QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo NAS device

A two-bay QNAP network-attached storage device with an Atom processor

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QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo
  • QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo
  • QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo
  • QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5

Pros

  • Fast file transfers, easy to use Web interface, comprehensive connectivity

Cons

  • QPKG add-ons can be difficult to configure, can't read/write drives with HFS+ file systems, no LCD status screen

Bottom Line

The QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo NAS offers a powerful Atom processor that provides fast file transfers and streaming performance. Though QNAP doesn't sell the cheapest NAS devices, businesses that need fast performance and good backup measures will find that they're worth the premium.

Would you buy this?

QNAP's TS-259 Pro Turbo is a fast two-bay network-attached storage (NAS) device with powerful guts and plenty of features. Backup support is a strong point, but media streaming and third-party software features could be further refined.

QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo: Enclosure

The QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo has a sturdy enclosure with two hot-swappable drive bays that are individually lockable. You’ll need to have a screwdriver handy when swapping out drives, however.

The front panel features a single USB 2.0 port and a one touch copy button that can be configured to back up data to or from external storage. There’s also an array of LED indicators which replace the display found on larger QNAP NAS devices. While this cuts down the enclosure’s footprint, we would have preferred a fully featured display to see the NAS device’s status and for initially configuring the TS-259 Pro Turbo without using a PC.

The back of the QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo has four additional USB 2.0 ports, two eSATA ports and two Gigabit Ethernet ports that support failover and load balancing over a single IP address. A VGA port is also present.

The QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo NAS device is powered by the same Intel Atom D510 processor and 1GB of DDR2 memory found in both the four-bay TS-459 and six-bay TS-659 models. Since this NAS device only has to power two drives at a time, this should mean faster performance.

We found power consumption was slightly different to the other two models. With two Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB hard drives in a RAID 0 array, the NAS device consumed between 34.1 Watts and 39.1W during use, and as little as 17.6W when both drives were asleep. This is reasonable for a network-attached storage device.

QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo: Performance

We test all NAS devices by connecting them through a Gigabit Ethernet network to a testbed PC with a 300GB Western Digital Velociraptor hard drive. We run Intel's NAS Performance Toolkit, which determines how the NAS device performs when streaming 720p high-definition media from the device, as well as the ability to record the same video while performing backup operations.

We also run two file transfer tests to see how the NAS device performs in the real word. One file transfer test is made up of 3000 1MB files; this is intensive for both the hard drives and the embedded processor, and a good test of how it will perform when backing up your computer. We also transfer 20GB worth of 3-4GB files, a faster test that is more typical when dealing with large videos, disk images or database files.

Intel's NAS Performance Toolkit - HD Streaming
Model Price Storage Capacity RAID
type
HD Playback (MBps) HD Playback &
Record (MBps)
HD Playback &
Backup (MBps)
QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo NAS $799 3TB RAID 0 48.8 48.7 26.4
QNAP TS-210 Turbo NAS $349 3TB RAID 0 23.3 23.4 18.8
Netgear Stora $399 1TB N/A 11 7.9 6.1
Synology DiskStation DS209+II $515 3TB RAID 0 45.2 44.7 34.9
Linksys by Cisco Media Hub NMH305 $599.95 500GB N/A 14.9 12.9 10.7
QNAP TS-219 Turbo $659 3TB RAID 0 25.5 28.1 22.6
QNAP TS-239 Pro Turbo $799 3TB RAID 0 41.6 42.3 28.3
Western Digital My Book World Edition II $999 4TB RAID 1 37.8 13.6 17.3
QNAP TS-459 Pro Turbo NAS $1399 3TB RAID 0 99.2 91.3 44.5
QNAP TS-659 Pro Turbo NAS $1700 3TB RAID 0 41.3 46.5 29.5

Small File (3GB) Transfer Test Results
Model Price Storage Capacity RAID
type
Read
speed (MBps)
Write
speed (MBps)
Read/write
speed (MBps)
QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo NAS $799 3TB RAID 0 43.5 33 14.6
QNAP TS-210 Turbo NAS $349 3TB RAID 0 22.9 11.6 6.9
Netgear Stora $399 1TB N/A 9.3 8 5.6
Synology DiskStation DS209+II $515 3TB RAID 0 38.9 29.7 12.8
Linksys by Cisco Media Hub NMH305 $599.95 500GB N/A 14.7 10.2 5.1
QNAP TS-219 Turbo $659 3TB RAID 0 30.6 17.8 9.9
QNAP TS-239 Pro Turbo $799 3TB RAID 0 44.1 34.5 10
Western Digital My Book World Edition II $999 4TB RAID 0 11.5 8.1 4.2
QNAP TS-459 Pro Turbo NAS $1399 3TB RAID 0 51.7 38 18.4
QNAP TS-659 Pro Turbo NAS $1700 3TB RAID 0 27 34.5 10.5

Large File (20GB) Transfer Test Results
Model Price Storage Capacity RAID
type
Read
speed (MBps)
Write
speed (MBps)
Read/write
speed (MBps)
QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo NAS $799 3TB RAID 0 74.6 57.1 26.3
QNAP TS-210 Turbo NAS $349 3TB RAID 0 46.5 17.6 12.1
Netgear Stora $399 1TB N/A 25.3 25.2 19.5
Synology DiskStation DS209+II $515 3TB RAID 0 64.9 40 22.7
Linksys by Cisco Media Hub NMH305 $599.95 500GB N/A 18.7 12.8 6.8
QNAP TS-219 Turbo $659 3TB RAID 0 67.1 31.5 19.6
QNAP TS-239 Pro Turbo $799 3TB RAID 0 67.6 70.8 33.9
Western Digital My Book World Edition II $999 4TB RAID 0 32.3 14 9.5
QNAP TS-459 Pro Turbo NAS $1399 3TB RAID 0 86.6 69 36.8
[[Artnid:334593|QNAP TS-659 Pro Turbo NAS|Review: QNAP TS-659 Pro Turbo NAS device] $1700 3TB RAID 0 32.8 55.9 20.3

Though the QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo NAS device is certainly speedy, it isn’t head and shoulders above the rest. In fact, it was slightly slower than the QNAP TS-239 Pro Turbo in some of the small file tests, and significantly slower when writing large files. For the most part, though, the new Atom platform makes this the fastest two-bay NAS device we have tested so far.

QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo: User interface

As with most modern NAS devices, the QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo uses an AJAX-based Web interface. It isn’t as simple as the BlackArmor NAS440's or software-based solutions like Windows Home Server, but there are plenty of tutorials to help out those who aren’t technologically minded.

The NAS device supports RAID levels 0 and 1, as well as single disk or JBOD drive configurations. There are network protocols to suit Windows (SMB), Apple (AFP/Bonjour) and Linux (NFS) workgroups, as well as FTP and secure HTTP servers.

For the home, the TS-259 Pro Turbo NAS device offers an iTunes server, as well as a Twonky Media-powered UPnP server that can stream music, videos and photos over a network to DLNA-compliant devices such as networked DVD players, media players and even some televisions. You can access a separate media browser through the Web interface, though this is little more than a file list; QNAP promises better functionality and even iPhone support with the next firmware update, though we’ll have to wait and see.

Backup support is definitely a strong point, with support for USB 2.0/eSATA external storage devices, rsync-compatible remote servers and Amazon's S3 cloud storage platform. QNAP also allows Mac users to back up directly to Apple's Time Machine, a feature which was previously difficult to set up on the company's NAS devices. Along with AES encryption for individual volumes, small businesses should benefit from an IP block-out system that can be configured for each network protocol, and a customisable firewall.

The iSCSI target feature isn't out of the ordinary, though we appreciate the ability to use the NAS device as an iSCSI server itself; simply enable the "Virtual Disk" feature to use other iSCSI targets as local storage.

The QNAP TS-259 Pro Turbo can take advantage of the Linux-based QPKG community, which allows you to add basic Web server features to the NAS device. While these packages are easy to install, they aren’t as simple to configure.

Conclusion

Small businesses that don’t need much storage but require fast performance and flexibility will find the TS-259 Pro Turbo a useful NAS device. Some features aren’t as easy to use as others, however, so the less tech savvy may need to frequent the community forums.

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