[iMac] Using a NAS for external storage

Andrew Lynch drew at atlynch.com
Thu Apr 22 07:09:32 PDT 2010

Hi Folks,
  Have any of you used a NAS for external storage?  If so, which one, and how was the performance?  I've been testing using activity monitor to measure disk or network throughput, copying a 5 GB file from my i7 iMac's internal drive

To a:
Local Firewire 800 disk: 68MB/sec
Local Firewire400 disk: 36MB/sec
Local USB disk: 31MB/sec (*)

Over my wired gigabit network to a:
Internal Disk on my Mac Mini: 45MB/sec
Firewire Disk on my Mac Mini: 29MB/sec
USB Disk on my Mac Mini: 21MB/sec
AirDisk: 12.7 MB/sec

(*) Local USB transfer rates varied from 9MB/sec to 31MB/sec depending on what port the disk was plugged in to, what else was plugged in to the same USB bus, if a hub was used, etc

I also tried daisy chaining firewire devices:  I have 2 FW800 drives and a handful of FW400 drives.  I put the FW400 drives at the end of the chain, and measured copying to the first FW800 device in the chain.  I found I could add one FW400 device without a performance penalty, but adding a second cut the performance by almost 66%.

If I could get a NAS that would beat to 30-40MB/sec level, I would be happy.  The most promising, and most expensive seem to be the Synology devices, at 300-400$ with no drives.  They claim to get up to 70MB.sec or better.


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