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Performance

The most disappointing things about the NAS200 are its performance and lack of gigabit Ethernet, especially since most current NASes come with it. You can use the NAS Chart tools to make your own comparisons, but I ran some plots to get you started.

NOTES:

  • Firmware version tested was 3.4R62
  • Keep in mind that the maximum raw data rate for 100Mbps Ethernet is 12500 Kbytes/sec and 125000 Kbytes/sec for gigabit
  • Full test setup and methodology are described here.

Figure 6 is a plot generated with the new chart "Compare Benchmarks" feature, which lets you plot throughput vs. filesize for up to six of all available benchmark test results. We also recently added RAID 1 benchmark plots for dual-drive NASes, which are shown along with JBOD mode results.

NAS200 All benchmarks
Click to enlarge image

Figure 6: All Benchmarks

But to put the performance in perspective, Figure 7 shows a comparison of 100M JBOD write performance for the NAS200, Linksys NSLU2, D-Link DNS-323 and Synology DS-207. All except the NSLU2 are dual-drive products that support RAID 1.

100M Write performance comparison
Click to enlarge image

Figure 7: 100M Write performance comparison

Figure 8 compares RAID 1 performance, so the NSLU2 drops out. But once again, the NAS200 runs a distant third. And remember that both the DS207 and DNS-323 support gigabit Ethernet and have fast enough processors to take advantage of it.

100M RAID 1 Write performance comparison
Click to enlarge image

Figure 8: 100M RAID 1 Write performance comparison

Closing Thoughts

It's probably obvious, but I'm puzzled as to why Linksys chose to come back to the consumer NAS party with a low performance product that doesn't support gigabit Ethernet. It may be because Linksys views the NAS200 as an "entry level" NAS and that they have a higher-performance consumer NAS waiting in the wings. But if the NAS200 is "entry level" what does that make the NSLU2?

It's not that Linksys is totally in the dark about the current NAS competition. If they were, they wouldn't have included the built-in file download option. But on the other hand, it doesn't handle torrents, which is usually the main thing that users want to be able to download without tying up a computer.

The important thing that Linksys has done right, however, is pricing. Using Pricegrabber, I just got lowest prices of $120, $171 and $329 for the NAS200, DNS-323 and DS-207 respectively. With that, their brand recognition and retail shelf space presence, I'm sure Linksys will sell a ton of 'em.

Check out the slideshow Check out the slideshow for more admin screens and internal details

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