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A Guide to 2.5GbE Switches – Which is Best?

30 mai 2022 à 01:10

Buying the Right 2.5GbE Switch Switch First Time

Whether you like it or not, 2.5 Gigabit ethernet is very much a THING in 2022! From ISP routers and gaming desktops, to USB adapters and PCIe cards at $25, the access to 2.5x traditional 1GbE network speeds is pretty much 100% for everyone now. The ease of making the switch to 2.5GbE is made even easier when many client network hardware devices are either arriving with 2.5G at the same price as 1G, or include WiFi6 capabilities and therefore have the potential to exceed wired 1GbE too. So, when buying hardware for your home or office in 2022 or 2023, it is understandable that for reasons of future-proofing, you might want to invest in 2.5Gb hardware to ensure everything has the fullest bandwidth possible, without breaking the bank. One of the most important devices you will need to get in order to manage a 2.5GbE network (ensuring no bottlenecks and/or making sure everything gets their fair share of the bandwidth) is by investing in a network switch. A network switch is much like a plug adapter/extension can provide more power points from a single socket over a larger distance, but that also means that much like plug adapters, some are more reliable than others, have features of control and efficiency that are not available on all others and, ultimately, that some 2.5GbE network switches are better than others!

Want to Skip to the Best Switches? Click below to jump ahead:

So, today I want to walk you through the best 2.5Gb network switches you can buy right now, broken down into the best for price, value, scale, features and more. Before we go any further though, I know what you are thinking. Why should someone invest in a 2.5GbE network switch/setup, when they can just skip it and go for a 10GbE setup?

Which Choose 2.5GbE over 10GbE in 2022 and 2023?

It’s a fair point. Although 10GbE is still more expensive than 1GbE and 2.5GbE, it HAS come down in price quite noticeably over the last 5 years. This alongside improvements in more efficient and affordable 10GbE network controllers has led to 10GbE routers and 10GbE switches arriving on the market at a much more affordable price point than ever. Many die-hard network veterans turn their noses up at 2.5GbE, as (alongside 10G being available to businesses and prosumer users for the better part of 10-15years) they consider 2.5G to be a stop-gap and overall better to spend the money towards something bigger and broader in bandwidth. So, why should you care about 2.5G then? Well, a few reasons actually. Such as:

  • Although 10GbE switches and routers ARE in the market at a better price than ever, they are still 3-4x the price of 1GbE alternatives in the managed or unmanaged form
  • 10GbE ports on laptops, computers and standard office hardware is still very much in low adoption. 2.5GbE featured less than 1G, but it’s still ahead of 10GbE in consumer adoption by default
  • PCIe  upgrades with 10GbE are still very expensive (1Gb PCIe = $10, 10Gb PCIe = $80-100 minimum)
  • External 10GbE upgrades are limited and very expensive (Thunderbolt to 10GbE are your only option and start at $150-200, such as the Sonnet SOLO10G-TB3 or QNAP QNA-T310G1T), whereas USB-to-1G adapters are $10-12 and USB-to-2.5GbE are $20-25
  • 10GbE arrives in both Copper and Fibre, which is useful for diverse setups, but leads to a coin toss of more expensive 10G Copper base hardware vs 10G Fibre cables/transceiver high price point and complexity. 2.5GbE uses all the same hardware in place as traditional 1GbE and allows for improved sustainability and less waste
  • Most client hardware is not able to take advantage of 10GbE and although having 1-2 high bandwidth devices (a NAS or SAN type server) connected over 10Gbe to the network can be beneficial to all, most client hardware devices will never be able to saturate 10Gb Connections. In those cases, a 1x10G and 8+ X 1G solution is preferable – which end up costing more than full, widespread 2.5G adoption.

So, yes, 10GbE will most certainly provide you with more bandwidth to play with, but it will cost you more – both for the switch, but also to upgrade each of the client devices on the network .This can slightly mitigated in a few ways (opting for 10GBASE-T and reusing some hardware, gradually upgrading the key clients, choosing comb style switches that featured mixed ports, etc) but 2.5GbE is a more affordable alternative that allows you to upgrade some systems enough for them to saturate 250MB/s bandwidth and not overspend on 10GbE for systems/networks that were never going to take advantage of the 1,000MB/s on offer.

Examples of a 2.5GbE to USB Adapter – $22.99 Examples of a 2.5GbE Network PCIe Card – $27.99

Understanding the Difference Between Managed & Unmanaged

This is one of the two main areas whereby the price of your networks switch can differ wildly. Network switches predominantly arrive in two software types. namely managed and unmanaged. A managed switch is a device that allows an admin or another authorised user to access a control panel visually displayed in the web browser or a supported mobile app, to configure numerous settings inside the switch and create a much more tailored, superior network environment for their own needs. Ranging from configuring which ports and devices have priorities, combining network ports for larger bandwidth (known as link aggregation or port trunking), creating security rules to prevent network invasion and numerous other unique and customisable configuration options. It can be intimidating to configure these settings and although things have become a little more user-friendly in recent years, it is still pretty overwhelming at first to configure your own network connection in a managed switch.

An unmanaged switch, as you probably have already guessed, does NOT allow users to configure the network in any kind of unique way. Unmanaged network switches arrived with more rudimentary internal processes that have numerous default settings for network access, security protocol and how to behave as more client hardware connect to the network. You lose a number of key and popular features such as link aggregation, priority of service, quality of service, failover configurations and more. However an unmanaged switch arrives at a noticeably lower price point due to its more cost-effective internal hardware requirements and if you are a home or even low-level business user who does not require a particularly unique network setup, an unmanaged network switch can often be perfectly fine. It should also be highlighted that smaller, unmanaged switches are often fanless and near-silent in operation too. In short, if you are not particularly tech-savvy, have no interest in learning the ins and outs of your network management, are on a tight budget or are running a fairly rudimentary setup, then an unmanaged switch should be perfectly ok for you and your network requirements. However, in almost every other regard, a managed switch is always better in the long run.

Learn More About Managed VS Unmanaged in the Article Below:


BEST 2.5GbE to USB Adapter – QGeeM 4-in-1 2.5GbE & USB C Hub – £25.49 (currently on offer 06/22)

The 4-in-1 USB C to ethernet hub expands the USB-C port of your laptop to 6 functions. You can connect to the Ethernet, charge the laptop, use an external monitor, data transfer, connect the mouse, etc. to improve your work efficiency. In the process of expansion, it cleverly retains all the functions of the USB-C port that supports up to 100W PD to charge your laptop at full speed, the data transmission speed reaches an astonishing 5Gbps, and it also supports [email protected] media display (mirror mode and extended mode. The USB C adapter is stylishly designed, lightweight and portable, very suitable for home, office environments and business trip, easily handle multitasking and increase productivity.

  • 1x Ethernet: up to 2.5 Gbps
  • 1x USB C: 100W Charging / [email protected] Video / 5Gbps Date Transfer
  • 2x USB 3.0: up to 5 Gbps

The USB c to 2.5g ethernet adapter is for users looking to move beyond Gigabit Ethernet speeds. It can provide network bandwidth of up to 2.5Gbps, 2.5 times the traditional network, and backwards compatible with 10/100/1000Mbps. Compared with wireless connections, wired networks are more secure and stable. There will be no lag in video conferencing, transferring files and playing games. 100W Power Delivery via the USB C PD port, which charges up to 100W, When expanding other devices, you don’t have to worry about running out of power on your laptop, and you can also reduce the number of cables on your desktop. The USB 3.0 port can transfer your files at speeds up to 5Gbps, 10 times faster than the USB 2.0. Backward compatible with USB 2.0 and below, Allows you to connect keyboard, mouse, hard disk, U disk, etc. to your device.

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I recently upgraded my MacBook Pro and I was bummed to find out that the new versions don’t have USB ports anymore. This hub allows me to plug in all my devices that use a USB! It’s small and portable which I appreciate because I can easily carry it with me in my backpack without much-added weight. Just tested it out using my Cricut machine and it worked like a charm! Allows 2.5 gig ethernet speed where there is no port on the laptop. Much faster for wired environments than Wi-Fi only. Since it provides a USB “C” port and two USB “A” ports, you still have USB available on the laptop. Works Great and adds functionality to the laptop! My studio has a really unstable wifi signal so I am looking for a portable hub including Ethernet and a USB port for my Dell XPS. And I am happy with this tiny hub. It works great after 3 days of use. Now I don’t need to worry about the unstable connection during my zoom meeting. In addition, I can connect more devices like flash or external drives to my laptop. It is very light and convenient, I can also bring it when I travel without any concern.

Check if this switch is available on Amazon. This helps us at NASCompares


Cheapest 2.5GbE Network Switch – QNAP QSW-1105-5T – £80-100 (currently on offer 06/22)

The QNAP QSW-1105-5T switch definitely lives up to what it promises and has a very clear target user in mind. It does not pretend to be more than it is and because of that can maintain high performance and low physical and power usage impact for users looking to move to the next level of networking without spending a vast amount. The QSW-1105-5T serves as a great upgrade for users moving from gigabit ethernet and towards multi-gigabit environments and with fantastic growth in 2020 towards 2.5G, 5G and 10Gbe in affordable hardware, the need for a more palatable and affordable upgrade to this tier is not only hugely welcome but fast becoming an inevitability. That said, the QSW-1105-5T is not for everyone, it seems a little pricey when unmanaged 1Gbe 5-Port switches are generally around £40-50.

Also, if you already have a multi-gigabit network environment in place or have need of a more controllable and priority defining network environment in mind, you will probably find the QSW-1105-5T a backstep and limiting in its scope. But the QSW-1105-5T is not designed for that and does not pretend to be so, and with QNAP having released and in the process of releasing switch options to cater to an ever-evolving network clientele, whether this is the switch for you or not, by the end of 2020 QNAP will almost certainly have a switch that suits your needs and budget. Bottom line, I really like this device and couldn’t see myself finding many uses for this device for aspiring YouTubers like me as well as day-to-day data work in general.

Click to view slideshow.

Needless to say, the QNAP QSW-1105-5T is not a hugely powerful switch that is designed to challenge smarter or larger entries into the QNAP QSW range of switches – but that is largely the point! Along with users looking at play n play upgrades to their PC/Client machines at home/office with USB adapters (such as the QNA-UC5G1T), the appeal of 2.5Gbe upgrades in networks that favour WiFi 6 and (soon) WiFi 6E is actually quite pronounced. In this arena, the QSW-1105-5T has little or no competition right now and even if it did, it’s a very solid and well-made product. The price point of over $100 for a 5-Port switch that is unmanaged, when you can pick up 1Gbe unmanaged switches at $40-50 is a little off-putting, but given the next tier (10Gbe) will likely set you back $200 for the same unmanaged architecture, this is more a question of finding a balance I guess. Aside from that, It is hard to fault the switch for what it is, as it is delivering on all it’s promises – I just wish there was a managed version too to take advantage of 2.5Gbe LAG connectivity that is available in almost all multi LAN QNAP solutions in 2020/2021.

Check if this switch is available on Amazon. This helps us at NASCompares


Best Value PoE+ 2.5GbE Switch – TRENDnet TPE-TG350 – $184

Expand your network’s bandwidth and reduce traffic bottlenecks with TRENDnet’s Unmanaged 2.5G PoE+ Switches. These 2.5G PoE+ switches come equipped with 2.5GBASE-T RJ-45 ports that provide higher gigabit speeds capable of up to 2.5Gbps over your existing Cat5e or better cabling. Each high-speed 2.5G PoE+ switch features a durable metal enclosure and can be mounted to the wall for setup flexibility. The fanless design lowers energy consumption and eliminates distracting operating noise. TRENDnet’s reliable 2.5G PoE+ switches are cost-effective solutions to increase your network’s throughput. A 55W total PoE power budget on this PoE+ switch supplies up to four PoE+ devices with up to 30W per port.

  • 5 x 2.5GBASE-T ports
  • 55W PoE power budget
  • IEEE 802.3bz (2.5G) compliant
  • Supports IEEE 802.3at/af PoE standards
  • Backwards compatible with 10/100/1000Mbps devices
  • 25Gbps switching capacity
  • Fanless design eliminates noise
  • Wall mountable for installation flexibility

Check if this switch is available on Amazon. This helps us at NASCompares


Best 8-Port 2.5GbE Switch – TRENDnet TEG-S380 – $179

Despite it’s growing popularity with hardware manufacturers, 2.5G still gets overlooked, and this is a shame. Why? Well, 2.5G network capabilities are showing up in more computers and motherboards nowadays, and it can be the most affordable way to go multi-gig. For instance, 2.5G cards and dongles won’t break the bank, while 2.5Gbps speeds can theoretically be achieved with existing Cat5e. Along with the previously mentioned TG350, TRENDnet releases an affordable unmanaged 2.5G switches. Called “TEG-S380, an 8-Port Unmanaged 2.5G Switch and is the brand’s addition to TRENDnet’s Multi-Gigabit Networking Solutions family. Both switches include 2.5GBASE-T RJ-45 ports, which allow users to achieve up to 2.5Gbps over existing Cat5e (or better) cabling. TRENDnet’s new 2.5G switches are cost-effective means of increasing a network’s throughput, and helping to reduce or eliminate network bottlenecks.

These multi-gigabit switches also feature a durable metal housing, as well as a fanless design to eliminate distracting operating noise. For installation flexibility, the 2.5G switches are conveniently constructed to be mounted on the wall or placed on a desktop. These TRENDnet switches are IEEE 802.3bz compliant; they are also backward compatible with legacy technology hardware. No special configurations are required for these switches to connect and network devices to high-speed 2.5G Ethernet. Equipped with 2.5GBASE-T RJ-45 ports that provide higher gigabit speeds capable of up to 2.5Gbps over existing Cat5e or better cabling. The 2.5G switches feature metal housing with a convenient wall mountable design for greater installation flexibility. Meanwhile, the fanless design of the 2.5G switches lowers energy consumption costs and eliminates operating noise.

Check if this switch is available on Amazon. This helps us at NASCompares


Best Value Managed 2.5GbE and 10GbE Switch – QNAP QSW-M2108-2C or QSW-M2108-2S – $279-309

There is always going to be the question of “who actually has 2.5Gbe these days?”, which is a perfectly valid point! The answer is that thanks to the growth of WiFi 6 (802.11ax) we are seeing lots of router solutions arriving with 2.5G ports. That’s not all though, there are several USB-to-5Gbe and USB-to-2.5Gbe adapters in the market that serve as much MUCH more affordable (and far more convenient) alternatively to hardware systems upgrading to 10Gbe via a PCIe card. Lastly, some more compact systems (Raspberry Pi, MacBook, ChromeBook, Laptop, Surface Pro, etc) do NOT have the ability to upgrade their network port conventionally. So, given that to date, there is no 10Gbe-to-USB adapter on the market (and if there was, I would look at Aquantia in the future), the only alternative to break out of 1Gbe bottlenecks is to use 2.5/5G USB adapters – which is EXACTLY why this 10Gbe and 2.5Gbe network switch exists! QNAP was not one of the first to introduce a budget +Gigabit ethernet switch in 2020/2021 and given the affordability of 10Gbe, as well as the need for businesses to improve their internal networking speeds to match that of high-end ISP and fibre internet around the world, they likely will not be the last.

Click to view slideshow.

However, the combination of 8x 2.5Gbe with the 2x10G really makes the QSW-2108-2C managed switch really stand out, whilst still arriving in a compact and affordable way – a scaled 10Gbe switch for businesses that want to make the step towards this network bandwidth, but is still unsure about the investment. With its unique multi-port combo system, allowing users to combine copper and fibre environments, there is a large degree of flexibility even at this more affordable price point. The design is not for everyone and it lacks the lifetime warranty of some more expensive NETGEAR solutions, but the QNAP QSW-2108-2C is most certainly a capable solution and manages to live up to every single promise that QNAP claims. Along with an incredibly intuitive management panel and ease of design that lends heavily from the QTS NAS software, it certainly beats most of its competitors in the GUI department. In short, the QSW-M2108 largely defeats any notion of looking at 1Gbe switches ever again…

Check if this switch is available on Amazon. This helps us at NASCompares


Best Gamer 2.5G/10G Switch – D-Link DMS-106XT – $140

As you can probably guess from my tone throughout this review, I found it pretty tough to fault the D-Link DMS-106XT network switch given its price tag and wide variety of network connectivity. There are a few design choices that are going to split opinion (metal throughout, LEDs, very unconventional shape, etc) but these are quite minor points in the grand scheme of things. The Price tag of this switch for a 10GbE and 2.5GbE switch, even unmanaged, is going to make it damn near irresistible to many buyers and now that it has had some time in the market to increase exposure, availability and reviews, the price tag has become increasingly flexible (arriving as low as £130/$140 in some retailers).

Click to view slideshow.

D-link could stand to be a little clearer about the turbo mode and it’s advantages with the DMS-106XT and the extent to which those LEDs can actually be customized is pretty weak, but you are clearly getting a sturdy, solid and high-performance piece of kit here. Additionally, with the increase of affordability of 10GbE, as well as 2.5GbE becoming the defacto port to be used with WiFi 6 client hardware, this switch has a much wider audience than it might have had just 2 years ago. A great piece of kit and one I heartily recommend.

Pros – 10G + 2.5G arriving at the same/cheaper price than many 2.5G-only switches right now.  Unique and Attractive Design. Unmanaged BUT the Turbo Mode adds Priority of Sevice features.  Fanless + Ridged Metal design assists heat dissipation. LED and lighting are quite cool looking

Cons – LED lighting controls are practically zero

Check if this switch is available on Amazon. This helps us at NASCompares


Best Unmanaged 2.5GbE and 10GbE Switch – QNAP QSW-2104-2T or QSW-2104-2S – $210

QNAP Systems introduced the QSW-2104 series of unmanaged switch models. The series is formed by the QSW-2104-2S and QSW-2104-2T network switches. The QSW-2104-2T is an easy-to-use unmanaged switch with 2-port 10GbE RJ45 and 4-port 2.5GbE RJ45, allowing you to upgrade your network environment by connecting a wider range of devices with different bandwidth requirements. Featuring a near-silent fanless design and compliance with IEEE 802.3az (Energy Efficient Ethernet, EEE), the QSW-2104-2T operates quietly and with optimal power usage. With high performance and superb functionality, the QSW-2104-2T is the ideal choice for creating an affordable high-speed network environment in your home or workplace.

Click to view slideshow.

aBoth of them are six-port with two 10GbE ports and four 2.5GbE ports, and the difference is that the QSW-2104-2S has 10GbE ports routed to SFP + fiber-optic transceivers, and the QSW-2104-2T model – to connectors designed for copper twisted pair connection. Note that in the first case, speeds of 10 Gb/s and 1 Gb/s are supported, and in the second – 10 Gb/s, 5 Gb/s, 2.5 Gb/s, 1 Gb/s and 100 Mb/s. The 2.5GbE ports in both cases are designed for twisted pair connections and support speeds of 2.5 Gbps, 1 Gbps, and 100 Mbps. With no complex settings required, the QSW-2104 series supports auto-negotiation that optimizes transfer speeds and performance for each connected device. It also features network loop detection that automatically locks looped ports to ensure the network environment quickly resumes normal operations. With plug-and-play support, near-silent, passively cooled design, IEEE 802.3az compliance, and automatic loop detection and blocking, the QSW-2104 series unmanaged switch is “the ideal choice for affordable high-speed networking environments in homes, and in the workplace” says the manufacturer.

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Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Powerful Value?

23 mai 2022 à 01:44

Review of the Terramaster F4-423 NAS Drive

The Network Attached Storage industry (NAS) unlike many areas of the tech world is actually surprisingly small in terms of the companies that fight for market dominance. With less than 10 big players and less than 5 of those being real marketing recognized, choosing a NAS solution is actually quite restricted. In that small paddock of NAS brands, the one that is by FAR the best hardware value (as in, getting the most for your money in terms of hardware) is Terramaster. A brand that has evolved incredibly rapidly in the personal home/office server market in the last 7-8 years. Although not as well established as bigger brands with decades in the server industry (such as Synology and QNAP), in the short time they have been in the NAS market, they have produced a range of solutions that sneak up remarkably close in hardware/software to those bigger brands, whilst sometimes arriving close to half the price for the same architecture. Their latest series is the x23 series (arriving in 2, 4, 9 and 12-Bay desktop solutions so far, at the time of writing) and today I want to review their F4-423 4-Bay NAS. Going up against the likes of the Asustor Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 and QNAP TS-464 NAS (released around a month on either side of the F4-423), as well as competing with Synology’s DS920+ right now, the F4-423 has some steep competition.  Nevertheless, with its pricetag already £100-180 less (depending on where you shop) the F4-423 already seemingly has the high ground in terms of affordability, but what about software, quality and overall performance? Let’s review this new Terramaster NAS and see if it deserves your data.

Terramaster F4-423 Review Chapters

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

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.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Unboxing, Packaging & Presentation

The initial impressions of the presentation Terramaster F4-423 NAS were a little meh! As this is a more affordable solution, it is understandable that some areas of the retail package are going to be a little understated. Additionally, NAS systems like the F4-423 NAS are going to 99% of the time be purchased online (not in your local I.T shop or generally in line of sight at the point of sale), so the need for flashy packaging is less important. That said, many brands still put a little effort into this and present their solutions as a means to promote a brand, lifestyle or general vibe or excellence in their product (i.e. “the first bite is with the eye” etc). The Terramaster F4-423 arrives in a very plain brown box and just has the model ID with a sticker and the brand logos.

Remarks of presentation aside, the packaging of the Terramaster F4-423 is pretty good in terms of protection. The unit is well held in foam (a little softer in density than I would like maybe) and the accessories are neatly and securely contained. There is practically no room for the system to move in transit and ultimately, that is all that matters (silent shock/motion damage to the components).

The accessories box contains lots of accessories and although most are pretty standard (setup instructions, power supplier, warranty information, screws, etc), there are a couple of unusual additional that I have never received in other brand’s products, namely the inclusion of additional HDD tray clip/screw washers and additional rubber feet for the NAS. This isn’t really a good/bad thing and for those that need them, it’s a handy addition. Just seemed an unusual addition.

One small but positive area of note is the LAN cable included. As mentioned earlier, in more affordable NAS solutions (like more tech), the way savings can be made is by cutting corners. Therefore I was surprised that the Terramaster F4-423 arrived with a surprisingly high-quality LAN cable. Thick, Cat 6 and very high quality at the connector. Again, this si a small point, but companies such as QNAP and Terramaster HAVE provided Cat 5e cables of a shorter length, thinner material and nowhere near the quality of this one with their 1/2.5GbE solutions. It’s a VERY minor point, but this is the sort of area I would have assumed Terramster would have saved a few £/$ on and I am impressed.

The Terramaster F4-423 arrives with an external PSU (quite standard in 4-bay desktop systems) and it’s quite non-descript and not too much to write home about. It’s a 2-pin connector 90W PSU.

Overall, there is quite a good range of accessories included with the Terramaster F4-423. Nothing spectacular, but pretty much everything you are going to need (aside from storage media) to set up your NAS quickly and easily. Let’s discuss the design of the F4-423.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Design

Terrasmaster NAS drives are pretty distinctive. The brand has been using largely the same chassis in its 2 and 4 Bay systems for about 5 years. There HAVE been improvements (port placement, removal of the odd handle on the top and the tray quality is massively improved) but in the desktop 2/4-Bay systems, things have changed very little. The design is looking a little dated now in 2022, but it is still very functional and whereas brand like QNAP have 8-10 different design chassis in their portfolio, it is nice that Terramster have at least kept a consistent look/shape to the solutions in their portfolio for brand recognition.

The Terramaster F4-423 NAS chassis is a combination of Metal and plastic (with the front, rear and media trays all arriving in plastic, but the 1 piece surrounding the middle area is metal). Indeed, at a glance you might assume the whole thing is metal, with the brushed silver colour scheme, but no. The system’s passive cooling (vents) are located between each of the media bays, and at the base of the machine. The system seemingly takes advantage of horizontal airflow through the chassis (with the rear fans facilitating this) and the metal middle section providing dissipation for the internal mechanisms getting warm.

The ventilation on the base of the Terramaster F4-423 is pretty much the entire system and the rubber feet of this NAS are noticeably taller than other NAS 4-Bay systems. Although these are chiefly under the drive media bays, they are pretty much over the entire controller board too, to create an angled air circulation through the bays/board and via the fans on the rear.

The Terramaster F4-423 chassis lacks any LCD panel (these days only QNAP and Asustor seemingly include these on a few of their systems) and system information is provided by multiple LEDs on the front. These cover the activity, status and health of the media bays, the network connection and the power of the system.

The main storage bays of the Terramaster F4-423 NAS are SATA connected plastic trays that support 2.5″ and 3.5″ media (i.e HDDs and SSDs). The system can operate with a single drive if you choose, allowing you to gradually add more storage over time. However, the Terramaster F4-423 (like most NAS) works at it’s best with multiple drives in a RAID configuration for the safety net of redundancy and/or a performance increase of multiple drives being read/written to at the same time.

The trays inside the Terramaster F4-423 support the toolless installation of 3.5″ HDDs (i.e no screwdriver needed and drives click in securely) and 2.5″ SSD/HDDs need the included screws. The SATA connections inside are combined data/power, so no loose cables or tricksy installation. Lastly, the Terramaster F4-423supports hot swapping, so drives can be inserted/removed without powering down the system, just BE AWARE that removing a drive that is in a RAID is not recommended (by ANY NAS brand).

And that is about it for the design of the Terramaster F4-423 chassis. They have used this same design in the bulk of the desktop 2/4 systems, so there are few surprises here. But nonetheless, it seemingly does the job and aside from the design perhaps looking a little old these days compared with Synology’s more expensive Diskstation series, it’s a solid enough build. Let’s discuss the ports and connections of the F4-423 NAS.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Ports and Connections

The connections available on the Terramaster F4-423 NAS, although few in number, are all pretty good for what the devices are costing right now. Only three connections to discuss (and one of them is a bit negligible) but given the device’s price point, the available external bandwidth here is impressive. The rear chunky fan module that is located on the rear of the F4-423 (much like previous Terramaster NAS systems) is a little unsightly, but as it is on the rear of the unit, you are never going to see it much.

The twin fans are thicker than many other fans in the market and although that results in a greater draw of air into the system when it is operational, it does also mean that when in operation, the Terramaster F4-423 is a pinch louder. These fans can be adjusted in rotations per minute (RPM) in the TOS software of course, but it is not recommended and it’s best to leave the system fans on automatic so they can dynamically adjust to the internal temperature for efficiency.

Of course, the first big improvement of the Terramaster F4-423 over its predecessors (F4-422 and F4-421) is the inclusion of 2.5-gigabit ethernet (2.5GbE). The NAS arrives with two ethernet ports that can provide around 250-279MB/s throughout each, as well as allowing link aggregation (aka Port Trunking) to combine their bandwidth and provide 5GbE (around 500-550MB/s throughput) with the use of a smart switch. In the last few years, we have seen several brands provide 2.5GbE connections at the same cost as 1GbE ports and with internet service providers and affordable switch manufacturers providing 2.5GbE solutions, it was only natural that NAS brands would make the jump towards it. Hypothetically, if you had a faster than Gb internet connection (fiber etc) and a google drive account, that means that you would be able to connect with your cloud drive FASTER than a NAS system in your home if you only have 1GbE. This is why NAS systems need to arrive with 2.5/5/10GbE in 2022, for the sake of futureproofing and to keep up with the growing demands for data access. Additionally, 4 SATA storage bays (as well as the use of those internal SSD bays that I will touch on later) will easily saturate a 2.5GbE and even LAG supported 5GbE connection, so these ports allow you to maximize your storage potential and share that bandwidth with multiple connected users.

One slight letdown is that the Terramaster F4-423arrives with an HDMI port BUT they do not have any kind of HDMI/Visual GUI that can be accessed (unlike QNAP’s HD Station and Asustor’s Portal applications) The HDMI out DOES allow you to access SSH/Telnet level/stylized backend controls with a USB keyboard, but with this CPU and hardware architecture supporting embedded graphics, 4K media and multimedia services, it is a real shame that you cannot do anything more home/SMB friendly than command line. Maybe one-day Terramaster will update TOS to take advantage of this feature in a more graphical/KVM way, but it has been 2 years of these systems having HDMI and we have yet to see any change on this.

The USB ports of the Terramaster F4-423 are a subtle upgrade over previous/older NAS systems from the brand, with this NAS featuring 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports. These allow connections of up to 10Gb/s (1,000MB/s – double that of the USB 3.2 Gen 1 5Gb/s in older systems) and that means much, MUCH faster local backups to external storage drives, as well as the support of USB JBOD storage expansions. The real benefits of USB 3.2 Gen 2 in expansions are only really felt when using larger SSD arrays or 5-8 bay expansions. Nevertheless, these ports are a nice extra for the system. Additionally, Terramaster recently released an affordable USB-to-2.5GbE adapter for £25+ that allows you to connect ANOTHER 2.5GbE port on this system. Add a 2-4Bay storage expansion to the other USB port and you have a great deal of storage and network bandwidth for this system to graduate towards, all thanks to those newer gen USB ports.

The ports and connections of the Terramaster F4-423 are few in number but still nonetheless good upgrades over it’s predecessor. Terramaster could have EASILY cut a few corners here (i.e USB 3.2 Gen 1 or just a single 2.5GbE port) and most users would not have batted an eye (as it is noticeably lower in price than the similar USB 3.2/2.5G QNAP TS-464). Let’s get our screwdriver and take a look inside this NAS to see how Terramster have approached the internal specifications of the F4-423.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware of the Terramaster F4-423 NAS is a mix of current generation hardware choices and quirky application. The internal boards comprise two PCBs (one for the SATA storage nad another for… well… everything else). In most cases, a user will almost never completely dismantle a NAS drive in its lifespan. However, in the case of the F4-423, you are going to need to take it apart quite considerably in order to access a number of the upgrade options. In order to access these, you will need to remove the six rear screws of the chassis and then remove the rear panel. This rear panel contains the active cooling fans and either awkwardly hangs from the chassis or you will need to disconnect the fan (something only fractionally less ideal). From here you will need to slide the entire internal framework out and that allows you to access/upgrade a couple of the internal hardware components as needed.

Once the full internal board is disconnected, you are able to see a wide variety of heatsinks, ports and modules. This is a slightly unconventional means of accessing these bits but something that most PC builders will be ok with. The board is double-sided with the m.2 SSD slots and a single SODIMM memory slot on one side, and the Internal CPU and another populated SODIMM slot on the other side – which is significantly harder to access and requires removal of even more of the internal framework to access.

The CPU featured in the Terramaster F4-423 NAS is a quad-core Intel Celeron N5105 CPU, a processor that has been very much the ‘CPU of choice’ among the 2022/2023 generation of NAS hardware from most of the brands (except Synology). This is a quad-core x86 64bit processor that is 2.0Ghz in clock speed, that can be burst up to 2.9Ghz when needed. It features an onboard AES-NI encryption engine, as well as Intel embedded graphics for visual data tasks such as native multimedia playback, transcoding, photo management and improved services in TOS 5 (still in beta) towards AI photo recognition and surveillance with IP Cameras. As mentioned, although this is never going to challenge the likes of an Intel Pentium or Intel Core in 2022, it is still a very good CPU and in the context of NAS and this price point, very competent indeed.

Alongside that CPU, the Terramaster F4-423 NAS also arrives with 4GB of DDR4 Memory. However, closer inspection of the F4-423 architecture does raise a couple of small questions. Firstly, the 4GB of memory the system arrives with is a single 2133Mhz SODIMM module. Most other NAS systems with this architecture arrive with 2400-2666Mhz memory. It’s a small point, but this is the first NAS I have seen with DDR4 memory at 2133Mhz. Additionally, the 4GB module is located in an incredibly difficult place under the main cage array, so installing larger/faster memory is not going to be possible without much more dismantling. Talking of ‘adding more memory’, Terramaster state that the F4-423 NAS supports up to 32GB of DDR4 SODIMM memory across its two slots. However, Intel state that this CPU only supports a maximum 16GB across two channels – so although I am sure the system would definitely see 32GB of memory if you have 2x 16GB installed, I do wonder if you will definitely be able to actually USE all 32 correctly.

The Terramaster F4-423 also features two M.2 NVMe SSD bays that allow you to install significantly faster SSDs into the system alongside SATA HDDs, meaning that you have another option for your storage. Now, there is good and bad news here regarding these ports. On the plus side, they can be used for either caching alongside the larger HDD RAID configuration (to allow read/write caching and significantly improve their performance in key areas) or as it’s own storage pool. This is something that popular NAS competitor Synology has never implemented to their NVMe bays, despite it being a highly requested feature. On a slight downside, as the Intel N5105 CPU inside the Terramaster F4-423 is already being stretched a little thing in it’s architecture, these M.2 NVMe SSD bays are PCIe Gen 3 x1 speed. This means that NVMe SSDs such as the Seagate Ironwolf 510/525 or WD Red SN700 at PCIe Gen 3/4 x4 will be limited down to a maximum 1,000MB/s per bay. This is still something you can incorporate into a solid RAID for improved performance and its better to have them, than not at all though.

The internal hardware inside the Terramaster F4-423 is still good for the money and certainly gives you a solid base level of hardware to work with. The means to access and upgrade the system hardware is less smooth than most/all other commercial NAS brands, but once you have jumped these odd hurdles, you have some great kit here to use in conjunction with 1st and 3rd party applications. So, let’s move into the subject of software and TOS on the F4-423.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Software

VERY IMPORTANT – At the time of writing this review, the Terramaster F4-423 NAS arrives with the 4th generation of their software platform TOS. Why is this important? Well, because right now there is a beta in progress for TOS 5 and it is a SIGNIFICANT step from the current generation of TOS that is included with the F4-423 at launch. So, if you are considering the F4-423 NAS later in 2022/2023, then there is every chance that TOS 5 has been released and you can download it (free etc) onto the device. We will be reviewing TOS 5 fully when the final version is released, but for now, I wanted to highlight a number of hte key features that will be added to TOS later this year, as well as the current range of services that are included in TOS 4 right now. (important, we originally previewed a VERY earlier build of Terramaster TOS 5 Alpha in the video HERE on the NASCompares YouTube channel which will give you an idea of how TOS5 looks/feels, but many new features have been added in the months since the beta was rolled out). LOADS more features have been added since this original alpha preview and we will soon be deep-diving into this newer Beta release very soon. Below is what Terramaster say is included in the new TOS ver.5 Beta.

New Features & Improvements in Existing Services

In TOS 5, not only have the storage structure and data interaction mode been reconstructed but also, compared with the previous generation, it adds more than 50 features and 600 improvements. The new features meet more business requirements, as well as significantly improve response speed, security, and ease of use.

Browser Access to TOS is Now 3x Times Faster

TOS 5 adopts progressive JavaScript language and a lightweight framework with a faster loading speed. TOS 5 features bidirectional data binding, easier data manipulation, and automatic synchronous response to data changes in the page; UI, data, and structure separation make it easier to change data without the need to modify logic codes. Using progressive JavaScript language, TOS 5 has a more lightweight framework. In addition, through two-way binding of data, the view, data and structure are separated. When the page is operated, it automatically responds to changes in data, which makes the system “lighter” and achieves a faster loading speed.

New caching technology avoids network round trips between the server and the database, bypasses the calculation that occupies resources, saves server resources, and improves response time and waiting time, so TOS 5 has the fastest response time in the current TOS family. Compared with the last generation, the TOS 5 response speed has increased by 300%! Use WASM to optimize the calculation method and execute the back-end complex calculations on the front-end, thereby reducing the calculation pressure on the server. In addition, TOS 5 uses the most popular back-end language at the moment, which can support high concurrent requests. Compared with traditional interpreted languages, the compilation speed is faster.

Improved Resource Monitor in TOS 5

The new iconic resource monitor board allows you to grasp the operating status of your TNAS comprehensively and intuitively in real-time; at-a-glance visibility of system load, CPU and memory usage, network traffic, disk I/O, device temperature, storage, processes, online users, listening ports, and system resource occupancy. Historical records of up to 30 days can be easily traced back.

Full One Button System Isolation Mode Available in TOS 5

TerraMaster’s unique security isolation mode completely isolates your TNAS device from the external network through network isolation, digital signature, and file format restriction, providing a safer operating environment and effective protection against virus and ransomware attacks.

Support of the WORM File System in TOS5

Data can be written at one time within the customized protection period and cannot be deleted or modified. This effectively protects your data from malicious damage, deletion, or tampering and provides data protection for up to 70 years; essential for the financial, judicial, medical, and scientific research sectors, as well as other business users.

Improved Storage, Backup & Sync Features in Terramaster TOS 5

TOS 5 features optimized storage architecture to reduce the system space occupation. The file deduplication system, file system compression, TRAID elastic array, and other functions also save you up to 40% of storage space

Single Portal Folder Level Backup for Home and SMB Users

Reduce complexity and embrace simplicity. All backup needs can be completed through a single portal, providing one-stop backup solutions including Central Backup, TerraSync, Duple Backup, Snapshot, USB Copy, CloudSync, and other comprehensive backup tools. This meets your clients’ disaster recovery and restoration requirements, as well as backup policies and destinations.

Business Focused ProActive Backups for Larger Business

To improve management efficiency, medium and larger-sized businesses need a centralized and active backup solution for multiple users, PCs, and servers. Centralized Backup is a business-oriented backup solution that supports backup and restoration for multiple device types. You can centrally backup data of dozens or even hundreds of PCs, servers, or virtual machines with only one TNAS.

New Flexible RAID Support in TRAID in TOS 5

By optimizing the traditional RAID mode, TerraMaster RAID (TRAID) gives you flexible disk array configuration, flexible online migration, capacity expansion, and redundancy policies. As well as improving disk space utilization, it also provides solutions and security protection for storage space changes caused by new business requirements. Much like Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) in that you can mix drive capacities for improved storage after the RAID redundancy calculation. I reached out to Terramaster directly on this and they confirm that this function is supported in TOS 5.

Multiple Client Sync with TerraSync in TOS 5

TerraSync, a TerraMaster self-developed synchronization tool, realizes data synchronization between multiple users and multiple devices. It efficiently implements data sharing among branch offices and data synchronization between individuals on multiple devices and platforms, which assists employees in collaborative work and improves work efficiency.

New CloudSync Application for Bare Metal-to-Cloud Live Sync in TOS 5

The new CloudSync app integrates multiple cloud drives and syncs them into one application, including Google Drive, One Drive, Amazon S3, Backblaze, Box, Dropbox, Koofr, OpenDrive, pCloud, Yandex disk, and Aliyun. This allows users to centralize the management of multiple synchronization tasks and add a variety of cloud disk synchronization options including Aliyun and Rackspace. A more flexible, stable, and efficient solution for data synchronization between your TNAS and cloud drives is facilitated by your choice of customized synchronization strategies, such as traffic control, scheduled tasks, and encryption.

CCTV Surveillance in Terramaster TOS 5

TNAS is an ideal video recording storage device. The new Surveillance Manager makes full use of TNAS storage resources to realize camera management, real-time monitoring, video storage, playback, query, event and activity monitoring and recording, providing you with economic and flexible video monitoring management tools to safeguard your personal and property safety.

AI Photo Recognition Now Available in TOS 5 with Terra Photo

Terra Photos is TerraMaster’s brand-new AI photo management application that provides smart solutions for your photo management and sharing; it uses intelligent AI algorithms to identify and classify faces, pets, locations, and other objects in your photos.

Docker Added to Existing Container Tools in TOS 5

Combined with docker-compose and portainer, the new Docker Manager features an optimized operation interface, with multiple new features which provide visual management that meets all your requirements for container customization and flexible configuration.

New Update to Terramaster’s Mobile App, TNAS Mobile 5

To adapt to TOS 5, TNAS mobile has also ushered in a comprehensive update, TNAS mobile 5. Featuring an optimized user interface and interaction, it has also added mobile phone backup, photo management, personal folders, team folders, data safebox, TerraSync, remote administrator, and other functions, which provide more convenience for remote access, mobile office, and remote management of your TNAS.

TOS 4 on the Terramaster F4-423 NAS

Once again, I need to highlight that the F4-423 NAS needs to be viewed with its price tag always in mind. With software and hardware that is available on other NAS brand devices, it is easy to imagine that this device is a much, more affordable alternative to QNAP or Synology NAS. However, you should always remember that this device is still aimed at those looking for a first dip into NAS and if should be compared with WD NAS and D-Link when making your choice of NAS. it is DEFINITELY better than those and arrives at a better price, but it may still be a year or more before the Terramaster TOS Software platform can compete with DSM and QTS. That said, the Beta is really showing that TOS is going to evolve even further and for more information about the TerraMaster TOS operating System, I recommend visiting my software review here from a couple of years ago.

Key Software and NAS tasks that are supported are:

  • RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, JBOD
  • Apple Time Machine Backup
  • Cloud Migration and Synchronization
  • NAS to NAS Rsync Support
  • Plex Media Server
  • Docker

  • Mail Server
  • Web Server
  • DLNA Media Server
  • WordPress Server
  • Download Server
  • Snapshot Support

With a good range of applications to choose from, as well as the support of modern NAS applications in the mix, the TerraMaster F4-423 does give you a good base with which to start your NAS journey, though it may feel a little streamlined for those with greater NAS experience.

Terramaster F4-423 NAS Review – Conclusion

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.

PROS of the Terramaster F4-423 CONS of the Terramaster F4-423
  • 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
  • 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)

Click the link below to take you to your local Amazon store and where to buy the terramaster F4-423 NAS.

 

 

Terramaster T12-423 Celeron based 12-bay NAS

18 mars 2022 à 01:06

TerraMaster Introduces 12-Bay T12-423 High-Performance NAS

Terramaster continues to roll out their new ‘423’ series of devices and for those that thought the recent 9-Bay solution that was revealed was intriguing will be pleased to hear that Terramaster have doubled down o this and crafted a new 12-Bay NAS solution in the T12-423. The Terramaster T12-423 NAS is their first 12-Bay NAS drive (indeed, I can only think of around 3-4 other12-Bay NAS systems ever released and they were HDD/SSD combos, such as the QNAP TVS-1288X or TVS-1282) and building on the architecture of what we have seen from the brand until now, this new system arrives with a current-gen server-grade Intel CPU, improved network connections and a tower-style of desktop chassis. Let’s take a look at everything we know about the T12-423 NAS Drive coming soon.

T12-423 FRONT T12-423 BACK/PORTS

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS – Performance & Connectivity


The Terramaster T12-423 arrives with similar connectivity to a number of their older Fx-422 and Fx-421 NAS systems, however, there have been improvements in a number of key areas and if this is an idea of what the rest of the Tx-423 NAS range will be featuring in 2022, it is a solid start. The external network connectivity of the T12-423 features two 2.5GbE network ports, that allow upto 5GbE via link-aggregation/port-trunking with a supported network switch (as well as being backwards compatible with 1GbE networks of course). Until now Terramaster has only supplied Desktop 1GbE solutions (along with a couple of 10GbE servers too), so it is nice to see the brand embracing the emerging deployment and utility amount network client hardware to include 2.5GbE at the same price as 1GbE. Alongside this, there are USB 3.2 Gen 1 Ports that support external storage, but also Terramaster is one of the last brands in the market with comparatively large USB accessories support vs the likes of Synology and QNAP. These being 5Gb ports and not 10Gb USB ports is a bit of a shame (especially for those who are considering USB local backups to this TWELVE bay system) but the wider USB support is still very welcome. Finally, there is the HDMI output on the rear. Sadly, Terramaster have still to develop any visual/GUI putout for this port and it is reserved for direct, command-level access with security credentials -in other words, maintenance at best. The 2.5GbE ports are the show stealer here though and I hope this is a trend we are going to see from the brand in their 2-Bay, 4-Bay and 5-Bay systems in 2022/2023.

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware of the T12-423 NAS is an interesting mix and alongside the use of the current SMB/Prosumer grade favourite CPU (the Intel Celeron N5105 or N5095 – an Intel CPU Refresh amidst the pandemic means that there are several runs on similar CPUs right now that would have been scheduled in other circumstances), the system arrives with an impressive 8GB of memory by default. I am particularly impressed by the 1x 8GB DDR4 Memory module as standard in the T12-423, as most systems that have arrived in the last 3 months with this CPU (about 3 NAS’) have all featured 2GB or 4GB, so this is a welcome increase for day 1 users. The CPU itself is certainly worthy of note and serves as a notable upgrade over the J4355 in the 2020/2021 generation Terramster systems:

Another couple of areas of note are to do with how Terramaster have stretched the chipset and CPU lanes available in the T12-423. Firstly, the memory maximum of the T12-423 is 32GB. Most systems with this architecture arrive with a 16GB maximum, largely because Intel rate this CPU with that maximum. Therefore it is unusual that Terramaster rate this at 32GB maximum (2 slots, 16GB per slot). Additionally, the system features an additional M.2 NVMe SSD slot (PCIe Gen 3 x2 = 2,000MB/s throughput) but I am still seeking clarification if this can be used for BOTH caching and general storage, or just caching. Most systems would arrive with two M.2 slots (to allow the possibility of Read/Write caching), but I imagine the 12 bays of storage ticked over into the chipset/PCI lanes are enough to prevent this. Still, having the option of installing even a single m.2 SSD is better than ot having it at all, Below is a breakdown of the rest of the hardware specifications:

Processor
Processor Model Intel® Celeron® N5105
Processor Architecture X.86 64-bit
Processor Frequency Quad Core 2.0 GHz (Max burst up to 2.9 GHz)
Hardware Encryption Engine
Hardware Transcoding Engine H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2, VC-1; maximum resolution: 4K (4096 x 2160); maximum frame rate per second (FPS): 60
Memory
System Memory 8GB
Pre-installed Memory module 1
Total Memory Slot Number 2 (SO-DIMM)
Maximum Supported Memory 32 GB (16 GB + 16 GB)
Note TerraMaster reserves the right to replace memory modules with the same or higher frequency based on supplier’s product life cycle status. Rest assured that the compatibility and stability have been strictly verified with the same benchmark to ensure identical performance.
Storage
Disk Slot Number 12
Compatible Drive types 3.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA SSD
Maximum Internal Raw Storage Capacity 240TB (20TB x 12) (Capacity may vary by RAID types)
Max Single Volume 108TB
Drive Hot Swap
Note . Hard drive vendors will release their latest models of hard drives, and Maximum internal raw storage capacity may be adjusted accordingly.
. The maximum single volume size is not directly related to the maximum raw capacity.
File System
Internal Drive EXT4,BTRFS
External Drive EXT3, EXT4, NTFS, FAT32, HFS+
External Ports
RJ-45 2.5GbE Network Jack 2
USB 3.1 Port 2 (Type-A USB 3.1 Gen2)
HDMI 1
M.2 2280 NVMe Slot 1 (PCIe3.0 x2)
Appearance
Size  mm
Packaging Size  mm
Weight Net Weight:  Kg   Gross Weight:  Kg
Others
System Fan 80 mm x 80 mm x25mm 3 pcs
Fan Mode Smart, High speed, Middle speed, Low speed
Noise Level dB(A) (Fully loaded Seagate 4TB ST4000VN008 hard drive(s) in idle state)
Power Supply 500W
AC Input Voltage 100V – 240V AC
Current Frequency 50/60 Hz, single frequency
Power Consumption W (Fully loaded Seagate 4TB ST4000VN008 hard drive(s) in read/write state)
W (Fully loaded Seagate 4TB ST4000VN008 hard drive(s) in hibernation)
Limited warranty 2 years
Certificate FCC, CE, CCC, KC
Environment RoHS, WEEE
Temperature
Working Temperature 0°C  ~ 40°C (32°F ~ 104°F)
Storage Temperature -20°C ~ 60°C (-5°F ~ 140°F)
Relative Humidity 5% ~ 95% RH
Package Contents
Host unit (x1)
Power cord (x1)
RJ-45 network cable (x1)
Quick Installation Guide (x1)
Limited Warranty Note(x1)
Screws(a few)

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS – Size, Noise & Impact

Now, let’s discuss the remarkably tall elephant in the room! The T12-423 12-Bay NAS is desktop chassis that is vertically stacked. Much closer in appearance to a desktop PC that you might find under your desk, the SATA HDD bays are a 4×3 configuration, Looking much more in initial appearance to a compact rackmount NAS chassis, this is quite a unique choice of design. The size of the chassis in its narrow form is much taller deployment might out some users off, in more compact server rooms this would be quite appealing. As this is a 12-Bay chassis, with an internal 500W PSU and 3 rear active fans, the ambient noise level (even with modest Hard Drives) will be quite noticeable. However, this is to be expected once you hit this kind of storage capacity. Overall, although the initial design of the Terramaster T12-423 is unusual, I think there IS a method to the madness and I quite like it!

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS – Applications

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS (much like the rest of the Pro/SMB servers in their portfolio) arrives with the TOS software and services. We have reviewed this NAS GUI and platform back in 2019 in Version TOS 4 HERE, but the brand is currently working on TOS version 5.0, with promised improvements in the user interface, security, applications and responsiveness. We were lucky enough to get access to an early build of Terramaster TOS 5.0 and you can find out more in the video below.

The Terramaster T12-423 NAS – Price & Release Date

The release of the Terramaster T12-423 12-Bay NAS looks like it will be relatively soon, as the official product page for this NAS has been made public on the official brand pages. Terramaster says that the T12-423 will be available at approx $1399 and further pricing worldwide will be available soon.

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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.  

New Terramaster T9-423 9-Bay For 2022 – Something VERY Different!

21 février 2022 à 01:22

TerraMaster Introduces 9-Bay T9-423 High-Performance NAS

In the last few years, it would be fair to say that I have seen ALOT of NAS drives. However, the latest release from Terramaster is quite a unique piece of kit and although it brings a bunch of ‘brand firsts’ to the desktop buyer’s market, it does so in that particularly ‘Terramaster’ way and ends up standing out in a few notable ways. The Terramaster T9-423 NAS is their first 9-Bay NAS drive (indeed, I can only think of around 3-4 other 9-Bay NAS systems ever released and they were HDD/SSD combos) and building on the architecture of what we have seen from the brand until now, this new system arrives with a current-gen server-grade Intel CPU, improved network connections and a tower-style of desktop chassis. Let’s take a look at everything we know about the T9-423 NAS Drive coming soon.

T9-423 FRONT T9-423 BACK/PORTS

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS – Performance & Connectivity


The Terramaster T9-423 arrives with similar connectivity to a number of their older Fx-422 and Fx-421 NAS systems, however, there have been improvements in a number of key areas and if this is an idea of what the rest of the Tx-423 NAS range will be featuring in 2022, it is a solid start. The external network connectivity of the T9-423 features two 2.5GbE network ports, that allow upto 5GbE via link-aggregation/port-trunking with a supported network switch (as well as being backwards compatible with 1GbE networks of course). Until now Terramaster have only supplied Desktop 1GbE solutions (along with a couple of 10GbE servers too), so it is nice to see the brand embracing the emerging deployment and utility amount network client hardware to include 2.5GbE at the same price as 1GbE. Alongside this, there are USB 3.2 Gen 1 Ports that support external storage, but also Terramaster is one of the last brands in the market with comparatively large USB accessories support vs the likes of Synology and QNAP. These being 5Gb ports and not 10Gb USB ports is a bit of a shame (especially for those who are considering USB local backups to this NINE bay system) but the wider USB support is still very welcome. Finally there is the HDMI output on the rear. Sadly, Terramaster have still to develop any visual/GUI putout for this port and it is reserved for direct, command-level access with security credentials -in other words, maintenance at best. The 2.5GbE ports are the show stealer here though and I hope this is a trend we are going to see from the brand in their 2-Bay, 4-Bay and 5-Bay systems in 2022/2023.

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware of the T9-423 NAS is an interesting mix and alongside the use of the current SMB/Prosumer grade favourite CPU (the Intel Celeron N5105 or N5095 – an Intel CPU Refresh amidst the pandemic means that there are several runs on similar CPUs right now that would have been scheduled in other circumstances), the system arrives with an impressive 8GB of memory by default. I am particularly impressed by the 1x 8GB DDR4 Memory module as standard in the T9-423, as most systems that have arrived in the last 3 months with this CPU (about 3 NAS’) have all featured 2GB or 4GB, so this is a welcome increase for day 1 users. The CPU itself is certainly worthy of note and serves as a notable upgrade over the J4355 in the 2020/2021 generation Terramster systems:

Another couple of areas of note are to do with how Terramaster have stretched the chipset and CPU lanes available in the T9-423. Firstly, the memory maximum of the T9-423 is 32GB. Most systems with this architecture arrive with a 16GB maximum, largely because Intel rate this CPU with that maximum. Therefore it is unusual that Terramaster rate this at 32GB maximum (2 slots, 16GB per slot). Additionally, the system features an additional M.2 NVMe SSD slot (PCIe Gen 3 x2 = 2,000MB/s throughput) but I am still seeking clarification if this can be used for BOTH caching and general storage, or just caching. Most systems would arrive with two M.2 slots (to allow the possibility of Read/Write caching), but I imagine the 9 bays of storage ticked over into the chipset/PCI lanes are enough to prevent this. Still, having the option of installing even a single m.2 SSD is better than ot having it at all, Below is a breakdown of the rest of the hardware specifications:

Processor
Processor Model Intel® Celeron® N5105/N5095
Processor Architecture X.86 64-bit
Processor Frequency Quad Core 2.0 GHz (Max burst up to 2.9 GHz)
Hardware Encryption Engine
Hardware Transcoding Engine H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2, VC-1; maximum resolution: 4K (4096 x 2160); maximum frame rate per second (FPS): 60
Memory
System Memory 8GB
Pre-installed Memory module 1
Total Memory Slot Number 2
Maximum Supported Memory 32 GB (16 GB + 16 GB)
Note TerraMaster reserves the right to replace memory modules with the same or higher frequency based on supplier’s product life cycle status. Rest assured that the compatibility and stability have been strictly verified with the same benchmark to ensure identical performance.
Storage
Disk Slot Number 9
Compatible Drive types 3.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA SSD
Maximum Internal Raw Storage Capacity 180TB (20TB x 9) (Capacity may vary by RAID types)
Max Single Volume 108TB
Drive Hot Swap
Note . Hard drive vendors will release their latest models of hard drives, and Maximum internal raw storage capacity may be adjusted accordingly.
. The maximum single volume size is not directly related to the maximum raw capacity.
File System
Internal Drive EXT4,BTRFS
External Drive EXT3, EXT4, NTFS, FAT32, HFS+
External Ports
RJ-45 2.5GbE Network Jack 2
USB 3.1 Port 2 (Type-A USB 3.1 Gen2)
HDMI 1
M.2 2280 NVMe Slot 1 (PCIe3.0 x2)
Appearance
Size 334 x 135 x 295 mm
Packaging Size 467 x 225 x 390 mm
Weight Net Weight: 6.9 Kg  Gross Weight:  Kg
Others
System Fan 80 mm x 80 mm x25mm 3 pcs
Fan Mode Smart, High speed, Middle speed, Low speed
Noise Level dB(A)
Power Supply 250W
AC Input Voltage 100V – 240V AC
Current Frequency 50/60 Hz, single frequency
Power Consumption 115W (read & write)
W  (hard drive dormancy)
Limited warranty 2 years

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS – Size, Noise & Impact

Now, let’s discuss the remarkably tall elephant in the room! The T9-423 9-Bay NAS is desktop chassis that is vertically stacked. Much closer in appearance to a desktop PC that you might find under your desk, the SATA HDD bays are a 3×3 configuration, Looking much more in initial appearance to a compact rackmount NAS chassis, this is quite a unique choice of design. The size of the chassis at 33.4cm x 13.5cm x 29.5cm, a narrow form and although this much taller deployment might out some users off, in more compact server rooms this would be quite appealing. As this is an 8-Bay chassis, with an internal 250W PSU and 3 rear active fans, the ambient noise level (even with modest Hard Drives) will be quite noticeable. However, this is to be expected once you hit this kind of storage capacity. Overall, although the initial design of the Terramaster T9-423 is unusual, I think there IS a method to the madness and I quite like it!

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS – Applications

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS (much like the rest of the Pro/SMB servers in their portfolio) arrives with the TOS software and services. We have reviewed this NAS GUI and platform back in 2019 in Version TOS 4 HERE, but the brand is currently working on TOS version 5.0, with promised improvements in the user interface, security, applications and responsiveness. We were lucky enough to get access to an early build of Terramaster TOS 5.0 and you can find out more in the video below.

The Terramaster T9-423 NAS – Price & Release Date

The release of the Terramaster T9-423 9-Bay NAS looks like it will be relatively soon, as the official product page for this NAS has been made public on the official brand pages. Terramaster says that the T9-423 will be available at $999 and further pricing worldwide will be available soon.

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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 2022 NAS Hardware – Confirmed Releases & Our Predictions

9 février 2022 à 01:09

Which Synology NAS Drives will we see in 2022?

“When is the DS922+ NAS Coming?”. We are barely scratching the surface of 2022 and anyone that knows how the Synology naming convention works is keen to when the DSx22+ (or even DSx23+) series is going to drop! Whether you are an existing Synology NAS drive owner, hoping to migrate from a particularly old system or just keeping an eye on the changing tides of tech at the big brand in network-attached storage, the periodic refresh of the Synology hardware portfolio is generally something that is much anticipated. Synology is a brand in the world of NAS that is heavily focused on software, with their DSM, SRM and C2 platforms more often getting the lion share of regular updates throughout the year. However, their portfolio is actually rather extensive and every 2, 3 or 5 years (depending on the product series) the brand will revisit an existing sing;e/batch of hardware solutions and update them with more ports, capable CPUs or more. The motivation for this can be pretty diverse and occasionally outside of the brand’s own control (such as the CPUs from Intel having a regular refresh cycle at the point of production forcing the hand’s of manufacturers to update their hardware specifications regardless), so many Synology NAS buyers who are looking at a solution to buy (eg the DS920+ or DS218play) will look at the fact that they have been in the market 12-18months and think “is there something better coming along?”. It is understandable and given the frequency of Synology going this being so diverse based on the range PLUS the effects of the pandemic AND semiconductor shortages worldwide, predicting the new Synology hardware being released can be a tricksy business! Luckily a few bits and bobs of the Synology 2022 hardware coming this year have been revealed or accidentally uncovered, as well as clear motions on the movement of stock, pricing and hardware online give even further indication of things we can comfortably predict sometimes. So, today I want to go through all the things we know about, all the things we can comfortably predict and put together every single piece of Synology NAS hardware confirmed/potentially coming in 2022. Additionally, if you would rather hear more details on this and how these points were reached, there is a full Video about Synology NAS Hardware I know about or predicting can be found HERE

Let’s talk hardware!

Budget and Value J and Play Series Synology NAS Drives in 2022

Arguable the range from Synology that is by FAR the longest due for an upgrade is the Synology Value series of desktop NAS drives. The bulk of the affordable solutions that carry the ARM-based CPUs and are aimed at smaller task/user-base users, many users who are migrating away from modest WD MyBooks or WD MyClouds (some of which are no longer receiving firmware updates) and therefore looking for a device that is modest, yet still jam-packed with cool DSM features – just on a smaller scale of volume. However, even a quick look at the value end of the spectrum of solutions from Synology in this bracket reveals a sad fact – that of the 7 solutions on offer, 6 of them have the same CPU and they only deviate in the number of bays, amount of memory (2GB max) and all but one has 1x 1GbE network interfaces.

The slight ‘staying on the fence’ feeling is further bolstered when you see that some of these solutions were released at the tail end of 2017 (over 4 years ago) and when compared with the value J series 2/4-Bay released in 2020 are really, REALLY similar. There is certainly a feeling of bottleneck in the range and it leads you to the feeling that either the brand is going to have to phase out everything EXCEPT the J series (for fear of continued overlap) OR that the brand will be releasing more affordable solutions very soon in order to close this bottlenecked area of the portfolio.

Regardless of whether Synology pushes ahead with a DS122, DS222, DS422 and DS222play follow-ups to their 2017/18 series predecessors OR they phase them out in favour of a DS222J and DS420j focused value tier, Synology will NOT abandon this tier of their portfolio/audience. Notwithstanding that it stands as an affordable entry point into the Synology ecosystem, these systems are used as partner/side systems for many for backups and more. The BIG question though will be 1) the CPU and 2) 2.5GbE? On the subject of the CPU, I think we are almost certainly going to be looking at an ARM Cortex A55 processor. Available in several revisions (with varying clock speeds and brand architecture), the CPU below is one that I have seen tremendous uptake on in the last quarter of 2021 in both component sets and arriving on other value server options. Although is understandably modest, is still a good jump on the ARM Cortex A53 of the previous generation.

However, I would be surprised (and very impressed I should add) if Synology embraces 2.5GbE on this value tier. It is not impossible, but Synology has always been very slow in the uptake of 2.5GbE and although I DO think the brand will start finally integrating it (covering in a bit), I think that it would be very uncharacteristic of the brand to include it in the value/J series right now. Find out more about my thoughts on this from my video with Eddie the Webguy in the video linked below (will skip you to the right bit!):

03:30 – Synology Budget NAS Drives in 2022? (DS122, DS222, DS422, DS222j, DS422j, DS222play)

 

Synology NAS and 2.5GbE Diskstation Solutions

Back in Spring 2020 when Synology released a remarkably large number of solutions (for them, 4-5 solutions a year is fairly normal, whereas we saw 12 different hardware releases in the first half of that year), on rather big elephant in the room was the absence of 2.5GBASE-T, aka 2.5G network ports. Now, there was also the usual explanations of the lack of 10GbE of course on 2/4Bay solutions, but this can largely be ignored due to the cost of hardware, the portfolio and the lanes afforded internally to the CPUs that these systems are built around to remain in that price point. However, back then, every other brand had multiple 2.5GbE equipped solutions in the market and these were priced at their 1GbE alternatives, so this seemed like quite a large omission b the brand. Then there was the added fact that Synology was one of the FIRST brands to talk about 2.5GbE on their desktop solutions in the market way back in 2018/2019 when they revealed their prototype DS1620xs+ NAS solution at their Taipei based annual event:

However, this would later be released as the DS1621xs+ and dropped the 4x 2.5GbE in favour of 2x 1GbE and 1x 10GbE (so, not a bad change really). So, now in 2022, many buyers want to know whether Synology is FINALLY going to integrate 2.5GbE into their potential DS922+, DS722+, DS222+, DS1522+, etc? Synology is gradually starting to talk about 2.5GbE of course. Back at their Synology 2022 event (at the end of 2021) they revealed their new Synolgo yRT6600ax WiFi 6 router and right there, loud and proud, was a 2.5GbE ethernet port. It does not exactly make their new router ‘the only show in town’ with that feature (the Synology Router series is more about the versatility of the software that the hardware) but it was still good to see the brand making waves in this area FINALLY.

Add to this that Synology has been significantly pushing their C2 Cloud platform and services (C2 Backup, C2 Transfer, C2 Password, C2 Surveillance and more) and the idea that a number of their SMB and Prosumer solutions in the Diskstation portfolio will be used in bare-metal-to-cloud-sync setups and 1GbE/109MB/s is quite a bottleneck in this age of +1Gb internet connectivity being available in a large % of the world. So, yes, I DO think Synology will embrace 2.5GbE, but it is a question of how they implement this feature, as the brand also has a little history in creating £30-50 gaps in  between their systems ‘mid series’ that push the budget in different directions.

So, for example, they might include 2.5GbE on all DSx22+ systems BUT 1 port of the dual-core DS422+/DS422play and DS222+ but two ports on the quad-core DS922+, DS722+ and DS1522+ (again, all predicted hardware at this time!). Alternatively, they might use place 1GbE on the dual-core systems and 2.5GbE on the quad-core systems. A big factor in all this is going to be the CPU that the brand chooses to use in the next generation DSx22+ NAS drives. I have three CPUs in mind that I am confident the brand will opt for that I will discuss below, but the reason I bring it up in conjunction with 2.5GbE is because of their respective PCIe lanes/chipset. This is ultimately the physical hardware support that the CPU can afford (HDD Bays, LAN, USB, M.2s, etc) and as these newer CPUs will afford the larger number of lanes, it will be a question of how the brand flexes that advantage. More bandwidth on the M.2s? greater network bandwidth and quantities? Maybe even 10GbE (which would be a fantastic stretch indeed).

Find out more about my thoughts on this from my video with Eddie the Webguy in the video linked below (will skip you to the right bit!):

07:50 – The NEED for 2.5GbE, it is NOW or NEVER

 

WHEN and IF we Will See a Synology DS922+, DS222+ or DS722+ NAS Soon?

And there it is. Probably the most important question for many potential buyers in the whole damned article. Many users who were still using the 2017/2018 generation hardware, decided to skip the 2020 generation of Synology NAS hardware as it was not a huge jump on the existing range for the most part (the lack of 2.GbE as mentioned, USB 3.2 Gen 1, same support cache support on m.2) and with the exception of a few unique examples (the DS720+ having those M.2 Ports, the DS620slim and DS1520+ filling important portfolio gaps for example). a number of those users are now outside of warranty, their HDD/SSDs are low/out of warranty and are now looking to migrate onto a new series Synology in 2022. The reason that now feels like the right time for the brand to make the jump towards a DS922+, DS722+, DS222+ etc is largely down to the brand having a refresh cycle on its tier of around 2-2.5 years (as often indicated by the even number on the 12/14/16/18/20+ year marker in the model ID. 2020’s series of releases were a rare example by the brand of releasing their series almost 3 years later (JUST scraping in on June/July of 2020 and still maintaining the same release year naming convention which more often Aug/sept = the following year naming) and although this rule is not iron-clad (eg the DS415+ or DS1019+ NAS) it is a rule that is 9/10 well observed:

However, though the bulk of the hardware in the change from 2020 to 2022 will remain the same (1/2 network ports, M.2 NVMe SSD ports, USB 3.2 Gen 1, SATA storage bays, expandability in the quad core systems but not the dual core solutions) the biggest question, aside from 2.5GbE discussed earlier, will be the CPU. Now the BULK of the releases in the Prosumer PLUS series devices in the last 10 years have been Intel Celeron processors, as this is a great sever usage CPU that arrives with a great power performance on 24×7 deployment, embedded graphics and still allows a nicely balanced pricepoint to the end user. The brand HAVE used alternative CPU families for this series in the past (with an Intel Pentium used in the DS916+, a rare treat in the circumstances) but in the case of a new DSx22+ NAS series, the chances are that the CPU is going to be one of three popular choices in the market right now. The FIRST choice (and arguably most likely right now) is going to be the Intel Celeron N5000 series. This processor is a great follow up to the Intel J4125 in the current 2020 generation, though not without a bit fo a bump on the way. That bump is that thanks to hardware shortages and the pandemic (as well as some other supply chain and R&D hurdles) Intel have released three revisions of this processor, the Intel Celeron N5105, N5095 and N5095A. Because of this, most manufacturers that are already implementing this family of processors on their hardware are having to list all THREE processors in their data sheets, despite the three processors being VERY similar:

Now, IF this IS the CPU that Synology opt for in their DS922+, DS222+, DS722+ etc, then it will be understandable for some buyers to want to know if there is any meaningful difference between each CPU. Well, yes there is, but it is very small and it is centred around the embedded graphics and how many processes it can run (which in turn can result in a smaller increase in active conversion processes/encodes). Again, this difference is very small and pretty unlikely to be felt. It would not be the first time taht Synology have released a NAS series with differing CPUs in the market, but this si normally provided with the prefix ‘II’ (eg the DS916+II and DS216+II), which I do not think is possible in this case without making things harder for buyers (especially when expecting a retailer to check in advance before buying!). Here is how the N5105 and N5095 Intel CPUs compare:

HOWEVER, Synology is a brand that is VERY aware of its USP with its existing user base. This combined with the desire for the brand to want to ensure that their hardware is presented with as little friction as possible opens the door to another CPU choice and one that is not only way, WAY easier to present to their end-user base, but also is a noticeably degree more future proof. The Intel J6412 is a noticeably more modern Celeron processor that not only allows a great degree of chipset/hardware resources to be used, but also means that in a single stoke the end-user friction that the N5000 might bring is gone AND they immediately release the best CPU for this tier in 2022 compared with their competitors (which for a software-focused brand, would be a remarkably slick move indeed). This CPU, though the better choice IMO, would still be a little uncharacteristic for the brand to choose (unless the DSx22+ series comes much, much later in the year). Here is a brief overview of the Intel Celeron J6412 CPU:

Now, how the J6412 and N5105/N5095 compare with the current DSx20+ series processor (the J4125) is actually quite an impressive jump in caching, memory frequency/quantity and efficiency across the board. Either one would be a great choice of CPU in a DS922+, DS722+ or DS1522+, but I still think that the brand might play it a little safer and opt for the N5105/N5095 (Though I want to be wrong!).

With all that in mind, I would say that the dual-core DSx22+ systems from Synology (the DS222+, DS422+ and/or DS422play for example), if the N5000 series processors are in the fold, will be the N4505 CPU. Built in a comparatively similar vein to the J4025/J4125 processors in 2/4 Core in the 2020 generation, it would be the obvious choice for Synology if they choose to go down that road of CPUs. Here is a brief overview on the specifications:

The DSx22+ Synology NAS’ are always going to be the ‘Reebok Classic’, ‘Adidas Black’ or ‘IBM Thinkpad’ solutions from this brand, mass appeal and the regular purchase for many. So therefore it is important that Synology balance the price point of this hardware and the three CPUs above are what I feel will be the likely way forward by the brand. Find out more about my thoughts on this from my video with Eddie the Webguy in the video linked below (will skip you to the right bit!):

09:00 – The Synology DS922+, DS222+, DS1522+ and/or DS722+ NAS?

 

New Affordable Synology 10GbE Diskstation NAS Drive?

Moving away from the subject of 2.5GbE and onto the broadly more appealing and always growing one of 10GbE, it is 2022 and STILL, we have yet to see more affordable 10-gigabit solutions from Synology (at least as far as home and prosumer users are concerned). Synology is a lot better than it once was on the subject of 10G desktop/rackmount solutions, with several now available in their portfolio that range from 6 Bay desktops (the DS1621xs+) all the way to beastly rackmounts that arrive with 2x 10GbE out the door and optional 25GbE FC cards. They even have made a stab at more entry-level flashstation solutions like the FS2500 which is a 12 Bay 1U rackmount with 10GbE and dedicated SSD support that is a big dip in price compared with the rest of the range. Synology Rackstation users have had a fantastic degree of variety in 10g equipped solutions in the last 2-3 years that, although still are pricey, are comparatively well spread in their costs generally. Desktop/Diskstation users looking for 10GbE however are way, WAY more overlooked. In fact, short of the DS1621xs+ released in mid-2020 for £1600 and DS3622xs+ released at the tail end of 2021 for close to £3000 – there is precious little else for anyone looking for 10G for under £1200 without buying a default 1G box like the DS1621+ or DS1821+ and buying a Synology £150-200+ 10GbE upgrade card. Indeed, the last time Synology released an affordable 10GbE solution as the DS1817 back in 2017, and it’s specifications of a 32bit 1.7Ghz Annapurna processor made this EIGHT BAY(!!!) NAS have to work way too hard to fully saturate that 1,000MB/s connection.

Click to view slideshow.

All the brands, I repeat ALL (I even include WD and their Business NAS series) have released an affordable 10GbE desktop NAS solution for under £1K in the last 3 years and it still surprises a lot of users that Synology has yet to do this. This is made particularly galling when there are 10GbE network controllers on the market from Aquantia AND even m.2 to 10GbE adapters on the market that make integrating a 10GbE port onto a 4/6/8-Bay system with even a mid-range 64bit ARM CPU considerably easier. Other brands have done so (several times since the DS1817 too).

So, it is with all that in mind AND the fact Synology is strengthening its cloud sync services (as mentioned earlier with C2) that I think that in 2022 they will definitely revisit the subject of an affordable 10GbE solution for Prosumers and lighter SMBs. Logic dictates that they will repeat the chassis choice of the DS1517 and DS1817 (not + editions) as these are good base levels of storage to saturate the 10GbE bandwidth, but given the performance of modern high capacity HDDs (both Synology HAT5300 drives and 3rd party ones from Seagate and WD) means that even a 4 bay can hit the 600-800MB/s bandwidth too. Add a little caching and an option to expand (as you would in the DS920+ for example) and the idea of an affordable 4-Bay 10GbE NAS from Synology makes ALOT of sense. It is an area that I think the brand has ignored now for simply too long and instead of tackling the 2.5GbE conversation, it suddenly makes them look meteoric in the hardware things!

Find out more about my thoughts on this from my video with Eddie the Webguy in the video linked below (will skip you to the right bit!):

15:15 – The Death of 1GbE and the Affordability of 2.5GbE and 10GbE Components

 

New Synology Ryzen Powered Diskstation NAS Drive

For the desktop small/medium business (SMB) users, the last 18 months or so has actually been surprisingly fruitful. Synology has released a whole bunch of solutions in diskstation and rackstation that is geared much more towards throughput, VM use, Surveillance and allowing numerous means of upgradability in the hardware architecture. For a long time, Synology had a bit of a fixation with the Intel Atom/Denverton processor, with this rather old generation processor popping up on around 20 systems over 5 years. Fast forward to now and their choice of moving towards an embedded Ryzen processor for this tier of their portfolio has been received incredibly well. A more modern processor that although not arriving with embedded graphics, still provides tremendous flexibility and efficiency, whilst still supporting the full range of services that Synology have worked on in DSM 7. Indeed, the AMD Ryzen V1500B (for Synology) is still pretty new and the brand is still pushing the limits of what they can do with it.

It is for these reasons that I think it will be pretty unlikely that we will see much change from Synology on systems like these in 2022. The rules of their naming conventions aside slightly, the current lineup is either still too new OR the hardware involved still not fully explored by the brand that I think they will be reluctant to push hard on a follow up anytime soon. That said, towards the END (so H2 onwards really) of 2022 might well be a different story. With the DS1623+ or a DS1823+ potentially due a refresh, I can certainly see Synology doubling down on their utility of the embedded Ryzen processors and moving up to the next tier of this processor and opting for the AMD Ryzen V1780B CPU. Comparable to the V1500B, it still brings a lot of power/efficiency advantages, whilst not changing the core architecture too much over the predecessor to make an upgrade difficult internally. It is logic like this than we saw in the Intel Atom C2538>C3538 and Intel Xeon D-1527>D-1531 already, so it would be a very much in the brands style!

Regardless, of all the potential hardware followups, I think this is one of the less likely end of the spectrum and otherwise something that will see a follow up in the later part of 2022. Find out more about my thoughts on this from my video with Eddie the Webguy in the video linked below (will skip you to the right bit!):

18:13 – New 6-Bay or 8-Bay Ryzen Based NAS?

 

New Synology Hard Drives, SSD Media and Compatibility?

There are few things about the Synology platform that is more divisive with the audience than the move by the brand in 2020 to produce it’s 1st party-branded SSDs and HDDs. On the face of it, it makes ALOT of sense. Many buyers do not want to concern themselves with separate warranties, different branded software/priorities and seek a single-ecosystem solution and Synology (with its DSM platform that seeks to provide the full business hardware/software suite) is looking to provide exactly that! The wrinkles on the forehead’s of buyers start when systems begin to arrive with compatibility/support pages that are noticeably trimmed down to result in a Synology solution being ONLY used with Synology HDD or SSD media. This is a position that is currently only extended to the top/high end of their portfolio (with a recent exception that I will discuss in a bit) and for the most part, this seems to be accepted by the audience. One bup though for users who ARE on board with using Synology HDD/SSD media are the capacities and types that are available. Recently Synology released a small revision change in their SSDs (so the SNV3400/SNV3500 and SAT5200 ranges changed to SNV3410/SNV3510 and SAT5210) and their HAT5300 SATA hard drives branched out into a SAS version in the HAS5300, but there are still some holes in the media portfolio that are rather glaringly obvious and likely to be filled in 2022.

Once area that the brand has still yet to explore (despite being in a great position to do so) is with in-house SAS SSDs and/or U.2 SSDs. Synology has a number of high-end flash rackstation (flashstation) solutions available, as well as a number of SAS equipped rackmount solutions (that STILL have Synology-only-drive support limitations in place) and the fact that Synology has solutions like these, yet sub-performance drives to interfaces to populate them with is baffling! Synology NEEDS to release one of both of these as a media supported tier in their hardware portfolio in 2022, or else it potentially leaves their locked-in solutions looking a tad bottlenecked. Another of the most OBVIOUS areas that I am convinced Synology WILL improve upon in 2022 is the capacity of their HDDs and SSDs. Considering the range of solutions they have, the fact that the HDDs are only available in 8TB, 12TB and 16TB is really odd. The HAT5300 and HAS5300 SSDs are Toshiba M06, M07 and M08 enterprise hard drives and at the tail end of 2021, we saw Toshiba unveil its 18TB MG09 drive (specs below). So, that means that it will only be a question of time before Synology apply their firmware revisions and livery to this new release and a Synology HAT5300-18T arrive. This still puts them a pinch behind the 20TB and (recently) 22TB hard drives from the likes of WD and Seagate in their respective NAS HDD portfolio’s, but for those looking at the bigger 21 and 22 series boxes that are locked to Synology HDDs, it is going to be good news.

Form Factor 3.5-inch
Buffer Size 512 MiB
Rotation Speed 7200 rpm
Maximum Data Transper Speed
(Sustained)(Typ.)
268MiB/s
Power Consumption
(Idle-A)
SATA 18TB/16TB 4.16W
14TB 3.77W
12TB/10TB 3.30W
SAS 18TB/16TB 4.49W
14TB 4.25W
12TB/10TB 3.76W
MTTF 2 500 000 h/0.35%
Weight (Max) 18TB/16TB 720g
14TB 705g
12TB/10TB 690g

HOWEVER, to return to the subject of Synology drive media and hardware that has more streamlined compatibility/supported media lists, when the DS2422+ NAS arrived for desktop users, many users (myself included) were surprised to see that the official compatibility lists only showed Synology HDDs and SSDs supported. This kind of thing is understandable at the enterprise tier (once again, complete/eco-system solutions), but the PLUS series was always considered a Prosumer/SMB layer by many and it left some wondering if this indicated anything changing on this in the future DSxx22+ NAS releases in 2022. I do not think Synology would lock/limit compatibility on their DS922+ or DS222+ etc releases to Synology only drives IF the HAT5300 and SAT5210/SNV3410 were the ONLY ranges that the brand provides in its portfolio. As these drives are either too Pro/enterprise (in price, design and noise level) to use in more modest NAS systems and it would significantly hurt the sale of sub-£1000 hardware if it comes with such a small pool of media to populate it with. HOWEVER, if Synology decided in 2022 to release a range of more affordable/base level HDDs for NAS (perhaps a HAT3300 that is built on the Toshiba N300 NAS class series – to follow the logic of the enterprise drives). THEN I would wonder about the PLUS series and Synology drive compatibility.

Overall though, I DO think that Synology will release some larger capacity HDDs in 2022, along with further evolving their SSD media ranges towards higher-end flash use. Any move by them to provide a HOME/SMB tier of HDDs that are built on Toshiba N300 NAS hard drives would not be outside the relms of possibility, but if they did, I hope they are a little more flexible on compatibility at the DSx22+ tier. Find out more about my thoughts on this from my video with Eddie the Webguy in the video linked below (will skip you to the right bit!):

21:10 – Synology Hard Drives and Drive Locking (limited compatibility)

 

Synology DVA1622 2-Bay Surveillance NAS Drive with AI Supported Services

Synology revealed quite a few interesting hardware and software plans in their recent 2022 and Beyond event, with quite an impressive amount of focus being given to their planned updates for the Surveillance station and a new piece of AI-powered NVR hardware, the DVA1622. This is by no means their first AI-assisted surveillance solution (with the DVA3219 and DVA3221 for High-end business and enterprise released in recent years), but the DVA1622 is by far the most compact and buyer accessible entry into this series yet (though almost certainly still arriving with a price tag that will push it outside the low end, home user). Arriving with Surveillance Station 9.0 at launch, the DVA1622 will feature the support of deep video analysis found in the larger 4 bay GPU equipped versions (though in lower volume instances), as well as unique local access options and easier compact deployment. So, let’s take a look at everything we learned about this new NAS system for surveillance see what makes it stand out from the crowd.

Learn more in my original article on the Synology DVA1622 NAS at the end of 2021 Below:

Find out more about my thoughts on this from my video with Eddie the Webguy in the video linked below (will skip you to the right bit!):

25:40 – The Synology DVA1622 AI-Powered Surveillance 2-Bay

 

The Synology HD6400 Rackstation NAS Drive – Still a THING?

Originally revealed way, WAY back in Summer 2019, Synology revealed a number of interesting prototypes that they were working on (alongside revealing their latest beta of DSM 7.0 at that time) and of all, the one that really stood out for me was the BEAST that was the HD6400. The HD6400 is/was a top-loaded 60-Bay Rackmount NAS Solution that featured 2x Intel Silver 8-Core Processors, upto 512GB of DDR4 ECC registered UDIMM memory that appeared at numerous tradeshows globally, but since then has gone remarkably quiet! They even covered it in the presentations by the regional Synology managers of each presentation as ‘something we are working on’ and of all the rackmount solutions by the brand, it was one that really stood out (remember, this was hte same event that had the first DVA3219 AI-powered surveillance system, the UC3200 Dual Controller system and their Mesh routers – so it was an event filled with a lot of high points).

However, after that…SILENCE! I have not seen or heard anything on this monster rackmount server since and although the system was physically present at the Berlin 2019/2020 Synology event I attended, it was a hollow/display model without ports or components fully in place. It is not impossible that this system will still see the light of day, but much like the SG-1000 network overview and management device (more than a switch really) that was shown in 2017/2018, I fear this incredibly rackmount may be vaporware now. I hope not, but it’s not looking good!

Click to view slideshow.

You can find out everything I wrote about it in this article here from back in 2019 – https://nascompares.com/2019/09/04/synology-hd6400-60-bay-monster-nas-4u-rackmount

Alternatively, Find out more about my thoughts on this from my video with Eddie the Webguy in the video linked below (will skip you to the right bit!):

26:25 – What Happened to the Synology HD6400 60-Bay Racckstation NAS?

 

Synology RT6600ax WiFi 6 Mesh Router

Yes, THAT router! When Synology hosted its annual event (Synology 2022 in Dec 2021) one device that got ALOT of attention was the RT6600ax. This was a WiFi 6, 5.9Ghz frequency support, Mesh support, 6 Antennae, tri-band coverage 6,000Mb total bandwidth (shared) and even a 2.5GbE network port. It is (most) of exactly what Synology router owners had been asking for for the last 12-18 months and also arrives with compatibility with existing MR2200ac mesh routers.

Synology RT6600ax Router Hardware Highlights

  • Planned to arrive in H1-2022 with SRM 1.3
  • Tri-Band WiFi 6 Support
  • 6 x High gain adjustable antennae (4×4 MIMO antennas)
  • 5.9Ghz / 160MHz channel Support
  • Four 1GbE (Gigabit Ethernet ports) (1x WAN 3x LAN)
  • 1x 2.5GbE LAN/WAN Port
  • 6600Mbs Bandwidth Potential
  • Multi-Network creation in SRM 1.3
  • Improved DS Router Mobile Application and Browser GUI in SRM 1.3 in 2022
  • Mesh Support with future AX devices
  • No word on USB Support, but almost certainly going to be featured

Alongside this, Synology has highlighted that Synology Router Manager (SRM) will be receiving a big update in 2022 that adds features such as vLAN (long overdue) and tweaks to the user interface in an effort to make it much more user friendly where they missed the mark in SRM 1.2. The release of the RT6600ax Synology router is more than likely to be Q1 of 2022 (Jan-March) as they will want to release this and SRM 1.3 together where possible (regions etc). Additionally, test documents are slowly appearing online and some of which show how far through development the Synology RT6600ax is and docs that are locked to the first week of March 2022 further highlight this.

Learn more in my original article on the Synology RT6600ax Router at the end of 2021 here – https://nascompares.com/news/synology-rt6600ax-wifi-6-2-5gbe-router-revealed

Alternatively, Find out more about my thoughts on this from my video with Eddie the Webguy in the video linked below (will skip you to the right bit!):

27:10 – When will the Synology RT6600AX WiFi 6 Router be Released?

 

And there you go. Right now at the time of writing, these are the big things we either know are coming from Synology in 2022 or expect from them in hardware releases! I will be revisiting this page periodically to add anything further I learn as the year goes on, so I recommend that yu bookmark this page or add your email address to the notifications box (in green/blue) as then you will get an alert when I add more. Alternatively, you can always use the free advice section below to contact me or Eddie if you are on the fence about choosing a Synology NAS system and are worried that something new is imminent. Thanks for reading and have a great day, week, month or year!

 

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CES 2022 Data Round Up – New PCIe 5 SSDs, WiFi 6E Releases, USB 4, PHISON E26 Speeds, New QNAPs and More

10 janvier 2022 à 01:11

The Highlights of CES 2022 for those interested in Data

The consumer electronics show (CES) was once again held in Las Vegas last week and though a number of the big names were still physically present at one of the biggest tech events on the calendar, CES 2022 was still a combination on-site and digital arrangement, with a number of regular yearly attending brands switching to e-stands or giving it a miss entirely. That said, there was still plenty of new and exciting tech to be shown off for 2022 and 2023 that covered practically every facet of home and business electronics. To go through them all here would take an article 20x longer than this one, plus do you really come to NASCompares for information on a new and exciting toothbrush? No! You came to learn about what you and your data will be able to do in 2022. So, these are my highlights of CES 2022 for those that are interested in NAS’, routers, switches and the big developments in PCIe 5 M.2 NVMe SSDs for later this year. As coverage and the wrap up of CES 2022 happens, I will update this page with anything else in the world of personal/business data that I think you should know. Let’s go through the best bits.

ADATA Elite SE920 USB4 External SSD

Originally uncovered at their annual even in the second half of 2021, ADATA followed it up with further information on the new ADATA Elite SE920 external SSD, a USB4 powered NVMe SSD in an enclosure that promises to provide up to 4,000MB/s read speeds. Thanks to a combination of the M.2 NVMe storage inside and the 40Gb/s performance bandwidth of USB4, this would be the fastest USB-bus powered single drive external enclosure in the world! Adata says its new SE920 SSD is the world’s fastest portable storage. The drive combines Intel Thunderbolt 3 and USB4 to push up to 4,000MB/s transfer speeds and features proprietary ‘Heat Conduction’ technology to keep temps in check. Like most of its other product announcements, Adata didn’t go into detailed specifics or pricing information of the drive. It also highlighted the 7,400MB/s transfer speeds of the upcoming Legend PCIe 4.0 SSD, which — on paper — makes it top-tier in terms of consumer-grade internal storage.

Highlights of the ADATA SE920 External SSD are:

  • 40Gb/s External Solid State Drive
  • Built In Fan & Thermal Heat Dissipation Build
  • PCIe NVMe SSD inside and a PCI-Express to USB bridge
  • 4x faster than the SanDisk Extreme or Samsung T7
  • USB Powered

Although USB4 is by no means mainstream yet, the SE920 is a great indication of where the humble USB is going and after the rather slow uptake of Thunderbolt 4, this is likely going to be a much more appealing choice of future upgrade. With maximum transfer speeds that are four times faster than regular USB 3.2 drives, ADATA’s SE920 USB4 SSD is a monster. With access to such incredible performance and ADATA’s proprietary heat conduction technology, the SE920 is ready for practically any workload, making this drive an excellent choice for workstation and prosumer workloads. USB4 is receiving rapid adoption on the latest PCs, with Intel supporting USB4 under their Thunderbolt 4 banner. Thunderbolt 4 is, effectively, Thunderbolt 3 with higher minimum speed requirements and full support for USB4. Over the next year, USB4 is expected to become more easily available on high-end motherboards and laptops.

QNAP HS-264 Silent NAS Drive

Although already rumoured and highlighted as a potential release over on the NASCompares YouTube Channel last year, the new QNAP HS-264 silent NAS has now been confirmed. Using the familiar architecture of the most recent TS-x64 hardware releases (the TBS-464 and TS-364), this new 2-Bay desktop NAS system is designed to be compact, fast and (most important of all) as quiet as possible. The HS-264 does not feature an internal fan, relying on the top of the chassis acting as a wide-spreading heat dissipation panel. The design of the HS-264 Silent NAS is using a modified version of the HS-251+ chassis and although it lacks a few of the flourishes of the HS-453DX (as well as 10Gbe), it is still a remarkably nice looking piece of kit.

Click to view slideshow.

QNAP has released entries into their Silent NAS series for a almost a decade now and each iteration has brought something new and fresh to the series. That said, the HS-264 is much more comparable to a mainstream NAS (featuring 2.5GbE, a Quad Core Intel Processor, 8GB DDR4 memory and NVMe SSD slots to combine with the 2 HDD bays), although the 10GbE of it’s predecessor is absent (almost certainly due to the system needing those CPU PCI resources elsewhere to keep it more balanced). Here are the key hardware specification highlights:

QNAP HS-264 Silent NAS – £TBC

  • 2021 Gen Intel Celeron N5105 CPU
  • 2.0-2.9GHz Quad Core Processor
  • Integrated Intel UHD Graphics
  • 8 GB DDR4 (non-expandable)
  • 2 x 3.5“ HDD Bays
  • 2x 2.5GbE Network Ports
  • 2x HDMI 2.0 for 60Hz 4K
  • 2x USB-A USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb)
  • 2x USB-A USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb)
  • Fanless Design, 60W PSU

We are expecting the QNAP HS-264 Silent NAS to arrive in early spring.

A Wi-Fi 6E USB Dongle (RTL8832CU) & Wi-Fi 6E/BT Combo Solution (RTL8852CE)

Last year, we saw D-Link release it’s USB-to-WiFi6 adapter (we reviewed the D-Link DWA-X1850 here) and even now at the start of 2022, it is only one of two USB connected 802.11ax wireless adapters on the market. Now, a lot of this is thanks to component manufacturers working on controllers that bridge the hardware architecture of new wireless protocols with existing expansion ports and slots on modern computers. Although WiFi 6 upgrades via PCIe slots have been around for a few years, the convenience of USB upgrades to AX Wii cannot be understated. Therefore now that the world is moving towards WiFi 6E (comparable to WiFi 6, but with several upgrades in transmission and usage of the 6Ghz frequency band), with several hardware client manufacturers starting to spec out their new hardware with it, controller and general component brands such as Realtek are incredibly important.

At CES 2022, Realtek revealed several of their planned controllers that range from coverage of 10GbE, 5GbE and intelligent switch internal management. Of all of these, two particular planned releases stood out. Realtek are now working on releasing a planned architecture for USB-to-WiFi 6E adaters (as well as improved Bluetooth coverage) that bulld on the existing AX-over-USB, ensuring that access to WiFi 6e is going to be considerably easier from the start. Using its 160MHz bandwidth and the cleaner 6GHz band, RTL8832CU peak throughput is up to 1.8Gbps. A 2GB file transfer would be expected to complete in 15~20 seconds. With 6GHz support in Wi-Fi 6E, the RTL8852CE increases overall Wi-Fi performance to achieve the highest throughput for a better speed experience with lowest latency. The integrated BLE Audio, with support for multistream and broadcast audio, further reduces power consumption to bring a better overall listening experience to consumers.

The World’s Smallest 5Gb Ethernet Controller (RTL8157/RTL8126/RTL8251B)

Alongside the WiFi 6e to USB developments, Realtek will launch a 5GbE Single-Chip Ethernet Controller Series compatible with IEEE 802.3bz Multi-Gigabit functions at the end of 2022, supporting 5G/2.5G/1G/100M/10Mbps network bandwidths. The network environment permits easy upgrade to 5Gbps network bandwidth over existing network cabling (Cat 5e). Realtek 5Gb Ethernet products provide various interfaces for PCIe (RTL8126 Series), USB (RTL8157 Series), and PHY (RTL8251B Series) to meet a wide range of applications (e.g., PC, PON, Cable Modem, Wi-Fi 6 AP router, switch, CPE, built-in and external network card, PCIe/USB-to-Ethernet accessories, etc.). Realtek’s 5Gb Ethernet IC adopts the Quad Flat No-lead (QFN) Package, is lightweight, and is easy to handle. This form factor will be the smallest 5GbE solution in the world.

New Phison E26 PCIe Gen 5 x4 NVMe SSD Controller Revealed

Phhison had already been trailing this for the bulk of December, but at the CES 2022 event they revealed developments on three big projects that are nearing full integration/release in some of your future hardware. The big one of these three was, of course, the Phison E26 (PS5026-E26) SSD controller for PCIe 5.0 x4 media. Phison made an enoughmous impact with their E16 and E18 controllers in the PCIe 4.0 x4 generation of SSDs and the new E26 controller seemingly builds considerably on that, with indications of greater throughput of 13,000/12,000MB/s Seq Read/Write, 1.5/2.0Million 4K random Read/Write IOPS, up to 32TB supported and arriving with NVMe 2.0 compliance. Images of the E26 in situ were provided by Phison below:

Click to view slideshow.

Key specifications of the Phison E26 architecture were also provided:

Controller Phison PS5026-E26
Interface PCIe 5.0 x4, 32GT/s
NVMe Rev NVMe 2.0
Processor 2x ARM Cortex-R5 & 3x Proprietary CoXProcessor
DRAM Support DDR4/LPDDR4 (32bit)
Capacity 32TB
NAND Supoort 3D TLC, QLC
Flash Transfer Rate 2,400MT/s
Security AES 256, SHA 512, RSA 4096
ECC Support Yes, LDPC & RAID
Seq Performance 12GB/s Read, 11GB/s Write
4K IOPS Random 1.5M Read, 2.0M Write

Key highlights from Phison at CES 2022:

PS5026-E26 – Phison’s first PCIe Gen5 SSD architecture

The E26 SSD solution provides a best-in-class combination of performance and low power consumption using Phison’s unique architecture. The E26 is a configurable SSD platform designed for PCIe Gen5 that will cover the enterprise and consumer markets. The company’s first Gen5 controller will come in a variety of form factors and features that can scale to over 10 GB / s while meeting the power requirements for everyday computing. Phison will debut the E26 at CES 2022 for the first time.

PS5021-E21T – Phison’s New DRAM-Free PCIe Gen4 High-Performance Solution

The E21T showcase will showcase Phison’s new DRAM-free architecture as the future leader in next-generation mobile gaming. The E21T, the successor to the E19T, and the E21T BGA, the successor to the E13T, breakthrough performance barriers using Gen4 to set new standards for user experience.

PS5013-E13T – Phison BGA for Mobile Games

Xiaomi opted for the Phison E13T BGA SSD for its superior performance and efficiency for the Black Shark 4 gaming phone series. Xiaomi reckons the E13T BGA delivers a 69 percent increase in read and write performance, showing that NVMe is redefining mobile gaming. Phison will show the Xiaomi Black Shark 4 at CES 2022 in a first-person Zoom demo.

In testing, the Phison E26 and its PCIe Gen 5 m.2 NVMe architecture was shown off in CrystalDiskMark benchmarks below:

Phison controllers are used in the majority of PCIe 4 NVMe SSDs in the market right now and therefore we can comfortably assume that adoption of the Phison E26 when PCIe m.2 NVMe SSDs are further established in the second half of 2022 will be very high once again.

Netgear MS108EUP Multi-Gigabit Ethernet Plus Switch

Although Netgear revealed several new hardware solutions at CES 2022 (new WiFi 6E solutions for the most part), the Netgear MS108EUP really stood out for me, arriving with a rare combination of 2.5GbE, on 8-Ports and with PoE support. NETGEAR Plus Switches with PoE meet business networks growing needs by providing fundamental network features such as simplified VLANs, QoS set-up and IGMP Snooping that will help optimize the performance of business networks. Plus Switches are the perfect upgrade from the plug-and-play unmanaged switch, delivering essential networking features at a very affordable price. The new model MS108EUP supports 2.5 Gigabit speed connectivity and Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE) that can provide up to 60W/port. The new switch model can power devices such as VoIP phones, surveillance IP cameras, wireless access points and many other applications. This new Plus switch includes advance PoE control to help optimize the performance and troubleshooting of business networks. The new and improved business-friendly GUI allows easy management and simple configuration.

  • Multi-gigabit copper ports : 8 (1G/2.5G)
  • Number of PoE+ (802.3at) ports : 4
  • Number of PoE++ (802.3bt) ports : 4
  • Total PoE Power budget : 230 Watts

  • Uninterrupted PoE : Yes
  • Max MAC entries : 16K
  • Buffer size : 1.5MB
  • VLAN (Number Supported) : 64
  • EEE : Yes
  • DoS Prevention : Yes
  • Internal/External PSU : External
  • Max power (worst case, all ports used, line-rate traffic) : 230W
  • Fans : 0

The price tag for the Netgear MS108EUP at $400 does seem a pinch high, but this is one of the very few PoE+/PoE++ switches on the market that are 2.5GbE equipped.

Adata Nighthawk and Blackbird PCIe 5 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD

Alongside the other big SSD names, ADATA also took the opportunity a CES 2022 to reveal their two PCIe Gen 5 x4 SSDs, codenamed Nighthawk and Blackbird). Much like their current XPG GAMMIX series, these new ADATA SSDs step away from the use of the Phison controller and instead the new Adata Nighthawk will be using a new Silicon Motion SM2508 PCIe5 controller and the Adata Blackbird will be using Innogrit’s new PCIe controller, the IG5666. Adata already has a strong connection with Innogrit, so when they announced work on a PCIe 5.0 controller, it was heavily anticipated that ADATA would be one of the first adopters. Here are the full specifications of each SSD:

  ADATA Nighthawk

ADATA Blackbird

Controller Silicon Motion SM2508 InnoGrit IG5666
Interface PCI Express 5.0 x4 PCI Express 5.0 x4
Sequential reading upto 14 000 MB/s upto 14 000 MB/s
Sequential write upto 12 000 MB/s upto 10 000 MB/s
4K random read upto 1 800 000 IOPS upto 2 000 000 IOPS
4K random write upto 1 600 000 IOPS upto 1 400 000 IOPS
Capacity upto 8 TB upto 8 TB

The two prototypes ADATA PCIe Gen5x 4 SSDs made an appearance at the ADATA CES booth. The ‘Project Nighthawk,’ and its Silicon Motion SM2508 controller is capable of delivering sequential read/write performance of up to 14/12GB/s, and ‘Project Blackbird’ and InnoGrit IG5666 controller is capable of delivering read/write performance of 14/10GB/s. Both SSDs sports capacities of up to 8TB at 2280 m.2 length.

Samsung PM1743 PCIe Gen5 SSD

Although by no means an industry secret that Samsung have had PCIe 5.0 SSDs in development, CES 2022 was able to provide more information on the new Samsung PM1743 enterprise SSD. Samsung themselves had this to say about their new PCIe 5.0 x4 SSD developments: “For over a decade, Samsung has been delivering SATA, SAS and PCIe-based SSDs that have been recognized for outstanding performance and reliability by leading enterprise server customers including corporations, governments and financial institutions. The introduction of a PCIe 5.0 SSD, along with PCIe 6.0-based product developments that are underway, will further solidify our technological leadership in the enterprise server market. Intel has been working with Samsung to test Samsung’s newest PCIe NVMe SSD, the PM1743. Together, we have jointly resolved complicated technical issues encountered with PCIe 5.0 during this initial evaluation period. The performance potential of Gen5 is truly impressive. In the near future, we strongly believe that PCIe Gen5 systems with high-speed NVMe SSDs will have the ability to transform applications such as AI/ML and high-performance databases,” said Jim Pappas, Director, Technology Initiatives, Intel Corporation. “Looking ahead, we are confident that Intel and Samsung’s continued commitment in industry leadership will provide these and other benefits to our mutual customers.”

PCIe 5.0 offers a bandwidth of 32 Giga transfers per second (GT/s), doubling that of PCIe 4.0. Leveraging a proprietary controller designed to support the latest PCIe standard, the PM1743 will deliver outstanding read and write speeds to accommodate the rapidly increasing performance requirements of data centers. Specifications for the PM1743 (in two forms) are below:



  PM1743
(15.36TB)
PM1733
(15.36TB)
Form Factor U.2 or E3.S U.2
Interface PCIe 5.0 x4, NVMe PCIe 4.0 x4, NVMe
Controller Unnamed Samsung PCIe 5.0 Samsung S4LR014 PCIe 4.0
NAND Flash Samsung 128L TLC (TBC) Samsing 96L TLC
Sequential Read 13000 MB/s 7000 MB/s
Sequential Write 6600 MB/s 3500 MB/s
Random Read
IOPS
2500k 1500k
Random Write
IOPS
250k 135k
Active 30 W? 20 W
Idle TBC 8.5 W
Write Endurance TBC 28 PBW
1.0 DWPD for 5 Years

Experience up to 13,000 MB/s or double the read and write speed of the previous generation, PM1733. With a proprietary controller, the PCIe 5.0 PM1743 strengthens performance and reliability, providing enterprise users with expanded system capacity suitable for heavy workloads. The latest form factor EDSFF E3.S improves signal integrity and boosts performance while featuring category-leading capacity of 15.36TB within the category. A thin 7.5 mm enables higher storage density in enterprise servers while increasing performance and enhancing power efficiency. Additionally, the Samsung PM1743 supports both 2.5-inch and E3.S form factors.

The Samsung PM1743 that was demonstrated was still in its tech/prototype form, so it wasn’t much to look at – as well as being injected in the Intel-powered test machine via an adapter card. Luckily Ryan Shrout was able to demo some of the early performance and how it compares with the current PCIe 4 speed via Twitter below

Perks of the job! Was going to save this demo for #CES2022 but with that off the table, why not just share it with everyone right now?! Here’s a 12th Gen ⁦@intel⁩ Core i9-12900K system paired with a new ⁦@Samsung⁩ PM1743 PCIe 5.0 SSD getting over 13GB/s!! pic.twitter.com/oyL08KzDtV

— Ryan Shrout (@ryanshrout) December 30, 2021

We are still a fair way away from Samsung launching a commercial/prosumer SSD in simple m.2 form (perhaps a Samsung 990 Pro), but these are all solid and interesting developments to look forward to in 2022/2023.

 

The QNAP TS-464T4 Thunderbolt 4 NAS

If you are a thunderbolt user and have been looking at network-attached storage (NAS) in the last few years, then it would have been impossible to avoid QNAP. They have been one of the very few brands that have been able to merge the use of your own private server with the utility, speed and convenience of Thunderbolt. Well into its 4th (or maybe even 5th technically) generation of Thunderbolt NAS systems, they have now released at the CES 2022 event their new Thunderbolt 4 equipped 4-Bay NAS solution, the QNAP TS-464T4. Arriving in a similar form as the more affordable thunderbolt 3 NAS system from 2018, the TS-453BT3, this new system is utilizing a lot of the new build specifications of the slowly appearing TS-x64 series, but then ramps things up significantly with the inclusion of 3 types of connectivity (all higher than gigabit), as well as two media bay types, 10Gb USB and a sturdy and cost-effective Intel Celeron processor. The QNAP TS-464T4 certainly has a lot to live up to (following the high acclaim that the TS-453BT3 has achieved) but if they can get the price right on this NAS, then we could well be looking at one of the best entry points for users who want to jump on board the thunderbolt NAS scene that we have seen yet. Let’s discuss everything we know about this nifty little device.

Click to view slideshow.

As mentioned earlier, the hardware specifications of the QNAP TS-464T4 is not really going to be the beastly architecture of the TVS-472XT or TVS-1288X, as this NAS is designed to be used by smaller creative business users. The system features four hard drive media bays (SATA) that support RAID 0,1,5,6,10, as well as two additional m.2 NVMe SSD media bays that can be used for caching, direct storage or tiered storage in conjunction with the larger HDD bays. The system also arrives with two Thunderbolt 4 ports (USB-C) that will no doubt be backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 3, this means that two users will be able to connect with the TS-464T4 directly over thunderbolt to access it’s storage, as well as the NAS remaining accessible by countless users via the network/internet. This is thanks to the system ALSO features 10GbE and 2.5GbE network ports. These appear to be native (i.e. not via a PCIe card as found on the TS-453BT3), so this means the TS-464T4 will almost certainly be as compact in it’s 4-Bay chassis as the TS-453BT3, TS-464 and TS-453D. Finally, the system also includes an HDMI 2.0 output for a 4K 60FPS monitor, as well as multiple USB ports that are no doubt going to include USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) as found in the rest of the TS-x64 series so far. This is all built on an architecture of the Intel Celeron currently found in the TS-x64 series, the Intel N5105 or N5095A, which is an embedded graphics enabled, x86, 64bit, quad-core chip. Given the memory/cache hungry nature of thunderbolt, the TS-464T4 will likely ship with at least 8GB of memory by default. So, in summary:

QNAP TS-464T4 4-Bay NAS – £TBC**

  • Intel Celeron N5105/N5095 CPU
  • 2.0-2.9GHz Quad Core Processor
  • Integrated Intel UHD 600 Graphics
  • 8GB DDR4 SODIMM (16GB Maximum, 2-Slots)*
  • 4x SATA 3.5″ HDD Bays (20TB Current Max)
  • 2x TB4 USB-C Ports
  • 2 x M.2 NVMe SSD (PCIe Gen 3×1 / 3×2*)
  • 10GbE Network Port
  • 2.5GbE Network Port
  • HDMI 2.0 (60FPS 4K)
  • **Estimate £999

QNAP has been a little quieter on the eventual release price and planned launch date for the TS-464T4 NAS, however, we can make some educated guess! First and foremost, the pricetag will need to sit well with the hardware on offer and the rest of the thunderbolt portfolio. So, given the £900-1000 price tag of the TS-453BT3, we can comfortably assume that this will be a target figure for the TS-464T4. Regarding the release date, QNAP has been gradually releasing the TS-x64 series in the closing stages of 2021 (with the TS-364 and TBS-464 being released in Nov and Dec). With the reveal of the TS-464T4 and HS-264 at the CES 2022 event lining up neatly in Jan ’22, I think we are likely to see a release of the TS-464T4 in the first quarter of 2022

 

QNAP TS-H1290FX PCIe 4 U.2 Desktop Flash Server NAS

One of the most high-end QNAP desktop solutions that we have seen in years, at CES 2022 we finally go to see the BEAST that was the TS-h1290FX. a PCIe 4 equipped Flash Server that can utilize 12 U.2 SSDs in it’s default chassis (as well as more drives via expansions), featuring an 8/12 Core AMD EPYC processor, up to 1TB of DDR4 memory and even features 2x 25 Gigabit Ethernet ports. For those looking at flash storage and the removal of all internal or external bottleneck’s, this is a MONSTER release. The system even features multiple PCIe Gen 4 upgrade slots, which allows further enhanced network port upgrades and storage upgrade cards. Here is how the TS-h1290FX looks:

Click to view slideshow.

Supporting twelve U.2 NVMe PCIe Gen4/SATA SSD drives, the TS-h1290FX is QNAP’s first all-flash desktop NAS that is ideal for office environments. Equipped with an AMD EPYC™ 16 core 7302P/8 core 7232P processor and built-in 25GbE & 2.5GbE connectivity, the TS-h1290FX empowers data-intensive, low-latency applications and enables smooth file transfer, display, and real-time editing of 4K/8K media. High-performance and easily scalable, the TS-h1290FX streamlines backup, collaboration, and video editing/storage workflows. It supports installing an NVIDIA graphics card and Fibre Channel card and offers direct connectivity for up to twenty PCs/workstations when used with multiple QNAP PCIe quad-port network cards. The TS-h1290FX can also be paired with QDA-UMP4 U.2 NVMe to M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 4 adapter to boost IOPS performance when configuring SSD caching and expanded with QNAP TL-D800C &TR-004 enclosures.

QNAP TS-h1290FX Desktop Flash NAS – £TBC

  • NVMe Storage QuTS Hero ZFS Platform
  • AMD EPYC 7232P 8-core 3.1-3.2 GHz
  • AMD EPYC 7302P 16-core 3.0-3.3GHz
  • 64/128/256GB RDIMM DDR4 ECC
  • (1TB Max over 16 Slots)
  • 12 x 2.5-inch U.2 PCIe Gen 4×4 NVMe (24x ? TBC)
  • 2 x 25GbE (SFP28 SmartNIC) Ports
  • 2x 2.5Gbe Copper Ports
  • 3x PCIe Gen4 x16 Slots
  • 1x PCIe Gen4 x8 Slot
  • 750W Internal PSU
  • 5yr Warranty (TBC)

Details on release seem to indicate that the TS-h1290FX will be released by QNAP very soon.

QNAP KoiBox-100W All-in-one Video Conference Solution

Running the KoiMeeter video conferencing operating system, the KoiBox-100W is the ideal replacement for costly SIP-based conferencing systems and features value-added 4K wireless projection, four-way communication, and local storage features. Creating private meetings with the KoiBox-100W provides higher security and privacy compared with public cloud meetings, and the auto-answering function provides greater convenience in certain usage environments. Besides private meetings, the KoiBox-100W streamlines communication between different platforms by allowing joining Zoom®, Skype™, Microsoft Teams®, Cisco Webex®, and Google Meet™ calls.

  • 4K wireless projection

    Present with a 4K high-resolution visual experience.

  • Four-way communications

    Multi-point video conferencing with QNAP KoiBox-100W, KoiMeeter, the KoiMeeter mobile app, and compatible SIP systems.

  • Join cloud meetings

    Use cloud-based meeting platforms almost every day? No problem! The KoiBox-100W supports well-known cloud meeting services.

  • Share mobile phone screens

    Scan the QR code on the KoiBox-100W display to quickly share your mobile phone screen.

  • Local storage

    Install a 2.5-inch SATA drive to store meeting videos, audio, and files.

    Note: SSD/hard drive sold separately.

Click to view slideshow.

Here are the specifications of the KoiBox:

Model KoiBox-100W
CPU Intel® Celeron® dual-core 1.8GHz
System Memory 4GB DDR4
Flash Memory M.2 2242 SSD 30GB
Drive Bay 1 x 2.5-inch SATA (HDD/SSD not included)
Gigabit Ethernet Port 1 x 1GbE RJ45
Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201, 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.2
HDMI Output 1 x HDMI 1.4b output
USB Port 4 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A

 

QNAP QSW-M2116P-2T2S 10GbE & 2.5GbE PoE++ Switch

The QNAP QSW-M2116P-2T2S is a L2 PoE Managed Switch with sixteen 30-watt 2.5GbE PoE+ ports, two 90-watt 10GbE PoE++ ports. Offering a total power budget of 280 watts and two 10GbE SFP+ ports, the QSW-M2116P-2T2S not only enables a high-speed and high-power PoE network infrastructure for Wi-Fi 6 Access Points and Routers, but also provides backbone network uplinking capabilities. The QSS, QNAP Switch System with user-friendly web interface, helps IT administrators efficiently control Layer 2 and PoE networks, including wireless APs, IP Cameras and Digital Signage, core Switches and Servers. The QSW-M2116P-2T2S offers SMBs a cost-optimized and centrally managed LAN deployment solution.

  • Compliant with the IEEE 802.3bt PoE++ and IEEE 802.3at PoE+ standards. Offers 2-port 90-watt and 16-port 30-watt PoE capabilities. Can supply a total power budget of 280 watts to meet the demands of high-powered devices (PDs).
  • Compatible with 10GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T technologies to support five speeds (10G / 5G / 2.5G / 1G / 100M), the QSW-M2116P-2T2S offers higher transmission speeds when used with existing cables.
  • Two 10GbE SFP+ ports can connect to the Internet, Routers, core switches, and NAS to fulfill the high bandwidth demands of backbone network or data centers.
  • Offers a user-friendly web interface to help IT administrators efficiently control Layer 2 and PoE networks. Additionally, the overview dashboard and graphical statistics analysis show IT administrators all switch information and powered devices at a glance, making central management of high-power devices intuitive and easy.
  • Provides comprehensive Layer 2 management features (such as VLAN, LACP, QoS IGMP Snooping, and Wake-on-LAN) for IT administrators to efficiently control network bandwidth and enhance security via the user-friendly switch management web interface.
Click to view slideshow.

Here are the full specifications of the QNAP QSW-M2116P-2T2S switch:

Model QSW-M2116P-2T2S
Management Type Web Managed
Number of Ports 20
10GbE SFP+ 2
10GbE BASE-T (RJ45) 2
2.5GbE (RJ45) 16
Total PoE Ports 18
PoE PSE (802.3af, 15.4W) Port 1-16
PoE+ PSE (802.3at, 30W) Port 1-16
PoE++ PSE (802.3bt, 90W) Port 19-20
PoE Power Output Port 1-16 (30W), Port 19-20 (90W)
Total PoE Power Budget 280W
Power Supply Description Internal Power Supply Unit
Max. Power Consumption 350W
Input Power Type AC
Input Voltage Range 100-240VAC, 50/60 Hz
MAC Address Table 32K
Total Non-Blocking Throughput 80Gbps
Switching Capacity 160Gbps
Management Interface Web
Console RJ45

Much like the previously mentioned QNAP Flash server release, we think release of the QNAP QSW-M2116P-2T2S is going to be in the first quarter of 2022.

Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300 WiFi 6E Router

Although the RAXE300 is not the brand’s first WiFi 6e hardware release (eg. the RAXE500), it is the first real/formal entry into the 6Ghz band router scene in their Nighthawk series for gamers. It allows upto 7.8Gbps speeds across the total bandwidth and opens the door for gamers to experience WiFi 6E’s new 6GHz “express lane” with the NETGEAR Nighthawk RAXE300 Tri-Band WiFi 6E Router. With eight WiFi streams and unmatched performance, the RAXE300 boosts capacity and reduces interference for smoother 4k/8K video streaming and AR/VR gaming. Your most demanding tech gets wired connections with one 2.5G and five Gigabit Ethernet ports. Sending maximum Gigabit Internet speeds across your 2,500-square-foot home, this exceptional value keeps up with everything your family does.

• WiFi Technology : WiFi 6E (IEEE® 802.11ax) Tri-Band WiFi (AXE7800) 8-Stream
• 2.4GHz AX: 2×2 (Tx/Rx) 1024/256-QAM 20/40MHz, up to 600Mbps
• 5GHz AX: 4×4 (Tx/Rx) 1024/256-QAM 20/40/80/160MHz, up to 4.8Gbps
• New 6GHz AX: 2×2 (Tx/Rx) 1024/256-QAM 20/40/80/160MHz, up to 2.4GbpsBackwards
• with IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi
• Supports new WiFi 6E devices on 6GHz WiFi band
• WiFi Speed : AXE7800 (.6+4.8+2.4Gbps)
• WiFi Band : Tri-Band 6GHz + 5GHz +2.4GHz
• WiFi Range : 2,500 square feet
• Ethernet Ports : Five (5) 10/100/1000 Mbps Gigabit Ethernet ports + one (1) 2.5G/1Gbps Multi-Gig port
• 4x GbE (2x port aggregation LAN)

• 1x 1GbE Internet/LAN (configurable)
• 1x 2.5G/1Gbps Multi-Gig port (configurable)
• Multi-Gig: Ability to aggregate two Gigabit LAN ports (configurable) concurrently
• USB Ports : One (1) USB 3.0 port. Type-C for network storage
• Processor: Quad-core 1.7GHz processor
• Security: NETGEAR Armor™—Advanced cyber threat protection for your home network and your connected devices††
• NETGEAR Smart Parental Controls™—Easily manage your kids‘ time online across their connected devices∞
• Guest network access—Separate & secure
• Supports WPA3, the latest and cutting-edge WiFi security protocol
• VPN Support—Secure access to your home
• Automatic firmware update delivers latest security patches to the router

Nighthawk RAXE300 Tri-Band WiFi 6E Router, powered by a 1.7GHz quad-core processor, is built for performance at an ultimate level. The ultra-fast processor enables the router to seamlessly handle data intensive applications such as 4K/8K UHD video streaming, VR/ AR gaming, as well as provide a stronger, more reliable WiFi experience. This powerful processor is optimized for AX making intelligent spontaneous decisions to schedule data traffic to maximize WiFi Bandwidth utilization.

Archer AXE200 Omni – AXE11000 Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6E Router

Called Archer AXE200 Omni, the company’s new Wi-Fi 6E router features four motorized antennas that independently move and rotate to automatically provide the strongest signal possible to your devices as they move around your home. The router serves as an alternative in needing to implement a mesh network at home – which oftentimes can burn a hole in your pocket if you live in a really big house and require multiple nodes. The most impressive feature of this new product is its four external antennas that mechanically rotate and independently adjust their angles. This automatically ensures that signals are being sent to where it’s needed the most in the house. The tri-band router has support for all the modern Wi-Fi bands from 6GHz all the way to 2.4GHz so your older devices will truly benefit from this router. To really enjoy top speeds you’d need to have devices that support Wi-Fi 6E as well, else this benefit will be moot. Powered by a 2.0 GHz quad-core processor, the Archer AXE200 Omni includes a 10G and 2.5G ethernet port which allows tethering gaming PCs and video game consoles to the internet. The Archer AXE200 Omni is definitely an innovative idea, which means it will cost more than a regular router. TP-Link hasn’t revealed the pricing of its new router yet.

Highlights of the Archer AXE200 Router:

  • Mechanically Rotating Antennas – Robotic antennas auto-adapt their orientation for the best signals.
  • AXE11000 Tri-Band – Delivers speeds up to 11 Gbps.
  • Next-Gen Processing – Armed with a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core CPU.
  • 10G Port -1× 10G port offers ultra-reliable, high-speed data transmissions.
  • EasyMesh™ – Create a true seamless mesh network with EasyMesh™.
  • HomeShield – Provides comprehensive network protection, robust parental controls, and real-time loT security.

This router is certainly something I plan on keeping my eye on in CES 2022, as although TP-Link are by no means the first to crack into the prosumer WiFi 6e market, the automatic antenna rotation and motion to improve your network coverage and performance is definitely something that is new for the home. No full confirmation about release dates, but I will keep my eyes open! Additionally, alongside the AXE200, TP-Link also unveiled showed off another Archer series router for WiFi 6e deployment, the Archer AXE300. Although it lacks the automatic/motor controller antenna movement, it features greater coverage and hits a whopping 16Gb/s total bandwidth, along with featuring two 10GbE ports.

Highlights of the Archer AXE300 Router:

  • AXE16000 Quad-Band – AXE16000 Quad-Band Wi-Fi delivers Wi-Fi speeds up to an unprecedented 16 Gbps.
  • Dual 10G Ports – A 10 Gbps WAN/LAN Port and a 10 Gbps SFP+/RJ45 Combo LAN Port not only provide ultra-high-speed internet access but also open up the possibility of faster NAS transmissions over the LAN.
  • Next-Gen Processing – Armed with a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core CPU.
  • Maximized Coverage – 8x antennas provide maximized Wi-Fi coverage.
  • Wi-Fi 6E Unleashed – The brand new 6 GHz band brings more bandwidth, faster speeds, and near-zero latency
  • HomeShield – Customize your home network with enhanced security and control.

I will add more interesting data related hardware releases that were unveiled at CES 2022 last week as they appear. Otherwise, you can watch the Data News of the Week special over on YouTube in which I discuss all these releases and more. You can skip ahead to chapters by using the links under the video.

Chapters in the Video (skip ahead to the product by clicking below):

01:55 – The Netgear Nighthawk AXE7800 WiFi 6E Router

02:55 – Archer AXE200 Omni Directional WiFi 6E Router

04:25 – Archer AXE300 AX16000 WiFi 6E Router

05:45 – Wi-Fi 6E USB Dongle (RTL8832CU) & Controller

07:40 – Netgear MS108EUP Multi-Gigabit Ethernet Plus Switch

09:40 – The Adata Nighthawk and Blackbird PCIe 5 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD

10:10 – ADATA Elite SE920 USB4 External SSD

11:30 – The Samsung PCIe 5 x4 NVMe SSD PM1743

13:30 – The Phison E26 PCIe Gen 5 x4 Controller

16:15 – The QNAP TS-464T4 Thunderbolt 4 NAS

17:20 – The QNAP TS-264 Silent NAS 2-Bay

18:20 – The QNAP TS-h1290FX 12-Bay PCIe 4 SSD Flash Desktop NAS

20:45 – The QNAP KoiBox-100W Conference System

22:25 – The QNAP QSW-M2116P-2T2S 10GbE & 2.5GbE PoE++ Switch

 


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New QNAP TS-464T4 Thunderbolt 4 NAS Revealed

5 janvier 2022 à 14:45

The QNAP TS-464T4 – World’s First Thunderbolt 4 NAS Drive

If you are a thunderbolt user and have been looking at network-attached storage (NAS) in the last few years, then it would have been impossible to avoid QNAP. They have been one of the very few brands that have been able to merge the use of your own private server with the utility, speed and convenience of Thunderbolt. Well into its 4th (or maybe even 5th technically) generation of Thunderbolt NAS systems, they have now released at the CES 2022 event their new Thunderbolt 4 equipped 4-Bay NAS solution, the QNAP TS-464T4. Arriving in a similar form as the more affordable thunderbolt 3 NAS system from 2018, the TS-453BT3, this new system is utilizing a lot of the new build specifications of the slowly appearing TS-x64 series, but then ramps things up significantly with the inclusion of 3 types of connectivity (all higher than gigabit), as well as two media bay types, 10Gb USB and a sturdy and cost-effective Intel Celeron processor. The QNAP TS-464T4 certainly has a lot to live up to (following the high acclaim that the TS-453BT3 has achieved) but if they can get the price right on this NAS, then we could well be looking at one of the best entry points for users who want to jump on board the thunderbolt NAS scene that we have seen yet. Let’s discuss everything we know about this nifty little device.

If you are still unsure about Thunderbolt NAS or want to understand the difference between thunderbolt NAS and Thunderbolt DAS, watch the video below:

The QNAP TS-464T4 NAS – Hardware Specifications

As mentioned earlier, the hardware specifications of the QNAP TS-464T4 is not really going to be the beastly architecture of the TVS-472XT or TVS-1288X, as this NAS is designed to be used by smaller creative business users. The system features four hard drive media bays (SATA) that support RAID 0,1,5,6,10, as well as two additional m.2 NVMe SSD media bays that can be used for caching, direct storage or tiered storage in conjunction with the larger HDD bays. The system also arrives with two Thunderbolt 4 ports (USB-C) that will no doubt be backwards compatible with Thunderbolt 3, this means that two users will be able to connect with the TS-464T4 directly over thunderbolt to access it’s storage, as well as the NAS remaining accessible by countless users via the network/internet. This is thanks to the system ALSO features 10GbE and 2.5GbE network ports. These appear to be native (i.e. not via a PCIe card as found on the TS-453BT3), so this means the TS-464T4 will almost certainly be as compact in it’s 4-Bay chassis as the TS-453BT3, TS-464 and TS-453D. Finally, the system also includes an HDMI 2.0 output for a 4K 60FPS monitor, as well as multiple USB ports that are no doubt going to include USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) as found in the rest of the TS-x64 series so far. This is all built on an architecture of the Intel Celeron currently found in the TS-x64 series, the Intel N5105 or N5095A, which is an embedded graphics enabled, x86, 64bit, quad-core chip. Given the memory/cache hungry nature of thunderbolt, the TS-464T4 will likely ship with at least 8GB of memory by default. So, in summary:

  • Featuring the Intel Celeron N5105/N5095 Quad Core 2.0-2.9Ghz CPU
  • Support of SODIMM non-ECC DDR4 Memory, 8-16-32GB* over two slots
  • Four SATA 3.5″ Media Bays supporting up to 20TB Hard Drives
  • Two M.2 2280 NVMe SSD Bays (PCIe Gen 3 x1 or PCIe Gen 3 x2*)
  • Two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C Ports
  • On-board 10GbE network Port
  • On-board 2.5GbE network Port
  • Multiple USB Ports that will include USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s)
  • HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS Output for a visual display
  • Almost certainly using the TS-464 or TS-453D Chassis

Now as good as all that sounds, let’s take a moment to think about how hard it would be to cram this much hardware into the architecture of that Intel N5105/N5095 Celeron CPU with its available PCI lanes and chipset. Almost certainly those NVMe M.2 slots are going to be a bit clipped, perhaps PCIe Gen 3×1 or 3×2. This is not the end of the world of course, but it likely means that they will not be able to exceed 1000-1500MB/s in real-world use. Additionally, those Four HDD bays even in a RAID 0 are likely to only hit around the 1000MB/s of throughput externally. Swapping those out with some impressively specced SSDs will push this higher, but it is worth keeping in mind that this is an affordable/entry point for users into the thunderbolt NAS world first and foremost. The TS-464T4 is not going to challenge the much more enterprise thunderbolt solution’s in QNAP’s portfolio, but this is going to be a remarkably convenient NAS, with a significant number of ways to connect with it simultaneously that will suit each tier of your workflow and creative team.

The QNAP TS-464T4 NAS vs the TS-453BT3

The TS-464T4 almost certainly serves as a follow up to the now almost 4 years old TS-453BT3 (since initial reveal at CES 2018). Although on the face of it, these systems appear very similar, there are quite a few jumps in architecture between them, with hopes that the price tag of the sub £999 price will be maintained. Let’s take a look at how each system compares:

Model

TS-464T4 (Revealed Jan 2022)

TS-453BT3 (Revealed Jan 2018)

CPU Intel® Celeron N5105/N5095 4-core/4-thread processor, burst up to 2.9 GHz Intel® Celeron® J3455 4-core/4-thread processor, burst up to 2.3 GHz
CPU Architecture 64-bit x86 64-bit x86
Graphic Processors Intel® UHD Graphics Intel® HD Graphics 500
Floating Point Unit Yes Yes
Encryption Engine  (AES-NI)  (AES-NI)
Hardware-accelerated Transcoding Yes Yes
System Memory 8GB SO-DIMM DDR4 (1 x 8GB) *TBC 8 GB SO-DIMM DDR3L (2 x 4 GB)
Maximum Memory 16GB/32 (2 x 8/16GB) *TBC 8 GB (2 x 4 GB)
Memory Slot 2 x SO-DIMM 2 SO-DIMM DDR3LFor dual DIMM configuration, pairs of identical DDR3L modules must be used.
Flash Memory 4GB (Dual boot OS protection) 4GB (Dual boot OS protection)
Drive Bay 4 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s, 3Gb/s 4 x 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s, 3Gb/s
Drive Compatibility 3.5-inch bays:
3.5-inch SATA hard disk drives
2.5-inch SATA hard disk drives
2.5-inch SATA solid state drives
3.5-inch SATA hard drive
2.5-inch SATA hard drive
2.5-inch SATA solid state drive
M.2 Slot 2x PCIe Gen 3 x1 / 3×2 *TBC 2 x M.2 2280 SATA
SSD Cache Acceleration Support Yes Yes
1 Gigabit Ethernet Port No 2
2.5 Gigabit Ethernet Port (2.5G/1G/100M) 1 (also support 10M) 0
10 Gigabit Ethernet Port 1 x 10GBASE-T (10G/5G/2.5G/1G/100M) 1 10GBASE-T (10G/5G/2.5G/1G/100M)QM2 PCIe card pre-loaded
Thunderbolt Port 2 (Thunderbolt 4) 2 (Thunderbolt 3)
PCIe Slot NO 1 PCIe Gen 2 (x2), pre-loaded with a QM2 expansion card (QM2-2S10G1TB), including a 10GbE 10GBASE-T port and two M.2 SATA solid-state drive slots.
HDMI Output HDMI 2.0 (up to 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz) HDMI 1.4b (up to 3840 x 2160 @ 30Hz)

*TBC = Almost certain, but I want to be absolutely sure and am checking as we speak

So, immediately, we can see that in terms of ‘brief glance’ architecture, they have similar building blocks. However, the CPU is several jumps up in refreshes by Intel, as well as the quality of each individual port on the system being improved upon throughout the device. Overall, the TS-464T4 is a great refresh and improvement over the TS-453BT3 and an absolute no brainer if you are looking at entering the world of thunderbolt NAS, but are on a tighter budget.

The QNAP TS-464T4 NAS – Software Specifications

The QNAP TS-464T4 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-464T4 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 3rdparty 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 Surveillance Station – Surveillance applications that allow you to connect multiple IP cameras and IP speaks to your network and manage them with the applications. Arriving with 4 camera licenses for Surveillance Station 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

Additionally, you can always access the TS-464T4 via your own native Operating System file management via iSCSI, mapped drives, DAS setup (know as thunderbolt over IP, or IP over thunderbolt) and you can even use the TS-464T4 as a thunderbolt network gateway to allow your TB3/TB4 equipped Mac/PC to connect with an existing 10GbE network. Here is my full review of QTS 5.0 for QNA NAS:

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

The QNAP TS-464T4 NAS – Price & Release Date

QNAP has been a little quieter on the eventual release price and planned launch date for the TS-464T4 NAS, however, we can make some educated guess! First and foremost, the pricetag will need to sit well with the hardware on offer and the rest of the thunderbolt portfolio. So, given the £900-1000 price tag of the TS-453BT3, we can comfortably assume that this will be a target figure for the TS-464T4. Regarding the release date, QNAP has been gradually releasing the TS-x64 series in the closing stages of 2021 (with the TS-364 and TBS-464 being released in Nov and Dec). With the reveal of the TS-464T4 and HS-264 at the CES 2022 event lining up neatly in Jan ’22, I think we are likely to see a release of the TS-464T4 in the first quarter of 2022. Subscribe below to learn more and keep updated on this and other new NAS releases in 2022. Thanks for reading!

 

 


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Drivestor 4 NAS Drive Review – Best Value RAID 5 NAS?

22 décembre 2021 à 01:21

Asustor Drivestor 4 Review – Cost-Effective Cloud?

Asustor’s latest NAS release, the Drivestor 4, certainly has a very specific target audience in mind. Making the jump from public and 3rd party cloud services can be a fantastically intimidating move! Cloud services such as OneDrive, DropBox, Google Drive and more present you with internet-based cloud space that allows easy sharing, easy storage space scaling, a low learning curve and easy access, – but provide this with widely flexible performance, dependence on constant internet connectivity, rising subscription costs that do not include bare-metal storage down the line and an in-built short term design. Hence why many who make tentative moves away from Cloud services and onto private servers will opt for a NAS. NAS (Network Attached Storage), although not quite as user friendly as the cloud, is not tough to set up and use, as includes numerous internal backup/sync methods of ensuring data protection (as well as a host of other services). The thing about NAS when compared to the cloud is that whereas a cloud is cheaper monthly but over the years really adds up, a NAS is the money being paid upfront – but you actually get to keep the storage! Still, that initial payment can seem daunting for many and therefore most cost-effective/budget-friendly solutions can be much easier to digest step away from cloud services, with NAS systems like the Asustor Drivestor 4 being a great potential option for many. But is this good enough to make a smooth and advantageous transition from cloud? Let’s find out in our review of the Drivestor 4 and see if it is worthy of your data.

Other Asustor Reviews You Might Be Interested In:

Asustor AS6604T LockerStor 4 NAS Review – https://nascompares.com/2020/08/17/asustor-as6604t-lockerstor-4-nas-hardware-review

Asustor AS6510T Lockerstor 10 NAS Reviewhttps://nascompares.com/2020/01/23/asustor-as6510t-lockerstor-10-nas-review

Asustor AS5304T Nimbustor 4 NAS Review – https://NAScompares.com/2019/06/27/asustor-nimbustor-NAS-hardware-review

Asustor Drivestor 4 Review – Quick Conclusion

If Asustor has released the Drivestor 4 as the means for cloud users to make an affordable transition onto their own NAS server cloud at the lowest possible price, I think they are largely nailed it. In terms of file storage, sharing, backups, access and searching, most cloud users are going to hit very few hurdles in the Drivestor 4. The whole product family is easily one of the most affordable 2.5GbE NAS ranges in the market right now and the Asustor Drivestor 4 NAS does not over-promise in what it can provide. Its architecture lends quite well to the more budget-friendly buyer, home users and even those that are simply looking for an easy backup option to work in conjunction with the cloud (not just an alternative). Additionally, less demanding users who want some light multimedia support, network-based camera surveillance and cross-platform file sharing will certainly see plenty of use in the Drivestor 4 device. The software and services available via ADM on the Drivestor 4 AS1104T also provide a decent level of utilities and provide a good level of confidence to the end-user in housekeeping and secure functionality. Though the system is arguably let down by weak upgradeability and internal hardware (that 1GB Memory is a bit of a kick in the butt) that has been a tad overused in recent years, you still have a very functional solution here that mostly sticks the landing in offering your own private cloud solution. As long as you keep your expectations realistic, the Drivestor 4 is another solid release from Asustor in 2021/2022.

SOFTWARE - 7/10
HARDWARE - 6/10
PERFORMANCE - 6/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


7.0
PROS
👍🏻Lowest Prices 2.5GbE NAS Out there
👍🏻2.5Gbe Connectivity can be fully saturated
👍🏻Most affordable RAID 5 NAS in the Market in 2021
👍🏻Lower Ambient Noise level than the Pro Version
👍🏻Rare Realtek NAS that is Expandable
👍🏻4K HEVC Transcoding
👍🏻Modern Software Design
👍🏻Wide Range of Mobile Apps
👍🏻Cloud/NAS/USB Backup Support
CONS
👎🏻Lack of HDMI = No KVM Setup
👎🏻1GB Memory and No Option to Upgrade further is a kicker
👎🏻Software still not quite on par with competitors (AI services, Hybrid Cloud, etc)

Asustor Drivestor 4 Review – Retail Packaging

Much like the Drivestor 4 Pro, when I first unpacked the shipping container to get to the Drivestor 4, I was pleasantly surprised by the retail packaging. I shouldn’t be – Asustor has always been very graphical in their packaging, going to good lengths to detail what the units can do, the hardware specs, the software specs and generally creating a very appealing and engaging retail design. I often comment warmly on the attention many companies make on retail packaging, despite the fact that these devices are almost always purchased from online stores (so by the time you see the packaging, you have already purchased it), it would be a dull, dull world indeed if everything arrived in default brown box packaging (do you hear me Synology?).

No, my surprise was the size of the retail box. Considering this contains a 4-Bay NAS drive, it is rather small. Given this device promises a whole lot of hardware abilities, along with 4 bays of HDD storage, it seemed remarkably condensed. As minor a point as this is, I thought it would be remiss not to highlight this, as, alongside speed and capacity, factors such as noise, chassis and heat are pretty important concerns. If we open up the box, we find the following contents:

  • 1x Asustor Drivestor 4 AS1104T NAS Drive
  • 1x 90W External Power Supplier, 100V to 240VAC
  • 1x Mains Power Cable
  • 1x RJ-45 LAN Cable(Cat 5e)
  • Packed of Flat Head Screw (for 2.5″ HDD)
  • Quick Start Guide and Instruction Manual

These accessories seem all standard (perhaps I would expect Cat 6e, but at 2.5Gbe, this makes no difference), but with a very efficient PSU (especially for a 4 bay NAS) I am still very much a fan of external Power suppliers, as in the event fails (and this applies to all brands, not just in NAS) the power supplier is still the most failure-prone part of any hardware (it is technically ALWAYS working) and in the 2-3 times in my working history that a PSU failed, in the case of an internal power supply, it has been difficult and time-consuming to repair. External power bricks are jsut easier for desktop devices, plus this 90W PSU means that the Drivestor 4 will be making a very, very tiny make on your environment. Lovely stuff.

Asustor Drivestor 4 AS1104T NAS Review – Design

Looking at the design of the Drivestor 4 chassis, it is quite understated and although lacks a lot of the initial appeal of the Drivestor 4 Pro, it does make up for this a little with its contained and simply shape for some users. The Drivestor 4 case does not feature any form of external trays or bays, keeping its storage bays internally and inaccessible without powering down the device and opening up the case. This does lead to a lower noise level when in use, though will hardly lower the ambient noise levels of more enterprise hard drive media inside.

As is a growing trend, the front panel of the Asustor DriveStor is not hinged or fixed but can be removed easily. This means that when the device is doing its day-to-day tasks and not being physical used, it is a contained and covered unit, that looks very neat in most office environments. This removable front panel is even slightly raised and ventilated on all sides, to ensure the rear fan’s active airflow is not interrupted.

Like the modern edged design of the front panel, the sides of the Asustor Drivestor 4 AS1104T NAS Drive have that angular edge to their surface. The chassis is only available in black and is plastic outside, surrounding a metal internal frame. Additionally, looking at the screw layout, this is a fixed frame that is not intended to be opened for upgrades/maintenance. You cannot even remove this chassis/panel to access the memory upgrade slots as this system does not allow expanding beyond the default 1GB memory sadly.

The base of the device features rubberized feet and a large ventilation slot that covers the base of the device to further assist passive airflow through the Hard Drive/SSD installed inside the Drivestor 4 NAS. Aside from this, there is little else on the base of the Asustor AS1104T NAS of note.

The front displayed LED lights and power button pretty much cover every active/passive factor you will need in the running of this NAS. The LEDs indicate the following:

  • Power/Standby
  • Network Access/Activity (one for each port)

  • System Activity (Read/Write Actions in progress)
  • Drive Activity (one for each drive, regardless of RAID)

I know LEDs are fairly standard, but the number of brands that are simplifying this for no real reason is growing and those who care about this kind of thing will notice! The front of the chassis also features a USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) port that allows users to connect numerous devices, but this port is largely utilized for connecting an external USB storage drive for adding additional parallel storage or connecting an ad-hoc/scheduled local backup for the NAS. Unlike the Pro version of the Drivestor NAS, there is no 1-click copy button, but you can activate the backup from the ADM GUI, have it action on a pre-set schedule, or automatic when a/the drive is connected to the port.

Of course, the main focus when removing the front panel is the HDD/SSD media bays of the Drivestor 4 NAS. These four Bays support the very latest SATA based Hard Drives and Solid State Drives (18TB Seagate Ironwolfs/WD Red and 4TB commercially available grade respectively). The Asustor AS1104T can function with a single drive if you wish, as well as gradually/fully populated and features its own RAID handling of RAID 0 and RAID 1. Additionally, you can install a combination of Hard Drives and SSDs in individual bays, which can then be used to create separate RAID-enabled storage pools for fast/regular accessing data volumes. Alternatively, it is becoming common for small office and shop owners to use a 4-Bay with HDD and SSD installed for a large volume of storage space, supported with a portion of SSD caching. This results in an increased performance internally (and indeed externally thanks to that 2.5Gbe) when working from traditionally slower mechanical hard drives.

As mentioned, accessing these storage bays is done with the removal of the casing. This is not too difficult and even installing drives inside is very straightforward, it jsut means that hot-swapping (adding a new drive to a RAID array to reBuild a failed RAID will require the NAS being turned off – something that will interrupt active shares and or will need more hands-on time. Not the end of the world, but some users will always choose hot swapping in the even of NAS RAID recovery, as powering the system down on the back of a degraded RAID state feels (for not real reason) a bit dicey.

Asustor Drivestor 4 Review – Ports and Connections

Somewhat in line with the modest and cost-effective design featured on the Asustor Drivestor 4, connections on the rear of the device are similarly few. Though I will highlight that it still manages to arrive with hardware a pinch better than a number of similarly affordable price points.

The rear of the device is largely dominated by that single active cooling fan that can have its RPM adjusted automatically or manually as the system internals require. Unless you utilise particularly enterprise or large capacity media, this NAS is not going to be particularly noisy. Additionally, the fact it has an external PSU further allows the system to do a better job of maintaining improved internal temperatures and keeping that fan at the best possible level of use.

The system also supports the connection of an additional USB device, although the DriveStor lacks the KVM support (as found in the likes of the Lockerstor and Nimbustor series). Alongside the attachment of USB external storage, Wi-Fi dongles, improved network interface adaptors and network-attached office hardware like printers, scanners and UPS’, the Drivestor 4 also supports the 4-bay Asustor expansion chassis that allows you to expand this system by an additional 8 bays of storage across 2 connected expansions. These ports are all USB 3.2 Gen1 however and limited to 5Gb performance, though this may well be limited by the processor rather than the brand opting towards lesser connections.

Another interesting if slightly brand predictable inclusion on the Drivestor 4 AS1104T is that it arrives with 2.5Gbe connectivity at a price point where other brands like Synology and QNAP have opted for standard gigabit ethernet. Given that both of the 4 bay and 2-days Drivestor systems have the potential to push out 350-700MB per second internally, it is a welcome addition that externally you have a potential 270MB/s per second throughput possible with supported network hardware. Even this rather modest CPU, compared with that of the Intel and AMD in other systems, will still be able to fully saturate this external connection and it is a rare treat for the budget end of the NAS buyers market to enjoy 2.5Gbe.

For those that are concerned that the benefits of this larger bandwidth ethernet connection will be lost on them, Asustor also provides an optional USB to 2.5 GB adaptor that supports numerous operating systems and even connection to the NAS itself for further network connections (i.e add another connection in the network manager). It’s an additional purchase but at just £25+, it will hardly break the bank.

And that is really it for external connectivity on this box. The lack of a GPU embedded CPU means that HDMI support is totally absent and (sorry to repeat myself – but!) with it a lot of the KVM applications that many buyers still opt for Asustor solutions for absent here. Still, you are still getting a better than average selection of ports and connections is this modestly priced solution. Let’s discuss that internal hardware and the benefits of brings to the system software and services as a whole

Asustor Drivestor 4 Review – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware featured on the Asustor Drivestor 4 is a surprisingly good value, but rather restricted level of components. There is practically no means of upgrading the internal systems and it should be highlighted that this NAS will likely consume around 30% of the available resources in just general operation. The advent of newly developed 64-bit CRM processors is something we have seen hugely benefit the private server market in recent years but it has to be said that it arrives with plenty of limitations early doors.

The Realtek RTD1296 inside the Drivestor 4 NAS provides quite a good deal of the standard and first-party software+services available on the platform. Multimedia streaming, multi-tiered backups, background storage sync, security services, container installation and surveillance among many. Additionally, the system features enough hardware in that CPU architecture to make lovely transcode 4H H.265 media (HEVC) which at this price and power level is pretty impressive. Still, this is a processor that does not feature embedded graphics and because of that, some services are not supported by this CPU, such as virtual machine deployment, hardware transcoding in Plex media server, AI-assisted services and generally results in significantly more power usage to do anything with even a hint of graphical object handling. Nevertheless, with a 1.4 GHz frequency per core, the efficiency it brings allows it to do a great deal more than a 32-bit counterpart with fewer resources consumed. Additionally, it is quad-core so you do have a fairly robust processor getting the job done.

The system also includes 1GB of memory that, alongside this CPU, is actually quite good value and is enough to get a handful of decent applications running simultaneously very well. Also, this memory is DDR4 in architecture, at 2400Mhz, a noticeable upgrade over the 1GB and 512MB DDR3 at 1600Mhz in its predecessors. As good as this all sounds, the system generally will be utilising 20% of this to keep the system running in the background and the fact that you cannot upgrade this memory beyond this point does result in the system having a slight glass ceiling in terms of simultaneous users and services. The Drivestor 4 Pro version arrives with 2 Gigabytes, which is a good level of base memory to be getting on with as an affordable solution, but the Drivestor 4 only having 1GB that cannot be upgraded is something that really nails this NAS down a bit in terms of potential performance in a number of ways.

The throughput reported by Asustor on the Drivestor 4 NAS drive externally easily saturates the available to 2.5Gbe connection in regular file transmission, which isn’t a huge surprise for this RAID equipped box. Obviously, this bandwidth is shared between upload and download, so do bear that in mind when looking at these performance benchmarks. Internally the system and its software performed surprisingly well for the rather modest hardware inside and there is even a dedicated media mode that allows you to reserve 512MB of memory for dedicated use when streaming multimedia. The system does not feature dedicated SSD caching bays (e.g M.2 NVMe slots as found in the LockerStor) s and the lack of an integrated graphics CPU also means that the system will use considerably more power when handling visual tasks. But for a single user or light business backup server, the Drivestor 4 NAS will provide acceptable throughput.

Asustor Drivestor 4 Review – Software & Services

We have discussed the latest or drive management software in previous Asustor reviews and although it features the same services and software platform, these new systems arrived with support of the latest version of this software ADM 4.0. Additionally, this software receives frequent updates to ensure that the software runs the very best it can on the DriveStor, as well as keeping up to date with security patches and application versions. We have touched on a number of the features in our Drivestor 4 and ADM 4.0 NAS software review (below) and it highlights already, but here are the highlights:

Plex – This system DOES support plex, but only as high as 1080p and without hardware transcoding (video below too)

Storage Management – Sadly there is no BTRFS Support, but there is EXT4 for the traditionalist, Multiple Snapshot storage and browsing for recovery, a large number of ISCSI and LUN target creation, fast-acting SSD caching use

Network Management – Support of LAG, Load Balancing and virtual switches, as well as maintaining top transmission over 2.5Gbe for editing or gaming over the network. As well as Jumbo Frame control, DDNS automation, Wake on LAN support and internet/external NAS access with EZ Connect

Backups – Supporting a wide range of multi-tiered backup options that can be carried out simultaneously thanks to the capable CPU in the DriveStor NAS, such as network RSync, USB Backups, NAS-2-NAS migration, Cloud Backups with Google Drive, Dropbox and Backblaze and numerous RAID levels internally for redundancy.

Content Management – Numerous Content Management Systems (CMS) and Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs) available in 1st and 3rd party forms, with simultaneous operations supported by the Asustor Drivestor 4 NAS

User Account Control – Supporting over 4,000 accounts, each with their own bespoke privileges and access levels, as well as grouping methods to automate the process easily

Security – AES 256bit hardware encryption on data in/out of the device, as well as over backup methods, as well as Windows ACL permission and configuration, auto blacklisting and multiple VPN provider support

Antivirus (ClamAV) – Scheduled Scans, Automatic Virus Definition Updates, Quarantine Infected Files

Download Center – Supports BT(Torrent & Magnet Link), HTTP and FTP Downloads, Torrent Search, Bandwidth Control, RSS Subscription and Automatic Downloading (Broadcatching), ASUSTOR Download Assistant for Windows & Mac

DropBox, OneDrive and Google Drive Sync – Each ADM Account is Able to Individually Log into one cloud Account, supporting Sync, Directly Upload Files to cloud from the NAS, or from cloud to NAS

LooksGood Media App –Built-in three main video library categories; movies, TV shows, home movies and smart video sorting management

    • The efficient global search function allows for searches by keywords followed by the execution of more detailed searches for the purpose of finding categories of movies, TV shows, home movies and parameters such as actors, director, year, genre, writer and title
    • Attractive poster wall and thumbnail display
    • Automatic production of video poster thumbnails
    • Centralized management and ability to configure the order of favourites and playlist history
    • The system administrator is able to configure video library and editing permissions according to user preferences
    • Can configure access permissions to share with
    • Multimedia conversion feature
    • Self-defined smart folder for video conversions
    • Supports digital TV recordings via digital
    • Easy streaming with Chromecast and DLNA
    • Supports playback of videos in Apple TV via AiVideos tvOS version

Mail Server – Each ADM Account can Become an Independent Email Account, Provides SMTP, IMAP and POP3 Mail Protocols, Spam Filter and Black List Settings, Antivirus Scanning for Emails, Exclusive Email Backup Mechanism, Auto-Forwarding and Auto-Response Protocols

Photo Gallary – “Album” and “Browse” Viewing Modes, Manage Photo Album Access Rights: Public Access, Restricted to Certain Accounts, Album Password, Multi-level Folder Structure Support, Supports Tagging of Photos, One-click Sharing to Social Media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Plurk, email), Intuitive Drag and Drop Management, Slideshow Viewing Mode, Supports a Wide Range of Image Formats: JPG/JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, RAW and Supports Video Playback

Surveillance Center – Numerous channels in 720p/1080p on single live view display, On-screen camera controls including camera PTZ, manual recordings, take snapshots, configure camera settings and open Maps, Up to 4 channels of synchronous and non-synchronous playback with audio, Intelligent video analytics including motion detection and foreign object detection, Supported Browsers: Windows Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Mac Safari, Mac Firefox ESR, Event notification supports SMS, E-mail, and mobile push notification, AiSecure mobile app for iOS and Android with Push notification, Maximum IP Cam (4 Free Licenses; Additional Licenses to be Purchased)

Takeasy – Download from YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch and More, Selectable Video Type and Quality, Automatic Downloads with YouTube or Twitch Subscriptions, Preview Downloads in Progress and Online Playback

SoundsGood Audio App – Import Personal/Public Music Collection, Personal/Public Music Collection Permission Control, Playlist Editor, ID3 Tag Editor, Local Speaker Support: HDMI, USB, Audio Jack, Supported Audio Formats for Browser: MP3, WAV, Ogg, Supported Audio Formats for Transcoding Through Browser: AIFF, Flac, Supported Audio Formats for Local Speaker: MP3, WAV, Ogg, AIFF, Flac

Backup Tools – Rsync (Remote Sync) Backup, Cloud Backup, FTP Backup, External Backup, One-Touch Backup, EZ Sync, Snapshots

Lastly, for those who are curious, here is how the Asustor ADM platform compares with the Synology DSM platform:

Asustor Drivestor 4 Review – Conclusion

If Asustor has released the Drivestor 4 as the means for cloud users to make an affordable transition onto their own NAS server cloud at the lowest possible price, I think they are largely nailed it. In terms of file storage, sharing, backups, access and searching, most cloud users are going to hit very few hurdles in the Drivestor 4. The whole product family is easily one of the most affordable 2.5GbE NAS ranges in the market right now and the Asustor Drivestor 4 NAS does not over-promise in what it can provide. Its architecture lends quite well to the more budget-friendly buyer, home users and even those that are simply looking for an easy backup option to work in conjunction with the cloud (not just an alternative). Additionally, less demanding users who want some light multimedia support, network-based camera surveillance and cross-platform file sharing will certainly see plenty of use in the Drivestor 4 device. The software and services available via ADM on the Drivestor 4 AS1104T also provide a decent level of utilities and provide a good level of confidence to the end-user in housekeeping and secure functionality. Though the system is arguably let down by weak upgradeability and internal hardware (that 1GB Memory is a bit of a kick in the butt) that has been a tad overused in recent years, you still have a very functional solution here that mostly sticks the landing in offering your own private cloud solution. As long as you keep your expectations realistic, the Drivestor 4 is another solid release from Asustor in 2021/2022.

PROs of the AS1104T Drivestor 4 CONs of the AS1104T Drivestor 4
  • Lowest Prices 2.5GbE NAS Out there
  • 2.5Gbe Connectivity can be fully saturated
  • Most affordable RAID 5 NAS in the Market in 2021
  • Lower Ambient Noise level than the Pro Version
  • Rare Realtek NAS that is Expandable
  • 4K HEVC Transcoding
  • Modern Software Design
  • Wide Range of Mobile Apps
  • Cloud/NAS/USB Backup Support
  • Lack of HDMI = No KVM Setup
  • 1GB Memory and No Option to Upgrade further is a kicker
  • Software still not quite on par with competitors (AI services, Hybrid Cloud, etc)

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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

 

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Synology RT6600ax WiFi 6 & 2.5GbE Router Revealed

2 décembre 2021 à 21:02

Synology FINALLY Reveal a new WiFi 6 Router – The RT6600ax with 802.11ax and 2.5GbE

Yes, you read that correctly. After what seems like forever, the Synology router series is finally receiving its first WiFi 6 enabled solution in the RT6600ax Mesh router system. This, along with the announcement of bigger updates to the Synology Router Manager (SRM) in updates to the web browser GUI and mobile application (DS Router) in SRM 1.3 in 2022, is easily one of the highlights of all the new information shared by Synology in their ‘Synology 2022 and Beyond’ event today. I will be going into greater detail soon on each of the biggest reveals of the event, as well as a full review of the event in its entirety soon), but today I want to focus specifically on the Synology RT6600ax router, as this is going to be a remarkably popular device next year.

What do we know about the Synology RT6600ax WiFi 6 Router?

Information on the Synology RT6600ax arrived across the primary introduction video that featured the founder of Synology (Phillip Wong) and a network dedicated video on the official Synology YouTube video shortly afterwards. Further details on the SRM 1.3 big update next year were also covered, but let’s first focus on what we learned about this new router.

Synology RT6600ax Router Hardware Highlights

  • Planned to arrive in H1-2022 with SRM 1.3
  • Tri-Band WiFi 6 Support
  • 6 x High gain adjustable antennae (4×4 MIMO antennas)
  • 5.9Ghz / 160MHz channel Support
  • Four 1GbE (Gigabit Ethernet ports) (1x WAN 3x LAN)
  • 1x 2.5GbE LAN/WAN Port
  • 6600Mbs Bandwidth Potential
  • Multi-Network creation in SRM 1.3
  • Improved DS Router Mobile Application and Browser GUI in SRM 1.3 in 2022
  • Mesh Support with future AX devices
  • No word on USB Support, but almost certainly going to be featured

The first big focus of course is the support of WiFi 6 (AKA 802.11ax), as this has become widely adopted by modern wireless client hardware manufacturers in place of WiFi 5 a/c/n etc. From New-gen consoles and computers, to even Amazon Fire TV and Virgin ISP routers, WiFi 6 is very much an established thing and hence why people have been counting the days till Synology and its SRM equipped Routers jumped on board with the RT6600ax router. Alongside this, the RT6600ax will also feature the 6 antennae setup that was featured on the RT2600ac before it. This will allow a tremendous degree of coverage and shared frequency bandwidth of up to 6000Mbps.

Alongside the increased bandwidth and performance improvements on offer with WiFi 6 (802.11ax) there is also a nice surprise in the wired connect of the RT6600ax. The Router has 4 1GbE network ports (1 WAN/LAN and 3x LAN) but also features a very interesting 2.5GbE optional WAN or LAN port. Now, this is a big, BIG deal, given that the availability of greater than gigabit internet speeds has grown in the last year or so (additionally facilitated by people working remotely more and more of course), but also it’s the first time we have seen Synolgoy actually pay 2.5GbE any attention on ANY of their hardware to date. Hopefully, this will be something that will be spun out into further NAS diskstation/rackstation solutions in 2022.

Along with the support of the 2.4 Ghz and 5Ghz frequencies (with one of the 5Ghz frequencies delivering a theoretical 480MB/s between it and another RT6600ax via the backhaul mesh connection), the RT6600ax will also be one of a rare batch of routers right now that will support 5.9Ghz (aka, to be able to use the 160Mhz channel made available by the FCC relatively recently). This is another big plus for the brand in its new router solution and something that will set it apart from other WiFi 6 Router solutions that have landed before it.

One area of the coverage on the Synology RT6600ax that has been a little quiet is the Mesh support on this WiFi 6 enabled router. Namely, how and if it will communicate over mesh with the older generation of Routers (the RT2600ac and MR2200ac). The RT6600ax will definitely communicate with other RT6600ax router units, as well as ‘planned’ future AX routers from Synology, but we are still seeking clarification on if it will integrate the same (not via a wifi 6 connection of course) with the older generation devices.

Finally, an often requested hardware feature that (despite its practical ease) has been weirdly absent till now – the RT6600ax can finally be wall-mounted! It’s a small feature by for those that want the router in a prime, clear and high location, having it shelf mounted is a pain! It is an odd feature to think has not been available till now, but finally, there it is.

When Will the Synology RT6600ax Router Be Released?

The Synology router series has always been one that tends to take its sweet time to be released. If the Synology RT6600ax will have anything in common with the MR2200ac and RT2600ac that came before it, expect the release date for this new WiFi 6 router to be a good chunk of the way into 2022. The Synology RT6600ax is almost certainly going to be a release that is going to be partnered with the launch of SRM 1.3 in 2022, so although it will definitely be in 2022, maybe get comfortable and expect it some time in the late spring or early summer (somewhere in between Q1 and Q2 in the TW business quarter).

How Much Will the Synology RT6600ax Router Be?

Although there has been ZERO official information on the price tag that the Synology RT6600ax will arrive with, Synology has tended in previous refreshes of ranges in their NAS and router ranges to attempt parity at the price point each time (maybe with a small increase in line with inflation etc). The Synology RT2600ac at launch arrived at around the £230-250 price point and I can definitely see Synology repeating this price point. If true, it would certainly put the RT6600ac in a business/Prosumer price bracket, but this wouldn’t be the first time and the features of SRM 1.3 and even 1.2 in terms of control, configuration and analytics are quite advanced compared with other routers out there.

Updates on the Synology Router Software & Services in SRM 1.3

As mentioned, the Synology RT6600ax was not the only thing regarding the networking arm of the company that was covered in detail during Synology 2022 and Beyond, with the announcement of SRM 1.3 and DS Router improvements in 2022. Highlights of those improvements that were covered were as follows:

Highlights of the Promised Improvements in SRM 1.3 and DS Router in 2022

  • Multi-Network Creation (vLANs) & Client H/W and/or device assignment
  • Creation of up to 5 SSID/Network (more possible with disabling Smart Connect – TBC)
  • Improved Network Management and improved GUI in the web browser
  • Significantly more network analytics, control and adjustment features to be made accessible in the DS Router 2.0 mobile application

I think it is quite likely that the release of the new RT6600ax and the launch of the SRM 1.3 update will likely arrive at the same/close time. Stay tuned for more information on this as we find out more and subscribe to stay informed on all things new from Synology in 2022.

 


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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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