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Performance - Comparative

Whether you use Windows File Copy or NASPT File Copy benchmarks, the results show that all the x53 Pro models pretty much max out the capability of a single Gigabit Ethernet connection for RAID 5 writes. But so do their less-expensive dual-core Celeron x51 series equivalents, like the TS-451. On the other hand, RAID 5 read shows a more significant 10 MB/s gap between the TS-451 and TS-453 Pro.

NASPT RAID 5 File Copy comparison

NASPT RAID 5 File Copy comparison

Comparing two-drive RAID 1 performance tells a similar story, except with closer read results.

NASPT RAID 1 File Copy comparison

NASPT RAID 1 File Copy comparison

Using the NAS Ranker with no filtering shows the x53 Pro pack trailing Thecus' i3-based N8850 Top Tower, Pentium G620-based N6850 Top Tower and Xeon-based N10850. The QNAP TS-653 Pro and TS-853 Pro look to be priced about $200 less than their Thecus compeition, however.

Comparing the six bay TS-653 Pro and Thecus N6850 shows a mix of pluses and minuses. The Thecus has about twice the performance for directory file copy writes and reads. But it comes in about the same for the mixed read/write benchmarks and is significantly slower for USB 3.0 attached backup.

QNAP TS-653 Pro, Thecus N6850 Performance Summary Comparison

QNAP TS-653 Pro, Thecus N6850 Performance Summary Comparison

If you're trying to decide whether it's worth it to pay more for the TS-453Pro vs. the TS-451, the Performance Summary Comparison below says it's a difficult call. The 453 Pro does better than the 451 on some directory copy tests, but with smaller margin than the previous Thecus comparison. Everything else is pretty close.

QNAP TS-453 Pro, TS-451 Performance Summary Comparison

QNAP TS-453 Pro, TS-451 Performance Summary Comparison

Conclusion

I know I say this a lot. But QNAP is known for having a lot of NASes to choose from, making buying decisions more difficult than they perhaps should be. I'll reprise Craig's price comparison table from his TS-251/451 review to boil it down. Keep in mind that all the x51 models come with 1 GB of RAM, while their x53 Pro equivalents come with 2 GB. Both families can be expanded to a maximum of 8 GB.

  TS-x51 TS-x53 Pro x53 Pro premium
Two bay $353 $500 42%
Four bay $500 $651 30%
Six bay $799 $901 13%
Eight bay $899 $1113 24%
Table 2: The x53 Pro premium
(all prices from Amazon on 11/05/14)

The six bay TS-653 Pro seems to be the pricing sweet spot, if you're ok with spending about $1000 for a naked NAS. But $500 for a two-bay NAS is a pretty hard sell in my book, no matter how powerful it is.

As noted earlier, to get your money's worth from a TS-x53, you're going to need to use aggregated ports with multiple clients and / or load it up with RAM and run multiple VMs. But if you're just looking to get the most of a single Gigabit Ethernet connection for large file transfers and want to buy QNAP, save yourself some dough and get a TS-X51 instead.

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