QNAP TS-453 Pro-8G NAS Review

Packaging, Contents And Exterior

Packaging

On the front of the box is a photo of the NAS with its LCD screen activated. You'll also find a short list of features, along with an icon depicting the quad-core Celeron inside. Finally, in the bottom-right corner, there are three icons describing Citrix and VMware compliance, along with DLNA support.

On this side is a multilingual description of the unit's most important functions. Near the bottom-left corner, QNAP provides an online address for its up-to-date HDD/SSD compatibility list. You'll want to check that out before buying storage for your appliance. Finally, there are photos of the device's front and back, along with a useful description of the LED indicators, buttons and I/O ports.

There is a small photo of the NAS on the top of the box, along with its model number and MAC addresses.

Contents

When you open the top flap of the box, a welcome note appears, along with various QR codes that take you to websites containing product data. Inside, the appliance itself is protected by huge foam spacers, and is also wrapped in a thick plastic bag.

A small box contains all of the accessories that come with the product, including two Ethernet cables, the AC power cord, keys for the lockable trays and two sets of screws for mounting either 3.5- or 2.5-inch disks. The bundle also includes a quick-start guide that walks you through the configuration process.

Exterior

Up front, most of the space is devoted to the lockable trays. In the bottom-left corner, there's a power switch, along with the Copy button, which actually surrounds the front USB 3.0 port. Finally, QNAP’s logo resides in the top-left corner. The TS-453 features tray locks for physical security. Any NAS appliance aimed at the SMB space should have these.

There are three LED indicators (Status, USB and LAN) below the two-line LCD screen. A button on the opposite side even allows you to perform several basic administrative tasks: get the NAS' IP address, check on system temperature and so on. The LCD screen deactivates automatically once the start-up or reboot phase finishes, thus keeping power consumption as low as possible.

A small sticker on the top provides the HDD sequence, while another, much larger one depicts the cloud key, which you're prompted to enter at the beginning of the NAS' cloud installation. 

Only one of the two sides is ventilated.

On the back, there are two fans. The smaller one belongs to the unit’s PSU, while the larger one (120mm in diameter) cools the hard drive and platform components. On the right side and near the bottom are four Gigabit Ethernet ports, along with a Kensington lock slot. A little higher up, there are two pairs of USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports. The single HDMI port is above the USB connectivity, and in the top-right corner is the reset switch. It's buried inside the enclosure, so you need a needle (or something else as thin and long) to press it. Surprisingly, the TS-453 Pro doesn’t feature any eSATA ports—most likely because USB 3.0 is more popular and provides similar bandwidth.

The NAS is equipped with four plastic stands that are wide enough to ensure stability. There is also a small label that provides information about this product's power input range.

We removed the trays to take some internal shots. However, we will fully dismantle the NAS later on, so you will have the chance to see more detailed photos of its layout.

The trays support 3.5- and 2.5-inch disks. They're metallic and reflect high-quality construction. Our only criticism is their lack of sound-dampening material. So, you may experience some noise due to hard drive vibrations. Also, the trays aren’t numbered. Really though, the hard drive sequence doesn’t matter unless you're using an SSD for caching alongside mechanical storage.

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22 comments
    Your comment
  • blackmagnum
    Don't leave your old PCs sitting around go to waste... make a NAS box today!
  • elbutchos
    I know it is not supposed to support 16GB RAM but please guys bust this myth.
    Thank you in advance.
  • Aris_Mp
    This is not the NAS mainboard's fault but the CPU cannot support more than 8 GB of RAM.

    Check here: http://ark.intel.com/products/78867/Intel-Celeron-Processor-J1900-2M-Cache-up-to-2_42-GHz
  • coolgus
    Cool review, lots of info to process!!
  • milkod2001
    Any chance you guys could review: Zyxel NAS540

    I'd love to see how above reviewed product stands against €226 Zyxel NAS540.

    @blackmagnum old computers usually have old big inefficient CPU(overkill for NAS), sitting in big old, ugly,dusty case.

    For NAS you want something small, efficient, cool & quite. It's better to sell old PC and get NAS ready to go solution or build your own from scratch.
  • nekromobo
    Could you please test the Ts-453 or ts-451 with all SSD's array? Or just try the 3x HDD + 1 SSD cache acceleration disk and add results. Im really thinking of buying a SSD cache disk for my Qnap but can't decide. Also recommend what SSD to buy for? I hear SSD would need DZAT, not sure if Intal or Samsung supports that. Please investigate!
  • Aris_Mp
    In the next reviews I will do this (use a single SSD as cache). However I don't know if any of my next NAS reviews will be posted here.
  • Rookie_MIB
    I have a mobo with one of the J1900 chips (ASRock Q1900M) and it's a surprisingly capable little chip. Since it has a few PCI-e slots I'm tempted to turn it into a NAS with some SATA adapters.

    Slap in FreeNAS or just a good Linux distro w/raid and it'd be good to go.
  • Eggz
    Why are these expensive NAS boxes still on 1 Gbps interfaces? That's such an old standard! Aren't there 10 Gbps solutions in a similar form factor? I am pretty certain I recall seeing some small 10 Gbps NAS solutions that would be much faster, and I think someone would be able to make one for less money than this.
  • ykki
    Wouldn't AMD's AM1 platform be better?
  • firefoxx04
    less than 100MB/s to a single client really? Most 1gigabit interfaces can do 120MB/s.. at least mine do and they are nothing special.
  • Aris_Mp
    it depends on the files you transfer. Also the charts don't depict the peak speed but the average through the entire transfer.
  • toadhammer
    Quote:
    Why are these expensive NAS boxes still on 1 Gbps interfaces?


    10Gbps is still expensive. If you want your whole network 10Gb, I don't think I've seen a "small" hub with less than 8 ports or less than $250. I suppose you could get a 1GB switch that happened to have a single 10Gb port for switch-to-switch uplink, but then you are talking about bigger switches (24 port) and it's still several hundred bucks.

    Not that you couldn't put all this together at bargain basement prices, but then you are building a 10Gb network architecture around a dinky 4 disk NAS. No business would be likely to do that....they'd be paying for a larger NAS and a fatter pipe.
  • the3kgt2
    Quote:
    Don't leave your old PCs sitting around go to waste... make a NAS box today!


    Electricity is very expensive. Power usage will make your custom NAS end up costing way more than a device like this. I had a custom Linux fileserver as our main storage server and a custom HTPC acting as both a media server and player. I tweaked all power savings settings as much as possible, yet combined they were eating 200watts idle, nearly 400w under full load. I just replaced both systems with a TS-451 and my lower electricity bill will pay for this thing within a couple months. The Kodi application via the built-in HDMI is flawless and plays anything I throw at it. A Windows VM in QTS runs Media Center Master, HDHomerun with WMC, etc. The built-in QNAP apps run my websites and e-mail servers. It's mind blowing how powerful this tiny thing is and how obsolete it makes dedicated servers at home.
  • Giannis Karagiannis
    Very comprehensive review!

    J1900 seems just perfect for a NAS in this category. Solid performance combined with very low power.
  • stevenrix
    <I> As far as storage goes, the unit can take up to four hard drives, so if you use 6TB disks, that's up to 24TB before formatting </I>
    Yeah right, a dummy would take the risk to run in a RAID 0 configuration, then he loses 1 drive and he loses all his data.
    Most likely the guy will be on RAID 5, he will lost 1 drive or RAID 10 and loses 2 drives, so the real maximum capacity is 18TB in RAID5 or 12TB in RAID10.
  • Tolek
    Quote:
    I know it is not supposed to support 16GB RAM but please guys bust this myth. Thank you in advance.

    Is working perfectly with 16GB or RAM :)
  • ykki
    1934426 said:
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    Yeah, we GET it.:fou:
  • Eggz
    964465 said:
    Quote:
    Why are these expensive NAS boxes still on 1 Gbps interfaces?
    10Gbps is still expensive. If you want your whole network 10Gb, I don't think I've seen a "small" hub with less than 8 ports or less than $250. I suppose you could get a 1GB switch that happened to have a single 10Gb port for switch-to-switch uplink, but then you are talking about bigger switches (24 port) and it's still several hundred bucks. Not that you couldn't put all this together at bargain basement prices, but then you are building a 10Gb network architecture around a dinky 4 disk NAS. No business would be likely to do that....they'd be paying for a larger NAS and a fatter pipe.



    Quantenna is making a 10 gbe router in the home FF due out later this year. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/04/15/the-insanely-fast-wi-fi-router-youll-probably-never-need/

    You could just pop a 10 Gbe PCI-e card in machines, as well as the NAS, and - BOOM - all of a sudden you have a small post production studio editing 4K content from a little NAS server box. You could even fill it with TB SSDs if you wanted.

    Even before that comes out, though, you could network computers directly in a small office without a switch.

    But, I agree, that it'll be exotic for a while.
  • elbutchos
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I know it is not supposed to support 16GB RAM but please guys bust this myth. Thank you in advance.
    Is working perfectly with 16GB or RAM :)


    Many Thanks. What memory did you use ?
    I'm planning to get Kingston KVR16LS11/8 but not sure if it will work and I don't want to throw the money out the window.
  • toadhammer
    1406980 said:
    964465 said:
    Quote:
    Why are these expensive NAS boxes still on 1 Gbps interfaces?
    10Gbps is still expensive. If you want your whole network 10Gb, I don't think I've seen a "small" hub with less than 8 ports or less than $250. I suppose you could get a 1GB switch that happened to have a single 10Gb port for switch-to-switch uplink, but then you are talking about bigger switches (24 port) and it's still several hundred bucks. Not that you couldn't put all this together at bargain basement prices, but then you are building a 10Gb network architecture around a dinky 4 disk NAS. No business would be likely to do that....they'd be paying for a larger NAS and a fatter pipe.
    Quantenna is making a 10 gbe router in the home FF due out later this year. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/04/15/the-insanely-fast-wi-fi-router-youll-probably-never-need/ You could just pop a 10 Gbe PCI-e card in machines, as well as the NAS, and - BOOM - all of a sudden you have a small post production studio editing 4K content from a little NAS server box. You could even fill it with TB SSDs if you wanted. Even before that comes out, though, you could network computers directly in a small office without a switch. But, I agree, that it'll be exotic for a while.


    Hey, sounds like you have a business model!
  • radzio
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I know it is not supposed to support 16GB RAM but please guys bust this myth. Thank you in advance.
    Is working perfectly with 16GB or RAM :)
    Many Thanks. What memory did you use ? I'm planning to get Kingston KVR16LS11/8 but not sure if it will work and I don't want to throw the money out the window.


    Did you buy and test this RAM :>?