QNAP TS-470 Review
If you are hunting around for your next (or first) NAS, you have plenty to pick from. With countless options, NAS makers are hard at work trying to ramp up their products and are jockeying for the number 1 spot on your short list. It seems like only yesterday that QNAP had introduced their X69(L) lineup and already we are being greeted by a more powerful X70 lineup. For the last few months, we have been putting QNAP’s TS-470 to work in our office… the real question is, is it deserving of your hard-earned money?
With upgraded hardware and a few new tricks up its sleeve, it may be high time you started to consider an upgrade. So, when QNAP packed a bunch of new features and hardware into the same frame and slapped a +1 on the title. What do you get? A shiny new NAS with some very nice specs.
This new big brother on the block sports a Dual-Core Intel 2.6 GHz Processor (Intel Celeron G550), it now has 2GB of RAM, and there are now a total of 4 Ethernet ports available to you straight out of the box. Upgrade easily to 10GBE support with an optional QNAP card if it strikes your fancy!
Similar to the other NAS in the QNAP portfolio, this NAS benefits from the same QNAP firmware, QTS 4. QTS 4 is jam-packed with features and easy to navigate. Right out of the box you get: FTP Server, File Server, Backup Center, Web Server, Radius Server, Syslog Server, Printer Server, Surveillance Station, VPN Server, LDAP Server, Proxy Server, Music Station, Photo Station, Video Station, DJ Station, Cloud Access via MyCloudNAS, Mobile Applications, and Much More. Enhancing the already functional NAS is easy with QNAP QPKGs.
New with the TS-470 is the expansion system. This NAS supports online capacity expansion by connecting multiple QNAP RAID expansion enclosures to meet the needs of growing business data. With the QNAP scale-up solution, raw storage capacity can be expanded to hundreds of Terabytes gradually. It is especially useful for large data applications, such as data archiving, virtualization, TV broadcast storage, surveillance video storage, and HUGE movie libraries!
The maximum raw storage capacity available by connecting RAID expansion enclosures:
|Turbo NAS Model
||RAID Expansion Enclosure
||No. of RAID Expansion Enclosures
||Total HDD No.
(NAS + Enclosures)
|Max. Raw Capacity (TB)
QNAP’s new Intelligent Storage Manager provides a secure and flexible way to manage volumes with features like storage pooling, thin provisioning with space reclaim, block-level iSCSI LUN, and online capacity expansion. Everything is presented to you neatly and efficiently; making management a straight forward and oddly enjoyable experience. Speeding things up with SSD caching is now possible; boosting IOPS and operational efficiency for those with disk thrashing needs.
Outside of the new online capacity expansion and upgraded hardware, there are still those familiar QNAP elements living within the TS-470. This NAS maintains a similar appearance to all the others in the QNAP lineup. In fact, the TS-470 and the TS-469L are the same size, both measure in at 177x180x235. The TS-470 weighs in a bit heavier at a hair over 10lbs, but you aren’t supposed to carry this thing around with you.
QNAP outfits this NAS with their standard blue back-lit LCD display up front, 4 locking drive trays, an enter and select button, an IR receiver, HDD LEDs, Status indicators, a Power button, the familiar One Touch Backup button, and a single USB 2.0 port. I am not exactly sure why QNAP chose to outfit this NAS with a USB 2.0 port up front as I would rather not have to spin the unit around to connect a much faster USB 3.0 device for backup.
Around back you have audio connectivity, two eSATA ports, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a lock, cooling fan, power supply, and a total of four Ethernet ports to satisfy all your bandwidth hungry applications.
The TS-470 features the same unnumbered locking hard drive trays found in many other QNAP models. This allows you to move drives around from NAS to NAS without having to remove the hard drives from the drive trays. This NAS supports drives up to 6TB in size and hard drive transfer speeds up to 6GB/s. RAID options are plentiful: Single Disk, JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 5 + Hot Spare . The benefits and drawbacks of unnumbered drive trays is almost immediately apparent. Great for quickly swapping drives in and out from other QNAP NAS… horrible when you took them all out and can’t remember which went where.
Under the hood, the QNAP doesn’t occupy much space.
First the easy part, QNAP has outfitted the TS-470 with a 250W Power Supply produced by the FSP group and is 80 Plus Bronze Certified. The 80 Plus certification program is intended to promote more efficient energy use in PSUs. It certifies products that have more than 80% energy efficiency at 20%, 50% and 100% of rated load, and a power factor of 0.9 or greater at 100% load. Certified PSUs will waste 20% or less electric energy at load levels, reducing consumption.
The additional Gigabit Ethernet ports are provided by an add-in card. QNAP has outfitted this system with a card stamped N82575-G2. A quick internet search yielded very little, but we were able to find a similar accessory on QNAP’s TS-470 page.
QNAP doesn’t directly state that the RAM in the TS-470 is upgradable on its product page, but there is an open and available memory slot just waiting to be occupied. Finding it is easy. To get to it you have to do a bit of surgery. In fact, you have to take the ENTIRE NAS apart. In case you were wondering, yes this will void your warranty. The process is time-consuming and, to be honest with you, quite an annoyance. You have to remove the PSU, the Ethernet Card, remove the back of the NAS, the backplane, and finally the motherboard. This process gives us a good look at what the TS-470 is made of.
The Intel Celeron G550 CPU is cooled by a rather large and awkward heatsink. Two separate sets of fins are joined by heatpipes. While no direct airflow cools the primary heatsink, the secondary is fixed directly behind the fan in the rear of the unit.
Sound is handled by a dated Realtek ALC662 5.1 Channel Audio Codec. HDMI, by Asmedia ASM1442. Although this wouldn’t be my first choice, it can do the job delivering 5.1 audio efficiently and accurately supporting a sampling rate of up to 96kHz.
Accompanying your QNAP NAS is a suite of software, Qfinder, Netback Replicator, MyQNAPCloud Connect, QSync, QGet, QSnap, and a vSphere Plugin client.
myQNAPcloud Connect helps you access the published services of the Turbo NAS quickly and securely on the Internet. myQNAPcloud Connect application is designed for Windows PC users. By installing the myQNAPcloud Connect, you will be able to connect to the Turbo NAS and easily manage files by drag-and-drop within the Windows Explorer.
Qfinder is a utility that starts the process of getting your NAS ready. Not only does it identify the QNAP devices that reside on your network, it is capable of configuring the device for those of you that don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty right off the bat. Once fired up, the software shows the hostname, the IP Address, your firmware version, the model, the MAC Address, and whether or not your firmware is up to date. After highlighting a device, first time configuration is as easy as pressing the configure button.
The Quick Setup Wizard will take over and guide you through the process in a series of simple steps.
Once the configuration has started, a web browser will direct you to a page that allows you to select from two options, Auto Setup and Manual Setup. We always choose Manual Setup…
The installation, from here on out, is broken down into 6 categories:
After you have decided on the manner in which the TS-470 should function, there are a series of screens that cycle through to help entertain and educate you about your purchase while you wait for the process to complete.
Once the wizard has completed the initial configuration of your new NAS, you are quickly redirected to the web GUI. The interface hasn’t changed from other models and everything is right where you’d expect it to be. Administration is as easy as 1,2,3. Adding users, groups, and shares can be accomplished in a matter of minutes.
The QNAP Desktop is all about easy. The various icons are iOS’ish and provide a clear indication as to their purpose. Up top, you have quick access to various NAS functions. From left to right, the three bars on the left hide a fly out menu, the Home button with hostname shows the desktop when clicked, you have task-bar for open applications, a go to myqnap cloud button, indicator for background tasks (such as backup schedules), external devices (like battery backups and printers), Event Notification, your logged in user, search, resources, language, and finally desktop preferences.
Under the logged in user, you have quick access to your wallpaper preferences, you last login time, changing your password, logging out, as well as power functions for the NAS (sleep, restart, shutdown).
General Administration is broken down into 4 major sections. All of which have a number of subsections with tons of configurable items.
- System Settings
- Privilege Settings
- Network Services
System Settings is where you will configure all the basic elements of your NAS.
- System Administration: Server Name, System Port, hide features like Photo Station, enable SSL
- Time: Adjust the date, time, and time zone according to the location of the NAS
- Daylight Savings Time
- Codepage: Select the filename encoding for non-Unicode file name conversion
- Password Strength: Specify the password rules
- Login Screen: Select a template for the login screen
Storage manager: Manage volumes and RAID systems, monitor the health of hard drives, encrypt and decrypt file systems, and configure iSCSI systems and virtual disks with Storage Manager.
- Volume Management: This page shows the model, size, and current status of the hard drives on the NAS
- RAID Management
- Hard Disk S.M.A.R.T: Monitor the hard disk drives (HDD) health, temperature, and the usage status by HDD S.M.A.R.T.
- Encrypted File System
- Virtual Disk: You can use this function to add the iSCSI targets of other QNAP NAS or storage servers to the NAS as the virtual disks for storage capacity expansion.
Network: This is your where you find your NAS communication skills. You can quick access to link status, configure port trunking, wifi, IPv6, Bind services to specific interfaces, configure a proxy, and enable a Dynamic DNS service. This is useful if you don’t use QNAP’s cloud solution.
- Security Level: Specify the IP address or the network domain from which the connections to the NAS are allowed or denied.
- Network Access Protection: The network access protection enhances system security and prevents unwanted intrusion. You can block an IP for a certain period of time or forever if the IP fails to login the NAS from a particular connection method.
- Certificate & Private Key: You can upload a secure certificate issued by a trusted provider.
- General: Enable Configuration Rest switch, Hard disk standby mode, Enable write cache.
- Buzzer: Enable alarm buzzer for operations or events
- Smart Fan: Enable smart fan or manually configure
- EuP Mode Configuration: EuP (also Energy-using Products) is a European Union (EU) directive designed to improve the energy efficiency of electrical devices, reduce use of hazardous substances, increase ease of product recycling, and improve environment-friendliness of the product.
- Wake-on-LAN: Turn on this option to allow the users to power on the NAS remotely by Wake on LAN.
- Power Recovery: Configure the NAS to resume to the previous power-on or power-off status, turn on, or remain off when the AC power resumes after a power outage.
- Power Schedule: Specify the schedule for automatic system power on, power off, or restart. Weekdays stand for Monday to Friday; weekend stands for Saturday and Sunday. Up to 15 schedules can be set.
- SMTP Server: Configure the SMTP server settings to send email messages.
- SMSC Server: Configure the SMS server settings to send SMS messages to the specified phone number(s) from the NAS.
- Alert Notification: Alert Notification settings
- Live Update: Download updates in install
- Firmware Update: upload an update for install
Backup / Restore:
- Backup / Restore Settings: To back up all the settings, including the user accounts, server name, network configuration and so on, click “Backup” and select to open or save the setting file.
- Restore to Factory Default: To reset all the system settings to default
- External Storage: configure a storage devices connected to the NAS
- USB Printer: Use your NAS as a print server for non-networked printers.
- UPS: Enable UPS Support
- System Information
- Network Status
- System Service
- Hardware Information
- Resource Monitor
- System Event Logs
- System Connection Logs
- Online Users
- Syslog Client Management
Privilege Settings: This is where you would create users and groups, create shared folders and manage permissions, and set quotas
- User Groups: A user group is a collection of users with the same access right to the files or folders.
- Shared Folders: You can create multiple network shares on the NAS and specify the access rights of the users and user groups to the shares.
- Quota: Specify the quota that can be used by each user.
- Domain Security: Set Active Directory or LDAP authentication
- Microsoft Networking:
- Apple Networking:
- NFS Service:
- SNMP Settings
- Service Discovery
- Network Recycle Bin: The Network Recycle Bin keeps the deleted files on the NAS
- Qsync: Qsync is a cloud based file synchronization service
- Station Manager
- Photo Station
- Music station
- Multimedia Station
- File Station
- Download Station
- Surveillance Station
- iTunes Server
- DLNA Media Server: Twonky
- Multimedia Management
- Transcode Management
- Web Server: Even virtual hosts
- LDAP Server
- VPN Service
- MySQL Server
- Syslog Server
- Antivirus: Clamd
- RADIUS Server
- TFTP Server
To take a test drive of the QNAP Firmware visit: http://www.qnap.com/en/index.php?lang=en&sn=3541
If you want to do more than just use your NAS for Storage, QNAP packs a ton of extra stuff into these units.
The QTS Photo Station introduces a new user interface that helps manage your photo collections intuitively. You can easily upload photos, create albums, change the display mode, set up slide shows, tag photos, add descriptions, and set up sharing through email, social networking sites or a sharing link.
- Drag and Drop
- Virtual Albums
- Smart Photo Albums
- Logon with Facebook
Music Station is your personal music center in the cloud. With simple clicks, you can enjoy your extensive music collection anywhere. All your music collection on the Turbo NAS is well-organized and easily accessed through the web browser.
- Internet Radio Stations
The video station allows you to archive and store your personal video collection easily. You can access your videos from anywhere and share them with friends/family.
- Download Station: If for some reason you didn’t want to download files to your PC or from your PC, you could do so via the Download Station. Support for FTP, Bit Torrent, HTTP, RapidShare, and my favorite… Magnet links.
- File Station: Access the files on your NAS from anywhere
- HD Station: With QNAP HD Station you can enjoy a Full HD movie experience on the big-screen TV via HDMI and my absolute favorite bit of software, XBMC.
That just scratches the surface! You also have all the applications available to you from the App Center. The App Center is an easy way to install more than 100 applications to extend your NAS functionality.
Check em’ all out: QNAP App Center
It is a given that using your NAS should be easy, and it is also a given that your NAS should perform well in serving up your files. After all, this is basically what the devices is intended for. To benchmark the NAS, we run synthetic benchmarks as well as benchmark some real world activities.
For testing the large file transfer speed of the NAS, we transfer a 46.6GB Blu-Ray ISO (Avatar) from the workstation to the NAS and back five times. We pipe the transfer speeds during the benchmark to a .csv file for charting. For more on our Avatar Benchmark please see our Benchmarking application: COD Benchmarking Utility
[table id=1 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=all show_columns=3,6,7 use_datatables=false /]
For testing the transfer speed of the NAS with smaller files, we use the same method as the Avatar test but instead create two hundred individual MP3′s of specific file sizes for repeatable results. The files are copied from the workstation to the NAS and back 5 times. We pipe the transfer speeds during the benchmark to a .csv file for charting.
[table id=2 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=all show_columns=3,6,7 use_datatables=false /]
For testing the large file transfer speed of the NAS, we transfer a 2GB file from the workstation to the NAS and back five times. We pipe the transfer speeds during the benchmark to a .csv file for charting.
[table id=2 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=all show_columns=3,6,7 use_datatables=false /]
For further benchmarking, we test each NAS using Intel’s NAS Performance Toolkit to rate 2 key areas of NAS performance. We measure File Copy speeds to and from the NAS and the Directory Copy speeds to and from the NAS. System RAM is set to 2048MB of RAM to ensure there is no mem caching for transfers.
[table id=3 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=3 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=3 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=3 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=3 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14 use_datatables=false /]
For benchmarking the performance of iSCIS, we created an iSCSI connection to the NAS and benchmark the NAS using Intel’s IOMeter. IOMeter has to be one of the most widely used software packages for benchmarking disks. There are an endless number of ways you can build a benchmark, but we chose to limit our benchmarking to 100 percent Sequential Read and Write then 100 percent Random Read and Write. You can emulate our benchmarking by using the following configuration
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=17 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 use_datatables=false /]
||% of size
CrystalDiskMark is another benchmarking utility that determines speeds by measuring 512KB, 4KB, and 4KB (Queue Depth 32) sequential and random read and write speeds. Test data can be Random, 0Fill, and 1Fill. For our purposes, we left the test at Random.
[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,12,13,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,14,15,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,16,17 use_datatables=false /]
[table id=16 hide_rows=all show_rows=1,28 hide_columns=1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 use_datatables=false /]
For me, when I think about what QNAP produces in its NAS lineup, it really can be easily represented by comparing them to fine automobiles. Yes, you can get good performance and good looks from an inexpensive automobile brand like Ford, Chevy, and Hyundai, but QNAP finds itself in the Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, etc classification. Although the inexpensive brands have high-end models, the Mercs, Beamers, and Porsches are just different, more refined and more… fabulous.
When you really start to evaluate where QNAP has taken us with the TS-470, it is quite impressive. This 4 bay NAS is loaded with features and is an absolute rocket when it comes to reading and writing data. All while maintaining a small footprint and a low overall power consumption (Sleep mode: 23.9W, In Operation: 38.4W). The suite of applications that accompany the TS-470 and the host of apps available for install provides you with plenty of flexibility. The TS-470 and its dual core processor, its four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and its 2GB of RAM provides the framework for a well-balanced and powerful network attached storage device ready to satisfy your business or multimedia needs.
Bottom line, at nearly $1000.00, is this NAS worth buying over another, less expensive, alternative? Yes. QNAP has put together a string of high quality NAS over the years. Their hardware is well manufactured, their firmware is easy to use and robust, their applications make utilizing the various functions that your NAS can perform much easier, their support forums are loaded with knowledgeable people ready to steer you in the right direction, and their support hasn’t let me down yet.
With the introduction of the new TS-470 QNAP has raised the bar. With that, we have only one thing left to do.