Qnap ts-419p ii
We would like to thank QNAP for supplying the review sample.
The word NAS stands for Network-Attached Storage and over the last years these devices are becoming more and more popular, especially as Internet bandwidth keeps increasing and becoming more reliable. Users need large capacity file servers that are accessible from anywhere so they can use their data on all devices. Of course a contemporary NAS device doesn't play only the role of a file server but has many more functions like media streaming, downloading all kind of files, video surveillance, web hosting or print server.
QNAP is a relatively new company, founded in 2004, and currently one of the leaders in the NAS market since they have a vast variety of such devices, covering all market segments and user needs. Their NAS devices span into three main categories which are intended for Home & SOHO (Small Office Home Office), SMB (Small and Medium-sized Business) and finally high-end SMB use. The devices that belong to the smaller category use Marvell CPUs (ARM) while almost all products that belong to the other two categories utilize Intel processors (ATOM CPUs for SMB and Dual Core i3 or Quad Core Xeon E3 CPUs for the high-end SMB series).
Today we will test the top model of QNAP's Home & SOHO category, the TS-419P II which is equipped with a 2.0 GHz single core Marvell processor. Briefly this device supports all popular platforms including Linux/UNIX, Windows and Mac OS, offers complete back up solutions, can host a cloud service, is able to share multimedia content and finally according to its maker it is energy-efficient thus environmental friendly. In this review besides the functionality analysis, we are going to stress the NAS really hard to check if it offers the advertised performance and reliability that QNAP promises. Ending the prologue, we shouldn't forget to mention the highly interesting MyCloudNAS service which is offered for free by QNAP to all users that own one of their NAS products. Via this service you have instant access to your NAS from everywhere, through internet and you can also create a personal cloud easily.
<th colspan="2">QNAP TS-419P II Specifications</th>
<td align="center">Marvell ARM 88F6282, single core, 2.0 GHz</td>
<th scope="row">Operating System</th>
<td align="center">Embedded Linux</td>
<td align="center">512 MB DDR3</td>
<td align="center">4x 3.5"/2.5" SATA II</td>
<th scope="row">RAID Levels:</th>
<td align="center">Single Disk, JBOD, <br>
RAID 0, 1, 5, <br>
5 + Hot Spare, 6, 6 + Hot Spare, 10, 10 + Hot Spare</td>
<td align="center">up to 12 TB (disks not included)</td>
<td align="center">Target & Initiator</td>
<td align="center">2x 10/100/1000 Mbit Ethernet</td>
<th scope="row">Additional Connectors</th>
<td align="center">4x USB 2.0, 2x eSATA</td>
<td align="center"> 177(H) x 180(W) x 235(D) mm<br />
6.97(H) x 7.09(W) x 9.25(D) inch </td>
<td align="center"> 3 kg</td>
<th scope="row">Power Consumption</th>
<td align="center">Sleep: 13 W<br />
In operation: 26 W (with 4 x 500GB HDD installed) </td>
<th scope="row">Power Supply</th>
<td align="center">External, 96 W, 100-240 V</td>
<td align="center"> 1x 90 mm</td>
<td align="center">2 years</td>
<th scope="row"> Price excluding VAT<br/>
(at the time of the review)</th>
<td align="center"><p> $469.99</p></td>
The heart of the TP-419P II is a Marvell CPU running at 2.0 GHz. This processor utilizes the ARM instruction set and has a single core, so we expect it to be the bottlenecked at heavy throughput. On the other hand the available memory of 512 MB will be fine for the embedded Linux that this device uses.
Up to four HDDs, 3.5" or 2.5", can be installed and the newer SATA III protocol is not supported. However SATA III, unlike to SSDs, practically doesn't have anything more to offer to mechanical disks, compared to SATA II.
Before you buy the HDDs for the NAS you better take a look at the QNAP HDD compatibility list, since some HDDs are not compatible with the TS-419P II. Also according to this post at QNAP's forum, all WD desktop drives (Green/Blue/Black) are not recommended since they cause the following consequences:
Regarding network connectivity the device is equipped with two Gigabit ports which can be linked together (port trunking), but in order to exploit port trunking you must have a suitable switch that supports the Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP). The same applies to Jumbo frames, too. You should enable packets with more than 1500 bytes length only if your whole infrastructure supports them and also you should configure the MTU value of your clients accordingly.
In total the TS-419P II is equipped with four USB 2.0 ports (one on the front and the rest are located on the rear side) and two eSATA ones. Unfortunately there are no USB 3.0 ports so you better connect your external disks via eSATA for maximum throughput.
The unit is equipped with a two-line LCD display which shows useful messages about the NAS device (e.g. the network IP address) and through it you can also perform some basic administrative tasks.
The NAS has pretty compact dimensions and actually the HDD compartment occupies most of its internal space. Its weight is restricted to 3 kg without the HDDs installed of course. Regarding its energy consumption QNAP states that at sleep mode it needs only 13W and in operation it consumes 26W. During our tests we will verify if these numbers stand, since we will use four 500 GB HDDs; the same number and capacity HDDs QNAP used to extract the above readings.
With a specified 35.6 dB noise at standby and a little more during operation the NAS is relatively quiet, although not so quiet as many users would like it to be. During our test sessions we will conduct some noise measurements, too to verify if the given noise output numbers are close to the real ones.
The TS-419P II uses an external power brick, although it has space inside its casing to accommodate a SFF PSU. This power brick can deliver up to 8A at +12V so the NAS along with the installed HDDs has 96W at their disposal. We think that this is a sufficient power level for any case.
Finally the warranty of the device is set to only two years and to speak frankly we expected a much longer warranty for such a high cost device. However a NAS is supposed to work 24/7 so two years of its lifetime is equal to 2-3 times more for other devices that work only 8-10 hours per day. With this in mind the two year warranty doesn't look so bad.
The packaging of the NAS is huge and sturdy. On the front side we find a face shot of the NAS with the LCD screen activated. Right above that we find a brief features list and three badges that describe the 2.0GHz Marvell CPU used and the 512MB of RAM along with the eco-friendly energy consumption and the 2.5"/3.5" disk support.
On the rear side of the box QNAP has placed nice icons shows the most noteworthy functions of the NAS, that will make it highly desired to most users/administrators out there.
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On the two remaining sides of the box we find the list of hardware and software features along with a description of the buttons, LED indicators and I/O ports of the front and rear side of TS-419P II. There is also a graph showing the power consumption of the NAS compared to a PC server playing similar role. According to QNAP the difference in power consumption is huge in favor of their product of course.
Contents & Bundle
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Once we opened the box a welcome message greeted us, providing also several useful links. In a small carton box the power adapter is stored and under it the NAS is surrounded by two really thick pieces of packing foam. The protection inside the packaging is top notch and the device will reach your hands in perfect condition. Also for further protection against scratches the TS-419P II is wrapped in a heavy duty plastic bag. The rest of the bundle includes two bags of screws, two CAT 5e cables, a user's manual and a software CD including QNAP's applications.
The bundle also included a notice of free firmware updates. Apparently QNAP wanted to be sure that the future buyers would be aware of the free firmware upgrades.
Let's take a look at the NAS device itself. As you can see its footprint is medium and actually most of its internal space is occupied by the four hard disk drive trays (also called drive caddies).
All the front face is made from plastic while the top and side panels are actually formed by a single piece of steel with a nice brushed finish.
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Contrary to the Pro QNAP models the drive trays in this one are not equipped with locks so they can easily be removed by anyone. Above them there is the two line LCD screen which is de-activated automatically once the start up or reboot phase finishes, for energy saving purposes most likely. However it is enabled every time you press one of the two small buttons on its right side. Through these buttons you can perform some basic administrative tasks or get informed about the IP address of the NAS in the network, the system temperature etc. Below the LCD screen there are four LED indicators and also there are four more right above each drive tray.
In the front bottom left corner we find a USB 2.0 port and a copy button. Via the NAS web interface you can set the function of the copy button (e.g. copy the contents of the USB external disk to the NAS storage or the opposite). Above the copy button resides the Power switch which turns the unit on or off.
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After removing all drive trays we had a clear view of the PCIe expansion card to which all drives attach and at the four metal rails which guide the trays to their respective positions. The trays are numbered from one to four and the first should be installed in the far left position, according to QNAP's HDD sequence sticker located on the top panel.
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The trays support both 3.5" and 2.5" HDDs/SSDs and are numbered. The bundle includes all necessary screws to install the HDDs on the trays.
A close, angled, shot at the QNAP logo.
Only one of the two side panels features an exhaust grill.
On the rear side we find most of the I/O ports along with the reset switch, which restores the NAS to its default settings so it is essential if you forget the admin password. The two top red ports are the eSATA ones and below them reside two Gigabit Ethernet ports. Three USB 2.0 ports follow and last we find the 12V input socket. Although the TS-419P II shares the same case with the TS-469 Pro which features an internal 250W PSU, QNAP chose to equip the first with an external power adapter. The main cooling fan, that removes the hot air from the internals, has 90mm diameter and is temperature controlled (automatic or manual via the web interface).
A Look Inside
It's time now to strip down the NAS and discover what components it hides inside the casing. Once we removed the one-piece top and side cover a small mainboard is revealed along with a chassis that has enough space to accommodate an SFF PSU. The rear side of the mainboard is covered by a thick plastic shield in order to avoid shorts with the metal casing.
The rear side of the mainboard is almost void of components with the two RAM chips being the most important here. There are two on this side and two on the opposite. In total 512MB of DDR3 RAM (Hynix H5TQ1G83TFR) are directly soldered on the mainboard and you cannot upgrade them since there are no DIMM slots.
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Under the small heatsink a Marvell 88F6282 SoC controller is hiding. Among others it integrates a Marvell developed single core CPU running at 2GHz which is fully ARMv5TE-compliant and is equipped with 256KB L2 cache. As you can see from the above block diagram this SoC controller packs quite many features.
The Ethernet ports are controlled by two Marvell Alaska 88E1318 ICs. Each of these ICs contains a single Gigabit Ethernet transceiver which implements the Ethernet physical layer portion of the 1000BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, and 10BASE-T standards.
The GL850G IC of Genesys Logic plays the role of the USB 2.0 hub controller and provides four downstream USB ports.
The main PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) controller of the mainboard is an NCP3121 IC. This IC is a DC-DC buck regulator so it lowers (steps-down) the incoming DC voltage to the levels required by the various components of the NAS.
On the board we also spotted a PIC16F690 8-bit microcontroller. Among others it includes twelve A/D channels and two voltage comparators.
The PCIe card, to which all four removable drives attach, utilizes a Marvell 88SX7042 controller. It supports the SATA II protocol and not the newer SATA 6 Gbps, but since the speed of mechanical drives cannot reach such speeds, the 88SX7042 surely won't be the system's bottleneck.
The functions of the LCD screen are handled a Microchip PIC16F73 8-bit microcontroller.
The cooling fan is provided by Y.S. Tech and its model number is FD129225LB (90mm, 12V, 0.15A, 1900RPM, 40.2CFM, 80000 MTBF). It uses ball bearings so it will last fairly long, definitely much longer than a sleeve bearings one.
The software disk that accompanies the NAS contains basic applications some of which you should install to a client PC, belonging to the same network with the NAS. The most essential probably is the QNAP Finder which allows you to find the NAS on the network and connect to it, configure it or check its details. Also it informs you if there is a firmware update for your device and helps you to update it easily through the web interface.
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Another interesting program is the NetBack Replicator through which you can easily back-up your data from the workstation unto the NAS.
On the software disk there is also the MyCloudNAS application which connects you to your personal cloud service offered free by QNAP.
Quick Configuration of the NAS through QNAP Finder
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This is the quick configuration that the QNAP Finder provides. It is pretty straight forward and easy to follow even by inexperienced users. Once you hit the "configure" button you are asked for the administrator name and password (admin, admin are the defaults) and then you get a series of tabbed screens through which you can set the basic settings.
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The web interface features a nice look and provides access, through large icons, to the administrative, web server, download station and web file manager interfaces. There are also three more icons that link you to the customer support, QNAP's wiki and the QNAP forum. Unfortunately the customer support link is not working probably because the URL changed, so you will have it to find it manually from QNAP's site. To save you from searching this is the right link.
From the Home link of the administration interface you have access to the functions that you will probably use most of the time. Also you will finds links to the QNAP forum and wiki and on the bottom of the window QNAP lists their latest news.
The Overview link lists all functions of the interface, grouped in main categories. QNAP has done an excellent job here and despite the number of icons the user is not confused since they are categorized nicely and the icons are pretty self explanatory.
In the System Administration group there are some of the most crucial settings that you will have to do. The Network choice provides access to the TCP/IP settings and from there you can select the operating mode of the two NICs. If you connect the NAS to a managed switch then you can enable port trunking along with 9k Jumbo frames and greatly increase the bandwidth between the NAS and the switch. From here also you can set a DDNS Service that will inform you about the WAN IP, so you will be able to spot your NAS on the net.
The third folder groups all Disk Management functions, so you will visit these options every time you want to check your RAID and disks. Also from here you can create an iSCSI (internet Small Computer System Interface) target and LUN. Using iSCSI the storage you have on your NAS can be seen as local disks by any of the client PCs, however all data will be transferred over the network to/from them. LUN stands for Logical Unit Number and in essence LUNs are numbered disk drives, which the operating system of the client PC sees as volumes.
From the Access Right Management you can enable domain security, create users and user groups, create shared folders and modify permissions on existing ones and finally set quotas.
The Network Services group allows you to easily connect the NAS to a Microsoft, Apple or Linux network and share files with their clients. Also from here you can enable the FTP, Telnet and SSH server along with the Web Server, through which you are able to host webpage files to the NAS.
The Application Servers group hosts many interesting selections, many of which you will likely activate. For starters it provides access to the settings of all server roles that the NAS can play and also here we find the Antivirus settings along with the QPKG center. Through the latter you can install QNAP's applications along with third party ones, which cover a variety of categories and will surely come in handy for most users. The installation of a QPKG is pretty straightforward and the only thing you have to do is to click on the install link of the package you want and then enable it through the "Installed" tab. Removing unwanted QPKG packages is a breeze, too. We will further elaborate on QPKGs in the next page.
The Backup folder is pretty self explanatory. From there you can also set the functionality of the front Copy button.
The External Devices group offers access to all USB or eSATA devices that are connected on the NAS. You can format the external storage devices to a variety of file systems, share a USB printer to the network and set up a UPS.
A whole folder is dedicated to MyCloudNAS service, which is offered for free by QNAP to all QNAP NAS owners. Here you will find only three icons.
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From the System Status functions you will get vital information about the NAS like system information, take a look at the system services and check which are enabled and finally access the resource monitor. The later shows you the CPU, memory, disk and bandwidth usage and also lists the running processes.
QPKG Software Packages
QPKGs are software packages which can be easily installed on the TS-419P II and further enrich its functions. These packages are either developed by QNAP or by the Linux open source community. In order for a QPKG to be published in QNAP's official repository it first has to be verified, to ensure it is free from malicious code and doesn't pose a threat to the data stored in the NAS. The installation is a breeze and the same applies to the uninstall process, too.
Below we will make a brief reference to most of the QPKGs currently listed at QNAP's relevant page.
<table border="0" cellspacing="10">
<td> <strong>pyLoad</strong>: A full-featured download manager which allows you to download files from common one-clicking websites such as RapidShare or Megaupload, video sites (e.g. YouTube), or plain HTTP/FTP links. </td>
<td> <strong>Gallery</strong>: Enables the management and publication of digital photographs and other media through a PHP-enabled web server. </td>
<td> <strong>XMail</strong>: An Internet and intranet mail server with many features.</td>
<td> <strong>PS3 Media Server</strong>: A DLNAMedia Server for the PS3 which is able to stream and transcode any kind of media files. Currently it is available only for the QNAP NAS with Intel x86 processors.</td>
<td> <strong>iStat</strong>: CPU, memory, and disk usage monitoring.</td>
<td> <strong>QUSBCam</strong>: Allows users to connect a UVC-compliant (USB Video Class) USB webcam to the QNAP NAS and with the help of the QNAP Surveillance Station implement a budget surveillance system. </td>
<td> <strong>Mono</strong>: Provides .NET Framework environment to run ASP-based websites on Linux. </td>
<td> <strong>Tomcat</strong>: Implements the Java Servlet and the JavaServer Pages (JSP) specifications from Sun Microsystems, and provides a "pure Java" HTTP web server environment for Java code to run. Currently is available only for QNAP NAS products with Intel x86 processors.</td>
<td> <strong>phpMyAdmin</strong>: For handling the administration of MySQL over the Internet. </td>
<td> <strong>Joomla, WordPress</strong>: For building webpages and blogs.</td>
<td> <strong>Optware (IPKG)</strong>: It allows the installation of IPKG software packages to the NAS.</td>
<td> <strong>MLDonkey</strong>: Opens the "donkey" world to QNAP NAS devices.</td>
Android and iOS Applications
Besides your workstation or a client PC you can also use some of the features of a QNAP NAS through your smart phone. QNAP along with several third party developers have built some rather interesting applications for both popular operating systems (for mobile phones), Android and iOS.
This application allows access to the multimedia contents on the NAS remotely and you can also share them with your family and friends via iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. It is also available for Android phones and it is free.
According to QNAP, the maker of this application, VMobile is a mobile video surveillance application for remote and wireless monitoring of IP cameras and video playback by connecting to VioStor NVR through your Android or Apple phone or iPad. As long as you have network access, you can connect to and manage your video surveillance system anytime, anywhere. More details about this application can be found here. It is provided for free for both iOS and Android devices.
According to its developer QGetMobile allows you to connect to your Download Station and manage your downloads. You will be able to add or remove files, but also check the speed or pause downloads. It supports both iPhone and iPad devices and costs $3.99. There is also a QGetMobile HD which costs $5.99. The QGetMobile version for Android phones costs $3.99.
The relevant App Store page states that QGet Remote is an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad native QGet client. With this app you'll be able to add some download tasks on your QNAP server while you're away and when you'll be back at home, the files will be available on your server. It is available for iOS devices only and costs $3.99.
IPKG Software Packages
Besides QPKG packages, IPKG (Itsy Package Management System) packages can be also installed on the TS-419P II following the procedure below.
First of all you have to go to the Applications Servers/QPKG Center page of the web interface and from the "available" packages install and enable the Optware IPKG package.
Next, you have to open a telnet or SSH session to the NAS and the best program to do this is PuTTY, which is free. The Telnet or SSH server has to be enabled first using the Network Services/Telnet/SSH page of the NAS web interface. In PuTTY after you put in the correct IP address of the NAS you hit "Open" and for username you type "admin" and then the admin password. If you haven't changed it, the default is "admin".
The IPKG package we are going to install in this guide is iPerf, a program for measuring maximum TCP and UDP bandwidth performance. In PuTTY's CLI we type the following to install iPerf: ipgk install iperf
If you want to take a look at all available IPKG packages type: ipkg list | less
To benchmark the connection between NAS and your Windows client PC, download iPerf.exe and execute it through the CMD shell (iperf -s). Afterwards run the following on the NAS, through PuTTY: iperf -u -c 192.168.1.2 -b 100M. Replace 192.168.1.2 with the IP address of your PC.
Increase RAID Rebuilding/Synchronization Speed
The first time you will create your RAID array you will notice the long hours (sometimes even days) you will have to wait for it to be fully synchronized. Also in case a disk fails or something else goes wrong then the rebuild time of the RAID is equally long. This happens because the default RAID reconstruction minimum speed is very low (only 5MB/s), to utilize equally low CPU resources and make the NAS server respond fast to user requests. If you want to speed things up little bit you can increase it to 15MB/s (don't try higher values, since the CPU will hit 100% utilization constantly making the NAS unresponsible even through web interface).
Through PuTTY, send the following command to check the current min speed limit: cat /proc/sys/dev/raid/speed_limit_min
To increase it to 15MB/s type the following: echo 15000 >/proc/sys/dev/raid/speed_limit_min
To monitor the RAID sync or rebuild procedure with more details, use the following command: cat /proc/mdstat
To make the RAID reconstruction speed changes permanent, you must put the corresponding command into the "autostart.sh", otherwise speed_limit_min value will drop to the default 5 MB/s after each reboot. An easy to use editor that's installed on the NAS is "nano".
Our test system (client PC) is a Shuttle SX58H7 PRO and consists of the following components:
<table class="tputbl" width="500">
<th colspan="2"><strong>Shuttle SX58H7 PRO</strong> Test System Configuration</th>
<th width="120" scope="row">Processor:</th>
<td align="center">CPU Intel Core i7-960 <br />(8M Cache, 3.20 GHz, 4.80 GT/s QPI)</td>
<th width="120" scope="row">Graphics:</th>
<td align="center"> SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6850 Vapor-X</td>
<td align="center"> Intel X58 + ICH10R</td>
<td align="center">12 GB G.SKILL Sniper DDR3 1600 MHz (3x 4 GB)</td>
<td align="center">SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 120 GB<br/>HDD: Samsung F4 2000 GB</td>
<td align="center">2x Realtek 8111E</td>
<td valign="top" align="center">Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1</td>
<table class="tputbl" width="500">
<th colspan="2"><strong>NAS</strong> Configuration</th>
<th width="120" scope="row">Internal Disks:</th>
<td align="center">4x Samsung SpinPoint T166 500 GB<br>
(HD501LJ, Serial ATA II, 7200 RPM, 16 MB)</td>
<th scope="row">External Disks:</th>
<td align="center">Seagate Barracuda ST350063 in USB 3.0 enclosure</td>
<th width="120" scope="row">Firmware:</th>
<td align="center">3.6.1 Build 0302T</td>
<th scope="row">Ethernet Switch:</th>
<td align="center">TL-SG3216 16-port Gigabit managed switch<br>
(LACP and Jumbo Frames support)</td>
<th scope="row">Ethernet Cabling:</th>
<td align="center">CAT 6e, 2 m</td>
We use three different programs to evaluate the performance of the NAS. The first is Intel's NAS Performance Toolkit. Intel was kind enough to build a NAS performance toolkit and not only release it for free to the public, but also provide its source code. The only problem of this toolkit is that if you use a client PC with more than 2 GB of memory then the results of two tests ("HD Video Record" and "File Copy to NAS") are heavily affected, since they actually measure the client's RAM buffer speed and not the network speed. We are not sure also if the results of the rest tests are affected (and if yes in what degree) when a client with more than 2 GB memory is used. During all tests with this toolkit we exploit its batch run function, which repeats the selected tests for five turns and uses the average readings as final results.
The second program is a custom made program which performs ten basic file transfer tests and for each measures the average MB/s speed. To extract as accurate as possible results we run all selected tests ten times and in the end we use the average as the final result.
The third program we use in our test sessions is ATTO, a well known program for storage benchmarks. In order to use ATTO for benchmarking we are forced to map a shared folder of the NAS to a local drive, since ATTO cannot directly access network devices.
Intel NAS Performance Toolkit - Internal Storage
Intel NAS Performance Toolkit - External Storage USB2.0
TechPowerUp NAS Test Suite - Internal Storage
TechPowerUp NAS Test Suite - External Storage
ATTO - Internal Storage
ATTO - External Storage
Despite the relatively slow USB 2.0 interface (USB 3.0 is not supported by the TS-419), ATTO recorded high write speeds and even higher read speeds, which exceed the theoretical interface speeds. Apparently ATTO benchmark uses some level of read/write caching on the host PC. Using synthetic benchmarking software always risks to provide results that are quite far from the truth. This is one of the main reasons why we chose to implement our own testing software for NAS devices.
Performance Summary - Internal & External Storage
The following graph shows the overall performance of the NAS on all tests we conducted using our custom made software.
Apparently the Marvell CPU is the bottleneck at RAID 6 and RAID 5 tests so the NAS shows higher transfer speeds with a single disk configuration. Also the USB 2.0 interface is clearly a bottleneck for the external storage speed tests. It is a shame that the TS-419P II does not feature USB 3.0 ports.
Performance Comparison Graphs
Now let's check the performance of the TS-419P II against other NAS devices. Currently we have measurements of only one NAS (excluding the review's test sample) but after more reviews the following graphs will become much richer.
Let's check now how much power the TS-419P II needs in sleep, idle mode and during heavy throughput.
For all power consumption measurements we use two professional power analyzers, a Prova WM-01 and a GW Instek GPM-8212.
Sleep, Idle and Load
The maximum power consumption the NAS registered was 51.2W and this with four HDDs installed and the CPU at 100% load. This is very low indeed and means low electricity bills even with the NAS working 24/7 (which usually is the case).
Power Consumption in Standby Mode
Vampire power or phantom load is the amount of power that a device consumes when it is switched off but still plugged into the power grid. According to the ErP Lot 6 2010 directive it should be below 1W and the future 2013 directive lowers this threshold to 0.5W.
With ErP activated from the relevant web interface page, the TS-419P II needs only 0.29W so it meets the ErP Lot 6 2010 requirements easily.
Power Consumption Comparison Graphs
For these measurements we used a high quality CEM-8852 Sound DB Meter which was installed 50cm away from the NAS. The ambient noise in our lab during noise measurements was close to 30dBA.
During normal operation the noise is low enough for most users, however the max noise the fan can output will be annoying to most. Nevertheless during our tests the fan never worked at full RPMs and to make it work at full speed we had to select the corresponding profile through the web interface.
Output Noise Comparison Graphs
The following graphs show the output noise of TS-419P II in comparison with other units we have tested in the past. Although the TS-469 Pro uses exactly the same fan model and is equipped with a much more powerful CPU, it manages to achieve lower output noise levels in both cases.
The following graph shows the total performance rating of the NAS in comparison with other units. The comparison is pretty straight forward, the tested unit is shown as 100% and all other units' performance is relative to it. Please note that we measure only raw performance in the graph below and not available features and functionality of each unit.
Performance per Dollar
For most of you probably the following graph will be the most interesting, since it shows how much it will set you back the performance of the NAS you want to buy. We looked up the current USD price of each NAS on the popular online shop Newegg and used it along with the relative performance numbers to calculate the Performance per Dollar Index. In case Newegg doesn’t stock a specific unit then we search for it at other popular online shops (Tigerdirect, Amazon) and finally if the unit is not sold in the U.S. we search in popular EU shops (e.g. Caseking) and we convert its price to dollars.
Value and Conclusion
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<td>The TS-419P II is certainly not the most affordable NAS out there, although it belongs to QNAP's lower-end category. Nevertheless after testing it for some weeks I realized that it offers many more features, beyond what average users require, so its price is fully justified. During all test sessions it never hung or froze, even under heavy load, proving that it is very reliable and its firmware is stable. Also QNAP's support is very good, with regular firmware updates and QNAP also hosts a very strong support forum which will be of great help, especially for new owners.<br />
In general I liked the interface and I assure you that you don't need any special Linux knowledge to use it. You just have to know some basic networking concepts and you are good to go, if you plan to use your NAS at home. For small office environments a certain level of experience is required to set up the NAS correctly and efficiently, but I don't think that this will be much of a problem after spending some time reading the manual.<br />
The main downsides I found on the TS-419P II are the weak processor which holds the system back at heavy throughput if the disks are configured in RAID 5 or 6. Nowadays even smartphones feature a dual-core or quad-core processor, so I'd expect a NAS to come with a stronger CPU than a single core ARM model. The lack of USB 3.0 connectivity might be an issue for users who transfer a lot of data by connecting external devices directly to the NAS (according to QNAP all TS-x19P that will be shipped from May 2012 will include USB 3.0 ports). There are also two eSATA ports which offer much higher speeds, so this can be avoided. The short warranty is a bigger concern for a device that works 24/7 and should reliably perform longer than the two year warranty period.<br /><br />
All in all I think that the TS-419P II is a good investment for your money, if you are looking for a NAS device to make your life easier and require access to your files from everywhere along with a dozen other functions. Let's just hope that the prices of mechanical disks will start coming back to normal levels, because currently four 2TB disks will cost you almost the same as the TS-419P II!</td></tr>
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