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NAS Reviews

QNAP TS-x53 Pro NAS series

At a Glance
Product QNAP TS-x53 Pro Turbo NAS Series [Website]
Summary Intel quad-core Celeron-powered NASes
Pros • USB 3.0 ports
• Cloud backup to Amazon S3, ElephantDrive, Symform
Cons • Lacks 10GbE option
• No eSATA

Introduction

Last month, we reviewed QNAP's x51 line of dual-core Bay Trail D Celeron NASes aimed at well-heeled Home and SOHO buyers. This time, we're looking at the x53 Pro family intended for small-biz customers.

The TS-x53 Pro series comes in two, four, six and eight bay models. All share a common hardware platform with two versions. The two-bay TS-253 Pro uses a board with two Gigabit Ethernet and three USB 3.0 ports. The rest of the models use a different main board with four Gigabit Ethernet, three USB 2.0 and two USB 2.0 ports.

None of the x53 Pros have eSATA ports, as is evident in the view of the rear panels below. All four models have a single HDMI port and integrated IR MCE Remote compatible sensor. In keeping with many of QNAP's other "Pro" offerings, all models have lockable drive trays and all except the two-bay have LCD status panels.

QNAP TS-x53 Pro series - rear panels

QNAP TS-x53 Pro series - rear panels

Key hardware features are compiled in the table below. Note there are two versions of each model; one with 2 GB of RAM and the other with 8 GB. If you don't like QNAP's RAM pricing, you can upgrade the RAM yourself.

QNAP TS-x53 Pro series feature table

QNAP TS-x53 Pro series feature table

All four versions can be expanded using either a USB 3.0-connected five bay UX-500P or eight bay UX-800P.

Inside

I tried disassembling the TS-653 Pro sample to take the photos and identify components. I got all the way to getting the board free, but couldn't get it untethered from its front panel connection to take clean photos. The board is different than the one I found in the TS-451. But, then again, the TS-x51 series uses a different board for its six and eight bay versions than for its two and four bay.

I guess QNAP didn't make it easy to get the board free is because both SoDIMM RAM slots are easy to get to once you remove the cover.

QNAP TS-653 Pro board outside view with SoDIMM RAM slots

QNAP TS-653 Pro board outside view with SoDIMM RAM slots

Here's a pretty crappy shot of the other side of the board. You can see the heatsinked CPU, Fintek F71869AD at the top center and PLX PEX8603 PCIe switches toward the right. Two of the Intel WGI210TA single-port Gigabit Ethernet controllers are on this side of the board and two can be seen on the left side of the board in the photo above.

QNAP TS-653 Pro board inside partial view

QNAP TS-653 Pro board inside partial view

Table 1 summarizes key components and compares with the TS-651 / TS-851.

TS-653 Pro TS-651 / TS-851
CPU Intel Celeron J1900 quad-core processor @ 2.0 GHz (Bay Trail D) Intel Celeron J1800 dual-core processor @ 2.41 GHz (Bay Trail D)
RAM 2 GB DDR3 SoDIMM (expandable to 8 GB) 1 GB DDR3 SoDIMM (expandable to 8 GB)
Flash 512 MB DOM 512 MB DOM
Ethernet Intel WGI210TA (x4) Intel WGI210TA (x4)
USB 3.0 Gensys Logic GL3522 USB 3.0 quad port hub Asmedia 1074 USB 3.0 quad port hub
SATA Marvell 88SE9215 SATA 6 Gb/s Host controller 4 port (x2 on backplane) Marvell 88SE9215 quad-port 6 Gb/s PCIe - SATA host controllers (x2)
PCIe PLX PEX8603 3-lane, 3-Port PCI Express Gen 2 (5.0 GT/s) Switch (x2) N/A
HDMI Asmedia ASM1442 level shifter Asmedia ASM1442 level shifter
Table 1: Key component summary and comparison

We equipped the TS-653 Pro review sample with four WD Re 3 TB (WD3000FYYZ) drives for testing. Power consumption measured 57 W with the 4 drives spun up and 20 W with them spun down. With only two drives inserted for the TS-253 Pro tests, power consumption dropped to 36 W with the drives spun up and 18 W with them spun down. Fan and drive noise could be classified as medium low, i.e. quietly audible in a quiet home office with four drives loaded and low with only two drives.

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