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Internal Details

The internal chassis shot in Figure 3 shows a lot of empty space in the rear part of the chassis (to the left in the photo) for the single power-supply version. The drives mount in the cage to the right of the photo. As mentioned earlier, there is space for four user-supplied 3.5" drives, which can be SATA II and have capacities up to 750 GB. The 4500 uses the ext3 filesystem for the internal drives.

Inside the chassis
Click to enlarge image

Figure 3: Inside the chassis

Figure 4 shows a detail view of the 1U4500's board. The spec sheet calls out an 1.5 GHz Intel Celeron M instead of the 600 MHz Celeron M in the N5200. There is a single DIMM slot that holds 512 MB of RAM instead of the 256 MB in the N5200. And like the N5200, there is a 64MB flash microdisk at the bottom center of the shot.

Detail view of board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 4: Detail view of board

Using my trusty Kill-a-Watt power meter, I measured the 4500's power consumption at around 86W while active and approximately 62W when the "Disk Power Management" kicked in. I think the power save just spins down the drives, since the fan noise remains constant even with the lowered power draw.

And speaking of fan noise, it's significant. The constant drone from its two fans (one in the power supply, the other internal and behind the drive bay) banished it to my utility room instead of the test bench for the duration of its stay at the SmallNetBuilder lab.

Features

As I pointed out at the top of this review, the 1U4500 and N5200 have very similar feature sets. Visit the N5200's review for a feature walkthrough or browse through the admin screenshot slideshow.

Check out the slideshow Check out the slideshow for an admin interface tour.

The main feature differences I found were the inclusion of a Mediabolic UPnP AV media server (Figure 5) and support for UPS shutdown from serial-port UPSes (Figure 6). Otherwise the 4500's features and admin interface were a virtual copy of the N5200.

Media server

Figure 5: Media server

UPS settings

Figure 6: UPS settings

Another thing worth mentioning is that it took only four hours to build and sync a 1TB RAID 5 array. Other RAID 5 NASes I've tested lately took 12+ hours to do the same job. This won't be of concern to most users, however, since the arrays are available for use, although at degraded performance, while syncing.

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