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NAS Reviews

4 Bay NAS
At a glance
ProductASUSTOR 4 Bay NAS (AS4004T)   [Website]
SummaryFour-bay NAS based on dual-core Marvell SoC with dual gigabit Ethernet ports and one copper 10GbE port
Pros• Built-in copper 10GbE port
• Least expensive 10GbE equipped NAS we've seen
• Tool-less drive installation
• Quiet
Cons• Admin GUI has some glitches
• Ram not expandable
• No support for SSD caching
• Lower 10GbE performance than other products tested

Typical Price: $360  Buy From Amazon

Introduction

Update 9/20/18 - Added RAID 1 configuration and AS4002T info

If you just looked at the photo above and said to yourself, "just another 4-bay NAS review" you're wrong. I'll admit that initially, that's what I thought, too. Even ASUSTOR's product chart, shown below, would indicate that the AS4004T is a relatively low-end NAS.

ASUSTOR Product Lineup

ASUSTOR Product Lineup

In fact, looking at our NAS ranker for RAID5 NASes sorted by price, you'll see that there are seven 4-Bay NASes that cost less than the current price ($379 at Amazon) for the AS4004T. For that price, it has to have something special and turn in great performance numbers. That something special is a built-in copper (10GBASE-T) 10 GbE Ethernet port. ASUSTOR also makes a two bay version of the product, the AS4002T.

For this review, we'll be looking both at Gigabit performance as well as 10 GbE performance. I'll be comparing the AS4004T with QNAP's TS-471-i3-4G. I chose the QNAP NAS as it was the next higher-ranked NAS in our current chart of 10 GbE products. Note: Our 10 GbE charts previously had more products, but some of those products have been discontinued so were archived and removed from the NAS Ranker.

The feature comparison below shows the QNAP NAS has a significantly more powerful processor, more memory, expandable memory, and two PCIe expansion slots. It also costs more than three times as much.

The chart below, generated from our NAS Finder, shows a top-level comparison between the two NASes. Note that the AS4004T only has 2 GB of RAM and can't be upgraded. It also has only two USB 3.0 ports, compared to the QNAP's four ports and lacks any PCIe expansion slots.

One interesting feature, however, is the link aggregation on the AS4004T. If you don't have a 10GbE capable switch, you can use the 10GbE port in conjunction with the two GbE ports to create a 3 GbE link to a compatible switch. You can look at a complete features comparison here.

ASUSTOR AS4004t feature comparison

ASUSTOR AS4004t feature comparison

The callouts below show the front and rear panel of the AS4004T. There is a front panel USB 3.0 port but not a USB copy button.

ASUSTOR AS4004t front panel callouts

ASUSTOR AS4004t front panel callouts

The rear panel has two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one 10 GbE and one USB 3.0 port.

ASUSTOR AS4004t rear panel callouts

ASUSTOR AS4004t rear panel callouts

Inside

The photo below shows the main board along with two of the drive backplane slots.

ASUSTOR AS4004T main PCB

ASUSTOR AS4004T main PCB

The table below summarizes the key components for the AS4004T. The NAS was difficult to disassemble, so we didn't. But we managed to see most of the key component part numbers.

ASUSTOR AS4004T
CPU Marvell ARMADA-7020 Dual-Core @ 1.6GHz
RAM 2 GB DDR4 (not upgradeable)
Flash 512 MB ADATA IUM01-512MFHL
Ethernet Marvell 88E1512 (guess) Gigabit Ethernet PHY (X2)
Table 1: Key component summary

Power consumption with four SmallNetBuilder-provided WD Red 1TB (WD10EFRX) drives was 27W (active). Though drives were set to a 5 minute idle power down, the drives didn't power down even when the network cable was pulled.

Fan and drive noise was rated as very low with no audible fan noise. RAID 5 rebuild for a 4x1TB volume was ~ 2hour and 45 minutes. RAID 10 rebuild for a 4X1TB volume was ~ 3 hours.

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