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Overview SATA SSD WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D: “3D” – all

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Since Western Digital bought one of the leading players of the market of SSDs, SanDisk, passed almost two years. During this time the largest manufacturer of hard disks was able to take quite a stable position in this new field of activity, and even achieved some success: the share of Western Digital on the market of SSDs are higher than the share enjoyed by SanDisk at the time of its acquisition. So, in 2015, SanDisk could boast only control about 10-12 percent of the market, now Western Digital is europeís second-largest provider of solid-state drives and has a share, reaching 17 to 20 percent.

This remarkable growth was achieved including at the expense of a major transformation of the model range. Western Digital has thinned out a motley assortment of SanDisk and focused on advancing several of the most successful models. At the same time began the production of storage under the trademark WD, and this family included three product understandable for adherents of hard drives Western Digital color differentiation (Black, Blue, Green), and with the best combination of price and performance. All these measures had good effect that one can trace how in the past three years has changed the market share of Western Digital/SanDisk.

Данные TRENDFOCUS, компиляция 3DNews.ru

Data TRENDFOCUS, compilation 3DNews.ru

However, to date, Western Digital came to the conclusion that the legacy of SanDisk, is gradually losing its relevance (even in the reformed view). And in order laid, the growth impulse could manifest itself in the future, the required adjustment in the range. Problems here, there are two. The first concerns the fact that among existing Western Digital SSD yet flagship NVMe solutions with a high level of performance. Offer WD Black is among the inexpensive NVMe SSD and is of interest only as offer entry-level in its class. The problem is Western Digital going to solve in the foreseeable future and will begin shipping the recently announced new products – high-performance drives SN720 built on a completely new platform.

The second problem is that the mass model of the company until recently used a somewhat outdated stuffing – planar TLC NAND which is inferior to more modern memory with spatial orientation in all key parameters: performance, reliability, density of information storage and, as a consequence, at cost. But fortunately, for this problem, Western Digital has quite an effective solution. At the end of last year, the company began to gradually transfer your old SSD to a new mass memory – modern BiCS3 NAND, which was developed by technology Alliance Toshiba and Western Digital. This memory, recall, is essentially a TLC 3D NAND with 64-layers, built on the cells with a trap charge, and now it is actively used in all WD and SanDisk that not only made them more favorable in the production, but also improve their consumer characteristics.

This review just focuses on what has changed the most popular SATA SSD Western Digital: model WD Blue and SanDisk Ultra II. Not so long ago they were replaced by the updated WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D, and their widespread emergence in retail sales means that the 3D party was joined by the last of the SSD manufacturer of the first echelon. Recall that to date we have tested almost all models of SATA drives, the market leaders, built on the most modern and advanced 64-layer flash memory: Crucial MX500, 545s Intel SSD, Samsung PRO 860, 860 Samsung EVO , and Toshiba TR200. No attention was only WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D and today we intend to correct this defect.

But before proceeding to a detailed acquaintance with the novelties, a few words should be said about why this article speech about WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D is at the same time. The fact that in the optimization of lineup Western Digital unified platform of WD and SanDisk, and now is actually under two different marketing names it sells the same thing. In principle, the close relationship between WD Blue and the SanDisk Ultra II existed before: after Western Digital bought SanDisk, the drive received a single hardware platform controller Marvell 88SS1074 and planar TLC NAND and differ only in the features of the firmware. But now the differences has worn off completely: WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D the same even at the software level.

The reasons why such models exist side by side, lie in the marketing: they have different positioning. However, from the explanations of the manufacturer, we have not been able to clearly understand for whom intended WD Blue 3D NAND, but for some SanDisk Ultra 3D. Moreover, both models are often sold next to the same stores for about the same price. As such, we thought it was appropriate to combine their study in one review.

#Specifications

WD Blue 3D NAND and his twin SanDisk Ultra 3D is not a brand new SATA drives, and the update was released a year and a half ago, the WD Blue SSD (and similar SanDisk Ultra II). To speak so allows us the fact that new drives are Western Digital, the developers did not implement any new hardware platform, SSD and relied on the time-tested controller Marvell 88SS1074, which was used in the WD Blue. By itself, this chip can not be called to some remarkable solution, but it has two important properties that make it well-suited for use in modern disc drives. First, it lends itself to flexible configuration by firmware, which allows us to provide it support for three-dimensional TLC memory. Secondly, it is on the hardware implemented error correction based on LDPC codes, which not only significantly improves the detection stored in the data cells, but also goes well with modern three-dimensional memory with a three-bit organization.

Controller Marvell 88SS1074 not particularly productive: it was originally focused on inexpensive SSD. It is based on two cores ARM Dragonite and v5 to form an array of flash memory offers a total of four channel. At the same time as all other processors from Marvell, 88SS1074 distributed by developers without reference firmware, which on the one hand, complicates the life of the final designers of the SSD, but on the other — allows you to create a finely optimized solution, squeezing out of the hardware all the juices. So drives on the basis of this chip can be very different from each other.

For example, the best-known products based on the Marvell 88SS1074, in addition to the WD Bluewas Crucial MX300 and Kingston UV400. And they gave dramatically different performance: while the proposals WD and Crucial can be completely attributed to the middle level, the decision of Kingston upset his lethargy. However, with the transition to three-dimensional memory SSD manufacturers began to abandon the use of Marvell 88SS1074 — for example, Crucial MX500 now uses a Silicon Motion controller. But the engineers at Western Digital seem to have found the right approach to hardware platform Marvell continued to work with her. This allows us to hope that the new WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D will be at least no worse than previous versions with planar memory, which is actually already quite enough to make the drives turned out commercially successful.

Especially in combination with Blue, 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D uses three-dimensional BiCS3 memory, which compared to conventional planar TLC NAND has higher throughput and lower latency.

The fact that the translation of such a memory can do to seriously speed up the old platform, we recently saw firsthand, when tested Plextor M9Pe. This can also be seen if you look at the declared by the manufacturer specifications of WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D: these drives are clearly faster than their ancestors on the same controller, but with planar memory.

Passport characteristics of the novelties are as follows.

Manufacturer Western Digital
Series WD Blue 3D NAND
SanDisk Ultra 3D
Model number WDS250G2B0A
SDSSDH3-250G-G25
WDS500G2B0A
SDSSDH3-500G-G25
WDS100T2B0A
SDSSDH3-1T00-G25
WDS200T2B0A
SDSSDH3-2T00-G25
Form factor 2.5 inch
Interface SATA 6 GB/s
Capacity, GB 250 500 1000 2000
Configuration
Flash memory: type, process technology, manufacturer SanDisk 64-layer 256-GB BiCS3 3D TLC NAND
Controller Marvell 88SS1074
Buffer: type, volume LDDR3-1866,
256 MB
LDDR3-1866,
512 MB
LDDR3-1866,
1024 MB
LDDR3-1866,
2048 MB
Performance
Max. sustained sequential read, MB/s 550 560 560 560
Max. sustained sequential write speed, MB/s 525 530 530 530
Max. speed of random read (blocks 4 KB) IOPS 95000 95000 95000 95000
Max. speed random write (blocks 4 KB) IOPS 81000 84000 84000 84000
Physical characteristics
Power consumption: inaction/read-write, W 0,056/3,8
MTBF (mean time between failures), million h 1,75
Resource record, TB 100 200 400 500
Dimensions: Ghvhg, mm 100,2 x 69.85 mm x 7.0
Weight, g 57,9
Warranty period, years 3

In comparison to the original WD Blue SSD increased as the speed of sequential operations (1-3 %), and random write speeds (5 %). However, this is a slight decrease in the speed of random read: the old drive on the basis of planar TLC NAND was declared peak indicators at the level of 100 thousand IOPS.

However, long known that the manufacturer’s specifications do not always accurately reflect the real picture. Most drives built in memory with a three-bit cells, SLC practice-caching, which is laid in the passport indicators. In fact feasible therefore, the rapid entry mode is not always effective means of improving performance: it all depends on what algorithms are used in each case and what amount of flash memory allocated by the manufacturer to operate in SLC mode.

To check SLC-caching is arranged in the WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D, we carried out a standard experiment to measure the performance of a continuous serial write on a clean drive. To test was chosen instances of the SSD 500 GB.

Both drives SLC-caching works the same way. The amount of cache to which the entry is made at high speed, determined at the rate of 4 GB each 250 GB total capacity. And this means that compared with the original WD Blue SSD cache on the new models increased. This is one of the main reasons that the updated SATA Western Digital should be better than its predecessors. There, recall, in a fast single-bit mode was only 3 GB each 250 GB capacity of the SSD.

On the graph is visible and another positive change: the rate of direct memory writes, was significantly higher. Through the use of NAND BiCS3 new WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D can write directly to TLC cells with a capacity of about 410 MB/s, while in the “normal” WD Blue SSD speed of direct write was limited by size to 300 MB/s. And by the way, it’s amazing, but, according to the measurements, the speed of 64-ply BiCS3 memory of authorship Toshiba/SanDisk magically coincides with the speed of 64-layer TLC 3D NAND produced by Intel/Micron. It will therefore be natural, if WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D will end up in the same weight category as Crucial MX500 SSD Intel 545s.

No other important user characteristics WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D has not changed. Both series of drives, as before, is given a three-year warranty. And approved by the manufacturer resource rewriting is that the user has the right to overwrite to a third of the capacity of the SSD every day for the warranty period. It should be noted that in this respect, WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D look at the background of competitors is not too great: the same 545s Intel SSD or Samsung EVO 860 promise and guarantee longer endurance and higher.

#Appearance and internal structure

For testing, we traditionally take drives with a capacity of 480-512 GB – these models combine reasonable price and the best lineup in performance. Accordingly, in this survey involved two samples: 3D NAND WD Blue 500 GB and SanDisk Ultra 3D 500 GB.

The relationship between the drives under trademarks WD and SanDisk can be seen in the exterior: case WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D are exactly the same. It consists of aluminum and painted with black paint of the tray which is closed by a black plastic cover. It should be noted that the halves of the case are well fitted to each other and are fastened with screws, whereby the design of the SSD seems monolithic.

 

3D NAND WD Blue 500 GB

 

SanDisk Ultra 3D 500 GB

Differences in exterior WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D are caused only by the labels of different brands, glued on both sides of the SSD. The front surface is in both cases close labels with logo and product name. Stickers on the back of the drives – technical and more meaningful: they are given serial numbers, barcodes, part numbers and capacity information of specific instances of the SSD. Funny thing is that the WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D they are not only differently composed, but contain different set of information. For example, WD Blue 3D NAND date of manufacture (in our case it is 24 September last year), and on the label SanDisk Ultra 3D this information is not given at all. But the strangest difference is the country of production. If you believe it is written as like as two drops of water WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D made in different regions: the first in Malaysia, second in China.

The basis for both WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D are identical to the miniature printed circuit Board containing four chips of the flash memory, controller chip and a DRAM buffer. In both cases, the controller chip is closed by a pad, whereby heat generated 28-nm chip Marvell 88SS1074 transmitted to the aluminum part of the case. However, this measure is rather preventive: the controller in the process, is heated very slightly.

It should be noted that the layout of the PCB in WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D is very similar to the layout of the boards in WD Blue. There is even the feeling that the change of planar to three-dimensional memory do not require the developer to make any technical changes and all limited only by modification of the firmware. Is this true, hard to say, but the array structure of the flash memory with the transition to BiCS3 TLC 3D NAND has changed significantly.

 

3D NAND WD Blue 500 GB

 

SanDisk Ultra 3D 500 GB

Four-channel array of the flash memory in both of the new drives is composed of the SanDisk chips (the same chips Toshiba), inside of which is Packed with four crystal 64-layer three-dimensional BiCS3-a three-bit memory cells. Please note: these crystals have a capacity of 256 GB, that is, compared to planar TLC NAND, which was used in the original WD Blue, they were twice as roomy. Accordingly, the degree of parallelism of the memory array is reduced by half, and now the controller 500 GB storage available to only a fourfold alternating devices in the channels. But significant advantage of three-dimensional BiCS3 front planar TLC NAND speed fully neutralize the possible negative effect of reduced concurrency.

Of the total volume of the array of flash memory WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra for domestic needs reserved about 9 percent of capacity. They need to work in the SLC cache, and algorithms garbage collection and wear-leveling. This means that the owners of the SSD with the declared capacity of half a terabyte in the operating system sees 465 GB of available capacity.

Has the design considered SSD and DRAM buffer. As usual, he WD Blue 3D NAND and the SanDisk Ultra 3D is used to store a table of address translation and caching melkoplodnyj write operations. The amount and type of the corresponding memory chip standard: 512 MB LPDDR3-1866. However, the manufacturer of the SDRAM in the drives was different. WD Blue 3D NAND chip installed Toshiba and SanDisk Ultra 3D Nanya.

#Software

The SanDisk and Western Digital has always attached the service utility SSD Dashboard, which implements all the basic functions for their service. New drives, like their predecessors, fully compatible with it. But there is one funny thing — there are two separate versions of this utility: SanDisk SSD Dashboard, SSD and WD Dashboard. They are quite similar in features, but differ in the visual style of the interface. While utilities work only with SSD, issued under the relevant trademark, and drives the twins to accept refuse. In other words, WD Blue 3D NAND need to be sure to install the WD SSD Dashboard, and the SanDisk Ultra 3D SanDisk SSD Dashboard, and nothing else.

The subsequent screenshots show the WD SSD Dashboard, however, SanDisk SSD Dashboard offers all exactly the same, but not on the blue, and grey background.

Among the main functions of the program — obtaining information about the installed in the SSD system, including information about the remaining resource and the current temperature; monitoring the performance of the drive in real-time; customize TRIM; firmware update via the Internet and from a file; the operation Secure Erase and delete any data from the flash memory by means of forced vanishing; run SMART tests and view SMART attributes.

In other words, the feature set of the SanDisk SSD Dashboard and WD SSD Dashboard is quite standard, nothing unique, they do not offer. For example, in software Western Digital is no way to fine-tune the operating system, or for RAM-caching of accesses to the disk subsystem.

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Peripherals

Overview of the NAS WD My Cloud Pro PR2100: the best iron for your money

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From a home user network attached storage company Western Digitalusually associated with something simple, not demanding to understand network technologies and offering only a basic set of functions for personal data storage and remote access. But the model number NAS of this manufacturer for a long time already there are models that are not inferior in its capabilities and characteristics to other players in the market for personal file storage. One of these patterns found in our lab. We are talking about a two-Bay NAS WD My Cloud Pro PR2100, which is a whole lot of different interesting features, but costs less than its competitors.

#Supplied

 

The package WD My Cloud Pro PR2100

WD My Cloud Pro PR2100 comes in a compact cardboard box with color printing — this is easy to carry from store to home in his arms, but she handles no. Inside, in addition to the drive, was found to have the following accessories:

  • power adapter with detachable cable;
  • Ethernet cable;
  • a sheet with the sequence of actions by putting the device into operation.

A detailed user manual in Russian and other languages if necessary you can download from the manufacturer’s website. Also note that the WD My Cloud Pro PR2100 comes without pre-installed hard drives and disks with a total capacity of 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 TB on the user’s choice. In our instance was equipped with two WD Red WD20EFRX adapted to work with NAS, with a capacity of 2 TB each.

#Specifications

WD My Cloud Pro PR2100
HDD 2 × 3.5″ SATA II/III HDD
File system Internal hard drives: EXT4;
External storage: FAT32, NTFS, HFS+J exFAT
RAID level JBOD Mode join drives, RAID 0/1
Processor Intel Pentium 1.6 GHz N3710
RAM 4 GB DDR3L
Network interfaces 2 × Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45
Additional interfaces 2 × USB 3.0
Protocols AFP, NFS, FTP, WebDAV, iSCSI, SSH, SNMP, Samba, HTTP
Customers Windows 7 and more modern, Mac OS X 10.8 and more modern;
iOS 7 and more modern Android 4.0 and more modern
Cooling system 1 × fan 70 × 70 mm
Dimensions, mm 217 × 109 × 148
Guarantee, months.
(with pre-installed HDD / without HDD)
36 / 24
Estimated price*, RUB
(without HDD / 4 / 8 / 12 / 16 / 20 TB)
33 353 / 49 890 / 59 220 / 67 284 / 77 312 / 86 619

*Average price in “Yandex.Market” at the time of this writing.

 

The main motherboard WD My Cloud Pro PR2100

The word Pro in the name of the drive attached for a reason. The fact that the basis of this device is the processor Intel Pentium N3710 is the most powerful Intel Braswell. NAS from other manufacturers, this processor can be found only on the most expensive models, costs and capabilities which significantly exceed those for WD My Cloud Pro PR2100. The processor has the architecture Airmont, made on 14-nanometer process technology and operates with a base clock speed of 1.6 GHz with the ability to increase to 2.56 GHz. He has a 2 MB cache second level, and another difference — very low heat dissipation: only 6 watts.

Центральный процессор со снятым радиатором

The CPU with removed radiator

This processor has an integrated graphics core Intel HD Graphics 405 eighth generation with sixteen actuators operating in the frequency range from 400 to 700 MHz. For home NAS will probably be important that the adapter works with the 4K UHD resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels (2160p) at a frequency of 30 Hz or 2560 × 1600 for 60 Hz, and can also carry out the decoding of data at the hardware level H. 264 (AVC) MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2 and VC-1. He still has the HDMI interface, but the NAS the output is not provided.

 

Memory modules Samsung K4B4G1646E-BYK0

Intel Pentium N3710, like other models of Intel Braswell processors, has an integrated dual channel memory controller. It works with DDR3L-1600 memory, and its maximum amount is limited to 8 GB. On the motherboard WD My Cloud Pro PR2100 coming with eight modules of Samsung K4B4G1646E-BYK0 capacity of 512 MB each. Thus, WD My Cloud PR2100 Pro has 4 GB of RAM DDR3L-1600. To increase the amount of RAM in this case is not possible.

Микроконтроллер ARM STM32F0

The ARM STM32F0 microcontroller

On Board of the NAS has two Gigabit network interface represented by the widespread controllers Realtek RTL8111H with the PCI Express bus. The SATA controller built into the processor. It works with two interfaces 6 GB/s, which fully corresponds to the specifications of the NAS. The external eSATA ports of the novelty, but there is two USB 3.0 ports, which are also implemented with built-in CPU controller. It remains to note that to control the device on the motherboard of processor ARM STM32F0 from the company STMicroelectronics.

Hardware WD My Cloud Pro PR2100 largely very unusual. So unusual to see in a NAS of this class Intel Pentium. But even more amazing to know that this NAS zadublirovanny power connector – just like very expensive models, designed for continuous operation in the big office! Supplied with the device there is only one power supply, but if you want you can always buy a second. In General, the circuitry not only meets the stated technical characteristics, but also deserves profound respect for originality, and elaboration.

#Appearance

 
Внешний вид WD My Cloud Pro PR2100

Appearance WD My Cloud Pro PR2100

Unlike the vast majority, and expensive, and not network drives on the market today, the product is made not in plastic and metal body, painted in Matt black. The device looks expensive and noble. Only front panel with compartments for discs, traditionally made of plastic. Unpainted left only the back and lower part of the body. On the side metal walls, closer to the front panel, placed vents through which air enters the device. Well, on the lower surface of the pinned soft legs that allow the device to slide on a table or shelf, and dampen vibration.

Лицевая панель

The front panel

On the front panel can be seen as a practical matte plastic and decorative glossy. Two-thirds of its area is a disk compartment. Instead of common doors used here, separate opening panels with ventilation grilles for each disk. Under the panels is written numbers, and to inform the user about the activity or malfunctions with an led indicator. To the left of the disk-chamber is placed a decorative panel with the round power control button, the rectangular button to initiate the copy process from the connected external media storage and a USB 3.0 port for connecting to these carriers.

Задняя панель

Rear panel

All other specifications of the interfaces located on the rear surface of the device. In one vertical row they built two connectors to connect power adapters, two Ethernet RJ-45 port, a USB 3.0 port and recessed deep into the body reset button the device. Just above is a hole for attaching a security lock such as the Kensington. Well, almost all of the remaining space taken up by a ventilation grille, behind which hides a 70-mm fan. The cooling system is arranged according to the classical scheme of air sucked by the fan through the holes on the faceplates of the disk skids and side walls, passes through the inside of the shell is heated, cooling the drives and electronic components, and exits through the ventilation grille on the rear wall of the housing.

#Installation of hard drives and internal structure

Unlike most other NAS in the design of the WD My Cloud Pro PR2100 missing disk sled. It deprives him of the ability to install a 2.5-inch hard drives and SSD, but greatly simplifies the Assembly and disassembly of conventional, 3.5-inch disks. In addition, the design without the slide in this case it is harmonious, no unnecessary elements subject to vibration.

 

Disc compartment

The door of the disk compartment have a combined design with large rubber grip in the center, ensuring reliable contact of the disk with the connectors on the Board and not allowing it to vibrate during operation. The quality of execution of each element is worthy of the highest rating discs cling to nothing, neither during installation nor when dismantling.

 

The internal structure of the body

Disassemble your case your WD My Cloud Pro PR2100 the user does not have — the device has no removable memory modules, and disks are installed from the front panel. However, make it quite easy. More interesting. Removing the outer u-shaped casing, we expected to see under it a rigid frame of metal profiles. Imagine our surprise when inside actually showed one case with Tselikov metal panels. Such a structure makes the device extremely rigid and protected from various external influences. To break or damage the metal double wall accidentally will be very difficult. This is another plus in the Treasury of the merits associated with the reliability of WD My Cloud Pro PR2100.

Крепление системной платы

Motherboard mounting

The inner housing can also be disassembled. To one of its sidewalls a vertically mounted motherboard. Additional system Board interface connectors for the hard drives mounted on a transverse metal partition. In General, the internal structure of the novelty causes a feeling that this device was not done in a hurry, and saving on materials and production technologies is not intended in the first place and had no impact on quality and reliability. Cheaper mechanical design sin today almost all manufacturers of NAS and Western Digital, to the surprise of all, demonstrates the opposite. It is very nice.

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Peripherals

Overview Synology NAS DS1618+ excellent

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Company Synology with its wide range of SSDs has long established itself as a standard. It is oriented other manufacturers NAS, and most users agree that the network drives of this brand is often close to ideal. While we can argue endlessly about not the lowest cost products of the company or to be criticized for its rather conservative and strict policy of choosing the hardware base, but the quality, performance and huge potential is now widely known DSM from Synology continues to remain unsurpassed. In other words, most of the Synology NAS is close to the ideal, but often remain some little things that don’t allow to put the device high score plus.

The new NAS Synology DS1618+ is another attempt to create a perfect model of the NAS. Judging by the declared technical characteristics and a cursory familiarity with the device, the chances is he has a very good. A six device belongs to the family of high-performance models Plus designed to perform demanding tasks. Like other NAS devices in this series, Synology DS1618+ suitable for working in the business segment, and for the average home user enthusiast.

The package

 

The supplied Synology DS1618+

The device comes in a large cardboard box with a plastic handle for easy transportation. Inside, in addition to the drive, was found to have the following accessories:

  • power cable;
  • two Ethernet network cable;
  • set of screws for mounting drives form factor 2.5 inch;
  • two keys to lock the disk sled;
  • the printed manual to get started with the device.

Package is standard and requires no comment. The lack of it set of screws for mounting drives form factor 3.5 inches due to the design of the slides, and a detailed user manual as the fresh version, the manufacturer offers a download from its website.

Specifications

Synology DS1618+
HDD 6 × 3,5/2,5″ SATA II/III HDD or SSD
File system Internal hard drives: EXT4, Btrfs;
External drives: EXT3, EXT4, Btrfs, NTFS, FAT, HFS+, exFAT (license paid)
RAID level Synology Hybrid RAID, Basic, JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10
Processor Intel Atom 2.1 GHz C3538
RAM DDR4 4GB (expandable up to 32 GB)
Network interfaces 4 × Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45
Additional interfaces 3 × USB 3.0
2 × eSATA
1 × PCI Express Gen3 ×8
Protocols CIFS, AFP, NFS, FTP, WebDAV, CalDAV, iSCSI, Telnet, SSH, SNMP, VPN (PPTP, OpenVPN), Samba, HTTP
Customers Windows 7 and later, Mac OS X 10.10 and later;
iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian
Cooling system 2 × 92 × 92 mm fan
Power Consumption, W Mode of access: 56,86;
In the hibernate mode of 25.76
Dimensions, mm 166 × 282 × 243
Weight, kg Of 5.05 (without HDD)
Guarantee, months. 36
Estimated price*, RUB 66 000

* Average price in “Yandex.Market” at the moment of writing of article

 

The main motherboard Synology DS1618+

In contrast to the recently tested cosmeticology NAS Synology DS1817+, consider the NAS is built on the new generation of Intel Atom processors C3000 family Denverton, based on the architecture Goldmont and produced on 14-nanometer process technology. The NAS is a Synology DS1618+ is equipped with a Quad-core SoC-processor Intel Atom C3538, running with a clock speed of 2.1 GHz and has 8 MB cache memory of the second level. This Junior processor family, based on work in network drives and file storage.

From Intel new Atom C2000 series processor you’ll be including more profitable hardware equipment. So, in SoC implemented eight USB 3.0, two dezetilirovanny and two Gigabit Ethernet interface, twelve SATA 6 GB/s and denotationally controller PCI Express 3 ×2/×4/×8. Heat pack in this model is a standard 15 watts, which allowed to use passive cooling. Outside the CPU is closed by a small aluminum radiator.

 

RAM DDR4 2400 4 GB

Intel Atom C3538 has a built-in controller, dual channel memory DDR4-2133. On Board storage provides two slots for installing RAM modules with a total capacity of up to 32 GB. A regular complete NAS comes with only one RAM of 4GB. In our instance it was installed module SDRAM DDR4-2400 total capacity of 8 GB, assembled in eight chips Samsung K4A4G085WE-BCRC with a capacity of 512 MB each.

Контроллер Gigabit Ethernet Marvell Alaska 88E1543

Controller Gigabit Marvell Alaska 88E1543

The four Gigabit network ports which the Synology DS1817+, the answer is not the tools built in to the SoC processor, and is further mounted on the system Board microcontroller Marvell Alaska 88E1543 production Marvell Technology Group.

Контроллеры Marvell 88SE9170

The Marvell controllers 88SE9170

SATA III to connect the internal speakers of implemented SoC. But two eSATA, apparently, work by microcontroller Marvell 88SE9170. The controller is connected via PCI Express 2.0 and provides the two interfaces SATA III. To the eSATA ports you can connect external storage units, significantly increasing the total capacity of the disk space of the NAS. As the extension module in this case you can use the Synology DX517, having five bays for hard drives.

USB-концентратор Realtek RTS5411

USB hub Realtek RTS5411

Three USB 3.0 ports are implemented via USB hub Realtek RTS5411 manufacturing company Realtek Semiconductor.

 

Module flash memory S34ML01G2

Storage firmware uses a removable flash memory S34ML01G2 production California-based company Spansion Inc..

 

FPGA Altera 5M240ZT100C5N

To store information about the configuration of your network drive uses non-volatile programmable circuit (FPGA or PLD) Altera 5M240ZT100C5N.

Слот PCI Express ×8

The PCI Express ×8

As Synology DS1817+, a six NAS Plus series boasts of having the PCI Express ×8 version 3.0. This slot can be used to install one of the expansion cards. In one case, the PCIe slot can be used under the adapter Synology M2D17 for two M. 2 SSD drives with SATA interface. With this adapter we met when meeting with NAS Synology DS1817+. The SSD in this case is used as a cache to increase throughput and reduce latency of input / output. Adapter sold separately, the cost is about 12 000 rubles. The second option is to use a PCIe slot for the installation of deathgyunos network card with one or two corresponding ports with a maximum throughput 1551 Mbps when reading and 586 MB/s writing. The list of compatible adapters can be found on the website of the manufacturer.

“Iron” component of the model Synology DS1618+ fully complies with the specifications. After familiarization with the hardware of the NAS is still very good impression, not only based on relatively high performance and wide capabilities of the component base, but also on the fact that at the heart of this NAS is fresh platform, oriented to work with devices that this type. Thus, in contrast to the model of Synology DS1817+ used in the new processor, a new Intel Atom C3000 has no hidden problems with long-term intensive exploitation and coupled with the rest of the component base makes NAS Synology DS1618+ is almost the perfect machine for creating a file server.

#Appearance

 
 

Appearance Synology DS1618+

The case of the model Synology DS1618+ unified with NAS enclosure Synology DS1817+, as well as some other NAS models from this manufacturer. It is almost whole, including the external u-shaped casing, preferably made of metal. Only the front panel and the grille is made of black matte plastic. Not painted in this case, only the lower part and fixed on it four large legs on which the device rests. From decorative elements can be noted located on the sides of the vent slot in the form of traditional for other NAS models, the words “Synology”.

Лицевая панель

The front panel

The front part of the body does not have a removable or drop-down panels. Almost all the space is given to the storage compartment, the user looking at the same covers a vertically placed disk sled. Disk slots are numbered, and on the covers of the sled there are indicators drive activity. Indicators for network activity, power, status, and errors located on the narrow top edge, in the Central part of which is the power control button. Well, in the lower right corner of the front panel, near the narrow vent holes, placed one of the three available on Board NAS USB 3.0 ports.

Задняя панель

Rear panel

All other specifications ports located on the rear panel of the device, under the ventilation grilles are not too large for such a large body of 92-mm fans. Provides for discharge of hot air from the case. In addition to those in specifications four Ethernet ports, RJ-45, two USB 3.0 ports and two eSATA on the back panel reveals the standard recessed inside the slot for attaching the power cord, recessed deep into the housing the reset button, mount Kensington security lock slot, and the mounting mounted inside enclosure expansion Board PCI Express.

 

The bottom panel

The lower surface of the housing Synology DS1618+ no less interesting than the rear. Here is the rectangular hatch, behind which are two memory slots. To change the RAM modules, the user will not have to Unscrew the whole case, as in the case of Synology DS1817+. It remains to note that on the lower surface of the housing, near one of the legs, is the service connector is protected with a rubber plug. Overall appearance and layout of all ports and interfaces of the new NAS does not cause the slightest comments. The fault here is simply not happening.

#Internal structure

Дисковый отсек Synology DS1618+

Synology disk compartment DS1618+

The discs slide set from the front panel, so remove the housing cover of the device will be available only if you install an expansion card PCI Express. The slides are extracted from the housing after unlocking the plastic locks and pressing on the top of the handles.

Дисковые салазки

Disc sled

The skids themselves are made entirely of plastic. From the front, they have large plastic handle with spring lock, lockable with a key. Drives form factor of 3.5 inches are mounted in the slide without using a screwdriver and screws. The role fasteners play removable side plate with the pins. The latter are inserted into the appropriate threaded holes on the side faces of the discs and securely keep them instead of screws. The inserts spontaneously dropped into the holes on the sled is inserted a soft rubber bushings that the pins go in with some force. For mounting media form factor 2.5 inches will need a screwdriver. In this case, the discs are attached with screws to the bottom of the sled.

 

The internal structure of the body

Installing expansion boards PCI Express also does not require much labor, but they will have to Unscrew several screws on rear of housing and remove the u-shaped casing. The gaze of the user opens a sturdy internal frame of the NAS. On the other side of the PCI Express secured quite a large power supply with a neatly laid cables.

Вентиляционная панель

Ventilation panel

Inside the case is not so much free space, but the cooling problems should arise. All power metal walls have numerous holes for unhindered air circulation inside. And mounted in the housing the power unit has its own small fan. All wires neatly secured and connected, which eliminates their interference with the operation of the cooling system. It remains to note that the motherboard Synology DS1618+ located horizontally in the lowest part of the body, which also favorably affects the efficiency of the cooling system. It is due to this failed to realize easy access to the memory modules through a hatch in the bottom of the hull.

Quality of all items is very high, the internal structure of the NAS, as his appearance, also no comments. There is nothing on what the manufacturer saved at the expense of quality.

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Peripherals

Overview of the NAS WD My Cloud Home Duo: the easiest NAS

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Four years ago, we met two-disk NAS WD My Cloud Mirror. The decision was noteworthy original appearance and original software component that allows without any special knowledge of network technologies to organize my home file server with access the stored data via the Internet. For a long time the model number devices the WD My Cloud was only two NAS that have different number of hard drives installed (one or two) and, accordingly, of the disk space. But last year this family has replenished with two new network storage systems.

WD My Cloud Home and WD My Cloud Home Duo to each other and differ only in the number of preinstalled disk drives (one or two respectively), but from the products of the previous generation, the differences are much more. The new models have more efficient hardware as well, according to the manufacturer, the modified software. Looking ahead, we note that the manufacturer generally has revised the ideology of using network storage to significantly simplify not only the processes of connection and device settings, but its use. Moreover, he calls the new personal cloud storage, but never mentions the generally accepted abbreviation NAS, emphasizing their originality. Learn a new approach to device NAS we will for example double-disc of WD My Cloud Home Duo, to which we proceed.

#Supplied

 

The package WD My Cloud Home Duo

The device comes in a very compact cardboard box which can be easily placed in a plastic bag to carry it from the shop to the house in General is no problem. Inside, in addition to the drive, you can find the accessories:

  • power adapter with two removable plugs of different standards;
  • network cable;
  • brief printed manual: getting started.

Supplied with the device is the same as most other network drives. Required to work ON can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website, and hard drives already installed in the corresponding slide. The WD My Cloud Home Duo comes with drives for a total volume of 4, 6, 8, 12, 16 or even 20 GB for user selection. In our instance was equipped with two WD Red WD20EFRX capacity of 2GB each, adapted to work with NAS.

#Specifications

WD My Cloud Home Duo
HDD 2 × 3.5” SATA
RAID level JBOD, RAID 1
Network interfaces 1 × Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45
Additional interfaces 2 × USB 3.0 Host
Customers Windows 7 or later (64-bit);
MacOS / OS X 10.9 or later;
iOS 9 and later;
Android 4.4 and newer
System cooling 1 × fan
Dimensions, mm 179×160×102
Weight, kg 2.3 to 2.4
Guarantee, months. 24
Price, RUB (4/8/12/16 TB) 22 000 / 26 000 / 36 000 / 45 000

* Average price in “Yandex.Market” at the moment of writing of article

While all the parameters of the previous NAS it was easy to find in the public domain, to the WD My Cloud Home Duo on the website of the manufacturer and the user guide provides only the most basic specs. No details about the hardware platform or network protocols, alas, is not given. In the instructions you can find only the data on the type of RAID array. Hard drives WD My Cloud Home Duo default assembled in a mirrored array RAID 1, but you can use the JBOD mode.

Unfortunately, to disassemble the new product without damaging the delicate locks plastic housing, is not possible. Breaking it, we did not, and because the hardware component of the device remained unknown. Manufacturer no data does not. The only thing we can confidently speak about the presence on Board storage Gigabit LAN controller, Ethernet and two USB 3.0 interfaces for connecting external storage media.

Appearance

 

Appearance WD My Cloud Home Duo

The product is made in the form of a parallelepiped with sharp edges and straight corners without fillets. Modest dimensions allow to put the device almost anywhere. For example, it can be a Desk, bookshelf or windowsill. Visually plastic case divided into two halves — white lacquered and silver, with a distinctive waffle texture. On the front panel of the device between them is a narrow transparent band that hides the led operation. No interfaces on the front panel of the WD My Cloud Home Duo no.

 

The panel design and ventilation system

The rear panel is more interesting. There are two USB 3.0 ports, network port, RJ-45, connector for external power adapter and recessed deep into the body reset button settings. Between the case and a slim power control button on the drive, but the entire top half given over to the vents. Behind them is the cooling fan blowing air through another grille, placed not in the front (as do other NAS models), and the bottom.

 

Compartment hard disk

Access to the Bay hard drives WD My Cloud Duo organized Home not the front like other NAS, and the top. There the device easy to see a removable flat panel. It rests on four heavy-duty rubber bushings and removed with a screwdriver, wrench, ruler or any other object that you can gently catch it over the edge. Under the hood accommodates a compartment for hard disks, which in this case occupies almost all the interior space of the drive.

 

Wheels with skids

The disks are placed in the compartment in a plastic sled as simple design. The drives in them are held not by screws, but by means of a small metal axes fixed in the soft rubber bushings. This decision has a positive effect on the ease of installation, and reduced vibration when working. Well, inside the enclosure drive sled fixed with simple plastic lock. However, to worry about what disks may accidentally fall out during operation or moving the drive from one place to another, just not worth it. With vertical placement you still manage to accidentally pull the sled from the housing.

As we have mentioned above, to analyze the case we, unfortunately, failed. But if the hardware component without an autopsy it is impossible to define the principles of the internal structure of the device can be understood without it parsing. Inside the case is WD My Cloud Home Duo has a metal frame, which you can see through the ventilation grille using the disc compartment. The system Board device is mounted vertically along one of the walls of the housing. Apparently, she’s quite young. Overall the WD My Cloud Home Duo design is not much different from a regular NAS is that the compactness of novelty, admiration and even astonishment. Otherwise it is quite cute classic NAS.

#Work with the device

Unlike conventional NAS that can be configured on a local network, connect a WD My Cloud Duo without Home Internet access will not work. The drive there own web interface, so communication with him either via the Internet service MyCloud.comor with installed special software that you can download for your desktop PC running Windows or MacOS / OS X, and mobile devices with Android or iOS.

Интернет-сервис MyCloud.com

Internet service MyCloud.com

When connecting via the web interface the device should be automatically detected. If not, then the Internet service prompts the user to enter the device code specified on the cover. Note that when testing with one of the Internet providers no problems with connection did not arise, and with the other device refused to decide. In this case network equipment and its configuration in one, and in another case were the same. What is the reason, we, alas, have not managed to find out.

Setup the drive takes place in fully automatic mode, without user intervention, which requires only to register on the portal with the username and password. In the future when working with the device owner of the WD My Cloud Home Duo also free from any network settings – the device works fully automatically and needs no supervision. For some, this feature works with the drive can be a real gift, because not all users like to customize the system to fit your needs. Some people just need to store data in one place and access them through the Internet, making personal cloud storage a full server. All the rest of you should pay attention to other NAS.

 

Access to disk storage using the My Cloud app Home.

Data access via web service MyCloud.comas through installed apps My Cloud Home, does not require too detailed descriptions. It’s a pretty simple file, which displays the entire file structure of the drive. When you install PC the drive is detected as normal, permanently connected network drive.

   

Data access via the My Cloud mobile app Home and its features

The mobile version has a few differences from the PC version. So, this app allows automatic backup of photos obtained with the camera of the smartphone. Also only a mobile version of My Cloud Home gives you the ability to copy data to the drive connected to its USB port flash drives. In addition, both apps allow you to sync the data, and using the web interface it is possible to synchronize data from some popular cloud storages: Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive.

Working with storage through a separately installed or a web application, the user can search for any file or folder to create a link and share it with anyone, thereby giving someone access to your selected data. Also the system can create multiple users of the device that will receive certain access rights stored on the data drive. It remains to note that in a web application MyCloud.com the user can select the mode of operation of the drives: RAID1 or JBOD. Installed on your PC or mobile device with the My Cloud app Home reason did not allow to do this operation.

In General, the work with the NAS WD My Cloud Home Duo is extremely simple and does not require instructions. Some ambiguity slight difference with the web service and installed apps, but you get used to it. In terms of communication with the user, this model can truly be called the most simple NAS, if any abbreviation is applicable to the NAS.

#Testing

If the access to the WD My Cloud Duo Home Internet-only device performance will entirely depend on your provider and router. If you’re going to use installed apps My Cloud Home, in this case, you can achieve much greater speeds to read and write data, as these operations will be conducted on a local network. In this use case we carried out performance testing of new products. We used regular hard drives WD Red WD20EFRX. Test stand for testing the performance had the following configuration:

  • Intel Core i5-2320 3.0 GHz;
  • GIGABYTE GA-P67A-D3-B3 Rev. 2.0;
  • RAM 16 GB DDR3-1333;
  • the video card ASUS GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB;
  • SSD Intel 520 SSD capacity 240 GB;
  • Gigabit NIC Realtek PCIe GBE;
  • Windows 7 Ultimate.
Оценка производительности эталонного SSD-диска

Performance evaluation of the reference SSD-drive

Private speed reading and writing of the test stand was about 200 MB/s, so the stand will not limit the performance results of the NAS. When testing the device drives worked in a RAID level 1. Testing was conducted using test ATTO Disk Benchmark and Intel’s NAS Performance Toolkit.

 

The performance test results WD My Cloud Home Duo with a disk array RAID level 1

The test results suggests that the performance of the NAS when you connect one client less bandwidth with Gigabit network, but it is quite enough for comfortable work with the device – that is, to transfer large files over the network. For the main scenario with WD Red WD20EFRX, that is when you exchange data with it via the Internet, demonstrated levels of performance even redundant. We also tested the device in a direct data transfer. As test data I used three video volume from 2.5 to 3.5 GB. The average write speed was 71 MB/s and read speed of 96 Mbps, which is fully consistent with the previous testing.

As for the noise, the new noise only when turned on. Then she calms down and the sound of the fan is not audible even when working. In General there are no deficiencies in the WD My Cloud Home Duo active testing device is not revealed. The device worked stably, without failures.

#Insights

Without a doubt, all network drives that have been in our lab, the WD My Cloud Home Duo can be called the most simple to operate. For organizations personal remote storage data to the user this device will not require at all any special knowledge. Even adjust it is necessary nothing – plugged in, checked in and enjoy! A bit puzzled and disappointed by the failure to connect to one of the providers, but it is possible that something we didn’t consider when you connect, the more so in technical support WD with this issue we have not addressed (it is possible that it has something to do with a large number of blocked IP addresses Amazon).

The device can not be called slow — speed, certainly enough for all those who will have enough of its possibilities. All of this suggests that the WD My Cloud Home Duo is clearly identified target audience — those users that do not need to do from a remote location, a full file server with a lot of features and dozens of different functions. This device is intended for those who need constant remote access to your files from any part of the world and point to backup data from mobile and other devices. If you don’t need the WD My Cloud Home Duo – your choice!

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