Published on Monday, 04 April 2016 14:57
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It has taken a few years to happen but it finally seems that NAS (network attached storage) devices/servers have finally replaced HTPC systems in most homes not only because of their compact size compared to regular desktop cases (always for systems that can accommodate 3.5" drives) but also because of their low power consumption and out of the box functionality. We've still to reach a point in time where NAS servers can also be used for PC gaming so with that in mind they can't really replace regular systems (at least not yet) but right now consumers and enterprise users can perform the majority of tasks they do with Windows and Linux by using the available applications by each manufacturer and/or 3rd party developers. WD may not be the most popular brand in the NAS market (just like Seagate and Buffalo) but their My Cloud solutions have a very good track record and since some of you asked we decided to test the My Cloud EX4 model.
WD, a Western Digital company, is a long-time innovator and storage industry leader. As a storage technology pacesetter, the company produces reliable, high-performance hard disk drives and solid state drives. These drives are deployed by OEMs and integrators in desktop and mobile computers, enterprise computing systems, embedded systems and consumer electronics applications, as well as by the company in providing its own storage products. WD’s leading storage devices and systems, networking products, media players and software solutions empower people around the world to easily save, store, protect, share and experience their content on multiple devices. WD was established in 1970 and is headquartered in Irvine, California.
The My Cloud EX4 model has been around for quite a while (slightly over 2 years to be exact) so its Marvell 88F6262 Kirkwood ARM SOC single-core CPU running at 2GHz with the somewhat "limited" amount of 512MB DDR3 RAM and supported SATA II connectivity do seem out of place. WD has also placed an LCD screen, 2 USB 3.0 ports, two RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet ports (link aggregation is supported) and two dual power supply ports (redundancy is supported although only one external power supply is included in the package) on the My Cloud EX4 so at least in terms of connectivity it does quite well for a 2+ year old NAS model. Our sample came with four 2TB WD Red SATA III HDDs (the NAS is also available with 12/16TB capacities or driverless) preconfigured at RAID 5 but the My Cloud EX4 also supports RAID 0, 1 and RAID 10 as well as spanning and JBOD modes. So the time has come for us to check and see exactly what you can expect from the My Cloud EX4 both in terms of features and performance.