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Thecus has thoughtfully designed the N7510 for easy servicing. The back panel containing the two fans comes off by removing four thumbscrews and unplugging the two fan cables. You can then slide out the main board and drive backplane in one piece (photo below) after unplugging all the drives and removing two more thumbscrews.
Thecus N7510 board with drive backplane
The drive backplane plugs into a mainboard connector and is secured by one screw to an attached bracket. The power supply is internal, but easily removed via four rear-panel screws. To swap it out, however, you'd have to free the main board and drive backplane to slide it out to access the power connector on the main board.
On the photo below of the N7510's main board, we can see a 2 GB DDR3 SoDIMM, as well as the heatsinks that cover the 2.13 GHz Intel Atom D2700 processor and companion device. It's a bit fuzzy, but you can see that the SoDIMM socket is two-level and there is an empty slot above the factory-installed RAM. If the N7510 is like the N5550, you should be able to expand memory to a total of 4 GB.
The part marked "Industrial MDS module" is a 1 GB flash Disk on Memory (DOM). Just to the right of the DOM is what looks like two PCI-e X1 connectors stacked end-to-end. I may be showing my ignorance here, but I don't understand this arrangement. I suppose it doesn't matter anyway, since Thecus doesn't say that the 7510 supports an optional 10 GbE adapter like the N7700PRO and newer TopTower series do. The connectors may not be live anyway, since it looks like the traces from them go to the empty device pad footprint you can see in the photo top center.
Thecus N7510 board without drive backplane
Table 1 summarizes the N7510's key components and includes comparison information for the N6850 and N5550. Aside from the CPU, the designs are very similar with dual Intel WG82574L Ethernet controllers, Silicon Image SiI3132 for SATA and NEC D720200AF for the USB 3.0 port(s).
|CPU||Intel Atom D2700 @ 2.13 GHz||Intel Pentium G620 @ 2.6 GHz||Intel Atom D2550 @ 1.86 GHz|
|RAM||2 GB DDR3 DIMM (expandable to 4 GB)||2 GB DDR3 DIMM (expandable to 16 GB total w/ 4 GB DIMMs)||2 GB DDR3 DIMM (expandable to 4 GB)|
|Flash||1 GB DOM||1 GB DOM||1 GB DOM|
|Ethernet||Intel WG82574L (x2)||Intel WG82574L (x2)||Intel WG82574L (x2)|
|Companion||Intel NM10 [guess]||Intel NM10 [guess]||Intel NM10 [guess]|
|USB 3.0||NEC D720200AF||NEC D720200AF1 (x2)||NEC D720200AF|
|Audio||Realtek ALC262 2+2 HD Audio Codec||Realtek ALC262 [guess]||Realtek ALC262|
|SATA||Silicon Image SiI3132 SATALink PCI Express to 2-Port Serial ATA II Host Controller (x2)||Silicon Image SiI3132 (x2)||Silicon Image SiI3132|
|I/O||ITE8728F Super I/O||- Winbond W33795G hardware monitor
- Fintek F71889 Super Hardware monitor & I/O
|ITE8728F Super I/O|
|Video||Chrontel CH7318 HDMI level shifter||Pericom PI3VDP411LSZBE Digital Video Level shifter||Chrontel CH7318 HDMI level shifter|
Table 1: Key component summary and comparison
I still don't know the companion device and Thecus hasn't volunteered the information. However, since the Atom D2000/N2000 datasheet shows an Intel NM10 Express Chipset in the block diagram, I'm sticking with that.
Thecus included seven Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1 TB (ST31000524AS) drives, but I unplugged three to test with our standard four drives. Power consumption measured 56 W with the four drives spun up and 32 W with them down via the programmable idle drive power save feature. Fan and drive noise could be classified as medium-low, since a low whirr could be heard in a quiet home office.
The N7510 was upgraded to 2.03.08.cdv firmware before testing. Since Thecus standardizes its feature set across its products we won't be covering the features here. But a quick look at the N4800 review will provide a good overview. Additionally you could give the online demo a try to really get a feel for the user interface.
For quick reference, here is a summary of the main Thecus OS features:
- Network file sharing via SMB/CIFS, NFS, AFP
- Hot-swappable JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 with hot spare for RAID 1, 5, 6 and 10
- Optional AES256 volume encryption
- SMB/CIFS, HTTP/HTTPS, NFS v4, AFP file access
- Online RAID expansion and RAID level migration
- FTP/SFTP with upload / download bandwidth control
- HTTP / HTTPs admin access
- Bonjour / UPNP support
- Joins NT Domain / Active Directories for account information
- Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports supporting Load balance, Failover, 802.3ad, Balance-XOR, Balance-TLB, Balance-ALB modes
- IPv6 support (very basic)
- iSCSI target and initiator support
- iSCSI Thin Provisioning, MPIO, MCS, Clustering and Persistent Group Reservation supported
- ISO mounts
- User quotas
- Email alerts
- USB print serving
- Scheduled power down/up
- Programmable idle disk spindown
- Apache webserver (via installable module)
- Scheduled Backup to USB and eSATA drives
- Schedulable To/from rsync backup with optional encryption and compression
- Apple Time Machine support
- Client Backup: Acronis True Image (Windows); Thecus Backup Utility (Windows/Mac OS X)
- ACL backup/restore
- Schedulable DOM backup
- BitTorrent / HTTP / FTP download service w/ scheduling
- iTunes server
- UPnP AV / DLNA media server (via installable module - Twonkykmedia)
- Picazza photo album (via installable module)
- Video surveillance support (via installable module)
- Remote monitoring and admin app (Thecus Dashboard - iOS and Android)
- File and media access app (ThecusShare - iOS and Android)
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