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Exterior Design

The Thecus N2800 isn’t large for a dual-disk NAS, measuring 12x24x17 centimeters. It’s got a metallic case with a plastic front panel. The color is black except for the back and bottom which are not painted at all. Unfortunately, the front panel is glossy and will need regular cleaning to look good.

In its top part there are large indicators of HDD, LAN, USB and card-reader activity. On the left, there is an On/Off button, a USB 3.0 port, a copy button and an SD/SDHC slot. The HDD bays are covered by a small door. On the back, there is a fan grid, an expansion card slot, a power connector, two USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA port, two Ethernet ports, VGA and HDMI outputs. There is no Reset button.

The power connector is at the top, so its cable is going to get in the way. The overall exterior design is quite appropriate for a working environment but may look somewhat gloomy in a home interior.

Hardware Configuration

The Thecus N2800 is based on Intel’s Atom D2700 processor which has two cores clocked at 2.13 GHz. Hyper-Threading is supported, resulting in four execution threads. The installed OS is 64-bit. The CPU works together with an ICH10R chipset whose SATA controllers are used for both the internal HDDs and the eSATA port. The chipset is also responsible for the USB 2.0 interface whereas the single USB 3.0 port is based on a NEC controller. The Thecus N2800 is equipped with 2 gigabytes of DDR3 SDRAM as system memory in a SO-DIMM module which can be replaced with a larger-capacity one. Memory can also be upgraded by installing another module into the second slot, which is empty by default. The Ethernet controllers are based on Intel 82574L chips. There’s a specialized 1GB DOM to store the OS image (firmware); it is connected to a SATA port on the PCB and to a power connector. Aluminum heatsinks are installed on the CPU and chipset for cooling.

The Thecus N2800 offers one PCIe x1 slot for a low-profile expansion card. The manufacturer doesn’t provide any suggestions about using it, but we guess it is meant for a network controller (although two Gigabit Ethernet ports are already quite enough for a dual-disk NAS). Besides the main PCB, there are a number of small cards here: for the HDDs, indicators, USB 3.0, and card-reader (the latter is connected to a USB 2.0 header on the main PCB).

The video outputs and SATA flash disk let you install an alternative OS but it is hardly necessary considering the cost of the solution.

The Thecus N2800 is cooled by a SUNON MB60251V2-0000-G99 fan. Being small (60 mm in diameter), it makes the NAS noisier compared to other models. The correlation between temperature and fan speed isn’t clear. According to the integrated sensor (the fan uses a 3-pin connection), the peak speed is 4000 RPM. When the NAS is idle, the fan works at 3000 RPM. The CPU temperature is about 50°C, the platform is 40°C and the HDDs get as hot as 40°C, too. There are vents in the NAS’s case near the HDD bays and a vent grid in the front part of the bottom panel.

 
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