The RN214 is running an updated version of ReadyNAS OS6. I reviewed ReadyNAS 6.0 when it was originally released in mid-2013 and again last December when Version 6.2, a major upgrade, became available.
In early October, NETGEAR released OS 6.4 - the version used in our performance testing. To see what's new, you can check out OS 6.4 release notes. Unfortunately, NETGEAR doesn't have an online emulator, so you can't experience the UI for yourself. To give you a feel for ReadyNAS, here's a screenshot from my RN104, which I upgraded to OS 6.4. The landing page looks virtually identical to Version 6.3.4 that was used in our previous review.
NETGEAR ReadyNAS OS 6.4 Landing page
The difference between the RN21X and RN20X series is strictly performance. NETGEAR says the key differences are:
- Close to 2x throughput when the second NIC is connected in a LACP mode
- Smooth Plex transcoding from 1080p to 480p
- "No observable performance degradation" when Anti-Virus is enabled
ReadyNAS OS 6.4.0 firmware was loaded onto the RN214 review sample and performance tests run using the Revision 5 NAS test process. Since the RN214 uses the same processor, RAM and Ethernet components as the RN212, all testing was done on the RN214. The RN214 tests used four drives configured in single RAID 0, 5 and 10 volumes. The RN212 tests used two drives in single RAID 0 and 1 volumes. All tests were run using Western Digital Red 3 TB (WD30EFRX) drives loaned by WD.
The composite image below shows how the RN212 and the RN214 compare to other products for File Copy Write performance. The File Copy Write test for both NETGEAR ReadyNAS NASes turned in similar scores, but both slightly lower than the top-ranked products showing ~ 110 MBps.
Note that quite a few NASes in both charts are clustered around 110 MB/s. That's about the maximum throughput that you can achieve with single client Gigabit Ethernet testing. As we have noted in other reviews, performance within 5% is treated equally by the NAS Ranker.
NETGEAR RN212 and RN214 file copy write performance comparison
For the two drive comparison, I chose the NETGEAR RN202 and ASUSTOR AS5002T. The benchmark summaries below shows file copy write and read performance was above 100 MB/s for both RAID0 and RAID1 for all products.
All three products turned in similar performance results on most NASPT benchmarks. Interestingly, the dual-core RN202 outperformed the quad-core RN212 on some of the individual tests - most notably the NASPT RAID1 HD Playback & Record. For backup, we could only test eSATA and USB 3.0 as both ReadyNAS NASes lack USB 2.0 ports. In general, the ASUSTOR AS5002T had better backup performance than either of the NETGEAR NASes - especially for the Network Backup and iSCSI write and read tests.
NETGEAR RN212 RN202 and ASUSTOR AS5002T Benchmark summary comparison
The NAS Ranker, filtered for RAID1 and Revision 5 testing shows the RN212 ranked #6 for performance. The other two products in our comparison both earned a better ranking and were cheaper than the $330 RN212. The ASUSTOR $306 AS5002T ranked #2 and the $281 RN202 ranked #3. Also less expensive with a better ranking, but not included in our side-by-side comparisons, was the $305 QNAP TS-251 Turbo NAS.
TOTAL NAS Rank for RAID1 test method Revision 5 NASes
The chart below shows individual and category scores for the same three NASes used in the two-drive benchmark summaries above. The category scores show the ASUSTOR 5002T outperformed both of the NETGEAR NASes in every category except for Mixed Read Write. The quad core RN212 trailed its dual core sibling in three of the six categories (Write, Read and iSCSI) and tied with in two categories (Video and Backup). The only category win for the RN212 was Mixed Read Write. Keep in mind, however, the differences were minor for the most part.