ASUSTOR AS3202T Review (Page 3 of 8)

Page 3 - A Closer Look - Hardware (Internal)

There is no wasted room inside the ASUSTOR AS3202T network attached storage. We can see two 3.5" drive bays occupying majority of the area, as well as the 70mm fan at the back. A centimeters or so of clearance room can be seen between the rear fan and the two hard drive bays. This allows some space between components to reduce heat congestion. Its well-placed rear exhaust fan can then easily take out the warm air, and allow cooler air to flow over the mounted hard drives with minimal turbulence noise. A mid-sized passive heatsink is used to keep the processor running cool. The motherboard is mounted with its components facing inwards to take advantage of the airflow generated by the sole rear fan as well. Generally speaking, it is pretty packed inside the ASUSTOR AS3202T, but everything is neatly placed and cabled to maximize cooling efficiency.

Since the warranty seal is located over one of the screws on the fan, and you will need to open the shell to install hard drives, there is nothing preventing you from taking a peek inside. In fact, I managed to disassemble the entire system, fan excluded, without touching the warranty seal. Even at that, the CR2032 battery can be easily replaced without removing the motherboard.

The power supply is an external brick manufactured by Delta Electronics. The DPS-65VB is a 12V power supply specified for up to 5.417A of current. This means it can deliver a maximum of 65W. As far as efficiency is concerned, it is "VI" rated. To skip over all the nitty gritty compliance details of this technical specification, the basic gist of it is it has to be at least 87.5% efficient in given conditions, and consumes less than 0.50W in no-load mode.

The ASUSTOR AS3202T is actually pretty straightforward to disassemble. There were only few screws that holds the ASUSTOR NAS' motherboard to the chassis. I started working late at night as always, and even being a little bit tired, it only took me ten minutes later to get everything out of the way, and free the motherboard and SATA backplane from the frame. The SATA backplane ports are powered by a controller native to the Intel system on a chip. Upon closer inspection, we can see only solid state capacitors by CapXon are used. Behind the mid-sized aluminum heatsink is an Intel Celeron N3160 "Braswell" SoC. The N3160 is a 14nm dual core SoC with stock frequency at 1.6GHz and burst speed at 2.24GHz. Eight Samsung K4B2G1646Q-BYK0 256MB DDR3L ICs are embedded on the motherboard for dual channel mode operation, with four on each side. Memory is not expandable by the end user. The system firmware is stored on an ADATA IVM01-512MPHL flash chip.

Flipping the green motherboard around, and we can see more integrated circuits surface mounted at the back. Since the ASUSTOR AS3202T is a fairly barebones NAS, and the Intel SoC already has most of the features integrated, there is nothing of particular interest here other than four of the eight Samsung memory chips as aforementioned. According to the silkscreen on the printed circuit board, this is the same one used in the four bay AS3104T network attached storage system. Otherwise, everything component is soldered on directly to the motherboard; ASUSTOR does not intend the user to upgrade anything directly related to the system.

Lastly, we have the rear exhaust fan. The Y.S. Tech FD127025HB is a 70mm dual ball bearing fan specified at 0.30A for a maximum of speed of 5000 rpm. The rated airflow is 40.5 CFM and 7.2 mm-H2O static pressure at 41.0 dB of noise. This is the same one found in the ASUSTOR AS1002T and AS3102T.

Installing hard drives is a straightforward procedure. As I have mentioned on the previous page, having the slick diamond plate finished cover means you will have to give up the convenience of having removable front loaded drive trays for quick hot swapping. Instead, you will load your 3.5" disks directly onto the rack, and secure them with four thumbscrews. Since this is a SATA system, all hard drives are theoretically hot swappable, but the form factor of ASUSTOR's latest NAS may make this task a bit of a risky move. The ASUSTOR AS3202T supports single disk, RAID 0 (Disk Striping), RAID 1 (Disk Mirroring), and JBOD (Linear Disk Volume). If you want to encrypt your data, you have the option to enable its AES 256-bit folder based encryption.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware (External)
3. A Closer Look - Hardware (Internal)
4. Configuration and User Interface, Part I
5. Configuration and User Interface, Part II
6. Configuration and User Interface, Part III
7. Performance and Power Consumption
8. Conclusion