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Aujourd’hui — 6 décembre 2021Flux principal

Synology 2022 Event Review – EVERYTHING Covered in SRM 1.3, Routers, Mac Support, DSM 7.1, New NAS, C2, Photos and Surveillance

6 décembre 2021 à 13:33

Review of the Synology 2022 Event – Everything Synology Revealed

It’s that time again, almost as regular as clockwork, with the return of the annual Synology event. Synology has been extraordinarily business and enterprise-focused throughout this year, with numerous significant updates in services on their C2 cloud platform, Cloud assisted services and (of course) the release of DSM 7 in the summer. The ‘Synology 2022 and Beyond’ event took a similar form to that of last year’s event, with the reveal of an annual summary video, followed up by several YouTube videos that featured key personnel across their global divisions to discuss the companies performance throughout 2021, as well as where they are going with their software, hardware and services in 2022. As we expected, the primary focus appeared to be on software and the C2 cloud platform, but there was the odd mention of things that are brewing in software. The full range of videos can be found on their official YouTube channel here, however, if you are interested in learning the highlights, I have covered the best bits below. This article will be live a short while after the event, but will be regularly updated over the next few days. Alternatively, the most interesting things that are shown at Synology 2022 and Beyond will be added over on the NASCompares YouTube here. Let’s discuss what Synology revealed.

The Highlights of the Synology 2022 Digital Event

Below is a breakdown of the most important or interesting things we learnt at Synology 2022 and Beyond. Several of these are hardware, software or services that are already available (but with further updates), are ones that have formally been in beta or are brand new features from Synology for 2022. Let’s take a look.

Synology DSM 7.1 – Early Features Revealed

As covered in a much, MUCH bigger article HERE, during the initial keynote speech of Synology 2022 and Beyond, Mike Chen went into details regarding the development of the next sub-update of DSM 7, discussing features that will even launch in DSM version 7.1, in more granularly as updates arrive individually. These included the following areas covered:

Upcoming Synology DSM 7.1 Reveals

  • Active Insight GUI Improvements
  • Improved Integration of Application in Active Insight overview and management (Hyper Backup demonstrated)
  • Support of GFS (Global File System), HTTP/3 security and an additional cache-warm-up feature
  • Further Rolling out of Out of Band management support in 2022 devices onwards
  • Improved Multi-file server/storage access and control via a single portal
  • Improved Remote Domain control with Read-Only Support
  • Scale-Out Storage (Future Projects)
  • Full Synolgoy NAS DSM Backup and Restoration

As mentioned, the article from last week covers each of these new features and services for DSM 7.1 in much more detail, so if you want to learn more about it you can read it by clicking the post below or just watching the video:

Synology DSM 7.1 Video Synology DSM 7.1 Article

Synology RT6600AX WiFi 6 Mesh Router

That’s right, it’s taken a long, LONG time but we are finally going to see an 802.11ax ready Synology router. The Synology RT6600ax is their newest solution in their router series and the first to embrace the significantly higher bandwidth WiFi AX connection, as well as Synology highlighting that it will support true 160Mhz frequency (the 5.9Ghz band). 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 big focus of the 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. There is more to learn about the RT6600ax in the video and article linked below:

Synology RT6600ax Video Synology RT6600ax Article

Updates to Synology Router Manager in SRM 1.3

Of all the software platforms that Synology have for their hardware, one very popular, heavily featured, prosumer YET lesser updated in features is the Synology Router Manager (SRM) platform. Alongside the reveal of the new WiFi 6 Router RT6600ax system, there are also additional improvements coming in SRM 1.3. The main two featured were as follows.

Improved vLAN/Multi-Network Services and Multiple SSIDs in SRM 1.3

Despite the clear love for SRM from many, one oddly absent feature for the longest time has been the ability to create multiple sub/simultaneous networks. You could always create a low-access/controlled Guest Network, but that was about it. FINALLY, it will be implemented in SRM 1.3 I will be looking forward to seeing the GUI for this, as that has often been a stumbling block for router providers (the topography and a single viewpoint of ALL the active networks at once is a tricking balancing act that few get right to the satisfaction of lesser tech-head users). Likewise, the support of multiple SSIDs in SRM was always an oddly slimmed back/absent feature (depending on the depth of what you wanted/needed) and is finally arriving in a larger and established form in SRM 1.3. Synology detail that support of multiple SSIDs will hit 10x on dual-band systems and up to x15 on triband models (such as the RT6600ax), but it will require that you disable Smart Connect to use.

Improvements to the Design and Utility of the DS Router Mobile Application

One early plus of the Synology router series was that they featured a huge amount of control compared with most off-the-shelf routers (as well as some top-end parental control and family/team management of connectivity and devices). That said, the mobile application for Android and iOS (DS Router) lacked a lot of the important control options of the web browser GUI (and the ones it did have were a little ill-placed at times). The Improved DS router app comes with various management including creating new wireless networks, configuring parental control or web filtering, setting traffic control schemes, etc. right from the dashboard.

Synology Photos Updates at Synology 2022 and Beyond

When Synology first merged the Synology Moments and Photo Station applications into a single tool, Synology Photos, most people were quite enthusiastic about it. When DSM 7 was fully released back in the summer of 2021, the initial reception was a little cooler. A big part of this was that some felt that key features of the previous generation photo applications had features, functionality of services that were absent in Synology Photos. Fast forward to now and we are now starting to see a number of those services be implemented into Synology Photos, as well as new one arriving too. It still doesn’t seem like the complete package yet, but the few extras that were shown at Synology 2022 did leave me hopeful to see those older features returning in a new and intuitive way. The features mentioned were those below.

Faster Permission Configuration on the fly

Something that very much falls into the bracket of professional photographers and users with a significantly larger user base on their NAS server, Synology Photos now has much faster and intuitive permission and access controls built into the GUI of Synology Photos. You could always give general users or authorized team members a degree of access or permissions to your files, folders and albums, however, it was always in a less than user-friendly way in Synology Photos – either at the DSM Control Panel level or somewhat awkwardly provided at the folder config level in photos. The next Synology Photos update contains much easier and faster on the fly access controls built into browser GUI, as well as improvements to the mobile control too.

Improved Photo Collecting and Pooling

Alongside the improved on the fly control and changing of album access that Synology Photos will shortly feature, it will also improve the ability to create shared spaces for multiple users to pool their collections into a single album. Certainly of use at bigger events (as we hope for the post-pandemic ‘new normal’ to kick in any day now) when you want to ensure that every attendee’s experiences are in one place. Likewise, the tailored access privileges and even new/non-signed user sharing controls will make this a useful tool for those big social events.

Synology Photos (finally) has Map View Mode

Although this was NOT the big Synology Photos update I was waiting for (that being Subject-recognition to finally be re-instated after its disappearance after Moments) it is still an often requested feature – Map view. With the bulk of typical users taking their photos via mobile phones (or exporting from Google Photos etc), these images will contain useful meta-data that will contain (alongside the camera, timestamp, light, ISO, etc) the geo-locational data of where the photo was taken. For those that travel ALOT, this means that you can finally use Synology Photos to view a map and see where your photos were taken, grouping different collections into new albums, based on their country, county, town or more). Though it was only highlighted as being added in the Mobile GUI and app, I am sure this will be carried over to the web-based GUI.

Synology DVA1622 Surveillance 2-Bay with KVM Output

Although this is not the first deep video analysis NAS system from Synology, till now it has always been a fantastically enterprise solution that was of interest to most but out of their scale or budget. The newly revealed DVA1622 is a much more compact version of this product line that is coming in the first half of 2022. This new surveillance NAS system has a few of its hardware specifications confirmed below:

Highlights of the DVA1622 Surveillance NAS

  • Supports upto 16x IP Cameras
  • Supports upto 2x AI-Powered Tasks
  • Arriving with Surveillance Station 9.0 by default
  • Supports H.265 Format/Compression
  • USB Ports, but full KVM support TBC
  • Stylised on the DS720+ Chassis4K HDMI Enabled
  • AI Deep Video Analysis Features Inc. People and vehicle detection, People counting Face recognition, Intrusion detection and Deep motion detection
  • Expandability (DX517?) TBC
  • Details on inclusive camera license TBC

Alongside a few other pieces of hardware that were revealed during the Synology event, there are also improvements in the GUI and services of Surveillance station in its new 9.0 version, coming next year.

Synology Surveillance Station 9.0 Details

Synology’s surveillance station platform has always been an exceedingly strong arm of the company and alongside the reveal of the DVA1622 NAS hardware, they took the time to show off their upcoming big update to their NVR software, Surveillance Station 9.0. These updates focused on improvements to the user experience (i.e UX design changes). the scalability of your recordings and security enhancements. Let’s go through the highlights of Surveillance Station 9.0 at Synology 2022.

Surveillance Station 9.0 and Monitor Center

Originally, when accessing your surveillance setup, the display of real-time camera feeds and accessing recordings/alerts in a dynamic and interactive way was spread across two applications – Live View and Timeline tools. In Surveillance Station 9.0, these are being combined into a single tool called Monitor Center, Combing the bank of live camera feed and historical recordings into a single GUI. This also includes the addition of adding surveillance devices (such as IP Speakers and IP controlled door locks) into the wider control GUI window of Monitor Center. This means a much wider and more customizable control deck on a single screen. Alongside this, when alerts (based on movement, light, defined lines, etc) are triggered, these are also accessible and visible on the same panel and when viewed, can shink the existing feed dynamically to allow the alerts into this single screen easily. Combinations of events that are triggered can be consolidated into smaller collections for alerts/display to the end-user. Finally, the time bar at the bottom of the monitor center feed will allow you to bookmark or capture a user-defined clip in 2 clicks, as well as allow scrolling through past recording at multiple speeds be possible, whilst live camera feeds and controls on the wider Monitor Center feed remain live.

Overall, it does seem a much more customizable feed layout in the web-based GUI and unlike my feeling on when Photo Station and Moments were combined into the Synology Photos application in DSM 7 (it’s getting there!), combining all of these elements of control for your surveillance setup makes a huge amount of sense and I am genuinely looking forward to getting to grips with this new NVR tool.

Dual Recording with Synology C2

Having a selection of cameras in your home or business environment that are recording feeds 24×7 is a business-must and in most cases, these cameras will be sending their feeds to a Synology NAS on a network directly connected to the physical NAS (or an offline/non-internet network that is branched into the NAS system. Records are kept in that NAS with numerous backup and sync options built-in, but what if an intruder breaks into your premises and destroys/steals the NAS? Live synchronization of the NAS to an offsite NAS or discreetly hidden 2nd server will only be as useful as the speed with which the duplicated recording data can be sent. Burglaries are FAST operations and there is every possibility that the time for an alert recording or completed recording block being sent to the 2nd storage location won’t be fast enough – therefore the capture of a break-in will be lost. This is a problem that has been raised before and now with Synology’s improvements to their C2 cloud platform, a solution has been presented in the form of Dual Recording.

Duel recording will allow records from your camera feeds to be sent to BOTH the NAS server AND an area of C2 cloud storage (not THROUGH the NAS). This recorded footage will be accessible through the Synology C2 Surveillance portal, which will allow much, MUCH smaller loss of recording time compared to a backup and/or sync operation previously.

Synology were keen to highlight that using the C2 Surveillance platform to create a 2nd recording path for your surveillance setup will allow only up to a 5 second recording loss at most, the ability to view recordings in the C2 Surveillance browser-based GUI, features end-to-end encryption to prevent interception/editing and (most important of all) the ability to share those recordings from your C2 Surveillance space securely (for the police or company-wide). Synology states that this additional surveillance feature will require a subscription service and there will be a tier for home users and another for business users. They are detailed as follows:

Basic Plan – $1 per Camera, per Month

  • Only Stores Triggered Events
  • Stored in up to 720p Resolution
  • Only held for 7-Days

Advanced Plan – Pricing TBC per Camera/Batch

  • Smart Continuous Recording (Full FPS in Events and 1FPS when Idle/Normal)
  • Stored in up to 1080p
  • Recordings are held for up to 30 Days

Although the pricing on the business tier is yet to be confirmed, Synology is saying that they want to keep this as cost-effective as possible. Personally, the basic plan at $1 per camera (when you think of your 2x camera licences with most Synology NAS) is a pretty small price and to ensure that 2nd recorded stream, a very attractive feature. There were several more innovations coming in Synology’s Surveillance Station 9.0 application revealed during the event. Find out about the by reading the article below or watching the video:

Surveillance Station 9.0 Video Surveillance Station 9.0 Article

Synology Drive Updates at Synology 2022 and Beyond

Synology Drive has been one of the most evolved tools in the brand’s line up, starting with what seemed like an application to simply create a single-portal access point to your data to simplifying how it could be viewed/accessed, it has transformed after every update into a newly equipped tool that has fast become one of Synology’s biggest applications for both home and business. The updates that were shown at Synology 2022 and Beyond, though mostly improvements to the user experience and GUI, also contained a couple of big features.

Mac on Demand Sync is (Still) Coming

It feels like this has been taking longer than DSM 7 itself did. When Synology drive first revealed the ability to create a native folder on your computer that could show the contents of the NAS (without taking up space), then allow you to dynamically stream or manually pin files on demand (as well as remove at your discretion for space) – it was a big, BIG feature. This was something that was a big selling point to Microsoft’s own OneDrive system and it was through cooperation with them that Synology was able to implement this feature for Windows Computers.

Though it is available on a few other platforms, one BIG one that did not have it was Mac OS – to the annoyance of many. Synology therefore was pleased to highlight that thanks to Mac developments and improvements in Synolgoy Drive alongside it, that this feature is coming for Mac users soon.

Improved Drive Mobile App Design and Versatility

Another area that Synology Photos is seeing improvements within is the mobile application and it’s multimedia handling. Synology was always designed to be the single portal access point for your data access (eg opening photos in an image viewer, but still open music in a music player and excel docs in a table/spreadsheet viewer). It still has this but now a few more filter controls and file specific options are being integrated (playlist controls, album creation, grouping, etc), as well as further improvements in the file pinning for files that you want to access when connectivity to your NAS is limited but you still want access to those specific files 24×7 locally)

2-Way Android and iOS Synchronization

Alongside the improvements to the mobile application, there is also the improvements to support on both Android and iOS Mobile devices with (much demanded) 2-way synchronisation now arriving. A feature that has seemingly taken longer than many feel it should have, this can be used to hugely speed up sharing files from multiple mobile devices (on-the-fly photo local folder destinations, multimedia, work files shared with teams) and its benefits to background backup operations native NAS file access to a greater team management storage area cannot be understated.

All these quality of life improvements are great to hear, but like many, I have been waiting on the support of a lot of on-the-fly streaming/pinning features to arrive for Mac and this is the third time it has been raised at these events, so I will be a great deal more enthusiastic when I finally see it.

Synology C2 Backup for Home and Business

Originally rolled out in early autumn of 2021, Synology C2 Backup is the brand’s answer to adding a cloud tier of backup and recovery of your PC alongside your existing physical Synology NAS (aka Bare Metal). The Synology C2 cloud platform has been up and running now for a few years and although it has arguably been of greater use to business users with large collections of desktop/portable PCs across their organization, some home users have been jumping on board too.

Synology C2 itself is the cloud space that can be integrated into the Synology NAS system and services (such as Hyper Backup, Active Backup and Hybrid Share), but C2 Backup (as the name suggests) is the service that is precisely aimed at whole system (or precise folder) backups. Now, this was always possible with your Synology NAS (with the applications mentioned), however, integrating a cloud element greatly increases access and utility of both fluidity of those backups and swiftness of recovery worldwide.

C2 Backup is covering pretty much the entirety of existing mainstream windows platforms (11, 10, 7, Server, etc) and alongside huge integration with the Office 365 SaaS platform and bare metal NAS, means that access to your emails, files, docs and accounts data will still be accessible natively in the event of internet failure or when accessing remotely outside the network. Synology 2022 and Beyond highlighted a number of the services that have been rolled out already in C2 Backup for home and business, but presented them in a much more user-friendly way than previously demonstrated. C2 Backup also continues to be a subscription fee-based service (though with a 90-day trial available) but with unlimited connected system quantities still being available.

Now that C2 is fleshing itself out significantly since launch, expect a full review of this service here on NASCompares in 2022.

Synology C2 Transfer for Business

Synology C2 Transfer is the brand’s ultra-secure data transfer portal that adds numerous levels of encryption, tailored authentication, watermarking and management to file sharing. Sharing files from your NAS is not a new concept, but this has been done with a heavy degree of the responsibility of network/internet security falling on the end-user (many of whom overly rely on the ‘defaults’). The C2 transfer provides a management panel for these primarily C2 based shares and everything from the smallest file shares to the largest databases is delivered via end-to-end encryption and the live/active management panel allowing realtime viewing/control of active data movement from your Business C2 cloud.

As you might expect, Synology is targeting the particularly high-end user with a service like this and the Synology C2 transfer service lives within the C2 platform (and integrates Bare Metal of course to a degree) but is a separate subscription service starting at $49.99 for 5 users and can be expanded. It’s quite a steep price on the face of it, but for hugely secure, mission-critical and highly confidential information, a lot of enterprise-level users will likely be happy to pay.

Synology C2 Identity

Another indication of how much Synology is shifting a lot of their weight towards their C2 cloud platform is with increased remote access management in C2 Identity. Accessing the C2 cloud platform remotely for each of your individual teams and their client hardware is something that (as your user base grows) is going to be tough to manage. Then when you integrate connected SaaS platforms such as Google Workspace, Office 365 and Windows Servers, keeping an eye on access cloud-wide is going to be a big task. The Synology C2 Identity platform (free to home users and a subscription add on with expandability for business) is a single portal access point that allows you to monitor and manage active access by users (as well as the entire access eligible groups). Viewing connected users to your Synology NAS hardware is not new, but the level of live-control of those users has always been a little basic (disconnect and blacklist being the only real option). The C2 identity platform provides real-time monitoring via a browser admin console and provides a much more detailed breakdown of accessing users, their information and a variety of actions to engage with.

Protect all user credentials on C2 Identity with the Secure Remote Password (SRP) protocol and complex password requirements. Additionally, C2 Identity communicates with clients using SRP, a secure zero-knowledge password protocol. SRP generates a secure encryption key and provides authentication without ever sending password-equivalent data over the network, thereby protecting against man-in-the-middle attacks. Finally, the service also allows easy migration for users from an LDAP server, Windows AD server, Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, or by importing a CSV file. I am still the tiniest bit unsure about this as a service. Certainly not its security of utility (I am positive it will do exactly what Synology say it will do) but it is another continued move by the brand to innovate on their C2 platform that indicates them pushing harder for the enterprise level than the home and/or SMB tier.

Synology C2 Password

Let’s get one thing straight, password management software is NOT new! With an abundance of online digital services, website credentials, payment systems and data storage logins to stay on top of, Synology are not the first to come up with a single portal/app management tool to keep these all in one place (and encrypted). So although Synology has been talking about their C2 Password service, its true appeal should lie in its use with your Synology storage – not as a concept! As you might expect, it has the usual assisted login (i.e. login suggestion) support, cross-platform synchronization, unique password generator and secure storage of your patent details – so what makes this any different than  G Authenticator and/or just letting Chrome do it all?

Its key appeal outside of other platforms is that it can act as a unique security checkpoint for file/data sharing with your intended recipients. Password’s on your shared links is not new, but the C2 Password (and in conjunction with C2 Transfer) means that in-house security credentials and access can be enforced to a much higher degree. Additionally, the information that is stored in C2 Password is encrypted throughout and ONLY stored on the device with the tool (so not remotely on the cloud etc). It is a small difference with the many other password/credential storing tools out there, but for businesses to ensure a closed/controlled access system, it is an important one. Home users can access for free (single account etc), but businesses will need a subscription service tier at $4.99 a year for every 5 users, though that has yet to be fully rolled out. I think to pick up by end-users on this service will (once again) be tremendously business/enterprise only, with the bulk of users already having their own login/credential security setup already well established. Still, it’s something that businesses moving the bulk of their network/remote storage and services to Synology will likely integrate widely as a matter of due diligence. Finally, it was briefly touched on that n 2022, Synology will be introducing C2 Object storage service for S3-compatible applications.

Synology FS2500 FlashStation Rackmount Server

Though this new Synology SSD focused flash server was not featured at the Synology 2022 and Beyond Event, it DID end up online (thanks to numerous super keen eShops throughout Europe) that very same week. The new Synology FS2500 FlashStation Rackmount NAS server, featuring a new 1U chassis, 10Gbe and a new AMD Ryzen CPU for the brand and their portfolio.

For more information on this system, the software abilities of the FS250 and how it compares with the rest of the existing Synology Flashstation NAS series, watch the video below:

Synology Hard Drive and SSD Media

The Synology range of media continues to grow, to the excitement of some and the annoyance of others. Originally beginning in 2019 with their range of SATA SSDs, this range has continued into 2021/2022 with SATA hard drives (HAT5300), SAS hard drives (HAS5300) and two versions of NVMe SSD caching media (the SNV3400 and SNV3500). There has been slight revision changes (SNV3400 > SNV3410 and SAT5200 > SAT5210), but aside from that, there has been little change in their media ranges. Increases in available capacities have been highlighted and the continued rather closed support of only their media on the higher tiers of their NAS hardware has continued in 2021, going further in 2022 by the looks of things. For my part, I continue to have mixed feelings on their storage media portfolio. On the one hand, the bulk of them ARE very good drives, promising high performance, durability and workloads (and living up to it) – as well as the tailored firmware of course.

However, with more NAS hardware appearing with limited drive compatibility that eliminates the use of only Synology branded drives (such as the recent DS2422+ – the first PLUS series device to feature this support choice), it is another indicator of Synology shifting its gears internally towards being an enterprise provider that wants to combat the bit SaaS and PaaS providers. It’s a gamble that Synology has clearly been in the process of since early 2019, but a lot of home and SMB users are starting to notice. Ultimately, I do recommend the Synology HDD/SSD media, but not as the ‘ONLY’ choice.

Synology 2022 and Beyond – Conclusion and Verdict

And that was it, the Synology 2022 and Beyond event. I certainly miss the live global events, but can understand in the current climate why this is simply not possible right now. Shortly after the keynote speech and individual feature videos were released on the Synology official YouTube channel, Synology issued a press summary and even touched on a few release details of some of the elements covered during the event. Although still a pinch vague, there is a suggestion of the spring months seeing some great releases. Synology DSM 7.1 and Surveillance Station 9.0 will be released in Q1 2022 as public previews. SRM 1.3 will debut on the RT6600ax router in Q1 2022. Support for RT2600ac and MR2200ac will be added in Q2 2022. More detailed information on other features and services will be available at a later date.

 


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ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade SSD Review – New Phison Killer?

6 décembre 2021 à 01:35

Review of the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

Of all of the brands that are spread across the SSD industry, very few have the same level of market coverage of ADATA. With a strong memory division that has resulted in their hardware being featured in countless hardware clients in home and business, environments, as well as a long-established presence in the PC gaming community in their XPG series, there is a pretty good chance that ADATA components or accessories are somewhere near you right now. When they entered the NVMe SSD market, they did with a remarkably strong footing, with releases being separated into consumer and business needs – with virtually no compromise on wither. The XPG Gammix S70 Blade is a physically slim lined version of their popular chunky heatsink version, the Gammix S70 (non-blade), arriving with a similarly unique architecture using that Innogrit PCIe 4 controller, thin thermal plate deployment and arriving at a price point that makes a number of the Phison E18 alternatives in the market look a bit overpriced indeed. Now that the PS5 has enabled console storage and the non-Blase Gammix S70 proves too large for the task, the Adata XPG Gammix S70 Blade serves as a great choice. Add to this that many users have low expectations for how much heat will be generated in a 90/10% Read over Write systems like PS5 and even concerns over the thin Thermal plate heatsink deployment may be unwarranted. So, today I want to review the Adata XPG Gammix S70 blade and help you decide if it deserves your data.

XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

Given the stronghold that Phison has over the bulk of SSDs in the current generation of NVMe, it takes a lot for a drive that chooses a different way of doing things to make its mark. The XPG Gammix S70 blade achieves this in practically every way, proving itself as an excellent example of the Innogrit Rainer controller. With performance that matches or surpasses that of its biggest rivals, yet arriving at a more affordable price point, the Gammix S70 Blade is another great gamer release from Adata in their XPG series. The slimline heatshield, although clearly designed for a particularly compact deployment, is arguably less effective than a regular heatsink (or the non-blade fat heatsink) and does possibly limit the Blade’s use in high write situations, but for traditional PC gamers and especially for PS5 SSD upgrades, the Adata XPG Gammix S70 Blade is a solid SSD that most gamers will not regret.

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


8.8
PROS
👍🏻Great to see non-Phison E18 SSDs in the market
👍🏻176L 3D TLC NAND is a big plus over the current 96L non-Blade Version
👍🏻
👍🏻Excellent Value (Especially With the Reported Performance)
👍🏻
👍🏻PS5 Compatibility Confirmed
👍🏻
👍🏻Unparalleled Compact Deployment
👍🏻
👍🏻Low Heat Temp Recordings in Read Activity
👍🏻
👍🏻August ’21 Update Increased Performance Further
CONS
👎🏻The heatshield is very limited in its deployment vs traditional ‘fat’ heatsinks
👎🏻PS5 Has an oddly resistant Benchmark vs Phison E18 SSDs (still unknown why – largely academic in its impact though)

XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade SSD Review – Packaging

The retail box that the Gammix S70 Blade arrives in is shiny. No, that is not enough. It’s REALLY shiny, covered in holographic sheen and is oozing with gamer focus branding! The box makes a bold impact and although the majority of PCIe 4.0 SSDs in 2021/2022 are quite loud and brash in their presentation, this is a big step up still., especially given that ADATA is generally quite a ‘background’ company in most other components.

The top left of the retail box highlights a number of the drive’s key features that, although fairly standard in PCIe4 M.2 NVMes of late in most cases, still has a few stand out specs. 

Opening up this retail gives us JUST the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade SSD. No instructions, warranty information (displayed on the rear of the box) or screws, the XPG S70 SSD and unattached slimline graphene heatshield.

If you look at the metal cover next to the SSD, you can see that the heatshield is remarkably compact. Unlike the non-blade version of the XPG S70 with its oversized heatsink, the single-use plate (with readily applied adhesive) is of course designed for much more compact deployment, such as the new PS5 SSD expansion slot activated in Summer ’21. Generally, when it comes to PCIe 4 SSDs, I would always recommend a larger and more effective heatsink for dissipating the large amount of heat the controller will be generating. However, in deployments that are going to be larger read based (which less complicated systems like PS5 will be doing) this thermal plate will likely be fine. Comparative heat testing on the PS5 vs the likes of the non-blade heatsink and the Sabrent PS5 heatsink will be coming soon on NASCompares YouTube, but even the first two test sessions with the S70 Blade on the PS5 (linked below) went perfectly well.

The heatshield is applied simply by removing the pealed panel, utilizing an adhesive topped thermal pad. It is attached INCREDIBLY firmly and is effectively single-use, in that if removed (with force) will tear the thermal pad away.

Even a casual glance at the XPG Blade and heatshield next to the non-blade fat heatsink gives you some idea of just how thin that metal panel is. The non-blade heatsink even manages to raise the height of the SSD M.2 connector notably too.

Applying the XPG S70 Blade heatshield to the SSD, although making the drive arguably cooler looking, definitely shows how little surface area and density of heat dissipation are going to be possible. I would be concerned about the Blade in deployment in an area that has limited/zero airflow, as that heatshield is only going to be able to offload a small amount of heat from the SSD controller compared with the bigger version. Again, less of a concern in heavy read activity though.

So, what about in PS5 deployment? For those of you who have been considering the ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade for installation in the PS5 SSD expansion slot to increase storage, I am pleased to confirm that this SSD is 100% supported by the system (currently in software beta, but the Gammix S70 Blade will definitely be on the compatibility list of the full software update release. However, the physical installation needs highlighting.

Comparing it against the non-Blade, you can see why many have been looking at the XPG Gammix S70 Blade for PS5 deployment.

BLADE Version

Non-BLADE Version

The XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade takes up considerably less space in the PS5 storage expansion slot, leaving more room to allow air to flow over the heatsink. The non-Blade included heatsink, being considerably larger, not only fills the m.2 slot considerably more, but it also presents a new problem. Namely that the Gammix S70 NON-BLADE is too large and prevents a user from installing the M.2 bay cover. On the one hand, the fat heatsink is in the direct line of airflow through the PS5 system, which means it will get getting air passing on/through the fat-heatsink. However, this also means that it is partially obstructing the airflow inside the PS5 towards other components. The PS5 utilizes negative airflow (pulling air through one set of vents and push it through the net) and it is unknown whether an M.2 in this slot uncovered AND protruding out into the air path would negatively affect the system as a whole. Hence why many users would opt for the Blade version as a matter of overall precaution.

BLADE Version

Non-BLADE Version

Installing the ADATA Gammix S70 Blade in the PS5 M.2 SSD bay at startup allows you to run a benchmark on the drive. Oddly, despite the high performance of this SSD, the PS5 rated the drive at over the recommended minimum of 5,500MB/s in its initial benchmark. Below is how the Adata XPG Gammix S70 Blade and non-Blade version compared when the PS5 Benchmarked them both:

PS5 Benchmark – 6,009MB/s

BLADE Version

PS5 Benchmark – 6,235MB/s

Non-BLADE Version

The fact that ADATA includes the heatsink with your purchase of the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade will always be attractive to buyers who want hassle from installation, as well as doing so at no additional cost and STILL arriving at a lower price point than many competitors is inarguably appealing. So that is the physical design of the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade SSD. But what about the hardware components themselves? Does the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade cut the mustard in terms of current generation hardware and protocols? Let’s find out.

ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade SSD Review – PS5 Benchmark

To put the ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade SSD PS5 Performance Benchmark into a little perspective, here is how it compares against the Addlink A95, Adata XPG Gammix S70, Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus and Gigabyte Aorus 7000s – four SSDs that are all PS5 supported and VERY similar architecture very little difference between the others in this tier, it is a solid benchmark.

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

Full PS5 Testing of the Adata XPG Gammix S70 is all available as a playlist over on the NASCompares YouTube channel. But for now, let’s carry on with looking at the hardware of the A90S70 Blade, how it conventionally benchmarks and how it compares with currently favourite PS5 SSDs like the WD Black and Seagate Firecuda 530,

XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

As you might expect from an M.2 NVMe SSD that boldly promises performance of over 7,000MB/s sequential read (ie BIG data), the hardware specifications and architecture of the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade are quite modern. Indeed, for all the big talk of the Seagate Firecuda 530 hardware (still currently the ‘score to beat’ PCIE Gen4 m.2 NVMe right now) being top tier, the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade is pretty darn similar on the spec sheet! Below is how it looks:

ADATA GAMMIX S70 Blade

500GB –  $99, 1TB – $199, 2TB – $389

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC Micron 176L
Capacity 500GB – 1TB – 2TB
Controller Innogrit IG5236
Warranty 5yr

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

Hardware Focus of the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade SSD Series

The first big, BIG thing to remember here is the controller, that Innogrit RainIer IG5236. An SSD is much like a microcosm version of a whole computer. The Controller is equivalent to the CPU, and although Inoogrit has produced several high profile SSD controllers in the last few years, this is their first PCIe 4.0 controller. This is a particularly big deal when most reports and measurements seemingly indicate that the Innogrit IG2536 is higher in performance than the Phison E18 controller used by most other recent PCIe 4 M.2 NVMe SSD, as well as because some long-running storage brands like Samsung and WD have most of their development and hardware engineering ‘in-house’ and use their own branded controllers. Indeed, the XPG Gammix S70 Blade is one of very, VERY few SSDs that are using this controller in the home/prosumer gamer sector.

Earlier in 2021, CDRLabs ran performance testing with CrystalDisk on the Gammix S70 Blade SSD, comparing against a Phison E18 SSD of similar architecture (176L 3D TLC NAND, DDR4 RAM, NVMe 1.4, etc) and largely surpassed it by hundreds of Megabytes in Sequential Read and Write performance. So these results tend to back up the increased performance benchmarks that ADATA provide on the XPG S70 Blade. This is further improved with a recent software/firmware update for this drive released in August 2021 that further improved the write performance.

The NAND on the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade is where the data lives! SSDs (as you no doubt know) do not use moving parts as found in traditional hard drives and instead uses cells that are charged and data is read/written to them in this process. The quality of the NAND and the layers used will make a big difference to the durability and performance of an SSD and the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade arrives with the current highest layer NAND in the industry at this tier right now (originally premiered in the Seagate Firecuda 530), it is bigger than most, arriving at 176 Layers of 3D TLC NAND. Although the majority of modern PCIe M.2 SSD use 3D TLC NAND (avoid QLC NAND like the PLAGUE btw!), most are still at 128L or 96L layers or so, so this is a big jump up for the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade SSD. Although detailed information on the NAND used is not readily available online, we observed that the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade featured FOUR blocks of ADATA NAND modules (256GB each), which really pushes the performance up!

Much like the Controller on the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade being the ‘CPU’, it also has an area of memory. The XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade SSD uses DDR4 memory on board and this in conjunction with the SSD controller provides a massive body of data handling resources for getting your data moving through the SSD and out of the m.2 NVMe PCIe 4 interface. The amount of memory scales in conjunction with the 1TB or 2TB SSD you use, with 2GB of DDR4 at the on the 2TB tier, 1GB DDR4 on the 1TB, etc.

As mentioned, all available capacities of the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade arrive at 2280 in length. This is quite normal for the 1TB and 2TB versions, but the fact that the 2TB can arrive on single-sided SSD boards is very impressive. Physical storage NAND is distributed evenly in order to space out the storage and allow even cooling, NAND wear and performance.

Finally, there is the M.2 NVMe connection. Not all m.2 SSDs are created equal and although M.2 SATA and M.2 NVMe look similar, they provide massively different performance and connectivity. However, the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade takes it one step further, by using a newer generation of PCIe Connectivity. In short, M.2 NVMe SSDs are connected to the host PC/Console system via PCIe protocol (think of those slots that you almost always use for your graphics cards, but a much, MUCH smaller connector). These allow much larger bandwidth (ie maximum speed) for the connected storage media, Much like regular PCIe slots, they have different versions (i.E PCIe Gen 1, 2, 3, 4, etc) and also a multiplying factor (x1, x2, x4, etc). Up until around 18 months ago, the best M.2 NVMes were M.2 PCIe Gen 3×4 (so a maximum 4,000MB/s possible). However, never generation SSD like the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade use PCIe Gen 4×4 (a potential 8,000MB/s possible) and it is only now that SSD controllers and NAND production has reached a point where it can catch up and fully saturate (i.e fill) this connection.

Overall, you really cannot fault the hardware inside/onboard the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade, as it is still (2-3 months after release) higher performing in sequential Read and Write than many other M.2 NVMe PCIe 4 SSDs released in that time. Before we go into the full testing, however, it is worth taking a moment to look closely at the reported performance benchmarks of the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade, as although the performance seems stellar, there are areas such as IOPS and endurance when compared with its main rivals that are worth taking into consideration.

XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade SSD Review – Official Stats First

Before we conduct our own testing on this SSD, Let’s take a closer look at the reported specifications and benchmarks first. The XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade SSD arrives in multiple capacities (below). The Prices currently are a little inconsistent (with each higher capacity tier actually having a higher price per GB – quite unusual) likely due to the hardware shortages, the Pandemic, Chia has affected SSD availability in the last 12 months and most recently the announcement that PS5 supports this SSD and it has increased the current price of both models around 10-20%!. Below is a breakdown of how each competitor drive and the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade SSD compare:

Brand/Series ADATA GAMMIX S70 Blade

500GB – $99 1TB – $199 , 2TB – $389

Seagate Firecuda 530

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

WD Black SN850

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

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND 3D TLC ADATA 176L 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L BiCS4 96L TLC
Max Capacity 2TB – Double Sided 4TB – Double Sided 2TB
Controller Innogrit IG5236 Phison E18-PS5018 WD_BLACK G2
Warranty 5yr 5yr 5yr
500GB Model AGAMMIXS70B-512G-CS ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $99 / £80 $139 / £119 $119 / £99
1TB Model AGAMMIXS70-1T-C ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $199 / £175 $239 / £199 $249 / £169
2TB Model AGAMMIXS70-2T-C ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Price in $ and $ $389 / £340 $419 / £379 $399 / £339
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Price in $ and $ N/A $949 / £789 N/A
500GB Model AGAMMIXS70B-512G-CS ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 370TB 640TB 300TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 2,000,000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.4DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
1TB Model AGAMMIXS70-1T-C ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 740TB 1275TB 600TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 2,000,000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.4DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
2TB Model AGAMMIXS70-2T-C ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1480TB 2550TB 1200TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 2,000,000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.4DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A 5100TB N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,800,000 N/A
DWPD N/A 0.7DWPD N/A

There are clear throughput improvements as you rise through the capacity tiers (not unusual), as does the rated 4K IOPS. Though one area worth focusing on a little is that TBW (terabytes Written) and DWPD (Drive writes per day), as this drive is rated a pinch higher than the Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850 in terms of NAND lifespan on daily writes, likely down to that controller and 176 Layer 3D TLC NAND used, rather than the 96L or 128L used by those used by competitors. This is an important point because the brand has significantly less ‘end user’ recognition in-home/business SSD media than the likes of Samsung, WD and Seagate and people will want to know they are going to get a product from a brand that they have heard of.

However, despite the use of the Innogrit Rainier IG5236 controller and 176 layer NAND, the reported IOPS on each capacity is actually a noticeable degree lower (for the most part) than those reported by their competitors. Indeed, the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade is one of the few SSD/Memory focused brands with a PCIe 4.0 SSD that does not cross into the reported 1 Million IOPS mark, maxing out at 740k. This is still very impressive anyway, but it does make me wonder where the disparity stems from. Indeed, when you look at the bulk of PCIe 4×4 M.2 NVMe 1.4 SSD that feature the E18 controller and 96L (or higher) on board, it really only leaves about 4 other SSDs in the market today that this can be compared against. The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, the MSI Spatium M480, the Gigabyte Aorus 7000s and (current leader) the Seagate Firecuda 530. Of those, the only one that seemingly ‘out specs’ the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade is the Seagate Firecuda 530. However, the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade SSD has been available in the market for longer and has certainly embedded itself in the minds and budget’s of PC/PS5 gamers who think the Firecuda 530 is too expensive and the others are less impress – it makes a very appealing middle ground. Below is how these drives compare in terms of throughput and IOPS:

Brand/Series ADATA GAMMIX S70 Blade

500GB – $99 1TB – $199 , 2TB – $389

Seagate Firecuda 530

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

WD Black SN850

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

500GB Model AGAMMIXS70B-512G-CS ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7400MB 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 2600MB 3000MB 4100MB
1TB Model AGAMMIXS70-1T-C ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7400MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5500MB 6000MB 5300MB
2TB Model AGAMMIXS70-2T-C ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 7400MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 6700MB 6900MB 5100MB
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013  
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 7300MB N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 6900MB N/A
Brand/Series GAMMIX S70 BLADE Seagate Firecuda 530 WD Black SN850
500GB Model AGAMMIXS70B-512G-CS ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 425,000 400,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 510,000 700,000 680,000
1TB Model AGAMMIXS70-1T-C ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 740000 800000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 740000 1000000 720,000
2TB Model AGAMMIXS70-2T-C ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 740,000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 750,000 1,000,000 710,000
4TB Model N/A ZP4000GM3A013  
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 1,000,000 N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 1,000,000 N/A

Yes, that is a LONG table, but you can immediately see that the Seagate Firecuda 530 raises the stakes on all of the key specifications. Additionally, the WD Black arriving at a better price point, higher IOPS in most tiers and the fact it does this whilst still hitting that 7,000MB/s certainly gives pause for thought. However, for many, the additional cost for higher durability they may never need, peak performance their core system will not reach and IOPS rating that their larger file handling will never utilize will mean that holding out for the Firecuda or WD Black SN850 is not in their interest. Both SSDs (on paper at this stage!) are fantastic examples of where consumer and prosumer SSDs are evolving towards. Remember that you can get 1TB of XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade for the same price as 500GB of the Firecuda 530 – which given the similarity of that performance means that you are getting incredible value! Additionally, it is worth noting that although IOPS on the XPG Gammix S70 Blade were lower than those reported on the WD Black SN850 and Seagate Firecuda 530 were higher, the Sequential Read and Write for the XPG Gammix S70 Blade were higher on both versus the WD Black and even a pinch higher on Read vs the Firecuda 530 – which is a particularly impressive vote of confidence in the Innogrit controller and the XPG GAMMIX S70 SSD. Let’s get the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade on the test machine!

Testing the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

The XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade was selected for this test and it was tested using multiple benchmark tools, from a cold boot, in the 2nd storage slot (i.e not the OS drive). Each test was conducted three times (full details of this are shown in the YouTube Review of the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade over on NASCompares):

Test Machine:

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

Using CrystalDisk, we got a good measure of the drive and verified that this PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD was indeed using the 4×4 lane. Additionally, the temp averaged out a little higher in idle than most previously tested SSD, HOWEVER, the ADATA Gammix S70 Blade heatsink kept the drive at a consistent temp of late 40’s for most of the tests and did an incredible job of maintaining a working temp without spiralling too high between each one being conducted.

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

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #1

256MB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.50GB/s

256MB File PEAK Write Throughput =5.85GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #2

1GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.56GB/s

1GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.84GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #3

4GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 6.50GB/s

4GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 5.89GB/s

 


 

Next, although the ATTO tests were quite good, but not what I would have hoped from this SSD, so I moved on to the Crystal Disk Mark testing to see how well it would handle our lasts barrage of tests. The first test was the 1GB file testing, which measured both sequential and random, as well as the read and write IOPS. Test were conducted on a 1GB, 4GB and 16GB Test File. I also included a mixed 70/30 read and write task to give a little bit more of a realistic balanced workload. These tests were conducted with 1-minute cooling break in between

CRYSTALDISK MARK 1GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 4GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 16GB TEST

 

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

AS SSD Benchmark Test #1

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #2

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #3

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

1GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5797MB/s Read & 5063MB/s Write

4GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5874MB/s Read & 5218MB/s Write

16GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 5920MB/s Read & 5234MB/s Write

Throughout the testing, the XPS GAMMMIX S70 Blade SSD started at a slightly higher than average temp, but maintained a good operational temperature throughout the whole testing:

Overall, the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade was certainly able to provide some solid performance, as well as potentially exceed the test figures here on a more powerful machine. Given the reported Read and Write statistics that the brand has stated publically, I think there is enough evidence here to back up those claims. IOPs were a little lower than I expected, but again, we were testing very large file types, so this would have to be taken in context.

XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade SSD Review – Conclusion

Given the stronghold that Phison has over the bulk of SSDs in the current generation of NVMe, it takes a lot for a drive that chooses a different way of doing things to make its mark. The XPG Gammix S70 blade achieves this in practically every way, proving itself as an excellent example of the Innogrit Rainer controller. With performance that matches or surpasses that of its biggest rivals, yet arriving at a more affordable price point, the Gammix S70 Blade is another great gamer release from Adata in their XPG series. The slimline heatshield, although clearly designed for a particularly compact deployment, is arguably less effective than a regular heatsink (or the non-blade fat heatsink) and does possibly limit the Blade’s use in high write situations, but for traditional PC gamers and especially for PS5 SSD upgrades, the Adata XPG Gammix S70 Blade is a solid SSD that most gamers will not regret.

PROs of the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade CONs of the XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade
Great to see non-Phison E18 SSDs in the market

176L 3D TLC NAND is a big plus over the current 96L non-Blade Version

Excellent Value (Especially With the Reported Performance)

PS5 Compatibility Confirmed

Unparalleled Compact Deployment

Low Heat Temp Recordings in Read Activity

August ’21 Update Increased Performance Further

The heatshield is very limited in its deployment vs traditional ‘fat’ heatsinks

PS5 Has an oddly resistant Benchmark vs Phison E18 SSDs (still unknown why – largely academic in its impact though)

 


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ElecGear PS5 SSD Heatsink Hardware Review – Game Changer or Overkill?

30 novembre 2021 à 15:00

Reviewing the Elecgear PS5 Designed Heatsink for SSD Upgrades

The Elecgear heatsink for PS5 is an unusual piece of kit, there is no denying it. Every since the option to upgrade the storage on your PS5 via the M.2 SSD expansion bay was activated, many Playstation 5 gamers have had to learn a few new things about the latest generation of solid-state drive (SSD) storage. Alongside concepts like NVMe, M.2 and PCIe generations, PS5 gamers have had to learn about how this latest generation of super-fast SSD storage can get hot! Not quite as hot as it might get in video editing studios and professional content creators, but still hit enough for them to make provision. Sony themselves at the enabling of the m.2 SSD slot of the PS5 were VERY keen to highlight that gamers should purchase an m.2 heatsink of a very specific size and dimension for inside their console (in the m.2 expansion bay) to allow the SSD inside to dissipate (transfer) the heat being generated on the SSD to the heatsink and allow it to pass it into the air – thereby allowing the SSD to remain cool and high performing. A useful bit of information, HOWEVER, most m.2 SSD heatsinks were designed for PC case use – big cases that feature multiple internal fans, open-air and plenty of space. The PS5 M.2 SSD upgrade slot however is small, barely fits even modest M.2 heatsinks and requires a cover (which seems like madness to a PC user). So, as the PS5 has allowed SSD upgrades and needs a heatsink, some brands got to work on producing specifically PS5 designed heatsinks and into this arena, we now find the ElecGear PS5 SSD heatsink (aka the EL-P5C). Arriving at a noticeably higher price point than most, the $35-50 PRICE POINT (depending on where you shop online and only in 3-4 regions) is 3-5x more expensive than a regular PC M.2 heatsink and even more expensive than the current Sabrent PS5 heatsink that is currently the ‘score to beat’ (review HERE). So, today I want to take a close look at the Elecgear PS5 heatsink, review its design and build quality, perform some temperature tests, compare it with cheaper alternatives and ultimately design if it is the right move for you and your PS5 gaming in future. Let’s begin.

Elecgear PS5 SSD Heatsink Review – Quick Conclusion

The Elecgear does EVERYTHING that it says it can and will do. From maintaining one of the lowerest SSD temperatures that I have witnessed on the PS5 NVMe SSD for the most part, to the clear effort that has gone into the design of the heatsink to existing both in and outside of the PS5 M.2 SSD expansion slot, you cannot question it’s ability to keep your SSD running at an optimal operational temperature! The price tag seems a little high (at $35-50 depending on where you shop at online) especially given the $10-15 dollar price tag of most other M.2 SSD heatsinks – something that I could accept IF it was the only S5 designed heatsink. But given that Sabrent released their own PS5 heatsink, currently priced at $20 (with SSD combo options) 3 months before, that pricetag is a little harder for some to swallow. Nevertheless, even in the general airflow and temperature of the PS5, the elecgear seems to make sure not to impede or negatively impact the core system temp, which is a big plus in its favour. Overall, I can definitely recommend this heatsink for those of you that play your PS5 every single day and for moderately extensive periods, but for light gamers and those that jump on at weekends – this might be a bit overkill.

EFFECTIVENESS - 10/10
HARDWARE - 10/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 6/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻World’s First PS5 Copper Pipe Equipped Heatsink
👍🏻Blends in well with PS5 design
👍🏻clearly designed to keep SSD temp low, and it DOES
👍🏻Easy Installation
👍🏻Optional SSD height rasing kit included
👍🏻Clear considerations for single/double-sided SSDs
👍🏻Clearly designed to work alongside the PS5 airflow channels
CONS
👎🏻Quite pricey for a heatsink
👎🏻Poor availability across most of the world (mostly amazon only)
👎🏻Questions surrounding the impact of this H/S in conjunction with the PS5 components are still unanswered and unknown in the grand scheme of things

Elecgear PS5 SSD Heatsink Review – Retail Packaging

The retail box for this PS5 designed heatsink is…well…a little underwhelming. I know that $35+ is not a huge sum of money, but at the same time, there is a certain branding that ‘gamer’ focused accessories have a tendency to lean towards and that is a bit absent here. Even the $10-15 heatsinks that have popped up over the last few months have made a small attempt to factor this in, but the ElecGear EL-P5C definitely has the feeling of production line haste about it.

Likewise, the contents of the box, although pretty detailed in their scope, are kind of ‘thrown’ in there. I know there is little to no moving parts here to make considerations for, but it is another one of those areas where you feel that this kit is a little cheap feeling.

However, one could easily argue that the money has been spent on the kit itself. The contents of the Elecgear PS5 heatsink is actually quite extensive when compared against its more affordable competitors. The EL-P5C kit includes the PS5 designed heatsink itself, a paper multi-language manual, mid-quality micro-screwdriver, thermal pads and a rather unique SSD riser.

Now to put these accessories into perspective, the Sabrent PS5 heatsink includes all but the riser kit, the Eluteng PC M.2 heatsink has everything but the riser kit and the INEO Heatpipe PS5 heatsink is a different story altogether. The ElecGear PS5 SSD heatsink includes the means to increase the height of the M.2 SSD installed in the PS5 upgrade slot and ensure it is raised further from the PS5 main PCB underneath, as well as reduce the distance between the SSD and the heatsink.

Now, this is quite an unusual extra for a console system. Although this is moderately common with custom PC builds (because the wide variety of motherboards and CPU placements in that area are so diverse physically), but on a closed and uniform system like the PS5, I was surprised to see it. The argument is that thicker/double-sided NVMe SSDs need further ground clearance and room to allow further heat dissipation, as well as making sure than an installed SSD has a closer connection to the heatsink you pair it with. Indeed, ElecGear themselves say the following on their own product pages:

“It seems the leading maker Sony does not belong to M.2 SSD industry. We don’t think that the stock screws mount M.2 SSD appropriately in the memory compartment. ElecGear did it better with a re-designed fixing structure for your gaming SSD. The modified guide post, standard M.2 screw and even a copper washer to adjust the height of SSD are included in the box” – ElecGear, Product Pages, Amazon.com

For my temperature tests later, I used the single-sided TeamGroup T-Force Cardea A440 SSD, so I did not use these risers. But I think there IS a ring of truth in what Elecgear are saying here, but more on how heavily the heatsink connects with the SSD, as the M.2 slot in the PS5 is a little lower than I would like and therefore even a 0.5mm difference can greatly reduce the effectiveness of heat dissipation from the SSD to the Heatsink. Another way in which Elecgear have addressed this concern in their PS5 heatsink kit is in the thermal pads that are included. The x4 thermal pads that are included are in pairs of two different thicknesses of 0.8mm and 1.5mm. Once again, a nice touch and something that the rather understated nature of the package presentation would suggests would be absent. So you have two differing heat pads for your SSDs that allow better dissipation levels of 4.8W/m-k and 3.6W/m-k on the blue and pink panel respectively. There is also an instructional manual that details the installation and also covers the installation of the SSD riser panels and washer kit.

The manual seems fine at first glance, but there are certainly a few grammar errors present and again, it is little things like this in terms of presentation that result in the Elecgear PS5 heatsink getting undermined, despite its excellent contents. However, that is enough fo4 the packaging and presentation. Let’s get to grips with the Elecgear PS5 heatsink itself, the design and how it works.

Elecgear PS5 SSD Heatsink Review – Design

A good look at the Elecgear heatsink for PS5 shows us that this thing is pretty large! indeed, with the eluteng $10 heatsink of choice for budget buyers measuring at just 70x22x6mm, the Elecgear towers over it at 128x72x14mm. This is because it is designed to both fill AND sit outside of the PS5 M.2 SSD expansion bay, thereby both collecting the heat generated by the SSD, but also using the PS5 internal system fan to cool the heatsink at the same time – thereby allowing much faster and efficient heat dissipation fo the SSD in use over hours and hours of play.

Now, the big, big difference between a PS5 designed heatsink like the elecgear EL-P5C and a regular M.2 heatsink design that was made for PC use primarily, is to do with airflow. NVMe SSDs (such as those used by the PS5 for storage upgrades and PC gaming) get quite hot when in use. They have no moving parts, but the faster the SSD read/write speed, the hotter it can get over time. Heat is a big, BIG problem for SSDs, as it can result in the performance being throttled/bottlenecked by the system, as well as affecting the durability of the SSD long term. That is why Heatsinks are important and although the PS5 is a much less intensive read/write system than a bigger PC or editing machine, it still can affect the SSD.

The m.2 slot on the PS5 is quite small, as well as arrives with a cover that Sony insist should always cover your M.2 SSD. This is a little counterintuitive to most SSD heatsinks, as they are DESIGNED to live directly in the open airflow of a PC case or under/above a fan kit in a laptop – this allows the heat being collected by the heatsink from the SSD to be dispersed int other air. Closing a PC designed heatsink into that PS5 SSD slot seems the very opposite of that. That is where the elecgear PS5 heatsink comes in. It covers the SSD you have installed in the M.2 slot, but instead of replacing the PS5 M.2 metal plate cover, the elecgear fills the space and then spreads out over the side and is angled towards the large, single internal PS5 fan. This allows the heatsink to collect all that heat from the SSD, and then disperse it directly into the incoming fan. But we will touch on that element a bit later.

The vents of the elecgear heatsink are clearly designed for use in the PS5 system, in direct alignment with both the fan AND the air channelling internal curves of the PS5 that direct airflow into the fan. The lines are also ventilated to allow air to pass in and out of the heatsink too – a nice extra touch. However, the heat dissipation is taken an extra step further when you flip it over. The base of the Elecgear PS5 Heatsink (that connected with the SSD you installed in your console, along with a thermal pad) not only covers the entire length of a 2280 length drive, but also features an excellent copper pipe (5mm x 98mm)

Now, this copper pipe is a big deal when compared against exclusively aluminium only heatsinks. The copper pipe is considerably more effective at drawing heat from the SSD components (the controller, primarily) and this heat can be delivered to the aluminium plate (as well as the plate still collecting heat of its own accord from the SSD too). This massively increases the potential heat dissipation when in use and almost certainly dramatically decreases the typical temp of the SSD inside the PS5. This and the fact that the larger heat plate is in the immediate airflow path of the internal fan, makes this almost certainly the most effective heat-dissipating heatsink you can buy on PS5. However, it does this at a potential cost of ‘robbing’ airflow that was designed to keep the PS5 system CPU, GPU, memory and its own SSD cool.

Let’s get the Elecgear PS5 heatsink installed inside the PS5, see how it sits, how high it is against that fan and ultimate temperature test it to see how well it performs and whether it negatively/positively affects the PS5 system temp elsewhere.

Elecgear PS5 SSD Heatsink Review – Installation

Installation of the Elecgear heatsink is incredibly straightforward – but only if you are not planning on using the riser kit. The riser kit that is designed to improve the connection of the SSD and heatsink is optional and in order to properly test this heatsink with a typical SSD PS5 installation (versus a regular heatsink), I decided to install it without the riser kit. Your SSD goes inside the M.2 SSD expansion slot. Make sure you use a thermal pad from the accessory kit and lay it across the top of the SSD. You can place a thermal pad UNDER the SSD if it is double-sided, but your MAIN priority should be the side with the controller/brains of the NVMe SSD.

NOTE – Ignore the wire on the photo, this was just the thermometer cable I used in testing for this review

Then you simply slot the heatsink itself into the slit that the usual PS5 SSD cover plate would fit and close the heatsink into place. You will know that it is installed correctly as the screw hole at the top will align with the hole that the PS5 Screw (topped with the square, circle, triangle cross) is visible. When installed, the heatsink looks a perfectly natural fit and even looks like it would not have looked out of place as an official component at launch – something many have complained at Sony for in relation to SSD upgrades on this system.

Looking at this heatsink from a tighter/low angle, you can see that it rises from the base level of the PS5 internal plat by around 2-3mm. It still completely allows the external PS5 side plates to be reinstalled (with no contact between them and the heatsink), as well as the grooved channels of the Elecgear heatsink to line up with the PS5 external vent lines and deliver that air to the internal PS5 fan – it just also uses that are to cool the heatsink (and in turn assist the SSD temp) along the way. I am still a little thoughtful about if this increases the airflow by much on its way to the PS5 fan (which is pushing air over the internal components of the console), but we will get to that later.

The Elecger heatsink also takes advantage of the same screw hole and screw that the PS5 has already to cover the m.2 slot, as well as having a counter-sunk shape to make sure that the screw still goes in at the full depth of the hole, whilst not interfering with the integrity of the heatsink.

Overall, the heatsink is clearly very well designed in conjunction with the PS5 shape internally, as well as clear architecture choices being made here to ensure that airflow to the existing PS5 internal cooling measures are unimpeded as much as possible. Let’s see how the Elecgear heatsink for PS5 handles internal temperatures and those of the SSD controller.

Elecgear PS5 SSD Heatsink Review – Temperature Testings

Temperature testing for the Elecgear PS5 SSD heatsink has been broken down into several areas. The main aims here are to work out the following things:

  1. Does the Elecgear Heatsink Keep the Temperature low on the SSD in sustained use?
  2. Does the Elecgear Heatsink Interfere with the PS5 Internal System Temp negatively?
  3. Is the Elecgear Heatsink provide a significant improvement over PC designed M.2 SSD heatsinks (eg the Eluteng M.2)

In order to do this, I have installed a temperature sensor on the M.2 SSD itself, UNDER the heatsink AND the thermal pad, directly on the controller chip of the SSD. The SSD used in the testing was the TeamGroup T-Force Cardea A440, a Phison E18, 96L 3D TLC NAND SSD at 1TB – a good mid-range price point SSD that is single-sided and provides 6551MB/s on the PS5 internal benchmark.

When the temp node is on the SSD Controller, I then place the thermal pad down, closed and screw down the heatsink, then attach the 2nd node just underneath the PS5 fan point, in the open air. This second temperature sensor will tell us the surrounding system temp that the internal fan will be using to cool the rest of the system.

The testing consisted of 6 different elements. 4 gameplay sessions of 25mins each, with 2 sessions focusing on the SSD temp and 2 focusing on the system temp (in that order, with 1-2 mins reboot between each, in order to see how the system temp is affected over the combined power-on time).

Then a sustained read and write activity of 350-380MB/s to/from the PS5 internal PS5 SSD and M.2 NVMe SSD (the Cardea A440) and how it impacted the SSD controller only. We are NOT looking at performance/framerate/MB/s etc, ONLY temperatures. Below were the results (video will be published shortly).

Note – BOTH PS5 Side plates were on during the tests 

Test Type Starting Temp (C) Finishing Temp (C) Change (C)
Red Dead Redemption 25min Play (Controller) 30.8℃ 31.4℃ 1.4℃
Red Dead Redemption 25min Play (System Temp) 23.1℃ 23.2℃ 0.1℃
GTA V 25min Play (Controller) 26.7℃ 28.1℃ 1.4℃
GTA V 25min Play (System Temp) 21.8℃ 22.9℃ 1.1℃
Heavy Read (350GB) 29℃ 35.6℃ 5.6℃
Heavy Write (350GB) 24℃ 36.1℃ 12.1℃

As you can see, in almost all tests, the elecgear PS5 SSD heatsink results in very, VERY small increases in temperature over time, much, MUCH lower than most of the other heatsinks that I have tested. To put that into perspective, here is how the Elecgear EL-P5C PS5 heatsink compared in those same tests versus the Eluteng M.2 at just $10 (at least $25 less than the elecgear):

NOTE – There tests were performed on different days and ambient temp AND general environmental conditions can undermine these results. Watch the video published soon to see these results in much, MUCH greater detail)

Test Type Eluteng H/S Change ElecGear H/S Change
Red Dead Redemption 25min Play (Controller) 5.9℃ 1.4℃
Red Dead Redemption 25min Play (System Temp) 1.5℃ 0.1℃
GTA V 25min Play (Controller) 0.5℃ 1.4℃
GTA V 25min Play (System Temp) 0.3℃ 1.1℃
Heavy Read (350GB) 6.2℃ 5.6℃
Heavy Write (350GB) 15.4℃ 12.1℃

So, as you can see, it certainly did a great job. These are still very small differences though and it is worth remembering that an NVMe SSD is designed to run perfectly well at between 30-50 degrees. Anything higher than that (headed towards 70 degrees) can result in throttling. Overall I still think the Elecgear definitely does exactly what it says it will and does it very well – it is a question of whether you play your PS5 for long enough /regular periods that you need that level of protection/cooling. Let’s conclude the review and give my verdict.

NOTE – The FULL video of the Temperature tests for the ElecGear PS5 SSD Heatsink, as well as how it compares against the Eluteng M.2 Heatsink, the Sabrent PS5 heatsink and the INEO Heatsink Heatsink will be live soon and in a 3-Part series of video below.

VIDEOS OF THE TESTS – COMING SOON BELOW (Dec 1st 2021)

Elecgear PS5 SSD Heatsink Review – Conclusion & Verdict

The Elecgear does EVERYTHING that it says it can and will do. From maintaining one of the lowerest SSD temperatures that I have witnessed on the PS5 NVMe SSD for the most part, to the clear effort that has gone into the design of the heatsink to existing both in and outside of the PS5 M.2 SSD expansion slot, you cannot question it’s ability to keep your SSD running at an optimal operational temperature! The price tag seems a little high (at $35-50 depending on where you shop at online) especially given the $10-15 dollar price tag of most other M.2 SSD heatsinks – something that I could accept IF it was the only S5 designed heatsink. But given that Sabrent released their own PS5 heatsink, currently priced at $20 (with SSD combo options) 3 months before, that pricetag is a little harder for some to swallow. Nevertheless, even in the general airflow and temperature of the PS5, the elecgear seems to make sure not to impede or negatively impact the core system temp, which is a big plus in its favour. Overall, I can definitely recommend this heatsink for those of you that play your PS5 every single day and for moderately extensive periods, but for light gamers and those that jump on at weekends – this might be a bit overkill.

PROS of the ElecGear PS5 SSD Heatsink PROS of the ElecGear PS5 SSD Heatsink
  • World’s First PS5 Copper Pipe Equipped Heatsink
  • Blends in well with PS5 design
  • clearly designed to keep SSD temp low, and it DOES
  • Easy Installation
  • Optional SSD height rasing kit included
  • Clear considerations for single/double-sided SSDs
  • Clearly designed to work alongside the PS5 airflow channels
  • Quite pricey for a heatsink
  • Poor availability across most of the world (mostly amazon only)
  • Questions surrounding the impact of this H/S in conjunction with the PS5 components are still unanswered and unknown in the grand scheme of things


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Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Kind of a Big Deal

19 novembre 2021 à 17:50

Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Game Changer?

Reviewing the new Synology DS3621xs+ NAS is something that is going to be a little tough, given the huge range of buyers who see this particular server as the ‘ultimate private desktop NAS server’. If you have been looking at moving your mid-to-high sized company data operations away from popular cloud services in the last year or so, then there is a good chance that you have been looking at Synology as your private platform of choice. The same goes for large Virtual Machine operations, multi-site surveillance setups and even Plex Media server users who want phenomenal futureproofing moving forward. The DS36XXxs series has been around for a decade or more and in that time only 4 solutions have ever been included, the DS3611xs, DS3612xs, the DS3617xs and now, the DS3622xs+ – so there is ALOT for this new powerhouse desktop NAS solution to live up to. Factors such as its internal performance, external bandwidth, its scalability and ultimately its justification in price to replace your popular 3rd party subscription services – there is ALOT to take into consideration. So, in today’s review of the, I want to discuss the hardware, the software, where it shines and where it doesn’t, in efforts to help you decide whether the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS deserves your data. Let’s begin.

Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

Unsurprisingly, the Synology DS3622xs+ is by FAR the most powerful and capable desktop NAS solution that the brand has ever produced – and that is not even a close-run thing. But we are still talking about a £2,500 box here (unpopulated) and you are going to expect that there is some serious horsepower here – So are you getting the most for your money here? Almost completely, yes. There are a few lingering things that some buyers will still not be in love with, such as the lack of M.2 caching bays, the lack of SAS support or the reduced support of 3rd party drive and network upgrade compatibility, but they do not undercut that this is a genuinely groundbreaking solution from Synology that provides the ultimate base to enjoy and make the most of the Synology DSM 7 platform in 2022 onwards. Once you breakdown everything included in this package, from DSMs software and services, to the tremendous bandwidth available here internally and externally, this compact tank-like NAS server is an absolute beast and a must for those that are keen on fully integrating a private cloud network and subscription-free SaaS-level setup across their company.

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


8.6
PROS
👍🏻6-Core Xeon Processor
👍🏻Two 10GBe Connections as Standard
👍🏻Lots of PCIe Gen 3 x8 PCIe Upgrade Options
👍🏻Surprisingly Compact for 12 Bays
👍🏻Excellent choice of Apps
👍🏻Exceptionally Expandability
👍🏻No need to fully populate, so VERY scalable
👍🏻Huge Virtualization Support
👍🏻Storage Can be Expanded to 36 SATA Drives
👍🏻5yr Warranty
CONS
👎🏻NVMe SSDs Ports not available, unlike smaller PLUS series units
👎🏻Reduced Hard Drive Supported (Largely ONLY Synology HAT5300 series)
👎🏻48GB Memory Maximum Seems odd over 4 slots
👎🏻Lack of Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) is still a bit of a blow

Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Packaging

The shipping container that the DS3622xs+ arrives in (I know this is dull for most of you, but some people genuinely care about this) is easily one of the most protected desktop solutions in the Synology portfolio. Arriving in a double layer of cardboard carton (rugged external shipping carton, livery and branded internal packaging box), the NAS on its own is over 9KG unpopulated and you can add another kilo or two to the shipping extras. So with that kind of weight in mind, you have to make serious considerations for shock and motion protection in transit.

Unpacking the first couple of layers of the DS3622xs+ reveals that the NAS is also held in place with a surrounding frame of hard, rigid foam. Again, some brands might cut corners on protective shipping provisions on desktop solutions, in an effort to keep the profit margin a pinch higher. I am pleased to see that there is no evidence of that here on the DS3622xs+. Indeed, although the included accessories are a little thinner than I would have likely, I cannot fault the protection that Synology has afforded to this system in transit.

Unpacking the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS and laying out the entire contents, I was a little surprised by the accessories. Not disappointed, just a little surprised in some areas. The kit includes the NAS itself, external mains power cable (the system has a single internal 550W PSU), installation guide, screws for 2.5/3.5″ media, keys for those lockable trays and two RJ45 LAN cables.

Now, this leads me to my first minor gripe – those ethernet cables. On the face of it, providing additional LAN cables is always good (the system has a possible 5 network connections by default), but the cables are Cat 5e, not Cat 6 – which is what I would expect from a 10GbE equipped solution like the DS3622xs+. This is an incredibly pedantic point I know, but it’s a small thing to have been overlooked and anyone that takes their 10GbE setup seriously will want to swap these out immediately. The main difference between CAT5e and CAT6 cable lies within the bandwidth, the cable can support for data transfer. CAT6 cables are designed for operating frequencies up to 250 MHz, compared to 100 Mhz for CAT5e. This means that a CAT6 cable can process more data at the same time. Think of it as the difference between a 2- and a 4-lane highway. On both, you can drive at the same speed, but a 4-lane highway can handle much more traffic at the same time.

The rest o the accessories and kit are what you might expect and all agreeable. The paper manual is a little sparse, but these kinds of devices have always had a preference to push users to use online resources to setup these devices correctly and with frequent updates. The initial setup and installation of Synology NAS have always been remarkably easy and the contents of this paper manual are largely sufficient to help you through those early steps.

Let’s move over to the design of the DS3622xs+ NAS itself and how it has managed to house such a huge amount of storage, whilst still remaining rather compact in its physical shape.

Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Design

The DS3622xs+ uses a chassis that is very familiar and is one that (although tweaked in small places over time) has remained largely the same over the last 5 years throughout other releases (both in the XS family and PLUS series). It has always provided a good balance of storage, versus efficient airflow and heat dissipation.

The DS3622xs+ chassis is almost entirely metal, with the only notable exception being the front panel of the desktop casing and the trays. This larger metal chassis, in conjunction with the 12 bays of SATA storage and twin rear fans results in a NAS that is most certainly going to make some noise. Although not reaching the “airplane take-off’ levels of noise that a rackmount like the RS3621xs+ reaches, the DS362xs+ is still a NAS that you do not want to be in close proximity with when in full operation. the official Synology pages highlight that the noise level is a reported 25 dB(A), however, this is based on the use of 2TB Seagate Ironwolf HDDs (which do not feature on the compatibility list I might add) and not the enterprise build HAT5300 Hard drives that this system is designed to be used with, which are a noticeable degree noisier due to their high performance, workload and durability design. Below is a quick vid on their noise level:

The front of the Synology DS3622xs+ has no LCD/Display panel, but rather it has numerous LEDs for displaying system, activity and access. These can all be adjusted in brightness and activity in the DSM 7 control panel, with eat pertaining to different areas of the system hardware – Hard drives, network status, network connectivity and system health.

The 12 bays of storage featured on the DS3622xs+ are all well ventilated around the front oF the chassis and between each bay to allow passive airflow to flow as heat is dissipated inside. As mentioned earlier, the DS3622xs+ can run fully or partially populated, as well as be run on a single SATA HDD/SSD if need be (which would be rather daft). The system utilizes traditional RAID configurations to allow the end-user(s) to create a good balance of performance and redundancy in their storage over multiple drives. However, although the storage can be increased by adding further drives in available bays or an expansion chassis (the DX1222) the DS3622xs+ does NOT support the popular Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) configuration that is available on the PLUS series and lower. Now, this is not a new thing and the XS/XS+ series of Synology NAS has never supported this configuration, for reasons of overall performance dip compared with traditional RAID levels (i.e. RAID 1,5,6,10,etc) on these solutions that are enterprise/big-data designed. However, the benefits of SHR in terms of scalability and adding larger capacity drives to your storage array years down the line (as larger capacities HDDs arrive and/or prices decrease per TB) has always been a compelling part of buyers who purchased the PLUS series and always a bit of a puzzler why it is not available here on an XS series solution. SHR on the DS3622xs+ is not impossible if you are migrating from an older NAS as shown here in this video, but it is still a shame it remains absent on the DS3622xs+ as a day 1 choice.

Each bay utilized a spring-loaded tray design that ensures that a drive will not be installed unless in full alignment with the internal SATA port inside. Additionally, each bay of the DS3622xs+ features a locking mechanism (with 2 keys included with your accessories pack) that ensures that accidental removal of an HDD/SSD in your NAS is not possible – this is especially useful as the DS3622xs+ does not support re-silvering and accidental removal of a drive for even just a single second can lead to hours upon hours or degraded RAID rebuilding.

The trays themselves are plastic in design, but the days of this being a negative are largely gone now and although early versions of NAS servers have cheaper and less robust plastic trays, this new generation Synology NAS has exceptionally well made plastic trays that are sturdy enough for even excessing storage use. Each tray also takes advantage of a click n load design that allows 3.5″ media to be installed without screws/screwdriver. Alternatively, there are screws and screw-holes for the installation of 2.5″ SATA SSD media for faster storage pools and/or caching storage. However, on the subject of storage media on the DS3622xs+, we should probably address the hard drive shaped elephant in the room.

The DS3622xs+ NAS is another release in the Synology High-end/enterprise series that has opted for a much more streamlined compatibility list. This results in this NAS only being supported for use with Synology hard drives and SSDs. These include the HAT5300 and SAT5200 (along with a few others with upgrade options). Although there are a few exceptions to this, the compatibility list over on Synology.com is pretty clear on this:

Synology’s decision to only allow the use of their own branded storage media on enterprise-level solutions was met with a mixed reception when it was rolled out in early 2020. On the one hand, the HAT5300 series of drives ARE good drives, arriving at a price point similar to the likes of Seagate Ironwolf Pro and WD Red Pro Pro-class Drives BUT featuring the architecture, performance and durability of Enterprise-class drives (such as Seagate EXOs and WD Gold) – it is a pretty good deal. Likewise, those looking for a full ‘one party’ solution will be pleased as it allows simple installation, deployment and management (with firmware updates and drive warranties being considerably easier to manage). However, with only three capacities of HAT5300 (8, 12 and 16TB) at the moment, as well as a relatively sudden pull on the support of other hard drive brands on this system, it has left quite a few users unhappy. Likewise, the decision in DSM 7 for the storage manager to prevent the use of non-compatible (i.e non-Synology) hard drives to be used in a storage pool completely, seems a touch aggressive in its presentation. As I have mentioned previously, I do actually quite like the HAT5300 series of hard drives, but the push by the brand to over-simplify the compatibility and support of 3rd party drives is something that I am less keen on and definitely do not want to see being extended to the rest of the PLUS/SMB line up lower down the portfolio in 2022.

nevertheless, the HAT5300 and SAT5200 series are still exceptionally good drives for this system and its XEON CPU, 16GB memory and twin 10GbE ports to sink its teeth into and when fully populated and equipped with 4x10GbE connections banded together (2x on-board 10GBASE-T + 2x 10GBASE-T on the E10G18-G2) has been reported to reach 4,719MB/s Sequential Read and over a quarter of a million 4K random Read IOPS.

Removing all the stays shows that all 12x SATA connectors are all combined data/power as you would expect. I did wonder, given the launch of Synology HAS5300 SAS Hard drives two months or so ago, that the next generation of this enterprise 12-Bay would factor in combined SATA/SAS connectors, but I guess the PCI lanes of this XEON were already fairly well spread and am much happier with the two 10G and PCIe 3×8 slot instead (if there WAS a choice there with resource architecture).

The DS3622xs+ NAS also features the neat and well-branded Synology ventilated/mesh logos on either side. Speaking as someone who has deployed a few Synology NAS solutions personally and professionally over the years, I can say these vents capture a lot more dust than you might expect and definitely help to assist passive airflow internally and assist dissipation. it is one of those slick design points that Synology are fond of,

The physical design of the DS3622xs+ is largely unchanged since the DS3617xs and DS2419+ that came before it, but that is no bad thing. It manages to balance large storage potential vs compact deployment, as well as maintaining that Synology branded modern design. The lack fo a front-mounted USB is a bit odd, given the numerous convenient advantage this would provide, but it’s a minor gripe and given that this NAS is designed with remote/out-of-office deployment in mind, it’s not a big loss. Let’s talk about the connectivity and accessibility of the DS3622xs+ NAS and how it will provide physical access to your data.

Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Ports and Connections

I don’t think it would be an overstatement to say that the DS3622xs+ is easily the most well-provisioned Synology Diskstation NAS in terms of ports and connectivity that the brand has ever produced. When it comes to balancing the external connectivity of a NAS, there is a fine line that needs to be balanced between providing enough external bandwidth to let the internal storage media spread its wings a bit and saturate multiple connected clients with data throughput. For the most part, the DS3622xs+ absolutely and positively SMASHES IT and provides an unparalleled level of bandwidth on day 1 and in expandability.

The two rear fans on the DS3322xs+ are 120mm in diameter each and can be fully controlled in the DSM control panel or left to automatically adjust as needed to maintain optimal system efficiency. Drawing air over the multiple heatsinks and storage bays inside, these fans are also not the quietest either. This isn’t a huge surprise, given the scale of the chassis they are ventilating though.

This rear panel can also be removed by pulling the 6 thumb pins on the rear of the chassis and this allows you to perform cleaning as needed. This is something that you would usually find on rackmount solutions, but welcome addition, given the scale of the storage available in this 12 bay solution. Likewise, the same goes for those logo branded side panels. which can also be removed for cleaning (as well as accessing some upgrade areas of the device).

One of the biggest improvements of this device over the DS3617xs that came 4-5 years before it is the addition of TWO copper/RJ45 10GbE network ports on the DS3622xs+. These 10GBASE-T connections are exactly what buyers have been demanding in the high end of Synology’s Diskstation solutions for years now and although there have been a few desktop 10GbE solutions in their portfolio, they have always arrived with a whiff of compromise or arriving with nowhere near the mass storage potential that this 12-Bay solution can offer. Not only in those 12-Bays, but also with featured expansions adding more storage media.

Unsurprisingly, these two 10G ports can be link aggregated/trucked to allow a possible 20Gb/s (2,000MB/s+) bandwidth connectivity – something that 12 Bays of enterprise-level storage media certainly has the potential to do. Add to that the PCIe upgrade slot (will touch on that in a bit) in conjunction with Synology’ range of 10Gbe upgrade cards, Combo 10G+Cache card and recently released fibre channel (FC) cards and you have some SERIES external bandwidth potential and saturation possible here – especially if you factor in the Synology SAT5200 SSD series. Below is the reported performance of the Synology DS3622xs+, fully populated with SAT5200 SSDs and an additional 2x 10GbE network card (2 slides, featuring RAID 5 and RAID 6):

Click to view slideshow.

Sequential performance was rated at 4,720MB/s read and 2,621MB/s write in RAID 5. Then you have the random 4K IOPS benchmarks, with the same fully populated SSD, 4x 10GbE and RAID /RAID6 setup. This reached highs of 262K Read in RAID 5.

Click to view slideshow.

Of course, this is a maximum level setup that required an additional PCIe upgrade card and full SSD population, however, even with the HAT5300 HDDs, you will likely comfortably saturate the available twin 10GbE ports available by default. Along with these, the DS3622xs+ also arrives with two regular 1GbE ethernet ports. Although these seem a tad unnecessary after the two previously mentioned ports, even a mid-level deployment of this NAS will mean you do not want to waste the higher bandwidth ports on regular less-than-gigabit internet connectivity and these ports still have their uses for low priority connectivity.

Interesting, the Synology DS3622xs+ also arrives with a further 100MB/s copper network port, however, this one is a relatively new inclusion to the Synology NAS hardware portfolio and is a much more useful alternative to the coms port usual found on this product series.

This additional network port provides a direct maintenance and control access point (with usual security and access control as usual) known as  Out of Bands management (OOB). In the event that you have a critical network failure and need to interface with the system directly (even remotely when set up correctly) this is a useful recovery point for those that need to get into the system ‘around’ the existing network protocol in the event of connection difficulties to make repairs internally. Interfacing directly with the NAS directly via an RJ45 point-to-point connection is not new, but not in a way that would simplify the troubleshooting and management of powered-down devices remotely and accessing critical logs through a dedicated interface. It’s going to be a fairly rarely used feature I imagine, but kudos to them for including it as an extra and not expecting you to lose one of the existing ports to this access point. Talking of access points, let’s talk about another way in which you can scale up the DS3622xs+ in the system’s lifespan, that PCIe slot.

The DS3622xs+, like many of the enterprise and business class NAS solutions in Synology’s portfolio, arrives with a PCIe upgrade slot that allows you in upgrade the system with numerous internal and external performance expansion cards. This range quite extensively from single/twin port 10G cards (copper and fibre) and m.2 NVMe SSD caching cards to Combination cards that carry both features and a 25GbE two-port card. One impressive thing that Synology has managed in their upgrade cards and last 2-2.5 years of solutions is to ensure that ALL cards are PCIe Gen 3 x8 in architecture AND the slots on all their upgradable PLUS, XS, SA and FS systems are ALL PCIe Gen 3 x8 too. This means that no card will ever be throttled or bottlenecked by the PCIe slot and the potential 8000MB/s possible bandwidth allows you to push as much performance through as possible. Installation of cards requires the removal of one of the side panels (held in place by a couple of screws) and is a very straightforward installation.

Though it is also worth noting that, much like the compatibility list of hard drives and SSDs, the supported compatible network upgrade cards list on the official site is heavy first-party focused (though with a little more flexibility this time around). See below:

The final connections available are two of the best and (arguably) two of the worst. Let’s go upwards. The USB ports on the DS3622xs+ are a little bit of a disappointment for a few reasons. Firstly, Synology scaled back a lot of the abilities of USB ports in recent years and although standard external HDD/SSDs can be connected, along with UPS’ and a few encryption key devices, they have dropped the support of USB dongles, USB printers and Scanners. Although utility of most of these has reduced over the years, it has largely reduced the use of these ports. Add to that the fact that these ports are USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) Type-A, when USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) (in Type A and C) is available practically everywhere else and the idea of using these ports as any means of creating a local back of this 12-Bay particularly quickly are significantly reduced. It is certainly better to have these than no ports at all, but they are a little bit of a letdown when you look at how much the rest of the system has been upscaled since its predecessor.

On the other hand, the inclusion of two expansion ports on the DS3622xs+ is definitely something I can get behind! The DS3622xs+ is not the first 12 bay desktop solution that has been produced (going back practically a decade now since the DS3612xs), with this new NAS also supporting a newer gen 12-Bay expansion (the DX1222) and allows you to have up to a possible 36 bays of storage. This is especially useful when you factor in that the DS3622xs+ has both those 10GbE network ports AND a PCIe upgrade slot to add even more. Therefore the potential to get the most out of so many bays of storage in terms of capacity AND in performance is highly possible in this NAS.

Despite the lack of SHR (Synology Hybird RAID) support on this box, that does restrict you from expanding your existing RAID pool and volumes over multiple chassis (thereby allowing you to increase the available storage capacity without needing to change/adapt your existing shares/targeted LUNs/VM directories/camera feeds). Although I would largely recommend not to spread your RAID outside of a single chassis, having that option can be useful to some and if not, you can always use the expansion(s) to create huge volumes that are connected eternally, but fully accessible via DSM and your existing network clients.

So, as you can see, the DS3622xs+ is a particularly impressive and unique NAS in terms of external connectivity and upgradability, far surpassing taht of its predecessor (the DS3617xs) and pretty much any other desktop NAS solution in Synology’s portfolio. Let’s discuss the internal hardware.

Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware of the Synolgoy DS3622xs+ is something that, for the most part, leave me impressed. It is not a HUGE jump up from the DS3617xs that came before it, with this new NAS system staying within the same CPU family series and just notching it up a few inches really. One early down point I noted was that the DS3622xs+ does not feature NVMe SSD m.2 bays inside (relying on upgrading towards this with the M2D20 or E10M20-T1 optional upgrade cards). Now, this could easily be the result of PCI lanes on the CPU and chipset being exhausted to support those 10Gbe ports, numerous bays and external HD mini-SAS architecture expansion slots. It is easy to imagine that adding m.2 slots on top of this was either an impossibility or would have resulted in capped/bottlenecked throughput on those m.2 slots. Nevertheless, this is a real shame, given the huge push that Synology has made on NVMe SSD caching on their systems and this would have been particularly advantageous to the end-users on a 12-Bay and 2x10G system that has the internal/external bandwidth potential to show the difference that caching could bring to multiple users at once. That said, let’s focus on the hardware inside that is present. Removing the first side panel reveals the memory of the DS3622xs+

Now, it is worth mentioning that these two revealed SODIMM DDR4 memory slots are not actually the default memory of the DS3622xs+ NAS. These slots allow you to increase the default 16GB of ECC DDR4 memory to 48GB. As good as this sounds, it does require a couple of notes to be aware of. First off, the CPU inside the DS3622xs+ can actually support more than 48GB of memory and, in fact, the 48GB maximum memory on this NAS is the result of the default memory being located in a largely inaccessible slot (so they cannot be changed out for larger modules). Additionally, it is also worth remembering that Synology insist on the use of only their own branded DDR4 ECC memory inside the DS3622xs+ NAS and using alternative memory modules/brands can result in them being unable to support your warranty. This has always been a sore point for some in the smaller NAS products, but at this storage level, many business users are perfectly fine with this.

The default 16GB of memory is located next to the XEON processor inside and is installed in two SODIMM slots that are impossible to reach without fully dismantling the entire NAS. The 16GB arrives in 2x 8GB Synology DDR4 2400Mhz ECC modules. Synology has always used Error Correcting Code memory in their SMB level units and higher and it is exactly the quality of memory I would expect in an enterprise product from this brand.

Removing the top panel reveals the access to that PCIe upgrade slot, but also a better view of the internal ventilation of the DS3622xs+. You can see that the 12 bays of storage are all fed into their own multi-ported controller board and this board feeds into the main CPU+memory controller board via its own PCIe connector. Indeed, this is a very clean setup and although the power cabling for the 550W PSU is visible, it is neatly tied and controlled. Despite a large amount of storage and a rather compact chassis, there is a tonne of airflow available to those big rear fans.

Indeed the entire outer chassis of the DS3622xs+ can be removed in 3 separate panels. This can be done for reasons of maintenance, but also for when you need to upgrade certain components. The CPU on the DS3622xs+ is not upgradable, but this kind of easy access is going to make keeping things dust-free/clear considerably easier long term. It is a feature that has existed in the 12 bay series of NAS solutions for more than a decade.

The CPU and its fanless heatsink are surprisingly compact, located on the base of that central controller board. The CPU is an Intel 6-Core Xeon D-1531. Now, in of itself, this is a powerful CPU that is going to find a great balance between high throughput, power efficiency and multi-task handling in the hundreds or thousands. However, this is still a small jump up from the Xeon D-1527 4-Core processor that came in the 54-5 year older DS3617xs predecessor.

A close look at the specifications and details over on Intel for the new and old Xeon D series CPU shows you that they both have the same clock speed at the base and in turbo, both do not feature embedded graphics, both were released in 2015 and are incredibly similar architecture, though the D-1531 in the DS3622xs+ is still an improvement in a few areas.

Where the Xeon D-1531 CPU in the DS3622xs+ improves over its predecessor is in smaller quality of life and ‘larger use’ areas that lower latency to connected users and when dealing with larger (in frequency and numerous) tasks. Aras such an the extra 2 cores, four more CPU threads to handle tasks and larger L2/L3 cache availability. Still, it would have been nice to see this CPU get the kind of upscale that we saw in the SA series, or even the 8-Core Intel Xeon D1541 that is available on the RS3621xs+ rackmount alternative to this desktop NAS.

However, Synology has always been a brand that keeps a very watchful eye on its portfolio and how solutions sit next to each other, not only between each solution in the desktop series (making sure that there is little overlap), but also making sure that there is a clear price-point line between desktop and rackmount. Adding a more modern CPU may have led to the brand increasing the price of this solution significantly over its predecessor, whereas  (ex.VAT) the DS3622xs+ is only a couple of hundred pounds more than the 4-5years older DS3617xs. Not to make excuses for the slightly underwhelming CPU (in context) but I can see why Synology went with this particular Xeon. Let’s talk about the software on the DS3622xs+, another big part of why buyers will be looking to install this NAS in their homes or business.

Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Software and Services

Now, to cover the WHOLE Synology software and services that are included with the DS3622xs+ NAS would result in a review that is twice as long as this review so far! Synology’s Diskstation Manager software that comes with this device (either DSM 7 or DSM 6.2 depending on your preference) provides a massive arrangement of services, applications (first and third party supported) and a huge number of client applications for desktop, mobile, windows, mac and linux (as well as a bunch of other more home-based tools). These allow management and access to the data on the DS3622xs+ in very tailored ways, as well as the web browser-based access that has the appearance, intuitive design and responsiveness of a local operating system. The DSM interface can be accessed by hundreds of users at the same time (with each user having tailored access, rights and privileges). DSM is available with ALL Synology NAS and the depth and abilities of DSM on any NAS are dependant on the hardware architecture of the NAS itself. In the case of the Synology DS3622xs+, it supports practically EVERYTHING (with the exception of SHR, as previously mentioned). If you want to learn about the latest version of DSM 7 and the software and services that are included with the DS3622xs+ NAS, watch my FULL review below (alternatively, you can read the DSM 7 Full Review HERE):

As mentioned, the DS3622xs+ supports pretty much the entirety of the DSM 7 and DSM 6.2 applications and services. If you are an existing user of SaaS and PaaS (Software as a service and Platform as a service) from the likes of Google Workspace and Office 365, knowing that you can synchronize these systems or choose to export away from them onto the Synology services is going to be very appealing. Key business applications that are included with your NAS are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You cannot really fault the software and services that are included with the Synology DS3622xs+ NAS, as you are going to get the very best experience available on the platform, thanks to the hardware and architecture of this NAS. DSM 7 is an every evolving platform, so if you are reading this now at the time of publishing or years later, there is always going to be something in DSM for everyone.

Synology DS3622xs+ NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict

Unsurprisingly, the Synology DS3622xs+ is by FAR the most powerful and capable desktop NAS solution that the brand has ever produced – and that is not even a close-run thing. But we are still talking about a £2,500 box here (unpopulated) and you are going to expect that there is some serious horsepower here – So are you getting the most for your money here? Almost completely, yes. There are a few lingering things that some buyers will still not be in love with, such as the lack of M.2 caching bays, the lack of SAS support or the reduced support of 3rd party drive and network upgrade compatibility, but they do not undercut that this is a genuinely groundbreaking solution from Synology that provides the ultimate base to enjoy and make the most of the Synology DSM 7 platform in 2022 onwards. Once you breakdown everything included in this package, from DSMs software and services, to the tremendous bandwidth available here internally and externally, this compact tank-like NAS server is an absolute beast and a must for those that are keen on fully integrating a private cloud network and subscription-free SaaS-level setup across their company.

UNIT
Synology DS3622xs+ PROS Synology DS3622xs+ CONS
  • 6-Core Xeon Processor
  • Two 10GBe Connections as Standard
  • Lots of PCIe Gen 3 x8 PCIe Upgrade Options
  • Surprisingly Compact for 12 Bays
  • Excellent choice of Apps
  • Exceptionally Expandability
  • No need to fully populate, so VERY scalable
  • Huge Virtualization Support
  • Storage Can be Expanded to 36 SATA Drives
  • 5yr Warranty
  • NVMe SSDs Ports not available, unlike smaller PLUS series units
  • Reduced Hard Drive Supported (Largely ONLY Synology HAT5300 series)
  • 48GB Memory Maximum Seems odd over 4 slots
  • Lack of Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) is still a bit of a blow
If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below


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QNAP TBS-464 NVMe SSD NAS Review – Storage Done Differently?

17 novembre 2021 à 01:08

The QNAP TBS-464 NVMe SSD NAS Drive Review

The new NVMe SSD focused NAS Drive from QNAP, the TBS-464, is the first entry by the brand in their largely 2022 focused TS-x64 series and one that certainly left me a tad surprised when it was revealed. The use of SSDs in NAS servers is by no means a new thing, with several ‘flash’ produced NAS systems released over the years that focused on 2.5″ SATA/SAS or U.2 SSD in rackmount and desktop form. Likewise, the inclusion of dedicated NVMe Slots in NAS drives has now been around for around well over half a decade, either for use as cache or individual storage pools. However, combining these two concepts of NVMe SSDs and SSD only desktop NAS systems is something that has never really been done and that is what makes the QNAP TS-464 so interesting. Arriving in a spectacularly compact fashion, RAID support over 4 PCIe Gen 3 M.2 NVMe slots and an intel powered architecture, this new NASBook release has a great deal of potential to live up to for both home and business users alike. So, let’s take a good look at the TBS-464, the hardware, the software and ultimately decide if this new NVMe SSD focused NAS drive is worth your data.

QNAP TBS-464 NVMe SSD NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

The QNAP TBS-464 NVMe SSD NAS is a genuinely groundbreaking and unique piece of kit that is slightly hampered by its own price tag! Easily the most compact NAS currently available from this (and indeed almost any other) brand, it brings the majority of NAS software, services and features that buyers want in a NAS that shifts focus to SSD storage media and does it whilst maintaining an incredibly small footprint. The appeal of a RAID 5, NVMe powered NAS for your data, when the price of such media (in Gen 3 at least) becomes significantly more affordable is also a smart move. As a first physical reveal of QNAP’s planned X64 and X62 series, it hits all the right notes for me and as long as you understand that keeping this device Prosumer (whilst not tiptoeing into the enterprise) means that occasional hardware scaling is required, it’s a great piece of kit. A unique joy to play with.

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


8.0
PROS
👍🏻World’s First NVMe SSD Desktop NAS (at least as far I can find!)
👍🏻VERY quiet, even with the fan on internally
👍🏻
👍🏻Newest Gen Intel Celeron CPU available on NAS right now
👍🏻
👍🏻2x 2.5GbE and 4K 60FPS are always welcome
👍🏻
👍🏻Numerous considerations included/visible for heat dissipation and Anti-wear
👍🏻
👍🏻VERY compact deployment
👍🏻
👍🏻8GB DDR4 Memory included by default
👍🏻
👍🏻Four NVMes in a RAID 5 = Good speed and Performance
👍🏻
👍🏻QTS 5 has more 1st Party applications and services than any previous version
CONS
👎🏻The lack of 10GbE from the TBS-453DX is a shame (PCI Lane related)
👎🏻The NVMe SSD Bays are PCIe Gen 3 x2 (PCI Lane related)
👎🏻
👎🏻Memory cannot physically be upgraded beyond 8GB

QNAP TBS-464 NVMe SSD NAS Review – PACKAGING & ACCESSORIES

The first thing that hit me when I unpacked the shipping carton to get my hands on the TBS-464 is the size of the box. I was aware that this would be a small NAS, given the NVMe media choice, but the retail box is easily one of the smallest that I have received from QNAP. I was a little surprised to think that this box contained the TS-464 and accessories (will get to those later – because there is more than usual) and was a tiny bit concerned about damage in transit. Keen followers of this blog know that I will judge a brand that doesn’t protect their kit in transit quite harshly and this one might be toeing the line a bit.

Removing the outer box shows that the unit is held in a cardboard framework (the TBS-464 in plastic) and the accessories are held in a smaller compartment underneath the unit. Normally I would be quite critical of this (highlighting that hard/rigid foam be used) as shock/motion damage in transit is a greater hardware killer than most think, but I also have to factor in that the TBS-464 is very, VERY light. The unit itself only weighing in at 700grams and the complete box and accessories barely crossed the 1.5KG mark means that this level of protection in transit (unpopulated) is sufficient.

Laying out the accessories and unit on the table, there are the usual bits that you might expect (the external PSU, the mains power cable, the RJ45 Cat 5e cable, setup guide and 2yr warranty information), but there are also some dedicated M.2 NVMe extras too.

The external PSU on this rather modest-sized NAS arrives is 65W (unsurprising for much more power-efficient M.2) and QNAP state that it has been recorded at 18W power use in idle and 28W when in active use – this includes the internal fan in operation at all times.

Those M.2 SSD focused accessories are also of significant importance too, with 12 thermal pads and 4 metal heatsinks that are adhesively applied to the M.2 SSDs inside. NVMe SSDs, although lacking the slower moving parts of traditional hard drives, are formed of multiple cells that are attached to a length of PCB. These consist of the Controller (the brains, like the CPU of a computer), the memory and the NAND (where your data lives), with electricity passed through the SSD to read/write data. This results in the individual chips getting quite hot. The NAND can usually operate better when its a little ‘warm’, but the controller will work worse, the hotter it gets (also known as throttling, to preserve the life of the drive) and that is why there is a lot of accessories here for dissipating the heat from these SSDs. There is an internal fan and unique cooling system (at least, for NAS) that I will touch on later, but these accessories are primarily included to draw heat AWAY from the SSDs. They are of good build quality and are a nice indicator that QNAP didn’t just shove this thing out the door.

Overall, I am happy with the compact presentation and accessories, though I wonder how protected it is when shipped fully populated. Let’s take a look at the design of the QNAP TS-464 NAS.

QNAP TBS-464 NVMe SSD NAS Review – Design

As mentioned earlier, the TBS-464 is a remarkably small NAS drive. Indeed this NAS series (known as the NASBook series) has been around in different forms over the years, tough previous generations used m.2 SATA SSDs. This NAS, when deployed on the table takes up next to no room. Below is how the TBS-464 scaled up against my Google Pixel 2XL, a 2280 SSD and a pencil. Do remember that although this is a network-attached storage device, users CAN directly connect with this device point-to-point with a LAN cable, USB-to-Ethernet adapter (available in 2.5GbE and 5GbE) and even wirelessly with several USB-WiFi dongles supported. Therefore it is not impossible to imagine carrying this NAS system portable for home, school or business work, creating a portable, super fast RAID system.

The height of the TBS-464 is also quite impressive too, at just 3cm/30mm, it is a very petite NAS indeed. The drive installation does not involve trays or any form of hot-swapping (as you might expect, as M.2 NVMe does not support that kind of re-injection), with installation involving removing the base panel to access the slots.

The front of the TBS-464 features 4 LEDs that are used to denote SSD media activity on each bay internally. Unlike traditional HDD focused NAS systems, you are not going to hear any kind of activity from the storage media (the only noise coming from that internal single fan) resulting in a very, very low ambient noise level when in use that QNAP report at 25db(A) in full access mode.

Alongside those LEDs are two USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) ports, as well as a 1-touch-copy button that can be used to manually action a pre-set backup routine (that you set up in Hybrid Backup Sync 3 with QTS 5). It’s a shame that this system does not take advantage of USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s), given the wide variety of support we have seen of it on other TS-x64 devices in QNAP’s portfolio, but this is almost certainly down to those NVMe M.2 SSD slots taking up the lion share of the available PCI lanes of the CPU nad chipset.

On the side of the TBS-464, next to a vent, we find an additional USB 2.0 port. More USB ports are always going to be a good thing, but aside from the support of keyboards, mice, UPS heartbeats and a few other peripherals, USB 2.0 has limited use in 2021/2022 and I am surprised that it is still here (and arguably in abundance, as you will see).

Either side of the TBS-464 chassis features a large vent panel that is used in conjunction with the internal fan to draw in and then push air throughout the NAS. This will be discussed in a little more detail in a bit, but I did want to highlight that the previous generation of this NAS family (the m.2 SATA TBS-453DX) also featured stereo speakers in these vents – a very quirky and unique extra that added to it’s localized deployment. Although its inclusion was INCREDIBLY niche and almost completely overlooked, I am still a pinch sad that it is absent in the TBS-464.

The base of the TBS-464 NAS has vent holes under each m.2 2280 storage bay, but nowhere else. This is clearly intended as a means of ensuring the airflow is controlled internally to be drawn over each of the heatsinks and chips in a single wave.

To access the storage media bays of the TBS-464, you need to remove the rubber foot on the base of the chassis as shown, to reveal an available screw. The internals of this NAS are surprisingly well crafted in terms of how things are compartmentalized. But before we get to that, let’s discuss the ports and connections.

QNAP TBS-464 NVMe SSD NAS Review – Ports & Connections

Looking at the rear of the TBS-464, we can see an interesting mix of ports and connections available. The previous generation of this NAS family, the TBS-453DX released in 2018, featured an arguably more appealing 10GbE connection (made possible by only supporting SATA SSDs). The TBS-464  features 2x 2.5G connections, which might seem a bit of a step down for some, but the reality of this needs a little closer examination.

The two 2.5GbE RJ45 ports support link aggregation of course, so 5GbE connectivity via a supported managed switch is possible (as well as support of USB-to-5GbE adapters like the QNA-UC5G1T) and this allows up to 586MB/s read performance and 574MB/s write performance. Now, many might argue that this is quite a bottleneck for those internal PCIe M.2 NVMe SSDs – something we will go into more detail on later on), but such external bottlenecks of NAS are hardly new, given that most NAS hard drives these days can comfortably output 200MB/s, but are all bottlenecked to 1GbE anyway and worse still in RAID configs). I do still wish we had 10GbE on this device (even if it means removing all other ports except a single USB 3.0 port) but likely this was not possible technically anyway via the Intel Celeron inside.

QNAP themselves have tested the performance of the TBS-464 in a RAID 5 over 4 NAS SSDs from Seagate and reached max external bandwidth of 294MB/s Upload and 287MB/s Download.

The TBS-464 also features two HDMI 2.0 video output poets. These work in conjunction with the parallel running GUI called HD Station, to allow users to interact with the NAS and many applications using an HDMI TV/Monitor, as well as connecting a keyboard and mouse (or using a Bluetooth dongle, IR remote or WiFi remote) to interact with the system. This can be used as a standalone windows PC (using QVM), a Linux PC (using Ubuntu Station), a standalone surveillance system with camera control, support of Skype, Spotify, LibreOffice, chrome, Facebook and more. There is also a large homebrew community over on QNAPClub that supports lots of existing windows and linux tools that are converted over to the QNAP platform. As good as this all sounds, it is worth remembering that these two HDMI ports cannot be used independently and are only used for mirroring each other or creating a shared-wider single screen.

I am working on a 2021/2022 revisit of HD Station from QNAP, but below is the Setup guide and overview of the application from last year that still covers a lot of the platforms abilities and features:

One sour point on the TBS-464 that I will continue to come back to is the surprising number of USB 2.0 ports, with 2 more here on the back of the NAS chassis. I understand that this system has support of KVM for those visual ports and some connected client hardware, such as UPS’, external optical drives and Printers do not need USB 3, but given that QNAP has a large number of USB expansion devices, network adapters and supported USB devices like webcams, these ports seem a bit of old. Perhaps the chipset would not allow the swapping of these three ports in favour of a single extra USB 3 port (the truth is I do not know) but even having the USB 3 ports on the front (awkward for expansions) and the USB on the rear, seems a strange choice.

Overall, as long as you understand how QNAP have had to work within a given scope of the CPU and it’s PCI lanes, most of the TBS-464 NAS’ ports and connections make a lot of sense. But let’s take a look at the internal hardware of the TBS-464 and see how the system intended to deploy those super-fast NVMe SSDs.

QNAP TBS-464 NVMe SSD NAS Review – Internal Hardware

Removing the base plate of the TBS-464 reveals an internal framework that looks much less like a typical NAS and much more like a prosumer laptop. The components are clearly separated into individual sections, as well as the components also featuring an additional cover layer that helps the air flow through the system and over the components that need it most.

The four NVMe M.2 SSD ports are arranged in a deeper cavity and a 3+1 physical configuration. Each has ample room for single and double-sided SSDs (as well as the included thermal pads and heatsinks) and the system can be used with as little as a single NVMe SSD (allowing you to add drives later as your capacity or redundancy requirements grow). These bays are located directly next to the first side vent panel and the single internal fan is pulling air through this vent and over the SSDs. As long as you attach the thermal pads and heatsinks to dissipate (draw) the heat from the SSDs, the air will cool them down and then push air out the other side.

Revisiting the subject of CPU PCI lanes leads to one part of the TBS-464 architecture that may disappoint. Each of the M.2 NVMe SSD slots is PCIe Gen 3 x2 in bandwidth. This means that each slot can provide a potential 2,000MB/s of performance. However, the majority of modern PCIe Gen 3 SSDs arrive in Gen 3×4, normally hitting the 3,000-3,400MB/s performance mark. Although the TBS-464 is pretty much the ONLY desktop NVMe SSD NAS in the world, it is still a shame that each slot has this unavoidable bottleneck internally. This is still very, VERY high performance internally however that hugely dwarfs many other NAS of similar CPU architecture and something taht you would need a much larger arrangement of STA HDD or SSD to match.

That internal fan. once it has drawn air over the NVMe SSD media+heatsinks, will theN push air out over the CPU heatsink and out the other vent. It does this with very little ambient noise (as long as you utilize appropriate heatsink and pad installation) and ensures that this little NAS makes little to no impact on your hardware environment.

The TBS-464 uses a negative pressure cooling system, with large vents on either side of the compact chassis to pull air in one way over the storage media, then out through the other side. Below is a graphic:

The CPU and memory used in the TBS-464 are also of a good standard for a 2021/2022 Prosumer/SMB NAS release. Alongside an Intel Celeron CPU, it also arrives with 8GB of DDR4 2400Mhz memory (which sadly cannot be upgraded to the maximum 16GB supported by the CPU). 8GB is still a very decent about of base-level memory on this NAS. But the CPU is where I really want to focus.

The Celeron series is one that is generally refreshed every 18-24months by Intel on their production line. However, because of semi-conductor shortages and the effects of the pandemic in 2020/2021 on production lines, the result is that the Intel Celeron series most recent revisions have been remarkably erratic and the result is that the Celeron CPU of the newest TS-x64 series from QNAP actually spans three different (but  VERY similar CPUs).

In the case of the TBS-464, it arrives with the Intel N5105 or N5095. Both are 2.0Ghz in architecture that can be boosted to 2.99Ghz by the system when needed, as well as supporting on-broad graphics (so the support of transcoding and handling graphical data like 4K media and 3D images) to the same degree, AES-NI inline encryption and a great floating point. Aside from very minor differences around encoding/decoding and a slightly raised TDP (so, the amount of heat vs power draw) on the N5095, they are pretty much identical. Both are a nice jump up from the 2017/18 generation Intel Celeron J4115 that is used in the previous generation and at this price point, I am happy with this chip. Expect Plex testing and Virtual Machine testing soon.

Overall, the internal architecture of the QNAP TBS-464 NAS at it’s £499 RRP (579 Euros), which will almost certainly be lower on most e-retailers, seems a reasonable price for the architecture here. Let’s talk a little bit about the software included with the TBS-464, known as QTS 5.

QNAP TBS-464 NVMe SSD NAS Review – Software & Services

Alongside the hardware of the TBS-464 NAS, you also receive the complete software and services package of QNAP QTS (currently in version 5.0). This is a complete operating system. similar in design and presentation to Android OS, it runs hundreds of applications, services and functions, as well as arriving with many mobile and desktop client applications that allow you to interact with the data on your NAS in a much more tailored way. Alongside this, the QNAP QTS software on the TBS-464 also includes a few extra SSD tools for anti-wearing on the SSDs, better SSD profiling and even options to separate the media into storage, caching or tiered storage where appropriate. The performance and services of QTS have been covered many times on this channel, so reviewing it’s individual performance on the TBS-464 NAS is a difficult task, as we have to look at two key things. Is QTS a good software platform and is QTS 5.0 a substantial update on QTS 4.5? On the first score, I can comfortably say that QNAP NAS software and services have truly come into their own and the balancing act of supplying the end-user with the flexibility to use the system ‘their way’, whilst still keeping it user friendly is the best it has ever been. Is it perfect, no. In its efforts to make itself customizable in every way possible, QTS develops an inadvertent learning curve that may catch some novice users unaware. Likewise, although QTS 5 has done a lot of work on its presentation of information and notifications, there is still the odd moment of ‘TMI’ when switching between services on the fly. QNAP’s NAS software is still easily one of the most adaptable in the market right now and allows users to have a truly unique storage environment if they choose and although not quite as user-friendly as Synology DSM, it counters this by being fantastically flexibly by comparison (from file/folder structure to 3rd party services support and connectivity). In order to see the extent of the latest version of QNAP TS 5.0M use the links below to the written review and video below released in late 2021:

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

Tests of the QNAP TBS-464 on how it performs as a Plex Media Server, host for Virtual Machines and more will be conducted shortly over on NASCompares YouTube channel. I recommend visiting there to learn more. Below is the video review for the QNAP TBS-464 NAS

QNAP TBS-464 NVMe SSD NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict

The QNAP TBS-464 NVMe SSD NAS is a genuinely groundbreaking and unique piece of kit that is slightly hampered by its own price tag! Easily the most compact NAS currently available from this (and indeed almost any other) brand, it brings the majority of NAS software, services and features that buyers want in a NAS that shifts focus to SSD storage media and does it whilst maintaining an incredibly small footprint. The appeal of a RAID 5, NVMe powered NAS for your data, when the price of such media (in Gen 3 at least) becomes significantly more affordable is also a smart move. As a first physical reveal of QNAP’s planned X64 and X62 series, it hits all the right notes for me and as long as you understand that keeping this device Prosumer (whilst not tiptoeing into the enterprise) means that occasional hardware scaling is required, it’s a great piece of kit. A unique joy to play with.

PROs of the QNAP TBS-464 NAS CONs of the QNAP TBS-464 NAS
World’s First NVMe SSD Desktop NAS (at least as far I can find!)

VERY quiet, even with the fan on internally

Newest Gen Intel Celeron CPU available on NAS right now

2x 2.5GbE and 4K 60FPS are always welcome

Numerous considerations included/visible for heat dissipation and Anti-wear

VERY compact deployment

8GB DDR4 Memory included by default

Four NVMes in a RAID 5 = Good speed and Performance

QTS 5 has more 1st Party applications and services than any previous version

The lack of 10GbE from the TBS-453DX is a shame (PCI Lane related)

The NVMe SSD Bays are PCIe Gen 3 x2 (PCI Lane related)

Memory cannot physically be upgraded beyond 8GB

 


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Should You Still Buy the Synology DS920+ NAS in 2021/2022?

15 novembre 2021 à 01:40

Is the Synology DS920+ NAS Still Worth Buying in 2021?

First released back in Summer 2020, the Synology DS920+ was the latest generation release for their prosumer 4-Bay NAS series (following the DS918+ and DS916+ before) and quickly gained considerable acclaim. Although not an enormous deviation from its predecessor, it arrived with greater support of the new DSM 7 platform (released at the start of 2021), DDR4 memory and a newer generation Celeron CPU. Alongside these, the DS920+ also arrives with familiar and popular hardware build architecture, such as expandability of storage with the DX517 expansion, dual 1GbE ethernet ports and two 2280 M.2 NVMe SSD bays to allow access to convenient and beneficial SSD caching. As good as all that sounds (especially factoring in the Synology DSM software and services included), some users are still on the fence about choosing whether to buy the DS920+ NAS now or hold out for something better in 2022. With the high likelihood that the DS920+ will appear in seasonal sales (such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Prime Day) on multiple sites, is a saving on the price tag going to be enough to get people off the fence? Does the DS920+ NAS still deserve your data at the end of 2021? Let’s find out.

Check if the Synology DS920+ NAS is Currently on Sale over on Amazon Below

Amazon US – DS920+

Amazon UK – DS920+

Amazon Germany – DS920+

Amazon Canada – DS920+

Amazon FR – DS920+

Reason to Buy the Synology DS920+ NAS #1 – Still Good Value

When the Synology DS920+ NAS was first launched, it arrived at around $700/£550/€650 (including local tax), which was a pinch higher than its predecessor but still quite well priced in relation to the rest of the Synology portfolio. Fast forward to the end of 2021 and even WITHOUT any Black Friday or Prime day deals in place, it now sells for about $600/£500/€580 – which is a drop of around 12-15% worldwide. Now, if you factor in the hardware AND software support of the DS920+, that is actually quite a good deal. Supporting ALL of the software and services in DSM 7, as well as impressive performance in 3rd party tools like Plex Media Server and Docker, there are very few modern network storage applications that the DS920+ will not be able to do. Alongside this, you are getting an Intel x86 64bit quad-core powered and 4GB DDR4 2666Mhz memory equipped NAS, which is going to be very proficient at home and business needs.

Reason to Buy the Synology DS920+ NAS #2 – Those M.2 NVMe SSD Slots

Synology has been talking a big, BIG game on SSD caching on their NAS systems for a few years now (going as far as to release their own branded NVMe and SATA SSDs) and the DS920+ is one of the smallest NAS systems in their lineup that features NVMe SSDs (not THE smallest, that is the DS720+) and for those that use the four bays of storage in the DS920+ with bulkier, slower, high capacity hard drives – NVMe SSD caching can be hugely beneficial to improve upload speeds, internal software & service performance and improve responsiveness to regularly accessed databases on the NAS. In brief, NVMe SSD caching is the process of combining areas of faster SSD space with the larger, but slower hard drive array and configuring it to your needs. Write caching will improve the upload/write speed of data being sent to the NAS, as data is first written to the after SSD, then migrated over to the slower HDDs afterwards in the background. Read caching is when the system takes note of what files (largely focused on metadata, index files and small size but large quantity databases) and then makes copies of these on the SSD area. Then when these files are next requested by the user(s), it will read from the SSD, not just the hard drive array. There are lots of different cache types and settings, but these two are a neat summary of what you can do and the inclusion of the service in the DS920+ also added to its value and desirability.

Reason to Buy the Synology DS920+ NAS #3 – DSM 7 Support

When the Synology DS920+ NAS was released, it arrived with Diskstation Manager (DSM) 6.2. Now in 2021 and after almost 4 years of development, DSM 7.0 has arrived (think Windows 7 vs Windows 10) and I am pleased to confirm that the DS920+ NAS is a great server to run DSM 7. Arriving with support of the full range of applications and services, if you have been attracted to a Synology because of included applications (such as Synology Office, Drive, Photos, Hyper Backup, Active Backup Suite, Video Station, Surveillance Station and Virtual Machine Manager), then you will have full access on the DS920+, as well as great multi-user and multi-application at once supported to an impressive degree. Indeed, in my review (video below) of Synology DSM 7, I was keen to highlight just how unique the rand is in the industry with this software:

The software includes the following services (again, all included in the cost fo the NAS)

  • Synology Office – Create documents, spreadsheets, and slides in a multi-user environment. Real-time synchronization and saving make collaboration a breeze.
  • Synology Chat – Aimed at businesses, Synology Chat is an IM service that transforms the way users collaborate and communicate.
  • Synology Drive – Host your own private cloud behind the safety of your NAS with 100% data ownership and no subscription fees.
  • Synology Moments – Manage your photos and videos with deep-learning algorithms that automatically group photos with similar faces, subjects, and places. Built to help photographers manage their photos and share them with clients for feedback or business development.
  • Synology Calendar – Stay on track, share calendars, and schedule meetings, while ensuring sensitive information remains safely stored on company premises.
  • Synology Active Backup for Business (ABB) – Consolidate backup tasks for virtualized environments, physical servers, and personal computers, and rapidly restore files, entire machines, or VMs – completely license free.
  • Synology Hyper Backup – backup you NAS safely and efficiently to multiple destinations with deduplication, integrity checks, compression, and versioning.
  • Synology Surveillance Station – Safeguard your business, home, and other valuable assets with reliable video surveillance tools.
  • Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) – An intuitive hypervisor that supports Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM virtual machines. Its powerful disaster recovery tools help users achieve maximum service uptime.
  • Synology High Availability – Synology High Availability (SHA) combines two Synology NAS servers into one active-passive high-availability cluster, alleviating service disruptions while mirroring data.
  • Synology Central Management System (CMS) – Synology CMS allows you to manage multiple Synology NAS servers quickly and conveniently from a single location.
  • Synology Video Station – Manage all your movies, TV shows, and home videos. Stream them to multiple devices or share them with friends and family.
  • Synology Audio Station – Manage your music collection, create personal playlists, stream them to your own devices, or share with family or friends.
  • Synology File Station – Manage your Synology NAS files remotely through web browsers or mobile devices.

So, yeah, the Synology DS920+ having full access to all of the software and services of DSM 7 is a great reason to consider this NAS.

Reason to Buy the Synology DS920+ NAS #4 – Expandability

The improvements long term when running the DS920+ is not just with NVMe SSDs for caching, but also with the additional expandability in the form of an eSATA port for the Synology DX517. The initial 4 Bays of storage on the Synology DS920+ can be populated gradually or fully at initialization (with the option to add drives or swap out for bigger drives as storage capacity disappears). However, many users who have a NAS with storage media running perfectly well (with hundreds or thousands of shares and users already established) will opt for connecting an expansion chassis to their NAS in order to bolt-on a 5 bays expansion (the DX517). Although not cheap, at £300-350 unpopulated, the allows you to expand your existing storage area and RAID configuration considerably. Using expansions to increase your NAS storage and RAID pool is not for everyone, but it is a neat optional extra that can extend the life of your network storage years down the line and a useful inclusion on the Synology DS920+ NAS.

Reason to Buy the Synology DS920+ NAS #5 – SHR & BTRFS Support

The Synology DS920+ arrives with a whole bunch of unique Synology-Only features (as well as some that other brands have adopted in recent years, but Synology have had and refined first) and two of the biggest that is included in the Synology DS920+ are the Synology Hybrid RAID fluid drive configuration and BTRFS as a choice of file system during setup. SHR is a choice that at a casual glance appears near identical to traditional RAID (the means of combining individual storage drives across multiple bays for advantages of capacity, speed, redundancy or all three together). However, once you go a little further, you discover that SHR has the ability to let you mix and match drives in your RAID. Traditional RAID (RAID 1, 5, 6, etc) insist that you should use identical size/brand drives in a single RAID and if you add mixed capacity drives, it will class ALL drives as the same capacity as the smallest drive e.g. 2TB+6TB+6TB+6TB = 6TB in RAID 5. No one would mix drives on day 1 of their NAS use, but years down the line you might start introducing larger hard drives or replace existing drives with bigger ones as your data grows. SHR allows you to add mixed drives and the SHR config will adjust accordingly e.g. 2TB+6TB+6TB+6TB = 14TB in SHR.

BTRFS (or butterfs etc) is a relatively new file system (compared with the ancient EXT3/4) that bring with it a bunch of background advantages that add to a smoother user experience. Features such as less resource impactful snapshot creation (backup images of data that can be reverted too) that in EXT4 would use more CPU/Memory when being generated all the time. Then there is file self-healing, which will create checks of file transmission at the start and end, comparing them and then repairing files if an error is recognized by using the first checked version (much like ECC memory). Finally, there is much, much faster-shared folder duplication/cloning/handling that allows you to create a more efficient file sharing environment on the fly. Synology was the first commercial brand to introduce BTRFS on their NAS systems (rackmount and desktop) and now other brands are following suit. BTRFS is still a choice (with other file systems available to select at setup) but a great addition at this hardware/price tier.

Reason to Buy the Synology DS920+ NAS #6 – No Hard Drive or SSD Locking

This is a moderately recent factor in the Synology NAS Diskstation and Rackstation buying and one that has met with mixed feelings from long term Synology supports. Over the last 2 years, Synology has released a range of branded Hard drives and SSDs in the HAT5300, HAS5300, SAT5200 and SNV3400 ranges. Although many of these media options are actually really impressive (the HAT5300 is an Enterprise-class build HDD at Pro class pricing for example) there have been several high profile releases in the recent months (eg the RS3621xs+, the RS2821RP+ and DS3622xs+) that have featured rather strict HDD/SSD compatibility. In short, these systems have arrived with the caveat that the only hard drives or SSD that can be used in them is Synology’s own storage media – with using alternative drives not on the compatibility list either limiting their support to your product or flat out restrictions you in DSM from using other-brands HDD/SSD in your storage pools. Typically the use of ‘drive locking’ is something that has only been present on the Synology XS, SA and FS series (i.e Enterprise solutions), however, the compatibility of the recent DS2422+ NAS in some regions (on official pages) has only provided lists of Synology drive media and some are a pinch concerned that Synology might switch their PLUS series of devices to this ‘synology only media’ model. However, the DS920+ is one fo the best NAS’ in the brand’s portfolio and still support thousands of different HDDs from brands like Seagate, WD, Toshiba and more – as well as the Synology media too. It is s small detail, but some might want to ensure that their next NAS purchase has a wider degree of storage media compatibility in 2021/2022.

Reasons NOT to Buy the Synology DS920+ NAS #1 – 1GbE Ports

One big reason that many people move away from Cloud storage providers like Google Drive and Dropbox and on to their own NAS system, is because of bandwidth. Cloud services are accessible remotely over the internet and you are HEAVILY dictated by the speed of your internet connection on how fast/fluidly data can be uploaded/downloaded to your cloud space by your Internet service provider (ISP). There are shortcuts to improve this (such as a locally cached folder on your PC/Mac) but these are small improvements that cannot really remedy the issue of poor internet upload/download speeds restricting access to your 3rd party cloud. NAS System can be accessed via the network (and the internet of course) and that means that you have a huge degree of control over your network speed and how much data can be shared by multiple users at once. Now, modern routers and switches (along with a number of high profile consumer/business client hardware, such as laptops, tablets, Fire TV, PS5, etc) have begun arriving with greater than gigabit connectivity (i.e higher than 100MB/s). These can manifest in WiFi 6 (1200-1800MB/s at the baseline) 2.5GbE (250-270MB/s) and 5GbE (500MB/s+). Sadly the DS920+ arrives with 1GbE connections (2x 1G though) which was already seems a little tight in 2020 and in 2021, possibly going to be a bottleneck in years to come. Unlike the DS1621+ or DS1821+, the DS920+ also lacks the ability to add improved network connections over PCIe. Nor does DSM 7 on the DS920+ allow USB-to-2.5G or USB-to-5G adapters either. There is still a large number of 1GbE network client hardware in the market, so the DS920+ having 100-109MB/s maximum shared ethernet connectivity is not a complete dealbreaker – but it is something that I know bothers some users that are thinking 3-5 years ahead in their hardware.

Reasons NOT to Buy the Synology DS920+ NAS #2 – NVMe Slots are ONLY for Caching

This doesn’t just apply to the DS920+, but in fact ALL Synology NAS hardware. The NVMe slots that are featured on the base of the Synology DS920+, which support PCIe Gen 3 x4 M.2 SSDs only allow this super-fast storage to be used for the caching of data alongside the larger RAID array (as mentioned earlier). For some users, this is going to be a bitter pill indeed, as the benefits to the system to be able to switch from slower traditional hard drives and arguably pedestrian SATA SSDs and onto the CONSIDERABLY faster NVMe SSD storage would be huge. Now, there is an argument that the limited PCI lanes of the CPU and chipset of the DS920+ NAS would result in these SSDs being throttled to PCIe 2X2, 2X4 or 3×1, but these would still allow around 1000-200MB/s of throughput on these bays and that would have been hugely beneficial to VM, Docker and Database users. It’s always been something of a headscratcher that Synology continues to persist with this limitation of NVMe SSD bays on their systems and it doesn’t look like a trend that will be closed in newer releases. This is a real shame for consumers who have seen that, since the launch of PCIe Gen 4 SSDs in the market in the last 12 months, prices on PCIe Gen 3×4 NVMes are approaching those of regular SATA SSDs.

Reasons NOT to Buy the Synology DS920+ NAS #3 – A Potential DS922+ NAS in 2022?

Realistically, this is likely the MAIN reason that many buyers (who have been following NAS for a few years) will be hesitant to pull the trigger and buy the Synology DS920+ NAS. Much like a lot of technology in the consumer/business sector, Synology will refresh its portfolio of solutions every set number of years, as newer, more powerful and efficient components become available. This is also facilitated by big chip brands like Intel who will end the run on a certain component, in favour of a new revision – which then results in brands that use that component in their line up to either silently change their hardware specifications on products or completely introduce a new system with multiple overhauls and improvements. The Synology Prosumer 4-Bay series has typically had a 2-2.5yr refresh cycle (looking at the DS916+ in 2016, the DS918+ in 2018 and now the DS920+ in 2020. Consequentially, many are wondering if and when Synology will launch a possible refresh of the DS920+ NAS in 2020, almost certainly labelled the DS922+. Alongside it being newer (and almost certainly around 10-12% higher in price) it will likely use the Intel Celeron N5105/5095/5095A or Intel J6412 CPU, as well as 4GB of DDR4 memory that can be scaled up to 16GB. This is ESTIMATION of course and only based on the product history and architecture (don’t discount the possibility of a Pentium CPU either – given the DS916_+ had exactly that), but it is guesses and speculations like these that can make buyers of the DS920+ take a moment to pause on their purchase. Maybe Synology will re-think 1GbE and give people better bandwidth? Who knows. Personally, I do not think that holding out for the DS920+ if you are looking at a solution NOW is worthwhile – as any solution likely will not arrive till the Spring/Summer of 2022, will be more expensive and in the meantime, where is your data living? But that’s just my two cents.

Still unsure on whether to buy the Synology DS920+ NAS?

We at NASCompares have been running the free advice section below for almost three years now, having helped thousands of users in choosing their right data storage solution – or even recommended cloud services or sticking with good old USB! If you are unsure off whether you need the DS920+, should wait for something better, or just want to send us a breakdown of your storage needs – we will get back to you in a day or so with our recommendations and advice. This advice is GENUINELY FREE! We do not do anything shady with your email address and the service is funded by occasional donations, ads on this page and by affiliated links that may be used on our pages. This advice will cost you nothing and is manned by two humans (me, Robbie, and Eddie the Web guy). It can get a little busy (we are two real people with lives) but we answer every query! So, contact us below if you need help choosing the right data or network storage solution for your needs.


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Addlink A90 SSD Review – The Mid Range PS5 SSD

12 novembre 2021 à 01:41

Review of the Addlink A90 PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

The Addlink A90 is an unusual SSD, to say the least, with its promise of PCIe performance at a price tag approaching that of PCIe3. In the short period of time that Sony has enabled the PS5 m.2 NVMe SSD Expansion bay, around 30-35 mainline SSDs have fallen into the realm of compatibility with this storage upgrade. Sony has not exactly been forthcoming about which SSDs are supported and which are not, with many communities online working together to put together tested and proven PS5 compatibility lists. For parents looking to buy an SSD for their children’s new next-gen console, to long time gamers who are having to quickly learn the eccentricities of M.2 SSD storage – the days of memory cards and official upgrades are a thing of the past. Therefore, when Addlink launched their A-Series of SSDs, all with confirmed PS5 compatibility and logos, in efforts to provide a range of drives that allow PS5 buyers a choice between Performance – Price – Capacity – or all three. We already reviewed the Addlink A95 Prosumer SSD and now it is time to review the Addlink A90 SSD – Arriving at a lower price point, but also a lower performance threshold of around 1500-2000MB/s less. Although its traditional PC benchmarks rate it as below the recommended 5,500MB/s sequential read of PS5, the PS5’s own benchmark tell a different story (covered later in the testing) and confirm the compatibility of the Addlink A90 with PS5. So, should you consider the mid-range Addlink A90 NVMe SSD for your PS5 upgrade? Maybe as your PC gamer storage solution? Let’s find out.

Interested in the Addlink A95 SSD? Here is the Addlink A95 Prosumer PS5 SSD Review herehttps://nascompares.com/2021/10/15/addlink-a95-ps5-ssd-review-bringing-its-a-game

Addlink A90 SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

Although a step down from the arguably more impressive A95, it also is a lower price point whilst still maintaining a number of the more expensive drives highest qualities, which means you still feel like you are getting a good ‘2nd place’ drive, without fear of too much compromise. Few SSDs that I have featured here on NASCompares have left me with the consistently please tone that the Addlink A Game range has. Whether you are looking at this as an SSD upgrade for your PS5 or your Gaming PC, there is very little to be unhappy about here as a gamer. The Build quality of both the SSD itself, as well as the heatsink and choices made at the hardware architecture level are all high-end choices that do not leave you with a feeling unsatisfied. When choosing to upgrade your SSD, it can be easy to always opt for the much bigger know brands like WD or Seagate, thinking that there is a clear reason for their higher price. As true as that can be sometimes, in the case of the Addlink A90 you have an SSD that takes advantage of the same hardware choices that those bigger brands offer in the likes of the Firecuda 520 from Seagate or the Sabrent Rocket PCIe 4.0, includes a high-quality heatsink, arrives preattached in a very sturdy build and at no point in the testing did we feel that a power or memory bottleneck appears. It might lack some of the enterprise bells and whistles of more enterprise-level SSDs, but the A90 is not targeting flash, fabric or caching – it is designed for gamers and at this, it is an unquestionable success. Keep an eye on this one!

SPEED - 8/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
DURABILITY - 9/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.2
PROS
👍🏻Genuinely Impressive Performance on a Phison E16 SSD
👍🏻Very nice heatsink and thermal application internally
👍🏻
👍🏻Low-Temperature Reading even in high use
👍🏻
👍🏻One of the highest Read/Write Performers available
👍🏻
👍🏻Use of Micron 176L TLC NAND is promised in 2022 (TBC)
👍🏻
👍🏻Fully PS5 Compatible with In-System Benchmark exceeding minimum
👍🏻
👍🏻Higher Durability than WD Black SN850, Samsung 980 Pro & Sabrent Rocke
CONS
👎🏻More Expensive than WD Black SN850 & Samsung 980 Pro
👎🏻Not Quite as Durable as Seagate Firecuda 520
👎🏻
👎🏻Little overshadowed by the Addlink A95

Addlink A90 SSD Review – Packaging

Shiny. Very, VERY Shiny! That is how I would begin in describing the packaging here. Arriving in somewhat holographic packaging, the retail box of the Addlink S95 pulls no punches here when it comes to aiming at the gamers, with most of the focus going to performance stats and highlighting their A Game gamer series (the A90, A90 and A92).

The rear of the box makes a point of not only highlighting that this SSD is PS5 compatible, but also it’s one of the first SSDs I have had in for review that actually features the official PS5 logo. Along with that, there is a little nod to the heatsink and rather unique (at least as far as other M.2 SSDs on the market) application of the heatsink, using a much more malleable substance (we will go into more detail later) they are keen to highlight that this does an improved job of maintaining the SSD temperature. This will be covered at the last 3rd of this review in the testing and benchmarking.

The contents of the box are a little small, but not in a bad way. A first-time setup guide and warranty information is included in a booklet (as well as the usual web/3D-Barcode links), as well as the SSD itself (with heating pre-applied).

The Heatsink on the Addlink A90 is an interesting mix of elements that include aesthetical design, air efficiency and professional application. Addlink have an impressive range of m.2 NVMe solutions in their catalogue, many using modified versions of this heatsink (depending on the product series), so the need to add the Add AGame logo and PCIe4.0 architecture makes sense.

Looking at the A90 heatsink directly, it is a sweet looking design. Comprised of 3 main elements, a pre-cute metal plate with air channel grooves, a secondary metal clip that surrounds it and finally the thermal silica gel pad that connected the Heatsink to the SSD.

Looking at the Addlink A90 at an angle shows that, despite the aggressive nature of the heatsink, it is actually not very tall. In fact, the Low-Profile designed heatsink is only has a 9.1 mm height, with the total Heatsink+silica+SSD coming to just under 11.25mm. With space being at a premium in the PS5 M.2 SSD slot (and users wanting a little space around/above their SSD+HS to promote any airflow, this is particularly impressive.

Likewise, the heatsink is fractionally raised from the SSD a degree higher than most SSD+HS combos on the Adddlink A90, as the silica gel between them is particularly thick and envelopes the chips underneath a tad (on purpose). This means that is a surrounding around that can capture passing airflow around the SSD, that is not obstructed by a surrounding casing.

Removing the Addlink A90 Heatsink was NOT easy. I cannot stress enough how well attached this heatsink was! I nearly snapped the SSD in two trying to remove it. The SSD uses an adhesive coated silica gel that covered the entirety of the M.2 NVMe SSD, but also slightly envelopes each chip on the drive. It doesn’t smother them (so no touching the PCB) but it does surround the edges of each component to cover a greater physical density, whilst still remaining tidy.

A closer look a the heatsink base shows you just how well it surrounds each chip (with clear indications of where each was placed from imprints). Additionally, you can see that the consistency of the silica gel pad is not the same as the reusable pads in other heatsinks, with this substance having more in common with thermal paste found on CPUs. The slightly porous nature of it definitely seemed to ensure that the components were adequately covered and it does leave you with a distinct feeling of quality and professional application.

Taking the time to clean a little of the silica gel away, you can see that the A90’s controller is much lower on the board than many other SSDs (where it will more often be located directly beneath the m.2 key connector.

As mentioned, the Addlink A90 NVMe SSD fits very neatly into the PS5 SSD upgrade slot, with a clear few millimetres between the heatsink and the m.2 slot cover. Although it is worth highlighting that this heatsink was originally designed for a gaming desktop PC installation (like 99% of other M.2 SD heatsinks), so I will hold full judgement on how efficient the A90 heatsink is for PS5 heat dissipation for another article/video soon.

So that is the physical design of the Addlink A90 SSD. But what about the hardware components themselves? Does the Addlink A90 cut the mustard in terms of current generation hardware and protocols? Let’s find out.

Addlink A90 SSD Review – PS5 Benchmark

Upon installing the Addlink A90 SSD into the PS5, the system gave an impressive benchmark of 5636MB/s. It should be noted that the PS5 has a very unique benchmarking system internally for its own software needs and although Sony recommends that you only use SSDs with a reported 5,500MB/s+ performance (sequential Read) minimum, we have seen SSDs with a lower reported PC benchmark of this be rated at 5,500MB/s+ om the PS5 benchmark. So, there is definitely wiggle room there.

To put the Addlink A90 SSD PS5 Performance Benchmark into a little perspective, here is how it compares against the Seagate Firecuda 520, Silicon Power US70 and Sabrent Rocket PCIe 4.0 – three SSDs that are all PS5 supported and VERY similar architecture:

Addlink A90 PS5 Benchmark – 5636MB/s Seagate Firecuda 520 PS5 Benchmark – 5621MB/s
Sabrent Rocket PCIe 4.0 PS5 Benchmark – 5622MB/s Silicon Power US70 PS5 Benchmark – 56227MB/s

With very little difference between the top three others in this tier, it is a solid benchmark. Additionally, the Addlink A90 takes care of overprovisioning at the NAND/Controller level (with four 96L 3D TLC NAND modules of 512GB), so that means that this 2TB SSD is genuinely available as 2TB on the Playstation 5 Storage manager (not 1,920GB as seen previously):

Full PS5 Testing of the Addlink A90 (along with the A95 and A92) is all available as a playlist over on the NASCompares YouTube channel. But for now, let’s carry on with looking at the hardware of the A90, how it conventionally benchmarks and how it compares with currently favourite PS5 SSDs like the Sabrent Rocket PCIe 4.0 and Seagate Firecuda 520,

Addlink A90 SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

As you might expect from an M.2 NVMe SSD that boldly promises performance of over 5,000MB/s sequential read (ie BIG data), the hardware specifications and architecture of the Addlink A90 are quite modern. Indeed, for all the big talk of the Seagate Firecuda 520 hardware (or Firecuda 530 – still currently the ‘score to beat’ PCIe Gen4 m.2 NVMe right now) being top tier, the Addlink A90 is much more comparable to the Seagate Firecuda 520 and is pretty darn similar on the spec sheet! Below is how it looks:

Addlink A90

1TB – $179/£155 – 2TB – $344/£300

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.3
NAND 3D TLC KIOXIA 96L
Max Capacity 2TB – Double Sided
Controller Phison E16-PS5016
Warranty 5yr

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

Hardware Focus of the Addlink A90 SSD Series

The first big, BIG thing to remember here is the controller, that Phison E16. An SSD is much like a microcosm version of a whole computer. The Controller is equivalent to the CPU, and Phison are one of the bigger 3rd party SSD controller manufacturers in the world! I say 3rd party, because some long-running storage brands like Samsung and WD have most of their development and hardware engineering ‘in-house’ and use their own branded controllers. Whereas some brands source some/all components for their SSDs from 3rd parties – which is not necessarily a bad thing for both them and the industry (there are pros and cons on either side). Phison has been at the cutting edge of this subject for years now and the newer E18 was first revealed last year in 2020, but due to the pandemic making storage trends unpredictable and semi-conductor shortages, most SSDs that utilized the Phison E18 eventually arrived in 2021. Before that though was the Phison E16, the brands first PCIe 4.0 controller for NVMe SSD and it was widely featured by SSD brands at launch. This controller is one of the biggest reasons that the Addlink A90 can actually back up its promises about the 5,00MB/s+ Sequential Read (sequential data = big chunks of data). However, that is not the only reason.

The NAND on the Addlink A90 is where the data lives! SSDs (as you no doubt know) do not use moving parts as found in traditional hard drives and instead uses cells that are charged and data is read/written to them in this process. The quality of the NAND and the layers used will make a big difference to the durability and performance. Indeed, the Addlink A90 matches the current Phison 16 favourite PCIe4 SSD (the Seagate Firecuda 530) with 96 layer 3D TLC NAND onboard. This is a noticeably large jump over many others that are using 64L 3D TLC NAND before it and is a big part of the drive’s performance gains. Although the majority of modern PCIe M.2 SSD use 3D TLC NAND (with the Addlink A92 arriving with QLC NAND), most are still at 96L now layers, so this still puts the Addlink A90 on a level footing with most of the SSDs out there.

Much like the Controller on the Addlink A90 being the ‘CPU’, it also has an area of memory. The Addlink A90 SSD uses DDR4 memory on board and this in conjunction with the SSD provides a massive body of data handling resources for getting your data moving through the SSD and out of the m.2 NVMe PCIe 4 interface. The amount of memory scales in conjunction with the 1TB or 2TB SSD you use, with 2GB of DDR4 at the on the 2TB tier, 1GB DDR4 on the 1TB, etc.

Finally, there is the M.2 NVMe connection. Not all m.2 SSDs are created equal and although M.2 SATA and M.2 NVMe look similar, they provide massively different performance and connectivity. However, the Addlink A90 takes it one step further, by using a newer generation of PCIe Connectivity. In short, M.2 NVMe SSDs are connected to the host PC/Console system via PCIe protocol (think of those slots that you almost always use for your graphics cards, but a much, MUCH smaller connector). These allow much larger bandwidth (ie maximum speed) for the connected storage media, Much like regular PCIe slots, they have different versions (i.E PCIe Gen 1, 2, 3, 4, etc) and also a multiplying factor (x1, x2, x4, etc). Up until around 18 months ago, the best M.2 NVMes were M.2 PCIe Gen 3×4 (so a maximum 4,000MB/s possible). However, never generation SSD like the Addlink A90 use PCIe Gen 4×4 (a potential 8,000MB/s possible) and it is only now that SSD controllers and NAND production has reached a point where it can catch up and fully saturate (i.e fill) this connection.

Overall, you really cannot fault the hardware inside/onboard the Addlink A90, as it is still (at release) higher performing in sequential Read and Write than many other M.2 NVMe PCIe 4 SSDs released of the same architecture (especially at Sequential Write – to be discussed). Before we go into the full testing, however, it is worth taking a moment to look closely at the reported performance benchmarks of the Addlink A90, as although the performance seems stellar, there are areas such as IOPS and endurance when compared with its main rivals that are worth taking into consideration.

Addlink A90 SSD Review – Official Stats First

Before we conduct our own testing on this SSD, Let’s take a closer look at the reported specifications and benchmarks first. The Addlink A90 SSD arrives in multiple capacities (below). The Prices currently are a little inconsistent (with each higher capacity tier actually having a higher price per GB – quite unusual) likely due to the hardware shortages, the Pandemic, Chia has affected SSD availability in the last 12 months and most recently the announcement that PS5 supports this SSD and it has increased the majority of PS5 supported SSDs price point in most regions. Below is a breakdown of how each Addlink A90 SSD compares against the same capacity i nthe Sabrent Rocket PCIe 4.0 and Seagate Firecuda 520 SSD:

Brand/Series Addlink A90

1TB – $179/£155 – 2TB – $344/£300

Sabrent Rocket PCIe4

500GB – $89 / £79 1TB – $159 / £140– 2TB – $299 / £359

Seagate FireCuda 520

500GB – $104 / £89 1TB – $179 / £135 – 2TB – $369 / £309

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.3 NVMe 1.3 NVMe 1.3
NAND 3D TLC KIOXIA 96L 3D TLC KIOXIA 96L 3D TLC KIOXIA 96L
Max Capacity 2TB – Double Sided 2TB – Double Sided 2TB – Double Sided
Controller Phison E16-PS5016 Phison E16-PS5016 Phison E16-PS5016
Warranty 5yr 1yr/5yr 5yr+3yr Rescue
500GB Model N/A SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-500 ZP500GM3A002
Price in $ and $ N/A $89 / £79 $89 / £79
1TB Model AD1TBA90M2P SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-1TB ZP1000GM3A002
Price in $ and $ $179 / £155 $159 / £140 $159 / £140
2TB Model AD2TBA90M2P SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-2TB ZP2000GM3A002
Price in $ and $ $344 / 300 $399 / £359 $399 / £359
4TB Model N/A N/A N/A
Price in $ and $ N/A N/A N/A
500GB Model N/A SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-500 ZP500GM3A002
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A 850TB 850TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,700,000 1,800,000
DWPD N/A 0.9DWPD 0.9DWPD
1TB Model AD1TBA90M2P SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-1TB ZP1000GM3A002
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 1800TB 1800TB 1800TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,700,000 1,700,000 1,800,000
DWPD 0.9DWPD 0.9DWPD 0.9DWPD
2TB Model AD2TBA90M2P SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-2TB ZP2000GM3A002
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 3600TB 3600TB 3600TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,700,000 1,700,000 1,800,000
DWPD 0.9DWPD 0.9DWPD 0.9DWPD
4TB Model N/A N/A N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A N/A N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A N/A N/A
DWPD N/A N/A N/A

There are clear throughput improvements as you rise through the capacity tiers (not unusual), as does the rated 4K IOPS. Though one area worth focusing on a little is that TBW (terabytes Written) and DWPD (Drive writes per day), as this drive is NOTICEABLY higher than the Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850 in terms of NAND lifespan on daily writes, likely down to that Micron 96 Layer 3D TLC NAND used by it lower performance than those other drives over time. That said, the PS5 is a highly READ focused system and DWPD and TBW are less of a concerning factor in that architecture. This is an important point because the brand has significantly less pedigree in-home/business SSD media than the likes of Samsung, WD and Seagate and people will want to know they are going to get a product that lasts!

As you might expect from the use of the Phison E16 controller and 96 layer NAND, the reported IOPS on each capacity is actually pretty similar to the 96L Sabrent Rocket PCIe 4.0 and near enough identical to the Seagate Firecuda 520. This is still very impressive anyway, but it does make me wonder where the disparity stems from. Indeed, when you look at the bulk of PCIe 4×4 M.2 NVMe 1.4 SSD, that feature the E16 controller and 96L (or higher) on board, it really only leaves about 4 other SSDs in the market today that this can be compared against. Of those, the only one that seemingly ‘out specs’ the Addlink A90 is the Seagate Firecuda 520 marginally. However, the Addlink A90 SSD has been available in the market for just a week or so and has certainly embedded itself in the market with PS5 users. Additionally, Addlink state that they are hoping to upgrade the NAND on the A90 series to 176L in the near future – but I did not factor that into this review at the time of writing. Below is how these three drives compare:

Brand/Series Addlink A90

1TB – $179/£155 – 2TB – $344/£300

Sabrent Rocket PCIe4

500GB – $89 / £79 1TB – $159 / £140– 2TB – $299 / £359

Seagate FireCuda 520

500GB – $104 / £89 1TB – $179 / £135 – 2TB – $369 / £309

500GB Model N/A SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-500 ZP500GM3A002
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 5000MB 5000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 2500MB 2500MB
1TB Model AD1TBA90M2P SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-1TB ZP1000GM3A002
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5000MB 5000MB 5000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 4400MB 4400MB 4400MB
2TB Model AD2TBA90M2P SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-2TB ZP2000GM3A002
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 5000MB 5000MB 5000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 4400MB 4400MB 4400MB
4TB Model N/A N/A N/A
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A N/A N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A N/A N/A
Brand/Series Addlink A90 Sabrent Rocket PCIe4 Seagate FireCuda 520
500GB Model N/A SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-500 ZP500GM3A002
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 400000 430,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 550000 630,000
1TB Model AD1TBA90M2P SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-1TB ZP1000GM3A002
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 750,000 750,000 760,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 750,000 700,000
2TB Model AD2TBA90M2P SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-2TB ZP2000GM3A002
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 750,000 750,000 750,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 850TB 700,000
4TB Model N/A N/A N/A
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A N/A N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A N/A N/A

Yes, that is a LONG table, but you can immediately see that the Seagate Firecuda 520 raises the stakes on all of the key specifications. Although there are a number of micro reasons for this and they both feature 96L NAND, the Seagate entry has the inclusive data recovery services and a much more established reputation. Yes, that is why the Firecuda 520 commands the higher price tag. Additionally, the Sabrent Rocket originally arrived at a better price point at the lower tiers (constantly in sales as it has been in the market for almost a year longer) in most tiers and the fact it does this whilst still hitting that 5,000MB/s certainly gives pause for thought. However, for many, the additional cost for higher durability they may never need in the Firecuda 520, peak performance their core system will not reach and IOPS rating that their larger file handling will never utilize will mean that choosing the Firecuda or Sabrent Rocket PCIe 4.0 is not in their interest. Both SSDs (on paper at this stage!) are fantastic examples of where consumer and prosumer SSDs are evolving towards. Lastly, it is worth remembering that the Addlink A90 arrives at a lower price point than the others, yet STILL features an included premium low-profile heatsink in the price, Let’s get the Addlink A90 on the test machine!

Testing the Addlink A90 m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

The Addlink A90 was selected for this test and it was tested using multiple benchmark tools, from a cold boot, in the 2nd storage slot (i.e not the OS drive). Each test was conducted three times (full details of this are shown in the YouTube Review of the Addlink A90 over on NASCompares):

Test Machine:

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

Using CrystalDisk, we got a good measure of the drive and verified that this PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD was indeed using the 4×4 lane. Additionally, the temp averaged out around 41C between each test being conducted.

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

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #1

256MB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 5.24GB/s

256MB File PEAK Write Throughput = 3.94GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #2

1GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 5.24GB/s

1GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 4.06GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #3

4GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 5.22GB/s

4GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 4.06GB/s

 


 

Next, although the ATTO tests were quite good, but not what I would have hoped from this SSD, so I moved on to the Crystal Disk Mark testing to see how well it would handle our lasts barrage of tests. The first test was the 1GB file testing, which measured both sequential and random, as well as the read and write IOPS. Test were conducted on a 1GB, 4GB and 16GB Test File. I also included a mixed 70/30 read and write task to give a little bit more of a realistic balanced workload. These tests were conducted with 1-minute cooling break in between

CRYSTALDISK MARK 1GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 4GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 16GB TEST

 

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

AS SSD Benchmark Test #1

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #2

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #3

 

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

1GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 4483MB/s Read & 4155MB/s Write

4GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 4475MB/s Read & 41324MB/s Write

16GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 4487MB/s Read & 4148MB/s Write

Overall, the Addlink A90 was certainly able to provide some solid performance, as well as potentially exceed the test figures here on a more powerful machine. Given the reported Read and Write statistics that the brand has stated publically, I think there is enough evidence here to back up those claims. IOPs were a little lower than I expected, but again, we were testing very large file types, so this would have to be taken in context. Below is the full temperature reading throughout the entire tests, with the SSD and it’s unique heatsink maintaining a solid temperature of between 30-40 degrees throughout – very impressive.

Addlink A90 SSD Review – Conclusion

Although a step down from the arguably more impressive A95, it also is a lower price point whilst still maintaining a number of the more expensive drives highest qualities, which means you still feel like you are getting a good ‘2nd place’ drive, without fear of too much compromise. Few SSDs that I have featured here on NASCompares have left me with the consistently please tone that the Addlink A Game range has. Whether you are looking at this as an SSD upgrade for your PS5 or your Gaming PC, there is very little to be unhappy about here as a gamer. The Build quality of both the SSD itself, as well as the heatsink and choices made at the hardware architecture level are all high-end choices that do not leave you with a feeling unsatisfied. When choosing to upgrade your SSD, it can be easy to always opt for the much bigger know brands like WD or Seagate, thinking that there is a clear reason for their higher price. As true as that can be sometimes, in the case of the Addlink A90 you have an SSD that takes advantage of the same hardware choices that those bigger brands offer in the likes of the Firecuda 520 from Seagate or the Sabrent Rocket PCIe 4.0, includes a high-quality heatsink, arrives preattached in a very sturdy build and at no point in the testing did we feel that a power or memory bottleneck appears. It might lack some of the enterprise bells and whistles of more enterprise-level SSDs, but the A90 is not targeting flash, fabric or caching – it is designed for gamers and at this, it is an unquestionable success. Keep an eye on this one!

PROs of the Addlink A90 CONs of the Addlink A90
Genuinely Impressive Performance on a Phison E16 SSD

Very nice heatsink and thermal application internally

Low-Temperature Reading even in high use

One of the highest Read/Write Performers available

Use of Micron 176L TLC NAND is promised in 2022 (TBC)

Fully PS5 Compatible with In-System Benchmark exceeding minimum

Higher Durability than WD Black SN850, Samsung 980 Pro & Sabrent Rocket

More Expensive than WD Black SN850 & Samsung 980 Pro

Not Quite as Durable as Seagate Firecuda 520

Little overshadowed by the Addlink A95


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AS1102T Drivestor 2 NAS Review – Bang for Your Buck?

8 novembre 2021 à 01:10

Asustor Drivestor 2 Review – Low-Cost Cloud Alternative?

With Network Attached Storage (NAS) becoming such a well established and easy to use alternative to cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox, it comes as no surprise that most brands in this industry need to be quite diverse in their portfolio. In the same way that phones, laptops, TVs and Digital Cameras eventually arrived in budget-standard-prosumer-business-enterprise builds, so have NAS drives. Asustor is a brand that over the last few years has really expanded its portfolio in capacity, utility and price point, with the new Drivestor 2 NAS arriving as their entry point into the brand. Arriving at one of the lowest price points of any system in their range, yet still featuring 2.5GbE, 4K Media support and a Quad-Core Processor, you do seemingly get a lot of bang for your buck. So today’s let’s review this new value NAS solution and decide if the Asustor Drivestor 2 NAS deserves 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 2 Review – Quick Conclusion

Presented as one of the most affordable 2.5GbE NAS in the market right now, the Asustor Drivestor 2 NAS is a modest system that for the most part does not over-promise in what it can provide. Its architecture lends quite well to the more budget-friendly buyer, home users and those that are simply looking for an easy backup option to the cloud. 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 2 device. The software and services available via ADM on the Drivestor 2 AS1102T 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 2 is another solid release from Asustor in 2021/2022.

SOFTWARE - 7/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 5/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


7.0
PROS
👍🏻Lowest Prices 2.5GbE NAS Out there
👍🏻2.5Gbe Connectivity can be fully saturated
👍🏻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 2 Review – Retail Packaging

Much like the Drivestor 2 Pro, when I first unpacked the shipping container to get to the Drivestor 2, 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 2-Bay NAS drive, it is rather small. Given this device promises a whole lot of hardware abilities, along with 2 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 2 AS1102T NAS Drive
  • 1x 65W 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 2 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 65W PSU means that the Drivestor 2 will be making a very, very tiny make on your environment. Lovely stuff.

Asustor Drivestor 2 AS1102T NAS Review – Design

Looking at the design of the Drivestor 2 chassis, it is quite understated and although lacks a lot of the initial appeal of the Drivestor 2 Pro, it does make up for this a little with its contained and simply shape for some users. The Drivestor 2 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 2 AS1102T 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 2 NAS. Aside from this, there is little else on the base of the Asustor AS1102T 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 2 NAS. These two 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 AS1102T 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 2-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 2 Review – Ports and Connections

Somewhat in line with the modest and cost-effective design featured on the Asustor Drivestor 2, 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 2 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 2 AS1102T 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 2 Review – Internal Hardware

The internal hardware featured on the Asustor Drivestor 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 NAS will provide acceptable throughput.

Asustor Drivestor 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 Review – Conclusion

Presented as one of the most affordable 2.5GbE NAS in the market right now, the Asustor Drivestor 2 NAS is a modest system that for the most part does not over-promise in what it can provide. Its architecture lends quite well to the more budget-friendly buyer, home users and those that are simply looking for an easy backup option to the cloud. 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 2 device. The software and services available via ADM on the Drivestor 2 AS1102T 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 2 is another solid release from Asustor in 2021/2022.

PROs of the AS1102T Drivestor 2 CONs of the AS1102T Drivestor 2
  • Lowest Prices 2.5GbE NAS Out there
  • 2.5Gbe Connectivity can be fully saturated
  • 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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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.   This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today’s video. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

 

Sabrent Rocket Q4 PCIe NVMe SSD Review – Too Cheap To Be True?

5 novembre 2021 à 01:15

Review of the Sabrent Rocket Q4 PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD

The versatility of modern SSDs is something that continues to evolve. Whether you are buying an SSD for its price tag, its speed, its durability or its sheer size, there is almost certainly an SSD that fits your needs. Now that the latest generation of M.2 NMe SSD has exploded on the scene with PCIe 4.0 x4 architecture, it has not taken long for SD manufacturers to diversify their existing ranges in order to facilitate these different buyers in this new storage tier! Sabrent has really fleshed out their Rocket series exceedingly quickly, taking the support of PCIe 4 M.2 NVMe and creating 3 separate revisions that fulfil different needs. The Rocket 4 Plus for the high-end pure performance, Rocket PCIe 4 for balanced performance Price with better durability and finally (being reviewed today) the Rocket Q4 series, for high capacity at the lowest available price per TB. Low-cost QLC NAND is by no means a new thing, garnering a questionable reputation among SSD purists, but this is one of the earliest examples of QLC NAND equipped SSDs arriving with the PCIe4 NVMe M.2 architecture, thereby surpassing their PCIe 3×4 alternatives before them in the Samsung QVO and Corsair MP400. However, the Sabrent Q4 SSD is not going to be for everyone, so today we are going to review this SSD, see how it compares with alternative SSDs in the Sabrent Rocket Family, as well as high-end PCIe alternatives from Seagate and WD to see just how big that disparity is.

Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Review – Quick Conclusion

If you are considering the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD and are WELL AWARE of what QLC NAND is and exactly WHY this drive is noticeably lower in price than the likes of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, Firecuda 520 and WD Black SN850 – then I can 100% say that the Sabrent Q4 is easily one of the best examples of Quad Layer NAND utilization in the market right now. It leverages the dips in performance and durability inherent in QLC NAND against the massively increased bandwidth of PCIe4 remarkably well. Additionally, it arrives on the scene as easily the lowest price PCIe4 NVMe SSD on the market right now, along with impressive build quality and presentation (Acronis drive cloning software included too). The warranty registration seems like a bit of a needlessly ambiguous hurdle and I am surprised that an 8TB Rocket Q4 does not exist right now, but aside from those factors, this is a great of example of presenting a QLC SSD done very well. Just make sure you are fully clued up on the reasons why QLC NAND is a little shunned in prosumer SSD circles.

PROs of the Sabrent Rocket Q4 CONs of the Sabrent Rocket Q4
The Most Affordable PCIe4 M.2 SSD on the Market

Still Using a Great Controller in the Phison E16

Good Quality Build

4TB Version available

Good for those with Modest PCIe4 systems

Includes Acronis True Image to clone/move OS to drive

PCIe4 SSDs at PCIe3 Prices

QLC NAND = lower performance and lower durability

No 8TB model is currently available (one of the benefits of QLC NAND at 2280 length)

Inclusive Heatsink Model does not arrive pre-installed/attached

Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Review – Packaging

Much like the majority of Sabrent SSDs, the Rocket Q4 is a very well presented drive. Arriving in a smaller retail box than their competitors, there is the hesitation that this drive is not going to be suitably protected or corners have been cut. However in reality this is one of the most impressively packaged (aesthetically and protectively) M.2 SSDs I have seen in a long time.

Inside the retail box (with its promised performance abilities and specifications detailed) is a copper hinged case that is surprisingly sturdy and gives off a nice feeling of quality.

Inside this copper/rose-gold case is instructions for first-time drive installation, warranty information (which you are urged to register for, else you only have 1yr warranty as opposed to the expected 5yrs), a foam branded card that protected the M.2 NVMe and (of course) the Sabrent Rocket Q4 itself.

Removing the Sabrent Q4 SSD from the carry case show you a nice and clear drive label. Indeed this label is also a little different from those that you might find on other SSDs.

The top label of the Sabrent Q4 SSD is actually a metal place that lies across the entirety of the SSD. This plate is attached with adhesive and is present on all Sabrent NVMe SSDs, including this more affordable Q4 SSD. Later we will peel back this metal plate to show you the internal NAND, Controller and Memory, but this is still a very slick touch and although I query its effectiveness in real-world usage for heat dissipation, it’s still a nice extra touch of design.

The m.2 Connector on the Sabrent Rocket Q4 has plenty of clearance and the distribution of the NAND on this 4TB drive is very even. Indeed, unlike the TLC version of this drive in the Rocket 4 Plus series, the NAND only covers 75% of the PCB in total (unlike the crammed 100% coverage of the Rocket 4 Plus) due to the QLC NAND having more space crammed in per module.

Of course, if you are going to deploy the Sabrent Q4 SSD in your PC or PS5 console, it is worth remembering that these drives get hot, plus in the case of the Sabrent Q4 it gets remarkably hot! To counter this you can always get a 3rd party heatsink OR get the Sabrent Q4+Heatsink package. The heatsink that Sabrent supply for this SSD is both stylized similarly to the drive itself and made of impressive build quality. However, there are a few caveats that are worth keeping in mind.

First, unlike a lot of SSDs that when purchased in complete packages with the first party/branded heatsink, the Sabrent Rocket Q4 does NOT arrive pre-installed in the heatsink. This is NOT a big deal, as its not exactly brain surgery to install an SSD inside a heatsink, however, two of the main benefits of buying an SSD+Heatsink combo is that 1) the thermal pads can/will be applied to the precisely most beneficial elements of the SSD (eg not a long, inefficient thermal pad, but selective area application to the SSD), and 2) a SSD+Heatsink combo might be applied at factory level with dust/air control meaning better sealed installation. These are very minor points, however it’s a real shame that the Sabrent Q4+Heatsink combo kit does not arrive readily attached at the point of manufacture.

Another point that is worth noting, if largely not advisable, is if you are considering installing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 drive in your PS5. It is still technically below the recommended minimum for drive installation and you might encounter gameplay issues later, but nonetheless, the drive is supported and WAS displayed as usable by the PS5 system software (currently in the beta at the time of writing and not a full-public release feature).

However, the 1st party Sabrent Heatsink is way, WAY too tall for PS5 expansion bay and will not allow you to install the m.2 cover by a big margin. You can still install the PS5 outer shell and panels, but this might well affect airflow too (TBC)

When you uninstall the Sabrent Rocket Q4 inside a PS5 with supported SSD expansion update in the expansion slot, the Playstation 5 System software recorded a highly unusual read speed of 5,621MB/s. This is significantly higher than the reported maximum 4,900MB/s Sequential Read that Sabrent themselves say the Rocket Q4 is capable of. So, take that measurement with a MASSIVE grain of salt!

So that is the physical design of the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD. But what about the hardware components themselves? Does the Sabrent Rocket Q4 cut the mustard in terms of current generation hardware and protocols? Let’s find out.

Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Review – Hardware Specifications

As you might expect from an M.2 NVMe SSD that boldly promises performance of over 4,900MB/s sequential read (ie BIG data), the hardware specifications and architecture of the Sabrent Rocket Q4 are quite modern. Indeed, for all the big talk of the Seagate Firecuda 530 hardware (still currently the ‘score to beat’ PCIe Gen4 m.2 NVMe right now) being top tier, the Sabrent Rocket Q4 is pretty darn similar on the spec sheet! Of course, the context is important and knowing that this is a QLC NAND SSD is always going to be an early hurdle for this drive. Below is how it looks:

SABRENT Rocket 4 + SB-RKT4P-1TB

SB-RKT4P-2TB

SB-RKT4P-4TB

Price in $ and $ 1TB – $139 2TB – $299.99 4TB – $699.99
PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.3 NVMe 1.3 NVMe 1.3
NAND QLC NAND 96L QLC NAND 96L QLC NAND 96L
Capacity 1TB Single Sided 2TB Double Sided 4TB Double Sided
Controller Phison E16-PS5016 Phison E16-PS5016 Phison E16-PS5016

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

Hardware Focus of the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Series

The first thing to focus on is the controller, that Phison E16. An SSD is much like a microcosm version of a whole computer. The Controller is equivalent to the CPU, and Phison are one of the bigger 3rd party SSD controller manufacturers in the world! I say 3rd party, because some long-running storage brands like Samsung and WD have most of their development and hardware engineering ‘in-house’ and use their own branded controllers. Whereas some brands source some/all components for their SSDs from 3rd parties – which is not necessarily a bad thing for both them and the industry (there are pros and cons on either side). Phison has been at the cutting edge of this subject for years now and the E16 was first introduced into the hardware market back in summer 2019 and is featured prominently on a number of PCIe4 SSDs that are now a pinch more affordable than the latest revision, the E18. This has created a two-tier system in the M.2 PCIe 4 market that some brands have used to produce two kinds of PCIe4 in their portfolio. A more affordable E16 SSD and a premium E18 SSD. Regardless of how the Phison E16 has slipped into the lower pricing/performance tier, this controller is still one of the biggest reasons that the Sabrent Rocket Q4 can actually back up its promises about the 4,700-4,900MB/s+ Sequential Read (sequential data = big chunks of data), despite the use of QLC NAND. However, that is not the only reason.

The NAND on the Sabrent Rocket Q4 is where the data lives! SSDs (as you no doubt know) do not use moving parts as found in traditional hard drives and instead uses cells that are charged and data is read/written to them in this process. The quality of the NAND and the layers used will make a big difference to the durability and performance of an SSD and although the Sabrent Rocket Q4 does not provide the best PCIe4 SSD in the industry at this tier right now (that, once again, goes to the Seagate Firecuda 530 at 176 layer 3D TLC NAND), it is bigger than most, arriving at 96 Layers of QLC NAND. This type of NAND is very much a double-edged sword and is debated in the SSD market when used. QLC (Quad Layer Cell) NAND allows much more storage capacity on the individual cells on the M.2 PCB, allowing the price point of each tier to be a great deal lower per TB than most other SSDs. However, this comes at a cost of performance and durability. The QLC NAND cannot stand up to the rigours of write activity in its lifespan as the 3D TLC NAND drives do and lead to a lower TBW and DWPD overall (around 0.1DWPD). Likewise the Read and Write performance on each capacity QLC NAND drive is noticeably lower than its competitors with the same controller,

Much like the Controller on the Sabrent Rocket Q4 being the ‘CPU’, it also has an area of memory. The Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD uses 1GB DDR4 memory on board and this in conjunction with the SSD provides a massive body of data handling resources for getting your data moving through the SSD and out of the m.2 NVMe PCIe 4 interface. The amount of memory scales in conjunction with the 1TB or 2TB SSD you use, with 2GB of DDR4 at the on the 2TB tier, 1GB DDR4 on the 1TB, etc.

As mentioned, all available capacities of the Sabrent Rocket Q4 arrive at 2280 in length. This is quite normal for the 1TB and 2TB versions, but the fact that the 2TB can arrive on single-sided SSD boards is very impressive. Physical storage NAND is distributed evenly in order to space out the storage and allow even cooling, NAND wear and performance.

Finally, there is the M.2 NVMe connection. Not all m.2 SSDs are created equal and although M.2 SATA and M.2 NVMe look similar, they provide massively different performance and connectivity. However, the Sabrent Rocket Q4 takes it one step further, by using a newer generation of PCIe Connectivity. In short, M.2 NVMe SSDs are connected to the host PC/Console system via PCIe protocol (think of those slots that you almost always use for your graphics cards, but a much, MUCH smaller connector). These allow much larger bandwidth (ie maximum speed) for the connected storage media, Much like regular PCIe slots, they have different versions (i.E PCIe Gen 1, 2, 3, 4, etc) and also a multiplying factor (x1, x2, x4, etc). Up until around 18 months ago, the best M.2 NVMes were M.2 PCIe Gen 3×4 (so a maximum 4,000MB/s possible). However, never generation SSD like the Sabrent Rocket Q4 use PCIe Gen 4×4 (a potential 8,000MB/s possible) and it is only now that SSD controllers and NAND production has reached a point where it can catch up and fully saturate (i.e fill) this connection.

Overall, you really cannot fault the hardware inside/onboard the Sabrent Rocket Q4, as it is still (2-3 months after release) higher performing in sequential Read and Write than many other M.2 NVMe PCIe 4 SSDs released in that time. Before we go into the full testing, however, it is worth taking a moment to look closely at the reported performance benchmarks of the Sabrent Rocket Q4, as although the performance seems good, there are areas such as IOPS and endurance when compared with its main rivals that are worth taking into consideration.

Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Review – Official Stats First

Before we conduct our own testing on this SSD, Let’s take a closer look at the reported specifications and benchmarks first. The Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD arrives in multiple capacities (below). The Prices currently are a little inconsistent (with each higher capacity tier actually having a higher price per GB – quite unusual) likely due to the hardware shortages, the Pandemic, Chia has affected SSD availability in the last 12 months and most recently the announcement that PS5 supports this SSD and it has increased the current price of both models around 15%! Below is a breakdown of how each Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD compares:

Brand/Series Sabrent Rocket Q4

1TB – $139.99, 2TB – $299.99, 4TB – $699.99

Seagate Firecuda 530

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

WD Black SN850

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

PCIe Generation PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4 PCIe Gen 4
NVMe Rev NVMe 1.3 NVMe 1.4 NVMe 1.4
NAND QLC Micron 96L 3D TLC Micron B47R 176L BiCS4 96L TLC
Max Capacity 4TB – Single Sided 4TB – Double Sided 2TB
Controller Phison E16-PS5016 Phison E18-PS5018 WD_BLACK G2
Warranty 1yr/5yr 5yr 5yr
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) N/A 640TB 300TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) N/A 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD N/A 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
1TB Model SB-RKTQ4-1TB ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 200TB 1275TB 600TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.1DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
2TB Model SB-RKTQ4-2TB ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 400TB 2550TB 1200TB
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,800,000 1,750,000
DWPD 0.1DWPD 0.7DWPD 0.3DWPD
4TB Model SB-RKTQ4-4TB ZP4000GM3A013 N/A
Total Terabytes Written (TBW) 800TB 5100TB N/A
Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF, hours) 1,800,000 1,800,000 N/A
DWPD 0.1DWPD 0.7DWPD N/A

 

However, despite the use of the Phison E16 controller and 96 layer NAND, the reported IOPS on each capacity is actually a noticeable degree lower than those reported by their competitors. Indeed, the Sabrent Rocket Q4 is one of the few E16 SSDs that utilizes QLC NAND and this inevitably takes its toll, producing noticeably lower performance and endurance compared with these two other drives. This is still very impressive for a QLC SSD, but it does clearly show the disparity. Of course, Sabrent has their premium/prosumer Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus series (the one we reviewed and compared HERE against the Seagate Firecuda 530) and that is much more comparable to these SSDs. But nevertheless, some users who have slightly more modest PC systems that might not fully be able to reach the 7,000MB/s highlighted by these high-end drives, will welcome the more affordable Sabrent Rocket Q4 drive as a more affordable drive that their system can work within the boundaries of. Just make sure you understand why this drive is more affordable in the market.

Brand/Series Sabrent Rocket Q4

1TB – $139.99, 2TB – $299.99, 4TB – $699.99

Seagate Firecuda 530

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

WD Black SN850

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

500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 7000MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB N/A 3000MB 4100MB
1TB Model SB-RKTQ4-1TB ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 4700MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 1850MB 6000MB 5300MB
2TB Model SB-RKTQ4-2TB ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 4800MB 7300MB 7000MB
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 3600MB 6900MB 5100MB
4TB Model SB-RKTQ4-4TB ZP4000GM3A013  
Sequential Read (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 4900MB 7300MB N/A
Sequential Write (Max, MB/s), 128 KB 3500MB 6900MB N/A
Brand/Series Sabrent Rocket Q4 Seagate Firecuda 530 WD Black SN850
500GB Model N/A ZP500GM3A013 WDS500G1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 400,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 N/A 700,000 680,000
1TB Model SB-RKTQ4-1TB ZP1000GM3A013 WDS100T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 180,000 800000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 450,000 1000000 720,000
2TB Model SB-RKTQ4-2TB ZP2000GM3A013 WDS200T1X0E-00AFY0
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 350000 1,000,000 1,000,000
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700000 1,000,000 710,000
4TB Model SB-RKTQ4-4TB ZP4000GM3A013  
Random Read (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 350,000 1,000,000 N/A
Random Write (Max, IOPS), 4 KB QD32 700,000 1,000,000 N/A

Yes, that is a LONG table, but you can immediately see that the Seagate Firecuda 530 raises the stakes on all of the key specifications. Although there are a number of micro reasons for this, the 176L TLC NAND is the biggest factor here. Yes, that is why the Firecuda 530 commands the higher price tag. Additionally, the WD Black arriving at a better price point than the Seagate FC 530 (though still, both are much more expensive per TB than the Sabrent Q4). However, for many, the additional cost for higher durability they may never need, peak performance their core system will not reach and IOPS rating that their larger file handling will never utilize will mean that holding out for the Firecuda or WD Black SN850 is not in their interest. Both SSDs (on paper at this stage!) are fantastic examples of where consumer and prosumer SSDs are evolving towards. But this doesn’t;t completely discount the Sabrent Rocket Q4 from buyer’s options, being a more affordable alternative. Let’s get the Sabrent Rocket Q4 on the test machine!

Testing the Sabrent Rocket Q4 m.2 PCIE4 NVMe SSD

The Sabrent Rocket Q4 was selected for this test and it was tested using multiple benchmark tools, from a cold boot, in the 2nd storage slot (i.e not the OS drive). Each test was conducted three times (full details of this are shown in the YouTube Review of the Sabrent Rocket Q4 over on NASCompares):

Test Machine:

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

Using CrystalDisk, we got a good measure of the drive and verified that this PCIe Gen 4 x4 SSD was indeed using the 4×4 lane. Additionally, the temp averaged out around 44C between each test being conducted.

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

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #1

256MB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 5.24GB/s

256MB File PEAK Write Throughput = 3.62GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #2

1GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 5.23GB/s

1GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 3.64GB/s

 


 

ATTO Disk Benchmark Test #3

4GB File PEAK Read Throughput  = 5.24GB/s

4GB File PEAK Write Throughput = 3.64GB/s

 


 

Next, although the ATTO tests were quite good, but not what I would have hoped from this SSD, so I moved on to the Crystal Disk Mark testing to see how well it would handle our lasts barrage of tests. The first test was the 1GB file testing, which measured both sequential and random, as well as the read and write IOPS. Test were conducted on a 1GB, 4GB and 16GB Test File. I also included a mixed 70/30 read and write task to give a little bit more of a realistic balanced workload. These tests were conducted with 1-minute cooling break in between

CRYSTALDISK MARK 1GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 4GB TEST


CRYSTALDISK MARK 16GB TEST

 

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

AS SSD Benchmark Test #1

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #2

 


AS SSD Benchmark Test #3

 

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

1GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 4502MB/s Read & 3958MB/s Write

4GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 4361MB/s Read & 3869MB/s Write

16GB AJA File Test Results (Peak) = 4371MB/s Read & 3888MB/s Write

Overall, the Sabrent Rocket Q4 was certainly able to provide some solid performance, as well as potentially exceed the test figures here on a more powerful machine. Given the reported Read and Write statistics that the brand has stated publically, I think there is enough evidence here to back up those claims. IOPs were a little lower than I expected, but again, we were testing very large file types, so this would have to be taken in context.

Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD Review – Conclusion

If you are considering the Sabrent Rocket Q4 SSD and are WELL AWARE of what QLC NAND is and exactly WHY this drive is noticeably lower in price than the likes of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, Firecuda 520 and WD Black SN850 – then I can 100% say that the Sabrent Q4 is easily one of the best examples of Quad Layer NAND utilization in the market right now. It leverages the dips in performance and durability inherent in QLC NAND against the massively increased bandwidth of PCIe4 remarkably well. Additionally, it arrives on the scene as easily the lowest price PCIe4 NVMe SSD on the market right now, along with impressive build quality and presentation (Acronis drive cloning software included too). The warranty registration seems like a bit of a needlessly ambiguous hurdle and I am surprised that an 8TB Rocket Q4 does not exist right now, but aside from those factors, this is a great example of presenting a QLC SSD done very well. Just make sure you are fully clued up on the reasons why QLC NAND is a little shunned in prosumer SSD circles.

PROs of the Sabrent Rocket Q4 CONs of the Sabrent Rocket Q4
The Most Affordable PCIe4 M.2 SSD on the Market

Still Using a Great Controller in the Phison E16

Good Quality Build

4TB Version available

Good for those with Modest PCIe4 systems

Includes Acronis True Image to clone/move OS to drive

PCIe4 SSDs at PCIe3 Prices

QLC NAND = lower performance and lower durability

No 8TB model is currently available (one of the benefits of QLC NAND at 2280 length)

Inclusive Heatsink Model does not arrive pre-installed/attached

 


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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.  

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Test Konyks Camini Go : une caméra extérieure sans-fil et full HD

30 novembre 2021 à 10:00

I. Présentation

La Konyks Camini Go est la première caméra de chez Konyks pouvant être utilisée aussi bien en extérieur qu'en intérieur. Jusqu'ici, la marque française proposait plusieurs caméras pour l'intérieur dans sa gamme de produits Camini. Il s'agit d'une caméra Wi-Fi et qui fonctionne sur batterie, elle est donc totalement sans-fil.

J'ai eu l'occasion de m'en procurer un exemplaire alors je vous propose mon test de la caméra Camini Go de chez Konyks !

Les caractéristiques de la caméra Camini Go sont les suivantes :

  • Résolution du capteur : Full HD 1080p - Compression H.264
  • Angle de vision de 116°
  • Connectivité Wi-Fi sur un réseau 2,4 GHz
  • Batterie rechargeable de 10 000 mAh - environ 3 mois d'autonomie
  • Vision nocturne jusqu'à 8 mètres
  • Stockage des enregistrements sur une carte microSD (jusqu'à 128 Go) ou Cloud (payant)
  • Audio bidirectionnel : microphone et haut-parleurs intégrés
  • Certification IP65 pour la résistance aux intempéries
  • Détection de mouvements
  • Scénarios, automatisation, contrôles, notifications, etc... sur son smartphone
  • Compatibilité avec les assistants vocaux
  • Ne nécessite aucun abonnement, ni de bridge/pont
  • Poids : 320 grammes

II. Package et design

On ne change pas une formule qui fonctionne : Konyks propose un packaging conforme à ses habitudes, avec un bel aperçu du produit et surtout des informations très précises sur les caractéristiques du produit. À deux trois détails près, la liste des caractéristiques ci-dessus reprend les informations écrites sur la boîte.

À l'intérieur, nous avons la caméra Camini Go et elle est venue accompagnée d'un guide de démarrage rapide, d'un câble microUSB pour la recharge, des deux supports de fixation ainsi que de la visserie associée. Je trouve que c'est bien d'avoir plusieurs options de montage.

Vous l'avez peut-être constaté ou non, mais il n'y a pas de chargeur USB (seulement le câble) donc il faudra piquer celui de votre smartphone ou connecter la caméra sur votre PC pour la recharger.

La caméra est relativement compacte et elle tient dans la main, mais je la trouve un peu lourde personnellement par rapport à d'autres caméras dans le même esprit que j'ai pu tester. Enfin, ce n'est qu'un détail, car elle ne va pas passer sa vie dans la paume de ma main.

Plus sérieusement, à l'avant de la caméra nous retrouvons le capteur CMOS, le détecteur de mouvement, le micro, ainsi que les différentes LEDs pour la vision infrarouge. Sur les deux côtés, il n'y a rien si ce n'est qu'il y a une étiquette à décoller pour que ce soit plus esthétique.

À l'arrière, c'est intéressant, car nous avons le haut-parleur de la caméra que vous pouvez voir facilement sur les photos ci-dessous. Au centre, c'est la partie aimantée qui sert à positionner le support de fixation (voir ci-dessous), et la partie basse de la caméra donne accès à différents éléments.

Pour être plus précis, après avoir retiré le cache de protection, on peut accéder au bouton on/off de la caméra, au bouton reset, à la prise microUSB qui sert à recharger la caméra et à l'emplacement pour la carte microSD (non fournie). Le cache de protection s'enlève complètement, c'est un peu dommage et en plus il n'est pas très pratique à positionner, mais il faudra y prêter une attention particulière, car il sert à protéger la connectique contre les intempéries.

Il y a deux types de support de fixation : un support de fixation avec une base magnétique qui va maintenir la caméra grâce à un aimant (et ce support peut se fixer grâce au ruban adhésif double face fourni), et un second support de fixation va venir se visser sur la caméra. Si l'installation est effectuée en extérieur, je pense qu'il vaut mieux privilégier le support à visser notamment si la caméra est exposée au vent. Si elle est à l'abri, sous un carport par exemple, on peut miser sur le support magnétique. D'ailleurs, la caméra supporte une plage de température assez large, mais dont il faut tenir compte : de -10°C à +50°C.

En résumé, je dirais que la caméra Camini Go est assez sobre d'un point de vue esthétique, le boîtier est en plastique blanc avec une façade noire. La qualité de fabrication est satisfaisante et le boîtier me semble solide, et prêt à affronter la pluie, le vent, la chaleur et le froid.

III. Initialisation de la caméra

La mise en route s'effectue à partir de l'application Konyks, disponible gratuitement sur Android et iOS. L'idée étant d'associer la caméra Camini Go à son compte Konyks, aux côtés des autres appareils de la marque si vous en avez. L'initialisation s'effectue rapidement et le processus est facile à suivre. Après avoir démarré la caméra, il faut ajouter un nouvel appareil dans l'application. À ce moment-là, un code QR s'affiche sur le smartphone et il faut le scanner avec la caméra, en positionnant le smartphone à environ 20 cm. Grâce à cette opération, la caméra va récupérer des informations comme la connexion Wi-Fi à utiliser. Ensuite, il ne restera plus qu'à donner un petit nom à la caméra et le tour est joué !

IV. Application

L'application Konyks sert à piloter la caméra, à effectuer la configuration et à accéder aux enregistrements. Lorsque l'on accède à la caméra, on voit l'image en direct : on peut zoomer et passer en mode plein écran, ainsi que d'autres infos comme l'autonomie restante. Ensuite, il y a des boutons d'action un peu partout répartis sur l'écran. Voici quelques actions possibles :

  • Gérer la qualité du live HD/SD
  • Activer ou désactiver le rendu sonore côté smartphone
  • Prendre une capture d'écran ou une vidéo (enregistrée directement sur le smartphone)
  • Activer ou désactiver la vision nocturne (par défaut en mode automatique)
  • Activer ou désactiver la détection de mouvement, avec gestion de la sensibilité
  • Accéder aux enregistrements
  • Modifier le thème de l'application (clair ou sombre)

Au sein des paramètres avancés de la caméra, on retrouve certains paramètres identiques à ceux inclus sur l'interface globale de gestion de la caméra. On peut accéder à quelques options supplémentaires et spécifiques, comme la possibilité d'inverser l'image, d'activer l'audio bidirectionnel, de définir une alerte quand la batterie atteint 15%, etc...

Si vous préférez miser sur le stockage Cloud plutôt que le stockage local afin d'externaliser les enregistrements, il faudra passer à la caisse. La première offre d'abonnement est à 4,50 euros par mois pour un historique de 7 jours et jusqu'à 3 caméras. Pour un historique sur 30 jours, il faudra compter 9 euros par mois (et vous pouvez inclure jusqu'à 5 caméras). C'est dommage qu'il ne soit pas possible d'envoyer les enregistrements sur un serveur FTP, pour ceux qui ont un NAS à la maison, ça pourrait être cool.

Note : sans carte microSD, ni stockage Cloud, la caméra est en mesure de stocker quelques copies d'écrans des dernières détections. Ou alors, elles sont envoyées et mises en cache sur le smartphone. Quoi qu'il en soit elles sont accessibles, mais ce ne sont que des photos. Avec la carte microSD, ce sont des séquences vidéos qui seront enregistrées.

En complément, et comme je l'indiquais en introduction, la caméra est compatible avec les assistants vocaux Alexa et Google. Oui, d'accord, mais ça veut dire quoi exactement ? Par exemple, si vous avez un appareil Echo Show d'Amazon, avec Alexa, donc, vous pouvez demander à Alexa d'afficher l'image de la caméra sur l'écran de l'appareil Echo : "Alexa affiche caméra extérieure" (selon le nom donné à la caméra). Vous pouvez faire la même chose chez Google avec un appareil Nest Hub.

V. Image et détection

De jour, la qualité d'image est suffisamment bonne pour vous permettre d'identifier le visage d'une personne. Pour cela, il faudra s'appuyer sur l'image streamée en HD. De nuit, le résultat est satisfaisant même si l'image est plus pixelisée. Les différentes LEDs infrarouges intégrées à la caméra sont efficaces. C'est en noir et blanc, mais ça, c'est normal.

Voici un exemple :

Je suis plutôt content de la qualité d'image de cette caméra Konyks Camini Go.

Concernant la détection, une notification sera envoyée, accompagnée d'une photo, lorsqu'un mouvement sera détecté. À ce niveau, je trouve que la caméra de Konyks est réactive, aussi bien avec les humains que les animaux. Si vous trouvez que la caméra n'est pas assez sensible, il est possible de gérer la sensibilité via les options (voir les copies d'écran ci-dessus). Ce qui manque, c'est de ne pas pouvoir créer une zone d'exclusion pour la détection. Cette fonction est bien pratique lorsque la caméra a dans son objectif une zone que vous ne souhaitez pas surveiller (exemple : la voie publique).

Quelques mots sur l'audio....

Actuellement, le haut-parleur n'est pas utilisé comme une sirène lorsqu'un mouvement est détecté. C'est dommage, car il pourrait être exploité à cet usage, à condition qu'il soit suffisamment puissant. Quant au micro, il fonctionne correctement, mais il sature par moment, ce qui peut compliquer la compréhension et du coup, ça perd un peu d'intérêt.

Quelques mots sur les scénarios...

La caméra Camini Go s'intègre parfaitement au système de scénarios de Konyks. Par exemple, si vous avez des volets roulants pilotés par des interrupteurs Konyks (Vollo), vous pouvez fermer les volets si un mouvement est détecté par la caméra Camini Go, ou allumer la lumière ou une lampe si vous utilisez une prise connectée Konyks.

VI. Conclusion

Simple d'utilisation et efficace quand il s'agit de détecter les mouvements, la caméra Konyks Camini Go est une bonne caméra. 

Avec une bonne qualité de fabrication, une application simple et intuitive, et une bonne qualité d'image, cette caméra ne manque pas d'atouts, mais elle n'est pas parfaite !

Au-delà des petits bémols évoqués tout au long de l'article, ce qui est un peu juste à mon sens c'est l'autonomie de 3 mois. Cela veut dire que tous les 3 mois (plus ou moins), il faudra démonter la caméra pour la recharger, là où des modèles de la concurrence vont jusqu'à 6 mois voire 1 an d'autonomie. Moi, personnellement, ça me gêne.

Avec la Camini Go, pour un prix de 120 euros, on a une caméra totalement autonome : Wi-Fi, sur batterie et avec un stockage en local, ce qui est appréciable.

The post Test Konyks Camini Go : une caméra extérieure sans-fil et full HD first appeared on IT-Connect.

Test H150i Elite LCD, un Watercooling AIO de 360 Full aRGB avec écran

24 novembre 2021 à 10:44

H150i Elite LCDTest complet du H150i Elite LCD de Corsair. Ce Watercooling AIO propose un imposant écran LCD personnalisable et une robe Full aRGB.

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Test Light Wings 120 mm PWM de be quiet!

23 novembre 2021 à 13:00

Light Wings 120 mm PWMTest du Light Wings 120 mm PWM, le premier ventilateur be quiet ! à proposer un retroéclairage adressable. Est-il performant et silencieux ?

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Ugreen GaN X 100W : le chargeur secteur ultime pour recharger vos appareils !

23 novembre 2021 à 09:30

I. Présentation

Dans ce test, je vais vous donner mon avis sur le chargeur USB 100 Watts de chez Ugreen. Il est équipé de 3 ports USB-C et d'un port USB-A.

Grâce à sa puissance de 100 Watts, vous pouvez envisager d'alimenter et de recharger différents types d'appareils. Aussi bien des smartphones, des tablettes (Samsung, iPad, etc.), votre console Nintendo Switch, votre paire d'écouteurs, mais aussi des ordinateurs comme la Surface Pro, le dernier MacBook Air ou les derniers MacBook Pro avec la puce M1 Pro.

Pour concevoir un chargeur avec une puissance de 100 Watts, avec 4 ports, tout en proposant un appareil compact, Ugreen a utilisé les circuits intégrés au GaN. Il a fait ses preuves depuis quelques années et on la retrouve sur les meilleurs chargeurs du marché. Le GaN va permettre d'avoir des composants plus petits, mais aussi d'apporter différentes protections (surchauffe, court-circuit, surintensités et survoltage). Pour ce chargeur, Ugreen s'est associé à la société Navitas Semiconductor.

Note : le GaN, c'est-à-dire le nitrure de gallium, a été utilisé par Apple pour le chargeur de son nouveau MacBook Pro 16. À mon sens, cela monte que le GaN a fait ses preuves désormais et qu'Apple n'hésite pas à miser sur lui !

Ce chargeur Ugreen est vendu sur Amazon au prix de 75,99 euros. Il existe une autre déclinaison vendue quelques euros de moins et qui intègre seulement 2 ports USB-C pour une puissance total de 100 Watts. D'ailleurs, les chargeurs USB-C de 100 Watts ne sont pas très nombreux sur le marché.

II. Découverte du chargeur Ugreen GaN X 100W

Le package est assez simple et contient seulement le chargeur et un guide rapide. Il n'y a pas de câble fournit avec le chargeur, donc il faudra les câbles fournit avec vos appareils ou en acheter des nouveaux.

Le boîtier du chargeur est entièrement en plastique. Les deux côtés sont gris anthracite, l'un contient la mention "100W" et l'autre "Ugreen". Les autres faces et le connecteur sont noirs. Il existe un seul coloris pour ce chargeur, et je trouve qu'il est élégant. Les angles sont arrondis et il y a un effet un peu bombé sur le dessus et le dessous, on voit que les designers de chez Ugreen ont cherché à soigner le design du chargeur.

Découvrez plus en détail le chargeur en regardant les photos ci-dessous. On peut constater que chaque port est nommé, en l'occurrence avec un numéro sur les ports USB-C afin de les différencier.

D'un point de vue de la taille, ce chargeur est relativement compact et ne pèse que 235 grammes. D'ailleurs, il est un peu plus compact que le chargeur officiel d'Apple en 96 Watts, et il est plus léger puisque celui de la firme à la pomme pèse 299 grammes.

En dessous du chargeur, on retrouve le détail de chaque port. Les écritures sont discrètes, mais c'est pratique puisque l'on a pas besoin de chercher sur le Net pour avoir l'information.

III. Performances du chargeur

Sur le papier, ce chargeur me semble alléchant, mais dans la pratique est-il aussi efficace et pratique qu'il en a l'air ?

J'ai commencé par recharger des appareils un par un pour évaluer le chargeur UGREEN. J'ai rechargé mon OnePlus 9 Pro qui est compatible avec la charge rapide WARP, qui est proposée seulement sur le chargeur officiel OnePlus. Forcément, les résultats avec le chargeur UGREEN sont moins bons : le smartphone met 1h15 à se recharger complètement (5% à 100%), ce qui est plus ou moins le double vis-à-vis du chargeur officiel même si ça reste correct.

Concernant mon PC, une Surface Pro 7, la charge avec le chargeur UGREEN s'avère plus rapide. Avec le chargeur d'origine en 65 Watts, il faut environ 2 heures pour une charge complète, tandis qu'avec le chargeur UGREEN, la charge complète nécessite 1h30. Plutôt intéressant !

Ces valeurs de référence seront toujours atteignables s'il y a plusieurs appareils connectés, mais cela dépend de la puissance nécessaire par chacun des appareils, mais aussi des ports utilisés. J'ai pu recharger mon smartphone, ma tablette et mon PC en même temps, avec le même chargeur et ça c'est appréciable. Le temps de chargement est un peu plus long dans ce cas, environ 10 minutes de plus par appareil.

Pour bénéficier de 100 Watts en sortie, il faudra utiliser un seul port à la fois, et soit l'USB-C 1 ou l'USB-C 2. Si l'on utilise deux ports en même temps, on peut avoir 65 Watts sur l'un et 30 Watts sur l'autre. Cela reste suffisant pour recharger un ordinateur portable et un smartphone (ou un autre appareil), en fonction des besoins.

Pour bien comprendre et s'y retrouver, il vaut mieux se référer au schéma officiel proposé par UGREEN :

Pendant toutes ces phases de chargement, j'ai pu constater également que le chargeur ne chauffait pas plus que ça ! Alors, oui il est tiède, mais c'est normal, et en tout cas il ne devient pas bouillant. Mon petit doigt me dit qu'au-delà des composants électroniques choisis, le boîtier en plastique du chargeur doit jouer également !

IV. Conclusion

Ce chargeur Ugreen est sympa visuellement et en plus il est très pratique, car il fonctionne avec la majorité des appareils du marché, donc il correspondra à une grande majorité des besoins. Forcément, cela va plaire à de nombreuses personnes : un seul chargeur à emmener pour recharger tout ses appareils. Le top. Si vous êtes prêt à avoir des temps de chargement un peu plus long sur vos appareils, en échange de pouvoir les recharger en même temps sur le même chargeur, alors ce chargeur UGREEN va vous plaire !

Avec 4 ports, on peut imaginer recharger son laptop, son smartphone, sa tablette et sa paire d'écouteurs ! Même lorsque les 4 ports sont utilisés, vous disposez toujours de 45 Watts sur le port USB-C1, ce qui peut suffire selon les appareils.

Son prix vous le connaissez déjà : 75,99 euros. A surveiller en cette semaine de Black Friday ! 😉

The post Ugreen GaN X 100W : le chargeur secteur ultime pour recharger vos appareils ! first appeared on IT-Connect.

Test NR200P Max de Cooler Master, bien plus qu’un boitier

17 novembre 2021 à 14:28

Boitier NR200P MaxTest complet du NR200P Max, un boitier Mini-ITX équipé en natif d’une alimentation SFX de 850W et d’un Watercooling AIO de 280

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Test Freezer i35 A-RGB d’Artic

12 novembre 2021 à 15:52

Freezer i35 A-RGB d'ArticTest du Freezer i35 A-RGB d’Artic, un ventirad tour équipée d’un ventilateur PWM de 120 mm. Il est annoncé à 42,99 € ?

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Test Poco M4 Pro 5G

11 novembre 2021 à 09:20

I. Présentation

Poco, la filiale de Xiaomi, vient de dévoiler son nouveau smartphone d'entrée de gamme pour le grand public : le Poco M4 Pro 5G. C'est à partir d'aujourd'hui qu'il est disponible à la vente, et, comme pour les précédents modèles dévoilés en 2021, le fabricant espère bien frapper un grand coup ! Au moment d'évoquer ce nouveau modèle, Poco parle même du modèle le plus performant de sa gamme. J'ai eu la chance de l'avoir entre les mains quelques jours avant sa sortie officielle, alors je vous livre mes impressions dans cet article.

Pour le Poco M4 Pro, le fabricant Poco propose une fiche technique très sérieuse compte tenu du prix du smartphone :

  • Écran : IPS LCD / Full HD+ de 6,67 pouces / taux de rafraîchissement de 90 Hz / taux d'échantillonnage tactile de 240 Hz / Gorilla Glass 3
  • CPU : MediaTek Dimensity 810 (8 coeurs / 2,4 GHz)
  • GPU : Mali G57
  • RAM : 4 ou 6 Go
  • Stockage : 64 ou 128 Go en UFS 2.2, extensible par microSD
  • Batterie : 5 000 mAh
  • Chargeur : 33 Watts Pro
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • Wi-Fi AC (2,4 GHz et 5 GHz)
  • NFC
  • Dual-SIM
  • Double haut-parleurs
  • Port Jack 3.5mm
  • Lecteur d'empreintes sur le côté
  • Système MIUI 12.5 for Poco
  • Épaisseur : 8,8 mm
  • Poids : 195 grammes
  • Coloris : jaune, bleu ou noir
  • Prix : à partir de 229 euros (Offre de lancement à 179€)

Les présentations sont faites, nous pouvons passer à la suite.

II. Package et design

Lorsque l'on se retrouve avec une boîte jaune sous le nez et que l'on sait qu'il y a un smartphone à l'intérieur, on pense directement à la marque Poco. Le package est classique et l'on va surtout s'intéresser à son contenu : le smartphone, le chargeur 33 Watts et son câble USB-C, une coque souple et transparente, un outil pour accéder au slot des cartes SIM, un peu de lecture et quelques autocollants à coller au dos de votre PC portable pour afficher fièrement à quel team vous appartenez.

Lorsque l'on prend en main l'appareil pour la première fois et qu'on le retourne, on retrouve un gros sigle "POCO" accompagné de la mention "Designed by Poco", ce qui est la signature habituelle chez Poco au niveau du design. Si vous suivez l'actualité du mobile, vous pouvez remarquer que le module photo arrière ressemble très fortement à celui du Xiaomi Redmi Note 11, à la différence qu'ici nous avons la signature POCO, comme je l'évoquais. Dans la partie dédiée aux photos, je vais vous présenter en détail les différents capteurs. Le dos de l'appareil est entièrement en plastique.

Poco M4 Pro 5G

Sur le dessus, de l'appareil nous retrouvons le premier haut-parleur et le premier micro, que nous pouvons retrouver également en dessous, en complément du port USB-C et de la prise Jack 3,5 mm. Cela devrait plaire à ceux qui ont un casque audio filaire.

L'appareil est imposant lorsqu'on le tient en main, mais il fallait s'y attendre avec un écran de 6,6 pouces. Sur les photos ci-dessous, vous pouvez voir le capteur photo avant, très bien incrusté au centre de l'écran.

Sur le côté gauche, se situe le slot pour les cartes SIM et la carte microSD, tandis qu'à l'opposé, sur le côté droit donc, on retrouve un bouton pour gérer le volume et le bouton on/off qui intègre le lecteur d'empreinte.

Si vous êtes habitué au lecteur d'empreinte à l'arrière de l'appareil ou sous l'écran, il faudra quelques jours pour s'adapter à ce positionnement un peu particulier, mais pas nouveau chez Poco.

L'écran de 6,6 pouces bénéficie d'un taux de rafraichissement de 90 Hz, ce qui est appréciable à l'usage, car les animations sont plus fluides à l'écran, même si les gamers vont préférer le 120 Hz, ce que je peux comprendre. D'ailleurs à ce propos, par défaut l'appareil est configuré en 60 Hz, il faut accéder aux paramètres pour basculer l'écran en 90 Hz. Pour moi, la luminosité de l'écran est suffisante, même en extérieur et il y a un mode pour l'ajuster automatiquement. Il est à noter que l'écran bénéficie de la gamme de couleurs étendue "DCI-P3", ce qui permet à l'écran de reproduire plus précisément les couleurs.

Pour le design, le Poco M4 Pro 5G bénéficie d'une finition soignée et même s'il n'est pas merveilleux esthétiquement parlant, le rendu général est satisfaisant. Le dos est assez joli avec les nuances de gris, et vous devriez l'aimer aussi sauf si vous n'aimez pas les modules photos imposants. Comme je le disais, il faudra se satisfaire d'un dos en plastique : à voir comment il vieillit dans le temps.

III. Qualité des photos / vidéos

Sur ce Poco M4 Pro 5G, le capteur photo avant pour vos selfies est de 16 mégapixels, tandis que le module photo arrière est constitué d'un capteur photo principal grand-angle de 50 mégapixels, accompagné par un capteur ultra grand-angle (119°) de 8 mégapixels et un flash.

Poco M4 Pro 5G

L'application appareil photo intègre toutes les fonctionnalités standards : retardateur, format des photos, gestion du HDR, application d'un filtre en live, gestion de la qualité, etc... Au niveau des modes disponibles, nous avons la capture classique, l'ultra grand-angle, le panorama, le mode rafale, le mode portrait (effet bokeh), le mode nuit, ainsi que le mode documents. Pour la partie vidéo, nous avons en complément la possibilité de faire des vidéos au ralenti, en accéléré ou même des vidéos courtes.

En plein jour, la qualité des photos est vraiment bonne. On peut prendre des clichés vraiment sympas avec un très bon niveau de détails. La mise au point généralement rapide, mais parfois je dois avouer que je l'ai trouvée un peu longue à la détente. Pour les photos de très près, ce n'est pas d'une grande finesse, mais le rendu est satisfaisant malgré tout, et surtout les couleurs sont bonnes et reflètent bien la réalité. Ce n'est pas le cas avec les photos de nuit, où l'on perd en qualité et surtout où les couleurs sont plus pâles. Dommage, car pour le reste on peut vraiment faire de belles photos sans être un pro.

Voici trois photos prises avec le Poco M4 Pro 5G.

Une capture en ultra grand-angle de mon cobaye du jour. Là encore, en plein jour la qualité est bonne, mais l'on peut constater une perte de qualité sur l'arrière-plan.

Sans réelle surprise, car je m'y attendais, la qualité photo n'est pas au rendez-vous si l'on exploite le zoom X10 (maximum) où c'est énormément pixelisé.

En ce qui concerne les selfies avec le capteur frontal, c'est un peu le même constat : c'est très bien de jour, mais de nuit le rendu des couleurs est moins bon. Par contre, les selfies sont de bonne qualité et l'IA du logiciel n'y est surement pas étrangère.

Sachez que pour la qualité des vidéos, vous avez plusieurs options, mais il n'est pas possible de filmer en 4K :

  • HD 720p à 30 fps
  • Full HD 1080p à 30 fps
  • Full HD 1080p à 60 fps

IV. Autonomie

La batterie de 5 000 mAh doit permettre au Poco M4 Pro d'être endurant et c'est le cas, car on peut tenir une journée au minimum en profitant bien de son appareil. Il faudra voir dans le temps comment l'autonomie évolue lorsque l'appareil aura tourné pendant quelques mois.

Lorsqu'il est nécessaire de recharger l'appareil, comptez 1 heure tout rond pour passer de 0% à 100% en utilisant le chargeur 33 watts. C'est une belle performance, car une heure c'est très bien comme temps de charge pour un entrée de gamme. Il est à noter que ce smartphone n'est pas compatible avec la recharge sans-fil.

V. Performances et système

Une belle configuration d'un côté, un système MIUI 12.5.1 for Poco de l'autre, mais qu'est-ce que ça donne dans la pratique ? Tout d'abord, sachez que j'ai pu tester la version 6 Go et qu'il y a une autre version avec 4 Go de RAM.

Comme ce smartphone Poco s'appuie sur la surcouche MIUI 12.5 (de chez Xiaomi), on peut s'attendre à une interface fluide et qui devrait rassurer les habitués d'appareils Xiaomi. Par contre, ce qui me saute aux yeux au démarrage, et ça je n'aime pas trop, c'est la quantité d'applications préinstallées. Il y en a beaucoup, j'ai même envie de dire beaucoup trop : Netflix, Opera, Facebook, TikTok, eBay, LinkedIn, WPS Office, Amazon, Booking, AliExpress... Sans compte près de 10 jeux. A cela, ajoutez toute la panoplie Google et vous avez un appareil avec déjà 24,2 Go d'espace disque occupé. Vu qu'il y a le Play Store, cela ne présente aucun intérêt !

Les performances sont bonnes, la navigation au sein de l'interface est fluide et il suffira largement pour les tâches du quotidien. Je n'ai pas constaté de ralentissements. Soyons honnêtes, si vous souhaitez jouer et que vous avez certaines exigences, il devrait s'avérer un peu juste malgré tout, notamment parce qu'il vaut mieux préférer un écran AMOLED 120 Hz (ou encore mieux).

VI. Conclusion

Pour ce premier modèle 5G de sa gamme M, Poco nous propose une belle évolution en comparaison du M3 Pro. Après, par rapport au Poco X3 Pro, ce nouveau modèle à l'avantage de proposer la 5G : ce qui peut faire la différence au moment de choisir pour certains d'entre vous, mais il est en dessous en puissance pure.

J'aurais tendance à dire que si vous recherchez un smartphone bon marché, compatible 5G, avec un grand écran, capable de prendre de belles photos et qui tourne parfaitement bien, alors ce smartphone est fait pour vous ! En plus, il se recharge relativement vite : en 1 heure. Malgré tout, il n'est pas sans défaut puisqu'il faudra oublier le zoom sur les photos, et au niveau de l'interface logicielle, il faudra faire avec cette quantité importante d'applications préinstallées.

Comme à son habitude, lorsqu'un nouveau smartphone sort, il y a une offre pour l'acheter encore moins cher que son prix normal. Sur le site Goboo (partenaire fiable et officiel de Xiaomi), le smartphone Poco M4 Pro 5G (4 Go/64 Go) est proposé à 179 euros au lieu de 199 euros à l'occasion de sa sortie ! Pour la version 6 Go + 128 Go, comptez 199 euros avec la promotion.

The post Test Poco M4 Pro 5G first appeared on IT-Connect.

Test Z690 Aorus Xtreme, une carte mère “vitrine” signée Gigabyte

10 novembre 2021 à 11:39

Z690 Aorus XTREMETes Z690 Aorus Xtreme une carte mère LGA 1700 haut de gamme dédiée aux processeurs Intel Alder Lake-S. Elle est signée Gigabyte.

The post Test Z690 Aorus Xtreme, une carte mère “vitrine” signée Gigabyte appeared first on GinjFo.

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