need updated or possibly the chipset drivers are not installed. Perhaps some other problem on the reviewers network is causing this.

Several other vendors WHS machines with similiar specs (the HP MediaSmart LX195 comes to mind) post file transfers that blow this machine out of the water. There is no good reason that this hardware isn't capable of at least 50 plus megabytes in each direction.

What chipset is the onbboard NIC? Realtek?


My own homebuilt WHS box using the Intel 945GCLF2 motherboard (Atom 330) with onboard Realtek gigE NIC is cabable of over 80 megabytes either direction on the network. Most of the time even under hard network transfers the cpu is only hovering in the 25 to 30% utilization range. So it ain't the cpu thats limiting it.



Seriously, if the reviewer still has the machine in his possession, please check and see if updated chipset and/or NIC drivers resolve this. I know you were evaluating its "out of box" experience, but perhaps an additional page detailing a fix for its network slowness (if you find one) can be added.
DarkLord7854 19th February 2010, 17:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagbag
Does it come with IIS?

I have a custom WHS install at home and think of WHS as Windows Server 2003 for super cheap. It doesn't come with quite all the goodies that Server 03 comes with, but it'll act like a server just fine. I use mine for backups/media/printer sharing and as my development server on IIS + MSSQL.

Shame about the Asus, it did look rather nice.

On the topic about WHS though, I quite like it, though the backups can be annoying as it take a bit of processing power from the computer being backed up.

The other thing that bothers me is the use of dynamic disks.

There's a neat add-on for WHS though, which supports on-the-fly converting of files to stream to xbpx/ps3, does require a decent CPU/RAM though for it to handle anything above DVD-quality movies..
thewelshbrummie 19th February 2010, 22:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis_iii
:( i was looking forward to this ASUS home server but after reading its a definate no no. WHS looks nice though.
fingers crossed Microsoft will soon give WHS the treatment its given Win7/Win mobile 7/Zune and Xbox + add RAID support then would be a beauty though I'd rather have hardware RAID.

Give it a year and Microsoft should have Home Server V2 ready to go, based on Windows Server 2008...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Atom is much, much cheaper.

I'd like to see Bit-Tech review the HP EX 490 that's available in both the UK and US - ignoring the Pentium based EX495 (which isn't available in the UK) HP have the EX490 available for £429 - if we compare like for like in terms of HDD storage then £429 for the 2.2GHz Celeron 900 CPU , added Apple Mac support/iTunes server and HDD bays that are easy to access are to me worth the extra £80 over the £349 of the Asus.
SchizoFrog 19th February 2010, 23:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewelshbrummie
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis_iii
:( i was looking forward to this ASUS home server but after reading its a definate no no. WHS looks nice though.
fingers crossed Microsoft will soon give WHS the treatment its given Win7/Win mobile 7/Zune and Xbox + add RAID support then would be a beauty though I'd rather have hardware RAID.

Give it a year and Microsoft should have Home Server V2 ready to go, based on Windows Server 2008...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Atom is much, much cheaper.

I'd like to see Bit-Tech review the HP EX 490 that's available in both the UK and US - ignoring the Pentium based EX495 (which isn't available in the UK) HP have the EX490 available for £429 - if we compare like for like in terms of HDD storage then £429 for the 2.2GHz Celeron 900 CPU , added Apple Mac support/iTunes server and HDD bays that are easy to access are to me worth the extra £80 over the £349 of the Asus.

For tghis sort of money I would HAVE to build my own system. Atoms and celerons may do a job for the current market but even then we already know they suck for the cost. For very litle extra surely it wou be better to build using a 775 skt and go for the E6500?
iwod 20th February 2010, 02:59 Quote
How is Qnap and Synology hard to config? They just provide TONS more features, for what ASUS WHS Mini is doing, Configuration steps are roughly the same.
tonyd223 20th February 2010, 09:27 Quote
Good review - poor box. So why don't you build a cheap Linux based alternative? Why don't I? I've got an old Athlon XP 2600+ and motherboard just gathering dust, too many old IDE hard drives and DDR memory, probably an old case... just need a cheap PSU and I'm away...

I know the power consumption and noise will be silly, but if the total build cost is say £60 for the psu, then I could have it on for a full year and still be better off...

Reuse - rebuild - recycle as Bob the Builder would say
BlackRaven 20th February 2010, 13:49 Quote
Nice work as usual. A bit of a dissappointment this box. I'm looking at upgrading my hw and might consider building a "home server" from this old junk.
Bindibadgi 20th February 2010, 13:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyd223
Good review - poor box. So why don't you build a cheap Linux based alternative?

Linux is a pain? :P If you just want something plug-in-and-play then WHS works.
crazyceo 20th February 2010, 14:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyd223
Good review - poor box. So why don't you build a cheap Linux based alternative?

Linux is a pain? :P If you just want something plug-in-and-play then WHS works.

I've built 4 WHS over the past year and it does everything it says on the tin. This ASUS Mini isn't the best solution if you are dipping your toe for the first time. My current WHS works perfectly and looks after all the pcs in the house. WHS isn't just for file sharing, its for dedicated backup of every machine as well so don't just think of it as a media server.

Cant wait to see what version 2 comes out like.
tonyd223 20th February 2010, 21:44 Quote
Yeah Linux is a pain - but learning a new OS is the best game I've ever played - and it's free! There's a lot to like with the enthusiasm (but not BELIEF) of Linux peeps as well...

I'm only running three Ubuntu machines at home - two of which are dual boot... everything else is windows 7 now (except the old xp laptop...)
salty 20th February 2010, 21:59 Quote
I was somewhat troubled by this review considering I had a TS Mini (2TB version) in the mail at the time.

I just got it and set it up, but at least in my first test it fared much better than the benchmarks here. I copied some photos (3725 files totaling 4.78GB = ~1.28MB per file, so somewhere between the "small file" and "large file" tests) from my desktop to the TS mini using TeraCopy which reported a bit under 30MB/sec average.

I'll do some more tests and report back, but so far not as discouraging as the "poor performance" claims made here would indicate.
Mathemabeat 20th February 2010, 22:11 Quote
@salty

Yeah, I dropped a note to the site editor asking them to further look into the machines network performance if they still have it available. Those network numbers just look really bad and I honestly think either a driver issue (NIC, chipset) or something with the article writers gigE network is causing this. That hardware should be capable of much more than that.
salty 21st February 2010, 06:27 Quote
Ah, I see your post above... yeah, it's a Realtek NIC, I didn't upgrade the driver (it is version 5.736.728.2009 dated 7/28/2009), and I don't see any update for it or any other drivers in the Windows Update log.

I haven't tried to reproduce their tests yet but my real-world data copying has been fine. Well, most of the time I've been copying off my old server and limited by its 100Mbit NIC. Now I've got a USB2 drive connected to my desktop, copying files to the server over the gigE network. 300GB of mostly large files (~20MB each) with some tiny ones (a few KB), humming along about 35MB/s... might be limited by USB2. I'll do some other tests when I get a chance.

Otherwise, I've been pretty happy. This is my first experience with WHS and everything seems to be working well (win7 libraries, streaming to PS3 and 360). I'm not thrilled that print sharing is not "officially" supported but after some messing around I got my printer working.

I'm thrilled about the power consumption, 25-30W according to my kill-a-watt, with not much difference between idle and load. The box it's replacing was 80-110W... and a lot slower, noisier, etc, so it's a win/win.
Teq 22nd February 2010, 07:56 Quote
Hmmm, you should have tested more than just files on a windows box, I just skipped through but many people have a mac (for the girlfriend) and may have printers on the network. Also as above the gamers will possibly have a connected console...
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