QNAP TS-459 Pro II Review: High-Performance, Four-Bay NAS Drive Has a High Price to Match
At a Glance
QNAP TS-459 Pro II
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Super performance, four bays, USB 3.0, and a wealth of software features make this box a dream for SMBs, albeit a very expensive one.
You can't find a faster four-bay network-attached storage box than QNAP's TS-459 Pro II. But at $1180 (as of March 23, 2012), this feature-laden multibay NAS box is not for the financially faint of heart.
Equipped with a 1.8GHz Intel Atom D525 dual-core CPU and 1GB of memory, the TS-459 Pro II turned in the second-best performance of any box in our 11-model roundup. Only its stablemate, the QNAP TS-879 Pro proved faster. The TS-459 Pro II wrote our large 10GB file at a whopping 111 megabytes per second and read it at 99 MBps; and it wrote 10GB of smaller files and folders at 64 MBps. For some reason, the TS-459 Pro II fell to fourth place in reading the same files and folders, turning in a speed of just 49 MBps, compared with the 57 MBps logged by the fastest drive on this test, the Western Digital Sentinel DX400. Overall, though, the speedy TS-459 Pro II ranked second in our performance tests for a roundup of 11 NAS boxes, bested overall only by the TS-879.
As befits its price, the TS-459 Pro II has top-notch hardware. On the front of the unit, you'll find four locking drive bay trays, an LCD status display, a USB 3.0 port (most boxes offer only USB 2.0 on the front), and a quick-copy button. You'll also see Enter and Select buttons next to the LCD, for setting the initial array type when you add drives.
On the back of the TS-459 Pro II are dual ethernet ports to support failover and aggregation, two eSATA ports for adding storage or backup, another USB 3.0 port, four USB 2.0 ports for printers and other peripherals, and a Kensington lock port for securing the unit physically.
QNAP recently updated its operating system from version 3.5 to version 3.6. expanding and improving on its already impressive feature set that goes far for both business users and enthusiast home users. New are LDAP directory serving (version 3.5 already supported basic LDAP), VPN serving, support for Symform peer-to-peer backup, and many improvements to existing applications. Features retained from the earlier OS include remote access in many forms (among them, dedicated photo, music, and video web servers); iSCSI; Rsync and real-time server syncing; and Web serving. If you need speed as well as four drives, the TS-459 Pro II is your best bet. But you can find perfectly viable and far cheaper choices (such as the Netgear ReadNAS NV+ v2) if you don't need top-of-the-line performance and features.