Review: Buffalo Technology TeraStation

Performance - Mode comparison

To get a better feel for the non-buffered performance of the TS in its different modes, it's more helpful to look at the tests for a 128 MByte file size. Figures 19 and 20 show write performance for all four TS modes with 100Mbps and 1000Mbps LAN connections respectively. I've also included data for the same tests taken with a LinkStation for comparison.

While the LinkStation beats the TeraStation at 100Mbps, it generally drops to last place when the TeraStation is switched to a gigabit LAN connection. Keep in mind that the LinkStation supports only 10/100Mbps Ethernet, so the same test results are used in both plots.

The other interesting performance "feature" is that in RAID 5 mode, write performance drops with larger record sizes.

Figures 21 and 22 show read performance for 100 and 1000Mbps LAN connections respectively. Here the TeraStation beats the Linkstation in all modes, although by a narrowing margin at higher record sizes.

Figure 22 shows that once a gigabit connection is used, the TeraStation turns in its best performance of all and leaves the LinkStation in the dust.

The important thing to note is that while the TeraStation's gigabit LAN mode does significantly help boost performance (about 40% for write and around 60% for read), maximum read rates rise only about to the maximum supported by a 100Mbps connection! This really isn't that surprising, however, given the relatively slow (at least by today's standards) 266MHz clock rate of the TeraStation's PowerPC CPU. But hey, 40 to 60% speed improvement is still helpful!

It's also good to see that with the exception of RAID 5 write performance at higher record sizes, you won't pay a significant performance penalty for using the TeraStation's RAID capabilities to improve the robustness of your data storage.