NAS Solution for iTunes: GBE vs 802.11n performance?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by atod21, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. atod21 macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2011
    Hi Folks,

    I have a very large iTunes library at least over 300 GB. I'm upgrading my Mac and considering moving this off to a NAS device running in RAID mirror mode.

    Can anyone with a similar setup comment on their performance?

    I'm considering either using 802.11n if I purchase a new MacBook or GBE (either locally or over Powerline) if I go with an iMac. I have heard anything slower then GBE wired causes performance issues. Specifically, when loading iTunes the pinwheel spins for a few minutes.

    Any comments on your experience are appreciated.

  2. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2011
    Strictly speaking you should not require gigabit for iTunes, as compressed music doesn't even require one megabit per second (which is trivial for any networking standard used today, wired or otherwise). Then there's the matter of what exactly iTunes does when it starts up, if it scans the headers of every bloody song in your library it might well take a while in a 300+ GB collection, especially since networks aren't exactly ideal for disk I/O.

    Chances are you'll be bottlenecked as much by the network though as by the mechanical nature of harddrives. Small, scattered accesses always give terrible performance with a harddrive.
  3. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    My iTunes library is over 1.2TB on a server, and I always use N wireless on my MacBook Pro; I've never had an issue. The newer 3x3 Airport Extreme routers seems to work pretty well, so they are a good choice if you want to get closer to gigabit performance while staying unwired.

    For my network I have both flow-control disabled and use 9000 byte frames.
  4. atod21 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2011
    Did you place the iTunes metadata on local disk, perhaps that is why? I'm trying to figure out why there are so many complaints with slow performance using the remote iTunes library on NAS via 802.11n. Perhaps those folks simply had WIFI performance issues.

    Thanks for your reference case

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