Page 8 - Final Thoughts and Conclusion
As this final thoughts page for my QNAP NAS reviews gets longer and longer every review (Admittedly, I do borrow paragraphs from my past articles, and it kind of accumulates since I almost always add to it), it is nice to approach the conclusion with a different mindset than before. In the past, either I have covered QNAP's products from a business point of view, or a home user point of view. Not anymore. The TS-470 is really the best of both worlds.
Like other products from the company, the QNAP TS-470 is a fully featured business class file server that occupies a small footprint for its ability to accommodate up to four hard disks with hot swap trays -- yet with improved power efficiency compared to its predecessors, as demonstrated on the previous page. It is also very easy to setup and use out of the box, as well as maintaining it after deployment, by QNAP's absolutely brilliant QTS 4.0 software loaded with a serious amount of features. However, just because it is loaded with features, does not mean it is hard to use -- in fact, everything is so well organized, and works so well out of the box, its potential is simply limitless. These are the attributes that make a network attached storage system so desirable to consumers and business users alike. Seeing the QNAP TS-470, it is a true encouragement to see a company so committed to their products; not just across market segments, but also over time. The company still continues to provide updates to models that are beyond three or four generations old -- our QNAP TS-439 Pro can actually be updated to the latest firmware. This is crazy stuff.
Really, what makes this NAS is its sum of hardware and software, and not one or the other. If you are in a home environment, the huge abundance of impressive multimedia and cloud features that takes your NAS online is something that differentiates a QNAP from, well, not a QNAP. I mean, you can even control it with a compatible IR MCE remote. Its supremely simple configuration and easy management is definitely something your generic system cannot do. If you are in a business environment, the QNAP TS-470 has you covered as well. Software licensing issues and easy deployment with excellent compatibility easily justifies the cost of owning a QNAP NAS for file storage; especially considering its particularly loaded set of features in interfacing with your existing home, SOHO, or enterprise network. The TS-470 can be utilized as the network shared storage of VMware and Citrix virtualization environments, as well as certified Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and failover cluster compatibility. And the list goes on and on. If I were to list them all, I am going to need a few more pages, and you are not even going to bother reading it, haha.
QNAP's latest QTS 4.0 software is a complete upgrade from 3.0. This is quite a statement to make, because 3.0 was already raved about constantly here at APH Networks. The brilliant AJAX powered web configuration interface is not only pretty, but it is also very functional. Its clean and smooth design is visually very appealing and modern. The desktop concept is definitely a nice thing to have. Additionally, it is fast and intuitive. It makes the abundance of built in features and encompasses them in a very easy to use fashion. That's not to mention it's not resource intensive at all. I am a big fan of this brilliant web configuration system, and I think I gave it a lot of praise already. With more and more features added in every update, QNAP has gone above and beyond what an average user expects from a network attached storage device as aforementioned -- the amount of features available on the QNAP TS-470 is simply impeccable. Every time I think QNAP has nothing more to add, they still manage to improve it. That said, there are a few kinks here and there with QTS 4.0, such as inconsistent menus and windows, but it really does not affect functionality.
As far as hardware goes, its solid construction and attention to detail is very commendable. The internal 92mm fan is also very quiet during normal operation; even with its default Smart Fan setting, I can barely hear the fan running, even with an SSD installed in the system. Its low noise emission is definitely appreciated, as we've came to expect from the every QNAP NAS I have used in the past. While I personally don't recommend running the server in your bedroom or similar, most people shouldn't have any problems -- it all boils down to how loud your hard drives are!
Performance is mind blowing across the board in our tests -- with a pants peeing speed across the board in our benchmarks over Gigabit LAN, it really comes an interface problem. My QNAP TS-470 with a Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD is really fast, it maxes out the bandwidth on read and write. You can't possibly get any faster than this. For most of us the problem is probably not going to be the NAS being slow -- it is most likely going to be either a slower hard drive or a low performing network adapter on the client computer. But even if we want to dock marks for it, QNAP has all their bases covered way ahead of time -- the TS-470 can be upgraded with a 10GbE adapter. Obviously, you are not going to get that speed in RAID 5 with hard drives, but write speed is this context is probably limited by the performance of drives you put in. Generally speaking, the performance is very consistent as far as sustained data rate goes. There are no sudden data rate spikes, whether up or down. Consistent data delivery is always important, and the QNAP TS-470 will strive to impress in performance and consistency, every single time.
As expected from excellent QNAP hardware in conjunction with its embedded Linux based operating system, we expect no problems with regards to its stability in the long run. Our projected score, based on QNAP's excellent track record, is also very high for these listed reasons. I have been using a TS-559 Pro II as my main NAS for the last two years continuously, and it has not even crashed once throughout its lifetime. The only time it goes out is when power failure hits the house. The same goes with that half-dozen of QNAP devices I have used. The company has managed to make products that are an absolute breeze to use in everyday life -- literally trouble-free service throughout my one year of usage -- our expectations are no less with the new TS-470. My experience with every QNAP NAS I have used in the past is very positive. No exceptions.
In the beginning of this review, we have proposed the question, "What makes a political or world leader great?" We have asserted that, while there is no particular formula to being great, there are factors of a great leader -- and the same goes in the computer world. In the context of network attached storage devices, it boils down to four main factors: Performance, design, features, and reliability. So where does the QNAP TS-470 land? Firstly, let's start with performance. Is the QNAP TS-470 fast? Of course it is. It maxes out Gigabit LAN for both read and write, and that alone is amazing. In fact, its write performance has been significantly improved compared to products we have reviewed from the company in the past. With quad Gigabit LAN out of the box and 10GbE LAN expandability, the TS-470 lacks nothing by today's standards. How about its design? Well, it carries forward the industrial look QNAP has been using since 2009. I am a big fan of its design since its inception, but I think its physical beauty in the server room does not necessarily translate properly when it finds a home in your living room. If the company wants their products to be taken seriously next to someone's home theater receiver, PlayStation 4, and PVR, it will definitely need a Korean-style plastic surgery. Another thing missing is the HDD trays are no longer labeled like it was in the past, which is a minor but surprising omission. How about features? Simply put, it is mind blowing. The sheer amount of features in QNAP's brilliant QTS 4.0 operating system in conjunction with its outstanding user friendliness is matchless in every way. There are so many features to just talk about, it made this review almost painful to write... and I did not even go through each and every single one of them in detail. A S/PDIF output at the back will definitely be appreciated though. Lastly, its reliability. Do we even need to talk about that? Of course QNAP devices are hardcore reliable. For a little over $1000 at press time, the TS-470 does not come cheap, but it has so many features, you will lose track of what it can do before it loses track of what you want it to do. And this, my friend, is what makes the QNAP TS-470 great.
QNAP provided this product to APH Networks for the purpose of evaluation.
APH Recommended Award | APH Review Focus Summary:
8/10 means Definitely a very good product with drawbacks that aren't likely going to matter to the end user.
-- Final APH Numeric Rating is 8.0/10
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.
QNAP calls the TS-470 a network attached storage system, but honestly, it does practically everything you can think of. The only thing missing is it does not make me dinner, but you never know... that might be on their to do list right now!
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1. Introduction and 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. Final Thoughts and Conclusion