Introduction and Testbed Setup

The launch of the QNAP TS-x51 series was covered in detail last month. Its introduction has revitalized the premium NAS market for SOHO and power users by providing a powerful enough alternative to the Atom D270x-based NAS units. The 22nm Celeron J1800 in the TS-x51 is a SoC (obviates the necessity for a platform controller hub) and brings a revamped Atom microarchitecture (Silvermont) to the NAS market. QNAP is, to our knowledge, the first off-the-shelf NAS vendor to bring a Bay Trail-based NAS unit to the market. The Celeron J1800 is also one of the few Bay Trail parts to come with the Intel Quick Sync transcoder engine as well as VT-x capabilities. QNAP takes advantage of both in their firmware to provide hardware transcoding capabilities (both offline and real-time) as well as support for virtual machines (i.e, their OS, QTS, can act as a host OS).

The virtualization and multimedia capabilities of the firmware deserve detailed analysis and will not be part of this review. Instead, we will solely concentrate on performance numbers under various scenarios. We have already looked into the market that QNAP is trying to target with this lineup in our launch piece. So, without further digression, let us take a look at the specifications of our TS-451 review unit.

QNAP TS-451-4G Review Unit Specifications
Processor Intel Celeron J1800 (2C/2T @ 2.41 GHz)
RAM 4 GB DDR3L RAM
Drive Bays 4x 3.5"/2.5" SATA 6 Gbps HDD / SSD (Hot-Swappable)
Network Links 2x 1 GbE
External I/O Peripherals 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0
Expansion Slots None
VGA / Display Out HDMI 1.4a
Full Specifications Link QNAP TS-451 Specifications
Price $759

Note that the $759 price point reflects the additional 3 GB of RAM over the baseline 1 GB model (which will retail for $700).

The TS-451 runs Linux (kernel version 3.12.6). Other aspects of the platform can be gleaned by accessing the unit over SSH.

Testbed Setup and Testing Methodology

The QNAP TS-451 can take up to four drives. Users can opt for either JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6 or RAID 10 configurations. We benchmarked the unit in RAID 5 with four Western Digital WD4000FYYZ RE drives as the test disks. Our testbed configuration is outlined below.

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 Z-Drive R4 CM88 (1.6TB PCIe SSD)
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 Evolution 850W
OS Windows Server 2008 R2
Network Switch Netgear ProSafe GSM7352S-200

Thank You!

We thank the following companies for helping us out with our NAS testbed:

Hardware Platform and Setup Impressions
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  • DanNeely - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    @Ganesh This question is asked in some form on almost every NAS review. Would you consider addressing it by adding a build vs buy page to the base review template? Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    Yes, that is a good idea. Let me add it to the template in the concluding remarks section. Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    Thanks. Will it be showing up as an update to this review; or in the next one? Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    I think you already have a great set of points above, maybe I will just reserve it for the next article :) Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    Those were off the cuff and need some cleanup (if nothing else I switched wording halfway through) and the DIY section probably needs expanded; but feel free to use them as a starting point. Reply
  • zodiacsoulmate - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    Ok I donno that cause in previous NAS review I didn't see anyone mentioning that, and this NAS is a little pricier than other ones... Reply
  • BMNify - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    if you are going to do that then you better cover the less linked type of base kit

    for instance

    http://www.xcase.co.uk/rackmount-server-systems/mi... 4 hot swap custom itx case for £118.80 Incl. VAT

    just add a http://www.newegg.com/global/uk/Product/Product.as...

    ASUS P9A-I/C2550/SAS/4L Mini ITX Green and Space-Saving Server Board DDR3 1333/1600 ECC/Non-ECC UDIMM 4 x MiniSAS connector(Marvell 88SE9485 x 2)
    (up to 16 SAS/SATA 6G HDD connections)

    want to go larger then put that in something like the
    http://www.xcase.co.uk/rackmount-cases/2u-rackmoun...

    X-CASE RM 208 2U WITH 8 HOTSWAP BAYS AND RAILS £107.94 Incl. VAT
    http://www.xcase.co.uk/media/catalog/product/cache...

    if you need more later then go for something like the X-CASE RM 212 PRO, 12 BAY HOTSWAP SERVER CASE £238.80 Incl. VAT
    or even the more generic NORCO RPC-4224 4U Rackmount Server Case with 24 Hot-Swappable SATA/SAS Drive Bays £253

    see ,it easy to build to a given price if you forget the toy dual core antiquated Marvell ARMADA™ 370 soc and you even get far more for less than this crazy £591.60 for an ugly looking steel box and generic single board computer without any hard drives installed...
    Reply
  • BMNify - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    oc thats a mind bending 1004.77 US Dollar at current rates

    http://www.span.com/product/Qnap-Desktop-NAS-TS-45...
    Qnap Desktop NAS TS-451 4-Bay, JBOD/RAID 0/1/5/6 , empty case for £591.60

    OC you could always go the conservative view and still end up with a better data throughput
    usng something like the GA-J1900N-D3V Built-in Intel® Celeron™ J1900 (2.0 GHz) quad-core processor and dual gigabit Ethernet ports and pci slot to ...£61.17
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    Honestly, the hardware you're suggesting looks like DIY enterprise architecture more than a typical DIY NAS build. AT does do an occasional article on big enterprise boxes; but 8+ bay boxes are only a very small portion of the NAS coverage here. If we do get a DIY NAS article I'd expect it to be done with inexpensive hardware and at most a 6 drive configuration in addition to a 4 drive one. The 4 drive config would IMO be mandatory for comparison purposes since most of the existing reviews are for systems with that config. Reply
  • BMNify - Monday, July 28, 2014 - link

    if its good enough for www.servethehome.com and http://forums.nas4free.org/

    http://www.servethehome.com/Server-detail/istarusa...

    http://forums.nas4free.org/viewtopic.php?f=60&...

    then its more than good enough for .anandtech to cover these options on a regular basis, after all readers want to know and be informed about the current options available to them, the options i mentioned above were based on the fact you can get HOTSWAP able hardware cases for far less then these ripoff consumer empty steel box's and SBC that cast them pennies on mass, and yet if you look you the enc consumer can actually find new and better kit such as the mentioned GA-J1900N-D3V Built-in Intel® Celeron™ J1900 (2.0 GHz) quad-core for far less to build than the lesser dual core Celeron™ J1800 that the qnap-ts451 uses....

    if you dont need/want 4-in-1 Trayless Hot-swap Backplane then just use the available generic £25 pc box's etc.... OC the ASUS P9A-I/C2550/SAS/4L Mini ITX gets a special mention as its an all in single board computer you the end consumer can get behind if you feel you will need/want tp add sas to sata cables and drives as you see fit over a longer time frame.....

    a one off cost that's more expandable as you add data to your LAN devices etc....
    Reply

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