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Exterior Design

The StorCenter px6-300d is designed line a miniature tower measuring 17.7 x 25 x 27 centimeters. The disk bays can be accessed through the door in the face panel. The door is a plastic mesh that doesn’t hinder ventilation. Its color is gray to match the metallic case. On the right, there is a black glossy insert with a USB 3.0 port and a Power button with built-in indicator. There is a window in the top part of the door for a dot-matrix display. You can also see two LED indicators and a couple of buttons nearby.

The display can report the status of the NAS, including system errors. You can use it to learn such information as system name, IP address, RAID status, date and time. It can’t be used to adjust any settings, though.

The rear panel is largely occupied by the grids of two 90mm cooling fans. Above them there is a standard expansion slot bracket. On the right, there are two USB 2.0 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet connectors with built-in indicators, a Reset button, and a power connector.

Hardware Configuration

The StorCenter px6-300d is based on the Intel Atom platform. Its 17x17cm PCB carries the following components: a D525 processor (2 cores, 4 threads, 1.8 GHz), an ICH9R South Bridge, two SO-DIMM DDR3 slots (one is occupied by a 2GB PC-10600 module), Realtek RTL8111E LAN controllers, and a single-port USB 3.0 controller FL1000G. Part of the firmware is stored in the 1GB flash memory chip made by Samsung which is connected via USB.

There is also a VGA mini-connector (a normal monitor connector would be even better, though), a serial port, a Clear CMOS button, a BIOS restore connector, a debugging port, and a PCIe x4 slot on the PCB. The manufacturer doesn’t specify any uses for the PCIe slot. The NAS is assembled using a lot of rivets, so you may find it difficult to take it apart to reach the fans for cleaning or replacing.

The hardware looks good except for the lack of eSATA and the single USB 3.0 port. The former is explained by the exclusive use of the chipset’s controllers whereas the latter is mere cost-saving. You can potentially expand the NAS’s functionality by installing an add-on card into the PCIe slot but you must make sure beforehand that it’s supported by the integrated OS.

The NAS is cooled by two 92x25mm fans from Delta Electronic. Their speed is PWM-regulated automatically. There is also an additional high-speed fan on the processor. The overall noise level is average, allowing to use this model at an office, which is good enough for a six-disk NAS.

I tested it with firmware version 3.1.14.995.

 
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