I benchmarked the DS-409+ against my QNAP TS-409 Pro, a similarly priced and similarly purposed unit from arguably Synology’s primary competitor. The features match almost point-for-point. I copied a 6.1 GB video file using GNOME’s graphical copy operation with very little else contending for bandwidth on my Dell Gigabit switch.
Write: ~26.5 MB/s very steadily
Read: ~42 MB/s very steadily
Write: ~9 MB/s throughout
Read: ~19.5 MB/s throughout
Write: ~26.5 MB/s with burst at beginning near 30 MB/s
Read: ~55 MB/s with burst at beginning near 80 MB/s
Write: ~10 MB/s, with burst of 12 MB/s
Read: ~18 MB/s throughout
I would have liked to compare the units’ SFTP speeds, but the DS-409+ lacks SFTP and SCP.
A major difference in the two units is the processor speed and memory capacity. The DS-409+ has a 1.06 GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM, whereas the TS-409 Pro has a 500 MHz processor and 256 MB of RAM. Remember, though, that the DS-409+ is more than a year newer in both design and production.
Also, the TS-409 Pro has three Seagate Barracuda ST3750640AS 3.AA 750 GB drives and the DS-409+ has four Samsung Spinpoint F1 HD753LJ 750GB drives. The later has double the cache.
The DS-409+ drew approximately 50W at load, but dropped near 20W when fully idle.
The TS-409 Pro booted in 161 seconds, the DS-409+ in 95 seconds. I timed it from the moment I hit the power button until I heard the “system ready” beep and could access the admin panel.
Synology submitted the DS-207 for our review back in November 2007. We liked it, but it had a few downers: no NFS support for the Unix-based geeks, abysmal write speeds, and a strange arrangement of ports. The DS-409+, in addition to having twice the number of ports and being two years newer, fixes most if not all of these.
I often compare the DS-409+ with my QNAP TS-409 Pro. The DS-409+ is approximately $600 and the TS-409 Pro is approximately $570. While they have similar feature sets, the former seems to have better customer support in place, whereas the latter relies on its user forums, email, and Skype.
However, the Synology administration panel completely blows QNAP’s out of the water in every way. Synology’s approach is much more organized, flashy, and what I think the consumer would expect from a modern web-based interface. If you’re one of those folks who frequents the web-based administration panel, you’ll come to appreciate the slick Synology interface.
Additionally, the newer processor and expanded memory certainly benefit the DS-409+.
In summary, if I were faced with recommending one over the other, this time around, Synology takes the cake. ThinkComputers gives the Synology DS-409+ Network Attached Storage Device a 9 out of 10 score and our Editor’s Choice Award.
– eSATA port
– Admin panel interface is BEAUTIFUL and well-organized
– Stellar performance on both read and write
– Cable connectors leave more room for user error
– No front USB port for device backups
– Only two USB ports
Colin Dean has been a writer for ThinkComputers since 2006.