Why Promise SmartStor Zero is Slow


Use a Low Performance NAS as a Media Server shows you the performance of Promise SmartStor Zero and explains why the slow read/write is not the bottleneck when connecting to  TP-Link TL-WR842ND via Fast Ethernet.

I am still very curious why it is so slow compared to others. Because direct reading from USB device still has a poor writing to disk performance, I think it is slow internally not to other device. I believe the processor is the key – it cannot move data fast enough.

Inside SmartStor Zero

According to Promise SmartStor Zero Datasheet in Traditional Chinese, the processor is Freescale 400MHz. But it doesn’t specify the detail model, keep digging.

In Gizmodo: The SmartStor Zero NS2600 Is an NAS My Mom Could Use, I found another model SmartStor NS2600 which has identical looks. But the firmware is different, NS2600 provides more configurable options and plug-ins.

They actually share the same hardware with different software. Therefore, SmartStor Zero should use Freescale MPC8315 running at 400MHz, 128MB RAM, and SATA 2.0.

What’s wrong with Freescale MPC8315?

Freescale MPC8315 is based on MPC603e and has 16KB L1 cache without L2. It reminds me my poor Performa 6200 which use PowerPC 603e running on a 32-Bit motherboard. LowEndMac explains everything. I believe the lack of L2 cache is another performance hit like the Covington Celeron.

Performance Report

Since SmartStor Zero and SmartStor NS2600 shared the same hardware architecture, I found a more detail test results for Promise SmartStor NS2600 from Hardware.Info. Top reading is 25.4MB/s while writing is 12.1MB/s.

Still very slow read/write compared to other NAS.

Does PowerPC a bad Choice for NAS?

No, it gets huge improved now.

Thecus N2310 comes with AppliedMicro APM86491 at 800Mhz with a respectable test result.

The single-core PowerPC processor doesn’t sound particularly spectacular, yet Thecus has managed to eke out a respectable amount of performance from the low-power chip. We’ll get on to benchmark numbers shortly, but first let’s take a quick look at the software side of things…Hexus: Review: Thecus N2310: Introduction

APM86491 is based on Power465 with FPU and has 64KB L1 cache with 256KB L2 Cache. Not only the increased frequency but also the improved cache system help performance gain.

Reference

  1. Use a Low Performance NAS as a Media Server
  2. Promise SmartStor Zero
  3. DD-WRT for my TP-Link TL-WR842ND
  4. Wiki: Fast Ethernet
  5. Promise SmartStor Zero Datasheet in Traditional Chinese
  6. Promise SmartStor NS2600 Datasheet in English
  7. Wiki: PowerPC 600: PowerPC 603e and 603ev
  8. Wiki: Celeron: P6-based Celerons
  9. Gizmodo: The SmartStor Zero NS2600 Is an NAS My Mom Could Use
  10. Freescale MPC8315
  11. LowEndMac.com: Power Mac and Performa 5200-53xx & 6200-6320
  12. Hardware.Info: Promise SmartStor NS2600
  13. Thecus N2310
  14. AppliedMicro APM86491
  15. Hexus: Review: Thecus N2310: Benchmarks: Iometer and File Copy
  16. Hexus: Review: Thecus N2310: Introduction

2 thoughts on “Why Promise SmartStor Zero is Slow

  1. I am still very curious why it is so slow compared to others. Because direct reading from USB device still has a poor writing to disk performance, I think it is slow internally not to other device. I believe the processor is the key – it cannot move data fast enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Harga Tablet Lenovo ThinkPad,

    I agreed. I think it is because of slow processor. The lack of L2 cache will slow down performance in great!

    Have a nice day!

    Best regards,

    Amigo

    Like

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