Published on Sunday, 23 February 2014 17:58
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Earlier this month i finished the entire Mass Effect trilogy for the 3rd time (leaving out the Wing Commander universe Mass Effect is my second most favorite one) and regardless of how much i try i still can't figure out why Bioware decided to pull the plug on Shepard and all the characters we all got to know during the course of the entire game (the perfect red ending may not be the paragon conclusion i'd like to see but still it gives me hope that they will reconsider eventually). Anyways the reason i mentioned this is because while i was discussing about it through Skype with several online acquaintances roughly a week ago i mentioned that we were currently testing 3 NAS Servers and to my surprise only one of them had heard about such devices. Now i do realize that most consumers are not aware of NAS servers since in all likelihood they will never have to use one but it's a whole different story when we're talking about serious games and enthusiasts so that's why their response took me by surprise. In any case NAS server sales continue to increase which pretty much means that more and more people learn about them every day and since we want you all to know what it is that you are spending your hard earned money to purchase we are doing our best to enrich our database. Today on our test bench we have a previous generation yet proven model manufactured by Thecus, the quite powerful and award winning N5550.
In 2004, Thecus Technology was founded to design, manufacture, and market digital storage products. Now, 10 products and over 100 awards later, Thecus is recognized as a global leader of digital storage solutions. With decades of R&D experience, the Thecus team has developed an entire range of state-of-the-art storage products for consumers and enterprises alike. With its global sales channel development, quality Thecus products are now distributed in over 30 countries and territories across the globe. Thecus products are designed not only to be powerful and flexible, but easy-to-use. Users have increasingly growing digital libraries, and they need to access their digital media as quickly as possible Thecus storage solutions consistently deliver top-notch performance, able to deliver digital media at an impressive clip. To keep data completely safe, Thecus products are designed with data security in mind, each coming with numerous security options for the user to select. Thecus storage products also have the unique ability to support third-party software modules, making Thecus products infinitely customizable. And to make sure our products are accessible to both novices and experts alike, Thecus makes sure that each of its products can be easily installed and used. Secure and flexible storage products that simply work. That is the Thecus guarantee.
Although the N5550 has been around since the end of 2012 (has won quite a few awards since then) thanks to its 5 drive bays, the Intel Atom D2250 64-bit Dual Core CPU running at 1.86GHz (32nm), the PowerVR SGX545 IGP (clocked at 640MHz) and the 2GB DDR3 RAM @ 1333MHz it's still considered to be one of the most complete and powerful mid-end NAS servers currently available in the market. Fortunately for really demanding users Thecus has made it possible to expand on the RAM up to 4GB (some have even used 2x4GB modules by patching the FW but that also means throwing away the default 2GB one) by adding a second 2GB SO-DIMM module and that's not something we see often even with industrial rackmount solutions (although the ATOM processor has no problem supporting more) so at least in that area we like what Thecus has done. Other features include 1GB of SATA DOM for the OS, two RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet ports, 4xUSB 3.0 ports, 1xUSB3.0 port, 1xeSATA port, HDMI v port, VGA port, RAID 0/1/5/6/10/JBOD with AES256bit encryption for the 5 SATA II bays and an LCM display at the front. So we really have no complaint from the specifications sheet of the N5550 but since we still need to see how well it does in terms of performance and to check its OS let's not delay any further.