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Benchmark Reviews Editors Choice Awards 2009 E-mail
Articles - Featured Guides
Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
Benchmark Reviews Editors Choice Awards 2009
Best in Class: Accessories
Best in Class: Cases
Best in Class: Cooling
Best in Class: Motherboards
Best in Class: Network Storage
Best in Class: Processors
Best in Class: Data Storage
Best in Class: Video Cards
2009 Editors Choice Awards

Best in Class: Network Storage

Network Attached Storage (NAS) servers have become commonplace in the modern business space, whether that sector be corporate enterprise or small-office home-office (SOHO). Benchmark Reviews has taken the high road with NAS products, comparing them for their features and functionality, but also forcing them to reach the highest levels of performance. Our Featured Reviews: Network section has grown over the past year, and some of our award winners have earned so much respect that we're recommending them for our top choice within two specific market segments: Enterprise and SOHO.

Enterprise NAS

Awarded: QNAP TS-809 Pro

Hard Disk Drive storage capacity is already beyond two Terabytes, which makes multi-bay NAS servers seem overkill... unless your an Enterprise with multiple Terabytes of data in need of a home. That's where the QNAP TS-809 Pro NAS comes in, and offers eight bays of SATA-HDD storage with hot-swap capability. While it's true that the TS-809 Pro doesn't offer Jumbo Frame support, it's also true that this is the fastest NAS product we've tested despite this (62.5/76.9 MBps single-disk read/write performance). QNAP is the industry leader for advanced firmware that offers more features and functionality than most businesses would ever consider using, and their latest v3 firmware is the industry's best.

The QNAP TS-809 Pro offers built-in iSCSI target service, AES 256-bit volume-based encryption, and RAID-0/1/5/6/5+Spare/JBOD disk configurations. An Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz processor and 2GB of DDR2 memory make up the system hardware for this large NAS, and keep performance at it's peak. Pair these features with failover Gigabit Ethernet support, and eight hot-swappable SATA bays, and the TS-809 Pro becomes the perfect fit for the storage-needy Enterprise sector. Sold at NewEgg for $1699.99 without drives the QNAP TS-809 Pro is an excellent alternative to the more expensive file server. The combination of performance, functionality, and value have earned the TS-809 Pro our nomination for the 2009 Editor's Choice Award.


Honorable Mention: Thecus N7700

When Benchmark Reviews tested the Thecus N7700 NAS there were several key ingredients that earned the N7700 our Golden Tachometer Award. While file transfer speeds were impressive, measuring 50.0/62.5 MB/s for single-disk read and writes, they weren't the fastest we had seen. Seven hot-swap bays good for RAID-0, 1, 5, 6, 10, Single, and JBOD disk configurations was also very impressive, but not enough to be the biggest NAS offered. Dual Gigabit Ethernet NICs with teaming and failover safety along with iSCSI support was another nice touch, but still not enough to earn an honorable mention in our Editor's Choice Awards. Without question, it was the ZFS file system support with continuous integrity checking auto-repair that earns our respect, and makes the Thecus N7700 a good value for $949.99.


Awarded: Synology Disk Station DS209

Not everyone needs hot-swappable hard drive bays, or eight of them for that matter. Besides, two disks are enough for RAID-1 mirrored redundancy. This is where the Synology Disk Station DS209 NAS comes in: 1.2GHz Marvell Kirkwood 88F6281 processor paired to 256MB of DDR2 RAM with enough power to offer RAID-0, 1, Single, and JBOD disk configurations. The DS209 delivered 50.0/43.5 MB/s single-disk read/write performance over a Gigabit Ethernet NIC with Jumbo Frame functionality enabled. The Synology DS209 is available at NewEgg for $299.99 without hard drives, which is a small fee for a full-featured file server replacement.


Worst in Class: Patriot Corza

Sometimes we expect too much from a product, and sometimes we just simply don't get what we expect. Either way, the Patriot Corza PCZ35SNAS2 was a letdown. To be fair, the Corza NAS costs mere $99.99 after rebate at NewEgg, making it one of the most affordable Network Storage appliances available. Nevertheless, the Patriot Corza was the absolute worst performer Benchmark Reviews has ever tested. The Corza does offer RAID-1/0/Linear disk configurations, but the firmware is a throw-back to the old GeoCities/AngleFire websites built around 1996. If all you need is a network-connected home for your data, then this could be a possibility... so long as you're in no hurry and don't ask for anything more.


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