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Performance

We tested our Buffalo LinkStation Pro Duo with its default Samsung HD103SI disks as well as with Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS disks using the Intel NASPT 1.7 benchmark. We tried it in each of the three possible configurations: one disk, RAID0 and RAID1 built out of two disks. We enabled Jumbo Frames in the NAS's settings, created a disk volume, a shared folder and a user account and then ran the benchmark.

The first diagram shows the results of the NAS with its default Samsung disks.

So, the peak read and write speeds are 70 and 45 MB/s, respectively. This is lower than what we had with same-class NASes from other brands. On the other hand, the performance is going to be high enough for most home users.

The results are not very different with the WD disks. You can see them in the second diagram:

It is in the DirectoryCopyFromNAS test that we can see the largest gap in the results: the WD disks are twice as fast as the Samsung ones.

We guess the file system for data volumes may be the reason for the poor performance of this NAS compared to its opponents based on the ARM platform. It’s hard to tell why Buffalo preferred XFS to the more popular EXT.

Conclusion

The Buffalo LinkStation Pro Duo is an inexpensive (considering the preinstalled disks) and nice-looking NAS based on the classic ARM platform. Its downsides include the limited expandability options (it's got only one back-panel USB port and doesn’t support USB hubs), the lack of disk activity indicators and the design of the Power switch. The firmware lacks such popular features as event log, temperature and disk status monitoring, RAID migration without data loss, and installation of firmware on clean HDDs. The manufacturer doesn’t provide free access to the firmware, so the rather advanced hardware cannot be utilized fully.

On the other hand, the integrated BitTorrent client is almost perfect and very fast. There is a full selection of media servers, an integrated backup tool, and browser-based file access. Network-USB Server allows using all the features of an all-in-one connected to the NAS.

Taking into consideration the features and functionality of this product, we would recommend it to those users who are looking for an inexpensive network data storage solution that could be easily integrated into a home network used primarily for streaming versatile multimedia data onto compatible players.

 
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