Thecus N2560 NAS - Performance, Value & Verdict

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Thecus N2560 – Performance

That said, get through the setup process and you’ll find that the powerful specs of the N2560 come into play.

Transferring large files the N2560 achieved 112MBps which meant it has hit the bandwidth limit of Gigabit Ethernet (come on 10 GbE!) while write times also remained high at 93.2MBps. This makes the N2560 the first midrange 2-bay NAS we’ve seen to hit Gigabit limits on read speeds (though rivals are not far behind) while it carries a significant lead on writes compared to everything except the Synology DS214-based ioSafe 214.

Where the N2560 was hauled back by the chasing pack was during our CPU-intensive small files test which drags a 2GB folder of over 2,000 files across our network. Here the N2560’s average read and write times of 26.2MBps and 21.4MBps respectively fall in line with the main offerings from Netgear, D-Link and WD, but the DS214 is in a class of its own.

The thing is, while the speed of the N2560 is strong, where it has a real achilles heel is noise. Here the N2560 measured 32 decibels idle and 42 decibels under load at one metre using the same WD Red drives we install in all tested NAS.

As the graphs show, this makes the N2560 loudest NAS we have tested in this sector and under load it is genuinely intrusive and we found it hard to work with it nearby. For us this is a major blow for the N2560’s media ambitions and we found ourselves switching it off in-between use.

This is all something of a shame because when it comes to being a media centre, the N2560 is actually pretty good. It plays the large majority of audio and video files without a hitch, has no problem with Full HD content and is generally friendly to use (even if its XMBC support remains at the beta stage).

Should I buy the Thecus N2560?

For our money, the answer is no and it comes down to a range of factors.

At £189 unpopulated the N2560 is far from expensive, especially given its horsepower (and we found prices vary a lot online), but it does not have enough of a performance lead over super cheap two bay NAS like the Netgear ReadyNas 102, D-Link DNS-327L and WD MyCloud EX2 to make that worthwhile. Especially when its noisy operation, crude setup process and unaided user interface are taken into consideration.

Meanwhile for those happy to spend a little more you get the Synology DS214 (circa £200) which is altogether quieter, faster where it matters and has an industry-leading setup experience and user interface.

Verdict

On paper the Thecus N2560 is not a bad product. It is reasonably priced, well specified and looks pretty good. The problem is on closer inspection the N2560 has limited RAID options, is too noisy and too difficult to setup for the mainstream user it targets. For the money, there are better options elsewhere.

Next, check out more NAS reviews

Score in detail

  • Performance 8
  • Value 6
  • Features 7
  • Build Quality 6
  • Usability 4
  • Design 7
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