TerraMaster F2-423 NAS Evaluate – With Intel Celeron N5105, 2.5 GbE, DDR4, & 2x M.2 NVMe | Dice Tech



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TerraMaster F2-423 NAS Evaluate

Abstract

The TerraMaster F2-423 is a wonderful NAS and a much-needed improve from the earlier fashions I’ve reviewed. This NAS, and the TerraMaster on the whole, gives glorious worth for cash in case your precedence is the very best {hardware} to your cash.

benefit

  • Improbable {hardware} spec for the worth
  • Glorious general efficiency
  • TOS has sufficient options for many customers

Cons

  • TOS 4.2 put in by default
  • TOS is just not as function wealthy or refined as Synology

I beforehand reviewed the TerraMaster F4-421 and F4-422 10GbE 4-bay NAS enclosures and was impressed by the well-specified but reasonably priced nature of the TerraMaster home equipment.

Whereas they had been excellent, they each used the outdated Intel Celeron J3455. They had been additionally restricted to DDR3 and lacked NVMe slots.

The brand new TerraMaster F2-423 and its four-bay sibling, the F4-423, implement way more trendy {hardware}.

Each instances use the Celeron N5105, which is a tenthe Intel Gen chip that was launched in 2021 and had considerably increased efficiency than the Celeron J4125 and J4025 present in equally priced Synology fashions.

For RAM, it has two module slots with 4 GB put in in a single (as a substitute of a soldered slot). This lets you increase the storage to 32GB, it makes use of DDR4 SODIMM which is sort of reasonably priced and most manufacturers ought to work.

Specification

HDMI

You could discover the HDMI port on this unit. For this overview, I did not hassle utilizing it as a result of it would not provide many options. You do not get entry to the TOS desktop GUI, somewhat it is the underlying Linux debugger. Nevertheless, this would possibly turn out to be useful when you have any points with the NAS.

Putting in RAM and NVMe drives

The TerraMaster F2-423 has two M.2 slots that may assist NVMe drives. It additionally makes use of DDR4 SODIMM slots with 4GB pre-installed.

It is comparatively simple to improve this case, although changing the RAM requires you to disassemble it and take away the primary motherboard.

Opening the cupboard is straightforward with 4 screws on the rear. You’ll then have to take away the fan, which can then assist you to slide the physique off.

It will reveal the 2 M.2 slots and you may simply add your drives.

One of many RAM slots seems to be simply accessible, however its proximity to the entrance panel prevented me from becoming a module. You could possibly pry it up, however I did not need to injury something.

Due to this fact, you have to to take away the motherboard from the chassis to improve. There are 4 screws that safe it to the chassis. The again panel of the drive can also be slotted into the motherboard, this comes out pretty simply, however you will need to line it up correctly while you reconnect every thing.

For upgrades, I reused spare elements I had laying round.

Initially I attempted to make use of Kingston HyperX Influence 64GB DDR4-2400 SODIMM. Sadly the TerraMaster solely helps 32 GB and I could not get it besides with this reminiscence (even when utilizing a module).

I then managed to get two mismatched RAM modules working, one was the Goodram IRDM 3200Mhz DDR4 SODIMM module, and one was a generic 8GB system I discovered laying round.

TOS 5 not put in by default

Outdated TOS 4.2 which is put in by default;
COUGH 5

TOS 5 has been accessible for a number of months, however for some purpose, it comes with TOS 4.2.39. You additionally can not replace it routinely by the management panel.

To make issues extra annoying, TOS 5.0 has vital underlying adjustments and subsequently requires you to do a manufacturing facility replace and full reinstall.

I solely seen this after doing the preliminary set up. It appears foolish to overview a brand new NAS operating an outdated OS. So I went by the irritating means of reinstalling every thing.

At a minimal, the TOS initialization course of ought to both warn you about this or assist you to choose your individual OS model.

One saving grace is {that a} full reinstall didn’t destroy the info on my exhausting drives. Nevertheless, it eliminated all of the apps.

Setting

In the event you select to make use of TOS 5, you have to to do some handbook configuration. It’s a fairly easy course of.

You’ll need to obtain the set up package deal, and here’s a devoted set up information web page the place you’ll find the obtain.

If you first begin up the NAS, you will need to choose customized and look forward to it to examine your drives (which may take a very long time).

Choose the drives you need to use and manually choose the package deal to put in. As soon as put in, you have to to assign your admin person after which format the RAID.

NVMe SSD cache drive

To get essentially the most out of this NAS, it’s handy to arrange a cache drive.

You will have been in a position to configure an SSD cache inside TOS with older fashions and TOS 4.2. Nevertheless, now you do not have to waste one of many predominant drive bays with an SSD and use a lot quicker NVMe drives as a substitute.

With TOS 4.2, within the management panel, you’ll be able to go to the quantity and storage supervisor, choose your quantity, and click on edit. You’ll be able to then choose Allow SSD Cache and choose the drive you need to use. The NAS might want to reboot and for some purpose I needed to full this course of twice earlier than it acknowledged that the cache was getting used.

With the replace to TOS 5, there’s now a brand new Hyper Cache possibility. This has a devoted part throughout the storage supervisor. With this, you may have extra management over how the cache works, resembling balanced, again or learn/write mode. You even have the choice to make use of RAID 1/0 on two NVMe drives.

Learn/write efficiency

I attempted balanced mode in RAID 0 with two NVMe drives after which learn/write mode with a single drive. The efficiency was as anticipated.

In balanced mode, the file switch begins in a short time however stops rapidly. In read-write mode, with all knowledge written to NVMe, I used to be in a position to preserve the utmost pace of the two.5GbE connection.

Learn efficiency was understandably much less spectacular. In read-write mode, file switch speeds jumped between 100MB/s and 150MB/s, but it surely was nonetheless a bit quicker than I would anticipate when studying instantly from disk.

Out there apps

Once I reviewed the TerraMaster F4-421, there have been 88 purposes accessible for obtain. It appears that evidently a few of these are usually not current in TOS 5. There are actually solely 55 apps accessible to put in. A fast look and the headset and the lazy librarian appear to be lacking.

Nevertheless, they’ve prolonged performance to copy some options of Synology. This contains new beta apps:

  • Pictures of Earth
  • TerraSync
  • Surveillance Supervisor

There’s additionally Nextcloud, which gives most of the similar options that Synology has.

By comparability, Synology has 63 apps inside the primary part of packages they’ve developed after which one other 43 throughout the third get together part.

Docker / Portainer / NZBGet

I used to be glad to see Portainer underneath Beta apps. I do not suppose this was within the TOS once I reviewed the older fashions, and it makes Docker container administration a bit simpler to make use of.

With Docker, you’ll be able to replicate a lot of the performance you will get on a Synology NAS.

I have not examined Docker extensively, however I went by the NZBGet set up course of and every thing labored because it ought to. Moreover, I used to be in a position to hit obtain speeds of round 45MB/s, which is what I sometimes see with my Virgin Media connection and the Usenet servers I take advantage of. CPU utilization stayed low, I noticed it peak round 50% whereas checking a file I downloaded

Logging into Portainer and managing your NZBGet container is fast and simple.

plexus

Plex Server is without doubt one of the hottest purposes to run on a NAS. It’s also probably the most demanding. At residence, most of my content material is direct play and so not an enormous deal, but when it’s worthwhile to transcode issues can get messy.

The official Plex NAS compatibility checklist doesn’t embody this NAS but, however they do have fashions from QNAP which have Intel N5105.

For software program encoding you’ll be able to solely do SD and 720P HD with some 1080P HD. For hardware-accelerated transcoding, you are able to do every thing as much as 1080P with no drawback.

For H264 2160p you’ll be able to solely do SDR after which with HEVC the assist is ready as H.264 output.

Whereas the checklist is just not complete for all of the NAS choices available on the market, the N5105 appears to be the best choice on this checklist for transcoding.

Once I tried this with TOS 4.2, Plex labored with out me making any adjustments to something. With TOS 5, I wanted to assign the proper privileges earlier than Plex might learn the contents of my media folders.

Backups

NAS programs are historically used for backup and it is one thing I feel works properly throughout all manufacturers. TOS 5 has a devoted backup part that features:

  1. rsync
  2. File system snapshot
  3. Time Machine Backup
  4. TFM assist
  5. Centralized backup
  6. Snapshot
  7. usb copy
  8. Cloud Sync
  9. TerraSync Server: Works as a cloud drive server much like Google Drive or Synology Drive
  10. double backup

Power consumption

With rising vitality prices, I’ve grow to be a bit extra acutely aware of the operating prices of all of the issues I examine. I’ve additionally been contemplating ditching my self-built Ubuntu server in favor of a NAS like this.

Terramaster states the ability provide is 40W so this could by no means exceed that and is considerably decrease than my 120W+ server. The 4-bay mannequin bumps the ability provide as much as 90W.

Utilizing the TP-Hyperlink Tapo P110, I monitored the ability consumption.

Beneath idle load/gentle load with CPU utilization starting from 2% to twenty%, energy consumption remained under 24 W.

When writing to the drive, energy consumption different however by no means exceeded 31W.

When logging into Plex within the browser and enjoying a file that causes CPU utilization to exceed 90%, the ability consumption additionally stays under 31W.

Value and various choices

The TerraMaster F2-423 is priced at £340 on Amazon, and the 4-bay F4-423 is £440.

The outdated TerraMaster F2-422 is identical value. It has a 10GbE port however decrease specs in every single place else.

Then there’s the four-bay F4-421, which is restricted to gigabit. It is priced at £410, so that you would possibly as properly spend an additional £30 on the far superior F4-423.

Synology would not actually have a two-bay mannequin to compete with the F2-423. However the four-bay Synology DS920+ prices £485. That is not an enormous leap in value from the F4-423; nonetheless, the CPU is just not that highly effective, it solely helps 8 GB of RAM, and the Ethernet is barely gigabit.

Normal

The TerraMaster F2-423 is a wonderful NAS and a much-needed improve from earlier fashions I’ve reviewed, making the {hardware} extra aggressive in opposition to Synology’s current releases.

I discovered it extremely annoying that this defaults to the outdated TOS 4.2 as normal.

TerraMaster TOS 5 is a big enchancment over 4.2, which I used with my earlier revisions. Nevertheless, it’s nonetheless a good distance from Synology, and that’s the reason Synology can get a premium value on its {hardware}.

Relying in your particular necessities, the options of the software program must be appropriate for many customers, however it isn’t as feature-rich or simple to make use of as Synology.

As at all times, TerraMaster gives glorious worth for cash in case your precedence is the very best {hardware} to your cash.

Final up to date on 2022-11-06 / Affiliate Hyperlinks / Amazon Product Promoting API Pictures

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TerraMaster F2-423 NAS Review – With Intel Celeron N5105, 2.5 GbE, DDR4, & 2x M.2 NVMe