The QNAP HS-453DX Silent NAS – Big Update on Potentially the Best NAS Of 2018
This year has been a big year for network attached storage. Although NAS has already made its way into the home and business market, in 2018 we have seen some genuinely innovative pieces of hardware be developed that can result in a NAS featuring in almost every aspect of your personal and professional life. Of all the devices that have been announced this year, the one that left by far the best impact on me was the QNAP HS-453DX NAS. When I first stumbled across this particular NAS, QNAP were incredibly tight-lipped about it and what little information I could find out came from the fact it had won a design award – yes, you heard right, it won an award based on its physical design. That only made me more interested, as most NAS (though interesting) is typically rather ugly blighters! That was back in June and since then I have discovered more and more information about it and have decided to put it all together below in one giant information blowout! Trust me, when you get through it all, you will be as excited as I am.
What Makes the QNAP HS-453DX NAS such a big deal?
The new HS-453DX features a new and improved chassis, based on the previous silent NAS HS-251+, it now arrives in white and rose gold, supports a combination of Hard Drive and Solid State drive, has a brand new CPU that it makes it’s NAS debut on this device and aside from all of that, also features a 10GBe port, HDMI 2.0a for 4K playback and a remote control. All of this with an incredible discreet design, both in terms of size and noise. It does not feature an operational fan inside and instead favours a large heatsink top panel (the rose gold lid) and this results in incredibly low operational noise. it doesn’t completely remove all noise (as Hard Drives generate their own minor hum noise), however, this is avoidable with the use of SSD or less mechanical HDD. Luckily the HS-453DX arrives with 2 Hard Drive bays and 2 SSD bays, so you can choose the best media for you, or use BOTH and take advantage of SSD caching and a system of tiered storage whereby files you are editing live on the NAS (likely through that 10GBe port) have important/regular accessed files moved over to the SSD to combine increased internal speeds and external speeds – AKA Remove the bottlenecks!
As if all of that wasn’t enough to consider the HS-453DX as your next NAS purchase, it also arrives with the latest QTS 4.4.0 firmware (still yet to be released) that will feature even better performance and stability, all the available applications you want (1st and 3rd party) and certainly the best version of QTS yet.
The design of the HS-453DX has minimalism in mind and manages to pack ALOT of bang for your buck into such as small chassis. It has a dedicated 3.5″ slot method for HDD installation and you can operate the device with a single HDD, two drives in a RAID configuration, or just using the internal SSD m.2 slots. Then you can pop the front mounted magnetic front panel and the unit is closed. The front panel is white but thin enough not to block the IR sensor for the remote control.
What Ports are available on the HS-453DX NAS?
- HDMI 2.0a for 60Hz 4K and another HDMI 1.4b port that can be used for 1080p and 4K at 30Hz, Audio devices and more
- USB-C and USB-A ports that support USB 3.1 Gen 1 and two USB 2.0 ports for peripherals (keyboard, mouse, UPS, Printer, etc)
- Rear mounted speaker for alerts, media playback, etc (it’s small though so don’t put lots of faith in it)
- Audio in/out ports for speakers and microphones (to be used in multimedia, business and communication applications)
- IR Sensor on the front for the included QNAP remote control (discussed later in the article) or other compatible devices
- 10GBASE-T for 10Gbe ethernet, using the familiar RJ45 interface
- 1Gbe RJ45 port that can be used individually or combined with the 10GBASE-T via Link Aggregation to improve transmission further
For those that are keen thunderbolt 3 users, I am pleased to confirm that QNAP is developing their own Thunderbolt-to-10GBe adapters, QNA-T310G1T and QNA-T310G1S, that support both 10GBASE-T and SFP+ respectively. In real terms, this means that you can use this small device (promised to arrive at a very affordable price point) to connect your Thunderbolt 3 MacBook or EliteBook DIRECTLY to the HS-453DX silent NAS for editing files on the NAS, whilst using the network and internet capabilities of the HS-453DX to drastically improve your workflow!
What are the Internal Specifications of the QNAP HS-453DX
Although we have already discussed the precise specifications of the QNAP HS-453DX here on NASCompares before, it is worth discussing them again, as this is one of the most impressive pieces of kit I have seen for several years:
- Intel Celeron J4105 processor at 1.5 GHz
- 4 GB DDR4 (expandable to 8 GB)
- Graphic Intel UHD Graphics 600
- 1 x Rj45 10BASE-T
- 2 x bays for 3.5 “or 2.5” drives (mechanical or SSD SATA)
- 2x M.2 SSD SATA
- 2 x HDMI 2.0 4K
- 1 x RJ45 Gigabit
- 2 x USB 3.0
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 2 x audio inputs
- 1 x audio output
- Rear speaker
- External power supply
What Type of Storage Media can you use in the QNAP HS-453DX NAS?
As the HS-453DX arrives with both Hard Drive support and m.2 SSD support, the range of media that you can install in the HS-453DX is pretty impressive indeed. The two main 3.5″ storage bays (which also can be used for 2.5″ SSD media too if you prefer) support upto the very latest 14TB Seagate Ironwolf NAS drives, though if you are buying this device for its low noise properties, I strongly advise staying below 4TB capacity and perhaps considering WD Red 4TB instead. The two internal SSD bays support SATA based m.2 SSD, and these are becoming very affordable these days too. In short, you have alot more choice in the media setup of this device than you have in 90% of other NAS drives.
Installing the m.2 SSD inside the HS-453DX is a pinch more work than the slot loaded HDD bays and just requires you to remove a couple of screws and installing the media internally. The HS-453DX arrives with all the screws and NAND chip heatsinks required in its accessories pack. Remember that the SSD can be used in multiple ways. It can be used as the primary storage is you want really, really low noise, heat and power consumption whilst maintaining high speeds. Alternatively, you can leverage the speed of the SSD against the HDD bays and use SSD cache to gain the advantages of HDD capacity combined with high read/write of SSD on important files, folders and applications (as you would with a hybrid drive) with the use of SSD Cache.
How Does the QNAP HS-453DX compare with the HS-251+ NAS?
Of course, the QNAP HS-453DX is not the first ‘silentNAS’ that they have developed and a little over 2 years ago we saw the HS-251+, a remarkably popular NAS that although not as able as the new HS-453DX, featured a number of the core features that it has evolved from. You can still pick up the HS-251+ silent NAS if you shop around, but one look at the specifications of both devices clearly show that the HS-453DX is a better device in every single way.
Both in terms of internal hardware and external connections, the HS-453DX QNAP NAS just gives you more. WIth combined SSD and HDD support, improved remote control, VASTLY better CPU, HDMI 2.0a port, USB-C and more, it’s a fairly damning comparison of the HS-453DX and HS-251+.
Even tiny details such as the memory that is used inside the HS-453DX is noticeably faster than the HS-251+, as it features 2400Mhz DDR4 memory, rather than the 1333Mhz DDR3 in the HS-251+.
If we look at the ports of the older HS-251+ above and the HS-453DX below, we can also see that the ports on the newer device are far more extensive and aimed at more than just multimedia
Where the older HS-251+ features a single HDMI, 1Gbe only and USB-A, the newer HS-453DX features massive innovations in the 10Gbe+1Gbe, HDMI 2.0a, 3 versions of USB connectivity, speaker+Audio In/Out and still manages to maintain the low and sleek design.
What are the Multimedia Applications of the QNAP HS-453DX NAS?
If you are looking to purchase the HS-453DX QNAP NAS as multimedia NAS, then I am pleased to confirm that there are LOADS of options available. Below are a few of the best available. Thanks to the HDMI ports and the HybridDesk Station (HD Station) application, you can have visual access to your media AND use lots of applications with visual interface+input devices.
For those who use the popular Kodi Application, you can use the Linux station application to run the Kodi Application or alternatively you can install the HD Station application for Kodi V18 (Leia) unofficially using our guide, though of course, you do this without the support of QNAP.
Though the more popular choice for multimedia playback on the HS-453DX will be the Plex Media Server application. The HS-453DX allows you to use the NAS as a streaming server for plex for wireless network/internet access on all of your devices, or alternatively, you can connect the HS-453DX via HDMI and the PLEX user interface can be controlled via remote control with the included remote control! You Choose!
For those that want to stream their media to their phones, tablets, laptops, smart TV or home console, the HS-453DX can do this easily PLUS it will transcode media so it can be much more acceptable in size, format, resolution to the device. In real terms, that means you can watch your 4K 8GB movie on your iPhone smaller screen, and the HS-453DX will scale the file down in advance and then stream the smaller/faster file to the phone and still maintain picture/audio quality.
Another growing popular media streaming platform is Roon. With the HS-453DX you can eliminate using an active device for your media to live and instead store the files on your passive NAS device, then access as and when you need. Remember that the idea of a NAS is that it can do lots and lots of tasks/applications at once and multimedia streaming whilst performing more file-level tasks over the internet/network is a prime example.
Another key QNAP applications support, is for CInema28 on the HS-453DX and this means you can convert your media NAS into a centralized media centre to keep up with the growth of smart homes. Facilitating a massive range of connections for a single control deck, this is an impressive amount of support from such a small NAS that leaves such a minor impact on your home/business environment.
Want to have a party? Do you think you can bang out Phil Collins ‘Groovy Kind of Love’ more than Helen from HR? The HS-453DX NAS arrives with a free karaoke application in OceanKTV. Just connect Microphones (plus use the mobile phone application as a remote control for ease, but you can use the remote control or a USB peripheral if you want), connect an HDMI TV/Monitor and that’s it, you are good to go. Learn more about it here – http://www.oceanktv.com/en
These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to multimedia applications available via the HDMI port and extend even further into surveillance applications with QVR Pro and Surveillance Station, Standalone PC use with Virtualization Station, Linux Station and Container station and even social applications like Facebook and Skype.
Final point, it is worth remembering that the HS-453DX arrives with the newest QNAP Infrared Remote control included. With dedicated multimedia playback buttons, XMBC style controls and dedicated app buttons that can be customized so you can switch between HDMI supported apps on your screen at the touch of a button, this is an impressive piece of kit to include. Not a fan of IR remotes? THen you can use the QRemote application that is free on iTunes for iOS or Play Store on Android that provides these applications and more. Lastly, you can choose to use USB peripherals such as a Keyboard/Mouse, or even connect a Bluetooth USB dongle and use one of the hundreds of supported Bluetooth peripherals. SERIOUSLY – so much choice!
How much will the QNAP HS-453DX Silent NAS cost?
We are still awaiting a confirmed worldwide price on the HS-453DX NAS, but I am assured we will have this VERY soon. I strongly recommend you subscribe here to NASCompares or visit the store below via the ‘check availability button’ and click on the page for updates as and when they arrive on the HS-453DX.
When will the Silent HS-453DX NAS be Released?
With so much buzz on the QNAP HS-453DX NAS, it cannot be long now till official release worldwide. As previously mentioned, we are still awaiting the release details but if you subscribe here to NASCompares, or click the link below and register for updates, you will be the first to know! I don’t know about you, but I am massively excited for the HS-453DX NAS in 2018/2019.
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