by Lyle Smith

QNAP TVS-473 NAS Review

Designed for use cases such as virtualization and HD video editing and sharing, the QNAP TVS-473 is the company’s newest high-performance business NAS highlighted by its support for 10GbE connectivity, M.2 expansion slots, and quad-core AMD R-Series APU. This energy-efficient NAS also features AES-NI hardware encryption engine, up to 64GB RAM, USB 3.1 (10Gbps), AMD Radeon R7 Graphics performance and can expand the total raw storage capacity up to 144TB using the UX-800P QNAP expansion enclosure.

QNAP TVS-473 uses unique USB QuickAccess functionality, which allows users to access their files on the NAS without having to connect it to a network. Coupling this with its HDMI 4K output and 4K H.264 video decoding and encoding acceleration, the TVS-473 makes for a compelling option for media professionals. The QNAP NAS is also running on the new 64-bit QTS 4.3 OS, which provides an ideal audiovisual experience and comprehensive private cloud system. It offers a user-friendly interface for system operations of the NAS and gives users a plethora of applications for photos, music, and videos as well as the ability to create desktop shortcuts or group shortcuts, monitor important system information on a real-time basis, and open multiple application windows to run multiple tasks concurrently.

The TVS-473 is powered by a next-gen AMD R-Series RX-421BD quad-core 2.1 GHz APU (burst up to 3.4 GHz) with dual channel 8GB/16GB/64GB DDR4 RAM options, and is quoted to deliver upwards of an impressive 1,035MB/s in throughput via a 10GbE configuration. The TVS-473 performs well even under its hardware-accelerated encryption engine (AES-NI), claiming up to 502MB/s using AES 256- bit full NAS volume encryption. This allows users to maintain decent system performance while adding peace-of-mind that their sensitive business data will be safely and securely stored in the NAS.

Backed by a 5-year warranty, the TVS-473 is priced at roughly $999 for the 8GB model.

QNAP TVS-473 Specifications

  • CPU: AMD R-Series RX-421BD quad-core 2.1 GHz processor, burst up to 3.4 GHz
  • Hardware Encryption Acceleration: AES-NI
  • Graphics: Embedded Radeon R7 Graphics Processor
  • System Memory:
    • TVS-473-64G: 64GB DDR4 (4 x 16GB)
    • TVS-473-16G: 16GB DDR4 (2 x 8GB)
    • TVS-473-8G: 8GB DDR4 (2 x 4GB)
  • Maximum Memory: 64GB
  • Memory Slot:
    • 4 x SODIMM DDR4
    • (For dual- or quad-DIMM configurations, you must use a pair of identical DDR4 modules.)
  • Flash Memory: 512MB DOM
  • Hard Disk Drive: 4 x 3.5"/2.5" SATA 6Gb/s HDDs/SSDs
  • M.2 SSD Slot: 2 x 2280/2260 SATA 6Gb/s
  • LAN Port: 4 x Gigabit RJ45 LAN ports
  • PCIe Slot: 2 x PCIe Gen 3 (x4), one slot is pre-installed with a dual-port USB 3.1 Type-A card
  • LCD Panel: Mono-LCD display with backlight, Enter and Select buttons for configuration
  • USB: 2 x USB 3.1 port, and 4 x USB 3.0 Type-A port
  • HDMI: 2, up to 3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz resolution
  • LED Indicator: Status/Power, USB, LAN, Drive 1-4, M.2 SSD 1-2
  • Buttons: Power/Status, USB one-touch-backup, Reset
  • IR Receiver: Yes, support QNAP RM-IR004 and MCE-compatible remotes
  • Others: Kensington security slot, system maintenance port
  • Form Factor: Tower
  • Dimension (H x W x D):
    • 188.2 x 199.3 x 279.6 mm
    • 7.41 x 7.85 x 11.01 inch
  • Weight: 4.9 kg / 10.80 lbs
  • Operating Temperature: 0 ~ 40˚C
  • Relative Humidity: 5~95% RH non-condensing, wet bulb: 27˚C
  • Power: ATX 250W, 100-240V AC, 50-60Hz, 3.5A
  • Power Consumption(W) HDD standby: 33.24W
  • In operation: 56.23W
  • (with 4 x 2TB HDDs installed)
  • Fan: 1 x 12cm

Design and Build

Highlighted by its nice golden finish, the TVS-473 features the usual rugged and sturdy metal design that comes with a QNAP NAS. The tower form-factor NAS is branded with the company logo at the top right. The front gives access to the four hotswappable drive bays, each of which has a locking mechanism. The TVS-473 also features a very nice LCD display panel (which has been slightly improved over the TVS-463 model) along the top of the device, providing users with quick system information using the Enter and Select button to the right. The Status, two USB, and LAN LED indicators are located just below.

Also located on the front panel is a Power button, USB QuickAccess port and the One Touch Copy button, the latter which backs up data from the front USB drive to the NAS or vice versa.

Turning the NAS around shows further connectivity and QNAP’s efficient heat sink, which exhausts excessive heat. To the left of the fan are two 4K HDMI ports, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, two 3.5 mm microphone jacks, one 3.5 mm audio jack, a built-in speaker, and four Gigabit Ethernet ports, as well as the Kensington Security slot for increases physical security.  The Power Connector, Console port, PCIe Expansion slot, and Password and Network Setting reset button are all located along the top of the device.

Testing Background and Comparables

We publish an inventory of our lab environment, an overview of the lab's networking capabilities, and other details about our testing protocols so that administrators and those responsible for equipment acquisition can fairly gauge the conditions under which we have achieved the published results. None of our reviews are paid for or overseen by the manufacturer of equipment we are testing.

We tested both CIFS and iSCSI performance using RAID6 configurations using Toshiba N300 drives.

Our standard StorageReview Enterprise Test Lab regimen runs the device through its paces with a battery of varying performance levels and throughput activity workloads. For the TVS-473, the following profiles were utilized to compare performance between different RAID configurations and different networking standard protocols (SMB and iSCSI):

  • 4K 100% Read / 100% Write throughput
  • 8K 100% Read / 100% Write throughput
  • 8K 70% Read / 30% Write throughput
  • 128K 100% Read / 100% Write throughput

Our first benchmark measures the performance of random 4k transfers comprised of 100% write and 100% read activity. Here, the TVS-473 posted its best read and write throughput under a CIFS (file level) configuration with 4,358 IOPS read and 556 IOPS write. Using iSCSI (block-level), the TVS-473 hit 3987 IOPS read and 506 IOPS write.

Looking at average latency, we see the TVS-473 showing 58.732ms read and 459.497ms when configured with CIFS.  In iSCSI, the TV-473 had 504.983ms write and 64.201ms read.

In maximum latency, we see the TVS-473’s best performance in CIFS once again (2,004.8ms write and 1,446.5ms read). The iSCSI block-level test showed much higher latency with 5,198.5ms write and 4,090.5ms read.

In our standard deviation section of the 4k test, which gives us a good visualization in terms of consistency, the TVS-473 posted 419.04ms write and 100.128ms read during CIFS connectivity, while iSCSI showed 910.68ms write and 107.971ms read.

The next test again puts the drives under 100% read/write activity, this time at 8K sequential throughput. Here, the TVS-473 showed 55,357 IOPS write and 55,757 IOPS read, while CIFS posted 55,100 IOPS and 57,057 IOPS, respectively.

Compared to the fixed 16 thread, 16 queue max workload we performed in the 100% 4k write test, our mixed workload profiles scale the performance across a wide range of thread/queue combinations. In these tests, we span workload intensity from 2 threads and 2 queue up to 16 threads and 16 queue. Looking at throughout, the TVS-473 showed its best performance in the CIFS configuration with a range of 985 IOPS in burst and 1438 IOPS in the end (16 Threads, 16 Queue).

With average response times, a similar trend with TVS-473, as it posted a latency range of 4.04ms through 175.81ms in CIFS vs. 6.75ms through 253.93ms is iSCSI.

Looking at max latencies, the TVS-473 posted its best performance in iSCSI this time, with a range of 915.53ms through 125619.8ms. CIFS had a major spike in the last queue depth, ending up with 25,194.64ms.

Standard deviation showed 114.4ms to 504.51ms in CIFS and 31.31ms to 1387.42ms in iSCSI.

Our last workload in our small NAS Synthetic Workload testing consists of the 128k test, which is a large block sequential test that shows the highest sequential transfer speed. When looking at the 128k performance of 100% write and 100% read activity, the TVS-473 boasted its top read and write speeds of 462MB/s and 455MB/s, respectively, with CIFS. This was just slightly faster than iSCSI, which posted 436MB/s read and 451MB/s write.

Conclusion

Powered by a next-gen AMD R-Series RX-421BD quad-core 2.1 GHz APU, the QNAP TVS-473 is a 4-bay tower NAS that features Radeon R7 Graphics, up to 64GB in dual channel DDR4 RAM, and USB 3.1 connectivity. The TVS-473 also uses AES-256 Volume Encryption for secure file transfers and supports HDMI 4K output and 4K H.264 video decoding and encoding acceleration, which is certainly ideal for for media professionals.

To measure its performance, we tested the TVS-473 in configurations of both CIFS (file-level) and iSCSI (block-level) storage connectivity via a Toshiba HDD configuration. Overall, these results were good.  In our random 4K access benchmark, its top performance was recorded using CIFS connectivity with 4,358 IOPS read and 556 IOPS write. When looking at 100% 8K sequential throughput, which uses a 16T/16Q load in 100% read and 100% write operations, iSCSI and CIFS configurations recorded similar results results, showing 55,357 IOPS write and 55,757 IOPS read, and 55,100 IOPS read and 57,057 IOPS write, respectively. During our large-block sequential test, the TVS-473 recorded slightly better results in CIFS with 462MB/s read and 455MB/s write.

Bottom Line

The QNAP TVS-473 is another solid addition to QNAP’s growing line of NAS devices.

QNAP TVS-473 at Amazon

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