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TerraMaster F2-423 NAS Overview

Abstract

The TerraMaster F2-423 is a wonderful NAS and a much-needed improve from the earlier fashions I’ve reviewed. This NAS, and the TerraMaster usually, affords glorious worth for cash in case your precedence is the very best {hardware} in your cash.

benefit

  • Improbable {hardware} spec for the value
  • Wonderful general efficiency
  • TOS has sufficient options for many customers

Cons

  • TOS 4.2 put in by default
  • TOS isn’t as function wealthy or refined as Synology

I beforehand reviewed the TerraMaster F4-421 and F4-422 10GbE 4-bay NAS enclosures and was impressed by the well-specified but reasonably priced nature of the TerraMaster home equipment.

Whereas they had been superb, they each used the previous Intel Celeron J3455. They had been additionally restricted to DDR3 and lacked NVMe slots.

The brand new TerraMaster F2-423 and its four-bay sibling, the F4-423, implement far more fashionable {hardware}.

Each instances use the Celeron N5105, which is a tenthe Intel Gen chip that was launched in 2021 and had considerably increased efficiency than the Celeron J4125 and J4025 present in equally priced Synology fashions.

For RAM, it has two module slots with 4 GB put in in a single (as a substitute of a soldered slot). This lets you develop the storage to 32GB, it makes use of DDR4 SODIMM which is sort of reasonably priced and most manufacturers ought to work.

Specification

HDMI

You might discover the HDMI port on this unit. For this assessment, I did not trouble utilizing it as a result of it does not provide many options. You aren’t getting entry to the TOS desktop GUI, relatively it is the underlying Linux debugger. Nonetheless, this may come in useful if in case you have any points with the NAS.

Putting in RAM and NVMe drives

The TerraMaster F2-423 has two M.2 slots that may help NVMe drives. It additionally makes use of DDR4 SODIMM slots with 4GB pre-installed.

It is comparatively straightforward to improve this case, although changing the RAM requires you to disassemble it and take away the principle motherboard.

Opening the cupboard is straightforward with 4 screws on the rear. You’ll then have to take away the fan, which is able to then mean you can slide the physique off.

This can reveal the 2 M.2 slots and you’ll simply add your drives.

One of many RAM slots seems to be simply accessible, however its proximity to the entrance panel prevented me from becoming a module. You could possibly pry it up, however I did not wish to injury something.

Due to this fact, you will have to take away the motherboard from the chassis to improve. There are 4 screws that safe it to the chassis. The again panel of the drive can also be slotted into the motherboard, this comes out pretty simply, however you may wish to line it up correctly if you reconnect every little thing.

For upgrades, I reused spare elements I had laying round.

Initially I attempted to make use of Kingston HyperX Impression 64GB DDR4-2400 SODIMM. Sadly the TerraMaster solely helps 32 GB and I could not get it as well with this reminiscence (even when utilizing a module).

I then managed to get two mismatched RAM modules working, one was the Goodram IRDM 3200Mhz DDR4 SODIMM module, and one was a generic 8GB system I discovered laying round.

TOS 5 not put in by default

Previous TOS 4.2 which is put in by default;
COUGH 5

TOS 5 has been out there for a number of months, however for some motive, it comes with TOS 4.2.39. You additionally can’t replace it routinely via the management panel.

To make issues extra annoying, TOS 5.0 has vital underlying modifications and subsequently requires you to do a manufacturing facility replace and full reinstall.

I solely observed this after doing the preliminary set up. It appears foolish to assessment a brand new NAS working an previous OS. So I went via the irritating means of reinstalling every little thing.

At a minimal, the TOS initialization course of ought to both warn you about this or mean you can choose your individual OS model.

One saving grace is {that a} full reinstall didn’t destroy the information on my laborious drives. Nonetheless, it eliminated all of the apps.

Setting

Should you select to make use of TOS 5, you will have to do some guide configuration. It’s a fairly easy course of.

You’ll need to obtain the set up package deal, and here’s a devoted set up information web page the place you’ll find the obtain.

Once you first begin up the NAS, you may wish to choose customized and watch for it to verify your drives (which might take a very long time).

Choose the drives you wish to use and manually choose the package deal to put in. As soon as put in, you will have to assign your admin person after which format the RAID.

NVMe SSD cache drive

To get essentially the most out of this NAS, it’s handy to arrange a cache drive.

You’ve gotten been in a position to configure an SSD cache inside TOS with older fashions and TOS 4.2. Nonetheless, now you do not have to waste one of many predominant drive bays with an SSD and use a lot quicker NVMe drives as a substitute.

With TOS 4.2, within the management panel, you’ll be able to go to the amount and storage supervisor, choose your quantity, and click on edit. You possibly can then choose Allow SSD Cache and choose the drive you wish to use. The NAS might want to reboot and for some motive I needed to full this course of twice earlier than it acknowledged that the cache was getting used.

With the replace to TOS 5, there’s now a brand new Hyper Cache possibility. This has a devoted part inside the storage supervisor. With this, you’ve got extra management over how the cache works, akin to balanced, again or learn/write mode. You even have the choice to make use of RAID 1/0 on two NVMe drives.

Learn/write efficiency

I attempted balanced mode in RAID 0 with two NVMe drives after which learn/write mode with a single drive. The efficiency was as anticipated.

In balanced mode, the file switch begins in a short time however stops rapidly. In read-write mode, with all knowledge written to NVMe, I used to be in a position to preserve the utmost velocity of the two.5GbE connection.

Learn efficiency was understandably much less spectacular. In read-write mode, file switch speeds jumped between 100MB/s and 150MB/s, but it surely was nonetheless a bit quicker than I might count on when studying immediately from disk.

Accessible apps

After I reviewed the TerraMaster F4-421, there have been 88 functions out there for obtain. It appears that evidently a few of these should not current in TOS 5. There are actually solely 55 apps out there to put in. A fast look and the headset and the lazy librarian appear to be lacking.

Nonetheless, they’ve prolonged performance to duplicate some options of Synology. This consists of new beta apps:

  • Images of Earth
  • TerraSync
  • Surveillance Supervisor

There’s additionally Nextcloud, which offers lots of the identical options that Synology has.

By comparability, Synology has 63 apps inside the principle part of packages they’ve developed after which one other 43 inside the third occasion part.

Docker / Portainer / NZBGet

I used to be glad to see Portainer beneath Beta apps. I do not assume this was within the TOS once I reviewed the older fashions, and it makes Docker container administration a bit simpler to make use of.

With Docker, you’ll be able to replicate many of the performance you may get on a Synology NAS.

I have not examined Docker extensively, however I went via the NZBGet set up course of and every little thing labored because it ought to. Moreover, I used to be in a position to hit obtain speeds of round 45MB/s, which is what I sometimes see with my Virgin Media connection and the Usenet servers I take advantage of. CPU utilization stayed low, I noticed it peak round 50% whereas checking a file I downloaded

Logging into Portainer and managing your NZBGet container is fast and simple.

plexus

Plex Server is likely one of the hottest functions to run on a NAS. It’s also one of the vital demanding. At dwelling, most of my content material is direct play and so not a giant deal, but when you might want to transcode issues can get messy.

The official Plex NAS compatibility checklist doesn’t embody this NAS but, however they do have fashions from QNAP which have Intel N5105.

For software program encoding you’ll be able to solely do SD and 720P HD with some 1080P HD. For hardware-accelerated transcoding, you are able to do every little thing as much as 1080P with no drawback.

For H264 2160p you’ll be able to solely do SDR after which with HEVC the help is ready as H.264 output.

Whereas the checklist isn’t complete for all of the NAS choices in the marketplace, the N5105 appears to be the most suitable choice on this checklist for transcoding.

After I tried this with TOS 4.2, Plex labored with out me making any modifications to something. With TOS 5, I wanted to assign the right privileges earlier than Plex may learn the contents of my media folders.

Backups

NAS techniques are historically used for backup and it is one thing I believe works nicely throughout all manufacturers. TOS 5 has a devoted backup part that features:

  1. rsync
  2. File system snapshot
  3. Time Machine Backup
  4. TFM help
  5. Centralized backup
  6. Snapshot
  7. usb copy
  8. Cloud Sync
  9. TerraSync Server: Works as a cloud drive server much like Google Drive or Synology Drive
  10. double backup

Vitality consumption

With rising power prices, I’ve turn into a bit extra acutely aware of the working prices of all of the issues I verify. I’ve additionally been contemplating ditching my self-built Ubuntu server in favor of a NAS like this.

Terramaster states the facility provide is 40W so this could by no means exceed that and is considerably decrease than my 120W+ server. The 4-bay mannequin bumps the facility provide as much as 90W.

Utilizing the TP-Hyperlink Tapo P110, I monitored the facility consumption.

Below idle load/mild load with CPU utilization starting from 2% to twenty%, energy consumption remained under 24 W.

When writing to the drive, energy consumption diversified however by no means exceeded 31W.

When logging into Plex within the browser and enjoying a file that causes CPU utilization to exceed 90%, the facility consumption additionally stays under 31W.

Value and various choices

The TerraMaster F2-423 is priced at £340 on Amazon, and the 4-bay F4-423 is £440.

The previous TerraMaster F2-422 is identical value. It has a 10GbE port however decrease specs all over the place else.

Then there’s the four-bay F4-421, which is proscribed to gigabit. It is priced at £410, so that you may as nicely spend an additional £30 on the far superior F4-423.

Synology does not actually have a two-bay mannequin to compete with the F2-423. However the four-bay Synology DS920+ prices £485. That is not an enormous soar in value from the F4-423; nonetheless, the CPU isn’t that highly effective, it solely helps 8 GB of RAM, and the Ethernet is simply gigabit.

Common

The TerraMaster F2-423 is a wonderful NAS and a much-needed improve from earlier fashions I’ve reviewed, making the {hardware} extra aggressive towards Synology’s latest releases.

I discovered it extremely annoying that this defaults to the previous TOS 4.2 as normal.

TerraMaster TOS 5 is a large enchancment over 4.2, which I used with my earlier revisions. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless a great distance from Synology, and that’s the reason Synology can get a premium value on its {hardware}.

Relying in your particular necessities, the options of the software program needs to be appropriate for many customers, however it’s not as feature-rich or straightforward to make use of as Synology.

As at all times, TerraMaster affords glorious worth for cash in case your precedence is the very best {hardware} in your cash.

Final up to date on 2022-11-06 / Affiliate Hyperlinks / Amazon Product Promoting API Photographs

I want the article virtually TerraMaster F2-423 NAS Overview – With Intel Celeron N5105, 2.5 GbE, DDR4, & 2x M.2 NVMe provides notion to you and is beneficial for including as much as your data

TerraMaster F2-423 NAS Review – With Intel Celeron N5105, 2.5 GbE, DDR4, & 2x M.2 NVMe

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