Asustor AS-304T: 4-Bay Intel Evansport NAS Reviewby Ganesh T S on March 26, 2014 11:15 AM EST
NAS units targeting home consumers have traditionally been underpowered in terms of hardware as well as firmware features. Low power, reduced cost and media-centric features are primary requirements in this area. Intel has traditionally been loath to participate in this market segment, probably due to the obvious lack of high margins. However, the explosive growth potential in the consumer / SOHO NAS market has made Intel rethink its strategy.
The Atom CE5300 series was initially introduced as the Berryville set-top-box platform in March 2012. Almost a year later, the CE5300 series was re-launched in its Evansport avatar as a storage solution targeting home consumers (in particular, as a media server platform). Asustor, Synology and Thecus were touted as partners building NAS units based on this platform. We have already looked at the 2-bay Evansport model from Thecus, the N2560. How does the platform perform when scaled up to 4-bays? The Asustor AS-304T gives us a chance to find out.
Asustor places their two Evansport models under the 'Home to Power Users' category. Both of them are based on the Intel CE5335 CPU, and come with 1 GB of RAM. The specifications of the review unit are as below.
|Asustor AS-304T Specifications|
|Processor||Intel Evansport CE5335 (2C/4T Atom (Bonnell) CPU @ 1.6 GHz)|
|RAM||1GB DDR3 RAM|
|Drive Bays||4x 3.5 / 2.5" SATA HDD / SSD (Hot-swappable)|
|Network Links||1x 1 GbE|
|USB Slots||2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0|
|VGA / Display Out||HDMI / 3.5mm Audio Jack|
|Full Specifications Link||Asustor AS-304T Specifications|
In the rest of the review, we will cover the hardware aspects of the AS-304T and provide some setup and usage impressions. This is followed by benchmarks in single and multi-client modes. For single client scenarios, we have both Windows and Linux benchmarks with CIFS and NFS shares. We will also have some performance numbers with encryption enabled. In the final section, power consumption numbers as well as RAID rebuild times will be covered along with some closing notes.
Testbed Setup and Testing Methodology
Our NAS reviews use either SSDs or hard drives depending on the unit under test. While rackmounts and units equipped with 10GbE capabilities use SSDs, the others use hard drives. The Asustor AS-304T was evaluated using four WD Re (WD4000FYYZ) drives to keep comparisons consistent across different NAS units. Evaluation of NAS performance under both single and multiple client scenarios was done using the SMB / SOHO NAS testbed we described earlier.
|AnandTech NAS Testbed Configuration|
|Motherboard||Asus Z9PE-D8 WS Dual LGA2011 SSI-EEB|
|CPU||2 x Intel Xeon E5-2630L|
|Coolers||2 x Dynatron R17|
|Memory||G.Skill RipjawsZ F3-12800CL10Q2-64GBZL (8x8GB) CAS 10-10-10-30|
|OS Drive||OCZ Technology Vertex 4 128GB|
|Secondary Drive||OCZ Technology Vertex 4 128GB|
|Tertiary Drive||OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid (1TB HDD + 100GB NAND)|
|Other Drives||12 x OCZ Technology Vertex 4 64GB (Offline in the Host OS)|
|Network Cards||6 x Intel ESA I-340 Quad-GbE Port Network Adapter|
|Chassis||SilverStoneTek Raven RV03|
|PSU||SilverStoneTek Strider Plus Gold Evoluion 850W|
|OS||Windows Server 2008 R2|
|Network Switch||Netgear ProSafe GSM7352S-200|
We thank the following companies for helping us out with our NAS testbed:
- Thanks to Intel for the Xeon E5-2630L CPUs and the ESA I-340 quad port network adapters
- Thanks to Asus for the Z9PE-D8 WS dual LGA 2011 workstation motherboard
- Thanks to Dynatron for the R17 coolers
- Thanks to G.Skill for the RipjawsZ 64GB DDR3 DRAM kit
- Thanks to OCZ Technology for the two 128GB Vertex 4 SSDs, twelve 64GB Vertex 4 SSDs and the RevoDrive Hybrid
- Thanks to SilverStone for the Raven RV03 chassis and the 850W Strider Gold Evolution PSU
- Thanks to Netgear for the ProSafe GSM7352S-200 L3 48-port Gigabit Switch with 10 GbE capabilities.
- Thanks to Western Digital for the two WD Re hard drives (WD4000FYYZ) to use in the NAS under test.
Post Your CommentPlease log in or sign up to comment.
View All Comments
jason42 - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - linkAnyone know of any small mini-ITX cases that allow for hotswapping hard drives and doesn't look cheap? I'd like to make my one home NAS/media transcoder/HTPC.
Aikouka - Thursday, March 27, 2014 - linkI don't know if you need this many hotswappable bays, but there's the Silverstone DS380:
ganeshts - Thursday, March 27, 2014 - linkYes, the DS380 is pretty awesome-looking :) It keeps components cool.. only problem is footprint. The U-NAS NSC800 is pretty good too, smaller footprint - same as the DS1812+, but comes at the cost of airflow and cooling capability, obviously.
signorRossi - Thursday, March 27, 2014 - linkLian-Li has various models, the PC-Q25 offers 7! 3.5" hard drive bays, with 5 of them hot-swap slots.
buchhla - Friday, March 28, 2014 - linkhttp://www.u-nas.com/xcart/product.php?productid=1... This is the 8 bay version, but they also make a 2 and 4.
manmax - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - linkIt looks like you're using the default mount options for NFS and CIFS mounts on a CentOS 6.2 VM. It would be nice if you actually show what the mount options CentOS uses. For example, using mount without passing any options via the -o parameter to mount a CIFS share could result in the following default options:
rsize and wsize in particular could have a noticeable affect on performance.
iwod - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - linkLet me get this one thing straight.
Asustor wins Hands down in terms of performance compared to Synology or Qnap. So if performance is a concern you should get it. Purely because they are using much better hardware.
However DONT expect its features and software work anywhere as well as Qnap or Synology. If you are after those features, dont get the ASUSTOR yet. Its software properly still needs some time ( a year ? ) to mature. I have heard they are working on it. But as far as i know it still isn't quite there yet.
larkhon - Thursday, March 27, 2014 - linkI think this is even more relevant when talking about the entry level NAS from those brands, Asustor is doing a good job there. But does this one compare to DS414 in terms of performance? price-wise it's the same but it's saturating a single GbE link in many situations hence the second link...
beginner99 - Thursday, March 27, 2014 - linkWhy would you even use RAID in these? Look at the rebuild times (assuming it doesn't fail which however is pretty likes with 2 TB+ drives). It seems easier and faster to just copy back the data from your backup.
fteoath64 - Thursday, March 27, 2014 - linkYou have a great point on those long rebuild times. It is during such stressing times that another drive might fail so with all eggs being put on the NAS is not such a good idea. Still people will backup periodically to a 4TB or bigger drive just to preserve some of their important data. It is a practise that cannot be forgotten even with a NAS. It STILL needs backup!.