|At a Glance|
|Product||ASUSTOR AS5002T and AS5004T|
|Summary||High performance Intel Celeron two and four-bay NASes|
|Pros||• Wide range of downloadable apps
• Consistent File Copy Write and Read performance for all RAID levels
• Aggressively priced
|Cons||• Slow RAID volume rebuilds|
ASUSTOR produces several NAS families that appeal to either "Personal to Home" or "Home to Power User" buyers. Last May, I reviewed ASUSTOR's "2-series" (AS-20xTE) entry level line that features an Atom CE5310 processor. This family predictably ranked toward the bottom of the NAS Charts.
Several weeks later, Tim reviewed the "3 series" (AS-30XT) that feature a beefier Atom CE5335. The improved hardware resulted in much better performance. Tim concluded that products in the 3-series "deserve to be on your short list if you are looking for the current best value in two or four-bay NASes."
This review will focus on the latest additions to the Home to Power User product line, the AS5002T (2-bay) and AS5004T (four bay) NASes. As you might suspect from the product numbering scheme, the "5 series" uses a faster processor that produces better results than the 3 series. We'll find out in the performance and ranking sections if the 5 series is an even better value than the 2 and 3 series NASes.
The chart below, generated from the ASUSTOR website, compares the 2, 3 and 5 series products. For this comparison, I chose the AS-204TE, as that model has an HDMI port that's lacking in the AS-204T but is included on the 3 and 5 series products. Otherwise, the processor and memory is the same within each product family.
Moving from the 2 series to 5 series, you can see a clear progression to an increasingly powerful processor. The memory on the AS500XT is also expandable up to a total 8 GB. With the 5 series, you also pick up a third USB 3.0 port, 2 eSATA ports and a second Gigabit Ethernet port.
The 5 series also has improved audio output with a digital optical S/PDIF port. In addition, the 5 series moves away from an internal power supply to an external power supply, which appears to be more efficient both in Operation and Hibernate modes. With 2 drives, we measured 17 W / 10 W (active / power save) and with four drives we measured 31 W / 16 W. You'll note that each of the products is built in the exact same-sized case.
Comparison of ASUSTOR 2, 3, and 5 Series NASes
The Quick Installation Guide and User Guide are common to all "5" series products. The image below appears to be a cropped image of an AS5008T 8-bay NAS, as the drive bays are horizontal instead of the vertical drive trays found on the AS5004T. The 8 and 10 bay models also have four Ethernet ports, compared to the two found on the AS500XT.
The front panel contains LEDs for each hard disk and individual LEDs for power, system status, and USB and two LEDs for Network. Like the 2 and 3 series NASes, neither the AS5002T nor the AS5004T have an LCD information panel. An LCD panel can be found on other models, however. In addition to the indicators, one of the device's three USB 3.0 ports is located in the lower left corner.
ASUSTOR front panel callouts
As noted above, the ASUSTOR AS500XT have moved to an external power supply, so there's now only a jack for DC input (#7). The rear panel has a S/PDIF digital audio port rather than the 3.5mm audio jack found on the 2 and 3 series, a reset button, USB 3.0 port (x2), and HDMI port, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, USB 2.0 ports (x2), system fan and security lock hole.