SilverStone DC01 Review (Page 2 of 5)

Page 2 - A Closer Look

Pulling the SilverStone DC01 out of the box, my first impression of the design is that it looks very much like Apple's Mac Mini; except our DC01 is black in color. SilverStone has also made the same model in silver, but in my personal opinion, I think the black colored one looks better. If you take a closer look from this angle, the DC01 is comprised of two parts: A thin upper piece and a main case containing the internals separated by a small gap. I found this to be quite a smart design in letting rising heat out, while keeping its look nice and simple. You will notice that the whole DC01 is made of aluminum and SECC for a quality, solid feel. Finally, you will spot a LED light in the front. It will illuminate blue when everything is working well, but it will turn red if there is something wrong with it. Other than that, there isn't much to the NAS. Although the DC01 is obviously "inspired" by the Mac Mini in more than one way, I have to say SilverStone has given it just enough thought in terms of simple and slick designs, which is a good thing. Simple and clean is just my type. Weighing approximately 500g without the hard drive, and measuring to 123mm in width, 123mm in length, and 33mm in height, the SilverStone DC01 is a very portable system. Generally speaking, if you don't exactly have the room to store a NAS, it is beneficial to own one of these small little buggers.

Turning your attention to the back side for just a moment, you will see an array of I/O ports, along with a couple of other miscellaneous features. Quickly listing them from left to right, you will be able to access the power button, input power, two USB 2.0 ports, eSATA port, Gigabit Ethernet port, recessed reset button, and an opening for locking your SilverStone DC01 NAS box in place. Other than the usual, again, there is not too much to talk about here; although you may want to note that you are able to attach an additional hard drive via the eSATA port, and set it in RAID 1 with the internal hard drive. Personally, I don't think this is a very practical solution; it is probably better if they made the DC01's chassis slightly taller to accommodate two internal drives instead. For extra storage, you can add another two external hard drives via USB as well, but RAID is not available for these drives.

At the bottom, you will find some general information about your SilverStone DC01, along with a label with its MAC address. You will need your MAC address later on to be able to access the web interface of your unit for the first time, since the default name of the DC01 is your MAC address -- so make sure you have that handy. Meanwhile, SilverStone has only two Philips-head screws holding the bottom panel in place out of the box. The other two screws can be found in the small plastic accessory bag that came in the package. Being lazy that I am, SilverStone has done a small favor for me already by keeping only two of the screws in, haha. You will need to remove the screws anyway to install a 2.5" drive of your choice, so it is actually quite convenient to remove only two screws for the time being.

Popping the hood open, you will find a tray to fit a hard drive in place. The SilverStone DC01 only accommodates 2.5" HDDs/SSDs, so if you don't have one sitting around, paying a visit to your local computer store is a good idea, and I am no exception in this case. That said, I think it would have been nice if they made the DC01's chassis to be slightly bigger to accommodate 3.5" drives as well -- it is more practical this way. Anywho, a local store in town is always nice to have, so I bought myself a Western Digital Scorpio Black 500GB for the purpose of this review. The SilverStone DC01 supports single disk, RAID 0 (Disk Striping), and RAID 1 (Disk Mirroring). As aforementioned, if you want to put your hard drives in RAID 1, you will need to connect a second drive through the eSATA port.

If you are keen as to figuring out exactly what's on the DC01's main PCB, I have cracked it open for your interest. Getting to this stage is actually not too hard, since removing the HDD tray only takes another four Philips-head screws for further disassembly. In the photo above, we can spot a Hynix HY27UF082G2B 256MB NAND flash chip for storing its operating system. As well, you will see a Realtek RTL8211O Gigabit Ethernet controller, which corresponds to SilverStone's DC01 specifications list. In the center of it all, we can find a dual core ARM 11 750MHz processor, and 256MB of DDR2 system memory.

Page Index
1. Introduction and Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware
3. Configuration and User Interface
4. Performance and Power Consumption
5. Final Thoughts and Conclusion