QNAP TS-473A, TS-673A and TS-873A NAS Drive Revealed

QNAP TS-473A, TS-673A and TS-873A Desktop NAS

If you have been looking at the QNAP SMB range of hardware solutions in desktop, you may have noticed that there is a range between the Prosumer and Business Class that has been rather overdue for a refresh for a while The existing QNAP TS-x73 range, first released back in 2017/18 is now FINALLY due an upgrade in the form of the brand new TS-x73A series, arriving in 4-Bay, 6-Bay and 8-Bay. The new TS-473A, TS-673A and TS-873A are the latest NAS series to factor the popular embedded Ryzen processor, as well as some other impressive included hardware that seem to raise the bar in what users should expect at this storage tier in 2021. This accompanied with an optional ZFS choice of file system at setup and several means up upgrading the system in it’s lifespan and I can certainly see a few key ways in which these three new NAS systems are going to be popular. So, let’s talk about what to expect in the new QNAP TS-x73A series.

QNAP TS-473A QNAP TS-673A QNAP TS-873A

 

QNAP TS-473A, TS-673A and TS-873A Desktop NAS – Hardware Specifications

The hardware specifications of the new QNAP TS-473A, TS-673A and TS-873A are largely the same (though of course there is differences in total potential storage capacity, power consumption and size) and from what we can see, there is a real focus on upgradability. The highlights of the QNAP TS-x73A NAS range are:

  • The Ryzen V1500B 4-Core Processor at 2.2Ghz per core
  • Arriving with 8GB of DDR4 Memory, that can be upgraded to a whopping 64GB over 2 slots
  • 4/6/8 Bays of SATA storage respectively that supports up to 18TB per bay
  • Two internal M.2 NVMe SSD Bays (at PCIe Gen 3 x1 each)

 

QNAP TS-473A QNAP TS-673A QNAP TS-873A
  • Two 2.5Gbe Copper Network Ports
  • Two PCIe Upgrade Slots (PCIe Gen 3×4 each)
  • 4x USB Ports (3x USB 3.2 Gen 2 10G & 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 5G)
  • 3yrs Warranty (Extendable to 5yrs)
  • Arriving with the choice of QuTS Hero ZFS or QTS EXT4 (Note, some more advanced ZFS features require 16GB Memory minimum)

A more detailed range of specifications on the QNAP TS-473a, TS-673A and TS-873A are below:

CPU AMD Ryzen™ Embedded V1500B quad-core 2.2 GHz processor
CPU Architecture 64-bit x86
Graphic Processors Optional via a PCIe adapter
Floating Point Unit YES
Encryption Engine  (AES-NI)
Hardware-accelerated Transcoding Optional via a PCIe adapter
System Memory 8 GB SO-DIMM DDR4 (1 x 8 GB)
Maximum Memory 64 GB (2 x 32 GB)
Memory Slot 2 x SO-DIMM DDR4
Support ECC memory

For dual-DIMM configurations, you must use a pair of identical DDR4 modules.
Flash Memory 5GB (Dual boot OS protection)
M.2 SSD Slot 2 x M.2 2280 PCIe Gen3 x1 slots

The M.2 SSD is not included as standard.
SSD Cache Acceleration Support YES
2.5 Gigabit Ethernet Port (2.5G/1G/100M) 2
5 Gigabit Ethernet Port (5G/2.5G/1G/100M) Optional via a PCIe adapter
10 Gigabit Ethernet Port Optional via a PCIe adapter
Wake on LAN (WOL) YES
Jumbo Frame YES
PCIe Slot 2
Slot 1: PCIe Gen 3 x4
Slot 2: PCIe Gen 3 x4
USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gbps) Port 3 x Type-A USB 3.2 Gen 2 5V/1A 10Gbps
1 x Type-C USB 3.2 Gen 1 5V/1A 5Gbps
IR Sensor (QNAP RM-IR004)
HDMI Output Optional via a PCIe adapter
Form Factor Tower
LED Indicators Status/Power, USB, LAN, Drive 1-4, M.2 SSD 1-2
Buttons Power, Reset, USB Auto Copy
Power Supply Unit 250W, 100-240V AC, 50-60Hz, 3.5A
System Warning Buzzer

Overall, the hardware does seem to be a noticeable step up on the TS-x73 range before it, though some might argue that the lack of a graphically embedded CPU (such as the one found  in the TVS-x73e series) will be a step back.

QNAP TS-473A, TS-673A and TS-873A Desktop NAS – Software Specifications

The software found with the QNAP TS-473A, TS-673A and TS-873A NAS can be broken down into 2 sections. namely those of the advantages that QNAP QTS already bring to a business user, and then the widespread system and storage advantages that QTS hero and ZFS bring as well. For those unfamiliar with the QNAP operating system, it arrives with hundreds of free applications, can be accessed from a web browser or desktop client, arrives with many, many apps for mobile on IOS and Android and is definitely in the top two operating systems you can get for network-attached storage devices. Often compared with their biggest rival Synology NAS and DSM, QNAP QTS GUI is designed in a way that will definitely appeal more to Android and Windows users, giving you everything you will need from a network-attached storage device in 2021 and arrives with constant updates for added features and security.

QNAP File Management Highlights

  • File Station – File Browsing and Management Tool
  • QSirch -Intelligent and Fast System-wide search tool
  • QFiling – Smart and customizable long term storage and archive tool
  • SSD Caching Monitor and Advisor – Allowing you to scale your SSD cache as needed, or get recommendations on how much you need
  • QTier – The QNP intelligent, multi-layer tiering system that works to optimize your SSD and caching configuration
  • Microsoft Active Directory– Support and cross-platform control of Active Directory processes
  • Access-Anywhere with myQNAPcloud – Safe and secure remote access over the internet to your storage systems, apps or just file storage
  • Qsync for multiple hardware environment backups and Sync – Client applications that can be installed on multiple 3rdparty devices and create a completely customizable and scaled backup network between your devices
  • QuDeDupe / Deduplication tools – Allowing you to conduct backups between multiple devices and directories, but allows same-data in numerous locations to be only held once (but recorded in all locations) to allow smaller backups and lesser bandwidth consumption. Once again, remember that you will need to upgrade to 16GB of memory in order to take advantage of these more advanced ZFS utilities in practice.

Then you have KEY applications that are used on the QNAP NAS system that moves into tailored data access and use, such as:

  • Hybrid Backup Sync 3 – Allows you to Backup and Sync with Amazon Glacier, Amazon S3, Azure Storage, Google Cloud Storage, HKT Object Storage, OpenStack Swift, WebDAV, Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Drive, Amazon S3, BackBlaze B2, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, HiDrive, hubiC, OneDrive, OneDrive For Business, ShareFile and Yandex Disk. As well as backup to another NAS over real-time remote replication (RTRR) and USB connected media. All scheduled and all accessible via a single app user interface.
  • vJBOD and Hybrid Mount – Gives you the ability to mount cloud storage as a visible drive within the NAS (and the apps access it as if it was local) or mount a % of space from your NAS onto another as a virtual chunk of space to use
  • Multimedia Console – one portal access point to manage media access, searching, indexing and transcoding on your NAS device.
  • Photo, Video and Music Station – Multiple file type tailored applications to access data in the best possible way that is suited to their output – along with smart searching, playlists and sharing
  • Virtualization Station – Used to create virtual computers that can be accessed anywhere over the network/internet with the correct credentials. Supporting Windows, Linux, Android and more. You can import an existing VM image to the NAS, or you can even download Linux and Windows VMs directly to the NAS for trials for free
  • Container Station – much like the VM app, Container station lets you mount and access smaller virtual tools and GUIs, then access them over the network or internet.
  • Linux Station – Handy application to deploy multiple Linux based Ubuntu VMs from the NAS, all easily and within a few clicks
  • QVR Pro and Surveillance Station – Surveillance applications that allow you to connect multiple IP cameras and IP speaks to your network and manage them with the applications. Arriving with 4 camera licenses for Surveillance Station and 8 licenses for QVR Pro (the better one IMO), QNAP is constantly updating this enterprise-level surveillance application – adding newer security hardware and software tools for 2020 (see QVR Face and QVR Door)
  • QuMagie – Facial and Thing recognition application to help you retrieve, tag and catalogue photos by its use of AI to actually ‘view’ all your years of photos and let you search by the contents of them, not the file names.
  • Download Station – A download management tool that can handle HTTP, BT, FTP and NZB files in bulk to be downloaded to your NAS drive and keep safe. As well as keeping an eye on your RSS feeds and keeping your podcast downloads automatically updated with every episode
  • Malware Removers and Security Councillor – Along with Anti Virus software trials on the app centre, QNAP also provide numerous anti-intrusion tools and even a whole app interface to monitor in/outgoing transmissions with your NAS. It can make recommendations to beef up your security and keep you safe

Above are a few of my software overviews that cover the general GUI and system of QuTS Hero on the TS-h886, as well as RAID rebuild and storage management overviews of the system to give you some idea of what the TS-x73A range can and cannot do:

Space Saving Efficiency – Inline data deduplication, compression, and compaction reduce file size to conserve storage capacity and optimize performance.

Intelligent Memory Cache – Main memory read cache (L1 ARC), SSD second-level read cache (L2 ARC), and ZFS Intent Log (ZIL) for synchronous transactions with power fail protection are simultaneously supported to boost performance and security

RAID Z – Multiple RAID levels allow flexible capacity utilization. RAID Triple Parity and Triple Mirror deliver higher levels of data protection.

App Center – Apps for backup/sync, virtual machines/containers, content management, productivity, and more features can be used to expand the application potential of the TS-h972AX.

All in all, the fact that the QNAP TS-473A, TS-673A and TS-873A arrive with the option of the ZFS or EXT4 versions of the QNAP Software and GUI is a large part of what makes these NAS appealing.

QNAP TS-473A, TS-673A and TS-873A Desktop NAS – Release Date and Price

Given the large degree of information that is becoming available on the TS-x73A desktop NAS series, we can be confident that they will be arriving in the first quarter of 2021 (of which we are already halfway through already!). Regarding price, in all likelihood, we can see the TS-473A, TS-673A and TS-873A all arriving at the same price point (maybe a couple of % higher) than the TS-473, TS-673 and TS-873 respectively, so around the £700, £800 and £900+ mark respectively, without your local TAX. Though, until these three NAS are officially launched, you can still consider the predecessor, as it still performs well in our tests and is likely to become a pinch cheaper as this new range hits the market – win-win! Subscribe to the blog to learn more, sign up for product updates on this range by throwing your email here, or use the free NAS advice section below for free, impartial help with your data storage setup.

 

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    3 thoughts on “QNAP TS-473A, TS-673A and TS-873A NAS Drive Revealed

      1. Lack of TB3 is not surprising, its extremely rare on any AMD chipset motherboards… Its been mentioned they’ll be more pro-active with TB4…

        Lack of 10GbE is really disappointing though, but hey, its got PCIe, grab refurb ConnectX3 for $50/£50 and you’ll be away… its always a better chip than what QNAP typically use for their 10GbE interfaces.

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