Articles: Networking

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Exterior Design

This case design was developed a few years ago and QNAP has used it in several generations of NASes already. It ensures consistency and brand awareness whereas newer models are differentiated by firmware capabilities and other consumer properties.

So, the TS-469 Pro has a steel chassis which can be partially seen on the bottom of the device. The top casing is made of aluminum which is colored a restrained dark tone. The front panel is black plastic. The metallic frames for HDDs have plastic faceplates and locks. Above the disk bays there is a 2-line dot-matrix display, two control buttons and eight LED indicators (NAS status, LAN, USB, eSATA and one indicator for each HDD). All of this is hidden behind the glossy panel. And just like in our previous review of a QNAP, we want to complain that it’s not easy to control the NAS using only these two buttons. There’s enough space on the front panel to place more controls but the manufacturer doesn’t think that necessary.

The button for copying data from external disks is implemented as a frame around the USB connector. It won’t be easy to use it if a USB flash drive with a large case is plugged in.

The back panel is identical in design to QNAP’s earlier products. We can see here the power connector and 40mm fan of the integrated power supply, the vent grid of the main 92mm fan, HDMI and VGA connectors, two USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 ports, two Gigabit Ethernet connectors, and two eSATA ports. The video interfaces can only be used for diagnostic purposes, but such applications as video player or video surveillance monitor may be added in the future.

But as long as it needs no monitor, the TS-469 Pro can be easily hidden somewhere far from your desktop PC. Summing this section up, we should say that its exterior design and manufacturing quality deserve our praise.

Hardware Configuration

Based on the x86 platform, the TS-469 Pro features Intel’s Atom D2700 processor which works at 2.13 GHz, has two cores and supports four threads. There is 1 gigabyte of system memory by default but you can add a second DDR3 module with a capacity of 1 or 2 GB. The SO-DIMM slot is located on the outer side of the main PCB. You can access it after taking the casing off. The firmware is stored in a 512MB USB flash drive from Apacer, which makes it easy to start the NAS up.

The Intel ICH10R chipset supports the USB 2.0 and eSATA ports whereas SATA 6 Gbit/s is implemented via two Marvell 88SE9125 chips. The USB 3.0 interface is based on an Etron Tech controller. Typical of such NASes, two Intel 82574L controllers are responsible for wired networking. With so many onboard controllers, the configuration resembles full-featured mainboards rather than entry-level nettops as was the case with early Atom-based NASes.

Besides the main PCB, there are a couple of smaller cards for the front-panel components which include indicators, buttons and a USB connector.

The Delta Electronics DPS-250AB-44D power supply has already been used in earlier QNAP products. It is only cooled by a 40mm fan, but this shouldn’t be a problem since the PSU is only rated for 240 watts and modern HDDs won’t need even that.

The NAS itself is cooled by a 92mm fan with 4-pin connection and adjustable operation. This ventilation system keeps the hard disk drives at a comfortable temperature without producing much noise.

The only problem is that you’ll have to break the warranty seal if you need to clean or replace the fan.

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