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Question New Asustor 'Drivestor 2/4' models, 2.5GbE-T port, RealTek ARM-based quad-core 1.4Ghz CPU, 1GB DDR4 (non-upgradable), $169/$269 @ Amazon

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Looks like a new winner in the low-cost NAS category, with these new RealTek SoC-based NAS units, with 2.5GbE-T ports. Will try to get one to try out. $169 is really tempting for a 2-bay 2.5GbE-T NAS, for a backup center device for clients. Asustor even supplies their own backup / sync software for Windows, I believe.

Although, Macrium Reflect Free v7 works so well....

Edit: Here's a review of the 4-bay model from WindowsCentral (owned by Future):
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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OK, I received my AS1102T 2-bay RealTek SoC quad-core ARM w/2.5GbE NAS.

Installed 2x Toshiba N300 4TB 7200RPM (?) NAS drives, as RAID-0. (Should be able to max out a 2.5GbE connection, no?)

Anyways, file-copy testing with a stack of Linux ISOs, from a PC with a 2.5GbE RealTek NIC, with a 10GbE-T uplink to my network core, with a D-Link 8-port 2.5GbE-T managed switch connected to my 10GbE-T backbone, and the NAS plugged into that D-Link switch, was disappointing.

Client PC is a Ryzen 3600 @ stock, 32GB DDR4-3600 (RGB) RAM at FCLK 1800, RealTek PCI-E 2.5GbE-T NIC (generic). While mining, my write-testing was only up to 122MB/sec, I was like, "why is this not much better than gigabit", then I was like, "aha, I'm mining on the CPU". So, shutting down all of the mining, and this is what I benchmarked.

I got 144MB/sec write (max), and 211MB/sec read (max), using Win10 (up-to-date) file-copy tests. Sorry, didn't take screenshots.

I did have the NAS's admin page open in my web browser at the same time, so possibly that was bogging it down. Although, it's supposed to be a quad-core SoC, surely it should be able to handle a small amount of multi-tasking.

All in all, rather somewhat disappointing, as compared with my ancient Asustor AS6104T NAS, w/Asustor 2.5GbE-T USB dongle (firmware has support for that), running at 2.5GbE speeds. (That one can hit 280MB/sec reads.) That NAS has an Intel Atom chip, though, so it's really got some gusto. These ARM SoCs just seem a bit weaker all-around.

Edit: OH! I should test with another cable. I re-used a cable (CAT6/6A) cable that was in my networking core, that was somehow disconnected on both ends. When the NAS and switch fired up the ports, initially, they were orange, rather than green (2.5GbE), so I don't know if it boots at 100Mbit/sec or 1Gbit/sec, if that's just part of the boot protocol (after a while, both LEDs went out, and came back on Green on both sides of the link). Or if the cable was/is bad, and that's why I had it disconnected. Will have to give that another go, perhaps, when I dig out some more Cat6A cables. Actually, 2.5GbE runs over Cat5E, so I guess I can just replace it with any Cat5E I have laying around here.)

Edit: There may be something else wrong with my brief initial review here, LOL. It may not be the SoC's CPU power at all. I pulled these drives from a failed installation (couldn't get it running and initialized) from a Lenovo/EMC IX2-DL NAS unit. Which is SATA2. Which, when installing SATA 6Gb/sec drives, installs a DCO ("Drive Configuration Overlay"), to get the drives to run at 3Gbit/sec. I had that happen with one or two WD Red NAS drives that I had in a Lenovo/EMC IX2-DL for testing (yes, you can run 8TB WD Red drives in RAID-1), but when I put them into a QNAP NAS with the remaining stock of WD Red drives that I had, the fresh ones showed up as SATA 6Gbit/sec, but the ones from the Lenovo showed up as 3Gbit/sec. Eventually, they all showed up as 6Gbit/sec, either a QNAP firmware upgrade, or some change to the firmware, got them straightened out. But I don't think that this Asustor AS1102T unit does that, or even has any easy way to check. (The drive page is remarkably spartan compared to QNAP.)

If the drives have been capped at 3Gbit/sec, could that explain why RAID-0 write speeds are 140MB/sec, rather than the 270MB/sec as advertised by Asustor? And yet, read speeds of 211MB/sec are fairly close to their advertised read speeds of 218MB/sec.
 
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