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Terramaster F4-423 Plex Media Server NAS 4K & 1080p Tests – H.264 & HEVC

15 août 2022 à 01:27

How Well Does the Terramaster F4-423 NAS Perform as a Plex Media Server?

Of all the brands that I discuss here on NASCompares, very few have evolved with the speed that Terramaster has. Although coming up on a decade in the commercial network attached storage industry, they have managed to carve an impressively sized portion of the more cost-effective NAS buyer market. These days, it is very easy to find Terramaster NAS systems that are arriving with similar hardware to their big rivals Synology and QNAP, but with a price point some 15-20% less. Now QNAP and Synology trade on both their hardware AND their hardware, the latter of which has always been Terramaster’s weakness (though they are improving things a great deal in TOS 5). However, for buyers looking at Terramaster NAS for use with 3rd party software such as Plex Media Server, this means that they have the opportunity to get quite a bargain with a NAS like the new F4-423. The appeal of accessing all the movies, boxsets, music and home movies that you physically/digitally own in the style popularized by Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video (flashy GUI, summary, all the box art, trailers, cast details, reviews and more) is undeniable. The rise in popularity of streaming platforms like Netflix has also been accompanied by rising monthly subscription costs and rising concerns about never truly owning the media that you want o watch. Even when you buy movies and TV boxsets in digital download forms from Amazon Video etc, you are still at the mercy of 1) needing somewhere to store it if you do choose to download it and 2) potentially losing access to it if the site/platform you purchased from has lost the license to host it (a common complain of the increasingly digital world of PC/Console gaming, as games are pulled from eStores). Hosting your media in a subscription-free form, whilst it still being presented in the universally accessible and premium GUI form of Plex is one of the most compelling reasons for many home/prosumer users deciding to make the jump towards buying their own plex media server. However, NAS drives have grown incredibly diverse in terms of hardware design and therefore one NAS might not play media in plex as well/efficiently as another – and the Terramaster F4-423 NAS is no exception to this. Today I want to detail my tests of the F4-423 as a Plex Media Server and I hope this will help you decide whether a Terramaster NAS deserves your Multimedia in 2022/2023.

What is the Hardware of the Terramaster F4-423 NAS Drive?

The Terramaster F4-423 NAS drive is quite similar in architecture to most PCs or Laptops (in that it features a CPU+Memory+Storage), but differs in that it’s components are designed to be more efficient (as they will be in operation 24×7) and have a larger degree of focus on storage-related applications (whereas the hardware in a PC/Laptop is designed more for the applications you run with storage service concerns/provisions being far more rudimentary). The F4-423 is made up of a popular mid-range server CPU, DDR4 memory and supports Hard Drive and SSDs in SATA. although most of the specifications of Terramaster NAS drives are unrelated to Plex, below I have picked up the hardware specifications of the F4-423 that are relevant to Plex:

  • CPU: Intel N5105 Celeron CPU, Quad-Core, 4 Thread, 2.0-2.9Ghz Processor
  • Embedded Graphics: Yes
  • Memory (Quantity & Maximum): 4-32GB Max
  • Number of Storage Bays: 4x SATA Bays
  • M.2 NVMe Caching Bays: Yes, 2x M.2 NVMe 3×1
  • Network Connectivity: 2x 2.5GbE

Next, let’s quickly touch on how we measure how good/bad the Terramaster F4-423 NAS is for Plex Media Server.

Understanding the Plex Media Server Tests of the Terramaster F4-423 NAS

Important Terms to Understand in Plex/NAS/Multimedia that will make the F4-423 NAS Plex Tests Easier to Understand.

  • SD, 160p, 240p, 480p, 720p, 1080p, 4K : This is the resolution that the media is being displayed at. The higher the resolution, the larger number of pixels that are available and depending on the original recording quality of the media in question. High resolutions, such as 1080p and 4K require more work to be done by the NAS hardware in order to playback the file. More often than not, a NAS with weak embedded graphics or no embedded graphics at all will be unable to play 4K very well or indeed at all. It is important to remember that just because a NAS brand like Terramaster says that their latest NAS can natively play back 1080p or 4K media (natively = played using their own NAS software, software client tools and/or DLNA), that does not mean that the F4-423 will play to the same standard in Plex, as Plex is a 3rd party tool
  • Transcoding, Encoding, Decoding : These are all different techniques/names for when a file needs to be changed in order to be better suited to the connected client device connection, strength or hardware. If you are accessing all your media on the local area network (i.e only accessing your plex media at home), then transcoding will rarely be something you will use (unless your media is largely H.265/HEVC based, see earlier). However, perhaps you are accessing your plex library on the train to work or from a sun bed whilst on holiday. Perhaps you have a smaller data bandwidth/allowed MB/GB, maybe a weaker internet connection, perhaps you are using a smaller phone device and you might not need to watch your 4K 50GB Blu-ray rip of the latest Marvel Movie – in these situations, you might well want to access the media on your Terramaster F4-423 Plex NAS at a lesser quality than the original version, so transcoding/re-encoding on the fly (as in, at the same time it is being played) is what you would want to do. Remember, transcoding is by far the most heavy-weight thing you will need to do on a NAS. It is also worth remembering that in order for Plex o be able to use the FULL resources of a NAS CPU (such as embedded graphics) that you will need to enable ‘Make My CPU Hurt’ in the Encoder Menu of the Plex NAS Settings menu – this also potentially requires a Plex Pass subscription, depending on the NAS in question

  • H.264, HEVC, H.265 :  These are compression techniques that are designed to allow large-scale media presentations that were made for a cinema to be viewable from your sofa (with H.265 being the more effective/powerful compression level). H.264 can largely be played by ALL devices, but many devices do not have permission or a license to play H.265/HEVC (they are the same thing). This is because, where H.264 is an easy license and comparatively free to use, H.265/HEVC licencing and patents are spread across multiple providers and allowing a device license to use this compression technique can be complex, expensive or simply impossible. Therefore HEVC/H.265 media will sometimes AUTOMATICALLY need to be converted/transcoded into H.264 etc in order to be played – therefore eating up more system resources. The F4-423, much like the rest of thte Terramaster NAS range do not arrive with HEVC support by default
  • Bitrate : Bitrate is the amount of data encoded for a unit of time, and for streaming is usually referenced in megabits per second (Mbps) for video, and in kilobits per second (kbps) for audio. Higher quality and higher resolution media tends to be of a much higher bitrate

For more information on the most important terms to understand when discussing/researching a NAS as a Plex Media Server can be found in my video below:

Any further questions, you can use the free advice section at the bottom of the page and ask me and Eddie directly.

How was the Terramaster F4-423 NAS Tested in Plex?

The setup for testing the F4-423 NAS for Plex was as follows:

  • The Terramaster F4-423 NAS was accessed over a 1GbE network, however in order to test how the NAS would cope with transcoding/encoding, I would force the Plex Player client to transcode the file manually
  • The F4-423 NAS was used in the default CPU+Memory state that the base model arrives in (no upgraded memory or upgraded caching media)
  • Tests were performed one after the other with a short break between each test, so you might see the tail end of the previous test on a CPU graph, but I have pointed at the are of the % utilization that is important as per each test

Regarding test results, CLEAR PASS means that the file successfully played and there were sufficient resources for the NAS to continue to do other things comfortably, PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU % means that the file played, but it utilized a significant amount of system resources in order to do so in a heavier use situation (i.e other NAS users connected) it might not play and FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY means that the file either did not play or the time taken to play back the files was outpaced by the natural playback of the file – i.e. the file would stop-and-start constantly in order to try and catch up. If you want to watch the FULL video recording of all the Plex tests that I performed on the Terramaster F4-423 NAS, you can watch the video below. Be warned, it is quite long! Alternatively, you can scroll past and see each of the test results, one-by-one, detailing which ones worked and which ones didn’t:

What % System Resources did the Terramaster F4-423 NAS Use in Plex when Idle?

Running the Plex Media Server application, even when no multimedia is being played on the F4-423 is still going to require a % of system resources to be occupied, in order to ensure that PLEX can play media from the Terramaster NAS as soon as it is requested remotely. Additionally, although Plex runs at its best with at least 2 Cores of CPU power and 2GB of Memory, many NAS also reserve areas of CPU/RAM for the system itself. So, therefore, knowing how much system resources are being consumed by the Terramaster F4-423  NAS when Plex is idle is going to be useful to know how much system power is available when playback actually starts. Here is a screenshot of the F4-423 when Plex is running, but no media is being played/accessed:

Plex Test 1 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 Original PlaybackTERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 Original Playback

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 2 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 TRANSCODE TO 240p

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Matrix 720p 0.7Mbps h.264 TRANSCODE TO 240p File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU % 

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 3 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Original Playback

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 4 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Transcode to 720p 2Mbps

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Transcode to 720p 2Mbps File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 5 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Transcode to 240p 0.3Mbps

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – LSOH 1080p 1.9Mbps h.264 Transcode to 240p 0.3Mbps File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 6 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 7 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 8 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.265 – HEVC 10BIT CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 3Mbps H.265 – HEVC 10BIT CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 9 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 10 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 10Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: PLAYED BUT HIGH CPU %

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 11 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 30Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 30Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 12 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 100Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 1080p 100Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: CLEAR PASS

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 13 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.264 Original Playback

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.264 Original Playback File Performed:

RESULT: FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 14 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 15 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 8Mbps 1080p

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 120Mbps H.265 – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 8Mbps 1080p File Performed:

RESULT: FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY

Extra Notes: None


 

Plex Test 16 – TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 400Mbps H.265 10bit – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264

Here is how the TERRAMASTER F4-423 Plex NAS – Jellyfish 4K 400Mbps H.265 10bit – HEVC CONVERTED TO H.264 File Performed:

RESULT: FAIL AND-OR DID NOT PLAY

Extra Notes: Throughout the 4K Testing, the Terramaster F4-423 would regularly alert me that the CPU utilization was running unusually high. This was expected for these heavier processes, but I did want to give the Terramaster some kudos for alerting me (the administrator) taht this was occurring. Had I been running other processes at the same time as plex, this would have been detrimental to the running of the system.


 

Is the Terramaster F4-423 NAS Any Good outside of Plex and Where Can I buy It?

If you are interested in learning more about the Terramaster F4-423 NAS Drive, I am pleased to confirm that the review here on NASCompares is already live and you can find out more about this device below.

Quick Verdict of the Terramaster F4-423 NAS – What We Said in the F4-423 Review:

Terramaster still continues to be the most affordable fully-featured provider of the whole NAS market and although a number of their solutions have always felt a little rough around the edges, you always got the impression that you were getting a good deal for the hardware that was available from QNAP and Synology. Now in 2022/2023, the same continues to be true but in the F4-423 NAS’ case, you are actually getting some pretty top tier (for the Home/Prosumer) market at a price tag that is really tough to argue with. Terramaster has clearly been watching their bigger competitors and cherry-picked the features that people have been asking for (2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, M.2 NVMe SSD bays, etc) for this new generation. In terms of software, things are a little less convincing and although TOS 5 (currently in Beta at the time of writing) still continues to evolve into something genuinely fully featured and impressive, TOS 4 that the F4-423 includes at launch is usable (if unexciting) platform that provides the base level services that a new NAS user would want, but lacks killer apps that their competitors are offering right now (File Streaming, AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc). Most of these ARE included in TOS5, but until it arrives much later in 2022 in a full release, the F4-423 feels like a powerful NAS that doesn’t have the software to show off its strengths yet. If you are reading this later in 2022 or 2023, this might well be irrelevant though, as the brand rolls out their bit firmware update to ALL Terramster NAS devices. Overall, I definitely CAN recommend the F4-423 NAS for its hardware, for Plex Media server or as an affordable multi-tier backup solution, but if you are looking for a NAS for more tailored data access or in a much more fully-featured package – hold out a little longer till TOS 5 gets released first.

Read the Rest of the Review HERE. Alternatively, you can find out the Pros and Cons below, as a few retailers that sell the Terramaster F4-423 NAS. Thanks for reading and if you need any further help choosing the right NAS for your Plex Media Server, use the free advice section linked below. Have a great week.

SOFTWARE - 5/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 10/10
VALUE - 8/10


7.8
PROS
👍🏻2.5GbE at the Price of 1GbE
👍🏻Good CPU for the Price Point
👍🏻USB 3.2 Gen 2 is very forward-thinking for local backups
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS Support if preferred
👍🏻Supports Plex and all 1080p Transcoding
👍🏻4K Video transcoding natively
👍🏻A large amount of maximum memory supported (16-32GB – TBC)
👍🏻Includes two M.2 NVMe SSD Bays that can be used for storage or caching
CONS
👎🏻Default 4GB memory is 2133Mhz
👎🏻HDMI Currently Unsupported
👎🏻Until TOS5 is Fully Released, TOS Software feels a little empty of Killer-Apps (AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc)



 

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TeamGroup T-Force Cardea A440 SSD Review – The Best Value for Money SSD for PS5 Right Now?

12 août 2022 à 01:12

Review of the T-Force Cardea A440 PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

Of all the SSD brands that I have been reviewing in the last 12 months or so, very few have had the meteoric impact of TeamGroup (and their T-Force series of SSDs). That isn’t to say that the brand has not been around for a long time (originally established in the late 90s in fact) but they have been incredibly prolific in the PCIe Gen 4 generation of M.2 NVMe SSDs and their gamer-focused Cardea series has been especially popular in the PC gaming world. However, the Teamgroup T-Force Cardea A440 series being compatible with the PS5 SSD expansion has introduced this largely PC-known brand into the field of knowledge of many, many console gamers. The T-Force A440 brand splinters off into several different sub-series (Pro Special, etc) and today I want to review the T-Force Cardea A440 from TeamGroup, their 7000MB/s+ performing NVMe SSD that includes multiple heat dissipation options, Phison E18 architecture and has confirmed PS5 compatibility. In today’s review, I will be looking at the design of this SSD, the components, the effectiveness of the heatsink and benchmarks of PC and PS5 use. So, let’s not waste any more time, let’s find out if the T-Force Cardea A440 deserves your data?

T-Force Cardea A440 SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

The TeamGroup T-Force Cardea A440 started off in my eyes as ‘another Phison E18 SSD’, but very quickly became a genuinely stand out purchase indeed! Whatever way you look at it, the T-Force Cardea A440 drive is delivering exactly what it intends. In terms of performance, the 1TB SSD benchmarked 7000MB/s Seq Read and 6000MB/s sequential write straight out the gate and 860K IOPS without breaking a sweat. In terms of hardware, it arrives with exactly the top tier Controller+NAND+Mmeory combo that I would want to see in the PCIe4 storage tier. And in terms of Value, the SSD arrives at a competitive price point over many of its peers, whilst still proving two very useful heat dissipated options at no additional cost. Add PS5 dependant factors, such as the 6,500MB/s repeated console benchmark and a heatsink that happens to align very well with the PS5 designs cooling system and you can see how TeamGroup have gone from relative obscurity with console gamers to suddenly being a commonly mentioned name! PC users might be able to find a few better choices out there than the T-Force Cardea A440 in 2022 (with a T-Force Cardea PCIe 5 SSD reportedly making its way in H2 of the year and PCs having the better capability to harness 1 Million 4K IOPS SSDs above this one), but for the middle of the road PC  gamers and PS5 gamers, the T-Force Cardea A440, there are very few better SSDs in the market right now you can choose over this one.

SPEED - 9/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 7/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 10/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻Includes two different heat dissipation options (Heatshield and surrounding custom heatsink)
👍🏻Impressive on-board cache recovery
👍🏻
👍🏻Good Price Point vs WD & Seagate Options
👍🏻
👍🏻Genuinely Impressive Performance for the price tag
👍🏻
👍🏻PS5 Compatibility Confirmed
👍🏻
👍🏻Cardea Series is pretty varied
👍🏻
👍🏻4K Random IOPS exceeded the stats provided by the brand (a rare treat)
👍🏻
👍🏻The 1TB rated 6,550MB/s on the PS5
👍🏻
👍🏻The Heatsink aligns with the PS5 Vent panels internally, which will be beneficial for airflow
CONS
👎🏻The retail package is a little underwhelming
👎🏻Graphene Heatsink/Shield is single-use

 

T-Force Cardea A440 SSD Review – Packaging

The retail box of the T-Force Cardea A440 is pretty much what you might expect. Arriving in a petite package that still shouts quite loudly from all angles that THIS is a very high-performance SSD! The retail package itself does not include any paperwork relating to the setup, warranty or troubleshooting, instead providing that kind of information on the rear of the box.

Opening the retail box, we find the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD and both heat dissipation options held in a plastic moulded shell. It is a bit flimsy, but I’ll be damned if I could get the SSD out easily – it was held in there INCREDIBLY well! SSDs, unlike their more mechanical alternatives in HDDs, are far less susceptible to shock damage in transit, however, it is still quite a light amount of protection. Though, to be fair, 80-80% of all SSDs arrive in this fashion, so the T-Force Cardea A440 is hardly a stand up villain on this one!

The larger heatsink additional extra stands out particularly tall against the SSD itself and gives you some idea how coversome this panel is going to be when deployed. The flexible heatshield is packaged underneath the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD.

The 1TB model of the T-Force Cardea A440 is a single-sided (SR or Single Rank) SSD, so the rear of the SSD simply has the manufacturers label that denotes the model number, serial number, firmware revision, etc.

Laying the entire contents out, it is actually quite a good-sized bundle and the inclusive option of two different heat dissipation solutions with the T-Force Cardea A440 (whilst the drive still arrives at a very competitive price vs similar performing drives in the market) has to be respected and applauded. Though some less experienced or tentative buyers might have preferred one of the heatsinks to be applied at the factory level instead (personally, I would prefer the option to choose and do it myself – so I approve!).

The two heat dissipation options that the T-Force Cardea A440 arrive with are quite distinct and are suited to very different deployments. PC users will welcome the larger and angular designed heatsink, whereas PS5 users might want to consider the thinner/shorter stacked heat shield, as the larger heatsink will not fit inside the PS5 expansion bay with the aluminium plate cover in place.

A closer look at the heat shield dissipation panel shows that it is a thin, metallic strip that is designed to adhesively stick to the SSD top (where the controller is located, important) and draw heat away from the components as much as possible. However, this panel is single-use and aside from the adhesive being considerably less efficient if re-use is attempted, the shape and smoothness of the heatshield will be impaired and contact with the SSD components will be lessened with repeated use.

The traditionally larger and angular slit designed heatsink on the other hand will be much more familiar to PC users and is arguably more effective than the heatshield in sustained use. Branded with the T-Force logo and branding, this is definitely the stronger heat management option that the T-Force Cardea A440 arrives with.

Additionally, the T-Force Cardea A440 larger heatsink option can be deployed and re-deployment over and over, with the thermal panels it arrives with being reusable and easily replaceable. Also, the  heatsink is a surrounding design, so it sits under and on top of the T-Force Cardea A440, with a thermal pad on either side to help conductivity into the metal of the heatsink. Certainly the preferred choice.

When installed, the heatsink completely covers the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD and interestingly, although the heatsink is too tall to fit into the PS5 M.2 slot with the cover it, the slits and angle of the heatsink align with the PS5 vents. I am unsure if this was an intentional design choice (as this heatsink has been around for quite a while) but it’s an unexpected bonus indeed.

Overall, although I will get onto the hardware architecture of the T-Force Cardea A440 shortly, I have to give props to Teamgroup for selling this package at a lower price than alternatives from Samsung, WD and Seagate (which arrive 15-20% more expensive for heatsink included options), whilst still providing a high performance SSD.

So, what about PS5 deployment of the T-Force Cardea A440?

When installing the T-Force Cardea A440 into the PS5 M.2 Expansion storage bay, the difference in height between these two SSDs is immediately apparent! The thinner heatshield covers the SSD and leaves a significant area of space for active airflow (what there IS of it in the PS5 M.2 bay under that metal cover anyway).

Heatsink Version

Heatshield Version

Whereas the chunkier and taller heatsink installed with the T-Force Cardea A440 prevents the cover from being used and means that this heatsink will partially live in the airflow channel of the PS5’s vents and central cooling fan. Now, for the SSD – this is GREAT NEWS! A cooler SSD is (especially the controller) the considerably better it will operate. However, the PS5 cooling system is a quite delicately designed system that uses negative pressure (pulling air in one way and pushing out the other, forming a small vacuum) and if the heatsink got especially hot, that means that air entering the PS5 might well be a few degrees higher than normal. This is not the end o the world and not something we have been able to explore fully, but some users would prefer to have the cover on to ensure the PS5 does not get even 1 degree hotter than it needs to.

When I deployed the TeamGroup T-Force Cardea A440 SSD into the PS5, the console’s own internal benchmark (which is marked considerably different to popular PC benchmark tools such as AJA, BlackMagic, ATTO, CrystalDisk or PC Mark) gave us a very reassuring 6,557MB/s Read rating. Repeated testing of this SSD (i.e 3 more reformats for the benchmark ALL gave us between 6500-6550MVB/s – VERY impressive indeed, especially when you know that this is the 1TB drive and most 1TB SSDs we have tested on the PS5 have given us around 6000-6100MB/s at most.

After the benchmark is completed, the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD and it’s available storage immediately appeared in the PS5 storage manager for us. No delays, no formatting, just STRAIGHT into storage. Lovely stuff.

So, the PS5 benchmark of the T-Force Cardea A440 is good, but how does it compare with similarly built SSDs in the market?

TeamGroup T-Force Cardea A440 SSD Review – PS5 Benchmark

To put the T-Force A440 Cardea SSD PS5 Performance Benchmark into a little perspective, here is how it compares against the Addlink A95, Adata XPG Gammix S70, Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus and Gigabyte Aorus 7000s – four SSDs that are all PS5 supported and VERY similar architecture very little difference between the others in this tier, it is a solid benchmark. The T-Force Cardea A440 managed to hit the same highs as three other Phison E18 SSDs, all the while arriving $20-30 cheaper in most cases. Again, absolute music to my ears!

Addlink A95 PS5 Benchmark – 6556MB/s XPG GAMMIX S70 PS5 Benchmark – 6235MB/s
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus – 6557MB/s Gigabyte Aorus 7000s PS5 Benchmark6557MB/s

Full PS5 Testing of the T-Force A440 Cardea is all available as a playlist over on the NASCompares YouTube channel. But for now, let’s carry on with looking at the hardware of the A440, how it conventionally benchmarks and how it compares with currently favourite PS5 SSDs like the WD Black and Seagate Firecuda 530,

So that is the physical design of the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD. But what about the hardware components themselves? Does the T-Force Cardea A440 cut the mustard in terms of current generation hardware and protocols? Let’s find out.

T-Force Cardea A440 SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

As you might expect from an M.2 NVMe SSD that boldly promises performance of over 7,000MB/s sequential read (ie BIG data), the hardware specifications and architecture of the T-Force Cardea A440 are quite modern. Indeed, for all the big talk of the Seagate Firecuda 530 hardware (still currently the ‘score to beat’ PCIE Gen4 m.2 NVMe right now) being top tier, the T-Force Cardea A440 is pretty darn similar on the spec sheet! Below is how it looks:

Brand/Series T-FORCE CARDEA A440
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4
NAND MICRON 3D TLC 96L NAND
Max Capacity 2TB
Controller Phison E18-PS5018
Warranty 5yr

I know a lot of the above will seem needlessly technical, so below we can bring the most important considerations into sharper focus.

Hardware Focus of the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD Series

The first big, BIG thing to remember here is the controller, that Phison E18. An SSD is much like a microcosm version of a whole computer. The Controller is equivalent to the CPU, and Phison are one of the bigger 3rd party SSD controller manufacturers in the world! I say 3rd party, because some long-running storage brands like Samsung and WD have most of their development and hardware engineering ‘in-house’ and use their own branded controllers. Whereas some brands source some/all components for their SSDs from 3rd parties – which is not necessarily a bad thing for both them and the industry (there are pros and cons on either side). Phison has been at the cutting edge of this subject for years now and the E18 was first revealed last year in 2020, but due to the pandemic making storage trends unpredictable and semi-conductor shortages, most SSDs that utilized the Phison E18 eventually arrived in 2021. This controller is one of the biggest reasons that the T-Force Cardea A440 can actually back up it’s promises about the 7,000MB/s+ Sequential Read (sequential data = big chunks of data). However, that is not the only reason.

The NAND on the T-Force Cardea A440 is where the data lives! SSDs (as you no doubt know) do not use moving parts as found in traditional hard drives and instead uses cells that are charged and data is read/written to them in this process. The quality of the NAND and the layers used will make a big difference to the durability and performance of an SSD and although the T-Force Cardea A440 does not provide the best SSD in the industry at this tier right now (that, once again, goes to the Seagate Firecuda 530 at 176 layer 3D TLC NAND), it is bigger than most, arriving at 96 Layers of 3D TLC NAND. Although the majority of modern PCIe M.2 SSD use 3D TLC NAND (avoid QLC NAND like the PLAGUE btw!), most are still at 64 layers or so, so this is a big jump up for the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD.

Much like the Controller on the T-Force Cardea A440 being the ‘CPU’, it also has an area of memory. The T-Force Cardea A440 SSD uses 1GB DDR4 memory on board and this in conjunction with the SSD provides a massive body of data handling resources for getting your data moving through the SSD and out of the m.2 NVMe PCIe 4 interface. The amount of memory scales in conjunction with the 1TB or 2TB SSD you use, with 2GB of DDR4 at the on the 2TB tier, 1GB DDR4 on the 1TB, etc.

As mentioned, all available capacities of the T-Force Cardea A440 arrive at 2280 in length. This is quite normal for the 1TB and 2TB versions, but the fact that the 2TB can arrive on single-sided SSD boards is very impressive. Physical storage NAND is distributed evenly in order to space out the storage and allow even cooling, NAND wear and performance.

Finally, there is the M.2 NVMe connection. Not all m.2 SSDs are created equal and although M.2 SATA and M.2 NVMe look similar, they provide massively different performance and connectivity. However, the T-Force Cardea A440 takes it one step further, by using a newer generation of PCIe Connectivity. In short, M.2 NVMe SSDs are connected to the host PC/Console system via PCIe protocol (think of those slots that you almost always use for your graphics cards, but a much, MUCH smaller connector). These allow much larger bandwidth (ie maximum speed) for the connected storage media, Much like regular PCIe slots, they have different versions (i.E PCIe Gen 1, 2, 3, 4, etc) and also a multiplying factor (x1, x2, x4, etc). Up until around 18 months ago, the best M.2 NVMes were M.2 PCIe Gen 3×4 (so a maximum 4,000MB/s possible). However, never generation SSD like the T-Force Cardea A440 use PCIe Gen 4×4 (a potential 8,000MB/s possible) and it is only now that SSD controllers and NAND production has reached a point where it can catch up and fully saturate (i.e fill) this connection.

Overall, you really cannot fault the hardware inside/onboard the T-Force Cardea A440, as it is still (less than 6 months after release) higher performing in sequential Read and Write than many other M.2 NVMe PCIe 4 SSDs released in that time. Before we go into the full testing, however, it is worth taking a moment to look closely at the reported performance benchmarks of the T-Force Cardea A440, as although the performance seems stellar, there are areas such as IOPS and endurance when compared with its main rivals that are worth taking into consideration.

T-Force Cardea A440 SSD Review – Official Stats First

Before we conduct our own testing on this SSD, Let’s take a closer look at the reported specifications and benchmarks first. The T-Force Cardea A440 SSD arrives in multiple capacities (below). The Prices currently are a little inconsistent (with each higher capacity tier actually having a higher price per GB – quite unusual) likely due to the hardware shortages, the Pandemic, Chia has affected SSD availability in the last 18 months and most recently the announcement that PS5 supports this SSD and it has increased the current price of both models around 10% (which still keeps it less than the WD Blacck and Segate Firecuda in price at the time of writing). Below is a breakdown of how each T-Force Cardea A440 SSD compares:

Brand/Series T-FORCE CARDEA A440

1TB – $209.99, 2TB – $399.99

Seagate Firecuda 530

500GB – $149.99, 1TB – $239.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $949.99

WD Black SN850

500GB – $169.99, 1TB – $249.99, 2TB – $549.99

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND MICRON 3D TLC 96L NAND 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L BiCS4 96L TLC
Max Capacity 2TB 4TB – Double Sided 2TB
Controller Phison E18-PS5018 Phison E18-PS5018 WD_BLACK G2
Warranty 5yr 5yr 5yr
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ N/A $139 / £119 $119 / £99
1TB Model TM8FPZ001T0C327 ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $179 / £139 $239 / £199 $249 / £169
2TB Model TM8FPZ002T0C327 ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $349 / £289 $419 / £379 $399 / £339
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Price in $ and $ N/A $949 / £789 N/A
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A 640TB 300TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD N/A 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
1TB Model TM8FPZ001T0C327 ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 700TB 1275TB 600TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1600000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.38DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
2TB Model TM8FPZ002T0C327 ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1400TB 2550TB 1200TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1600000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.38DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A 5100TB N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,800,000 N/A
DWPD N/A 0.7DWPD N/A

There are clear throughput improvements as you rise through the capacity tiers (not unusual), as does the rated 4K IOPS. Though one area worth focusing on a little is that TBW (terabytes Written) and DWPD (Drive writes per day), as this drive is rated a pinch higher than the Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850 in terms of NAND lifespan on daily writes, likely down to that Micron 96 Layer 3D TLC NAND used, rather than the 96L/128L used by those used by competitors. This is an important point because the brand has significantly less pedigree in-home/business SSD media than the likes of Samsung, WD and Seagate and people will want to know they are going to get a product that lasts!

However, despite the use of the Phison E18 controller and 96 layer NAND, the reported IOPS on each capacity is actually a noticeable degree lower than those reported by their competitors. Indeed, the T-Force Cardea A440 is one of the few E18 SSDs that does not cross into the reported 1 Million IOPS mark, maxing out at 700-800K. This is still very impressive anyway, but it does make me wonder where the disparity stems from. Indeed, when you look at the bulk of PCIe 4×4 M.2 NVMe 1.4 SSD, that feature the E18 controller and 96L (or higher) on board, it really only leaves about 4 other SSDs in the market today that this can be compared against. The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, the MSI Spatium M480, the ADATA Gammix S70 and (current leader) the Seagate Firecuda 530. Of those, the only one that seemingly ‘out specs’ the T-Force Cardea A440 is the Seagate Firecuda 530. However, the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD has been available in the market for almost 3-4 months longer and has certainly embedded itself in the market at that time a fraction more. Below is how these two drives compare:

Brand/Series T-FORCE CARDEA A440

1TB – $209.99, 2TB – $399.99

Seagate Firecuda 530

500GB – $149.99, 1TB – $239.99, 2TB – $489.99, 4TB – $949.99

WD Black SN850

500GB – $169.99, 1TB – $249.99, 2TB – $549.99

500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 3000MB 4100MB
1TB Model TM8FPZ001T0C327 ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5500MB 6000MB 5300MB
2TB Model TM8FPZ002T0C327 ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7000MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6900MB 6900MB 5100MB
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013  
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 7300MB N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 6900MB N/A
Brand/Series T-FORCE CARDEA A440 Seagate Firecuda 530 WD Black SN850
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 400,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 700,000 680,000
1TB Model TM8FPZ001T0C327 ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 650000 800000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700000 1000000 720,000
2TB Model TM8FPZ002T0C327 ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 650000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700000 1,000,000 710,000
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013  
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 1,000,000 N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 1,000,000 N/A

Yes, that is a LONG table, but you can immediately see that the Seagate Firecuda 530 raises the stakes on all of the key specifications. Although there are a number of micro reasons for this, the 176L NAND is the biggest factor here. Yes, that is why the Firecuda 530 commands a higher price tag. Additionally, the WD Black arrives at a better price point, higher IOPS in most tiers and the fact it does this whilst still hitting that 7,000MB/s certainly gives pause for thought. However, for many, the additional cost for higher durability they may never need, peak performance their core system will not reach and IOPS rating that their larger file handling will never utilize will mean that holding out for the Firecuda or WD Black SN850 is not in their interest. Both SSDs (on paper at this stage!) are fantastic examples of where consumer and prosumer SSDs are evolving towards. Though we cannot remove the fact that the T-Force Cardea A440 arrives at an excellent price point, even WITH two inclusive heat dissipation options included. The Seagate and WD versions of their drives with inclusive heatsinks will increase their prices 10-15%, thereby even further increasing the disparity in price here. Let’s get the T-Force Cardea A440 on the test machine!

Testing the T-Force Cardea A440 m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

The T-Force Cardea A440 was selected for this test and it was tested using multiple benchmark tools, from a cold boot, in the 2nd storage slot (i.e not the OS drive). Each test was conducted three times (full details of this are shown in the YouTube Review of the T-Force Cardea A440 over on NASCompares):

Test Machine:

  • Windows 10 Pro Desktop System
  • Intel i5 11400 Rocket Lake – 6-Core 2.6/4.4Ghz
  • 16GB DDR4 2666MHz Memory
  • Intel B560M mATX Motherboard
  • OS Storage, Seagate Firecuda 120 SSD
  • Test SSD connected to Secondary PCIe Gen 4 M.2 Slot

Using CrystalDisk, we got a good measure of the drive and verified that this PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD was indeed using the 4×4 lane. Additionally, the temp averaged out around 43C between each test being conducted, but at it’s peak, the T-Force Cardea A440 SSD and larger heatsink hit 53C.

The first tests were conducted using the ATTO disk benchmark software. The first was a 256MB test file size and below is a breakdown of the transfer rates and IOPS. The 2nd Test was a 1GB test file and finally, the last test was with a 4GB test file. The system was given 1-minute cool downtime between tests, no screen recording software was used (remove overhead) and a heatsink was used throughout (no reboots)

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #1

256MB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 5.59GB/s

256MB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.47GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #2

1GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.59GB/s

1GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.47GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #3

4GB File PEAK Read Throughput  =6.58GB/s

4GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.47GB/s

 


 

Next, although the ATTO tests were quite good, but I wanted something clearer, so I moved on to the Crystal Disk Mark testing to see how well it would handle our latest barrage of tests. The first test was the 1GB file testing, which measured both sequential and random, as well as the read and write IOPS. Tests were conducted on a 1GB, 4GB and 16GB Test File. I also included a mixed 70/30 read and write tasks to give a little bit more of a realistic balanced workload. These tests were conducted with 1-minute cooling break in between

CRYSTALDISK MARK 1GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 4GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 16GB TEST

 

Next, I switched to AS SSD benchmark. A much more thorough test through, I used 1GB, 3GB and 5GB test files. Each test includes throughput benchmarks and IOPS that are respective to the larger file sizes (important, if you are reading this and trying to compare against the reported 4K IOPS from the manufacturer).

AS SSD Benchmark Test #1

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #2

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #3

 

Ordinarily, I would introduce tests like BlackMagic and AJA into the mix here, but even a short burst of testing on an NVMe like this would over saturate the cache memory on board. Nevertheless, in the short term we still could ascertain the reported performance on 1GB, 4GB and 16GB file testing was:

1GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 6001MB/s Read & 5715MB/s Write

4GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5994MB/s Read & 5703MB/s Write

16GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 6015MB/s Read & 5654MB/s Write

Overall, the T-Force Cardea A440 was certainly able to provide some solid performance, as well as potentially exceed the test figures here on a more powerful machine. Given the reported Read and Write statistics that the brand has stated publically, I think there is enough evidence here to back up those claims. IOPs were actually higher than those provided by the brand, which was a very pleasant surprise, but again, we were testing very large file types, so this would have to be taken in context.

T-Force Cardea A440 SSD Review – Conclusion

The TeamGroup T-Force Cardea A440 started off in my eyes as ‘another Phison E18 SSD’, but very quickly became a genuinely stand out purchase indeed! Whatever way you look at it, the T-Force Cardea A440 drive is delivering exactly what it intends. In terms of performance, the 1TB SSD benchmarked 7000MB/s Seq Read and 6000MB/s sequential write straight out the gate and 860K IOPS without breaking a sweat. In terms of hardware, it arrives with exactly the top tier Controller+NAND+Mmeory combo that I would want to see in the PCIe4 storage tier. And in terms of Value, the SSD arrives at a competitive price point over many of its peers, whilst still proving two very useful heat dissipated options at no additional cost. Add PS5 dependant factors, such as the 6,500MB/s repeated console benchmark and a heatsink that happens to align very well with the PS5 designs cooling system and you can see how TeamGroup have gone from relative obscurity with console gamers to suddenly being a commonly mentioned name! PC users might be able to find a few better choices out there than the T-Force Cardea A440 in 2022 (with a T-Force Cardea PCIe 5 SSD reportedly making its way in H2 of the year and PCs having the better capability to harness 1 Million 4K IOPS SSDs above this one), but for the middle of the road PC  gamers and PS5 gamers, the T-Force Cardea A440, there are very few better SSDs in the market right now you can choose over this one.

SPEED - 9/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 7/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 10/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻Includes two different heat dissipation options (Heatshield and surrounding custom heatsink)
👍🏻Impressive on-board cache recovery
👍🏻
👍🏻Good Price Point vs WD & Seagate Options
👍🏻
👍🏻Genuinely Impressive Performance for the price tag
👍🏻
👍🏻PS5 Compatibility Confirmed
👍🏻
👍🏻Cardea Series is pretty varied
👍🏻
👍🏻4K Random IOPS exceeded the stats provided by the brand (a rare treat)
👍🏻
👍🏻The 1TB rated 6,550MB/s on the PS5
👍🏻
👍🏻The Heatsink aligns with the PS5 Vent panels internally, which will be beneficial for airflow
CONS
👎🏻The retail package is a little underwhelming
👎🏻Graphene Heatsink/Shield is single-use
PROs of the T-Force Cardea A440 CONs of the T-Force Cardea A440
Includes two different heat dissipation options (Heatshield and surrounding custom heatsink)

Impressive on-board cache recovery

Good Price Point vs WD & Seagate Options

Genuinely Impressive Performance for the price tag

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

Cardea Series is pretty varied

4K Random IOPS exceeded the stats provided by the brand (a rare treat)

The 1TB rated 6,550MB/s on the PS5

The Heatsink aligns with the PS5 Vent panels internally, which will be beneficial for airflow

The retail package is a little underwhelming

Graphene Heatsink/Shield is single-use

 

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QNAP TS-464 vs TS-453D NAS – Which Should You Buy?

3 août 2022 à 01:17

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS Drive – Which Should You Buy?

Are you considering the QNAP TS-464 now it has been released? Or thinking of saving some money and opting for the predecessor TS-453D that is currently on sale? It’s a tough decision for some that want to ensure value for money, yet remain future-proof. It is no secret that QNAP, much like many other NAS brands, refreshes their range of available hardware every few years. We are all quite used to tech makers producing a new version of their ‘thing’ that makes big and bold promises to be bigger, better and faster than what came before! In the case of Network Attached Storage though, one big contributing factor that often necessitates the release of new versions of their products and series is the CPU. CPU manufacturers such as Intel and AMD tend to perform refreshes of their own to their portfolios (retooling manufacturing plants for the newer processors and ceasing production of the previous chip) and this leads to NAS brands having to change their CPU in line with the chip manufacturers new revisions shortly afterwards. This new CPU revision will often open the door to further improvements in the rest of the hardware too and that is eventually what governs the shape and abilities of a new NAS release. This all too often though leads to a period of around a year when retailers that provide these solutions (everything from Amazon to specialized retailers) will feature both the older and newer NAS systems in stock at the same time and that leads to many, MANY buyers wondering whether it is worth saving some money and purchasing the previous NAS release on ‘sale’ or spending more and getting the newest release to be more future-proof. Given that both the TS-464 and TS-453D run IDENTICAL versions of the QNAP QTS 5 system software and services, the temptation to save a few quid and/or spend that saving on network improvements or more storage is pretty high. Also, the TS-453D released back in 2020 arrived on the market at $630 and is now available to buy for $549 (or even as low as $438 during seasonal sales such as Prime Day and Black Friday), see below:

Now, if you compare that against the newly released QNAP TS-664, which has seemed to hit the eShops at around $600-650, that is quite a big difference in price tag. So, today I want to compare the QNAP TS-464 released now in spring 2022 against the 2020 released TS-453D, just to see where that extra goes. On the face of it, we have two very, VERY similar NAS drives that simply arrive in different colours but have all the same ports. However, even the smallest dig into their respective specifications reveals a huge difference in the bandwidth and capacity in how these ports have changed. Let’s begin

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Design

The design of the TS-464 and TS-453D are INCREDIBLY similar. The chassis that both NAS systems use a black, plastic and matt textured enclosure, with a coloured front side panel and a removable glass effect front cover that reveals the main SATA bays. This external plastic casing covers the internal metal structure completely and passive airflow via ventilation is quite discreet around the box, facilitated by a larger single 120mm rear fan on both NAS. This design has been their main choice for their flagship series since the release of the TS-x53B and TS-53Be devices in 2017/2018 and is quite understated. Of the two I SLIGHTLY prefer the copper effect side panel of the TS-464 over the TS-453D, but this is a purely personal preference.

QNAP TS-464 NAS

NASCompares Review HERE

168mm × 170mm × 226 mm

QNAP TS-453D NAS

NASCompares Review HERE

168mm × 170mm × 226 mm

Ventilation and notice on both the QNAP TS-464 and TS-453D are largely identical, however, there is the tiniest potential increase possibility in fan operation in the TS-464, due to the increased hardware inside the enclosure that I will touch on and the system needing to maintain an efficient system temperature. However, ventilation on both of these NAS systems is a limit more understated than alternatives from the likes of Synology, as the side vents on both these NAS are quite small (with a larger base vent panel under the SATA media bays) and I have always wondered how much impact the lockable front panel of this chassis design impacts airflow from that rear active cooling fan (negatively, positively or no different). But nevertheless, the chassis has little or no difference in the two years between the TS-453D and TS-464 being released.

QNAP TS-464 NAS QNAP TS-453D NAS

The rear of each of these NAS systems are largely the same, however, the rearrangement of the ports of the newer TS-464 (likely to make room for additional internal M.2 NVMe SSD slots that we will discuss later) has led to them being a little between distributed across the internal board. The vents in the metal rear panel of the older TS-453D are wider than those found on the TS-464, though I am not entirely sure of the reasoning behind this decision (dust control, creating increased velocity for the air via compressed channels? I have no idea), but it does not seem to affect system temperature either way when we checked the system diagnostics after 24 hours power-on. The fan is completely automated to increase/decrease as the system temperature monitor dictates but can be adjusted higher or lower in RPM manually if needed for reasons of preemptive high system activity or noise adjustment. Personally, I would ALWAYS leave this on automatic.

QNAP TS-464 NAS QNAP TS-453D NAS

Overall, the design of the QNAP TS-464 and TS-453D has changed so very little, that there is little or no difference between them of note. Both are particularly compact 4 bays that can be deployed pretty easily. Let’s dig down into the internal hardware of these two NAS, as it is there that we really really start to see how much has changed in two years and gives us a clearer picture of which one will be better value for money.

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Internal Hardware

Right, so HERE is where we start to see some big differences between the TS-464 and TS-453D, as QNAP are able to take advantage of a better CPU to spread their hardware and bandwidth a great deal more. Once again though, on the face of it, the specifications are incredibly similar. Both use quad-core Intel Celerons, both arriving at 2.0Ghz with embedded graphics and both using 4GB DDR4 memory, yet more than a $/£/€100-150 difference! This is down to the maximum capacities afforded to this hardware in the TS-464 and its scalability down the line. For example, the default memory inside the TS-453D (ADATA 2400Mhz DDR4 non-ECC SODIMM) is also accompanied by an additional empty memory slot to allow an additional 4GB more memory. As the older TS-453D has a CPU that has a maximum 8GB of memory, this is perfectly fine. However, the TS-464 NAS’ newer gen CPU allows up to 16GB of memory (4GB of 2666Mhz memory in the default model) across two upgradable slots. Likewise, the newer system features those M.2 NVMe slots that can be used for SSD storage upgrades. Although both the TS-453D and TS-464 support SSD caching (when a pool of SSDs is used to speed up data write/read in conjunction with the larger HDD RAID array), Qtier and as standalone storage pools, the TS-464 is the only one that provides this as immediately without any upgrade cards. This is the first of several key differences between the QNAP TS-464 and TS-453D NAS that stem from the CPU choice. Here is how they scale up specifically though:

Model TS-464

TS-453D

Price £559               $650              €675

£429               $530              €549

Storage Media Support 4x SATA, 2x m.2 NVMe 3×1 4x SATA
CPU Model Intel N5105/N5095 Intel J4125
CPU Frequency & Cores Quad-Core 2.0-2.9Ghz Quad-Core 2.0-2.7Ghz
CPU Benchmark Score CPU benchmark 4161 CPU benchmark 3006
Memory Default/Max 4-16GB SODIMM DDR4 4-8GB SODIMM DDR4
PSU Power & Design 90W External PSU 90W External PSU
Physical Fans 1x 120m FAN 1x 120m FAN

Now, that CPU is the big game-changer here. When Intel made the switch to the newer N5105/N5095 processor, this opened the door to a bunch more ways to extend the efficiency and bandwidth of those existing physical services. NAS systems are designed to be operational for days, weeks, months and even years at a time. Therefore, in order to maintain optimal performance, as well as lower power consumption and lessen the damage that long term operation can inflict on a processor, the CPUs used in NAS are a great deal more modest. In the case of the TS-453D and TS-464 NAS, they feature Intel Celeron processors, each featuring an embedded graphics component (allowing graphical operations, multimedia handling and visual data to be handled by a specialized area of the processor), quad-core architecture and a base level clock speed of 2.0Ghz that can be burst (turbo/increased when needed). However, the newer generation N5105/N5095 CPU in the TS-464 is able to reach a higher overall clock speed and also is more efficient (i.e uses a little less hardware resources to get a task done than it would take on the J4125 typically, so, therefore, can do more tasks overall when the full CPU power is utilized). Indeed, CPUBenchmark rated the newer CPU 30%+ higher in its scoring than the J4125 (again, as you would expect for a CPU released more than a year later by Intel), so this processor means that more can be done on the TS-464 (in like for like tasks) and also this CPU allows a greater range of hardware to be built into the system. CPUs are one of the largest quantifying factors of how a NAS is built and this is because they can only handle a certain amount of connected hardware (storage bays, ports, expansion slots, etc) when connected to a larger controller/motherboard. This is commonly referred to as the # of PCI lanes and the chipset used in the build of the system. Because this newer Intel N5105 / N5095 CPU has more lanes to use at once than the J4125, it allows the newer NAS drive to have more hardware.

QNAP TS-464 NAS – Intel N5105/N5095 CPU

QNAP TS-453D NAS – Intel J4125 CPU

These additional CPU resources, as well as the increased maximum memory and flexibility the TS-464 providing M.2 NVMe SSD slots can be used ultimately means that in terms of internal hardware, the newer released QNAP TS-464 wins over the TS-453D NAS. It is worth remembering that the M.2 NVMe SSD slots on the QNAP TS-464 are PCIe Gen 3 x1 (down to the Celeron CPU still not having anywhere near the scope in its flexibility that the likes of an Intel Core, Ryzen or Xeon might have) and will bottleneck at 1,000MB/s, but this is still better than nothing and as these slots are not an option on the TS-453D without the installation of an M.2 NVMe SSD upgrade card over PCIe.

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Ports & Connections

Once again, the ports and connections available on the QNAP TS-453D and TS-464 seem near enough identical at a glance, but even a casual dig into those spec sheets real some big differences. Both systems provide two 2.5GbE network ports that, along with up to 260-270MB/s throughput, also allow port-trunking (otherwise known as link aggregation) and with the use of a smart switch can provide 500-550MB/s performance to your connected network. Alongside this, both systems support the QNAP USB 3.2 to 5GbE adapter to add further network ports to the system too. Likewise, both system provide an HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS port and USB 2.0 ports for a KVM (keyboard, video, Mouse) setup to be used in conjunction with the included parallel HD Station application and its tools. The HDMI and direct interface of the QNAP is still pretty niche as a service on this system, but it has a number of useful multimedia, surveillance and VM utilities that can be quite impressive. Finally, Expansions on the TS-464 and TS-453D are largely the same, with QNAP offering 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12-Bay expansion chassis (arriving in JBOD or hardware RAID enabled) that connect over USB or an inclusive PCIe card. However, after this, things become a great deal more future proof and scalable on the TS-464 NAS.

Model TS-464

TS-453D

Network Ports 2x 2.5GbE 2x 2.5GbE
USB 3.2 Ports 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb) 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb)
USB 2.0 Ports 2x USB 2.0 3x USB 2.0
HDMI Ports 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS 1x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS
PCIe Upgrade Slots PCIe Gen 3×2 Slot (2Gb/s) PCIe Gen 2×2 Slot (1Gb/s)

The first difference worth highlighting is regarding those USB ports. The older TS-453D features USB 3.2 Gen 1 (AKA USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 Gen 1) ports that provide up to 5Gb/s (500MB/s+) bandwidth with connected external storage media (i.e you would need a RAID enabled HDD USB enclosure or SSD drive in order to hit this performance cap). The TS-464 on the other hand features USB 3.2 Gen 2 (AKA USB 3.1 Gen 2 – THANKS for the name nonsense ‘USB.org’!) which can provide 10Gb/s performance (i.e 1,000MB/s). As SSDs become increasingly affordable and even external m.2 NVMe SSD enclosures arriving at a bargain, this option to have a significantly faster backup drive option available is quite attractive. Especially for those that plan on having a USB tier to their multi-stage NAS Backup strategy and choose to have dated/versioned backups, rather than differential backups just ‘topping things up’ over time. Another big difference of note is in that PCIe upgrade slot. Both the TS-453D and TS-464 feature the option to install a PCIe upgrade card that can include options to add better network interfaces (2.5/5/10G or WiFi 6 / AX wireless options) with multi-port card, storage upgrade cards (adding multiple M.2 NVMe and SATA bays) or even combo cards that feature both on a single card. The difference between the TS-464 and TS-453D though stems from the bandwidth afforded these slots, with the TS-453D arriving with a PCIe Gen 2×2 slot and the TS-464 having a PCIe Gen 3 x2 slot. This results in the newer NAS providing DOUBLE the potential bandwidth of the TS-453D when installing an upgrade card. So this will be particularly useful when installing multiport network upgrade cards and SSD cards that exceed 1,000MB/s, as well as combo cards that need to spread the bandwidth a bit. Overall, the hardware in the TS-464 is certainly better and broader than the TS-453D, but it is worth remembering that the bulk of these advantages and improvements made in the 2 years later hardware release can be viewed in terms of optional scalability and expandability – so you are going to need more hardware to take advantage and almost certainly not advantages that most users will take advantage of on day 1.

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Software

This is pretty much the smallest difference that can be measured between the QNAP TS-464 and QNAP TS-453D NAS. Both these NAS systems run the QTS 5 operating system, services and applications available for the platform and numerous client hardware devices (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, etc). The only REAL difference between these two NAS systems is the fact that the improved hardware inside the newer TS-464 (more efficient and higher clock speed CPU, after memory and large maximum RAM threshold) allows a larger number of actions and clients to be managed at a single time than the TS-453D NAS. However, in smaller or single operations, you are not going to feel/see the difference, unless you are particularly pushing the CPU or Memory utilization in a single client interaction (i.e surveillance camera feeds, Virtual Machine deployment, transcoding natively and/or Plex, etc). Likewise, the inclusion of the default M.2 NVMe slots on the TS-464 means that you have a few extra SSDD services available on day 1, but these are still available to the TS-453D via either the installation of a PCIe upgrade card OR using SATA SSDs internally. Below is a breakdown of the applications and services that are included in QTS available on both NAS systems.

TS-464

TS-453D

Browser Support Supports all Browsers Supports all Browsers
Browser File Management Browser File Management
Photo/Music/Video Tools Photo/Music/Video Tools
Multimedia Console Multimedia Console
AI Photo Recognition AI Photo Recognition
Edge m.2 Coral TPU Support
Storage Services
SED Drive Support SED Drive Support
QTier QTier
Hybrid Mount Hybrid Mount
ISCSI Target/LUN ISCSI Target/LUN
vJBOD vJBOD
Snapshots Snapshots
SSD Cache (Read/Write/Both) SSD Cache (Read/Write/Both)
Cloud Sync / QSync Cloud Sync / QSync
Ex-FAT is Free Ex-FAT is Free
RAID Resync control RAID Resync control
Secure Erase Secure Erase
Lots of Expansions (TR/TL) Lots of Expansions (TR/TL)
HBS 3 HBS 3
Qfiling and Qsirch Qfiling and Qsirch
Business Applications
QVR Pro – 8 Camera Licenses QVR Pro – 8 Camera Licenses
Virtualization Station Virtualization Station
Ubuntu Linux Station 18/20 Ubuntu Linux Station 18/20
Container Station Container Station
Hypervisor Protector Hypervisor Protector
QMailAgent QMailAgent
HD Station HD Station
BoXafe BoXafe
Security
Security Councillor Security Councillor
Malware Remover Malware Remover
McAfee Anti-Virus Scanning McAfee Anti-Virus Scanning
QVPN QVPN
Log and Notification Center Log and Notification Center
Auto Blocking on SSH, Telnet etc Auto Blocking on SSH, Telnet etc
256 bit Encryption 256 bit Encryption
2 Step Authentication 2 Step Authentication
Firewall App Firewall App
Access Protection and Allow/Deny list Access Protection and Allow/Deny list

Although you are going to be able to do more of these things above simultaneously on the TS-464 than the TS-453D NAS, it is not a huge win for the newer box and once again, this win comes largely down to futureproofing than anything you will feel on Day 1. You can learn more about the QNAP QTS Platform in my review below in both video and blog form:

QNAP QTS 5 Review Video QNAP QTS 5 Review on the Blog

QNAP TS-464 or the TS-453D NAS – Conclusion

It will come as no shock that the newer QNAP TS-464 NAS is the better choice in the long run compared with the QNAP TS-453D, thanks largely down to a larger degree of upgrades, storage scaling in the future and resource expandability. If you KNOW you are not going to be scaling up your storage hardware in the next 4-5 years, then perhaps the TS0453D is a better choice for you, using that saved $/£/€100-150 difference towards more storage, network interface upgrades or improving your in-house network environment generally with 2.5GbE or 10GbE. The software provided on both systems is still very good value for money and QNAP is still one of the few brands that provide this level of hardware (plus inclusive software and services) at this price point. Equally, you are almost certainly going to see the QNAP TS-453D at ever more attractive price points at retailers and it is still a great little NAS (check out my 2020 review of the TS-453D HERE). But you simply cannot ignore the number of ways that the base level TS-464 NAS can be upgraded and improved in its lifespan and for those that want a ‘blank canvas’ NAS solution that they can then change alongside their own network client hardware in the home/office, the TS-464 NAS is the more mature and long-term choice easily.

QNAP TS-464 NAS – Spring/Summer 2022

QNAP TS-453D NAS – Spring/Summer 2020

Reasons to Buy it?

Better Hardware inside and out

More Expansion/Upgrade Options

Able to run more simultaneous apps/clients at once

Faster USB Ports (10Gb/s)

Larger bandwidth PCIe upgrade slot (PCIe 3×2 vs 2×2)

Higher CPU Frequency, Efficiency & Proficiency

Reasons to Buy it?

Lower Current Price Point

Overall lower power consumption

Better ventilation internally and on fan panel design

More USB Ports overall

More likely on Sale over Black Friday/Seasonal Sales

Buy on Amazon

Where to Buy

Buy on Amazon

Where to Buy

 

 

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]     Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Hardware Shortages in 2022 and Why They Are Going to Continue into 2023 and 2024

1 août 2022 à 01:53

Why are there Hardware Shortages in HDDs, SSDs, NAS, DAS and more

If you have been trying to purchase any kind of hardware in the last 12 months, then you will be acutely aware that there have been reported shortages in practically all kinds of business and commercial technology. Indeed, for many this has felt like the case for the better part of the last two years or so, and although it would be so, so easy to place blame on the pandemic, the sad reality is that there are numerous global factors right now that are causing technology hardware shortages to reach this critical degree. Today I want to discuss each one of the main reasons that have resulted in us being unable to find or afford the hardware we so desperately want in 2022, as well as why this is likely to continue well into 2023 and 2024.

Note, I wrote an article on this subject back in April 2021, which you can find here, and although several of the factors covered in it still continue to be long-standing issues in 2023, there are several new hurdles (social, environmental and political) that have arisen since then to exacerbate the situation. I have tried to avoid being too repetitious on this update on hardware shortages since my last video here, so if you think I have missed something, it might well be covered there.

The Aftermath of the Global Pandemic on the Supply Chain

We Need it Now, Yesterday, Tomorrow, Not at all!

Yes, I did say that there was more to these shortages than the global pandemic, however, we still need to acknowledge that this is still a HUGE factor in what has caused hardware shortages worldwide. Although the peak of the pandemic for most regions has passed, changing work patterns, buying habits and available budget afforded by most users in the last 24 months have left the routine of most hardware manufacturers and their production schedules in tremendous disarray. First, there was confusion over which hardware needed to be mass-produced at the production lines (predominantly in the east of the world) that had to suddenly adapt to rapidly changing consumer needs, no longer making bulk/larger business purchases and domestic transport procurements during lockdown and isolation periods, but now desiring home office accessories such as laptops monitors and a myriad of remote working tools. This also resulted in many companies and individuals hoarding their budgets to ‘weather the storm’, thereby further reducing the amount of hardware being purchased generally.

Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/cea/written-materials/2021/06/17/why-the-pandemic-has-disrupted-supply-chains/

Additionally, although the bulk of the world has now returned to a relative state of normality at the manufacturing sector and production line, for the last 18 to 24 months we have observed safe working practices and reduced numbers of on-site teams which have resulted in smaller quantities of output on key components and services that are essential in the developments and creation of practically every day-to-day electronic device. People may well now be back at their desk and or workbench as they were pre-pandemic, but there is simply no way in which the shortfall in production from the last 2 years can be replaced and therefore most manufacturers are now constantly working to play catch up.

Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/cea/written-materials/2021/06/17/why-the-pandemic-has-disrupted-supply-chains/

Then you had hardware that was already on backorder for companies that were no longer needed (postponed jobs, business closures, scaled-down requirements, etc) and would need to be reappropriated at the production level (ie dismantled) or companies take the financial hit, thereby limit further long-term spending across the supply chain. One key example of this was when the automotive industry that suddenly needed to flip-flop between needing new models out for sale, suddenly needing to reduce those orders as no one could go anywhere, to then all of a sudden finding that people would choose to spend suddenly available appropriate budgets on high value, quality of life improvements in their personal/home lives, such as upgrading their family vehicle. Such widespread changes across numerous areas of home and business buying patterns all added up to a tremendous degree of unpredictability at the point of manufacture, which still continues well into 2022. The impact of the pandemic is extremely broad and almost many companies would have to re-evaluate their release roadmaps to better introduce new releases to a more receptive audience, they could/would only be able to hold out so long before desperately needing to recoup on their investment.

The Impact of Adverse Environmental Changes on Production

Blame the Weatherman!

One tremendously overlooked factor that has significantly harmed large-scale computer component manufacture has been environmental challenges caused by natural resource depletion and the climate crisis. The impact of unexpected weather patterns interfering with predicted production has been big in number, but small in new coverage! That said, there are several examples of this in the news over the last 2 years that did manage to break into the mainstream. Reports of droughts in Taiwan, the largest world producer of semiconductors (by far the most important part of microchip production) and unexpected cold and heat weather highs in other smaller semiconductor producers in the US have ceased/bottlenecked production resulting in significantly reduced quantities being produced.

Source: https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/global/202201

With production numbers consistently lower than forecast numbers and the value of the reduced production increasing insurmountable for some, the result is that hardware components are becoming fewer in number, more expensive and only really accessible to those who can buy in tremendous bulk. These environmental concerns and the impact of further natural disasters that range from fires caused by intense heat in rural areas to hurricanes and tsunamis have all played their part to reduce production levels. Of course, some might argue that most/all of the environmental impacts on the industry resulting from climate change are caused by these very companies themselves and, frankly, you won’t hear much argument from me on that, but nevertheless, environmental changes have had their fair share of impact and continued cause on hardware shortages right now.

Repeated and Unpredictably Release Date Changes

Coming Soon, Delayed, Cancelled, Rinse, Repeat!

Although I generally talk more about network-attached storage and data storage in general here on the blog, the rhetoric and business practices surrounding the release of new products are applicable to pretty much the ENTIRE industry right now. Some shortages in newer hardware have been caused by the brands themselves out of necessity and are the result of financial and tactical hard decisions. Many brands will refresh their available range of products every few years, producing a new hot toy that promises to be bigger and/or better than the last. Any new release will have been in production for a considerable length of time whilst its predecessor remains on sale, slowly making its way through R&D, design, production, QA and finally the build-up to release. Indeed, most brands invest a significant degree of profits from an existing series into the next big release and are relying on a healthy profit margin when it launches. The issue lies, however, when large orders for components used in a new release take longer than predicted to arrive at production and it can often be the case that a company’s capital is significantly tied up in components and hardware agreements for a product that is not ready yet. Add to that that the previously mentioned changes in buyer hardware needs and budgets, and what we find is many brands have stock levels of old or existing product ranges that are simply too high in quantity to risk releasing a follower product that will instantly devalue their existing stock as it will be deemed obsolete.

The byproduct of this is that the 2019 and 2020 series of many products in the tech sector have remained on the market considerably longer than they may have previously planned, as brands need that existing stock to sell and free up some of that allocated capital. Until this is done, many brands will resist releasing those new and improved products which may well be limited in quantity already if efforts to avoid creating a negative cash flow across their portfolio and ultimately dissatisfied consumers. Indeed, some brands reached breaking point and have been forced to make the rather complicated decision for regional releases, which means that some new products in the tech industry are only available in some regions of the world right now and will not become globally available until those stock levels are at a lower level. This is a risky move as it is no longer the 1980s and thanks to the internet. If a product is released in China or Japan, only, the world still knows about it and even these limited releases will have a tremendous impact on the global perspective of the current generation of hardware.

Social & Political Factors that are resulting in Hardware Shortagesand Logistics Barriers

War, What is it Good for?

I think it would be something of an understatement to say that politically, things have been rather volatile these last few years. The impact of major global conflict and international economical differences of opinion have led to the worldwide transit of goods and materials to be incredibly complicated. Although we could point at any number of small-scale instances of disagreement between countries and nations, two particular instances stand out above all others.

Source: https://www.piie.com/research/piie-charts/us-china-trade-war-tariffs-date-chart

The first is the ever-evolving US-China trade war that was kicked off in earnest way back in 2019 (and was already trading blows before then) centred around security, human rights and threats of economic sanctions. Several journals have covered the key events in the US-China trade war (linked below), but in terms of hardware shortages, the result has been that many areas that produce necessary components such as semiconductors and storage components have had their distribution hugely reduced for reasons of political point-scoring, or restrictions on their sale outside of their points of origin for reasons of security across many areas of the globe. Although this trade war is now in the slow and diplomatic process of resolution, it is still very much a current factor in why some hardware remains particularly scarce. Additionally, many high-profile brands are stockpiling core components needed in the production of their products and this too has caused increased bottlenecking of key hardware resources to be made available generally. Although actions by Huawei are often sighted as the catalyst of this trade war (after breaches in security and data access were recognized and considered the ‘last straw’), this has been a building tension for many years and these two global superpowers butting heads is being felt by consumers now more than ever.

If you want to read a blow-by-blow account of the US-China Trade War, I STRONGLY recommend the BBCs updated coverage feed on this HERE (opens in new tab)

Alternatively, if you prefer a more listed timeline, WiKi has you covered HERE (opens in new tab)

Source: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/17/the-rising-cost-of-the-war-for-russians-daily-life

The second and much, MUCH more ‘current’ clash is the ongoing Russia – Ukraine conflict and how it has affected the price and availability of several key materials needed for logistics and manufacture (as well as basic/domestic resources too of course). First, there is the production and distribution of Neon, an important component in microchip production with the Ukraine at one point estimated to produce between 45% and 55% of the world’s supply. Restrictions on transit and complete isolation of areas of Ukraine as the conflict worsens have led to reduced quantities of neon worldwide and in turn, its impact on reduced production of these key computer components once again. On top of this, there is the fuel and energy crisis caused by Russia’s position as one of the largest fuel providers in the world. Russia has been supplying about a quarter of the oil EU countries import. That is about 2.2 million barrels per day of crude oil and 1.2 million barrels of oil products. According to the Carnegie Endowment, a US think tank, this has been earning Russia more than $1bn (£800m) a day. The EU plans to ban Russian oil imports arriving by sea by the end of this year. This would cut EU nations’ oil imports from Russia by two-thirds. New sanctions against President Putin’s “war machine” could cut the amount of oil it buys from Russia by 90%. Although the impact of this is not immediately clear on hardware production, it has significantly impacted global logistics for road and air freight, which need to factor in both the cost and availability of fuel to move goods. Add to this the difficulties in logistic routes through these areas of Europe and the continued conflict between Ukraine and Russia forcing countries to pick a side (and therefore becoming enveloped in sanctions) is yet another reason why there is a stranglehold on the availability of much electronic hardware globally.

Source – https://www.reuters.com/markets/asia/oil-hit-100-strong-demand-russia-ukraine-crisis-strategists-2022-02-04/

It is also worth remembering that as the Russia – Ukraine conflict continues (almost 4 months now at time of writing), many top-tier electronics and software companies have left Russia and suspended their services, with only Google currently remaining (trying to balance their financial and ethical relationship with the country with regard to information services), but this has no doubt spurred Russian controlled/influenced companies with control of key resources and components to be equally reluctant to share!

How Long Will Hardware Shortages Last?

Things are going to get worse before they get better!

So as you can see, hardware shortages worldwide are more than just the byproduct of an extended pandemic and in fact comprise many different global factors right now. Solving any single one will only somewhat alleviate the continued difficulties faced by hardware manufacturers to return to a relative sense of normality in their stock and release patterns. Add to this that each of these contributing factors discussed and the impact on hardware shortages is by no means a small-scale difficulty and we will almost certainly see hardware shortages continue well into 2023 and likely 2024. For the most part, it may well be the case that consumers and businesses alike are going to have to change their expectations on hardware availability and, sadly, likely be forced to embrace substantial price increases on even the most lower-tier domestic hardware. As always, I will keep an eye on things and hopefully, next time I write about hardware shortages it won’t be so bloody depressing. Thanks for reading. Now go and have a bit of a lie-down.

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]     Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Alternatives to Drobo from Synology or QNAP – Which NAS Should You Buy?

27 juillet 2022 à 01:33

Leaving Drobo NAS and Buying a Synology or QNAP – Get it Right, First Time

For a long time, I championed the Drobo Brand of network attached storage (NAS) as a great option for users looking to have their very own no-fuss, easy to set up and content-creator-friendly system. However, I think it would be fair to say that in the last 5-6 years, whilst many of the more ambitious NAS brands such as QNAP and Synology were pushing the boundaries of what people can do with their NAS systems in software and hardware, Drobo had made little or no innovation in their either department. Indeed, although we saw the impressive and surprisingly affordable Thunderbolt RAID device, the Drobo 5D3, in the world of NAS we really saw things start to stagnate. Fast forward to 2022, and we recently found out that Drobo (and its parent company StorCentric) had sadly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing impacts on their business from the pandemic. Although the company has stated in several interviews that they intend to carry on later, with a smaller product line perhaps, I think the brand had been in trouble long before the pandemic and for a while, many users on the brink of buying their latest NAS or were in the process of upgrading an existing Drobo populated network storage environment, started considering making the switch to the bigger and more established NAS brands, Synology and QNAP. These two brands have 22 and 18 years of experience respectively in network attached storage and in that time have continued to release new and exciting innovations that challenge alot of the rather unexciting and rudimentary storage services that Drobo NAS systems arrive with.

What Do Synology and QNAP Provide that Drobo Doesn’t?

NAS has a technology that anyone (home or business) can buy has been around for around two decades now and in that time, ALOT has changed. The days of a NAS being just a simple blob of storage (1+ HDDs) that are connected to the network/internet and accessible remotely are long gone. Now modern NAS systems arrive with a full range of tailored applications (i.e. interfaces that allow you to access file types such as Photos, Music, Video, Docs, etc in a manner better suited to their output), a full graphical user interface accessible via your web browser that is more akin to a complete operating system, many client tools and apps, huge variety of business tools and all of this whilst still providing configurable storage to you, your family or your business. Below is just a handful of the thing that a Synology or QNAP NAS can do, that a Drobo either cannot do or does in a very limited capacity:

  • Bigger Range of solutions in 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12-Bay and bigger desktop NAS solutions
  • Many, many Mobile Applications
  • Incredibly user-friendly GUIs via the web browser (DSM and QTS) that give NAS devices an operating system comparable to Windows or MacOS
  • AI-Powered Photo Recognition
  • Huge variety of NAS Apps
  • Highly configurable and customizable iSCSI and Remote Targetted storage tools and Protocols supported
  • Multi-tiered and comprehensive backup tools covering NAS-to-NAS, USB, Cloud and VM Backups
  • Wide Variety of Desktop/Client Apps
  • Diverse RAID configurations and Storage Expansion Options
  • 10GbE by Default or as an Optional Extra
  • A large number of security tools and configuration tools (starting with
  • NVMe SSD Bays for caching and/or storage
  • Dedicated Premium Surveillance, Virtual Machine, Multimedia, Containers and Cloud Sync Software
  • Fully featured Plex and Emby Media Server Support
  • SaaS Sync Tools (Active Backup on Synology and BoXafe on QNAP)
  • A large variety of email hosting, web hosting and database creation tools
  • Not just supporting EXT4, but also supporting ZFS or BTRFS’ file systems

Now, it is worth remembering that Drobo DID release some innovations over the years in their NAS and DAS systems. They were the first to introduce a much more innovative LED system on the front of their system’s to denote system storage use, particular activity and more detailed warning patterns. They were one of the first to integrate m.2 SSD caching upgrade bays into their desktop systems (though using mSATA or M.2 NVMe), and they were one of the first to introduce internal battery systems in their desktop NAS that allowed the system to safely close read/write activities in the event of the system suffering a critical power failure. Then of course there was BeyondRAID, their flexible RAID configuration that allowed easy RAID expansions and mixed drive use. These innovations were all good, it’s just a shame that they all came around many years ago and the brand has not moved forward in hardware or software technology since.

Why Choose Synology NAS to Replace Your Drobo?

Synology is often considered the ‘Software Choice’, as DSM (Diskstation Manager) is by far the most user-friendly, secure, responsive and ‘OS-like’ platform available in the whole of NAS. It may seem one of the most expensive, but with it, you get some genuine boundary-breaking software with your purchase.  You still get a great level of hardware in the majority of Synology NAS solutions, but the real draw of Synology is that software. Not only does it support your own hardware environment of PCs, Macs, entertainment devices and mobiles in their own respective software, but DSM also includes MANY applications designed around keeping all your data IN-HOUSE. So, replace Skype/Whatsapp with Synology Chat, Replace Google Docs and Office365 with Synology Office. Use Synology Drive to make your storage visible and accessible the way YOU want it, and export your entire cloud/data network over to a Synology NAS and remove all the external access as and when you need! They aren’t the cheapest and they want you to do it ‘there way’, but it’s a pretty decent way. Additionally, their recent DSM 7.0 software has left many users impressed, with enhanced support of those 3rd party cloud storage and business services, AI photo recognition, their surveillance platform continuing to win awards and even an in-house cloud service in Synology C2. Stylizing themselves very much as the ‘Apple’ of this industry, they really do focus on keeping things straightforward and intuitive.

PROS of Synology NAS

  • Easily the most intuitive and Usage browser-based GUI (award-winning DSM 6.2/7.0/7.1) – FULL Review HERE
  • One of the best Surveillance NAS software solutions
  • Most popular vendor for Mac users for it’s UI
  • Incredibly feature-rich NVR software included, in Surveillance Station
  • Includes Active Backup Suite – Enterprise level and fully featured Backup Co-ordination software
  • Lowest Power Consumption vs other brands
  • A large # of their systems arrive with m.2 NVMe SSD caching upgrade bays
  • Quiet chassis compared with other brands
  • Task specialised Ranges like ‘PLAY’, ‘PLUS’ and ‘J’ make buying easier
  • The best range of first-party software, with Synology Office, Chat, Mail, Drive and more
  • SHR and SHR-2 – also BTRFS available in most solutions
  • Cloud Services and Hybrid Storage Tools available in Synology C2
  • Desktop and Rack-mount options are available
  • Best software for Home and SMB

CONS of Synology NAS

  • Often the most expensive
  • Recent Enterprise NAS Hardware has changed Compatibility in favour of Synology HDDs and SSDs
  • Generally, Synology NAS has the lowest hardware power in their systems
  • NVMe SSD Bays are for caching ONLY, they cannot be used for super-fast storage pools
  • More technically minded folk will need to dig a little to get to the nitty-gritty
  • SHR is not available on Enterprise NAS Systems
  • Network ONLY – no HDMI, Audio in/out, Thunderbolt, etc

Why Choose QNAP NAS to Replace Your Drobo?

Often considered the choice for the more hardware-aware buyer, if you are looking for a much more traditionally computer associated hardware – QNAP NAS is certainly the one that springs to mind. Generally considered the ‘innovators’ of the NAS industry, they have the largest range of solutions available Notwithstanding the fact that their hardware is by FAR the most evolved platform in NAS (thunderbolt 3, multiple HDMI, 10Gbe standard solutions, Silent NAS, AI solutions and advanced SSD caching), the platform is fantastically diverse, providing great NAS options alongside network switches, network adapters and generally reshaping your hardware environment for the better. The software has also evolved dramatically into its own beast, moving away from trying to imitate and carving its own path. It is a little more technically (and I really do mean a little) but it is far more rewarding for it. They do not feature some popular items on their portfolio, such as BTRFS or a fluid RAID system like SHR/BeyondRAID, but make up for this with their own range of alternatives and in most cases succeed. Get your reading glasses on though, as their range is quite vast and might overwhelm you a tad. In recent years the brand has shifted focus a great deal more towards software in efforts to meet the gap with their rival Synology to pretty good success. This is often achieved by releasing software that does the previously impossible before anyone else, but lacking a little of the polish of their biggest rival. Recent achievements with HybridMount, vJBOD, HyperVisor Protector, QuMagie and Multimedia Console have been received remarkably well, arriving onto the scene 1-2 years before anyone else. Alongside this, QNAP still has easily the best virtual machine and backup software for home and SMB in Virtualization Station and Hybrid Backup Sync.

PROS of QNAP NAS

  • Best Solutions for Plex Media Server in NAS
  • Enterprise/Business Solutions feature ZFS
  • 2.5Gbe, 5Gbe and 10Gbe Options
  • Best Virtual Machine and Container Solutions in NAS
  • NVMe SSD Bays can be used for Caching, Storage Pools or Tiered Storage Configurations
  • Almost all range is metal in design, or a plastic but unique chassis
  • HDMI and remote control included in most Media NAS devices
  • Thunderbolt NAS options covering TB2, TB3 and even TB4 (TS-464)
  • Two Surveillance Solutions (with 4/8 Camera Licenses included)
  • The Best Backup/Synchronization solution in ‘Hybrid Backup Sync 3’
  • Technical information far more readily available
  • Lower price compared with Synology in terms of hardware
  • Regularly updated software and Detailed GUI/APPs – FULL Review HERE
  • Desktop and Rackmount options are available
  • Much better business options and definitely the best for virtual machines

CONS of QNAP NAS

  • A more android feel towards apps and stability means some users will be put off
  • Lacking the BTRFS and SHR support of Synology
  • Higher typical Power consumption
  • Often a fraction noisier due to chiefly metal chassis
  • Much larger range of devices can lead to confusion
  • Most units arrive with 2-3 Years warranty, but longer will cost you more
  • Have been targetted by Ransomware attacks in the last 2 years

Recommended Synology Replacement for the Drobo 5N2 NAS – The DS920+ and DS1522+ NAS

Choosing to replace the Drobo 5N2 5-Bay NAS with a Synology is actually a surprisingly easy choice. Right now at the time of writing, there are two very clear Diskstaiton devices that you can choose (if you want to stay at this kind of storage sale). The Synology DS920+ 4-Bay NAS (originally released in 2020) and the Synology DS1522+ 5-Bay NAS (released in June 2022). The former has been in the market for long enough that multiple deals are available and if/when the DS923+ arrives on the scene, it will likely become increasingly affordable – in spite of this, the hardware inside is great and it’s a solid fully featured NAS. The latter choice, the DS1522+, is the latest 2022 generation release from the brand, has great default system hardware and plenty of scalabilities and upgrade options to add to the system’s utility in years to come. Find out more about them both below:

Synology DS920+ 4-Bay NAS $500+

Intel Celeron 4-Core J4125, 4/8GB Memory, 1GbE, NVMe SSD Caching, Expandable, SHR, 4x SATA Bays, 3yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 21/05/20

The DS920+ NAS is something that Synology should be proud of. It is a great entry into their already impressive range of Diskstation NAS devices. If you are looking for a brand new NAS to consolidate your home media, to support your relative as the ‘IT whizz’ of the family, or move your business away from Google Drives and DropBox’ onto something safer, more scalable and dependable – then the DS920+ has alot to offer you. It gives you a great base to start using the DSM platform, as well as a good means to upgrade your storage internally at a later date (expansions in memory, expansions in storage, expansion in NVMe). If you are an existing DS918+ or DS916+ owner, this might not seem like the jump you were waiting for. There are always areas of improvement, the USB ports, the 1Gbe, that 1 memory slot – but these are things that Synology no doubt feel should be pushed into a higher price/hardware bracket – Allowing the DS920+ Price to be as close to its predecessors it can be. Whether you agree or disagree, I think that we can agree that this NAS is still giving you alot of bang for your buck in 2020. Thank you once again to ‘Takeo from Tokyo‘ for all his assistance on this hardware review

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Synology DS1522+ 5-Bay NAS $750+

Ryzen R1600 Dual Core, 8/32GB ECC Memory,4x1GbE, Optional 10GbE for $150, NVMe SSD Caching, Expandable, SHR, 5x SATA Bays, 3yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 29/06/22

The Synology DS1522+ is a good NAS drive and most business-focused users are going to appreciate what this newer configuration of hardware is able to provide. There was never any doubt in the extent to which this new NAS would support DSM7, and given its architecture, there is virtually nothing in the popular NAS software that this system cannot do. Likewise, having the option of 10GbE on a Diskstation of this scale will be hugely attractive to some, though the proprietary means with which you need to upgrade is arguably less desirable. The R1600 CPU is a good choice of processor for file handling and simultaneous tasks, as is the 8GB of memory that this system arrives with, plus the potential to ramp it up to 32GB. After that though, the desirability of this system to home users and multimedia users is a little less compelling and with such a large audience of users who look at NAS for their media streaming, the DS1522+ not featuring a more graphically enabled chip will leave them somewhat underwhelmed. Bottom line, the DS1522+ is a solid and full DSM7 supporting system here and you cannot fault the design, internal/external performance and ease of use of this Synology NAS. However, there will always be users wondering why this NAS never arrived with an Intel chip.

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Recommended QNAP Replacement for the Drobo 5N2 NAS – The QNAP TS-464 and TS-h973ax

If you decide to move away from the Drobo 5-Bay 5N22 and towards a QNAP, then I recommend opting for either the 2022 generation TS-464 NAS (as it is really is the best hardware vs scale vs price point the brand has ever released) or the incredibly mutli-facited QNAP TS-h973ax, which as 10GbE, 3 kinds of storage media supported across 9-Bays and the choice of file system at initialization of ZFS or EXT4. Here is more information on these two NAS and what we said about them when reviewed:

QNAP TS-464 4-Bay NAS $599+

Intel Celeron 4-Core N5105, 4/16GB Memory, 2×2.5GbE, NVMe SSD Caching or for Storage, HDMI 2.0 4K 60PFS, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb), USB RAID Expandable, PCIe Gen 3×2 Upgrade Slot, 4x SATA Bays, 3yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 18/04/22

The TS-464 comfortably arrives with the best hardware in its tier of the NAS market and that is something that QNAP has always been quite good at. Even if you rewind just 5 years, the level of hardware scalability and ease of upgradability that the TS-464 provides is frankly incredible and, fast forward to 2022, is still pretty unmatched. A Desktop 4-Bay NAS (eg Prosumer RAID 5 storage) has always been the next confident step for users who are tired of their hands being tied by subscription cloud services from Google, OneDrive and DropBox, who are looking for their own competent, flexible and fully-featured private server. In the TS-464 NAS, you find a system that is unquestionable the best hardware for your money you can possibly get right now. In software, things are a little less straightforward. QTS 5, although massively software and service-rich, arrives as a complete operating system in your web browser with multiple mobile/desktop clients and hundreds of applications and apps that can be installed at the touch of a button – which can all too often be something of a steep learning curve for many. Lacking the chewable, user-friendly nature of many of their rivals, QNAP and its software/service still have a tendency to be a bit of an information overload that can quickly intimidate the novice. However, for those that are looking for a system that is completely customizable in how/when/where you want data presented to you, as well as a wide degree of 3rd party support, QNAP and QTS 5 still manages to provide a huge degree of brand-unique service that are simply not available elsewhere. Just be prepared to invest your time wisely in its setup and more time ensuring the system is perfect for your needs.

Check Amazon for this NAS via the link below in your region (results in a % going back to the site and supports us):


QNAP TS-h973ax 5/9-Bay NAS $999+

AMD Ryzen V1500B Quad Core, 8/32GB Memory, 1x 10GbE, 2×2.5GbE, 5x SATA HDD, 2x SATA SSD, 2x U.2 NVMe SSD, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb), USB RAID Expandable, ZFS or EXT4 File System Choice, 2yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 13/11/20

I have seen a lot of network-attached storage over the years and the TS-h973AX brings a lot of colour to what was fast becoming a somewhat grey landscape. In short, QNAP has gone and done it again by proving they are the hardware innovators of this industry and have managed to provide a genuinely unique solution here. When they first revealed their new Hero ZFS operating system last year, you could not help but get the impression that only top-end enterprise businesses with £10K starting budgets were ever going to benefit. The TS-h973AX desktop NAS is solid evidence that QNAP will share the wealth and that this is the start of a whole new series of affordable ZFS solution from the brand. That isn’t to say that this system is perfect and pernickety points about a lack of HDMI or LCD may put off some users, and the compact 9 bay chassis that will attract some will no doubt deter others. Ultimately though QNAP has succeeded in creating what they sought out here and what we find is one of the best examples of hardware and software meeting in the middle, while still arriving with a price tag in 3 figures. In the current absence of a straight forward QuTS license purchase option for existing QNAP NAS systems right now, this is a solution that serves as a good alternative to a number of 4 and 6 Bay solutions in their portfolio. Though, make sure you upgrade that memory on day one! 

Check Amazon for this NAS via the link below in your region (results in a % going back to the site and supports us):


 

Recommended Synology Replacement for the Drobo B810n NAS – The DS1821+ NAS

Replacing or deciding against the Drobo B810n 8-Bay NAS system and opting for a Synology is, if anything, considerably easier than moving away from the 5N. Synology has a great history of 8-Bay NAS devices and the 2021 generation DS1821+ is a fantastic choice of NAS system. It supports the full range of DSM applications, has scalable storage, can be expanded by ten more drives, has in-built m.2 NVMe slots, a high bandwidth PCIe Upgrade slot and still manages to be very petite. Here is more information on the Synology DS1821+ and what we thought of it at review:

Synology DS1821+ 8-Bay NAS $1,100+

AMD Ryzen V1500B Quad Core, 4/32GB Memory, 4x1GbE, 8x SATA HDD, 2x NVMe SSD for Caching, PCIe Gen 3×8 Upgrade Slot, SHR or Traditional RAID, BTRFS or EXT4 File System Choice, 3yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 15/12/20

What you have here is a solid piece of hardware that very much lives up to everything Synology promises, even if some of those promises aren’t to everyone’s taste. With a hardware architecture that we have already tested to notable success in the DS1621+ previously, we already knew that this NAS would be able to do everything it promised. Many users looking to spend their annual business budgets on an improved or extended data storage solution will find the balanced position of hardware vs software found by the Synology DS1821+ to be quite desirable, as well as the scaled potential to upgrade external performance via PCIe and storage via eSATA. However, there is no ignoring that despite the fact this 2020 release excels in many things, it also arrives with a little bottlenecking in a number of others. The continued default utilisation of 1Gbe on the newest generation by Synology is somewhat perplexing and although I have continued admiration for Synology’s engagement with intelligent M2 NVMe cache utilisation and providing a solution that allows more flexible upgrade paths, I know that there are still users who just wish they could use that super fast NAND for raw storage pools and have better than gigabit connections out by default. It has never been a secret that buying a Synology NAS solution was always a largely ‘software over hardware’ purchase, and the DS1821+ is still a fine example of that balance. However, with other brands closing the gap in what they can offer the SMB (Small/Medium Business) user, while still providing superior hardware and similar warranty coverage, there is the tiniest feeling that the DS1821+ is a NAS that sits on its laurels a bit. Hugely upgradable and still with that award-winning and fantastically intuative DSM software, the DS1821+ is about buying a solution you can adapt within its lifespan and not one that will knock your socks off on day one. A solid and dependable data storage solution, if a little safe, at the end of 2020.

Check Amazon for this NAS via the link below in your region (results in a % going back to the site and supports us):


 

Recommended QNAP Replacement for the Drobo B810n NAS – The TVS-872X NAS

Unlike the previous QNAP suggestions I have made when moving away from a Drobo, when it comes to choosing a QNAP alternative to the Drobo B810n, I would currently recommend the 2020 released TVS-872X (a modified version of the also still available Thunderbolt 3 NAS, the TVS-872XT). Although this NAS has been around a while (and likely due an upgrade to a new version very soon), the QNAP TVS-872X is a 10GbE equipped 8 bay, with NVMe SSD slots, two very high bandwidth PCIe slots, USB 3.2 Gen 2, 4K HDMI, optional ZFS or EXT4 and after all of that – it has an Intel Core i3 or i5 Highly powerful CPU than can also be accompanied by up to 64GB of DDR4 memory. This is a beast of a system that arrives with a surprisingly modest price point when compared to most other NAS of the same scale or hardware – and the fact it is a little older means that the price is improved further in many shops. Again, QNAP are very likely to release a newer, more powerful and ultimately more expensive version of this product family soon, but it is STILL a great NAS that holds it’s own in 2022. Here is what we thought of it at the review:

QNAP TVS-872X 8-Bay NAS $1,999+

Intel Core 8th Gen i3/i5 4/6-Core CPU, 8-64GB DDR4 Memory, 1x 10GbE, 2x1GbE, NVMe SSD Caching or for Storage, HDMI 2.0 4K 60PFS, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb), USB RAID Expandable, 2x PCIe Gen ([email protected] 3×16 and [email protected] 3×4) Upgrade Slot, 8x SATA Bays, Audio In/Out, 3yr Warranty

NASCompares Written Review – HERE

NASCompares YouTube Review – HERE

What we said on 24/05/21

If this was the first time I was seeing the hardware featured on the QNAP TVS-872X, with its Intel Core CPU, 64GB of potential memory, 10Gbe on-board, NVMe equipped slots and USB 10G throughout – I would have been reasonably impressed. Likewise, the scalability in PCIe, storage expansions and network connectivity down the line is also a very valid and positive aspect of this system. But for me, it will always live slighting in the shadow of its Thunderbolt 3 equipped older big brother in the TV-872XT. The software on either ZFS or EXT4 file system is still doing what it does well, finding the line between 1st party apps, 3rd party support, customization and (mostly) getting it right – if occasionally trying to be too big for its boots. The QNAP TVS-872X is undeniably still a great example of the wide-ranging features available to prosumers who want a storage system heavily geared towards high-performance transmission via high-performance media with higher tier hardware at their disposal. It would be misleading to think of this NAS as any kind of significant upgrades over the XT, and the price tag that the TVS-872X currently arrives at (£1700+ / $2400) is perhaps a tad closer to that of the thunderbolt version than can be justified, but with an increasing over-reliance by brands on Xeon based systems, the TVS-872X is one of the most graphically well-equipped systems in the market today. If you are looking for a NAS for video editing, Plex media server, AI-assisted surveillance or virtualisation in a more compact form, the TVS-872X and its hardware has a heck of a lot to offer you.

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Why Not Use Cloud Services like Google Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox instead of a NAS?

Do not think that 3rd party cloud services are bad, they really aren’t! In fact, you should always consider adding a 2nd or 3rd tier into your backup strategy at home/work, and synchronization of files/folders on your NAS with the cloud is a good means to ensure you have another backup in place. Additionally, most NAS feature a variety of 256bit encryption options, password protection, 2 step verification and more to allow secure access is ensured to the NAS and the content, even via the cloud. Additionally, bg NAS brands like Synology and QNAP have been supporting Hybrid Cloud services that not only allow cloud storage to be bolted onto your NAS storage for shared usage and access, but also both brand support backup and synchronization with cloud collaborate services, such as Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365. So there is DEFINITELY still a valid and useful place for 3rd party cloud services in 2022, however, I rarely advocate the use of these cloud services as a PRIMARY storage location. They ARE convenient and you can get a limited amount of space included for free, but I generally have three core reasons that I do not recommend cloud as a first-tier storage.

 

COST – The cost of most 2-year subscriptions costs about the same as if you just purchased even a small-scale NAS on day 1. It might seem like just 5 or 10 bucks a month, but over 2 or 3 years, it all adds up and moreover, after that time you either need to keep on paying every month or still buy a NAS or DAS system for the data to live on. Might as well buy the NAS sooner rather than later as it will be inevitable eventually.

ACCESS – NAS provides more apps, file-level tailored use and can be better adapted into popular 3rd Party applications like PLEX, KODI, APPLE TIME MACHINE and DLNA supported devices. A cloud provider severely limits the kind of access you have on a regular basis.

PRIVACY – NAS provides full individual user control and access, as well as admin controls. Plus the NAS can be fully disconnected from the Internet/Network at your discretion. A cloud provider has a relative pre-set safety protocol that, when cracked on one or two occasions, opens up mass hacking

This is not to say that data on your NAS is completely inaccessible. Any NAS brand can only really stay 1 step ahead of the hackers, patching exploits as they are found (no different than any online service really), but a NAS is a means to create a secure, customizable and ultimately bespoke data storage solution.


 

What About Moving from Drobo to Asustor or Terramaster NAS?

Obviously, as NAS is such a popular and highly evolved area of the tech industry (despite it still also remaining quite niche compared with traditional computers and laptops), Synology and QNAP are not the ONLY brands in the market! Indeed, if you have been looking at moving away from Drobo and saw some affordably devices from Asustor or Terramaster, you will likely wonder why I have not covered them as much in this article (though I DO cover them and their solutions in the video embedded in this article above). Although both brands have been providing some great hardware (both for the price AND just generally) in 2022, these brands do not provide the full range of software and services (especially 1st party developed) that QNAP and Synology do. Their respective software in ADM and TOS aren’t bad, indeed they are very good and very responsive with many apps, they just are not on the same level as Synology DSM and QNAP QTS/QuTS right now. You can find out more about their software in the software review videos of each below:


 

Should I Move From Drobo to TrueNAS Core?

Many Drobo users, after using their systems for many years and (after becoming increasingly proficient) started to feel its limitations, might have heard about the free and DiY NAS server platform ‘TrueNAS’ (aka FreeNAS) and considering making the switch towards it after Drobo. It will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that when it comes to TrueNAS is a fantastically capable software for managing your storage. It even manages to swerve the downfall of being ‘too enterprise’ but arriving as an open source free software platform to be enjoyed by businesses and storage enthusiasts. There is no avoiding that it IS quite a technical mountainous learning curve if you are arriving at it from a position of zero storage or network experience, but the last few big TrueNAS system updates have gone a long way to update some UI elements to be more intuitive, software wide help notes available at all times and the community support is as on-point at it has ever been. If you are a home users looking for a hurdles setup or a day-1 deployable system for your small business, then TrueNAS may be too big a jump for you and you would be better off with a traditional off-the-shelf NAS system. However, if you have the know-how, you have the willingness to get your hands dirty and already have the hardware in mind/in-house, then TrueNAS stands in a class of it’s own and thanks to some very unique architecture choices that are almost utterly unique to this platform, it’s pretty unparalleled in its scope. Just please, PLEASE remember that a Drobo NAS is a ‘turnkey’ solution (aka, ready to go out of the box) and TrueNAS Core and TrueNAS Scale involve ALOT more setup and a much higher learning curve. You can buy TrueNAS-ready systems, such as the iXsystems series of devices, but these are still rather expensive compared with the modest Drobo and still require ALOT of tech knowledge to make the most of. You can find out more about the TrueNAS software platform in my written and video review below:

TrueNAS Written Review

TrueNAS Video Review

 

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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]     Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

22TB WD Red Pro, WD Gold and WD Purple Hard Drive Released

19 juillet 2022 à 16:00

Western Digital Release 22TB Hard Drive in WD Red Pro, WD Gold and WD Purple

That’s Right! WD has now officially released their 22TB series of HDDs to the WD Gold, WD Red Pro and WD Purple Pro series of hard disks. So, why is this such a big deal? Well, anyone who has been watching the development of hard drives over at Western Digital will have surely noticed a tremendous change in strategy by one of (if not THE) biggest brand in hard drives in the last couple of years. For a long time, WD had been a little more cautious in it’s releasing of larger capacities (especially compared with their biggest rival Seagate) and was rarely the first to commercially release the biggest capacities into the consumer and business market. However, the last 24 months have seen WD change this development/release method dramatically and we have seen them release a wide variety of extremely high capacity HDDs into their respect ranges (we only JUST reviewed their 20TB WD Red Pro on YouTube and Western Digital Ultrastar HC560 20TB HDDs here on NASCompares shortly after release). Add to this that these larger capacity HDDs are getting added to each of the brand’s highest-profile product ranges (as well as the 26TB Ultrastar UltraSMR drives being released now in July ’22) and we are seeing a very, VERY different WD to one we saw back in 2019/2020. So, let’s take a closer look at these three new 22TB Hard Drives, what they are designed for and what separates them from one another!

Hardware Specifications of the WD Red Pro, WD Purple and WD Gold 22TB Hard Drives

The first thing to note is that these three 22TB hard drives is that they are designed very similarity in terms of standard hardware architecture. They are all 7200 RPM (rotations per min) and data is spread across 10 internal platters that are comprised of 2.2TB per platter. Despite it’s remarkable capacity, the drive uses traditional CMR/PMR, but is improved upon with the use of energy-assisted magnetic recording too. These amply internal physical storage spacing in accompanied with a huge 512MB of on board cache to keep things moving and each drive also features a small flash module on board known as OptiNAND (we will go into more detail on that in a moment). All three 2TB Hard drives are available in SATA/6Gb (and SAS options available in other model IDs), but thanks to small differences in the gearing of each drive to be better suited to their end user, the WD Red Pro and WD Purple Pro have a maximum reported 265MB/s Sustained Sequential Read and the WD Gold has a much higher and possibly industry winning (for SATA in traditional platter-arm design) 291MB/s Performance, almost half way saturating SATA 6Gb/s. Herre is a breakdown of the specifications of each of the WD 22TB Hard Disks:

Branding
Drive Family GOLD RED PRO PURPLE PRO / AI
Price £639.99 /  $769 (Est on Conversion)

Check Amazon HERE

£601.99 /  $729 (Est on Conversion)

Check Amazon HERE

£539.99 /  $649 (Est on Conversion)

Check Amazon HERE

Model ID WD221KRYZ WD221KFGX WD221PURP
Designed Use Data-Center Large Scale NAS NAS Surveillance / NVR
RPM (Rotations per Minute) 7200RPM 7200RPM 7200RPM
Platter Density/Frequency 10 Platters (2.2TB each) 10 Platters (2.2TB each) 10 Platters (2.2TB each)
On-board Cache 512MB 512MB 512MB
Recording Method EPMR EPMR EPMR
OptiNAND Yes Yes Yes
Max Performance (aka Transfer 291 265 265
Workload Rating (TB per Year) 550 300 550
Load / Unload Cycle Rtaing 600K 600K 600K
Unrecoverable Read Errors 1 in 10E15 1 in 10E13 1 in 10E15
MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure Hrs) 2.5M 1M 2.5M
Power Usage (Idle / Active) (W) 5.7 / 9.3 3.4 / 6.8 5.6 / 6.9
Manf Warranty 5 5 5

What is the Difference Between the 22TB WD Red Pro vs WD Gold vs WD Purple Pro HDD?

The WD Red Pro series of HDDs are designed for use in 24×7 NAS servers that are used in Medium-large businesses (recommended for any system in desktop or rackmount above 8 bays). The WD Gold series is designed for Enterprise, Data Center and/or Hyper-scale deployment, as they are geared towards a much faster spin up and spin down, whilst also ensuring high sustained speeds over time and can endure larger scales of write-delete-re-write throughout their lifespan (something very common in enterprise hot-warm-cold storage systems that use different media types at each tier). Finally, there is the WD Purple Por series, a range of drives specifically geared towards surveillance (cameras and data recording instruments generally) and although similar in deployment to the WD Red Pro series (ie small-medium-large business and above 8 bays of storage per system), the main difference is that WD Purple is significant;y geared more towards Write than read, as NVR/Surveillance-servers will spend 95%+ of there operations time WRITING data from recording cameras etc , whilst 5% or less will be spent retrieving/viewing those recordings.

The main difference between all three in terms of actual use is:

  • The WD Purple 22TB is an HDD that will allow a tremendously sustainable Write Speed over time but not at the expense of durability, thanks to a high 2.5M MTBF and 550TB annual workload. Therefore ensuring that surveillance recordings are consistent and the drive will have sufficient robust hardware to endure repeated write actions over and over. That heavier focus on write-over-read results in the drive arriving noticeably lower in price than the WD Red Pro or WD Gold.
  • The WD Red Pro 22TB HDD on the other hand has a much better Read/Write balance and although is not quite as high in it’s durability upon repeated/recycled writing, it makes up for it by being much better than the Purple Pro when it comes to mixed and sporadic access patterns, as a 24×7 large scale NAS server is likely to do
  • The WD Gold 22TB is the premium Hard Drive of the three, with it’s excellent sustained read AND write, as well as high durability of 550TB per year workload, 2.5M MTBF hours and it’s suitability of deployment in hyperscale (12-24-48+ bay) rack environments of NAS or SAN. The only real downside compared with WD Red Pro and WD Purple Pro is that the drive is noisier and consumes more power in use to maintain those speeds and durability over time. The price tag of the WD Gold (at least at the time of writing) is higher than the WD Red Pro and WD Purple Pro too – though that can change later as larger capacities arrive and the RRP becomes increasingly flexible.

That is the core difference between all three 22TB HDDs that WD have released. But what about OptiNAND? Why is that a big deal?

What is OptiNAND and Why is it so Important on a big drive like the WD 22TB?

Of course, users who have been following the developments of WD in their roadmaps and reveals of larger-scale drive media will be aware that the WD Red Pro, Purple and Gold 22TB also features a new technological design being rolled out in these bigger drives to merge existing storage technologies into something even better – OptiNAND. This is a new approach to an old idea that never really took off, where the benefits of small areas of faster NAND storage (more typically associated with SSD media) and affords a small area of NAND to a larger scale hard drive to be used for metadata and for storing data in the event of power failure. Flash is also interesting from a persistence standpoint. DRAM gets flushed on power loss, but NAND is non-volatile and can continue to keep metadata information without having to re-hydrate after a boot sequence, be removed from the system for some reason, or any other event where power drops. The newer gen 18, 20 and 22TB hard drives arrives with a portion of 64-layer/64GB BICS3 (3D TLC)

WD states that OptiNAND drives can secure more than 100MB of write cache data in the event of an unplanned power loss, a 50X improvement over standard drives that can flush about 2MB. Hybrid Drive media is not new, but whereas older generation hybrid drives were more parallel in architecture, this is far more intertwined. It also brings enhancements to the firmware algorithm and system-on-a-chip (SoC). Once again, to be clear, OptiNAND and its iNAND isn’t flash cache (such as the 512MB this drive also features). Rather, it’s a portion of flash memory used to store metadata–or data about existing data–so they can be managed more efficiently.

The slice of iNAND has its own dedicated controller, much like an SSD. While metadata management itself doesn’t help to increase platter density, it enables a range of benefits that do. As one can imagine, the higher the density of the HDD, the more metadata it generates. Moving metadata to a fast, dense and scalable storage area gives more freedom for manufacturers to create higher capacity drives.

OptiNAND DRAM

But why choose NAND over DRAM? Western Digital explained back in August 2021 that modern high-density HDDs generate gigabytes of metadata and it’s too costly to include sufficient  DRAM to hold it. In addition, moving metadata to their own dedicated area will free up more space on the platters themselves to store user data. There’s more to it than capacity increases, though; using OptiNAND also helps with reliability, specifically with the repeatable runout (RRO) and adjacent track interference (ATI).

Overall, what we find in the WD Ultrastar HC560 20TB hard drive architecture is a solidly designed and hugely impressive piece of hardware that challenges alot of the standard conventions of hard drive storage (in AND outside of server use).

When Will the WD Red Pro, WD Gold and WD Purple Pro 22TB Hard Drive Be Released and the Price?

In short, all three 22TB Hard Drives are available NOW, as they were officially released by Western Digital Earlier today. Expect stock to take a little longer to arrive, maybe by the end of July ’22, but as we speak, they are being gradually added to WDD’s websites and online portals. Regarding pricing, only the WD Red Pro Price of £601 from WD themselves. The rest of the pricing of 22TB drives in WD Gold and Purple will likely hit circulation shortly.

Branding
Drive Family GOLD RED PRO PURPLE PRO / AI
Price £639.99 /  $769 (Est on Conversion)

Check Amazon HERE

£601.99 /  $729 (Est on Conversion)

Check Amazon HERE

£539.99 /  $649 (Est on Conversion)

Check Amazon HERE

 

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Synology DS1522+ vs DS920+ NAS Drive Comparison

10 juillet 2022 à 01:12

Comparing the Synology DS920+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Which Should You Buy?

The Synology DS920+ NAS was first released in the Summer of 2020 and it has been, arguable, one of the most popular NAS drives that the brand has ever produced. In the two years since then, it has continued to remain popular, has become much more affordable (a regular pop up in seasonal sales) and is pretty much the brand’s ‘go to’ prosumer and feature-rich solution for many. Whereas, the new Synology DS1522+ have arrived with very different hardware specifications than what many expected, features significant improvements in scalability throughout the system, optional 10GbE and is different to the DS920+ in so, so many ways more than just simply having an extra HDD bay! So, if you are in the market to buy a new Synology NAS drive and are looking at a solution with a decent amount of longevity and future-proofing in its specs, these two systems are clearly going to stand out from the crowd (though for different reasons, that we will get into). Today I want to compare the DS920+ and DS1522+, look at the strengths and weaknesses of each and hopefully help you decide which one deserves your money and your data! Let’s start.

Note – Depending on when you are reading this, the availability of the DS1522+ or DS920+ will be different. So, regardless of which one of these two NAS systems best sounds like it suits your needs, it is paramount that you remember that your data should be backed up at all times. So do not just leave your data in an insecure or unsafe state in favour of waiting for either of these NAS to arrive. Unless your data is in at least 2 separate copies (NAS, close, USB, etc), it is NOT backed up! If you need help, you can use the free NAS advice section HERE.

Comparing the hardware of the Synology DS1522+ and DS920+ NAS

The 4 and 5-Bay Diskstation releases from Synology have always been one of the most interesting tiers of the brand’s desktop solutions. The reason for this is that all too often this scale of system serves as a bridging point between Prosumer & SOHO systems and the small/medium business hardware in their portfolio. This is demonstrated first in the scale of the available RAID 5/6 storage, but then more so in the scalability and upgradability of these two volumes system, allowing one to two expansions, greater network connectivity (arriving with 2x or 4x LAN ports) and better internal hardware than the more domestic targetted solutions – often with the internal hardware differing considerably between each periodic 2-3yr refresh by the brand. Let’s first look at the internal hardware of these two NAS’ to see how much they differ. The DS920+ NAS first arrived on the scene with some great hardware advantages over the rest of the plus series 2020 systems (DS720+, DS420+, etc), arriving with a 4 Core Intel Celeron Processor that featured integrated graphics, 4GB of DDR4 2666Mhz memory and NVMe SSD upgrade slots. In the two years since its release though, Synology clearly decided to make some big changes in the base level architecture of the plus series and specifically in the DS1522+ to make it considerably more scalable and general business/file-ops focused. The newer DS1522+ features a dual-core AMD Ryzen embedded R1600 that, although arriving with half the cores of the Celeron in the DS920+, has a higher CPU frequency and total achievable frequency in turbo/burst when needed. That said, users will be surprised to learn that this CPU also does not feature embedded graphics, so therefore the DS1522+ will be less CPU efficient at handling multimedia or VM deployment than the DS920+.

Though both systems feature DDR4 memory, the DS920’s maximum 8GB of memory is beaten by the DS1522+ thanks to its use of much more impressive ECC (error code correction) memory to identify and repair any bit level write errors and can also be scaled to a considerably higher 32GB of memory (arriving with 8GB by default).

NAS Model DS920+

DS1522+

CPU Model Intel Celeron J4125 AMD Ryzen R1600
CPU Quantity 1 Embedded Ryzen
CPU Architecture 64-bit 64-bit
CPU Frequency 4-core 2.0 – 2.7 GHz 2-core 2.6 – 3.1 GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI) Yes Yes
Integrated Graphics Yes No
CPU Cache 4 MB cache 1 MB L2 cache, 4 MB L3 cache
Memory
System Memory 4GB DDR4 non-ECC SODIMM 8GB DDR4 ECC SODIMM
Memory Module Pre-installed (4GB On-board) 8 GB (8GB x 1)
TDP 10W 25W
Total Memory Slots 1 2
Maximum Memory Capacity 8GB 32 GB (16 GB x 2)
System Fan 92 mm x 92 mm x 2 pcs 92 mm x 92 mm x 2 pcs
Power Supply Unit / Adapter 100W External 120W External

Next up, let us discuss storage on the 5 drive DS1522+ and 4 drive DS920+, as these two systems are near enough identical on that one. Both arrive with SATA storage bays, though you can deploy either NAS with as little as a single drive if you want. From there you can go ahead and install enough drives to accommodate a RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 6 or Synology’s own flexible RAID configuration, SHR. Both systems can be initialized to operate with either a BTRFS or EXT4 file system, as well as supporting the wide range of services and features of the Synology Storage Manager. Finally, as mentioned, both systems feature M.2 NVMe SSD bays and both only allow these to be used for caching with DSM and its services/storage. However, in terms of expandability, these systems have one key difference, with the DS920+ supporting a single expansion (allowing a maximum 9 bays of storage) whilst the DS1522+ supports two DX517 expansion chassis and reaches a total potential 15 bays of storage. As both systems support the latest version of Synology DSM, the maximum volume, simultaneous volumes, active storage shares and hybrid storage support are largely identical. Much like previous comparisons of the DS920+ and DS1520+ that were released a couple of months apart, the initial 1 drive bay difference between the 4-bay and the 5-bay isn’t a vast amount, but the scalability with those expansions makes much more of an impact (especially if you are looking at using caching with those NVMe Bays or want to scale up your network connectivity and want to ensure it gets saturated).

Model DS920+

DS1522+

Size (Height x Width x Depth) 166 mm x 199 mm x 223 mm 166 mm x 230 mm x 223 mm
Drive Bays & Storage 1x SATA 5x SATA
Maximum Drive Bays with Expansion Unit 15 (DX517 x 1) 15 (DX517 x 2)
M.2 Drive Slots 2 (NVMe) for Read/Write Caching 2 (NVMe) for Read/Write Caching
Hot Swappable Drive Yes Yes
RAID Support JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, SHR JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, SHR

Now in terms of the external connectivity and how it can be upgraded, this is another big area of difference between the DS920+ and DS1522+ NAS. Both systems arrive with 1GbE RJ45 LAN ports, which can be combined via link aggregation/Port Trunking to allow up a larger degree of network connectivity. But the DS920+ arrives with 2x 1GbE and the DS1522+ arrives with 4x 1GbE. This is only really a big deal if you are looking at smart switch supported environments or have larger shared bandwidth concerns though. However, the big difference in bandwidth potential between these two NAS centres around the DS1522+ features the option to upgrade it’s network connectivity to 10GbE by installing an E10G22-T1-mini 10G network upgrade in the available proprietary slot.

Now, this is not a connection that is available in the default DS1522+ and is an optional upgrade, but still, it is good to know that the option of adding 1,000MB/s bandwidth is available down the road. The DS920+ does not include an option to increase the network connectivity in this way (though unofficial and not officially supported USB-to2.5GbE and 5GbE connectivity via 3rd party adapters are possible (but I wouldn’t trust their long term stability really) and for many, this will be a deal-breaker between these systems in the same way the CPU differences between these two NAS’ does. Both systems see a very similarly sized chassis and the 10GbE upgradable slot on the DS1522+ using a smaller M.2 sized connector rather than the PCIe 3×8 slot of other Synology NAS, so it does not impact the size of the chassis either.

Model DS920+

DS1522+

RJ-45 1GbE LAN 2 (with Link Aggregation / Failover support) 4 (with Link Aggregation / Failover support)
2.5GbE LAN  No No
10GbE LAN  No Optional
USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) 2 2
USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) No No
eSATA Port 1 2
PCIe Expansion No Yes (currently supports E10G22-T1-mini Adapter)
Supported File System
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
Size 166 mm x 230 mm x 223 mm 166 mm x 282 mm x 243 mm
Weight 2.24 kg 5.1 kg

Overall, I think the differences between the DS920+ and DS1522+ are some of the most notable that the brand has ever delivered between two NAS just two years apart in the same series! The option of 10GbE later in the system’s lifespan, along with a huge 32GB of ECC memory on the DS1522+ I think narrowly put that NAS ahead, but it is by no means an unquestionable victory, as not only are those advantages of the DS1522+ more centred around additional purchases, but also the DS920+ features that quad-core graphics embedded CPU – which means that a number of common Synology NAS desktop uses for entertainment such as Plex Media Server and Video Station are going to run much more efficiently on the older system. Then you have to also factor in that the DS920+ is going to be available at a more affordable price thanks to its longer time at retail (with the DS1522+ almost certainly remaining close to its RRP for the bulk of 2022. I still think the DS1522+ is the better business and mission-critical performance choice overall, but the DS920+ is going to be better suited to home and prosumer users overall.

Expected Performance of the Synology DS1522+ vs DS920+ NAS Compared

The performance of Synology DSM services and supported 3rd party connected appliances is going to be very similar on both the DS920+ and DS1522+ NAS when it comes to utilizing the respective systems in low volume/frequency client tasks. By that, I mean that the scale of the operations that you need the NAS to action (from simple file sharing and downloading, to more intensive multi-site backups, file streaming, databases and surveillance for example) will largely dictate which NAS will perform better for you. As mentioned, the DS920+ and its embedded graphics supported CPU will use fewer resources to perform graphically focused tasks such as transcoding, as well as running applications that have a high volume of visual data such as live camera feeds in Surveillance Station 9. Whereas the file handling and general transfer performance of traditional data exchanges are going to use fewer resources on the DS1522+ embedded Ryzen processor, as well as have a much, MUCH higher ceiling for total processes thanks to that larger memory scalability already discussed. Below is a breakdown of the most popular applications and services that are included with either the Synology DS920+ or DS1522+ NAS:

Synology Office – Create documents, spreadsheets, and slides in a multi-user environment. Real-time synchronization and saving make collaboration a breeze.

Synology Chat – Aimed at businesses, Synology Chat is an IM service that transforms the way users collaborate and communicate.

Synology Drive – Host your own private cloud behind the safety of your NAS with 100% data ownership and no subscription fees.

Synology Moments – Manage your photos and videos with deep-learning algorithms that automatically group photos with similar faces, subjects, and places.

Synology Calendar – Stay on track, share calendars, and schedule meetings, while ensuring sensitive information remains safely stored on company premises.

Synology Active Backup for Business (ABB) – Consolidate backup tasks for virtualized environments, physical servers, and personal computers, and rapidly restore files, entire machines, or VMs – license free.

Synology Hyper Backup – backup you NAS safely and efficiently to multiple destinations with deduplication, integrity checks, compression, and versioning.

Synology Surveillance Station – Safeguard your business, home, and other valuable assets with reliable video surveillance tools.

Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) – An intuitive hypervisor that supports Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM virtual machines. Its powerful disaster recovery tools help users achieve maximum service uptime.

Synology High Availability – Synology High Availability (SHA) combines two Synology NAS servers into one active-passive high-availability cluster, alleviating service disruptions while mirroring data.

Synology Central Management System (CMS) – Synology CMS allows you to manage multiple Synology NAS servers quickly and conveniently from a single location.

Synology Video Station – Manage all your movies, TV shows, and home videos. Stream them to multiple devices or share them with friends and family.

Synology Photo Station – Built to help photographers manage their photos and share them with clients for feedback or business development.

Synology Audio Station – Manage your music collection, create personal playlists, stream them to your own devices, or share with family or friends.

Synology File Station – Manage your Synology NAS files remotely through web browsers or mobile devices

However, the extent to which you can use all these applications at any single time (both as multiple clients using the same software or multiple applications running in parallel on the same NAS system) is going to be better on the Synology DS1522+ in the grand scheme of things, thanks to that potential 32GB of memory available to scale up down the line. Here is how these two Synology NAS drives compare in volume and features in those 1st party services:

Model DS920+ DS1522+
Max Single Volume 108TB 108TB
SAN Manager 128 ISCSI Targets and 256 LUNS 128 ISCSI Targets and 256 LUNS
Surveillance Station 40 Cameras Max, 2 Licenses 40 Cameras Max, 2 Licenses
Collaboration Suite ALL Tools ALL Tools
Synology Drive 350 Connections , 5,000,000 Files 350 Connections , 5,000,000 Files
Active Backup FULL Support (Google, 365, VM,  local) FULL Support (Google, 365, VM, local)
Synology Photos All Features All features
Hybrid Share Full Support of 10x syncs Full Support of 10x syncs
Accounts 2048 Users, 256 Groups, 512 S.Folders 2048 Users, 256 Groups, 512 S.Folders
SHA Yes Yes
VMM Yes, 4 Recommended Max Yes, 8 Recommended Max
Hardware Transcoding Yes No
MailPlus 100 concurrent users, 5 Licences 100 concurrent users, 5 Licences
SHR Support Yes Yes
Snapshots 65,536 Max 65,536 Max
Web Hosting Upto 30x Upto 30x
Hyper Backup Yes, all features and clients Yes, all features and clients
Max Tested R/W Speed 226.01MB/s – 225.84MB/s 736MBs – 796MB/s

Once again, very similar and indeed, both systems largely provide the building blocks to use each application to the highest extent allowed/recommended by Synology in DSM. Despite these NAS’ having very different CPUs, they still ultimately support the same volume of services (at maximum) in DSM. But the DS1522+ clearly has more recourse scaling possible and that will hopefully mean that you will be able to push several applications in higher frequencies each more on the newer system than the old one. Just don’t overlook how useful that Intel Celeron CPU would be to multimedia tasks.

Synology DS920+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Conclusion and Verdict

Synology has clearly done a lot of thinking in the two years between the release of the DS920+ and DS1522+, deciding to change the latter into something more ‘business-y’. When the DS920+ first arrived, it did so to almost universal praise (barring a few concerns at the time about 1GbE) and it has pretty much always been in the top 3 NAS since its launch for most users. Although the details regarding a DS922+ or DS923+ are still not available at the time of writing, many wonder if it would emulate the change in direction that the brand has taken on the DS1522+ and whether the DS920+ is now even more attractive. Synology has clearly taken a rather different tactic in the release of their newest 5-Bay system, making changes to the expected hardware configuration and architecture that set it on a very different path than its predecessor. Those with longer memories will know that the Diskstation 5 Drive portfolio used to be very much this kind of design (i.e a file transfer focused CPU, more memory scaling, optional 10GbE, etc) and rather than building off the design of the 4-Bay (as the DS1520+ did against the DS920+), the DS1522+ seems to scale itself against the DS1621+ in it’s shape and abilities. If you were already looking at Synology NAS systems that being a heavy emphasis on scaling their architecture notably down the line in efforts to remain future proof, the DS1522+ is going to tick ALOT of boxes for you. Whereas if you were looking at a Synology NAS for home use, a Plex Media server, low client/user use and generally as more of a setup-and-forget solution, then the DS920+ will likely suit your needs better and will have the added benefit of a more palatable price point in 2022. How far Synology will extend the build logic of the DS1522+ towards other solutions in the diskstation/rackstation portfolio still remains to be seen. Most business users will want to opt for the DS1522+ though. Cheers for reading!

NAS MODEL ID

Synology DS920+ NAS

Synology DS1522+ NAS

Where to Buy:

 

Need More Help Choosing the right NAS?

Choosing the right data storage solution for your needs can be very intimidating and it’s never too late to ask for help. With options ranging from NAS to DAS, Thunderbolt to SAS and connecting everything up so you can access all your lovely data at the touch of a button can be a lot simpler than you think. If you want some tips, guidance or help with everything from compatibility to suitability of a solution for you, why not drop me a message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible with what you should go for, its suitability and the best place to get it. This service is designed without profit in mind and in order to help you with your data storage needs, so I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible.

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QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS Drive Revealed

8 juillet 2022 à 01:10

The QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS Drive

QNAP has been remarkably loud with their 2022/2023 generation of NAS releases in the first half of the year, with updates to practically all the home/Prosumer/SMB solutions in their portfolio. However, it appears that things have not stopped there, with the reveal of a new mid-range NAS series that (based on the hardware on offer) is a change in what many might have been expecting. The new QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS manage to arrive in the brand’s more cost-effective external chassis (such as the TS-251+ and TS-451D2), but feature internal and external hardware choices that put them much, MUCH closer to the TS-453D and TS-464! This new series arrives with 2021/2022 generation Intel Celeron J6412 CPU, 8GB of DDR4 Memory by default, 2.5GbE ports, M.2 NVMe SSD slots, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10G) and looks to be lower in price than the TS-x64 series. So yeah, these new TS-253E and TS-453E are going to be extremely appealing to users who want the best bang for their buck, but do not want to waste their time on ARM-powered systems. let’s talk about everything we know about these new and honestly quite intriguing NAS drives.

The QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS – Hardware Specifications

The hardware that the QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E arrive with is very much the star of the show here. In the last 10 years of QNAP NAS (indeed, much the same as all other NAS brands in fact), the food chain of NAS drives has changed very little. This used to go:

  • Enterprise (Xeon Powered)
  • Large Business (Intel/AMD Powered File Server Processor)
  • SMB (Small Medium Business – Same as above, only more affordable and scaled-down)
  • Prosumer (Intel Celeron/Pentium Powered Quad-Core)
  • Home (Intel Dual-Core)
  • Value (64bit ARM Powered)
  • Cost-Effective (32bit ARM Powered)

HOWEVER, the TS-253E and TS-453E significantly break this mould and seem to be hovering between the Value, Home and Prosumer tiers significantly. Alot of this is to do with the expectations of the end-user and what they demand from a solution at a given price point. However, even bearing this in mind, the TS-X53E series is much, MUCH closer to the Prosumer tier than many would have expected and is a big jump from the dual-core Intel that many would have assumed would arrive here (this has been replaced on the fact of it with the TS-262 and TS-264 – but that is a story for another article!). Let’s take a closer look at those specifications.

Model QNAP TS-253E NAS

QNAP TS-453E NAS

CPU Intel Celeron J6412 4-core/4-thread processor, 2.0-2.9 GHz Intel Celeron J6412 4-core/4-thread processor, 2.0-2.9 GHz
CPU architecture 64-bit x86 64-bit x86
graphics processor Intel UHD Graphics Intel UHD Graphics
floating point Yes Yes
encryption engine (AES-NI) (AES-NI)
hardware acceleration Yes Yes
system memory 8 GB ON-Board DDR4 8 GB ON-Board DDR4
maximum memory 8GB 8GB
memory slot N/A N/A
flash memory 4GB (dual boot OS protection) 4GB (dual boot OS protection)
Number of hard disk slots 2 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s 4 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s
Supported hard disk types 3.5″ SATA HDD2.5
” SATA HDD2.5
” SATA SSD
3.5″ SATA HDD2.5
” SATA HDD2.5
” SATA SSD
Hot-plug support Yes Yes
M.2 Slot 2 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x2 2 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x2
External Ports
2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port (2.5G/1G/100M) 2 (also support 10M) 2 (also support 10M)
Wake on LAN (WOL) Yes Yes
jumbo frame Yes Yes
PCIe expansion slot N/A N/A
USB 2.0 port 2 2
USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) port 2 x Type-A 2 x Type-A
HDMI output 2x HDMI 1.4b 2x HDMI 1.4b
LED indicator Power/Status, Network, USB, HDD 1-4 Power/Status, Network, USB, HDD 1-4
button Power, USB Copy, System Reset Power, USB Copy, System Reset
Dimensions (HxWxD) 168.5 × 102 × 225 mm 177 × 180 × 235 mm
Power Supplier 60W Transformer, 100-240V 90W Transformer, 100-240V
fan 1 x 70mm, 12VDC 1 x 120mm, 12VDC

As you can see, the hardware inside is a decent jump up from the TS-251D, TS-451D2 and TS-x51+ series that have been available for at least the last 3 years or more (closer to 5-6 years in the case of the 51+ series). If we were to focus on the major areas that stand out, the CPU choice is #1. Back before the TS-x64 series was revealed at the start of the year, I volunteered online that I would like to see either the N5105 or J6412 Intel Celeron on the next-gen of Solutions from QNAP and Synology, but highlighted that the J6412 might be a little too new. Fast forward to now and the J6412 CPU is exactly what we have here. An embedded graphics, quad-core Intel processor that rates very well on CPU benchmark (at 3930 at time of writing), which is higher than the Intel J4125 on the TS-X53D series and only a tiny pinch behind the N5105 in the TS-X64 series – I will go into more detail on this later in the article).

That CPU is also accompanied by 8GB of DDR4 memory in both the TS-253E and TS-453E by default. As good as this sounds, it does arrive with a fly in the ointment though. Despite this CPU supporting upto an impressive 32GB of DDR4 memory at 3200Mhz, the 8GB inside the TS-253E and TS-453E is non-upgradable (likely soldiered to the controller board). So, 8GB by default IS good (and I hope this doesn’t bump the price up noticeably), but it’s a shame that this is as high as it gets. Another cool feature that is here is the inclusion of two m.2 NVMe SSD bays. That means that this affordable quad-core Intel NAS will also have the option of adding super fast SSDs for intelligent caching OR as standalone storage pools if you want. Due to the PCI lanes/chipset of this CPU+NAS combo though, these slots are PCIe Gen 3 x2. This still means up to 2,000MB/s throughput being possible with the drives though.

The other interesting and unique addition to the TS-253E and TS-453E is the inclusion of USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (10Gb or 1,000MB/s performance to a supported storage device). Not only is this something we have not seen much of the Prosumer/SMB tier outside of Ryzen systems till now, but the fact that the front port is a one-touch copy button and is a USB 3.2 Gen 2 port is going to be remarkably interesting to users who like to maintain a local USB backup on their much, much bigger storage volumes via Hybrid Backup Sync and more. Additionally, there is an HDMI output (x2, but you can only use both in a mirrored or stretched screen setup) that can output 1080p at 60FPS and 4K at 30FPS, as well as two USB ports for connecting external peripherals for a KVM setup.

Overall, you have to be impressed by the hardware that this more affordable/value series NAS is arriving with and it is certainly going to be a tempting choice for those that looked at the TS-453D and TS-464 and thought it was a little pricey. But how does the new TS-X53E NAS series compare with the recently released TS-X64 range? Let’s compare.

The QNAP TS-453E vs TS-464 NAS Drive – How Do They Compare?

As mentioned earlier, the most interesting thing about the TS-253E and TS-453E is that they are very close to (and in some cases exceed) the hardware of the recently released TS-464 and TS-664 NAS Drives. Before this, the fully-featured/prosumer tier that the TS-X64 range occupies would have a ‘half hardware’ type release with half the cores, half the memory and half the ports (such as the dual core, 2GB and 1x LAN QNAP TS-251D). Whereas in the case of the TS-X53E range, most of the popular elements reserved for the prosumer tier are available and presented in a more value-designed package (likely reflected in the price too). If you only want the TLDR:

Main Differences Between the TS-x53E and TS-x64 Series

  • The TS-X64 Series has a PCIe Slot
  • The TS-X53E Series has faster M.2 NVMe slots (PCIe 3×2 vs 3×1)
  • The TS-X64 Intel N5105 has slightly high graphical handling and higher burst/turbo clock speed
  • The TS-X53E Intel J6412 is more efficient and also supports more memory
  • The HDMI on the TS-X64 is HDMI 2.0 (4K 60FS), whereas the TS-X53E has HDMI 1.4b (4K 30FPS, 1080p 60FPS)
  • The TS-X53E arrives with 8GB as standard, whereas the TS-X64 arrives with 4GB that can be upgraded to 16GB
VS

What the TS-x5ED and TS-x64 Series Have in Common

  • Both have a 4 Core / 4 Thread Intel Celeron CPU with Embedded Gfx with a base speed of 2.0Ghz
  • Both use DDR4 Memory
  • Both have 2x 2.5GbE
  • Both have 2x USB 3,2 Gen 2 (10Gb)
  • Both have m.2 NVMe, SATA bays, HDMI out and Support the same ver of QTS 5

However, the main area of focus here is the CPU Difference. The N5105 in the TS-464 is overall better than the Intel J6412 in the TS-453E, but not by a huge degree! The graphical handling on the N5105 is a pinch better (encode, decode etc) and has a little more resources on board to get the job done. Additionally, the N5105 has a higher burst/turbo clock speed too. But again, only marginally (0.3Ghz). The difference between them is really small and it is going to be VERY interesting to see how this CPU choice is going to compare in things like Plex Media Server and QVR Pro on either of these product families.

Those are the MAIN differences, but there are a few much smaller differences. Below is a breakdown of their respective specifications and how each compares.

Model QNAP TS-464 NAS

QNAP TS-453E NAS

CPU Intel Celeron N5105/N5095 4-core/4-thread processor, burst up to 2.9 GHz Intel Celeron J6412 4-core/4-thread processor, 2.0-2.6GHz
CPU architecture 64-bit x86 64-bit x86
graphics processor Intel® UHD Graphics Intel® UHD Graphics
floating point operations Yes Yes
encryption engine (AES-NI) (AES-NI)
CPU Benchmark
system memory 4 GB SO-DIMM DDR4 (1 x 4 GB) 2666Mhz 8GB DDR4
maximum memory 16GB (2 x 8GB) 8GB (FIXED)
memory slot 2 SO-DIMM DDR4
For dual DIMM configurations, identical pairs of DDR4 modules must be used.
N/A
flash memory 4GB (dual boot OS protection) 4GB (dual boot OS protection)
Number of hard disk slots 4 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s 4 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s
Supported hard disk types 3.5″ SATA HDD2.5
” SATA HDD2.5
” SATA SSD
3.5″ SATA HDD2.5
” SATA HDD2.5
” SATA SSD
Hot-plug support Yes Yes
M.2 Slot 2 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x1 2 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen 3 x2
External Ports
2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port (2.5G/1G/100M) 2 (also support 10M) 2 (also support 10M)
Wake on LAN (WOL) Yes Yes
jumbo frame Yes Yes
PCIe expansion slot 1x Slot: PCIe Gen 3 x2 N/A
USB 2.0 port 2 x Type-A 2 x Type-A
USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) port 2 x Type-A 2 x Type-A
USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gbps) port 0 0
HDMI output 1. HDMI 2.0 2x HDMI 1.4b
Power Supplier 90W Transformer, 100-240V 90W Transformer, 100-240V
fan 1 x 120mm, 12VDC 1 x 120mm, 12VDC

The QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS – Software Specifications

The QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E will be arriving with QTS, the brand’s software and services platform that is included with every QNAP NAS system. Given the hardware that the TS-X53E arrives with, it will almost certainly not feature the ZFS platform QuTS. QTS is currently in version 5 and I have made a full review of their latest software release in the video below, but below is a breakdown of the key applications that it includes (which can be accessed/used via the network/internet via your web browser, as well as via client apps for desktops and mobile).

QNAP Software and System Management Highlights

  • File Station – File Browsing and Management Tool
  • QSirch -Intelligent and Fast System-wide search tool
  • QFiling – Smart and customizable long term storage and archive tool
  • SSD Caching Monitor and Advisor – Allowing you to scale your SSD cache as needed, or get recommendations on how much you need
  • QTier – The QNAP intelligent, multi-layer tiering system that works to optimize your SSD vs HDD use, moving files to the appropriate storage media (not currently supported on QuTS Hero, just QTS)
  • Microsoft Active Directory– Support and cross-platform control of Active Directory processes
  • Access-Anywhere with myQNAPcloud – Safe and secure remote access over the internet to your storage systems, apps or just file storage
  • Qsync for multiple hardware environment backups and Sync – Client applications that can be installed on multiple 3rd party devices and create a completely customizable and scaled back up network between your devices
  • Hybrid Backup Sync 3 – Allows you to Backup and Sync with Amazon Glacier, Amazon S3, Azure Storage, Google Cloud Storage, HKT Object Storage, OpenStack Swift, WebDAV, Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Drive, Amazon S3, BackBlaze B2, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, HiDrive, hubiC, OneDrive, OneDrive For Business, ShareFile and Yandex Disk. As well as backup to another NAS over real-time remote replication (RTRR) and USB connected media. All scheduled and all accessible via a single app user interface.
  • vJBOD and Hybrid Mount – Gives you the ability to mount cloud storage as a visible drive within the NAS (and the apps access it as if it was local) or mount a % of space from your NAS onto another as a virtual chunk of space to use
  • Multimedia Console – one portal access point to manage media access, searching, indexing and transcoding on your NAS device.
  • Photo, Video and Music Station – Multiple file type tailored applications to access data in the best possible way that is suited to their output – along with smart searching, playlists and sharing
  • Virtualization Station – Used to create virtual computers that can be accessed anywhere over the network/internet with the correct credentials. Supporting Windows, Linux, Android and more. You can import an existing VM image to the NAS, or you can even download Linux and Windows VMs directly to the NAS for trials for free
  • Container Station – much like the VM app, Container station lets you mount and access smaller virtual tools and GUIs, then access them over the network or internet.
  • Linux Station – Handy application to deploy multiple Linux based Ubuntu VMs from the NAS, all easily and within a few clicks
  • QVR Pro and QVR Elite – Surveillance applications that allow you to connect multiple IP cameras and IP speaks to your network and manage them with the applications. Arriving with 2 camera licenses for QVR Elite and 8 licenses for QVR Pro (the better one IMO), QNAP is constantly updating this enterprise-level surveillance application – adding newer security hardware and software tools for 2020 (see QVR Face and QVR Door)
  • QuMagie – Facial and Thing recognition application to help you retrieve, tag and catalogue photos by its use of AI to actually ‘view’ all your years of photos and let you search by the contents of them, not the file names.
  • Download Station – A download management tool that can handle HTTP, BT, FTP and NZB files in bulk to be downloaded to your NAS drive and keep safe. As well as keeping an eye on your RSS feeds and keeping your podcast downloads automatically updated with every episode
  • Malware Removers and Security Councillor – Along with Anti Virus software trials on the app centre, QNAP also provide numerous anti-intrusion tools and even a whole app interface to monitor in/outgoing transmissions with your NAS. It can make recommendations to beef up your security and keep you safe

Here is my full review of QTS 5.0 for QNAP NAS:

FULL Written QNAP QTS 5 Review FULL Video Review of QNAP QTS 5

The QNAP TS-253E & TS-453E NAS – Price & Release Date

The QNAP TS-253E and TS-453E NAS are being listed on numerous official regional sites by the brand, so the release of these NAS drives cannot be especially far away. Regarding pricing, although no official prices have been listed online, we can assume that a) they will be lower in price at launch than the TS-464 and TS-264, and b) that they will be a pinch higher than the pricing of the TS-251D and TS-451D2. So, somewhere between the $350-400 mark (not inc your local TAX). However this is an estimate and until we see further availability of the TS-464 and the rest of that range arrive globally, it is hard to estimate the price of the new TS-253E and TS-453E at this time. You can use the links below to take you to updated prices and where to buy page over on the NASCompares seller area to see if/when they become available.

QNAP TS-253E NAS 2-Bay

QNAP TS-453E NAS 4-Bay

 

 

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7] Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  
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