Asustor’s NAS-box choices proceed to impress, with the $399, two-bay, AS6602T (LockerStor 2) being the newest to return by way of the lab. It sports activities a extra business-like look than the not too long ago reviewed AS5202T (Nimbustor 2), and it provides M.2 NVMe slots for caching SSDs to the combo.
It’s the identical high-quality, 2.5GbE product as its cousin at its core, however NVMe caching is pricey overkill for the house setting.
Design and specs
At first look, I used to be much more impressed with the the business-like styling of the AS6202T than the “gamer-oriented” look of the AS5202T. The entrance remains to be black, however with a matte end, and the all-metal shell is pewter. It jogs my memory of QNAP again within the day, however with extra sculpting and defntely extra model. It’s a really impressive-looking field.
What’s inside is equally spectacular. There’s 4GB of DDR4-2400 reminiscence and a latest- gen Intel Celeron J4125 CPU operating at 2GHz. There’s a second SODIMM slot if you wish to develop the reminiscence to 8GB. And to leap the gun on the efficiency dialogue, an funding in further reminiscence versus NVMe may ship a greater return than for many customers.
The two 3.5-inch bays function push-button launch and are combo metallic/plastic relatively than the pure plastic that the majority bins this worth use. There are not any quick-change rails, however I’ll take the small trouble of screws if it means metallic over lastic.
The entrance of the AS6602T hosts the ability button, a single 5Gbps Type-A USB port, and the everyday energy and drive standing/exercise LEDs. On the again, are two 2.5GbE (RJ45) ethernet ports that may be aggregated for higher efficiency. There are additionally two further 5Gbps Type-A USB ports, an HDMI 2.0a output, a Kensington lock port, and a barrel-shaped energy jack.
As with the not too long ago reviewed Synology DS720+, the AS6602T has two M.2/NVMe slots for SSDs. Unlike the easy-access panels on Synology’s field, the AS6602T requires that you simply take away the shell and a PCIe adapter card to put in them. The Synology strategy takes lower than a minute, the Asustor 5 to 10 minutes. That’s probably not an enormous deal since putting in SSDs is more likely to be a one-time operation—for those who do it in any respect—however it’s value mentioning.
This overview is a part of TechHive’s protection of the best NAS boxes for media streaming and shopper backup, the place you’ll discover evaluations of competing merchandise, plus a purchaser’s information to the options it is best to take into account when purchasing for any such product.
OS and apps
Asustor calls its Linux-based windows-in-a-browser working system Asustor Data Master, and whereas it’s not fairly as mature as these delivered by QNAP and Synology, it’s darn shut—and getting nearer.
Media-server choices embrace iTunes, a number of UPnP/DLNA servers, the favored Plex media server, and the extremely regarded (and really costly) CD-quality Roon Audio Server.
In addition to FTP backup, there’s sync with on-line providers, SMB, Rsync, and so forth. Asustor additionally supplies EZ Sync purchasers for main working techniques and smartphones, so it’s also possible to preserve your cellular information backed up.
The Asus Portal app is required to output video to a TV or laptop show connected to the AS6602T’s HDMI port. Once Portal is put in (choose it throughout setup), you may stream, browse the online, and play motion pictures from the field on to stated show. Resolutions as much as 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) are supported.
ADM makes hyperlink aggregation/trunking of the 2 2.5GbE ports tremendous easy and, not like with many different bins, no particular change or router is required for those who use round-robin mode. That’s distinctive in my expertise. All instructed, I’d say QNAP (QTS) and Synology (DSM) ought to be wanting over their shoulders. ADM is a worthy rival.
Simply with SSDs or arduous drives and the included 4GB of reminiscence, the AS6602T is a wonderful performer. The NVMe caching positively improves small file write efficiency when massive information units or heavy utilization is concerned, however that’s not one thing most house customers and even energy customers sometimes expertise.
Below are the sequential throughput numbers from NAS Tester 1.7 (8GB single recordsdata), a check that’s confirmed extra dependable not too long ago than others for measuring sequential throughput. As you may see, SSDs (in the primary bays) are quickest, adopted by a naked 14TB WD Gold arduous disk drive (240MBps), then the identical HDD with NVMe caching. The additional step of caching will cut back write speeds barely with the AS6602T’s 2.5GbE connection. This wouldn’t be the case with a quicker 10GbE connection.
Caching reads of any sort is way much less efficient than caching writes, because the drive should nonetheless look for the info. Only with a number of requests for a similar information will learn caching have a constructive impact. CrystalDiskMark 7 makes use of random reads, so these outcomes present little to no enchancment with NVMe caching over naked drive reads.
All writes are cached, alternatively, so these will present the effectiveness of the cache. Remember that NAS bins already use a part of their onboard reminiscence for caching, doubtless a gigabyte or two on a field such because the AS6602T, with 4GB on board. That will impact the outcomes with smaller information units.
Because of that, I ran CDM 7 with the SSDs, naked HDD, and the HDD with NVMe caching 1GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB information units. DRAM caching is little question serving to the 1GB by way of 8GB assessments considerably, however the NMVe caching does appear to assist after that fairly a bit. There’s a serious drop-off in cache efficiency someplace between the 32GB and 64GB marks.
That’s good, however provided that the NVMe SSDs I used are able to 2TBps switch charges, I used to be anticipating extra. How Asustor is implementing the caching little question has an excellent impact, however I used to be not aware about their strategies.
For readability’s sake, NVMe caching for arduous drives, and even SATA SSDs is a well known storage technique than can enhance efficiency enormously with high-end tools or very heavy workload. But it’s a really costly possibility for smaller NAS underneath typical end-user or small-office hundreds. To be honest, Asustor markets this field to energy customers and the SMB (small to medium-sized busness) market.
Note: testing was carried out on Windows 10 64-bit operating on a Core i7-5820Okay/Asus X99 Deluxe system with 4 16GB Kingston 2666MHz DDR4 modules, a Zotac (NVidia) GT 710 1GB x2 PCIe graphics card, an Asmedia ASM2142 USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbs) card, and a Gigabyte GC-Alpine Thunderbolt 3 card. A QNAP QNA-T310G1S Thunderbolt 3 to 10GbE adapter was linked to one of many 10GbE SFP+ ports on a Zyxel XGS1210-12 10GbE/2.5GbE/gigabit change.
It’s an excellent field, however will you profit?
The AS6602T is a superb NAS field A bit old-school in design, however by that I imply super-solid metallic building and high quality the place it counts. Throw within the twin 2.5GbE, plus the wholesome app setting and HDMI output and you’ve got a winner. Indeed, all issues being equal, I’d preserve this within the rack over the AS5202T.
But issues are usually not equal for the end-user. The AS6602T prices $100 extra, and when you add NVMe SSDs, you’re speaking a delta of not less than $225. Given the minimal acquire in efficiency, the cheaper AS5202T is a far, much better deal. Indeed, even energy and workgroup customers may be higher off with a less expensive field with extra reminiscence relatively than NVMe—relying on workload in fact.