The Qnap TS-459 Pro Turbo - Qnap's latest network-attached storage (NAS) device - might not look much different from its predecessors, but there's a lot more power packed underneath the hood.

Armed with Intel's latest dual-core Atom processor, the Qnap TS-459 Pro Turbo is blazingly fast for a four-bay NAS device and Qnap's latest firmware means it's a competent server for the home and office.

Qnap TS-459 Pro Turbo: Enclosure

Like the TS-419P Turbo NAS, the Qnap TS-459 Pro Turbo has a brushed metal enclosure with four individually lockable drive bays that suit both 2.5in and 3.5in hard drives. The trays aren't tool-less, so you'll need to screw the drives in prior to inserting them.

The Qnap TS-459 Pro Turbo NAS device has four USB ports on the back panel, and a fifth at the front, accompanied by a one-touch copy button that can be configured to back up to or from external hard drives. Two eSATA ports allow for faster transfers from external storage, though the NAS device only supports ext3, ext4, NTFS and FAT32 file systems; hard drives with the HFS+ file system used by Mac OS X are not currently supported.

There are two Gigabit Ethernet ports on the back of the Qnap TS-459 Pro Turbo NAS device which support failover and load balancing. This means that both ports can balance network traffic over a single IP address; if one port fails, the other will simply continue operating as normal.

The most interesting aspect of the Qnap TS-459 Pro Turbo NAS device is what lies at its heart: an Intel Atom D510 CPU. Clocked at 1.66GHZ, the D510 is one of the first dual-core Atom processors, as well as the first built for low-power desktops rather than netbooks. Because of this, it provides better performance than older Atom processors while retaining relatively low power consumption. Qnap has teamed this CPU with 1GB of DDR2 memory; a potent combination for a NAS device.

During testing, we found the Qnap TS-459 Pro Turbo NAS consumed 34.8 Watts when idle and, even when running two Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB hard drives, it only reached a maximum power consumption of 40.9W.

Qnap TS-459 Pro Turbo: Performance

We test all NAS devices by connecting them through a Gigabit Ethernet network to a testbed PC with a 300GB Western Digital Velociraptor hard drive. We run Intel's NAS Performance Toolkit, which determines how the NAS device performs when streaming 720p high-definition media from the device as well as the ability to record the same video while performing backup operations.

We also run two file transfer tests to see how the NAS device performs in the real word. One file transfer test uses 3000 1MB files; this is intensive for both the hard drives and the embedded processor, and a good test of how it will perform when backing up your computer. In addition, we transfer 20GB worth of 3-4GB files, a faster test that is similar to dealing with large videos, disk images or database files.

The Qnap TS-459 Pro Turbo NAS device achieved our fastest overall results yet in Intel's NAS Performance Toolkit, as well some of the fastest file transfers. From our real-world tests, it's clear the NAS device isn't quite as strong as Netgear's ReadyNAS Pro Business Edition when it comes to writing data, which only a major concern for intensive tasks like video editing.

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