Thoughts on the QNAP TS-453BT3

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by dgbarar, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. dgbarar macrumors 6502

    dgbarar

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    #1
    Hi All,

    What are individuals thoughts on the QNAP TS-453BT3. This is a 4 bay NAS that has both Thunderbolt 3 and 10 GbE connectivity. Without drives, the base price is $999.

    Donald Barar
     
  2. Ifti macrumors 68020

    Ifti

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    #2
    I have tried both Synology and QNAP - and I personally much prefer QNAP systems. The OS is great.
    I have a TVS-871T-i7 with 8x6TB drives in a RAID6 array - admittedly I only use it for basic file sharing, Plex etc so that all users on the household have a personal mapped drives to store files, as well as a 'Public' drive for general shared stuff between themselves. Absolutely great - no problems at all.
    Highly recommend a QNAP!
     
  3. dgbarar thread starter macrumors 6502

    dgbarar

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    #3
    Hi I,

    Thank you for writing. Do you have any specific information on the TS-453BT3? Considering that the all of these units use spinners is it worth even having TB3/10GbE?

    Don
     
  4. dgbarar thread starter macrumors 6502

    dgbarar

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    #4
    Hi All,

    Anyone have experience with QNAP TS-453BT3? How might the DAS read/write speeds of this device compare with the some of the TB3 DASs from Akito, OWC, etc.

    Don Barar
     
  5. jimthing, Mar 19, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018

    jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

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    #5
    I've had the same questions, as I need to update my storage generally.

    I'm coming to the conclusion it's NOT worth the money. Especially when the best price in the UK (Amazon.co.uk, of course) is nearly £1100! Which is quite frankly utterly ridiculous for just the box (doubly as silly, as I could actually order it from Amazon.com paying the shipping and import charges and save £150!). By the time you add 8TB or 10TB drives, the cost is silly. Add that the USB-C version of the unit (the one released a few months earlier that has the light blue frontage; which I wouldn't buy either as USB 5Gb/s is pointless, only useful for an on-the-fly DAS connection) sells for half the price; so you're effectively paying double the cost for this pseudo Tbolt 3-over-Ethernet connectivity.

    - Firstly, on price.
    For that money you're pushing into DAS Thunderbolt RAID territory. Go onto Ebay, and you can see loads of Promise Pegasus TBolt2 units available, that will give you faster connections, usually going for less money by the time you include the drives. And AFAIUI, any DAS RAID connected to an always on Mac effectively makes it a NAS in terms of connection, provided file sharing is enabled.

    - Secondly, connection speed.
    Go to Youtube, see the video where Span.com's "Robbie" tells us the speed to expect at best is only ~300MB/s read/writes. That's compared to ~100MBps on plain 1GbE NAS connections. So yes, it's 3x faster (at least in theory: but who knows how that speed sustains over time?), but is just THREE times faster worth the large mark-up you're paying?
    Personally, I think 100 vs 300 MB/s makes a marginal difference in everyday usage. It's not very exciting is it, in a world where a Pegasus TBolt3 RAID will give ~900-1200MB/s, or at the extreme, where SSD/PCIe solutions are offering ~2500-2800MB/s, like the OWC ThunderBlade V4. Obviously they cost more (sometimes considerably more in the case of the SSD/PCIe solutions!), but still, I just can't get that excited about a 100 to 300 speed jump.

    - Thirdly, cable distance.
    Another thing to realise is that you have to use a TB3 cable to connect into the Qnap at their full speed offered. That means using an active 40Gbps cable, which currently has a maximum length of a whopping 2m. I'm not sure if you could use two Apple TB-to-TB3 adapters on the end of a Corning TB1/2 10m optical cable, but likely you'd drop speed in doing so...perhaps maybe, who knows? (I should add, I've tested using two of those Apple adapters on the ends a 10m Corning optical T1/2 cable to get to an LG 5K TB3 display; and it works! Which is at least encouraging, if nothing else).
    This means the loud noise of the Qnap (like virtually all storage boxes), and/or the need to just store the device away from your Mac (a main reason for Ethernet storage connections), is likely only achievable via Ethernet. And to get 10GbE over any distance (1m or 100m), that'd mean buying a TB3-to-10GbE adapter from the likes of Promise (~£300)/Sonnet (~£700)/Akitio (£??) at even more expense (unless you're lucky enough to already have 10GbE on your new iMac Pro, of course! A handful of people, and not most of us 'average' consumers).


    That's it really. If I'm missing anything in the analysis, then please someone chime in and tell me, as I'd love to know if I have genuinely missed something. :-|
     
  6. dgbarar thread starter macrumors 6502

    dgbarar

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    #6
    Hi Jim,

    Thank you for the extensive reply. I have multiple uses for this device as both file storage for a home video studio and as a music server. My goal was to combine both of these functions in a single box and on the surface the
    QNAP TS-453BT3 seems like a good choice.

    I had seen Robbie's review and the 300 MB/sec read/write speeds. I would be OK with 3x improvement in speed over the less expensive box. But under what configuration is the 3x speed improvement? RAiD 0, RAID 1, RAID 5? Does the SSD expansion have to be populated? It would be a waste of money if I ran the 453BT3 RAID 5, had the SSD expansions populated and only ended up with a 10% improvement (vs a 453B RAID 5) in speed in the DAS mode.

    Does this make sense?

    Don
     
  7. jimthing, Mar 19, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018

    jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

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    #7
    Yes, true. He does seem to miss the vital points on his 'reviews' doesn't he. RAID level being one of them. :-/

    My main problem is NOISE. I want a box that:

    1) Holds ~15TB+ of data.
    So I can store docs along with music and 4K movies for home theatre usage, and something that'll last me a good few years in space growth.

    2) Connects at ~500 MB/s minimum, so transferring data on/off the thing is not a chore.

    3) *IMPORTANTLY* Can be stored away from the 15" 2016 MBP on my desk, so I don't have to put-up with the loud din these storage boxes tend to make.

    AFAICS, there is basically NOTHING on the market that sells itself as quiet and moderately fast...?
    By moderately fast, I don't mean the blisteringly fast PCIe speeds of our MBP's internal storage or those OWC ThunderBlade things (2500-2800), but something in-between (~500).
    – i.e. good enough for data transfers without having to sit there for hours moving a few hundred gigs.

    Seemingly, the market caters for only super slow at distance (~100 max, using 1GbE), unless you get into expensive. There is nothing that can do moderate speeds at distance, nor anything that can store a large enough volume at no distance without making a racket whilst doing so. Conundrum.
     
  8. dgbarar thread starter macrumors 6502

    dgbarar

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    #8
    Hi Jim,

    I have an HP MediaSmart Server running the original Windows Home Server. It is located in my home office near my desk where I use my 2016 15" MBP (same configuration as yours). Noise is an issue with this box because I record in this location. The 453BT3 would sit in a similar location. What would be good about the 453BT3 is that I could make a TB3 connection with a less than 2m TB3 cable. But is it quieter than what I already have? No real information.

    I am beginning to think that the way to go is to build my own NAS, put it in a tower with a super quiet fan and power supply. Just not certain if I can duplicate the TB3 connectivity.

    Don
     
  9. jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

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    #9
    What do you mean with the bold bit?
    (EDIT: I can't see how you'd be able to do the TB3 connectivity either, if building a NAS box yourself – I never build PC's or stuff like that.)

    So if I understand you, you want the Qnap connected nearby to the MBP by a maximum 2m TB3 cable; presumably for faster data on/off the Qnap. Then you want to connect the Qnap to other stuff on your home network via 1GbE?

    Suppose it'd do that, if you believe the specs. Presumably you'd want RAID 5 for redundancy, with or without the M2 SSD thingy in there (which may or may not improve or help sustain the speeds).
     
  10. dgbarar thread starter macrumors 6502

    dgbarar

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    #10
    You have it exactly right: the QNAP connected via TB3 for fast access to larger video files. Then also have the QNAP on the network as a music server. On the surface it seems the 453BT3 can do that. But, in DAS mode will it be that much faster than the 1 GbE connectivity of the 453B? Don't know.

    Since I wrote my last message, I have been doing some research. Why not just build a TB3 enabled PC running Windows Server? Not certain of the cost at this point.

    Don
     
  11. jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

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    #11
    Dunno about the PC option, never used Windows Server either so can't comment on how good it is or not. Depends on whether you're all-in on Apple's macOS or not. I tend to not like mixing and matching, but when the options Apple leave you with are all iffy and often (more) expensive, I can see why people give-up and go another route.

    With the Mac Mini being all but forgotten recently (mine's still the maxed-out 2012 model, with an SSD and a HDD in it), I can see people giving up on it all. Even Apple reporter and aficionado Jason Snell has given-up (at least temporarily, he hopes!) and gone the NUC route: https://sixcolors.com/post/2018/03/how-i-use-my-home-server/
    Who's next from the Apple community, one wonders...? At this rate, presumably a load more.
     
  12. dgbarar thread starter macrumors 6502

    dgbarar

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    Fountain Hills, AZ
    #12
    Hi Jim,

    Getting a MacOS device to Windows device over a network connection is easy with Microsoft Remote Desktop application for MacOS. I use that now, but it is only a 1 GbE connection. What I am wondering is if I made TB3 connection to a Windows Server would I get a 40 GB/sec connection. The limiting factor would be the spinners. But hopefully it would be faster that the max 300 MB/sec of the 453TB3. I need to create a post on SmallNetworkBuilders to see if anyone knows.

    You did mention Mac Mini. Even though the device is outdated it still has TB2 at 20 GB/sec. I wonder how fast the following configuration would be:
    • MacOS Sever on the Mini
    • TB2 DAS connected to the Mini
    • Connect 2016 MBP15 to the Mini TB2 via TB3.
    Just a thought.

    Don
     
  13. dgbarar thread starter macrumors 6502

    dgbarar

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    #13
  14. dgbarar thread starter macrumors 6502

    dgbarar

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    #14
    Hi Jim,

    I did some experimenting with a Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 networking. For my test I used the following: 2016 MBP15 (2.9 GHz, 1TB, 460), early 2014 MBA (1.4 GHz, 125 GB), Apple TB3/TB2 Adaptor, and a 0.5 m Apple TB2 cable. With this combination I achieved the following transfer speeds:
    • 2016 MBP15 to 2014 MBA11 = 120 MB/s
    • 2014 MBA11 to 2016 MBP15 = 350 MB/s
    I was hoping for faster considering that I was making SSD to SSD transfers. I would expect that if I had DAS RAID 5 device connected to a Mini my transfer speeds would be significantly slower. It would be interesting to see just how fast a TB3 to TB3 transfer speed would be. Maybe they will let me try at an Apple Store.

    For purposes of comparison, I thought I would see just how fast WiFi file sharing would be. To perform this test I had both devices connected to ASUS RT-AC3100 on the 5 GHz band. Connection speeds to the router were 702 Mbps and 117 Mbps for the MBP15 and MBA respectively. These were the transfer speeds I got:
    • 2016 MBP15 to 2014 MBA11 = 30 MB/s
    • 2014 MBA11 to 2016 MBP15 = 20 MB/s
    It seems to me that the advertised specifications of the 453TB3 of 300 MB/s might not be too bad (if they do not appreciably deteriorate with RAID 5 and spinners) considering the relatively low cost and the simplicity of the installation.

    Just my thoughts.

    Don
     
  15. jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

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    #15
    Yeah, just might be. I'd give it a go then, as it looks like it might suit your needs here.
    Remember you can always return items if they don't perform as wanted; people tend to forget that. So just try it, and return if unhappy – especially as Amazon have it for sale at a decent price in the US, and their returns are easy.

    (As ever, do come back and tell the community the results though, please. As it greatly helps others who may have similar needs or uses.)
     
  16. jimthing macrumors 65816

    jimthing

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    #16
    So, what did you go with...?
     
  17. dgbarar thread starter macrumors 6502

    dgbarar

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    #17
    Hi Jim,

    Nothing yet. I have been investigating NUCs as a potential server platform.

    Don
     
  18. dgbarar, Dec 19, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018

    dgbarar thread starter macrumors 6502

    dgbarar

    Joined:
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    #18
    Hi Jim:

    With the release of the new MacMini I decided to go the route of a MacMini2018 (i5, 16 GB, 0.5 TB, 10 GBe), OWC ThunderBay 4, and SoftRAID. Total cost was about $2000. When I compared this to QNAP proposed release of TVS-672XT ($1500) I think I ended up with better hardware. Pros: faster hardware i5 6 core vs i3 6 core, more RAM (16 GB vs 8 GB). Cons 4 bays instead of 6.

    One other thought. From what I read on the 453BT3 is that QNAP's implementation of thunderbolt over ethernet is not that fast. Not certain what QNAP has specified for the 672XT. In any case, I will be getting a true thunderbolt 3 to thunderbolt 3 connection between the Mini/MBP. Not that fast as an external SSD to computer via TB3, but will most likely be faster than any QNAP implementation.

    Just wanted to close the loop on this conversation.

    Don
     

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17 February 27, 2018