(Editor: this article is written by Paul Maranzano, our newest team member here at DigitalReviews.net)
QNAP brings an additional family member to fill a gap of a performance NAS with a lower price range.
With thanks to QNAP, DigitalReviews get to see how this unit performs.
I’m not shy to admit it; I love an Intel chip in a NAS and I believe that anything else is sinful. In saying that I was still very exited to unbox and start testing the unit.
Exterior is gold in colour to differentiate it between the Intel and AMD series. The TVS-473 is a tower design and build quality is mostly great. Most of the chassis is made from metal but the front bezel and bays are made from a good quality plastic. Installation of the hard disks is where this felt cheap but apart from that I was quite happy with its robustness.
Front panel consists of 1x USB 3.0 One Touch Copy button and 1x Quick Access USB 3.0 port
Rear panel consist of dual HDMI, 3x USB 3.0 Ports, 2x USB 3.1 Ports and 4 NICs standard. Talk about bang for buck!
Hidden away underneath is an AMD RX-421BD 2.1 GHz which can burst up to 3.4 GHz with 16GB of RAM. This is where the brand of processor was no longer relevant as I was excited to take it for a test drive. More than enough power to run a Plex server, run a VM off Virtualization Station, utilize Surveillance station and having all my data stored locally without missing a beat.
I was lucky enough to load up QTS 4.3 and play with some of the new features along the way. Setup was straight forward and much faster from previous experience. I leveraged QvPC functionality and connected it up to my TV at home with a keyboard attached as if it were a PC. Stuck in a cupboard below my TV it was running hard but quietly, I could hear it sometimes but not to the point where it distracted me. It was surreal having that much processing power just below my TV.
QNAP simplifies the setup of their devices quite well with the use of informative wizards. Plugged in the drives, plugged in network, booted it up and could find the device by using QFinder. QNAP initially was on a DHCP address and I could access the web interface. I ran through the wizards, configured the storage pool and away we went.
Network throughput was maxed out at 112mbps which is what I expected out of a gigabit connection. I teamed all the NICs together and have multiple machines transferring and reaching peak speeds without a problem.
Installed Plex Media Server and turned the settings up to maximum CPU transcoding streaming from 7 different devices at 1080P and didn’t miss a beat. This is truly a machine you’d want if you’re running any transcoding due to the shear CPU processing power it has.
The remote that’s included with the TVS-473 is of great quality and works well with the device if you’re to utilize the QvPC functionality of it. The buttons click and feel firm with great responsiveness from the device. Remotes are a hard thing to make me happy about, they’re typically either too big that they get in your way or too small that you lose them in between the couch. The remote size is roughly the same of an Apple TV remote but stands out enough that you don’t lose it due to the bronze colour.
I was reading about QNAPs Wireless AP Station and was very sceptical on the whole concept. Anything wireless and mass amounts of data seems to be a recipe for disaster. I decided to pick a wireless card off the supported list and went down to my local computer store and purchased a TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 and installed it into the QNAP. Configuration of the device was so simple, physically installed the card, booted up the system and download WirelessAP Station from the App Center. Once it finished downloading and installing I opened WirelessAP Station and could see all the wireless networks within range and connected. Connected strength was great and utilized 5Ghz at roughly 400Mbps. This feature makes it extremely easy and convenient for those renting or those who don’t have provisions for cabling in their NAS which still achieving great network speed out of their device. I’d highly recommend taking a leap of faith and giving it a go if you’re having cabling restraints.
The Quick Access port on the front is an amazing idea. This allows you to plug in the QNAP to any PC and utilize it as if it were a USB drive. This allows for access to your files if your network is down or if you have an Ultrabook without a wired network card and need something quick.
Build quality is always something any company can improve on. I’ve completely understood that at a lower price point that QNAP have used plastic hard disk trays but I would have liked to see a full metal tray. Also the locking mechanism on the QNAPs seem to all be different depending on the model which is another frustration, but that’s more my love of consistency.
I personally am not a fan of the bronze chassis as it just stands out way too much for me. Every time I look at it I feel I should be wearing sun glasses.
Apart from that it’s a unit hard to fault. With that much processing power and RAM for that price point, who can complain?
NAS drives are becoming more and more common in everyday homes with end users’ expectation of performance increasing every day. Not only are the files getting larger but we’re also becoming more and more impatient and demanding faster speed.
The TVS-X73 range has a multimedia focus whilst bringing sheer processing power to the table. You can start to see when utilizing SSD technology that the TVS-X73 range will stand out amongst all others in the same price point.
Whether it’s sheer CPU power or the versatility of having it wired or wireless using WirelessAP Station the TVS-473 and QTS 4.3 is a stand out from all angles; as long as you can stand the bronze chassis...
Price: RRP from the QNAP shop AUD1580. Street price generally a bit lower but we've also seen them a bit higher as well!
Here's the link to the full SPECIFICATIONS on the QNAP site.