QNAP TS-1079 Pro review

Network attached storage (NAS) is the lynchpin of business, a single place to keep and maintain many users' data and other miscellaneous resources. We tend to see multi-bay NAS units up to six- or eight-bay as standalone desktop storage units, while eight-bay and larger tend to be rack-mount units for server room installation.

The QNAP TS-1079 Pro is unusual, a large freestanding unit featuring 10 bays, supporting up to 10 3.5in SATA hard disks. Pre-drilled holes also allows 2.5in disks or SSDs to be fitted with ease too

It's modelled closely on the company's eight-bay TS-879 Pro, here with eight disks mounted on their side, and a further two positioned horizontally below. This actually allows the exact same size chassis as the TS-879 Pro.

Powering this NAS is a very powerful processor, in NAS terms – an Intel Core i3 dual-core chip running at 3.3 GHz. This Sandy Bridge-generation processor is supported with a generous 2 GB of memory. That's a combination that ought to take even high bandwidth, multi-user threads in its stride with ease.

We didn't have an expansion card or supporting hardware to test the 10 GbE option, but in normal use the TS-1070 proved itself a very powerful unit. Ten suitable disks weren't available but we saw all the performance we'd hoped for from four 3 TB WD Red disks, set up as a RAID 5 array.

QNAP TS-1079: benchmarks
Synthetic benchmark tests provided some suspiciously slow results though, considering the unit's specification. Over AFP the QuickBench test returned decent sequential read speeds of around 111 MB/s but low writes only up to around 60 or 70 MB/s – figures we'd expect of a midrange semi-pro ARM NAS unit.

And in Windows using SMB networking, the roles were strangely reversed, scoring up 111 MB/s sequential writes but just 70 MB/s reads. Some real-world transfer tests settled the argument. Trying large .iso files in both directions to a connected MacBook (AFP), the QNAP averaged 115 MB/s in write speeds, and a resounding 123 MB/s when reading the same files, constrained here just within the 125 MB/s theoretical maximum for gigabit networking.

As with most QNAP NAS drives, the TS-1079 packs many, many features beyond simple file serving over the usual SMB, AFP and NFS network protocols.

And external disk support is first-class,with two each USB 3.0 and eSATA for speedy connections. And unlike Synology, for instance, QNAP supports more than just EXT formatting, extending usefully to HFS+ too.

Power consumption was higher than a typical SMB-level NAS drive, as you would expect for a high-power unit based on a desktop-class Intel x86 processor. But 39W when sat idle is not too excessive, while under load with four WD Red disks spinning it drew 59W of mains power.

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