The Thecus N2200XXX NAS is a great network attached storage system for home and small businesses. Keep reading to find out how well this versatile NAS system performs.
Today’s high demand for computer storage has led to the rise of network attached storage systems, more commonly referred to as NAS. These devices attach to any network, usually via ethernet cable, and offer all the users access to the storage, making it an easy way for families and small offices to easily store and share important files and media with each other. NAS systems are also an excellent way to back up computers. One of the best features of NAS systems is that the amount of storage is determined by the customer, because everyone has different storage needs.
Today we will be taking a look at the Thecus N2200XXX NAS. This is a dual bay NAS that was designed for use mainly in homes and small offices. This particular NAS is listed on Newegg for $449.
- Extreme Speed
With a power-house of a processor in the Intel Atom D525 running at 1.8GHz, the N2200XXX runs circles around the competition. Combined with 1GB of super fast DDR3 RAM, that means incredible transfer speeds and less time spent waiting.
- Bad Block Scan Support
Scan your disks to catch problems before they occur. Using detailed disk status updates, give your disks the perfect settings and environment to maintain data integrity and uninterrupted access.
- Extreme Protection
Put safety first with AES256bit RAID volume encryption and USB Key functionality. An impenetrable wall of protection is at your disposal to make sure only those you want can access your data, and no one else. Simply set up a USB flash drive key that unlocks your data with no hassle and maximum protection.
- Extreme Flexibility
Simplify your access to digital cameras, smart phones, electronic dictionaries, and much more. The N2200XXX supports SD/SDHC/MMC card readers for easy access to multimedia data.
- Cutting-Edge Displays
Monitor your Thecus N2200XXX Home NAS with a state-of-the-art LED screen. This keeps important system and disk activity information right where you need it with display technology that’s ahead of its time.
- iSCSI Thin Provisioning Support
Get the most out of your storage space with the extreme speed of iSCSI and the efficiency of iSCSI thin provisioning. Connect through iSCSI for the fastest data transfer speeds available and make wasted disk space a thing of the past with thin provisioning’s flexible storage functionality.
Packaging & included items
The Thecus N2200XXX NAS comes in a box with a dark, eye catching design. The front of the box displays a bunch of the system’s features such as the Intel Atom processor, 1GB DDR RAM, 2x SATA bays which support 6TB of storage, RAID features, and VMWARE support. The back of the box doesn’t have much on it, but the sides offer a pretty good overview of the product.
Inside the box, we can see that Thecus made sure the dual bay NAS was secured very well with two large styrofoam pieces and protective plastic to ensure the device had no wiggle room to prevent damage during shipping. The N2200XXX ships with an external power supply and power cord, an Acronis True Image DVD, a Thecus setup CD, a Twonky Media Server CD, an ethernet cable, warranty card, a bag containing screws for drive installation and two keys to lock the drives in, and a quick installation guide that is written in five different languages.
The first look at the Thecus N2200XXX dual bay NAS is rather impressive. The front panel is a professional looking plastic material with a reflective black finish; the single panel used for the sides and top is made of a smooth metal with a black finish. The front of the NAS has two expansion ports, a USB 2.0 port and a SD/MMC slot, along with the power and USB copy buttons, HDD1 & 2 LED’s, WAN and LAN LED’s, USB Copy LED, and the card reader LED. On the back side of the N2200XXX are the cooling fan, reset button, two more USB 2.0 ports, WAN/LAN port 1 and LAN port 2, an eSATA port, power connection port and the PCI-E x1 expansion slot.
The two hard drive bays are located behind the door on the front of the Thecus N2200XXX. As we can see in the pictures, there are two hard drive caddies that have locks to secure hard drives used in this NAS. The two caddies are easily removed by simply pulling down and back on the top of the silver levers.
Here we have a glimpse at the interior of the N2200XXX NAS. As we can see in the first picture, Thecus planned this out fairly well as there is practically no clutter inside the case. We can see the 1GB stick of DDR3 RAM on the back of the case where that cut is in the motherboard cover. The last picture is looking down into the dual bays at the PCB the hard drives slide into.
Once removed from the bays, we can see that the caddies are labeled for the installation of both 2.5″ and 3.5″ SATA hard drives making the drive installation process that much easier.
For this review, we will be installing two Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB hard drives. The drives are easily mounted on the included caddies with four screws. Once attached to the caddies, the drives easily slide into the N2200’s bays.
The following image shows how simple and quick the setup process is for the Thecus N2200XXX NAS!
Now let’s take a look at the Browser User Interface.
Next, we’re taking a look at the system’s browser user interface, which can be accessed by entering 192.168.1.100 into a web browser. This address can also be changed by users during and after setup.
In today’s review of the Thecus N2200XXX dual bay NAS, we will be using Intel’s NAS Performance Toolkit v1.7.1 to test the performance of this setup. The N2200XXX supports JBOD, RAID 0, and RAID 1 so we will be testing each of these setups. Once we’ve finished with the Intel program, we will get some simple Windows screenshots of file transfer speeds to and from the NAS.
|Case||Open air, desk|
Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.8GHz
|Motherboard||ASUS P6T7 WS SuperComputer|
Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz 12GB
Cooler Master Vortex Plus w/Noctua 140mm
|Fans||2x 230mm Cooler Master case fans|
1TB Seagate 7200.12
2TB Seagate 5400RPM
2x 1TB Seagate ST31000524AS
|Optical||Super WriteMaster DVD-Burner|
MSI GTX550 Ti Cyclone II OC
| Additional Cards||N/A|
Cooler Master SilentPro Gold 1200W
|Mouse||Cooler Master Storm Sentinel|
In order to properly test the N2200XXX, we went out and bought two 7200RPM 1TB Seagate SATA III 6.0GB/s 3.5″ internal hard drives. We picked these drives because they were on sale and they are known to perform very well in RAID setups. The router we used in this review was an overclocked Linksys E3000, or WRT610N with DD-WRT firmware and had two ethernet cables going to the NAS.
Intel NAS Performance Toolkit Benchmarks
Here we can see that RAID1 has a huge advantage over the other two RAID modes when copying files to the NAS. It’s almost 2x faster than RAID0 and 2.5x faster than JBOD.
When it came to moving directories, the three RAID solutions were much closer in performance. RAID1 still had a slight advantage over the other two by a mere 1-2MB/s.
In the HD Playback testing portion on the Intel NAS Performance Toolkit Benchmark, RAID 1 once again came out a little on top of the other setups, but all three performed very well.
The Office Productivity part of the benchmark is a real world simulation of applications used at the office. In this test RAID1 once again came out on top, closely followed by RAID0 then JBOD.
Windows File Transfer Results
These screenshots were taken once the files dropped to the average speed of transfer. The file we used to transfer was a Star Wars .MKV movie file that was renamed to 7.94GB file due to it’s size.
The first screenshot in the top left is based off the RAID0 test, the second is the RAID1 test, and the final one was taken with the NAS running the JBOD RAID setup. Overall, there really isn’t much difference in speed between the three RAID modes, but once again, RAID1 performed the fastest.
The Thecus N2200XXX boasts an Intel D525 Atom dual core, four thread processor to ensure that any and all tasks performed with the NAS are done in a quick and accurate manner. The processor is paired with 1GB of DDR3 memory to make things snappy. Overall, this combination made for an extremely snappy NAS setup.
The installation and setup of the N2200XXX was extremely easy and took about 10 minutes from opening the box to having our two 1TB drives screwed in and setup in RAID1. The included setup disk worked flawlessly with our copy of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit.
The browser user interface has tons of options, as seen on the 5th page of this review. At times, however, the user interface did seem to be a little laggy. After noticing the slight sluggishness of the UI, we decided to check if Thecus had possibly released a newer firmware to fix the issue. There was a new firmware, but after the simple 5 minute update process, we still noticed the lag. After a bit of research we concluded it wasn’t just our device because other users have noticed the same issue.
The N2200XXX is and has been completely silent throughout out our entire testing period. The only noise coming from it is the hard drives spinning up which is barely noticeable. We actually had to look to make sure the systems cooling fan was running because it wasn’t making any noise and at the same time cooling the components nicely.
|OUR VERDICT: Thecus N2200XXX Dual Bay NAS|
|Summary: Overall, the Thecus N2200XXX is a well performing NAS that has tons of features. It has a small and professional design that is very functional, along with an easy to use browser user interface. For its excellent quality, the Thecus N2200XXX earns the Bjorn3D Silver Bear Award.|