Finally had a chance to install the new PCI-e 1Gb Ethernet card and it seems to have dramatically improved read and write speeds to my desktop from the freenas build. Above is a read transfer from the NAS to a local hard drive. As you can see I’m averaging about 43 MB/s on this large file transfer. Considering the drive I’m copying to and the Raid-Z2 used on the freenas side of things those read speeds are within range of what I was expecting.

Using the same file I made the transfer from my desktop back to the NAS. Write speeds still seem to be a little disappointing. 16MB/s is what I would expect from a decent CF card, but for a hard drive that seems a bit slow.

These results probably aren’t the most accurate measurement of transfer speeds, but it gives me a general idea of what’s going on with file transfer speeds. Just as a quick test, I copied over a small 4 min long PP project with about 8gb of assets.  The project contained 3 tracks of video and 2 tracks of audio with a few minor transitions and effects. I was able to edit directly from the NAS without any noticeable lag.

I haven’t had time to test out larger projects but it looks like for basic editing, it’s not unreasonable to think that you could edit directly from a NAS. I still have raid0 and SSD drives that will contain current projects but it’s good to know that a $250 (without drives) Freenas build can keep up with speeds required for basic editing.

For some of you who have off the shelf NAS setups, I’d like to know what your current read and write speeds are. Just wondering how far off these speeds are from the $600 Synology disk station I was looking at when I started this project.

If you’re interested in building your own Freenas box, here’s a link to the parts I used. Keep in mind that the power supply on that list was the wrong size (should have been atx not micro atx) and I ended up adding  16gb of ram instead of 4gb. The ECS H61H2-M2 Motherboard is tested and fully supported by freenas 8.3.

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