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Updated 5/28/2009: Corrected incorrect TS-509 Pro eSATA info.

QNAP TS-809 Pro

At a Glance
Product QNAP Turbo NAS (TS-809 Pro)
Summary Eight-bay server-like Intel Core 2 Duo-based BYOD NAS with support for single drives, JBOD and RAID 0, 1, 5, 5+ hot spare and 6.
Pros • Online volume expansion and RAID migration
• iSCSI target
• Local console and remote SSH root access
• Built-in LAMP server, DLNA multimedia server, FTP, iTunes
• Attached and network backup
Cons • Very expensive
• No jumbo frames
• No eSATA ports

This review of QNAP's TS-809 Pro is the last of QNAP's current NAS crop that I'll probably be reviewing for awhile. It's the largest and most expensive of QNAP's desktop NASes and can also be had in rackmount form as the TS-809U-RP.

The form factor is basically two TS-439's stacked vertically, minus a second LCD panel. This makes for a relatively small footprint for a lot of storage.

QNAP TS-809 Pro Front and Rear panels

Figure 1: Front and Rear Panels

Internal Details

Figure 2 shows a view of the 809 from the top with the cover removed. The power supply is easily accessible and the two large case fans can be replaced without dropping the back panel. (Getting at their connectors, however, will require small fingers and some dexterity.) The main board connects to the drive cage backplane via the red SATA cables.

Top inside view
Click to enlarge image

Figure 2: Top inside view

Figure 3 is the left side view, which is dominated by the bottom of the main board. About all you can see here is the backside stiffener for the Core 2 Duo's heatsink.

Left inside view
Click to enlarge image

Figure 3: Left inside view

Getting the main board out was a bit tricky and after a glance at the components that I could see (Figure 4), I decided to leave the board alone. The design is more similar to the TS-509 Pro than it is the Atom-based TS-439 and 639 Pros, with the main differences being the Core 2 Duo CPU and dual Marvell 88SX7042 PCI-e 4-port SATA-II controllers vs. the 509 Pro's 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron M 420 and Marvell 88SE6145 SATA controllers. The 809 also has 2 GB of DDR II 667 RAM occupying one slot of two stacked SODIMM sockets, while the 509 comes with 1 GB.

Partial board view
Click to enlarge image

Figure 4: Partial board view

Both systems have two gigabit Ethernet ports provided by Broadcom BCM5787 NetLink Gigabit Ethernet Controllers. This means that the 809 shares the 509's lack of jumbo frame support. I don't think this is as much of a drawback as I did when I reviewed the 509 Pro. My experience (and others' from the SNB Forums) is that the 509 is plenty fast enough without jumbo frames.

Updated 5/28/2009: Corrected incorrect TS-509 Pro eSATA info.

The more serious omission is the 809's (and 509's) lack of eSATA ports. This means that throughput to external USB drives for either backup or storage expansion is limited to 23 MB/s or so. In contrast, even the Atom-powered TS-439 and 639 Pros were able to achieve backup speed in the mid-to-high 60 MB/s to an EXT3-formatted eSATA drive.

With eight Samsung HE103UJ 1 TB drives provided by QNAP with the review unit spun up, the 809's power consumption measured 102 W. With the drives spun down for power saving, wattage dropped to 47 W.

The 809 was almost shockingly quiet in operation when you consider the number of spindles whirring away. But you will, of course, know that it's running if you have a quiet room.

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