Is the QNAP TBS-453DX NAS Wierd or Wonderful?
QNAP TBS-453DX NAS – Design
QNAP TBS-453DX NAS – Hardware
QNAP TBS-453DX NAS – Ports
- Connect Speakers and chose to playback media (audio or video) to the ports from any of the QNAP apps
- Connect a microphone and use in HD Station (HDMI app platform) for the beta Skype App, Karaoke and in conjunction with a USB camera in the YouTube App
- Connect microphone and/or speakers for use in a virtual machine, Linux station VM or container app being displayed over HDMI
- Use in conjunction with the 4K HDMI and connect to your existing sound system
QNAP TBS-453DX NAS – Internal Hardware
Given that the TBS-453DX is such a petite NAS, it will be interesting to see how QNAP have kept things cool, ventilated and (most importantly) efficient inside.
In order to access the internal hardware, as well as install media for our upcoming speed tests, you can find the 4 removal screws under the 4 rubberized feet. These are very easily removed.
When you have unscrewed all four, the base panel lifts off easily and immediately reveals the 4 storage bays, along with the other internal hardware. I am pleased to also confirm that these are panels fitted to the base panel to limit contact/dust access to the hardware too.
A look at the internal controller board/mobo shows that almost a 3rd of the space is dedicated to the SSD bays (in a unique 3+1 layout). The rest seems to be in a partitioned style and all key areas of NAS hardware in the TBS-453DX seem to be in each corner.
The SSD bays are in a deep recess in the chassis. This is so you can add the drives and then apply the thermal panels and metal heatsinks around them, whilst still maintaining the sleek chassis height. As discussed, the device supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, etc. However it is also worth reminding users that you can also run this device on a single SSD and add more later if needed, or alternatively you can add 4 drives and create 2 separate RAID volumes/pools so you can (for example) use one for fast media via the 10Gbe port and another for archiving internally and 1Gbe distribution. That is just one example and there are many more configurations open to you, very impressive.
The CPU and Aquantia network controller are located under the fan and metal layer. They have a large cavity above them to help the ventilation carry through and greatly assist active cooling across these vital chips! The NAS uses an Intel Celeron J4105 Quad Core CPU (only the 3rd NAS to use this powerful chip) that clocks in at 1.5Ghz per core that can be burst to 2.5Ghz when needed. To date, this is the most powerful, efficient and highest rated Celeron CPU that is available in NAS in the world and to find it in this insanely compact NAS is definitely something to make you stop and think! The 10Gbe network port is also handled by the popular Aquantia AQC107 chip – so that means it has its only traffic controller, just for this one port!
To support these chips and features, the TBS-453DX arrives with either 4 or 8GB of DDR4 2133Mhz memory. We are still checking whether it supports higher than the manufacturer recommended 8GB, but we have confirmed the HS-453DX can support 16GB of DDR4 and fully expect the TBS-453DX (with same CPU, controller chips and SODIMM DDR4 slots) to support it too!
As this is a compact NAS device than most QNAP drives, this device needs a different kind of active cooling. Ditching big rear cooling fans and fan assisted PSUs, this device has a compact air in/out fan as you would find on a high-performance laptop. During later tests, we used this device for both Plex and for multimedia playback to a high extent and on both occasions, the fan did was whisper quiet. In fact, I and @eddiethewebguy were trying to find out what was quieter – the HS-453DX with 2 HDD or the TBS-453DX device with 2 SSD. our decibel meter does not go lower than 20db(A), so that was not sensitive enough, but in the end, we thought this device with SSD was the quieter of the two, even with an internal fan.
QNAP TBS-453DX NAS – Software
Like any good piece of modern technology, the QNAP TBS-453DX is more than about hardware and when you buy the device, it arrives with the QTS operating system included. 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. QTS 4.3 0.5 (with 4.4.0 arriving very soon) gives you everything you will need from a network attached storage device in 2018 and arrives with constant updates for added features and security.
QTS performs very well indeed on the QNAP TBS-453DX and with the exception of applications such as the virtualisation VM manager software and certain high performance rendering 4K tasks, the TBS-453DX will give you all of the support of QTS that you will need. It can certainly support 4K playback and/or transcoding, as well as virtual machines, but I would recommend something a little bigger for these tasks. The TBS-453DX will function great as your first or second NAS for home or business and will easily support 10 to 20 users at once very well and up to 50 intermittently as needed. With comprehensive user account control and creation, as well as multi-layered security and protection from viruses, malware, ransomware intrusion detection and more, the first party apps available on QTS on the TBS-453DX are pretty impressive.
- Download Station for HTTP, BT, FTP and NZB downloads
- Photo Station, Video Station and Music Station support, as well as large-scale thumbnail generation
- The QNAP App center, with hundreds of apps
- All the mobile applications for iOS and Android, such as Qfile, Qvideo, Qmanager and more
- A host of applications for backing up, syncronising, backup and more
- Snapshot support
- Surveillance with the use of IP Cameras and the QNAP Surveillance Station Application
- Container Station for easy compact deployment of apps
However, don’t overlook the fact that the TBS-453DX also supports a lot of third-party applications both on the QTS app store and on your local PC or Mac system. Plus you can use the NAS as a standard ISCSI device or multiple LUN targets for your existing third-party applications to take advantage of and use the network storage in a way that appears as if it is local storage.
- Plex Media Server
- 3RD Party Cloud Apps (Drive, Dropbox)
- DLNA Support over Kodi
- Apple Time Machine Support
- iTunes Server
- CMS and CRM systems
- Twonky Media Server
- and more
QNAP TBS-453DX NAS – Verdict
I originally asked if the QNAP TBS-453DX should be considered another great box in the history of QNAP NAS in their push towards NAS innovation and change? Or is it a NAS that has flown too close to the sun? I think the answer is somewhere in the middle. The TBS-453DX from QNAP certainly provides excellent hardware at an affordable price and moreover gives it to you in good order. However, the lack of PCI-e or multiple LAN ports will be a bitter pill for some to swallow who are considering the TBS-453DX as a second or third NAS and that very clear bottleneck of internal to external transmission speed is hard to ignore when NVMe SSD is becoming more affordable. However one has to respect the sheer level of hardware innovation that the TBS-453DX provides – RAID 5, affordable storage, SSD caching, intel CPU and HDMI support at a price point generally considered low end – all of these make this an excellent NAS for those that were not considering 10Gbe or link aggregation in 2019. This combined with new features such as stereo sound and noise levels that challenge even other ‘silent NAS’ labelled devices.
|Pros of the QNAP TBS-453DX||Cons of the QNAP TBS-453DX|
It is worth remembering that for most users, having to choose between good hardware, good redundant storage options and a low price point is very tough. Each factor is considered a ‘must buy’ point for many and that is why the TBS-453DX exists. Because it prevents you having to make a tough choice between the three, leveraging you budget towards one, and instead gives you all three at a £/$/€ you can afford. Bottom line – I like the taste NAS and I’m prepared to get over the lack of external speed and just see it for what it is, a high performing low-cost network attached storage solution for home and small business users. Plus if you are looking for multimedia-enabled NAS at this price point, you will struggle to find better. Just be prepared to spend a little more on media drives than you might be used to.
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4 thoughts on “QNAP TBS-453DX NASBook Review”
its all nice as an idea, but in reality it seems to me (and i own qnap nas), that simple youtube and netflix app installed on my smart tv works better then same app on nas.
on the nas everything is very slow, even menu navigation is sooo laggy that its almost impossible to use.
i have TS-451-d2 QNAP with 12GB RAM and Celeron CPU.
its a shame that small ARM based xiaomi CPU installed in TV runs like king where 1000$ NAS is just glitchy as hell..
i think main reason is that weak intel CPU with bunch of qnap ‘bloatware’ OS is just not fast enough for such “multitasking”…
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too muxh talks and no hdmi video usage in that video…
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Can I install these apps on an external USB instead of my HDD?
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Is it too much to ask to get a tvs qnap HERO enabled with 5 or 6 -5.25 drives and 2 -2.5 drives and minimum 2.5g ethernet ? I cannot find anything similar. Either they do not offer Hero or tvs hdmi2.0
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