The WD Red Hard Drive Series was designed to be used in a NAS server, so we couldn’t call this review complete without trying them out in a NAS! We grabbed five 3TB WD Red hard drives and installed them into the Thecus N5550 NAS Server! This NAS uses an Intel Atom processor along with 2GB of DDR3 memory, so it is pretty beefy and ideal for small business or home use, which is what the WD Red drives are desgined for as well.
The Thecus N5550 had no issues at all with the WD Red 3TB hard drives and we had 13975 GB of awesome being detected! We setup a RAID 5 array with a 128KB stripe and left 1 disk for a spare. RAID 5 uses block-level striping with parity data distributed across all member disks. This is a pretty common setup and realistic of what someone buying these drives would do. This left us with 8318 GB of available storage space. In case you are wondering the Thecus N5550 NAS was running firmware version 2.03.08, which just came out on December 7th, 2012. Let’s get on to the benchmarks!
ATTO Disk Benchmark
ATTO is one of the oldest hard drive benchmarks that is still used today. ATTO measures transfers across a specific volume length. It measures raw transfer rates for both reads and writes and places the data into graphs that you can easily interpret. The test was performed with the default runs of 0.5kb through 8192kb transfer sizes with the total length being 256mb.
The Thecus N5550 with the Western Digital Red 3TB drives was able to hit a max of 107MB/s read and 117MB/s write.
CrystalDiskMark is a small HDD benchmark utility for your hard drive that enables you to rapidly measure sequential and random read/write speeds.
With Crystal Disk Mark the sequential read and writes topped out at 55.4 MB/s read, and 104.5MB/s write.
Intel NAS Performance Toolkit Exerciser
The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit is a file system exerciser and analysis tool designed to enable performance comparisons between network attached storage (NAS) devices. Intel NASPT focuses on user level performance using real world workload traces gathered from typical digital home applications such as HD video playback and record, data backup and restore utilities, office productivity applications, video rendering/content creation and more. Intel NASPT reproduces the file system traffic observed in these traces onto whatever storage solution the user provides, records the system response, and reports a rich variety of performance information. The end result is readily comparable performance measurements that are useful to developers as well as intuitive and compelling to consumers. The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit is one of the only benchmarks that was designed from the ground up just to measure NAS performance. The benchmark tests 18 different test scenarios to give you a great overall idea of how the NAS performs.
The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit showed that HD video playback was around 60 MB/s, which isn’t too shabby. The other scores can be seen in the image above.