Review: Asustor Nimbustor 4 (AS5304T)

by Parm Mann on 4 October 2019, 14:00


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Test Methodology

NAS Comparisons

  CPU Memory Disk Drives RAID Mode Firmware Date Reviewed Reviewed Price
Asustor Nimbustor 4 AS5304T Intel Celeron J4105 (quad-core) 4GB DDR4 4x 8TB Seagate IronWolf ST8000VN0022 (optional) RAID 10 3.4.2.R932 October 2019 £440
Qnap TS-228A Realtek RTD1295 (quad-core) 1GB DDR4 2x 4TB WD Red WD40EFRX (optional) RAID 1 May 2018 £150
Qnap TS-251B-2G Intel Celeron J3355 (dual-core) 2GB DDR3 2x 8TB Seagate IronWolf ST8000VN0022 (optional) RAID 1 January 2019 £310
Synology DS1019+ Intel Celeron J3455 (quad-core) 8GB DDR3 5x 8TB Seagate IronWolf ST8000VN0022 (optional) RAID 5 6.2.1-23824 Update 4 February 2019 £600
Synology DS918+ Intel Celeron J3455 (quad-core) 4GB DDR3 4x 8TB Seagate IronWolf ST8000VN0022 (optional) RAID 10 6.2-23739 Update 2 September 2018 £500
TerraMaster F2-221 Intel Celeron J3355 (dual-core) 2GB DDR4 2x 8TB Seagate IronWolf ST8000VN0022 (optional) RAID 1 4.0.13 June 2019 £230

HEXUS Test Client

Hardware Components Product Page
Processor Intel Core i7-8700K
CPU Cooler Fractal Design Celsius S24
Motherboard Asus ROG Maximus X Hero
Network Card Qnap QXG-10G1T 10GbE
Graphics Card MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio
Memory G.Skill Trident Z 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4-3200
Power Supply be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 1,000W
Primary Storage 256GB WD Black PCIe SSD
Secondary Storage 1TB Crucial MX300 SATA SSD
Chassis be quiet! Dark Base 700
Monitor iiyama ProLite X4071UHSU-B1
Operating system Windows 10 Pro

HEXUS NAS Benchmark Suite

Benchmark Test Description
CrystalDiskMark Sequential Read A 1GB sequential read using a 128KB block size.
Sequential Write A 1GB sequential write using a 128KB block size.
4K Read Q32 A random spread of 4KB reads at a queue depth of 32.
4K Write Q32 A random spread of 4KB writes at a queue depth of 32.
Intel NASPT HD Video Playback 1 file, 99 per cent sequential, 256KB reads.
HD Playback and Record 2 files, 99 per cent sequential, combined read and write.
Content Creation 98 files, 39 per cent sequential, 95 per cent writes up to 64KB
Photo Album 169 files, 80 per cent sequential, 100 per cent reads of various sizes.
File Copy from NAS 1 file, 100 per cent sequential, 64KB reads.
Directory Copy to NAS 2,833 files, 53 per cent sequential, 64GB writes.
Directory Copy from NAS 2,833 files, 53 per cent sequential, 64KB reads.
Office Productivity 607 files, 81 per cent sequential, 1KB reads and writes.
Power Consumption Load NAS power draw recorded while running CrystalDiskMark.
Idle NAS power draw recorded when idle.
Standby NAS power draw recorded with drives in standby, if applicable.
Noise A PCE-318 meter is used to record noise output while running CrystalDiskmark.


All gigabit comparison servers are tested using a single Ethernet link with jumbo frames disabled and are connected to our test client and network via a TP-Link TL-SG1024 switch. 2.5GbE or 10GbE servers are tested using a Qnap QSW-1208-8C 10GbE switch and are connected to our test client's Qnap QXG-10G1T 10GbE expansion card.

Server and storage benchmarks are fraught with numerous variables, ranging from disks used, file system, network equipment and of course the number of connected clients. All NAS units tested prior to August 2018 were done so using 4TB WD Red hard disks, or in the case of fully-populated units, any drives supplied by the manufacturer. As of September 2018, we have migrated our test methodology to include newer 8TB Seagate IronWolf disks, using the common ext4 file system.

To provide a look at potential performance, our first benchmark is the freely available and widely used CrystalDiskMark. Our second benchmark - NAS Performance Toolkit, developed by Intel - is a file-system exerciser designed to provide performance comparisons between network storage devices. Intel's utility focuses on user-level performance using real-world workload traces gathered from common applications. NASPT reproduces the file-system traffic observed in various traces onto a chosen storage device and records performance in MB/s.

Last but not least, we measure NAS power draw during three states; under load, idle and standby mode if applicable, while a noise reading is taken using a PCE-318 meter.