Articles: Storage

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For the first group of tests we used Intel NASPT with modified HD video processing templates (the size of files was increased to 8 GB). We also added random read and write templates. File operations undergo a few stages of caching, which affects the resulting speed. To reduce this effect, we installed a rather small amount of system memory on the client PC – 2 gigabytes.

The first diagram shows how the HDDs perform in a JBOD. In reality, considering the size of the files and HDDs, the first disk of the array was doing the bulk of work.

The difference in firmware is obvious from the first three templates. The RE4-GP can only recognize the single-threaded reading template. The Green copes with two data threads and the Red can identify as many as four. That’s good for a home system. The simultaneous reading and writing is yet another scenario where we can see the HDDs differ: the Red is about 10% faster. It also enjoys a 40% advantage in random writing. The other components of our configuration being the same, it is the HDD that takes all the praise.

RAID0 smoothes out the differences between the HDDs. We can only note that the Green is somewhat slower than the others at reading whereas the Red is faster at random writing.

The RE4-GP wins the test of sequential reading and writing in the fault-tolerant RAID5 configuration but the Red series isn’t far behind and goes ahead at random writing. The Green isn’t very good at reading four data threads, but has no catastrophic performance hits.

RAID6 isn’t a popular option for home 4-disk NASes but it is with this RAID type that the RE4-GP enjoys an advantage over the other HDDs in sequential reading. All of them have identical results at sequential writing but the Red is ahead at random writing.

The new WD Red series is often faster than its opponents when it comes to the classic NAS usage scenario, i.e. LAN-based data access. It enjoys the largest advantage in the random read template. It may be due to some special optimizations for NAS applications or just improvements in WD’s firmware, but the Red series is really better than the Green series in terms of sheer speed. Let’s check out the other parameters now.

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