Articles: Networking

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Hardware Configuration

Thecus is one of the few, if not the only, manufacturer that uses AMD’s Geode LX platform in its products. It is a 500MHz x86-compatible processor with an encryption unit, an integrated graphics core, integrated PCI and memory controllers and a very modest power draw (TDP 3.6W). The processor is cooled by a small aluminum heatsink. It works together with an AMD Geode CS5536AD controller which incorporates such important system components as an IDE/PATA controller and a 4-port USB 2.0 controller. The employed peripheral bus – 32-bit 66MHz PCI – looks somewhat outdated, but is unlikely to limit the performance of the SATA disk controller (SiI3114CTU) or of the network controllers (Intel 82541PI). The system memory is represented by a 256MB SO-DIMM module of DDR400 SDRAM. It looks like you can replace it with a larger module but I did not have one to check this out. The operating system is written to a 128MB DoC module connected via IDE44.

Most of the electronics are assembled on a single PCB. Besides it, there is a backplane for HDDs, a card with the dot matrix display, and a card with the buttons. Two of the buttons are connected with flat cables that are not laid out neatly, so if you take the main PCB out, you may find it difficult to put the NAS back together. Most users won’t take the NAS apart unless for cleaning or replacing the fan, though.

The power adapter’s wattage of 200W is high enough for any modern HDDs. According to my brief test, the NAS’s peak power consumption is 84W when starting/booting up, 52W when accessing the HDDs, 38W when idle, and less than 5W when idle with the HDDs turned off. These numbers are similar to those of other NAS platforms and are far lower than the power consumption of a desktop PC with four HDDs.

The NAS was tested with firmware version 2.01.07.

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