Thermaltake Muse NAS RAID Review (Page 2 of 5)

Page 2 - A Closer Look

Shaped more or less like a Shuttle system, the Thermaltake Muse NAS RAID is reasonably sized for a file server designed to accommodate up to 4 individual hard disks of up to 1.6TB (1600GB) according to Thermaltake. By removing the four screws at the back, the whole cover can be slid off as we take a trip inside the unit to examine the hardware components of this device.

Before we crack it open, a 120mm fan exhaust vent is located at the back along with network and serial connectors. The 120mm fan is conveniently located right behind the 3.5" drive bays. The mini power supply sits at the top; no switch is located there -- only a male power input as well as a voltage switch.

There's nothing too interesting on the other side, but what we really need to see is installed on the left side. Opening the Thermaltake Muse NAS RAID reveals the motherboard. At the center is a low power, energy efficient Intel IOP 80219 400MHz CPU -- a general purpose PCI processor. More information as obtained from Intel's site:

• 32-bit high-performance CPU (400, 600 MHz) based upon Intel XScale® microarchitecture
• Integrated 64-bit PCI/PCI-X interface (PCI 2.2, PCI-X 1.0a), 32-bit PCI supported
• 200 MHz DDR SDRAM with ECC with support for up to 1 GB of 64-bit memory (32-bit mode supported)
• Intel® Super-Pipelined RISC Technology (7-stage integer, 8-stage memory)
• 32 KB data cache, 32 KB instruction cache
• ARM* Version 5TE compliant
• Programmable speed 32-bit local bus (33, 66, or 100 MHz)/Flash I/F
• 200 MHz internal bus delivers ~1.6 GB/s bandwidth
• 2-channel DMA controller (1024-byte registers)
• 2 I2C ports
• Watchdog timer, 2 programmable timers (Auto-reload, programmed duration, selectable prescaling)
• 4096-byte ATU buffers
• 8 general-purpose I/O pins, 4 SDRAM output clocks
• Performance Monitoring Unit
• Supports extended hot temp (0° to +85°C)
• 544 LPBGA (35mm x 35mm)

The XScale microarchitecture is what that's implemented into PDAs powered by Intel processors.

Right above it is a single stick of DDR-RAM, installed into a DIMM slot positioned at a convenient angle. Included is a single sided Infineon 256MB PC3200 single sided module running at CAS3 (Not that this really matters in this case though); it can easily be upgraded to 512MB RAM when necessary.

The Enhance power supply provides up to 17A of power on 3.3V, 18A on 5V and 8A on 12V. Combined maximum load on 3.3V and 5V rails is 95W, while all 3 rail's combined maximum output is 150W. Total maximum output is 160W -- and with such specifications on each rail, I wouldn't expect much problem powering up 4 hard drives at all.

Installing hard drives is extremely easy with the Thermaltake Muse NAS RAID. Simply slide one of the drawers out, remove the piece of metal and attached 2 screws onto each side of the hard drive. When you are done, just slide it into the NAS RAID and you are all set. The drives are hot swappable; so disks can be added (Or removed when it's safe) while the unit is turned on.

The drive used in this review is a Western Digital SATAII 250GB 7200RPM drive with 16MB cache. I bought this drive from a large online retailer; unfortunately I could only afford one drive at this time -- I don't have any SATA drives that I can use besides the one in my computer right now. Therefore RAID functions will not be tested, but any feedback is welcome if you have the NAS RAID with multiple drives in an array.

The front drive door can be locked to discourage unauthorized access. However, the reason why I said that is because, if any one wanted access, they could easily rip the whole door out without much effort!

A quick shot at 2 of the 4 SATA data and power connectors. They are roughed into the back of the Thermaltake Muse NAS RAID in a solid position to support and compliment the hot-swap drawers.

Page Index
1. Introduction and Specifications
2. A Closer Look
3. Configuration and User Interface
4. Performance Benchmarks
5. Other Notes and Conclusion