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NAS Reviews

Turbo NAS
At a glance
ProductQNAP Turbo NAS (TS-470 Pro)   [Website]
SummaryFour-bay Intel i3-powered SATA NAS with dual Gigabit LAN, USB 3.0 and eSATA ports and optional 10GbE.
Pros• Dual 10GbE & Gigabit port options
• SSD Cache option
• USB 3.0 & eSATA ports
• Cloud backup to Amazon S3, ElephantDrive, Symform
Cons• Pretty expensive for a 'home' NAS

Typical Price: $1171  Buy From Amazon

Introduction

Update 6/14/2014 - SMB 3.0 is supported

I can't believe it's been almost a year since we last reviewed a QNAP NAS. But today's review is for one of QNAP's newest, the TS-470 Pro. QNAP slots the 470 Pro in its Home & SOHO family. But you'd have some 'splainin' to do to your spouse should you plunk down the $1200+ (without drives) this puppy will suck from your wallet without getting the go-ahead.

The partial spec comparison generated using QNAP's website tool shows the 470 Pro as a decent step above its TS-469L sibling given the 470 Pro's 3.3 GHz Intel Core i3 and 2 GB of RAM. The other unique attribute of this "Home and SOHO" NAS is that it has a PCI-e slot that can be populated with optional dual Gigabit or single / dual 10GbE cards. The review sample we got had QNAP's dual copper 10GbE card installed so that we could test 10GbE performance.

Spec compariso

Spec comparison

As has become common for higher-end NASes aimed at the home market, the 470-Pro has an HDMI port and analog mic and audio out jacks. But it lacks the TS-469L's IR receiver for remote control.

The physical design of QNAP's four-bayers hasn't changed since, uh, forever, unless you count the unlockable drive trays in the TS-469L and others. So the only way you know this is a 470 Pro is by scrolling through the LCD panel menu or checking its bottom for the serial number label.

QNAP TS-470 Pro Front and rear panel callouts

Folks who like plugging things into their NASes will be happy to see the USB 2.0, 3.0 and eSATA ports.

QNAP TS-470 Pro Front and rear panel callouts

Inside

QNAP didn't design the 470 Pro to be easy to service, so I didn't try to get the main board completely free. The back of the main board is in plain view once you pry off the tightly-fitted cover as shown below. Note that there is no SoDIMM slot on this side for easy RAM expansion. I could see both stacked slots filled on the other side of the board, nestled behind the front panel (photo right).

QNAP TS-470 Pro inside

QNAP TS-470 Pro inside

This view with the rear cover removed shows the radiator that is connected to the CPU heatsink via two heat pipes. The radiator sits right behind the right half of the main case fan.

QNAP TS-470 Pro backplane view

QNAP TS-470 Pro backplane view

The above photo was taken with the dual 10GbE card removed. The photo of the card itself below isn't very revealing and I did not try to remove the heatsink to reveal its chipset. You can see it's a custom card from the odd connectors. They plug into a converter board that is plugged into a standard PCIe connector on the main board. Plugging directly into the main board would have been easier. But it looks like the 10GbE card had to be moved up to miss the analog mic and audio out jacks.

QNAP TS-470 Pro Dual 10GbE card

QNAP TS-470 Pro Dual 10GbE card

The key components are summarized in Table 1 with the TS-469L's for comparison.

  TS-470 Pro TS-469L
CPU Intel Core i3-3220 Dual-core Processor @ 3.3 GHz Intel Atom Dual-Core D2700 @ 2.13 GHz
RAM 2 GB DDR3 SoDIMM (not expandable) 1 GB DDR3 1333 SoDIMM (expandable to 3 GB)
Flash 512 MB DOM 512 MB DOM
Ethernet Intel WG82574L (x2) Intel WG82574L (x2)
Companion Intel H61 Express Chipset [guess] Intel NM10 Express Chipset [guess]
USB 3.0 Etron Tech EJ188H Etron Tech EJ188G
SATA Marvell 88SE9235 quad PCIe to SATA 6 Gb/s controller Unidentified. On the drive backplane connector side
I/O ITE IT8721F temperature, fan and voltage monitoring controller ITE IT8721F temperature, fan and voltage monitoring controller
Video Asmedia ASM1442 HDMI level shifter Asmedia ASM1442 HDMI level shifter
Table 1: Key component summary and comparison

Since the 470 Pro comes diskless, I installed four WD Re 3 TB (WD3000FYYZ) drives for testing. Power consumption with those drives measured 63 W with the drives spun up and 29 W with them spun down.

Fan and drive noise were classified as medium low since the NAS was clearly audible in my quiet home office with the WD Re drives in use. Fan noise was minimal with no spin up during testing.

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