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NAS Reviews

Performance - Backup

The table below compares attached and network backup performance of the DS415play, ASUSTOR AS-304T and Thecus N4560 - the same Evansport-based NAS products we used in the component comparison above.

For USB 2.0 performance, the Synology and ASUSTOR ran neck and neck with the Thecus significantly slower backing up to an NTFS formatted volume. For USB 3.0 , the Synology DS415play held a clear edge over both of the other products in the comparison. For network (rsync) backup, the ASUSTOR had about a 10% edge over the Synology.

Benchmark Synology DS415play ASUSTOR AS-304T Thecus N4560
Backup to USB Drive - FAT Format 23.3 23.4 21.5
Backup to USB Drive - EXT3 Format 23.7 23.1 N/A
Backup to USB Drive - NTFS Format 23.1 22.9 17.0
Backup to USB3 Drive - FAT Format 89.3 42.5 45.5
Backup to USB3 Drive - EXT3 Format 85.8 43.3 N/A
Backup to USB3 Drive - NTFS Format 79.7 48.0 16.8
Network backup 50.2 55.1 N/A
Attached drive and network backup performance comparison

Performance - File Copy Read/Write comparisons to other products

To compare the DS415play to other similar products, I filtered the NAS Charts for four drives and dual-core processors (Atom-2). The three composite shots below show how the DS415play stacks up for RAID 0, RAID 5 and RAID 10.

The DS415play came out on top for read and write performance for both RAID 0 and RAID 5. However, for RAID 10, it dropped to third place for File Copy Read Performance and sixth place with the relatively slow File Copy Write Performance.

Atom-2 4-bay RAID 0 File Copy Read and Write Comparison

Atom-2 4-bay RAID 0 File Copy Read and Write Comparison

Atom-2 4-bay RAID 5 File Copy Read and Write Comparison

Atom-2 4-bay RAID 5 File Copy Read and Write Comparison

Atom-2 4-bay RAID 10 File Copy Read and Write Comparison

Atom-2 4-bay RAID 10 File Copy Read and Write Comparison

Performance - Ranking

If you look at the NAS Ranker and filter the results for four drives and dual core Atom processors you'll see the DS415play ranks third in this filtered ranking. The higher-ranked QNAP TS-469L and ASUSTOR AS-604T both have D2700 Atom processors compared to the CE 5335 Atom found in the DS415play. The DS415play is, however, the best ranked Evansport-based NAS.

NAS Ranker for dual core Atom 4 bay NASs

NAS Ranker for dual core Atom 4 bay NASs

To understand the differences between the DiskStation DS415play and the two four-bay Atom-2 NAS products that had better overall "Total NAS" scores, I created the composite ranker chart below.

The biggest reason that the DS415play ranks third is the relatively low scores on the Write Benchmarks. The DS415play had the best throughput in only two of the nine write benchmarks. (RAID 0 and RAID 5 File Copy Write). It also lost some ground to the two leaders for slower iSCSI write performance. However, the DS415play ranked very well for video performance ranking #2 of all 79 NAS products tested.

Ranker Performance Summary comparison of the Synology DS415play, QNAP TS469L, and ASUSTOR AS-604T

Ranker Performance Summary comparison of the Synology DS415play, QNAP TS469L, and ASUSTOR AS-604T

Closing Thoughts

At $629, the DS415play is the most expensive four-bay diskless dual-core Atom NAS you can buy right now. It is slightly outperformed on some benchmarks by the QNAP TS-469L ($540) and ASUSTOR AS-604T ($588). However, the 415play's weaknesses are so few and in benchmarks that may not matter to you (RAID 10 write, iSCSI), that they shouldn't be a major factor in your buy decision.

Synology says the 415play's MSRP is $539, but the lowest price right now on Amazon, which is our pricing source for the Charts, Finders and Rankers, is $629. When the product actually becomes available at MSRP, then the ASUSTOR will take the top-priced spot and the QNAP and 415play will be at par.

More likely to be a deal-killer is the lack of HDMI port for buyers looking to use the 415play to replace an aging HTPC. But again, that use is so niche that it isn't likely to be the deciding factor. I've tried XBMC on several NASes and a missing HDMI port isn't a deal breaker for me. The Synology mobile apps supposedly have ChromeCast support built in as well as support for Roku and Synology says its Plex support is a also a very popular media option.

For many buyers, the decision comes down to features and user interface, which I'll be looking at shortly along with transcoding capabilities. Stay tuned.

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