A closer look inside
That was a lot of talk about what the QNAP TS-431 can do, now let us take a closer look at what is inside of this NAS. Opening up the enclosure will expose a very simple and basic layout with the motherboard mounted on the side and a PCIe adapter for the SATA connections.
Removing the drive cage and the rest of the plastic enclosure reveals a single metal frame that holds the 120mm silent fan on the rear and the simple motherboard with the rest on the other side. The CPU is passively cooled which is easily enough for such a low TDP and the large fan not far from it.
We get a much better view of the motherboard once it is removed. There is a lot of free space as most is done by a few key features. The SoC ARM-A9 alone has the ability to handle most things. The rear of the motherboard has nothing attached to like seen on other system, but why would there be with so much space on the top side of it.
The PCI Express SATA bridge looks a bit more packed with two ASmedia chips, among others, placed between the SATA data and power connectors.
I’ve created an image compilation to get a better look of some of the chips used in this NAS. Below you can see the two Micron 4DK17 D9PTK RAM chips, a Samsung 407 K9F4G08UOE SCB0 NAND flash chip for the operating system, two ASMedia ASM1061 SATA controller, two Atheros AR8035-A Gigabit Ethernet controller and a GL3522 USB controller.