Asustor AS6602T (LockerStor 2) review: This NAS box is a pleasing streamer thumbnail

Asustor AS6602T (LockerStor 2) review: This NAS box is a pleasing streamer

It affords mercurial community storage and a pleasing characteristic role, but NVMe caching adds plenty to its designate without delivering vital in the manner of keen advantages to the home particular person.

as6602t r1

Asustor

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  • Asustor Lockerstor 2 (mannequin AS6602T) (unpopulated)

Asustor’s NAS-box choices proceed to provoke, with the $399, two-bay, AS6602T (LockerStor 2) being essentially the most contemporary to reach by map of the lab. It sports activities a more industry-esteem look than the honest now not too lengthy in the past reviewed AS5202T (Nimbustor 2), and it adds M.2 NVMe slots for caching SSDs to the mix.

It’s the equivalent high quality, 2.5GbE product as its cousin at its core, but NVMe caching is costly overkill for the home atmosphere. 

Build and specs

Before the total lot peek, I became once far more impressed with the the industry-esteem styling of the AS6202T than the “gamer-oriented” look of the AS5202T. The front is restful sad, but with a matte attain, and the all-steel shell is pewter. It rings a bell in my memory of QNAP abet in the day, but with more sculpting and defntely more type. It’s a really spectacular-attempting box.

What’s internal is equally spectacular. There’s 4GB of DDR4-2400 memory and a most contemporary- gen Intel Celeron J4125 CPU running at 2GHz. There’s a 2d SODIMM slot whenever you occur to deserve to fabricate bigger the memory to 8GB. And to soar the gun on the efficiency discussion, an funding in additional memory versus NVMe may perchance perchance furthermore snarl the next return than for many users.

The 2 3.5-trail bays characteristic push-button beginning and are combo steel/plastic somewhat than the pure plastic that practically all containers this brand snarl. There don’t appear to be any snappy-substitute rails, but I’ll snatch the dinky grief of screws if it map steel over lastic. 

The front of the AS6602T hosts the vitality button, a single 5Gbps Kind-A USB port, and the humble vitality and power build of residing/assignment LEDs. On the abet, are two 2.5GbE (RJ45) ethernet ports that may perchance perchance furthermore be aggregated for better efficiency. There are furthermore two additional 5Gbps Kind-A USB ports, an HDMI 2.0a output, a Kensington lock port, and a barrel-fashioned vitality jack.

as6602t b Asustor

Asustor outfits the AS6602T with dual 2.5GbE ports, as well as twin 5Gbps USB ports and a 4K HDMI output for exterior shows.

As with the honest now not too lengthy in the past reviewed Synology DS720+, the AS6602T has two M.2/NVMe slots for SSDs. In disagreement to the easy-safe entry to panels on Synology’s box, the AS6602T requires that you protect the shell and a PCIe adapter card to put in them. The Synology map takes much less than a minute, the Asustor 5 to 10 minutes. That’s now not with out a doubt a colossal deal since placing in SSDs is inclined to be a one-time operation—whenever you occur to bear it the least bit—but it completely’s price citing.

This review is piece of TechHive’s coverage of the appropriate NAS containers for media streaming and client backup, the build you’ll accept critiques of competing products, plus a purchaser’s handbook to the capabilities it’s best to restful snatch into consideration when buying for this form of product.

OS and apps

Asustor calls its Linux-essentially based windows-in-a-browser working diagram Asustor Knowledge Grasp, and while it’s now not pretty as dilapidated as these delivered by QNAP and Synology, it’s darn shut—and getting closer.

Media-server alternatives consist of iTunes, several UPnP/DLNA servers, the celebrated Plex media server, and the very popular (and intensely pricey) CD-quality Roon Audio Server. 

Moreover to to FTP backup, there’s sync with online providers, SMB, Rsync, and plenty others. Asustor furthermore affords EZ Sync purchasers for predominant working systems and smartphones, so likelihood is you’ll well furthermore withhold your cell data backed up. 

The Asus Portal app is required to output video to a TV or computer level to linked to the AS6602T’s HDMI port. Once Portal is installed (prefer out it staunch by map of setup), likelihood is you’ll well dash, browse the receive, and play movies from the box today to stated level to. Resolutions up to 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) are supported.

ADM makes hyperlink aggregation/trunking of the two 2.5GbE ports nice easy and, now not like with many other containers, no particular swap or router is required whenever you occur to exhaust round-robin mode. That’s outlandish in my journey. All told, I’d converse QNAP (QTS) and Synology (DSM) must restful be attempting over their shoulders. ADM is an essential rival.

Performance

Simply with SSDs or keen drives and the incorporated 4GB of memory, the AS6602T is an very honest staunch performer. The NVMe caching indubitably improves dinky file write efficiency when tall data sets or heavy usage is eager, but that’s now not one thing most home users and even vitality users in most cases journey. 

Below are the sequential throughput numbers from NAS Tester 1.7 (8GB single facts), a take a look at that’s proven more legitimate honest now not too lengthy in the past than others for measuring sequential throughput. As likelihood is you’ll well search for, SSDs (in the essential bays) are fastest, adopted by a unadorned 14TB WD Gold keen disk power (240MBps), then the equivalent HDD with NVMe caching. The extra step of caching will cleave abet write speeds a runt bit with the AS6602T’s 2.5GbE connection. This would now not be the case with a faster 10GbE connection. 

as6602 nas tester IDG

Clearly, the dream scenario is the usage of SSDs in your box, but the far more capacious keen drives aren’t far in the abet of in sustained sequential efficiency. NVMe caching on this case if truth be told hurts a runt bit. With a 10GbE connection, this is able to seemingly now not be the case.

Caching reads of any form is map much less effective than caching writes, as the flexibility must restful search for for the data. Handiest with a few requests for the equivalent data will learn caching bear a trot discontinue. CrystalDiskMark 7 uses random reads, so these outcomes demonstrate runt to no enchancment with NVMe caching over naked power reads.

All writes are cached, on the opposite hand, so these will demonstrate the effectiveness of the cache. Take note that NAS containers already snarl piece of their onboard memory for caching, seemingly a gigabyte or two on a box similar to the AS6602T, with 4GB on board. That will discontinue the outcomes with smaller data sets.

Thanks to that, I ran CDM 7 with the SSDs, naked HDD, and the HDD with NVMe caching 1GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB data sets. DRAM caching is with out a doubt helping the 1GB by map of 8GB checks severely, but the NMVe caching does seem to abet after that somewhat plenty. There’s a predominant drop-off in cache efficiency someplace between the 32GB and 64GB marks.

as6602 cdm 7 random write IDG

The NVMe caching indubitably helps with random writes, but starts losing effectiveness someplace after 32GB or sustained stress.

That’s precise, but on condition that the NVMe SSDs I extinct are succesful of 2TBps switch rates, I became once looking ahead to more. How Asustor is enforcing the caching with out a doubt has a pleasing discontinue, but I became once now not conscious of their suggestions.

For readability’s sake, NVMe caching for keen drives, and even SATA SSDs is a well-identified storage strategy than can amplify efficiency very a lot with high-discontinuance instruments or very heavy workload. Nonetheless it’s a really pricey option for smaller NAS below traditional discontinuance-particular person or dinky-location of work masses. To be horny, Asustor markets this box to vitality users and the SMB (dinky to medium-sized busness) market. 

Blow their non-public horns: attempting out became once done on Windows 10 64-bit running on a Core i7-5820K/Asus X99 Deluxe diagram with four 16GB Kingston 2666MHz DDR4 modules, a Zotac (NVidia) GT 710 1GB x2 PCIe graphics card, an Asmedia ASM2142 USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbs) card, and a Gigabyte GC-Alpine Thunderbolt 3 card. A QNAP QNA-T310G1S Thunderbolt 3 to 10GbE adapter became once linked to 1 of the 10GbE SFP+ ports on a Zyxel XGS1210-12 10GbE/2.5GbE/gigabit swap.

It’s a pleasing box, but will you income?

The AS6602T is a pleasing NAS box Barely extinct-college in bear, but by that I imply nice-solid steel building and quality the build it counts. Throw in the twin 2.5GbE, plus the wholesome app atmosphere and HDMI output and likelihood is you’ll well furthermore bear a winner. Certainly, all issues being equal, I’d withhold this in the rack over the AS5202T. 

Nonetheless issues are now not equal for the discontinuance-particular person. The AS6602T bills $100 more, and if you add NVMe SSDs, you’re talking a delta of as a minimum $225. Given the minimal dangle in efficiency, the much less pricey AS5202T is a a lot, plenty better deal. Certainly, even vitality and workgroup users may perchance perchance furthermore be at an advantage with a much less pricey box with more memory somewhat than NVMe—reckoning on workload of direction. 

Blow their non-public horns: If you occur to pick out one thing after clicking hyperlinks in our articles, we may perchance perchance furthermore obtain a dinky commission. Be taught our affiliate hyperlink policy for more essential parts.

  • Asustor Lockerstor 2 (mannequin AS6602T) (unpopulated)

    The AS6602T is terribly mercurial, looks precise, and has your entire capabilities likelihood is you’ll well rely on for—including 2.5GbE and NVMe caching. The latter, however, didn’t assemble as anticipated with tall data sets which, makes the price note a runt bit steep.

    Pros

    • Swiftly CPU
    • Twin 2.5GbE ports with hyperlink aggregation toughen
    • Elegant industrial bear
    • Excellent working diagram and numerous app ecosystem

    Cons

    • NVMe caching didn’t assemble as well as anticipated
    • Expensive brooding about the ineffective caching

Jon is a Juilliard-professional musician, damaged-down x86/6800 programmer, and lengthy-time (leisurely 70s) computer fanatic living in the San Francisco bay role. jjacobi@pcworld.com

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