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Buffalo LinkStation Duo Review (1TB)

We will be testing the Buffalo NAS within our gigabit network which is pretty much as good as you will get for the home. It is a mixed network with several 1GBit switches for ultimate performance.


Reference Test PC:
Processor
: Intel Core i7 920 @ 4ghz
Storage: Kingston 128GB SSD V+ Series
Motherboard: Asus Rampage II Gene
Graphics: Geforce GTX285 2GB
Memory: Corsair Dominator 1600mhz @2000mhz
Network: 2x Belkin 16 Port Gigabit Switches
Operating System: Windows 7 64 Bit Ultimate

Firstly we perform a native network test to ascertain pure data throughput. The Linkstation Duo drives are arranged in a Raid 0 configuration.

Data throughout is much in line with a less expensive controller, its not disappointing as such, but compared to models in the next price bracket it does seem somewhat slow.

Our local PC has a fast Kingston SSD as the main drive and we are using it to ensure no bottlenecks occur on this side of the testing. Our PC is hooked up to the network and we transfer a 10GB MKV file from the PC to the NAS systems. All three NAS systems are using dual drive Raid 0 configurations with mechanical drives.

The Buffalo system is clearly outclassed by the more expensive units, however it is worth bearing in mind, with the drives included it is under half the price of the Synology D710.

Again, the controller inside the Buffalo clearly isn’t utilising the full bandwidth of our gigabit network, averaging at around 38.7MB/s read speeds.

Next we created a folder of files, 500mb/s in size with a variety of files, from small database documents to larger jpgs and bmps. We expect to pay a slight penalty as we are using Jumbo frames set to 9k, however performance should still be good.

Again as expected the Buffalo is struggling to keep up with the expensive NAS systems we have in our testing labs. Still, this is enough to stream 1080p MKV content in the ‘real world’ so we see no issues considering the low price point.

We take the issue of noise very seriously at KitGuru and this is why we have built a special home brew system as a reference point when we test noise levels of various components. Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on components we are testing. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

As this can be a little confusing for people, here are various dBa ratings in with real world situations to help describe the various levels.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum

Noise was measured from half a meter away.

The unit is just as we imagined, basically all but silent to the human ear. We could never really notice it even after writing files for over an hour as the fan never seems to spin up enough to generate any audible acoustics. This is very impressive, especially if this is going to be sitting on a desk beside you during a normal day.

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