The Thecus N4800 is based on Intel’s Atom D2700 processor which has two cores clocked at 2.13 GHz and supports four execution threads. The OS is 64-bit. Disk controllers are integrated into the ICH10 chipset which is also responsible for the USB 2.0 interface whereas the two front-panel USB 3.0 ports are based on a NEC controller. The Thecus N2800 has two SO-DIMM slots for system memory, one of which is occupied by a 2GB DDR3 module. So, you can easily upgrade its memory subsystem if you want to.
The DOM with firmware has a capacity of 1 GB and is connected via SATA. The Ethernet controllers are based on Intel 82574L chips. A Realtek ALC262 chip is responsible for audio. The full-height PCIe slot is x1 but you can install broader cards into it. A miniPCIe is available, too, although it is rather unusual for a NAS.
The interior doesn’t look neat because there are too many cables inside. The HDDs are connected via individual connectors instead of a backplane. The ADDA fan uses 3-pin connection. Its speed is regulated automatically. You can also spot a second fan connector on the PCB.
The video outputs and USB let you use this NAS as a desktop PC. For example, you can enter its BIOS, change settings or install a different OS.
Considering that the N4800 isn’t different from its cousin we discussed in our previous review in terms of firmware and functionality, we won’t repeat it again. You can refer to the mentioned review in which we used the same firmware version (2.03.06.atom). We’ll only cover the differences here.
The display and buttons let you start the N4800 up without a PC. For example, you can change the default fixed IP address with another one or enable DHCP.
The four disk bays allow building the following disk configurations: JBOD, RAID0/1/5/6/10. A replacement disk can be specified for a fault-tolerant array.
As opposed to its junior cousin, the N4800 allows increasing the size of its disk volumes without losing data by sequentially replacing disks in a RAID1/5/6 array. It also offers several migration variants (from RAID1 to RAID5 or RAID6; adding an HDD to RAID5; RAID5 to RAID6) without data loss. The built-in battery protects your data, but cannot replace a full-featured UPS. In case of a power failure, the NAS enables a sound alarm, writes an appropriate entry in the log file, and shuts down when the battery is depleted. The battery status cannot be monitored via network. The NAS’s display may report Full even if it is going to shut down in less than a minute. Unfortunately, the NAS cannot turn on automatically when power is restored.
Thecus’s N2800 and N4800 models were the first to support media player capabilities. The add-on modules LocalDisplay, XBMC and VLC enable the integrated Linux graphics environment and use the CPU’s graphics core to decode and output video, also in Full HD formats. Digital TV programs can be recorded after inserting a compatible TV tuner into the NAS’s USB port. Still, we can’t say that this solution is competitive against true media players, mostly because its control options are limited. The simplest controller for XBMC is a wireless keyboard but we hope that network-based control via modern smartphones will be implemented in the future.