802.11ac Time Capsule - performance over local network

unobtainium

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Mar 27, 2011
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I have a huge iTunes library which I store on my Time Capsule. This works pretty well, but the Time Capsule is a bit slow to wake up from sleep, and copying or retrieving files can be a bit sluggish. I'm wondering if the new TC performs better/faster for local files; anyone who has one can help me out?

Or, can anyone point to any reviews of the new units? I've been looking but haven't been able to find any yet.
 

portishead

macrumors 65816
Apr 4, 2007
1,114
2
los angeles
Yeah I've already posted more or less the same question. I have a NAS that I store my iTunes library on. I get about 15MB/s over Wireless N. I'm hoping that will double with Wireless AC.

That must be brutal having a library on your TC, since your speeds are probably even slower than mine. I assume you're talking wireless only, and not through ethernet since N or AC wouldn't make a difference there.

Actually, your title makes me think you are plugged in. I don't think it's going to make any difference for that. What speeds to you get with that? I guess I could check myself...

edit: I get about 17MB/s read & write from a USB 2.0 drive hooked up to my NEW Airport Extreme, which is pretty brutal for a wired connection. The drive is about 60% full, so that may be affecting it as well.
 
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mfram

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2010
1,058
141
San Diego, CA USA
The O.P. should clarify whether you will be accessing the drive over wireless or over a wired connection. Other posts in this forum have pointed to about 30-40 MB/s over a wired connection to the internal hard drive. Access over wireless N will be slower. I think I tested mine at something closer to 15 MB/s. If you are using an external USB 2 drive on the TC, then those number won't apply since there is a large variation in the performance of USB 2 external drives.
 

jlin615

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2006
204
0
Los Angeles, CA.
My iTunes has some HD videos thats located in a Mac Mini's shared folder in another room. The videos streams to my MBP's iTunes pretty well. Below is the my network.

Mac Mini <--(300mbps)--> Airport Extreme (1) <--(180-240mbps)--> Airport Extreme (1) <--(450mbps)--> MBP
 

mfram

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2010
1,058
141
San Diego, CA USA
I ran three tests to the internal disk of the 802.11ac Time Capsule. All of these tests were done using a rMBP with the internal data drive mounted as a remote share. I used the Black Magic Disk Test program to write and read 2GB test files to the shared drive.

These are peak numbers. The test runs in a loop and gives different results each time. These are the highest numbers I saw for the test.

Setup 1:
rMBP -> 802.11n 5GHz (300mbps max) -> TC
13.7MB/s write 13.0 MB/s read

Setup 2:
rMBP -> TB/GB ethernet adapter -> (new) Air Port Extreme -> 802.11n 5GHz (450mbps max probably) -> TC
20.7 MB/s write 30.8 MB/s read

Setup 3:
rMBP -> TB dock -> gigabit ethernet -> TC
35.6 MB/s write 36.2 MB/s read

So best case scenario, you are looking at a little over 35 MB/s max. Not exactly super fast. But good enough for backups. Which is what the TC is designed to do.

BTW, the wireless tests were done from the same place. That is, the Air Port Extreme and the rMBP were a foot away from one another when doing the test. They were downstairs almost below the TC base station in a two story house. So maybe 20 feet straight line through a ceiling.
 
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FrancoisC

macrumors 6502a
Jan 27, 2009
524
263
Montreal, Qc
Read speed (wired) seem slow.

Almost like if the gigabit ethernet port in your thunderbolt dock was using USB 2.0. What TB dock do you use, I'll search for a teardown to see if I'm right. The absolute best speed I ever saw from a USB 2.0 was around 38MB/s.

Because if you compare to the last gen:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4577/airport-extreme-5th-gen-and-time-capsule-4th-gen-review-faster-wifi-/7

There is a big difference in read speed.

Do you have a Mac/PC with a gigabit ethernet port (Internal, not USB) that you could try to see if it's faster?
 

mfram

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2010
1,058
141
San Diego, CA USA
That test was with the Matrox DS1 Thunderbolt dock with directly connected ethernet.

I just tried the Apple TB/GB ethernet adapter. Now it's getting:

37.8 MB/s write 50.2 MB/s read peak

I tried from a Linux box with direct ethernet. But I was talking to the TC over SMB which is generally a slower protocol. It went way slower than the numbers I just quoted.

----------

I also just tried a 2009 iMac connected to the TC over gigabit ethernet. It went no faster than the fastest number I already quoted. It actually went slower.
 

unobtainium

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Mar 27, 2011
2,301
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Sorry, should have clarified. I access my iTunes library over wifi. It's surprisingly not that bad but could be better. The results for the new TC sound a bit disappointing though - doesn't sound like much of an improvement for wireless file transfers. I suppose I should get a NAS but I've heard they can be a pain.
 
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FrancoisC

macrumors 6502a
Jan 27, 2009
524
263
Montreal, Qc
That test was with the Matrox DS1 Thunderbolt dock with directly connected ethernet.

I just tried the Apple TB/GB ethernet adapter. Now it's getting:

37.8 MB/s write 50.2 MB/s read peak

I tried from a Linux box with direct ethernet. But I was talking to the TC over SMB which is generally a slower protocol. It went way slower than the numbers I just quoted.

----------

I also just tried a 2009 iMac connected to the TC over gigabit ethernet. It went no faster than the fastest number I already quoted. It actually went slower.
Thanks for the info.

So for now it seem we have faster wifi, but slower HDD access. I know it's only for backup purpose, but it still is a step backward :(

Oh well, I'm going to get one soon anyway, I have my iMac and my girlfriend want a MacBook Air, and for now I use an external drive for Time Machine, so it's going to be easier to manage with the time capsule.
 

unobtainium

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Mar 27, 2011
2,301
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rMBP -> 802.11n 5GHz (300mbps max) -> TC
13.7MB/s write 13.0 MB/s read
Does anyone know how these numbers compare to the same set up on a 2011 Time Capsule? I.e. Any improvement at all? I have a last-gen TC but not sure how to run an accurate test.
 

mfram

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2010
1,058
141
San Diego, CA USA
I still have my older TC. I could create a separate network with it and try it. I don't know if interference with my "live" 5GHz network would skew the results though.
 

unobtainium

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Mar 27, 2011
2,301
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I still have my older TC. I could create a separate network with it and try it. I don't know if interference with my "live" 5GHz network would skew the results though.
That would be awesome if you could do that! Thanks.
 

tomaseriksson

macrumors member
Oct 3, 2010
94
0
Stockholm, Sweden
Here are some of my real life read speed benchmarks. Im running a macbook air 2011, N 5GHz with WPA2 Personal. The Time Capsule is only 5 feet away

AFP read speeds from my NAS that has a gigabit connection to the time capsule:



Next up is afp read speeds from the time capsule internal harddrive.


Test has been conducted with a 4GB binary file. So the results... The wifi is caping out at 30MB/s, and the internal drive is giving me 20-21MB/s.
 

ohbrilliance

macrumors 6502a
May 15, 2007
938
210
Melbourne, Australia
I've had a lot of trouble with performance of my 802.11n TC. Backups take ages (up to hours for a few GB), chewing through my MBP battery while it runs hot. On the other hand, copying large files (say 10GB) get the kind of data rate you'd expect, < 1 minute/GB.
I end up connecting my MBP to the TC via ethernet just to get through large time machine backups, which defeats the purpose of the TC somewhat. Does this sound unusual, or is the 802.11n TC sluggish across the board?
I assume that Time Machine backups have a large overhead with metadata, file comparisons, etc., above the size of the actual backup required.

Do you think that the 2013 TC would greatly improve performance of actual time machine backups?
 

minik

macrumors 65816
Jun 25, 2007
1,247
62
Bellevue, WA
Just upgraded from a Time Capsule 802.11n (2nd Generation) to the AirPort Time Capsule 802.11ac, the process was pretty smooth using the iOS app.

Now, I'm moving the Time Machine data from the old TC to the new TC via Cat6 cable on the Mac mini (2012).

My MBA (2012) is ~18 feet away from the TC on 5Ghz band.
 

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