iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






QNAP TS-109 Pro Single-Drive NAS Server

For SOHO and SMB.

June 11, 2008

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Hardware specifications

  • Processor: 500 MHz Marvell 88F5182 SoC based on the ARM processor.
  • Memory: DDR2 SDRAM 128 MB; 8 MB of flash memory.
  • SATA ports: 1 x SATA for an internal hard drive; 1 x e-SATA for an external hard drive
  • Network interface: RJ-45 Ethernet 10/100/1000 Mbps
  • USB support: 3 x USB 2.0/1.1; you can plug USB printers, drives, digital cameras, card readers, and USB hubs
  • Maximum HDD capacity: Internal HDD up to 1 TB; External hard drive up to 1 TB
  • Power requirements: 100-240 V AC voltage; 50-60 Hz
  • Power consumption: 14.4 W working; 6.6 W idle
  • Operating temperature: 0 - 35°C
  • Relative humidity: 0% to 85%, no condensation
  • Dimensions: 18.2 cm x 21.0 cm x 6.0 cm
  • Weight: 1.2 kg (net), 2.1 kg (gross)

Software specifications

  • Operating system: Linux embedded.
  • Support for network protocols: TCP/IP, DHCP Client/Server, CIFS/SMB, AFP, NFS, HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, DDNS, NTP
  • Supported file systems: EXT3 (int/ext HDD), FAT (ext HDD), NTFS (ext HDD, read only)
  • Supported clients: Microsoft Windows 98 / ME / 2000 / XP / 2003 /Vista; Apple Macintosh OS 9.x, 10.x; Linux & Unix
  • Drive management: User quota management; Q-RAID1 with an external USB/e-SATA drive; Disk usage status; Check disk / bad block scan
  • User management: Up to 256 user accounts; Up to 128 groups; Up to 32 simultaneous connections
  • File management: Up to 256 shared files; ACL support by shared folders; Unicode support; Journaling file system; Web interface
  • System tools: E-mail notifications (with SMTP authentication); adjustable HDD standby mode; Disk usage notifications; Auto power on power loss; System firmware upgrades; System settings backup, restore, reset; Safe file deletion over the network (with Recycle Bin); Changeable homepage logo
  • Event logs: system / alert / error
  • UI languages: English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese
  • Backup: NetBak Replicator utility for instant, scheduled or automatic backup; Remote Replication; Q-RAID1 mirroring to external HDD over USB or eSATA

All-In-One server: These features are absolutely identical to those offered by Synology, because these products are designed for the same market segment. Names of the features are self explanatory, we'll add only minimal comments where necessary:

  • File Server
  • FTP Server
  • Backup Server
  • Mirror Station - protecting data with the Q-RAID1 technology (a software implementation of data mirroring to external hard drives)
  • Print Server
  • Web Server - PHP, SQLite, and MySQL
  • MySQL Server
  • UPnP Media Server
  • iTunes Server
  • Multimedia Station
  • Download Station - support for BitTorrent (with DHT)/FTP/HTTP downloads without PC.


The bundled CD contains a number of utilities. QNAP Finder acts as a launcher.

This utility is more convenient and offers more functions than Synology Assistant. Web interface of this device matches that of Synology's product accurate to design; you can see a full set of screenshots on this page.

We didn't have any serious problems with TS-109 Pro, even the traditional problem with distorted cyrillic file names in USB devices did not appear during our tests. Firmware is updated on a regular basis, so there is hope that bugs and limitations (the manufacturer's web site publishes an honest list) will be fixed in future. 

Performance tests

Having compared hardware and software characteristics of the product under review with Synology DS-107+, we cannot get rid of deja vu - they are so much alike. That's right, they are in the same weight. Let's see what product will win.

Testbed configuration:

  • CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3800+, 2400 MHz
  • Motherboard: ASUS A8N-VM CSM on nVIDIA GeForce 6150
  • RAM: 2 x Corsair CMX512-3200C2
  • NVIDIA nForce Networking Controller (integrated)
  • Compex RL1000T Network Controller on Realtek RTL8169/8110
  • Video: GeForce 6150 16MB (integrated)

We used the following programs for our tests:

  • Intel IOMeter with patterns of serial and random access
  • Batch copying using the system command xcopy with the following patterns - ISO (3 x 500 MB files), MP3 (300 x 5 MB files), JPG (3000 x 0.5 MB files) and WEB (30000 x 50 KB files)

We shall not stick to the unpromising minimalist approach, when testers evaluate read and write rates with one not very good utility, hoping that these taciturn numbers will suffice to characterize performance of a network storage drive in different applications. As before, we have used various IOMeter patterns. We decided to replace the file copy test by the batch copy test with various patterns using the system command Xcopy, because FC-Test returned erroneous results from time to time, especially with small files.

We installed Western Digital WD1200SD into QNAP TS-109 Pro.
TS-109 Pro was plugged directly to an Ethernet port of the testbed with the bundled ethernet cable. We tested both gigabit and 100 Mbit connections. We switched between these modes using the settings of network cards. In addition, we enabled Jumbo Frame with MTU=5000B on the Compex RL1000T (the only card to support this mode), it's the closest value to what the card's drivers and TS-109 Pro settings can offer. Test results of Synology DS-107+ (with caching) and older network storage drives are taken from our previous articles. We publish them to make it easier to compare results of our two competitors.

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Article navigation:

Page 1: Exterior, Design

Page 2: Specifications, testbed

Page 3: IOMeter tests

Page 4: More tests, conclusions

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