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NAS Reviews

Four-bay SOHO / Home NAS Server
At a glance
ProductThecus Four-bay SOHO / Home NAS Server (N4350)   [Website]
SummaryFour-bay dual-core Marvell-based NAS
Pros• Lockable disk trays
• Supports Plex
• Supports iSCSI initiator and target
Cons• No front panel USB port
• Paltry number of add-in apps

Typical Price: $269  Buy From Amazon

Introduction

The N4350 is essentially a four bay version of the entry-level N2350 I reviewed last year.

Using Thecus' comparison generator, I created the chart below to compare the N2350 and the N4350. As you can note, the N4350 has a slightly more powerful processor than the N2350. Both NASes have support for iSCSI target and initiator - a feature that you rarely see in NASes at all, let alone low-end models.

Thecus N2350 and N4350 Product Comparison

Thecus N2350 and N4350 Product Comparison

For this review, I decided to compare the performance of the Thecus N4350 with the QNAP TS-431P. Thecus's $269 price for the N4350 puts just slightly above the $265 QNAP TS-431P.

The chart below, generated from our NAS Charts, compares the major features of the TS-431P and the N4350. Both NASes have dual-core processors and both feature 1GB of non-upgradeable RAM. However, the QNAP TS-431P has dual gigabit Ethernet ports along with failover, load balancing, and link aggregation. In addition, the QNAP TS-431P has three USB 3.0 ports including one on the front panel. The N4350 only has two USB 3.0 ports - both located on the rear panel. You can see the full feature comparison here.

Thecus N4350 and QNAP TS-431P Product Comparison

Thecus N4350 and QNAP TS-431P Product Comparison

The callouts below show the front and rear panels of the N4350. The front panel features lockable disk trays - a feature rarely found on entry-level Home/SOHO NASes. There is a USB copy button located near the power switch, but there isn't a convenient USB 3.0 port located on the front panel.

The front panel callouts also show how individual LEDs indicate status. The rear panel has a single gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 ports, power connector, cooling fan vent and a reset button. Not labeled in the callouts is a security cable slot located on the right side of the case rear.

Thecus N4350 callouts and LED table

Thecus N4350 callouts and LED table

Inside

The board photo below shows the component side of the N4350's main PCB. The CPU is located beneath the large heat sink, and the riser card connector for the drive bay backplane is located at the upper right-hand corner of the board.

Thecus N4350 board

Thecus N4350 board

Here's the similar N2350 board for comparison.

Thecus N2350 board

Thecus N2350 board

The table below shows the key component summary for the two NASes compared in this review, plus the N2350. Note the N4350 uses a different processor than the N2350.

  Thecus N4350 Thecus N2350 QNAP TS-431P
CPU Marvell Armada 388 Dual Core SoC @ 1.8GHz Marvell Armada 385 Dual Core SoC @ 1GHz Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-212 @ 1.7 GHz dual-core
RAM 1 GB H5AN4G6NAFR (x2) DDR4 (not upgradeable) 1 GB H5AN4G8NAFR (x2) DDR4 (not upgradeable) 1 GB DDR3 Micron MT41K256M8DA-125 (x4)
Flash 512 MB Hynix H27U4G8F2DTR 512 MB Hynix H27U4G8F2DTR; 4 MB Macronix MX25L3206E 512 MB Macronix MX30UF4G18AB
Ethernet Marvell 88E1512 Gigabit Ethernet PHY Marvell 88E1512 Gigabit Ethernet PHY Atheros AR8035A Gigabit Ethernet PHY (x2)
USB 3.0 Genesys GL3523 USB 3.1 Hub N/A Etron Tech EJ188H USB 3.0 host controller
Table 1: Key component summary

The N4350 drew 18 W with four of our stock WD Red 1 TB (WD10EFRX) spun up and 9 W in power save mode with the drives spun down. Fan and drive noise was generally very low. However, the fan would occasionally briefly audibly spin up when the system was under load. RAID build time with Quick RAID was ~ 5 minutes for any volume format.

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