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NAS Reviews

Introduction

Thecus N5200

At a Glance
Product Thecus High Performance NAS Server (N5200 Pro)
Summary Five bay multi Terabyte-capacity BYOD NAS with RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 and JBOD support
Pros • Very high performance
• Hot-swappable drives
• NFS, AFP, iSCSI support
Cons • Noisy
• User Interface still unsophisticated

Thecus' N5200 has sat at or near the top of our NAS Charts for almost two years. Its design, based on a 600 MHz Celeron M with 256 MB of RAM, has managed to fend off challenger after challenger. But now comes the 5200 Pro, which Thecus is aiming at "Enterprise" users while positioning the 5200 for SMB/SME buyers. So when Thecus asked me to run the new model through our tests and add it to the Charts, I, of course, agreed.

The Pro turns out to be essentially the same beast as the 5200, but with a Low Voltage Intel Celeron M clocked at 1.5 GHz and memory increased to 512 MB. But I found that, at least for my testing, the faster CPU and increased memory didn't make much of a difference in performance.

The original review also describes the Pro pretty well, so I will cover only the differences that I found in my brief time with the product. Note that I did not recheck each feature, so that it's possible that some of the bugs that I reported in the original review has been fixed in the current 2.00.10 firmware.

The Pro's physical design is unchanged from the original. Figures 1 and 2 provide a summary of the controls and ports.

Front panel

Figure 1: Front Panel

Everything is pretty much the same including the eSATA port and type B USB 2.0 port (callout 3) that lets the Pro serve as (big) external USB drive attached to a Windows PC or support a USB wireless LAN adapter using the relatively uncommon ZyDAS ZD1211 or ZD1211B chipset. (The Zyxel ZyAIR G-220 V2 will probably be the easiest to find.)

Back panel

Figure 2: Back Panel

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