Page 5 - Final Thoughts and Conclusion
As mentioned earlier, the variable voltage 92mm fan actually works very well. With my hard disks placed in slots 1 and 2 in the TS-409, the temperature hovered around a very acceptable 33c average -- the room temperature is around 22c, where the NAS is placed. My hard drives don't get particularly hot, and the settings of which when the fan will spin up can be defined by the user in web configuration interface. Generally speaking, the unit itself is very quiet. My hard drives are noticeably more audible over the fan in the TS-409 itself. I'm pleasantly surprised by this, but quietness of a network attached storage system is not exactly my priority as long as it does not sound like a jet plane.
The web configuration may be a bit complicated to use at first, but there's no doubt that there is a serious ton of features that comes with the QNAP TS-409 -- the TS-409 has quite a bit more functions over the classic vanilla NAS boxes that I'm used to. I don't use all of them, but many of them are quite practical to accommodate a wide range of users. Who knows -- some of them could come in handy for me one day as well.
That said, the QNAP TS-409 is a very flexible system software wise, and offers pretty much all of the features I would ever want in a NAS box. This does not make it complicated to use by any means -- it's quick to set up and quick to run out of the box and requires as much or as little configuration as you like. The web configuration interface is really easy to use, but the design is a bit dark and boring -- could definitely use some work. Not to mention that, of course, functions like a good ol' NAS as the user would expect it to be. And performance in this regard is where it excels. Performance consistency is also an excellent attribute of the TS-409, as I can stream videos from the NAS with zero hint of lag.
Hardware wise, I'm not a big fan of the warranty seal, but fact is there's no user serviceable/upgradeable components inside. But that's the problem -- while all integrated hardware would be cheaper to make and simpler in design, the memory should not be integrated for the user to upgrade the RAM -- especially for a device of this price. Also, the CPU in the QNAP TS-409 is pretty weak. Every time a file copy or demanding task is initiated, the CPU load kicks up to 100%. Everything else becomes really slow. And this is where I believe that it could be better.
As far as stability goes, there's nothing out of expectations -- and of course, that expectation being 'excellent'. The system never crashed on me since day one. The only time that it had downtime, as you may have obtained the hint from the last screenshot on Page 3, is when there's a power failure in the neighborhood. Other than that, after a month of not-so-gentle usage, it lasted all the way through without complaints.
Update July 11, 2009: The longest uptime so far is 221 days, 1 hour, and 54 minutes for my QNAP TS-409 unit -- quite an achievement as I've turned it on, and used on a daily basis, since November 2008. That's over 7 months of continuous and flawless service. The reason why it's interrupted? Connections on Disk 2 overloaded and there's no way to clear connections, so I was forced to restart the machine. Disk 1 access was still flawless. I might as well upgraded to QNAP's new firmware with new web user interface -- we're starting the uptime timer again!
All in all, the QNAP TS-409 is all round well and delivers as the user expects and a bit more. Great performance, consistent data delivery, easy to setup and use, and loaded with tons of features. The exterior design is decent combined with small physical dimensions. The CPU can be faster and RAM should be upgradeable, but hey -- there's always room for improvement in every product. In everyday usage, the QNAP TS-409 is flawless and delivers the performance and features I crave -- except if you're backing up more than one system at once, of course. Generally speaking, the TS-409 is definitely an excellent NAS system to consider.
Special thanks to QNAP for making this review possible.
APH equal.balance Award | APH Review Focus Summary:
7/10 means Great product with many advantages and certain insignificant drawbacks; but should be considered before purchasing.
-- Final APH Numeric Rating is 7.0/10
Please note that the APH Numeric Rating system is based off our proprietary guidelines in the Review Focus, and should not be compared to other sites.
The QNAP TS-409 is the NAS that delivers features and performance. CPU, RAM and configuration UI could use some upgrade, however.
1. Introduction and Specifications
2. A Closer Look
3. Configuration and User Interface
4. Performance Benchmarks
5. Final Thoughts and Conclusion