QNAP TS-453B Vs TS-453BT3 – What are the REAL differences?

Thunderbolt or Not – Should you buy the QNAP TS-453B or TS-453BT3 NAS?

When choosing the best Network Attached Storage (NAS) device for your home or business needs, the last thing you want to do is buy something that is not going to do everything that you want it to do. Too often we buy hardware for a purpose and within days or weeks of buying it, regret that it. Maybe it isn’t fast enough, maybe it is too loud, too limited or too complex. However, many QNAP NAS buyers in 2018 (especially those in the Mac community who deal with storing or editing photos and video) are making a choice about whether to buy a NAS server with or without a Thunderbolt connection. Being typically much faster than other connections, Thunderbolt is now available for both Mac and Windows systems in the 40Gb/s connection, Thunderbolt 3.

Currently, QNAP is the only brand in the world that has a thunderbolt enabled NAS server selection (they invented it), so it does make your choice a little easier. But do you need a thunderbolt connection? Is it worth the extra money? In order to keep costs lower, QNAP have very recently released the most cost-effective thunderbolt 3 NAS they have ever produced, the QNAP TS-453BT3. This new award-winning NAS arrives using the same chassis design, CPU and Memory of the 2017 released QNAP TS-453B, but arriving with new additions and a few qweeks. But which should you buy? The New Thunderbolt 3 enabled NAS or the tried and tested fully-featured non-thunderbolt NAS?

What can both the TS-453BT3 and TS-453B QNAP NAS do?

Before I get down to which of these units is better at what task, I think it is important to know the things that BOTH of these QNAP NAS devices can do. So, whether you decide upon the QNAP TS-453BT3 or the QNAP TS-453B-4G, you will definitely be able to:

  • Host a Virtualisation Platform – setup and run multiple VMs, supporting multiple Operating systems and enhanced by the Docker app, Container Station
  • Create a standalone PC with the additional of a keyboard, mouse and monitor
  • Both units arrive with a remote to maximize the media uses of that HDMI port
  • Serve as a cross platform service – bridging connections and transfers of files between Mac and Windows systems over the network
  • Heavily support RTRR and comprehensive snapshot technology meaning you will have an equal amount of backup options whichever you go for. As well as migration, connection and interaction with existing cloud services like dropbox, Google Drive ElephantDrive
  • Create a comprehensive Surveillance solutions, supporting multiple IP cameras and even arriving with some licences included
  • Access exactly the same NAS OS that is updated regularly and has a huge app store to really customise your setup to make it your own
  • Both feature a means to access your data via direct attached storage, Thunderbolt 3 with the TS-453BT3 and USB 3.0 with the TS-453B NAS.

What are the Pros and Cons of the QNAP TS-453B NAS released in 2017?

Synology DS716+II PROS

VALUE

Arriving with the ability to do almost any currently generation NAS task, the TS-453B is certainly in our top 5 4-Bay NAS servers of 2017. If you need a NAS to do that tasks you need and want to ensure you get the most for your money, look no further than this plucky little 4-Bay NAS from QNAP.

FEATURES

When I first saw the specs and connections of this NAS I was genuinely impressed by it’s covering of numerous NAS applications and tasks. Only the TS-453A has ever left me equally impressed in terms of Cost vs Value of hardware. I cannot recommend it enough. With features like Dual HDMI, DUAL LAN, PCIe Slot, SD Card reader, Quick Connect DAS, one touch USB 3.0 Copy, Hot Swapping, new and improved remote control and more. This is fast becoming the home and SMB NAS to beat in 2017!

PERFORMANCE

Using the new Intel Celeron J series CPU and 4/8GB of RAM means that it will handle most of the popular NAS tasks required of it. Functions, services and applications like Plex, Kodi over HDMI in Linux Station, VMs, standalone surveillance, all RAID levels, DLNA support, apple time machine, Mac and Windows full RTRRR, QVR Pro Beta are all possible with the TS-453B and can be set up quickly and easily!

DESIGN

This great NAS for 2017 is easily a stand out model in terms of ability and hardware inside. But one factor that is often a controversial one is the chassis. For many the fact the TS-453B casing is mostly plastic is a put off. However it still maintains an excellent temperature, low noise and with the removable front panel (much like the Synology DS216+II) it is a closed system. Until you need access to the tooless HDD trays and hot swapping occasionally. In this way the TS-453B is as versatile and able as any other NAS.

Synology DS716+II CONS

VALUE

Again, those with 4K File editing on the fly, Thunderbolt connectivity and enterprise-level use in mind, maybe spend the extra £500-2000 and buy a TVS-1282T from QNAP NAS.

FEATURES

Only 2x LAN on this 4-Bay NAS, but you can add more with the PCIe. Aside from that and the lack of a Thunderbolt 3 connectivity option for MacBook Pro users are the only faults I can find!

PERFORMANCE

Many more advanced PC users will want to consider devices featuring i5 and i7 Intel CPU NAS servers as they have 1 or 2 very high end tasks in mind. Though the TS-453B is a fantastic device, it is designed to do many, many things well. If you have 1 or 2 things that need to be done to an enterprise standard, maybe look at the TVS-473.

DESIGN

Despite the NAS doing everything you need, some will prefer the metal chassis and tray design of the QNAP TS-453A.

The QNAP TS-253A, TS-453B and TS-653B NAS for Plex, DLNA, VM, Home and Business 11

the qnap ts-453b nas review score

Why Buy the QNAP TS-453BT3 Thunderbolt 3 NAS?

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QNAP NAS has been easily the most innovative network attached storage brand of the year and when they adopted the popular mac and windows based connection, Thunderbolt, into their NAS devices, they knew they had struck gold. Thunderbolt NAS has been around now for 2 years and in that time, QNAP has heavily invested in this technology (they are currently the only provider of a Thunderbolt-enabled NAS server in the market and capitalize on this). As they have explored the viability of this form of connection, they have released several waves of units, each very distinctive and aimed at different thunderbolt users.

The TVS-871T was a basic unit by today’s standards, featuring TB2 but not really pushing the boundaries of its versatility beyond file access. The follow-up QNAP 82T NAS series was a much more featured device, with the ability to cross the Thunderbolt connectivity and enable upto 4 Thunderbolt users to access the NAS at once via TB2 or TB3, whilst still using the device as a NAS server for many, many more users. Additionally, the TB connection enabled users to connected and then access 10GBe connectivity, using the 82T series NAS as a Thunderbolt-to-10GBe switch. Finally, the inclusion of improved hardware in the form of SSD bays, m.2 SSD slots, HDMI 2.0 and more mean that these features and functionality really stood out!

However, the most common stumbling block for many was the price tag. Both the TVS-871T and the TVS-82T series was considerably more expensive compared with the ordinary non-thunderbolt NAS range from QNAP, often by £1000’s. Hence the release of the more cost-effective and stripped down thunderbolt 4 Bay, the QNAP TS-453BT3. Arriving at a much lower price point and still retaining many of the appealing features of the 71T and 82T series, this new thunderbolt NAS for 2018 arrives with a much more mainstream CPU and RAM options. Below is a specification comparison of the TVS-682T and the TS-453BT3:

Model
QNAP TS-453BT3

£960+ ex.VAT

QNAP TVS-682T

£1590+ ex.VAT

CPU
Quad-Core Intel® Celeron®

J3455 1.5GHz (Burst up to 2.3GHz)

Intel® Core™ i3-6100

3.7 GHz dual-core processor

Memory (RAM)
8GB SO-DIMM

DDR3L-1866

Memory modules

pre-installed: 8 GB DDR4 RAM

Flash
512MB (DOM) 512MB (DOM for dual OS)
Number of RAM Slots
2 (Max 8 GB) 4 (Max 64GB)
Max. number of HDDs/SSDs
4x 2.5″ or 3.5″ SATA 6Gb/s 4x 2.5″/3.5″ SATA 6Gb/s

2x 2.5″ SATA 6Gb/s

Expansion Enclosure Support
1 (UX-800P, UX-500P) 6 x TX-500P/TX-800P

or 1 x UX-800P/ 500P

Internal Cache Port
2 x M.2 2280 SATA

6Gb/s SSD slots

2 x M.2 2280 SATA

6Gb/s SSD slots

Gigabit LAN Ports
2 4
10GbE
1 x 10GBASE-T 2* 10Gbase-T
Thunderbolt
2 (Thunderbolt 3) 2 (Thunderbolt 2)
Expansion Slot (PCI-E)
1 x Gen 2 (x2), pre-installed a QM2 M.2/10GBASE-T PCIe card 2 (occupided by 10GbE adapter and Thunderbolt card)
USB 3.0
5 5
Free Remote Control
 (RM-IR004)  (RM-IR002)
HDMI
2 (4K) 3
Line Out (3.5mm)
1 1
Speaker
1 2
LED Indicators
Power/Status, LAN, USB, HDD1-4 System status, 2.5” SSD, M.2 SSD, 3.5” HDD
Buttons
Power, USB copy, Reset, Capacitive touch buttons (select, enter) Power, Reset, USB Auto Copy
Form Factor
Tower Tower
Dimensions (HxWxD) mm
168 x 170 x 226 mm
6.61 x 6.69 x 8.90 inch
231.9 x 224.9 x 319.8
Weight (Net/ Gross)
7.7 kg/ 9.5 kg
Temperature
0 ~ 40˚C (32˚F ~ 104˚F) 0 – 40 °C
Power Supply Specification
External Power Adapter, 120W, 100-240V Input: 100-240V~, 3-1.5A, 60-50Hz; Output: 250W

As you can see, the main price saving has been made by the removing of that DDR4 memory, that i3 CPU, SSD Bays and a few other hardware perks. This slices a cool £500-600 from the price.

What is the difference between the QNAP TS-453BT3 and the TS-453B NAS?

There’s no denying that the TS-453B from QNAP is easily one of the best NAS that I’ve ever seen. if it wasn’t for the fact this NAS has a slightly higher price point than most of its competitors, it would have been one of my favourite NAS of the year in terms of hardware and options. Featuring a culmination of ports and access that have been developed over older units over the last few years, the TS-453B represents the perfect NAS for all users that want both direct access and network access to their data.
QNAP TS-453BT3 thunderbolt 3 ports
As mentioned, the internal hardware is almost identical on the TS-453B and TS-453BT3, with that quad-core Intel J series CPU and 4 or 8GB of DDR3 memory. This device can handle most network data needs with ease. In terms of design and hardware access, the biggest difference between the TS-453B and TS-453BT is their choice of direct attached storage access options. Though both utilise the new popular USB-C connection, the TS-453B gives you USB 3.0 access, whilst the TS-453BT3 providesThunderboltt 3 and even USB 3.1 access too if your port supports it.
Of course, that is not all, the TS-453BT3 has hardware features that many do not even realise are there. I am talking about the inclusion of that 10Gbe and M2 SSD cache card. The TS-453B arrives with an empty PCIe slot, giving you the ability to add any number of pcie-based expansions. One of the most popular of which is the dual RJ45 10gbe card with onboard dual M2 SSD cache. This card retails for well over £250 and is included in the QNAP TS-453BT3. So, in other words, buying the TS-453B does not deny you these ports but you will have to buy these ports at a later date if you want them. Additionally, you will not be able to upgrade your TS-453B to thunderbolt 3 connectivity as QNAP do not currently have plans to market and sell a thunderbolt 3 enable PCIe expansion card, something you would be well to remember at the point of purchase.

QNAP TS-453B versus TS-453BT3 NAS Conclusion – Which to Buy?

You need to factor in more than just Thunderbolt 3. One look at the speed tests published above from QNAP themselves tell you that although this device arrives with an incredible fluid and accessible platform, the CPU creates a slight bottle neck that will mean that , even with SSD, you are not getting true TB3 speeds. If you are looking for a fast TB3 device NAS, then you should look at the likes of the QNAP TVS-682T and above. However it is when you consider the additional m.2 SSD slots of chaching and that lovely 10GBe network port (RJ45) that the justification for buying the TS-453BT3 over the TS-453B can be justified. These three component connections/features cost more than the price difference between these devices and therefore if you require just two or all three of these facilities, then you are more than justified in buying the more expensive TS-453BT3 NAS in 2018.

That said, the QNAP TS-453B is still an incredible NAS 4-Bay and expandable in oh so many ways. So if you are still unsure about the viability of Thunderbolt direct file access, whether you will see the benefits of m.2 SSD caching, or doubting whether you will make the switch to 10GBe connectivity – the the TS-453B is still one fo the best 4-Bay NAS that you can buy in 2018. Featuring every port, connection, access and means to use your data that should be possible in this modern age of data storage. The device was good enough to place 3rd in out top 4-Bay NAS of the year and still continues you be used by home and business users alike.

How to the Specifications of the TS-453BT3 and TS-453B QNAP NAS Compare?

Below is a full breakdown of the specifications and how they compare. As you can see, they are very similar indeed. The thing to remember is the Thunderbolt 3 Ports, the m.2 SSD Slots and that all inportant 10GBe Port for increases network speed.

QNAP TS-453BT3

£960+ ex.VAT

(£370 ex.VAT more than TS-453B)

QNAP TS-453B

£540-590+ ex.VAT

(Available in both 4GB and 8GB)

CPU

Quad-Core Intel® Celeron® J3455 1.5GHz (Burst up to 2.3GHz)

Quad-Core Intel® Celeron® J3455 1.5GHz (Burst up to 2.3GHz)

Memory (RAM)

8GB SO-DIMM DDR3L-1866

8GB / 4GB SO-DIMM DDR3L up to 1866

Flash

512MB (DOM)

512MB (DOM)

Number of RAM Slots

2 (Max 8 GB)

2 (Max 8 GB)

Max. number of HDDs/SSDs

4x 2.5″ or 3.5″ SATA 6Gb/s, 3Gb/s

4x 2.5″ or 3.5″ SATA 6Gb/s, 3Gb/s

Hot-Swappable HDD Tray

 YES YES

Expansion Enclosure Support

1 (UX-800P, UX-500P)

1 (UX-800P, UX-500P)

Internal Cache Port

2 x M.2 2280 SATA 6Gb/s SSD slots with a pre-installed QM2 PCIe card

Gigabit LAN Ports

2

2

10GbE

1 x 10GBASE-T

 (optional)

Thunderbolt

2 (Thunderbolt 3)

-(optional)

Expansion Slot (PCI-E)

1 x Gen 2 (x2), pre-installed a QM2 M.2/10GBASE-T PCIe card

1 x Gen 2 (x2)

USB 3.0

5

5

USB 3.1 10Gbps

Optional via a PCIe expansion card

Optional via a PCIe expansion card

IR Sensor (Infrared Receiver)

 (RM-IR004, RM-IR002, & MCE)

 (RM-IR004, RM-IR002, & MCE)

Free Remote Control

 (RM-IR004)

 (RM-IR004)

SD Card Slot

-0

1

HDMI

2 (4K)

2 (4K)

Line Out (3.5mm)

1

1

Speaker

1

1

LED Indicators

Power/Status, LAN, USB, HDD1-4

Power/Status, LAN, USB, HDD1-4, SD card, USB QuickAccess

LCD Display/ Button

OLED with capacitive touch buttons

OLED with capacitive touch buttons

Buttons

Power, USB copy, Reset, Capacitive touch buttons (select, enter)

Power, USB copy, Reset, Capacitive touch buttons (select, enter)

Form Factor

Tower

Tower

Dimensions (HxWxD) mm

168 x 170 x 226 mm
6.61 x 6.69 x 8.90 inch

168 x 170 x 226 mm
6.61 x 6.69 x 8.90 inch

Weight (Net/ Gross)

2.33 kg / 5.14 lbs

Temperature

0 ~ 40˚C (32˚F ~ 104˚F)

0 ~ 40˚C (32˚F ~ 104˚F)

Power Supply Specification

External Power Adapter, 120W, 100-240V

External Power Adapter, 90W, 100-240V

File System: Internal Hard Drive

EXT4

EXT4

File System: External Hard Drive

EXT4, NTFS, FAT32, HFS+, extFAT (optional purchase)

EXT4, NTFS, FAT32, HFS+, extFAT (optional purchase)

Wireless LAN via USB Wi-Fi Adapter

802.11ac/a/n

802.11ac/a/n

Snapshot

Yes (max 1024)

 (max 1024)

Max Number of Cameras

Default: 4, Max.: 40 (optional license purchase)

Default: 4, Max.: 40 (optional license purchase)

Mobile Surveillance App for iOS & Android

Vmobile

Vmobile

Surveillance Local Display

Max USB Webcam for liveview or snapshot (QUSBCam App)

2 (up to 1280×960, 5FPS)

2 (up to 1280×960, 5FPS)

Virtualization Station

Container Station

Qsirch (RAM of NAS >= 2GB)

Linux Station (RAM of NAS >= 4GB)

Syslog Server & Client

Antivirus

 (Optional McAfee Antivirus available)

 (Optional McAfee Antivirus available)

Mail Server

Xmail, Xeams (QPKG)

Xmail, Xeams (QPKG)

VPN Server (PPTP + OpenVPN + L2TP)

 (Max clients: 15 + 15 + 15)

 (Max clients: 15 + 15 + 15)

myQNAPcloud Remote Access and File Sharing

3rd Party Cloud Storage

Amazon S3/Glacier, ElephantDrive, Google Drive, Microsoft Azure

Amazon S3/Glacier, ElephantDrive, Google Drive, Microsoft Azure

Mobile Apps for iOS & Android

Qfile, Qmanager, Qphoto, Qmusic, Qnotes, VMobile, Vcam, Qremote

Qfile, Qmanager, Qphoto, Qmusic, Qnotes, VMobile, Vcam, Qremote

VMware Ready®

Citrix Ready

Microsoft Hyper-V Compatibility

Max. Number of Users

4096

4096

Max. Number of User Groups

512

512

Max. Number of Share Folders

512

512

Max. Number of Concurrent Connections

800

800

Language

English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Czech, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Turkish, Hungarian, Romanian, Thai, Portuguese/Brazil, Greek

English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Czech, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Turkish, Hungarian, Romanian, Thai, Portuguese/Brazil, Greek

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