Thecus Adds a Plus to the N2810 with Better CPU and Double RAM

Thecus already released a mighty NAS with the N2810, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be improved upon. The new version is called the N2810PLUS and it comes with a better CPU and double the RAM. Both are things that are hard to argue with and a welcome addition to Thecus’ lineup.

The N2810PLUS comes equipped with 4GB DDR3 memory over the 2GB in the N2810 and the slightly faster Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core processor. The previous model used the N3050 processor, so it is only a small bump. Still, every little helps and can make the difference for a smooth experience.

The N2810 and N2810PLUS NAS’ support 4K video output via the built-in HDMI port and this is one of the areas where this upgrade should make a difference. The added memory, which most likely also makes it dual-channel over a single-channel setup now, will provide a much smoother display of high-resolution content. The addition of two more CPU cores will no doubt also help with this and any other task.

The NAS is designed for easy hard drive installation and with a focus on reliability. It can act as a full multimedia centre that supports AirPlay, DLNA, and much more – on top of the direct 4K playback. Two LAN ports provide the user with 7 modes of link aggregation and the three USB 3.0 ports deliver high data speeds for portable storage.

It also comes with the latest version of Thecus operating system, ThecusOS 7.0, that provides an optimized and feature-rich platform with an intuitive user interface and easy navigation. Key new features include Photo Station, Thecus App Center, and File Center. ThecusOS 7.0 delivers significant advancements in productivity, flexibility, and performance.

The new N2810PLUS edition NAS will begin shipping globally today, so it should be at your local Thecus dealer very shortly.

Synology Releases DS416slim 2.5-Inch 4-Bay NAS

Synology released a new NAS that is a little different that what we’re used to seeing. First off it is very tiny and it is also a bit in reverse, but with good reason. The new Synology Diskstation DS416slim is a NAS for 2.5-inch hard disk drives and drives are plugged through the rear. With its measurements, 18.4 cm x 16.8 cm x 23.0 cm, and its low weight, 700 grams, the DS416slim is a ultra-small NAS that still packs quite a punch.

The Synology DiskStation DS416slim is built around an Armada 385 Dual Core 1.0GHz CPU and comes with 512 MB DDR3 memory. That is enough to allow this tiny unit to perform with up to 170MB/s read and 77MB/s write performance through a link aggregated windows connection. The CPU also features a dedicated hardware encryption engine.

As mentioned above, the DS416slim is capable of link aggregation and that is because it comes with two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports on the rear panel. Whether you want to configure them for load balancing or failover protection is naturally your choice. The NAS also comes with two USB 3.0 ports for external storage and other devices, one on the front for easy access and one on the rear for more permanent connected devices.

The rear is also where you find the four drive bays that each can hold a 2.5-inch hard disk drive or solid state drive with a height up to 12.5mm. Without any real height limitation, the choice of drives to use is yours. The power consumption is rated at about 17 watts during access and just 11 watts during HDD hibernation, which also makes it a very power efficient NAS. The noise output is rated to 20.3 dBA.

As this is a Synology NAS, it naturally comes with their own impressive DSM operation system. The DSM system also just got a major overhaul and version 6.0 was just released as well. You get tons of streaming and backup options as well as mobile apps and security when you pick a DSM 6.0 powered NAS.

The new Synology DS416slim comes with a recommended retail price of £222.00 including VAT or €248.64 excluding VAT, and it is backed by a 2-year warranty.

Shuttle’s New DH170 1-Liter Mini-PC Now Available in the UK

Shuttle has been on a roll as of late, releasing one new system after another, but one of the most impressive ones is probably the DH170 which features impressive options in a tiny 1.3-liter chassis. Now the Shuttle DH170 is officially available in the UK. The XPC Slim Series DH170 system is built upon the H170 chipset with support for the latest Skylake processors (up to 65W TDP) while only being 43m thick.

The Shuttle DH170 can be equipped with up to 32GB of dual-channel DDR3L 1600 RAM, but there is only one 2.5-inch SATA3 drive bay. Then again, there are limits to what fits inside such a small system so that’s an understandable limitation and one drive should still be plenty for most usage scenarios for this system. While I just said that it only had room for one drive, that’s technically incorrect as the DH170 also features an M.2 2260/2242 Type B M key socket and a Half-size Mini-PCIe socket.

You get an impressive external connectivity with the DH170 as it features four USB 3.0, four USB 2.0, and two Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers (i211 and i219LM) that support teaming. It also features a Realtek ALC662 HD audio solution as well as triple monitor connection via two DisplayPort and one HDMI connector. A wireless antenna fixture, serial ports, and a card reader are also included in the DH170.

This tiny reliable system is rated for continues 24/7 usage in 50-degree environments without the smart fan having any trouble keeping everything cool. It’s also economical with its 90W power supply. The DH170 is available now for £194 (VAT excluded).

Key Features:

  • Intel H170 chipset supports the latest Intel Skylake processors
  • Compact 1.3-liter chassis only 43mm thick
  • Rugged design and construction for 24/7 stability and high-temperature environments
  • Supports three independent displays even at 4K resolution; two DisplayPorts and one HDMI
  • Ample connectivity; four USB 3.0, four USB 2.0, two RS232; M.2., Mini PCI-E
  • VESA mount compatibility
  • Available at Entaonline.com for £194

Gigabyte Unveils EL-20-3700-32GB IoT Gateway Solution

Internet of Things, or IoT for short, is the next big thing in the digital revolution. To say it as simple as possible, IoT basically connects devices with each other and the internet in order to provide the data where it’s needed. We see a lot of new hardware being released in this sector and while some are completely new and independent, others bridge the gap between old-school legacy devices and the new IoT devices.

Gigabyte’s new EL-20-3700-32GB Intel Bear Ridge IoT Gateway Solution is just such a device as it will allow companies to connect sense, filters, process, analyzing and actuation while securing and managing machines and data. It supports onboarding, monitoring, diagnostics, and remote control of devices that otherwise would be unconnected.

It is built with an Intel Pentium N3700 Processor that is based on the Airmont microarchitecture and it’s Intel’s leading tri-gate 14nm process. The System on a Chip quad-core processor is designed to be very power effective and can drive both computing and graphics performance with a maximum power envelope of just 6W.

Besides the N3700 CPU, the EL-20-3700-32GB offers 32GB eMMC flash memory and two SO-DIMM DDR3 slots for up to 8GB 1600MHz memory. It sports two Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports powered by a Realtek RTL8111HS controller and four USB 3.0 ports. The two HDMI ports can handle resolutions up to 4K and the unit also features surround sound via a Realtek ALC255 controller.

Other options include one Full-size Mini-PCIe slot for 3G module or mSATA storage and one Half-size Mini-PCIe slot for the pre-installed WiFi+BT module. Speaking of which, the module is an Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 3160 which supports IEEE 802.11b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0.

Further, you’ll find an SDXC card slot and three user-configurable LEDs, and a micro-USB connector with OTG support. The full unit will be unveiled and presented at the Embedded World in Nuremberg in a couple of weeks.

Feature Highlights

  • Intel Pentium processor N3700
  • 2 x SO-DIMM DDR3L slots
  • 2 x GbE LAN ports (Realtek RTL8111HS)
  • 32GB onboard eMMC memory
  • 1 x mSATA slot
  • 1 x SDCX card slot
  • 1 x SIM card slot

Should you want to build the unit into a more enclosed space and not have it as a standalone unit, then Gigabyte also offers the motherboard on its own and the IoT board can be found under the product name MZBSWFP.

The Gigabyte EL-20-3700-32GB will be available at AVnet after it has been officially launched at Embedded World.

QNAP SilentNAS HS-251+ 2-Bay Passive-Cooled NAS Review

Introduction


The first NAS that I reviewed after I joined eTeknix was QNAP’s amazing HS-251 NAS, so it is a real pleasure today as I have the upgraded model in the testing area. I will take QNAP’s SilentNAS HS-251+ for a thorough spin in my testing area and check on its performance as well as show you the latest version of the QTS operating system that was released recently.

The HS-251+ NAS retains the same basic design that provides you with a completely silent NAS. There are no fans or other parts that can generate any noise apart from the storage drives you’ll be using. This design adds another bonus which is a dust-free inside. This is made possible because the entire chassis is used as a heatsink for the entire unit and inserted drives. There are no fans to draw dust and other unwanted dirt into the system. That makes it very easy to maintain, but it also means that it should be placed on top of a shelve rather than in a tight spot where it could have trouble getting rid of the excess heat.

QNAP’s HS-251+ is powered by a quad-core Intel Celeron processor and while some might take a step back here, it’s a great chip for the system. You get four cores that run at 2.0GHz and with a burst speed up to 2.4GHz, it consumes very little power, which also helps with the cooling, and it has more than enough power to drive a system like this. The CPU is backed by 2GB DDR3L RAM and the NAS has a 512MB DOM for the basic system.

Whether you want to mount 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drives, the HS-251+ can take both. We only got two bays at our disposal here, so most people will probably choose the larger 3.5-inch drives that provide up to 8TB capacity for consumers at the time of writing. Smaller 2.5-inch drives do however run more silently and it produces less heat, so it’s something that is worth to consider in a system like this. The drive bays themselves are hidden behind a removable front that further helps to keep dust out while it also gives the NAS a sleeker appearance.

Connection wise we find two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports next to the two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Sadly none of the ports are located on the front or front end of the sides, but it isn’t a big issue with a flat NAS like this. You can easily both reach and view behind the unit. The NAS supports both printer and storage sharing through the built-in USB ports and over the network, which is a thing that can make the household IT-setup a lot easier.

You can also expand the HS-251+ through the use of QNAPs expansion enclosures UX-800P and UX-500P with 8 and 5 drives respectively. This can provide you with up to 80TB raw storage capacity in the HS-251+ using 8TB drives.

Next to those more normal connections, the QNAP HS-251+ also has an HDMI port from which you can connect it directly to your TV and use it for media playback and even run other operating systems in a virtual environment directly from the NAS. The QNAP QvPC technology is awesome and I’ll be showing you some of those features on the following pages. The HDMI connectivity supports 1080p video playback and the NAS also comes with hardware transcoding capability, making the HS-251+ is an ideal companion at home for multimedia entertainment.

Included with the QNAP HS-251+ is also a remote control that makes the usage from the couch a lot easier, more convenient, and in a fashion one is used to from TVs, DVRs, CD players, etc. With this, it is easy to control the playback and navigate the menus without the hassle of a keyboard and mouse.

The newest QNAP operating system, QTS 4.2, brings an even smoother experience than the predecessors with its flat and modern design. QNAP have streamlined loading times and added an intelligent desktop and multi-window operation that makes controlling every aspect of your HS-251+ fully accessible and easy to use.

It’s easy to centralize your all your files and backups in one place with this NAS, as it allows you to create backup jobs to and from the NAS, sync with computers, tablets, and mobile devices as well as the cloud. The real-time and offline HD video transcoding allows smooth playback of all your files no matter what the connection is like and file formats that might not be supported.

You naturally also get all the other great features such as the headless 24/7 download center, surveillance station with up to 40 channels, official mobile apps for all key functions and management, app center with official and third-party apps to increase the functionality even more, alert functions via SMS and Email services, web server, FTP server, Radius server, VPN server, print server, Plex media server, and much more.

The QNAP HS-251+ also supports the Qsirch function that is a QNAP exclusive. It is one of the best search function available that will find anything that you’re looking for on your NAS with ease and a lot faster than any traditional method will. Simply type in as much as you know about what you are trying to find, including bits of the file name or even words/phrases in the document, and Qsirch will display a list of matches, complete with thumbnails, as you type.

Feature Highlights

  • Dual-core CPU with hardware encryption engine
  • Your personal cloud with centralized management, file storage, sharing and backup
  • Real-time & offline HD video transcoding for your mobile devices, PCs, and Smart TVs
  • Supports file synchronization between multiple devices to have most up-to-date files
  • Modern set-top design for your digital lifestyle
  • Storage is expandable through extra units

Packaging and Accessories

QNAP’s HS-251+ comes in a plain brown box with a sticker that shows us what is inside. We get all the details we need on the sticker itself, from hardware specifications to features, so it has everything it needs to have.

Next to the NAS itself, we find a Quick Installation guide, the remote control, a power adapter and power cable from the region where it has ben bought as well as two RJ45 LAN cables inside the box.

Synology DiskStation DS416 4-bay High-Performance NAS Review

Introduction


I’ve taken a look at quite a few 2-bay NAS units lately and while they already allow for an impressive 16TB raw storage, that might not be enough for everyone. Today I’m taking Synology’s DiskStation DS416, a 4-bay feature-rich and high-performance NAS server, for a spin on my test bench. The Synology DiskStation DS416 is built around an Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-212 32-bit dual-core CPU with 1.4GHz, floating point unit, and hardware encryption engine. The CPU is backed by 1GB DDR3 memory that sadly isn’t upgradable.

The DS416 is a full-fledged NAS that comes with everything you’d want from a performance system. It features dual Gigabit Ethernet network that supports all types of failover and link aggregation, allowing you to keep your system connected under heavier load or when one connection should fail. The DS416 also features three USB 3.0 ports where one of them is conveniently placed on the front of the NAS for easy access.

With powerful hardware like that, the DS416 is able to deliver an average reading and writing speeds of 220 MB/s and 140 MB/s respectively while encrypted file transfers come in at an evenly impressive 146 MB/s reading and 65 MB/s writing. Those figures naturally depend on what hard disk drives you use as well as the method of data access and your network setup.

The drive bays feature a convenient tool-free drive installation for 3.5-inch drives where as you still need screws to mount 2.5-inch drives. The latter is a rare occurrence anyway and shouldn’t be anything to bother anyone. The drive bays are covered by a removable front plate that gives the NAS a cleaner overall look by hiding away the drives. The drive bays aren’t the only thing that you can swap out in this NAS, the fans are also redundant. The DS416 incorporates a passive cooling design on the actual components and only uses two 92mm fans on the rear to keep everything at an optimal temperature. When the system detects a fan failure, the built-in redundancy mechanism ensures continuous operation until the replacement fan arrives.

The DS416 is naturally powered by DiskStation Manager (DSM), the award-winning operating system from Synology. It has a beautiful and functional user interface and all the features you will need at home or in a small to medium-sized business. It offers all the network protocols you’d want including SMB2, AFP, NFS, WebDAV, and FTP. Server admins don’t need to worry about maintaining two set of user credentials either as the DS416 comes with both Windows AD and LDAP integration. An added convenience factor is the network recycle bin that is featured on AFP, CIFS, File Station, and WebDAV. All files deleted in a shared folder will be automatically moved into the Recycle Bin instead of being destroyed.

The DS416 isn’t just an all in one server when it comes to features, it also has the power to handle it. You can easily turn your DS416 into a mail server with webmail interface, set up a VPN server connect as a VPN client, create a print server for USB printers and much more such as Radius server, Proxy server, and Syslog server features.

Creating your own personal yet comprehensive cloud solutions is no problem either with the DS416 thanks to the Cloud Station package.It is the perfect package to sync files across multiple devices, perform offline edits and later synced them, and keep up to 32 historical versions for easy restoration. You also got all the normal backup features that you’ll want such as 2-way sync between different DiskSations as well as support for commercial cloud services such as Glacier Backup and HiDrive Backup.

The Synology DiskStation DS416 has a comprehensive security package, starting with AES 256-bit encryption but also more advanced setups like 2-step verification. It also comes with AppArmor that can block malicious programs from accessing unauthorized system resources and you can customize the trust level in the package center to only accept apps from certain publishers. The built-in firewall is another useful feature just as the Denial of Service (DoS) protection. Antivirus can also be downloaded and installed for that extra level of security. Overall, everything you need to keep your data safe from malicious code and people.

Synology also offers a row of mobile apps that you can use to easy connection and usage of your NAS from your mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. The apps include DS note, DS audio, DS video, DS photo+, DS cloud, DS file, DS download and DS cam.

Feature Highlights

  • Dual-core CPU with hardware encryption engine
  • Dual LAN with failover and link aggregation support
  • Over 221.05MB/s reading, 139.51MB/s writing
  • Effective backup solution for all desktop and mobile devices
  • Front USB 3.0 for fast easy access
  • Hot-swappable & tool-less hard drive tray design
  • Running on Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM)

Packaging and Accessories

The Synology DS416 comes in a simple brown package with a sticker for model inside. It has all the relevant features presented as well as an image of the unit that is inside.

The rear of the box has a second sticker with some of the hardware highlights.

Inside the box, next to the NAS itself, you’ll find an AC adapter with power cable for the region where you purchased it, two RJ45 LAN cables, screws for use with 2.5-inch drives, and a Welcome and Quick Installation Guide. Everything you need to get it setup and I like that Synology included two LAN cables so users can get port trunking up and running right away.

Thecus Releases W5810 Windows Storage Server NAS

Thecus announced the expansion of their Windows Storage Server NAS lineup with a new model, the Thecus W5810 5-bay SMB NAS. The new W5810 NAS takes the top position among Thecus’ Windows Storage Server lineup for small and medium businesses and brings good hardware together with a familiar interface.

Linux-based NAS servers are great, no doubt, but it will without a doubt be easier for quite a few system administrators to integrate a Windows-based system into their already existing infrastructure and that is where these systems come into play. The Thecus W5810 is built around a quad-core Intel Celeron processor with 2GHz core speed and 4GB DDR3 memory. The 5-bay Windows NAS also features a 60GB dedicated boot SSD for the operating system instead of the slower USB flash modules mostly used in Linux-powered NAS’.

Windows Storage Server Essentials 2012 allows easy integration with cloud-based solutions such as Office 365 and Microsft Azure Backup, and the NAS is designed for businesses with up to 50 employees for a robust and centralized storage solution. And all those employees storage needs should be met for a while with 5-bays that with 8TB drives allow for up to 40TB raw storage. WSSE offers some great features such as Data Deduplication and Storage Spaces for efficiency and protection, native support for Active Directory, and remote access through the P2P application Orbweb. Users can further customize the W5810 to specific business needs as it supports third-party Windows Server add-ins.

The NAS features three USB 3.0 ports for external storage, two Gigabit Ethernet ports with failover support, and an HDMI port for direct access and multimedia functions. The new Thecus W5810 WSS NAS should be available globally this month.

Key Features

  • MS License included
  • Quad-core Intel Celeron 2.0 GHz processor
  • 4GB of DDR3 RAM
  • Enhanced Boot Drive: Embedded 60GB SSD
  • Top Storage for 1-50 Employee Business
  • Office 365 & Microsoft Azure: Cloud Service Integration
  • Active Directory Domain Services: Scalable, Secure User Management
  • Data Deduplication: Performance Optimization
  • Remote web access – access and sync over multiple devices
  • Automatic client computer backup

This could be a really awesome NAS for a lot of people and while the specifications list 4GB as maximum memory, the hardware supports up to 8GB – just not officially.

Giada Unveil N50M-BO Xeon E5 Series Server Motherboard

Giada released quite a few mini and small form factor PCs lately, but they also have a very impressive series of server and workstation motherboards. That series got a new family member now as Giada unveiled the N50M-BO Xeon E5 series server motherboard equipped for both connectivity and storage.

Next to an Intel Xeon E5 V3 series CPU, you can install up to eight DDR4 DIMM modules for a total capacity of up to 512GB RAM using quad-channel modules and ECC LRDIMMs. Using ECC RDIMM reduces the max capacity to 256GB and UDIMMs reduce it down to 64GB. You get two PCIe 3.0 x16 ports (x16/x8) and two PCIe 3.0 x8 (x4) ports for further expansion.

There is room for plenty of accessories thanks to all the USB ports. There is both a USB 3.0 Type A port and a header onboard and you’ll find two more USB 3.0 ports on the rear IO next to the two USB 2.0 ports. Remote control abilities are included through a dedicated IPMI 2.0 as well as the COM port. You won’t need a dedicated GPU in a system like this, which can be a big bonus for storage-oriented boards as this. The onboard ASMedia AST2400 takes care of this and the board comes with a standard D-Sub VGA connector.

This motherboard was just unveiled and there seem to be a few inconsistencies between the product page, the actual images, and the press release – so please bear over with me on this section. The main connectivity is handled by two Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports controlled by two Intel i210AT controllers and it also features a dedicated IPMI connector for remote management together with the AST2400. The press release and the photos both tell and show us that this motherboard also features two SPF+ 10Gb/s connectors controlled by an Intel 82599ES, but these aren’t mentioned in the specifications on the product page. So whether that’s an oversight or there will be two versions of the motherboard is unclear at this point.

You can also connect plenty of storage to this motherboard as the C612 chipset offers 10 SATA3 ports on its own, and two of these can be used for DOMs here. There are 8 more storage ports on the motherboard which aren’t fully clear where they come from. They could be controlled by an onboard LSI3008 controller, but that’s just a qualified guess from my side. The only reference to it from the company is the comment that “customers can expand and integrate a 12G capacity solution and enhance the performance via the standard PCI-E slots”.

Durability shouldn’t be an issue with Giada’s N50M-BO motherboard as it is built with ultra-durable solid capacitors that pass strict tests of 12,000 hours’ exposure in a temperature of 105℃, a lot more than a typical working environment. The Giada N50M-BO comes at a very reasonable MSRP of $477 USD considering all the features and options it provides.

Shuttle Announces DH170 Skylake Based 1-Liter Mini-PC

Shuttle is well known for their barebone systems and as all manufacturers, they are busy releasing Skylake based systems to work with Intel’s latest generation of processors. We’ve already met the XPC SH170R6 a few weeks ago, but the newest one is even smaller. The Shuttle DH170 Mini-PC is a 1-liter barebone and it comes with a surprising amount of connectivity options for the size.

Shuttle’s DH170 is built around the Intel H170 chipset and it supports Skylake Core, Pentium, and Celeron processors with a maximum TDP of 65W. You can equip it with up to 16GB DDR3L SO-DIMM memory in its two SO-DIMM slots, so you don’t even have to spring for DDR4 memory here. Whether that’s a good or bad thing, is up to you and your needs in the area.

You get four USB 3.0, four USB 2.0, two Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers (i211 and i219LM) that support teaming. It features Realtek ALC662 HD audio as well as triple monitor connection via two DisplayPort and one HDMI connector. Wireless antenna fixture, serial ports, and a card reader are also included in the DH170. There is only one 2.5-inch SATA drive bay, but then again, there are limits to what fits inside such a small system. One drive should be plenty for most users of such a system. I just said that it only had room for one drive and that is technically correct, at least when we talk traditional drives. The DH170 also features an M.2 2260 Type B M key socket and a Half-size Mini-PCIe socket.

You can mount it via default VESA system and the DH170 is only 43mm thick on its own. It is also approved for 24/7 non-stop operations thanks to the heat-pipe cooling technology and smart fan design together with the use of industrial solid capacitors.

QNAP TS-251 High-Performance 2-Bay Prosumer NAS Review

Introduction


QNAP created their TS-251 Turbo NAS as a great high-performance solution for home users as well as small and medium-sized offices, and today I’m taking a closer look at what it has to offer and how well it performs in our testing area.

The TS-251 provides a high performance and high-capacity storage solution thanks to a great combination of QNAP’s advanced QTS operating system and some great hardware. It is an easy-to-use yet powerful NAS for data backup, file synchronization, remote access, home entertainment, and it is also ideal for users to build a personal cloud where they can access their data easily and secure, outside of the prying eyes of strangers and commercial hosting solutions.

The QNAP TS-251 is built with an Intel Celeron 2.41GHz dual-core processor that has a burst speed up to 2.58GHz. It comes with two DDR3L memory slots and is available in two models, one with 1GB RAM and the one I’m taking a look at today with 4GB DDR3L RAM in two 2GB modules. The TS-251 has 512 DOM storage for the system itself and comes with two hot-swappable trays.

Users of the TS-251 Turbo NAS get two Intel-powered Gigabit RJ45 Ethernet ports that support trunking and link aggregation. There is one USB 3.0 port on the front together with the One-Touch copy button and another USB 3.0 on the rear. You will also find two USB 2.0 ports there. The rear USB 3.0 port is excellent for expanding the capacity of the NAS with up to 8 more drives, making this a great starter NAS that can be expanded at a later time, should you need it. QNAP has the UX-500P and UX-800P expansion units that respectively provide 5 and 8 extra drive bays. They connect to the NAS through a single USB 3.0 cable, making it real easy to set up. That effectively means that you can have up to 60TB raw storage with a complete set of 6TB drives and the TS-251.

The two USB 2.0 ports are perfect for USB printers, pen drives, and USB UPS connection as well as for keyboard and mouse when you’re using the HD Station. This is also where the HDMI port comes into play, as you can hook the TS-251 directly up to a monitor and use it for direct media playback of 1080p videos with 7.1 channel surround sound as well as run virtualization systems.

The powerful Intel x86 processor in the TS-251 can transcode Full HD videos on-the-fly as well as offline, allowing you to play them smoothly on both PCs and smart devices. It allows for up to 5 devices to simultaneously view different videos stored on the TS-251 with on-the-fly hardware accelerated transcoding. Even devices that lack the computing power or have limited file format support will have a great experience and it doesn’t require any complicated and time-consuming file conversions done by yourself.

You can easily stream to all your devices whether they are Smart TVs, PlayStation, or Xbox systems as well as Hi-Fi systems that support streaming. Mobile devices, both Android and iOS, are supported and so is Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Google TV. Plex Media server is also included which is one of the most popular ways to manage streaming content.

For the perfect media experience, you might also want to invest in the optional media remote. The TS-251 features an IR receiver and works like a charm with the QNAP RM-IR002 remote control as well as MCE remote controls. You can also turn your mobile devices into remote controls by installing the Qremote app. All in all, you’re covered when it comes to media features on the TS-251.

You can easily turn the QNAP TS-251 Turbo NAS into your own personal cloud solution thanks the myQNAPcloud. It provides an always-connected infrastructure for everyone, and all without complicated setups and extra services such as static IPs, redirects, and DNS setups. A few simple steps to register your NAS and it’s ready.

Constant synchronization is a breeze with Qsync where any file uploaded to the TS-251 will be made available for all linked devices, such as computers, laptops, and mobile devices. Qsync is especially useful for frequent travelers in managing files and ensuring that different devices have the most up-to-date files with great flexibility.

The TS-251 also offers various data recovery options such as Real-Time Remote Replication (RTRR) for real-time and scheduled data backup to remote Turbo NAS or FTP servers as well as synchronization of files to remote folders from local folders. The rsync protocol is also supported and it is a very popular and simple method to backup data to remote servers on a scheduled basis. Commercial and public cloud services are also supported for both backup and restoration from providers such as Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Microsoft Azure, ElephantDrive, Dropbox, and Google Cloud Storage.

Local backup is just as important and in many cases it is the main reason that people invest in an NAS. The TS-251 can do that thanks to QNAP’s NetBak Replicator that supports real-time and scheduled data backup on Windows, including Outlook email archiving. Mac OS X users can use Apple Time Machine for effortless backup, and both types of users can use the USB 3.0 port and one-touch backup button on the front to backup that external storage to the NAS. A wide range of third-party backup software such as Acronis True Image and Symantec Backup Exec are also supported.

I’ve previously mentioned the direct usage functionality of the TS-251 thanks to the USB and HDMI ports, and that all comes together thanks to QNAP’s exclusive QvPC Technology. It allows you to use the NAS directly as a PC with direct access to stored data, the ability to run multiple applications using Windows/Linux/UNIX/Android-based VMs, surf the web on Google Chrome, or enjoy Full HD videos with up to 7.1 channel audio via Kodi.

The Virtualization Station is another feature we get thanks to the QvPC technology and it transforms the TS-251 into a virtualization platform supporting multiple operating systems, fast virtual machine creation, virtual machine import/export, snapshot, and that enables desktop operations on web browsers. With the easy-to-use interface, you can centrally manage all of the virtual machines created on the TS-251 with minimal effort. You can also download VMs on demand from online VM markets and import them to TS-251 without any complex procedure. This feature requires at least 2GB of RAM, so the 1GB model is out of the running here. Thankfully I’ve got the 4GB model here. As previously mentioned, you can also upgrade the memory in the TS-251 at any point with standard SO-DIMM DDR3 modules.

The TS-251 can also be used as Surveillance Station and you can monitor this directly via the HDMI output in real-time with local display, and much more. Surveillance Station offers a professional surveillance solution with a user-friendly management interface, over 2,600 compatible IP cameras, and expandable IP camera channel licenses. Next to real-time monitoring it also supports video and audio recording as well as playback with a wide range of customizable settings. There are also Android and iOS apps available for this.

Downloading files can also be done directly by the NAS thanks to the download center. The new and improved Download center in QTS 4.2 means that the old QGet tool isn’t needed anymore and QNAP has ceased the support for this. The Download Station can download BT, Magnet, PT (Private Trackers), eMule, FTP, and HTTP, and all without the need to have a PC running. You can also install HappyGet app to back up abundant online videos to your TS-251.

QNAP NAS’ offer so much, it is tough to mention it all. In short, it does pretty much everything. There are a few things more worth highlighting such as the Signage Station that lets you creatively present your animated content such as personal animated resumes or life memory books. You get the Notes Station that gives you a private and secure way to share and collaborate on digital notes and Qsirch is probably the most efficient way to search for content on your NAS, it’s quick and effective, and it searches your content intelligently.

You also get the Photo Station and Music Station that help you share the photos and media you want while keeping other things private and limit the availability. Connect and stream internet radio, favorite songs from iTunes server and much more. The TS-251 can do it all.

Packaging and Accessories

The front of the packaging displays the NAS unit itself and the area of operation, in this case, High-Performance Home users and Small offices. Some of the main features are also presented right on the front and it is an overall great looking design. It’s simple, but not boring.

A personal cloud setup is getting more and more relevant as we are getting used to being connected everywhere we go. The rear of the box displays that and shows some of the ways that you can utilize that.

The two sides provide even more information, without being too cluttered. Overall a great package design from QNAP on the TS-251; I like it.

Inside the box, you’ll find a power supply and power cable from the region where it was bought, in this case, a UK power cable. There are two LAN cables so you can use both LAN ports right away as well as screws for 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch drives. Two small manuals help you getting started, setting it up and connecting it for the first time.

Giada Announces GT400 All-round MicroServer

Micro Servers are growing in popularity along with any other device that is shrinking in size while maintaining the performance power of the larger siblings, and it is no surprise. A great feature set, low power consumption, and a small footprint make them an optimal choice for enthusiasts as well as small and medium businesses. Giada announced their newest take on this market and it is called the GT400 MicroServer.

Giada’s GT400 MicroServer is a 4-bay storage system and it would be perfect for NAS systems as well as general Windows and Linux OS uses. It is built for low power consumption and 24/7 reliability and it supports RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 modes for the installed drives.

 

The system is very power efficient thanks to the Intel Celeron 1037U dual-core processor with an operating frequency of up to 1.8GHz while it only consumes a mere 17W at max. And the Celeron is great at file tasks, quite a lot better than the Atom for example, making it a great choice. The built-in power supply can deliver up to 180 Watts, which should be more than sufficient no matter what drives you install. The chipset used is the Intel HM77

Connectivity is provided through dual Gigabit Ethernet, both Intel-powered. One is a 210AT and the other is an 82579LM. USB 3.0, USB 2.0, D-Sub VGA, and audio out connections are available on the rear while the front features a USB 3.0 port with hardware copy button.

 

The four drive bays are hot-swappable and lockable for security purposes and prevent accidental ejection. The system itself is cooled by a 75mm fan that is placed on the rear of the unit. The available LEDs include one for each drive, one for each LAN port, one for USB, one for Status and one for Power. A system buzzer is also included, making it a complete package for almost any scenario.

The GT400 is compatible with both Windows and Linux systems, allowing you to use the one that is best for your setup. Free NAS systems such as OpenMediaVault and FreeNAS would be the perfect choice for prosumers while SMB users most likely will go with a custom Linux or Windows Server version.

You can equip the Giada GT400 with up to two SO-DIMM DDR3 modules, but Giada didn’t specify a maximum amount. So, 16GB in two 8GB modules should work without trouble on this chipset and CPU. The GT400 also features an internal m-SATA SSD port for your system partition.

Giada also applied its own designed and patented JAHC technology in the GT400. JAHC, Active Hardware Control Technology, provides built-in capabilities for unattended operations such as auto power on when connected to power, or a scheduled power on/off.

The GT400 also has an optional enterprise-class wireless router function. With this feature, the server is equipped with an enterprise-class main control chip and 4 external detachable antennas. In addition to the 2.4GHz/5GHz dual-frequency technology, its maximum wireless transmission rate reaches up to 600Mbps. The professional and enhanced low-noise amplifier increase the wireless performance with better signal strength, penetration and stability performance.

Giada Introduces Compact and Fanless F103D Mini PC

Giada unveiled a new compact and completely silent Mini PC dubbed the F103D. The Giada F103D isn’t the average mini-PC, it is packed with the latest Intel Braswell N3150, N3050, or N3000 Processors with a max TDP of 6W as well as other great features.

The F103D is designed for digital signage and harsh environments, but I see completely different possibilities thanks to the features and specifications. Starting with the dual LAN, powered by two Realtek controllers, the F103D opens up for easy built custom routers and firewalls. This functionality is further increased by an optional upgrade with a WiFi module. It already has the antenna.

The system supports 4K video out at 30Hz via the onboard HDMI and it also comes with a D-Sub VGA connector. There are several COM ports as well as USB ports too. The unit also features 5.1 audio via the display out. You can mount one mSATA SSD as well as a 2.5-inch HDD or SSD in this mini PC.

It comes with 2GB memory onboard and that can be expanded with 2GB more with a DDR3L SO-DIMM slot. Further, you get an onboard IR module and IR sensor on the front, but the remote control is optional. The system is compatible with Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 as well as Linux. Android support is planned for 2016.

Gigabyte MW70-3S0 (Intel C612) Dual CPU Workstation Motherboard Review

Introduction


Gigabyte’s motherboard series based on the Intel C612 chipset is quite an impressive one and I’ve already had the pleasure to test the MU70-SU0 server motherboard. Today I’m taking a look at its bigger brother, the dual socket Gigabyte MW70-3S0 workstation motherboard.

The Gigabyte MW70-3S0 workstation motherboard is based around Intel’s C612 chipset and offers you two LGA 2011-3 sockets with support for Intel’s Xeon E5-2600 V3 processors as well as 16 DDR4 modules for a total of up to 768GB RAM. The MW70-3S0 is a workstation board and as such it offers some other features than server boards, such as Multi-GPU configuration. With support for up to three graphics cards in CrossfireX or SLI via the three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots and coupled with the CPU and memory support will make sure that we don’t run out of performance anytime soon.

One of the really great things about this board’s memory support is that it supports the full speed of 2133MHz, even when all 12 memory banks are populated. In the past, you had to make the choice, whether you wanted capacity or speed. Gigabyte made sure that you’ll have a maximum speed on all memory banks at all times.

We also get plenty of storage abilities on Gigabyte’s MW70-3S0. Not only does it provide 10 SATA3 ports via the Intel C612 chipset where two of them support SATA DOMs, we also get an LSI SAS 3008 onboard controller with two Mini-SAS ports for eight SAS 12GB/s drives. The SATA ports support RAID 0/1/5/10 while the SAS ports support RAID 0/1/1E/10. The connectivity is secured by two Intel i210 Gigabit Ethernet ports that allow for easy trunking and link aggregation.

Overall, this board is built with quality components that should make sure that everything runs stable and for a long time. It is equipped with IR Digital PWM and IR PowIRstage IC controllers to guarantee a stable operating environment and OS-CON capacitors with a minimum service life of 50.000 hours. The installed chokes are high-end ferrite core chokes that again should help deliver a stable power to both CPU and memory.

Specifications

The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers homepage and are as such subject to change in possible future revisions.

Key Features

  • Intel Xeon processor E5-1600 V3 & E5-2600 V3 product families
  • 16 x RDIMM/LRDIMM ECC DDR4 DIMM slots
  • Supports 3-Way NVIDIA SLI / AMD CrossFireX
  • 2 x GbE LAN port (Intel I210)
  • 2 x Mini-SAS (for 8 x SAS 12Gb/s ports)
  • 10 x SATA III 6Gb/s
  • 7.1+2 HD Audio
  • 2 x USB 3.0 + 2 x USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 x USB 3.0 header + 1 x USB 2.0 header

Packaging and Accessories

The box follows a very simple design and is perfect for the market it’s aimed at. There is no need for fancy artwork like we’re used to on consumer motherboards.

The rear of the box gives a little detail about 3 key points that are important to a board of this caliber including reliability, availability, and serviceability. These are all major factors for any IT admin needing a reliable product with quality components that is easy to set up and maintain.

Inside the box, we find anything we need to get started, but nothing unnecessary that would drive up the overall price on the product. We get two SATA3 cables where one of them has an angled connector at one end, two CrossFireX bridges, as well as two NVIDIA SLI bridges for 2-way and 3-way SLI and CrossFireX support. There’s also the obligatory IO shield and a driver disk

ASUSTOR Launches Four Braswell Powered NAS Units

ASUSTOR has just launched four new NAS units and they are all part of the World’s first Braswell powered NAS units. The new NAS devices are the AS6202T 2-bay and AS6204T 4-bay NAS powered by quad-core processors while the AS6102T and AS6104T are powered by dual-core processors. The choice of CPU brings along quite a few advantages besides having an overall more powerful chip in your back and would be a great choice for both prosumer and SMB users.

Along with the new Braswell CPUs, the four NAS units feature EAS-NI hardware encryption, expandable memory, plenty of USB 3.0 and eSATA ports as well as HDMI and audio out for Ultra HD 4K direct connections. The system is utilizing dual-channel memory and can expanded up to 8GB.

The new units also come ready and pre-installed with the latest version of ASUSTOR’s operation systems, ADM 2.5, that brings along a lot of improvements and strengthening of the core functions. Better backup features and security, enhanced network recycle bins, and iSCSI LUN snapshots are just a few of those.

The four new NAS units from the 62 and 61 series are currently launching in global markets and should be available for purchase very soon. A four units include a 3-year warranty.

Key Features for the AS6202T and AS6204T

  • Intel Celeron N3150 1.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor (Automatic Overclocking to 2.08 GHz)
  • High-Performance Read Speeds of up to 223+ MB/s and Write Speeds of up to 220+ MB/s Under Link Aggregation and RAID 1
  • Pre-installed Dual-Channel 4GB SO-DIMM DDR3L High-Speed RAM (Expandable to 8GB)
  • 2 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
  • 1 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 Gb/s) Port on the Front
  • 2 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 Gb/s) Ports, 2 x USB 2.0 Ports and 2 x eSATA Ports on the Back
  • 1 x HDMI 1.4b Port
  • 1 x S/PDIF Port
  • Infrared Receiver
  • Supports Hard Disk Hot Swapping and Online RAID Migration
  • Supports Seamless System Migration
  • Supports RAID Volume Management RAID 0/1, Single, JBOD (AS6202T)
  • Supports RAID Volume Management Single, JBOD, RAID 0/1 /5 /6 /10, RAID 1 /5 +Hot Spare (AS6204T)
  • Maximum Supported Capacity of Hard Disks: 12TB/ 24TB (AS6202T/AS6204T)
  • Disk Tray Locks
  • LCD Panel (AS6204T)

Key Features for the AS6102T and AS6104T

  • Intel Celeron N3050 1.6 GHz Dual-Core Processor (Automatic Overclocking to 2.16 GHz)
  • High-Performance Read Speeds of up to 220+ MB/s and Write Speeds of up to 188+ MB/s Under Link Aggregation and RAID 1
  • Pre-installed Dual-Channel 2GB SO-DIMM DDR3L High-Speed RAM (Expandable to 8GB)
  • 2 Gigabit Ethernet Ports
  • 1 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 Gb/s) Port on the Front
  • 2 x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 (5 Gb/s) Ports, 2 x USB 2.0 Ports and 2 x eSATA Ports on the Back
  • 1 x HDMI 1.4b Port
  • 1 x S/PDIF Port
  • Infrared Receiver
  • Supports Hard Disk Hot Swapping and Online RAID Migration
  • Supports Seamless System Migration
  • Supports RAID Volume Management RAID 0/1, Single, JBOD (AS6102T)
  • Supports RAID Volume Management Single, JBOD, RAID 0/1 /5 /6 /10, RAID 1 /5 +Hot Spare (AS6104T)
  • Maximum Supported Capacity of Hard Disks: 12TB/24TB (AS6102T/AS6104T)

BIOSTAR Release Top-End Gaming Z170X Motherboard

BIOSTAR create some amazing motherboards for a low price when you think of all the features that you get along and the newest addition to the line-up doesn’t look like it is any different. The new BIOSTAR Gaming Z170X motherboard is built for the new Intel Skylake platform and comes with any feature a gamer could want from it.

The first thing that stands out beside the large heatsinks and cover shields is the Touch OC seen below to the bottom right. It allows overclockers to enjoy the best performance from their system with a touch of a finger and adjust it just the way you want to. BIOSTAR also likes to add good sound hardware to their boards and they did that on this one too. It features their Super Hi-Fi Audio with 30uF gold-plated audio connectors for excellent signal conductivity and less oxidation.

There is no shortage of speedy storage options on this board either. The Gaming Z170X comes with three of the new generation SATA Express connections with 16Gbps speed and a 32Gbps M.2 slot that takes all four lengths of M.2 drives.

You’ll get both an Intel i219V and a Killer E2201 Gigabit Ethernet connector, allowing you to choose whichever you prefer. Most gamers will go for the Killer E2201 while I’d personally rather use the Intel chip for this. For further expansion, you have 3x PCI-E x16 Gen 3 slots (x16 or x8, x8 or x8 , x4 , x4) and 1x PCI-E x1 slot. The M.2 slot also supports Wi-Fi or WiGig modules next to storage drives.

The IO area provides plenty of USB 3.0 and Audio connectors next to the USB 3.1 Type-C port, and you can connect more USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports via headers. It features two HDMI 2.0 and one DisplayPort connector for 4K UHD resolutions in 60Hz as well as a DVI-D connector for a legacy 1920×1200 resolution, also at 60Hz.

The new BIOSTAR Gaming Z170X motherboard comes with an MSRP of $219.00 USD.

MSI Announces WindBOX III Advanced Fanless Mini-PC

Big and custom built systems for high-end gaming and graphical work isn’t always what you need and if you want to go into the opposite direction, then MSI’s latest system might be just the right pick for you. The WindBOX III Advanced (MS-9A75) Fanless Mini-PC brings a powerful CPU along with plenty of connectivity options and best of all, it’s completely silent.

The MS-9A75 is based on Intel’s 5th Gen Broadwell-ULT Core i5-5200U processor that supports up to three screens. You get a DVI-I and two DisplayPort connectors for this and those are far from the only connection options on this tiny fanless unit. There is dual-LAN, plenty of USB 3.0 ports as well as audio, USB 2.0, and COM ports. There are two models, so what connectors you have available depends a little bit on that.

The system should also be easy to maintain as the bottom cover is convenient removable for quick access to the 2.5-inch SSD slot, the memory, and 2 full-size mini-PCIe slots.

Key Features:

  • Slim and fanless system design with Mini-ITX board
  • 5th Gen Intel Broadwell ULT Core i7/i5/i3, Celeron Processor
  • Support DDR3L SO-DIMM up to 16GB memory
  • 3 independent display: 2 x DP, 1 x DVI-I (support DVI-D and VGA via Y cable)
  • 2 x Intel GbE LAN, 4 x USB 3.0 and 2 x USB2.0, 1 or 2 x COM, audio, and lockable DC jack
  • Flexible design for easy maintenance on 2.5″ HDD/SSD, memory & 2 full-size mini-PCIe
  • DC-in 19V/65W adaptor

Thank You TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

ASUS Launches X99M-WS Micro-ATX Motherboard

ASUS showed off their new X99M-WS motherboard back at Computex in June and then there was a bit silence on that regards while users patiently await its release. That time should now be upon us as it’s being reported that ASUS formally launched this new Micro-ATX motherboard with LGA2011v3 socket and Intel X99 Express chipset.

This could very well be the most feature rich motherboard in this category, with this chipset and this form factor. With support for Core i7 “Haswell-E” processors and certain Xeon E5 v3 models and four DIMM slots for up to 64GB quad-channel memory, this board starts out great. Additionally you’ll get three PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (x16/x16/x8 or x8/x8/x8) as well one PCIe x1 slot for expansion cards of your choice.

Storage doesn’t come short either with eight SATA3 ports and one 32Gbps M.2 slot. On top of that you could use the PCIe slots for even more storage, may it be by RAID and storage controllers or PCIe storage drives. You also get a full coverage on connectivity with dual Intel i210 Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11ac Wireless LAN.

You’ll also find the latest generation of USB ports where this board features two Type-A USB 3.1 ports on top of the six USB 3.0 and several USB 2.0 ports. There’s also a proper onboard sound solution thanks to the 8-channel ASUS CrystalSound 2.

Thank You TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

Supermicro X10SDV-F Xeon D-1540 SoC Motherboard Review

Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging


The motherboard I’m taking a look at today is a little something special. It is a tiny board yet it packs a punch that is worthy of a large right hook. The Supermicro X10SDV-F is a Mini-ITX motherboard with an onboard Intel Xeon D-1540 System-on-a-Chip (SoC) processor and lot of other goodies to go along with it. The Intel Xeon D-1540 is an octa-core processor with sixteen threads. It runs at 2GHz with a boost of up to 2.6.GHz. You will also need a lot of RAM to go along with that kind of CPU and that isn’t any problem for this tiny Supermicro board. It supports up to 128GB DDR4 memory with its 4 DIMM slots. You also get six high-speed SATA3 ports, a PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 slot, a full speed PCIe Gen3 x16 slot and two Intel Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports. The bigger brother of this board is called the X10SDV-TLN4F which also features two integrated 10 Gigabit Intel Ethernet ports for those that need even more connectivity from a tiny board. Further, you get two USB 3.0 connectors on the rear I/O while USB 2.0 is provided via two headers. The remote management with a dedicated Realtek Ethernet port and built-in Aspeed graphics solution for maintenance and setup is another great feature and one that shouldn’t be missing on a server-grade motherboard.

There isn’t much you won’t find here. You can also choose whether you want to power it via a standard 24-pin power header or rather use 12V connectors depending on your power supply options. With a thermal design of just 45 watts TDP, the CPU can be passively cooled, but it is recommended that you cool the chassis properly.

Specifications

The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers homepage and are as such subject to change in possible future revisions.

Key Features

There is always something that sets each and every motherboard apart for the rest, sometimes it’s in features and other times it is the software. On this motherboard, it is most likely the SoC and up to 128GB DDR4 memory support in this form factor.

  • mITX
  • Intel Xeon D-1540 SoC with 45W TDP
  • Up to 128GB DDR4 ECC Memory
  • ATX and 12V Dual power abilities and low power consumption
  • Dedicated IPMI Remote Management and SuperDoctor 5
  • 6 SATA3 ports, M.2 slot, USB 3.0 on-board, Dual Intel i350-AM2 Gigabit LAN
  • PCI-E gen3 x16 slot

Packaging and Accessories

As reviewers we don’t always get the retail package on these products as we simply don’t need them and the companies wish to get the products to us as fast as possible for review. In this case, I got the motherboard in a simple OEM box without any accessories. Normally however the motherboard includes two 57.5 cm flat SATA cables and a standard I/O shield.

QNAP TS-453 Mini 4-Bay Stylish and Quiet Vertical NAS Review

Introduction


Most NAS systems are built around the same basic design, but not all of them. Once in a while a device comes along that is something just a little bit special and today I’m taking a closer look at just one of them.

I got the new and innovative QNAP TS-453 mini on the testbench, an NAS that features the easy-to-use QTS operating system, powerful hardware, and a unique top-loading mechanism for the drives. It also comes with one of the easiest and most convenient ways to replace or upgrade the memory. Thanks to the innovative design, the TS-453 mini has a very small footprint for a 4-bay NAS unit. It takes up 29% less space than a normal QNAP 4-bay unit such as the TS-453 Pro that we recently took a look at.

The glossy black design looks great, but it isn’t so great for photos. You can clearly see my camera in most shots and in some you’ll even be able to see the reflection of my monitor that is a good 5 meters away. This is mainly based on the photo lighting and won’t be as extreme in your own setup. You’ll have to take my word for it, it is gorgeous.

The TS-453 mini also comes with QNAP’s relative new myQNAPcloud key that allows for incredible easy setup as I’ll be showing you later.

You can even use the TS-453 mini as full-fledged PC thanks to the virtualization support in QvPC. It allows you to install basically any operating system from Windows to Android in a virtual environment and run it directly from the NAS. That is simply an epic feature.

The NAS has dual Gigabit LAN, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, and an HDMI out. This setup and QNAP’s QvPC technology allows you can use it directly with a VM setup or as HTPC. Connect the NAS to your TV or monitor, attach a mouse and keyboard, and you got a media station without the need for another PC.

You can adjust the LED indicators’ brightness in 5 steps from the dashboard so you don’t need to worry about them shining up your entire living room. The skyline LED indication will also remind you when the system is in sleep mode and you can schedule the times where it needs to be on and off.

The top of the NAS lifts off for easy drive access and it secures just as easy again. The powerful magnets in the top will pull the lid right into place and make sure it stays there.

The best feature is hidden on the bottom of the NAS, a single screw to remove a lid is all it takes to upgrade the memory in this system. It couldn’t be easier to upgrade the RAM in your NAS than this, although it isn’t really needed in this case as it is the model with 8GB RAM. Models with less RAM are also available.

As this is the TS-453 mini model with 8GB of RAM, we see that two modules are pre-mounted. You could still replace them, but there really isn’t any need here. The basic model comes with 2GB RAM.


The drive trays are very convenient to use and don’t require any tools or screws for 3.5-inch drives. You’ll need screws if you want to mount 2.5-inch drives in the caddies. Just pull the sides off the caddy, insert the drive and put the sides back on – all done. In fact, you can set up the entire NAS with a single tool and the only place you’ll need a screwdriver at all is if you wish to upgrade the RAM.

I’ve talked a lot about this NAS and I have barely touched the hardware yet. At the heart of the TS-453 mini you’ll find a quad-core Intel Celeron 2.0GHz processor with boost up to 2.41GHz.

This CPU will bring a lot more power to the table than seen from most ARM based NAS devices and it should be something that really shows a difference when dealing with the AES 256-bit volume encryption and comparing the benchmarks to non-encrypted drives. As previously mentioned, you can get this NAS with either 2GB or 8Gb DDR3 memory.

Within the package you find everything you need to get started. The NAS itself is protected with an adhesive film all the way around and you get two LAN cables, a PSU brick, easy setup guide, and an infrared remote control.

The QTS system is a great operating system that provides all the basics features natively. Anything that isn’t found among the basic features can be installed via add-on packages directly from within the management system.

The TS-453 mini is a little marvelous wonder with everything it can do. I’ve already mentioned some of the features, but there is so much more. Next to the QvPC technology for virtualization and HTPC usage it also features RTRR for easy data management and backup, NAS and iSCSI-SAN unified storage solution for server virtualization. It also supports VMware, Citrix, and Hyper-V and you can easy expand the raw storage capacity up to 96TB with the optional UX-800P QNAP expansion enclosure.

Security is an important feature and next to the AES 256-bit hardware encryption engine it also offers anti-virus and a multitude of backup solutions as well as cloud integration – both personal and public clouds. On the front you’ll find a USB 3.0 port with quick copy button that can be configured to work the way you’ll like it best and the system supports everything from third-party backup software such as Acronis True Image and Symantec Backup Exec as well as Real-Time Remote Replication, Rsync, and Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Microsoft Azure, ElephantDrive, Dropbox and Google Cloud Storage.

On-the-fly and offline transcoding help to create the best possible media experiences no matter what device you connect from and the SSD cache acceleration can be used to speed up the IOPS in environments where that is needed, which mostly will be enterprise scenarios.

Qsirch is a new google-like search feature that recently was added to QNAPs products. It requires some resources, but nothing this system can’t handle. In return, you get the probably fastest and best search solution found in any NAS system. A few keywords from meta-data, file content, or name and Qsirch will find your files.

Mobile devices are covered just as well as PC systems. There are a lot of apps available providing a direct connection to you NAS as well as synchronization options for your mobile devices.

The comprehensive Surveillance Station is of course also present and allows you to connect over 2700 different certified IP cameras to the NAS and monitor it in real time, record, and anything else you’ll want in a security station. Two camera channel are included and it can be expanded up to 24 channels.

Habey Release the Swiss Army Knife of Mini-ITX Motherboards

Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of Habey before, most people haven’t. They have however been in the business for quite some time and probably longer than some of our readers have been alive, so they know a thing or two about creating solutions for embedded and small form factor systems. Their newest product, the mini-ITX motherboard dubbed the MITX-6670 is somewhat of a swiss army knife of the small form factor with a lot of onboard functions and even more upgrade functions.

As a base, you’ll get a mini-ITX motherboard with a passive cooled Intel Baytrail quad-core J1900 processor running at 2.4GHz and two SO-DIMM slots for up to 8GB total DDR3 memory. There are two onboard Intel LAN port and there is an onboard header for an optional POE module. You can connect two SATA drives or two mSATA drives, but not both at once. The selection is made by jumper and one of the mSATA ports support full size where the other only allows half-size mini-PCIe.

But it doesn’t stop here as you can customize even more. There is a default PCIe x1 slot, but the really cool feature is the onboard header that allows you to expand with what you, may it be an extra HDMI port or a DisplayPort connector instead.

The built-in iGPU supports HD resolutions and the Realtek ALC892 chip powers the audio part. There’s also support for a Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2) and you can even insert a sim card for 3G, 4G, and LTE connectivity.

MITX-6770 Features

  • Dual Intel I210/I211 Gigabit EthereEthernet
  • Built-in Ethernet port pin-header ready for POE (Power over Ethernet) setup
  • HDMI + VGA and LVDS/HDMI/DP/eDP add-on interface card options
  • Dual mSATA SSD support with easy jumper selection
  • Build-in Infineon Trusted Platform Module and 8-bit GPIO
  • Realtek ALC892 high-performance 7.1-channel HD Audio
  • Low power, fanless passively cooling

Habey’s MITX-6770 has a manufacturer suggested retail price starting at $159, which actually isn’t much considering the features you get and compared to other available boards with fewer features and functions.

ASRock Announced a mITX-board With LGA2011v3 and Quad-Channel Memory

A powerful server doesn’t necessarily need to be a huge monster of a beast and ASRock proves that once again by cramming not just an Intel LGA2011 v3 socket and a C612 chipset onto a tiny mini ITX motherboard, they also managed to cram in support for quad-channel DDR4 memory.

The new ASRock motherboard is named the EPC612D4I and supports Intel’s Xeon E5 V3 series processors. Being what it is, the board takes SO-DIMM DDR4 memory modules and that might be the biggest problem right now. There aren’t really any SO-DIMM DDR4 modules released yet, but that is surely going to change soon as the new memory standard takes off and enters the mainstream to replace the current DDR3 models.

The board features an onboard graphics solution powered by the ASpeed chip and it provides analog display output with a resolution up to 2048 x 1536 next to a dedicated IPMI RJ45 port powered by a Realtek RTL8211E chip. It also comes with onboard dual Intel Gigabit Ethernet network, four SATA 3 ports, and a PCIe 3.0 x16 expansion slot. It has both a USB 3.0 header as well as an onboard plug for building a flash module right into your system.

Specification Highlights

  • Mini ITX 6.7″ x 6.7″
  • Socket LGA 2011 R3 Intel Xeon processor E5-1600/2600 v3 series
  • Supports Quad channel DDR4 2133/1866 ECC DIMM, 4 x SO-DIMM slots
  • Support 4 SATA3 by C612
  • Supports 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16
  • Integrated IPMI 2.0 with KVM and Dedicated LAN (RTL8211E)
  • Supports Intel® Dual GLAN ( Intel® i210 + Intel® i217 )

QNAP’s New TS-453mini NAS Is Packed With Great Features

QNAP has presented their newest SOHO NAS and it is a little different from the network attached storage units we usually see. The new TS-453mini is a vertical top-loading unit that can take up to four hard drives. Usually mini means that you’ll only be able to use 2.5-inch drives in the unit, but the TS-453mini can take four normal sized 3.5-inch drives. With current 6TB hard drives that would equal to 24TB of raw storage with a footprint that is just 151mm wide and 200mm deep.

The elegantly designed for SOHO device features a stylish piano black finish, a whisper quiet heat exhaust, easy tool-less hard drive installation, simple accessible RAM upgradability, and is packed full of cutting-edge features and apps for file storage, backup, sharing and entertainment needs. A lot more than you’d expect from such a tiny unit.

The new QNAP unit also features all the connection abilities you want from an NAS. You get dual Gigabit Ethernet for failover and link aggregation, two USB 2.0 and three USB 3.0 ports as well as an HDMI out for direct usage.

QNAP’s TS-453mini is built around an Intel quad-core Celeron 2.GHz CPU with a burst speed up to 2.41GHz. The unit has two RAM slots and will be available in two version right of the shelves, one with 2GB memory pre-installed and one with 8GB memory. The unit also features an IR sensor for an optional remote and can be expanded up to 96TB storage capacity using QNAP’s UX-800P USB 3.0 expansion unit.

You don’t need to opt for the model with 8GB RAM right away if you don’t know if you’ll be needing it. The NAS has one of the easiest memory upgrade systems possible with a small hatch on the bottom with direct access to the modules. Upgrading the memory of you NAS has never been so easy. The drive trays feature equal easy mounting as it all snaps together without the need for screws and tools.

The HDMI out allows you to use the NAS as a direct media hub, but it does more than that. QNAP added their QvPC technology to the unit, which allows you to use it as a full-fledged PC thanks the use of virtual machines.

The new QNAP TS-453mini will be available soon and we’ll also have a review of the unit ready for you as soon as it’s available. The German e-tailer Redcoon already has the unit listed and in stock, but that must be a wrongful listing as it isn’t released yet. It does however give us the price of €457.12 incl. VAT.

ASUSTOR AS5102T 2-Bay Enthusiast NAS Review

Introduction


I was pretty excited when I heard that the ASUSTOR AS5102T 2-bay NAS was on the way for a spin on my test bench. I’ve seen, heard and read a lot about ASUSTOR and their features but never had the pleasure of a hands-on experience. This has changed from today and I’ll be giving this unit a thorough lookover and testing.

The AS5102T is categorized as an NAS for power-users to businesses, and I had no doubt about that from the moment I took it out of the box. The NAS is relative heavy for its size and it’s a result of the absolute awesome build-quality. The AS5102T is powered by an Intel Celeron 2.0 GHz quad-core processor which combines with a rich variety of multimedia output functionality to give you an optimal choice for both work and play.

The unit is built around an Intel Celeron 2.0GHz quad-core CPU with a burst speed up to 2.41GHz. The 2GB SO-DIMM DDR3L memory can be expanded to a maximum of 8GB in two modules, it can take two 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch SSDs or HDDs of your choice and supports hot-swapping as well as easy migration to a new ASUSTOR NAS if this one ever should become too small. There is plenty of connection options with three USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, and two eSATA ports. One of the USB 3.0 ports is located at the front ‘inside’ the backup button for the same. A simple press of the key and the NAS will start to sync the drive with the specified location-based on your settings.sata, two gigabit ethernet ports,

The two Gigabit Ethernet ports support every possible setup from link aggregation to fail-over and dual-IP setups. The choice is yours. Another amazing feature is the direct output via HDMI 1.4a and S/PDIF. This allows you to connect the NAS directly to your TV, monitor, or audio system. No need for a dedicated HTPC. You can control it via a web interface, smartphone apps, or directly by attaching a keyboard and mouse to the unit. A true multimedia hub for all your photos, music and movies.

As mentioned above, you can control the AS5102T in multiple ways, but ASUSTOR adds one more to the list. They’ve also added an infrared receiver to the NAS and you can get this awesome little remote for it that works with the AS-6, AS-3, AS-2TE, AS50, AS51, and AS70 series. This is awesome, you can truly kickback and play all the media from your NAS in a convenient way.

With the newest version of KODI that was released just a few days prior to this review going live you’ll even be able to control the NAS and KODI with your normal TV remote. There are however two things you need for this to work, a TV that supports CEC function and an extra USB to CEC Adapter. But then it’s just plug-and-play assuming the TV has the CEC function turned on. Your ASUSTOR NAS is now fully integrated into your existing multimedia setup, awesome.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kV9OfBZVuyo

ASUSTOR also made sure that the unit is as eco-friendly and economical as possible. The system will only draw 17.7W in an average configuration compared to the 100-350W a PC easily can draw. The system will automatically enter sleep mode (Schedule S3) when needed and supports auto-standby for both internal and external disks. The 70mm fan is controlled by the system and only spins as fast as it is needed and I didn’t notice it at all during my time with the unit. You can also set your own custom power schedule with on, off, restart and sleep settings.

A really awesome feature that I didn’t expect to find was not only the LED Night Mode, but also that you’re able to customize what LEDs are turned on and off as well as how bright they should shine. The Night mode can be automatic or you can set your own schedule. The more I dive into the depth of this unit, the more I get impressed by it.

I previously mentioned that the unit felt heavy when I unpacked it and that is because it’s a full metal unit, well aside from the front panel and rubber feet, of course. The NAS features an aluminium casing along with a rust and corrosion resistant coating which combines with the metallic hard disk trays to fully make use of the natural cooling properties of metal. This significantly enhances the entire cooling ability of the system and it’s far superior for the job than plastic units who need bigger fans running at higher speeds to keep cool.

 

The full metal drive trays feature both a locking mechanism to prevent accidental ejection during operation as well as someone taking a drive with him when walking past the unit. Each tray has two LEDs directly built and the locking mechanism when you plug the trays into the unit is simply superb. Same goes when ejecting a drive again, it pops and slides out without a noise or any resistance. It just fits.

A premium device also needs a premium accessories bundle, and the AS5102T has that too. ASUSTOR was so kind to provide us with a remote as part of our NAS, but you’ll have to purchase that seperately if you wish to use a more traditional control of the built-in media player. They NAS also comes with two LAN cables so you instantly can take full advantage of both ports. While other NAS devices provide multiple LAN ports at times, they rarely come with more than one cable. It’s a nice touch from ASUSTOR to include one for each port.

The AS5102T has a tiny footprint with only 10.8cm width, 23cm depth, and 16.35cm height. It weighs about 2kg due to the use of superior metals over plastic and the generally great build quality.

 

ASUSTOR has a long list of apps ready for your mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, among them AiData, AiRemote, AiVides, AiDownload, AiMusic, AiFoto, AiSecure, and AiMaster. Everything looks to be covered with just the right app for each occasion.

ASUSTOR has one more amazing function that I’d like to tell a bit about before we move on and take a closer look at the device itself. The MyArchive function allows you to use hard disks as removable storage archives. Plug in an archive when you need it and swap it out for another one when it isn’t needed anymore, or just to cut on the power consumption. It’s as easy as plug and play and works by keeping any OS related files off the drives.

There is a limited amount of drive bays reserved for this function and in the case of the AS5102T it is one. Larger models allow for two bays to be used for the MyArchieve function. The lazy person can even buy additional disk trays to eliminate the need for screwing when replacing drives this way. This is also a very cost effective way of storing a lot of data, especially when we look at the Seagate Archive HDDs. The 8TB variant costs less than a 6TB WD NAS drive as we use in our tests, and that is an offer that is hard to resist. But keep in mind that these drives are heavily optimized for reading and will have bad writing performance compared to NAS drives.

While AiRemote and AiDownload will be some of the most used tools, the AiMaster is the one worth highlighting. Not only will it allow you to initialize your new NAS from your mobile device, it also allows you to generate the entire setup, change and modify it at any time anywhere. All you need is a networked connection to your NAS. We’ll take a closer look at just this aspect a bit later in the review.

Gigabyte GA-6LASL, the New £99 Server Board


When you look around for a server motherboard with multiple onboard LAN connections and support for Intel’s E3-Xeon V3 CPUs, you won’t find anything that could be considered cheap. That is up until now, as Gigabyte’s GA-6LASL is just that; a lot of server board for a tiny price tag.

The mATX form-factor motherboard comes with an LGA1150 socket and Intel C222 chipset, supporting the Xeon E3-1200 V3 and the 4th generation Intel Core i3 processor families. The four DIMM slots support up to 32GB ECC memory with a speed of up to 1600MHz and the board comes with two SATA3 ports and four SATA2 ports for storage. DOM storage is of course also supported.

As previously mentioned, the GA-6LASL has dual onboard LAN controlled by an Intel I210-AT chip and an integrated Aspeed AST1300 2D graphics card for up a resolution of up to 1920×1200 at 60Hz. Being an intel board, the SATA ports support Intel RST with RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10. It comes with one PCIe x16 Gen3, one PCIe x8 Gen2 x4, and one PCIe x4 Gen2 x1 slot.

There are no direct USB 3.0 ports, but it does have a header for two front-panel ports. There are plenty of USB 2.0 options with four onboard ports and two headers for four more ports. Being a server board, it comes with support for Windows Server 2008 and 2012 as well as Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.x and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11.3.

The Gigabyte GA-6LASL is a lot of server board for just £99, well worth considering.

Synology Releases RS815 and DS1515 Value-Series 5-Bay NAS’

Synology launched two new NAS devices today and the first of them is the DS1515, a powerful and expandable 5-bay NAS for small and medium-sized businesses – or users who just want a little more than a normal SOHO device. It doesn’t just pack a quad-core processor, but also comes with four gigabit ethernet ports featuring failover and link aggregation for outstanding performance, it also features hardware-based encryption engine and blasting fast speeds.

“Growing SMBs expect a storage solution that is versatile and scalable for their future needs while minimising the initial investment. The DS1515 is engineered to address such needs, and provides the performance, reliability, and scalability to manage, protect, and share data,” said Jonathan Wang, Product Manager at Synology Inc.

The DS1515 can achieve 421 MB/s writing and 403 MB/s reading when using a RAID 5 configuration in a Windows environment, and even with encryption turned on, it still performs impressive speeds of up to 296 MB/s reading and 150 MB/s writing. It also supports the SSD read/write cache support that will boost the throughput considerable while minimising the overall costs per gigabyte of storage. The two eSATA ports allow you to scale the DS1515 for up to 15 drives with the use of the DX513 expansion units, with 6TB drives that would be 90TB raw capacity.

The new Synology DiskStation DS1515 is shipping globally now and should be available in your area very shortly.

The second new NAS from Synology is the 19″ RackStation RS815, a scalable and compact 1U 4-bay NAS. The RS815 is very short with its 12″ depth, 37% shorter than its predecessor. It comes with a dual-core 1.33GHz MARVELL processor with floating point unit and 1GB RAM.

“More and more small businesses need a compact server that can handle a variety of workloads,” said Jonathan Wang, Product Manager at Synology Inc. “With RS815, we want to demonstrate how uncompromising performance and functionality are achievable even within a small footprint.”

The MARVELL Armada XP MV78230 processor coupled with the dual Gigabit ethernet ports can provide great speeds that exceed 216MB/s read and 121MB/s write speeds. With failover and link aggregation you’re covered whether you want higher bandwidth or extra security and you can also extend this unit. The 19″ RX415 expansion unit connects through the eSATA port and provides another four drive bays.

The Synology RackStation RS815 is also shipping globally now and should arrive at your local reseller shortly.

Both new NAS devices are powered by the award-winning DiskStation Manager (DSM) that provides all the features and functionality you could want from a NAS. They also both come with USB 3.0 ports for easy and fast storage expansion as well as backup jobs.

BIOSTAR Announces the GAMING Z97X and Z97W Motherboards

BIOSTAR has announced their latest flagship socket LGA1150 motherboard, the GAMING Z97X. The Z97X is designed with gamers in mind and is built with a high amount of connectivity and a little bit of overclocking rather than just being focused on the best overclocking potential.

The brown-gold and black colour scheme along with the plastic shroud at the rear give the board a unique appearance. The CPU gets its power from a 12-phase VRM and the board has three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 and three PCI-Express 2.0 x1 expansion slots wired to the PCH.

Storage connectivity includes SATA-Express, six SATA 6 Gb/s, and an M.2 (PCIe 2.0 x2) connector. The board also offers two supercharged USB 3.1 (10 Gb/s) ports, in addition to six normal USB 3.0 ports, and a number of USB 2.0 ports. As mentioned, this board is focused on connectivity and further has two gigabit Ethernet interfaces that sadly won’t allow for bridging as one is driven by an Intel controller and the other by a Qualcomm Killer E2200; those are still two great choices to have.

The onboard audio features a 110 dBA SNR CODEC, a 600Ω headphones amp, and ground-layer isolation and comes bundled with a 5.25-inch front-panel head-unit BIOSTAR calls the Gaming Commander. It doesn’t just provide front-panel audio outputs and control, but also diagnostic LEDs and temperature indicator.

The GAMING Z97W was released at the same time and is a slightly slimmed down version without the third PCIe x16 slot and with a 10-phase CPU VRM.

 Thanks to TechPowerU  for providing us with this information

QNAP SilentNAS HS-251 2-Bay NAS Review

Introduction


This is not the typical every-day NAS we are testing today, it is a somewhat special device. When we usually think of NAS devices, it goes in the direction of tower and rack-systems; and that is not the thing you would like next to your well designed home-theatre system. Another thing that prevents most people from having their NAS in that particular location is the noise generated by fans to keep the device cooled; QNAP have tackled both these problems in the HS-251 silent and fanless NAS.

QNAP is one of the leading brands within NAS and storage, along with Synology and Thecus. Asustor have also grown into a bigger competitor in this market, and it takes something special to stand out from the crowd. QNAP is no stranger to this scenario and with the many years of experience they have in the bag, they packed this tiny 2-bay device with all sorts of useful features; this is far from the every-day NAS device.

This isn’t just a stylish and silent NAS either, it is also a HTPC at the same time. You can connect it directly to your TV or monitor via the built-in HDMI port to browse the web, stream media or play what you already have stored on the same device. There are three ways to control the HTPC part of this device, you can either attach a mouse and keyboard or use your mobile-phone or tablet with QNAP’s official control App. The third option is an extra remote control that can be bought separate.

Out of the box, the HS-251 has access to Google Chrome for your web browsing, while it features YouTube and Spotify application for your media on demand needs; best of all is probably the XMBC media player, allowing you to playback all your stored media files with more options and file support than most smart TV’s offer via the built-in DLNA player. The HS-251 of course supports DLNA too, for those who prefer it that way.

Being a QNAP device, it comes with a long list of installed applications and tools ranging from download manager to online photo albums and web-server. It also has the personal cloud feature to automatically synchronise all your files across your devices and keep an extra safe backup at home. The new QTS user interface is overall amazing and should give you pretty much any function and feature you could want from a NAS like this.

The QNAP HS-251 even has real-time and offline HD video transcoding to convert your videos to formats that can be smoothly played on PCs, mobile devices and Smart TVs. It allows multiple devices to simultaneously view different videos stored. This in return also allows to enjoy your videos, even on multiple devices, that lack computing power or have limited file format support.

The package content isn’t a big surprise and nothing special overall, but it does have everything we need to get our NAS up and running. Along with the quick installation guide there’s also a Getting Started guide. We get two Ethernet cables and a DC power brick with AC power cable depending on the region you bought your device. Of course the NAS is included too. Normally you’d also get 8 screws for 2½ inch drives and 8 for 3½ inch drives, to screw the drives into the caddies, but it looks like the packing robot however forgot to put those into this sample, so they aren’t shown below; if this should happen to you, I’m sure QNAP would be very quick to dispatch a new set to you.