Late last year we looked at the Thecus N4100PRO, a 399 Dollar NAS appliance designed for personal, home and small office use. I received a few questions following the publishing about my use of the term appliance in the N4100 review. In my mind there are three types of NAS products, appliances and servers. The appliances, for the most part, are cheaper and less powerful. And while they are feature rich, they are not as powerful as NAS servers. The servers cost quite a bit more than their appliance counterparts, sometimes twice as much as their appliance counterparts that utilize the same amount of drives. The servers come with more features, user management options and most importantly, faster transfer speeds.
Today we are moving the spot light to NAS Servers with the QNAP TS-509 Pro. The 509 isn't designed to sit in an enthusiast's computer room, but many will eventually end up being used by power users like myself. If the Thecus N4100PRO impressed you with features, prepare to be blown away. The TS-509 Pro goes far beyond anything a normal consumer or prosumer would ever use under normal circumstances. The good thing is that QNAP has mastered ease of use when it comes to configuration. Many features that you may have passed off as unusable for your situation will eventually get used because they are just so easy in implement.
As you can imagine, feature rich comes at a cost. After digging through the web I was able to find the QNAP TS-509 Pro Turbo NAS listed at MWAVE for 899 USD. For comparison Thecus makes a similar 5-drive NAS, the N5200PRO. The N5200PRO is a step above the N4100PRO and has a few more features, but not as many as the QNAP TS-509, with a 664 USD price to reflect that.
Today we will take a deep look at the QNAP TS-509 Pro Turbo NAS and benchmark it against the Thecus N5200PRO to see what the extra couple of hundred Dollars gets you performance wise. Both systems use the same Seagate Barracuda ES.2 1TB drives for all tests so that we are able to get true apples to apples benchmark comparisons.