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Performance - Read and Non-cached | Closing Thoughts

Figures 3 and 4 show the cached read performance of both drives.

Xbox NAS Read performance

Figure 3: Xbox NAS Read performance
(click image to enlarge)

There's essentially no difference in performance between the two, which supports the results I obtained with my file copy test.

PC to PC Read performance

Figure 4: PC to PC Read performance
(click image to enlarge)

Since the above tests are dominated by caching performance, we need to look beyond OS-specific effects to the raw device performance. Experience with iozone has shown that most caching effects are gone with file sizes of 128MBytes and higher. So Figures 5 and 6 show comparisons of write and read performance of the modified Xbox and shared notebook drive using a 128MByte file size and record sizes from 64 to 16384 kBytes.

128MB Write performance comparison

Figure 5: 128MB Write performance comparison
(click image to enlarge)

Figure 5 gives a slight advantage to the notebook drive for writing smaller record sizes, but the Xbox NAS' more consistent performance wins out for record sizes above 512 kBytes.

128MB Read performance comparison

Figure 6: 128MB Read performance comparison
(click image to enlarge)

On the other hand, Figure 6 shows that the shared PC drive has both more consistent and higher non-cached read performance than the modified Xbox. But as my file-copy test showed, this advantage may not show up in real-life usage.

This brings us to the end of our adventures with our Xbox NAS. It's been a bit of work, but well worth it. For not a lot of money, you can turn one person's dust collector into a fast, flexible networked storage device that also can be made to perform additional tricks such as handling your BitTorrent downloads. And since you now have a nice little Linux-based server, even more mods are possible.

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