Thecus Announces $130 and $200 NAS Applicances For Home Users

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You can use nas4free or freenas to make your own nas for much cheaper as well as much higher performance.

The operating system installs to a flash drive so it doesn't take up a valuable sata port.

Get something like:

"Dell Optiplex 390 MT PC Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz 4GB" for about $100 on amazon.

"or any old computer you have lying around from the last decade
Marvell Armada dual-core CPU and 1GB of DDR4 isn't a very high bar to clear"

and fill its 4 sata ports with the hard drives you want.

I use 4 - 2 terabyte drives in a raid5 or as nas4free calls it raidz and I upgraded the ram to 8 gigabytes.

It easily saturates a gigabit connection and is setup as an ftp server so I can "have access to data from anywhere in the world".

The ram that you have installed automatically acts as a read cache (arc cache) meaning if you constantly load the same file/game over and over it will be pulled from ram instead of the hard drive easily delivering gigabit speed (125 megabytes a second) since even ddr2-667, the oldest I can currently find in my room, operates at 5.3 gigabytes a second. Newer ram obviously runs even faster but for the purpose of a read cache as long as you have ddr2 or higher you should be good.
More important is how much ram you have.

You can install a solid state drive and have it at as a write cache (zil cache).

You can and should always have data compressed on the fly using extremely fast compression (lz4).

You can even enable deduplication if you are in a position that needs it, but you need to do your homework before enabling.

If you are going to buy a nas you might as well start with the cheaper one with more features and start learning there.

Except your setup is a power hog compared to an ARM NAS.

The is true.

My old i3 definitely consumes many times more power, 65 watts, than the 4-5 watts their arm consumes.

Lets assume their motherboard is also lower power than mine and they are using less ram to make it a difference of 80 watts

A difference of 80 watts is not very much price wise as the following math demonstrates.

80 watts x 24 hours = 1920 watt hours per day
1920 / 1000 = 1.92 kWh per day
1.92 kilowatt hours x 30 days in a month = 57.6 kWh per month

57.6 kWh per month x 0.10 cents = $5.76 saved

A savings of $5.76 a month depending on the person may or may not be significant.

Personally i would take the blazing fast speed for $5.76.


Mar 29, 2013
freenas is seksy, I have a i3-6100 running it with 32GB of RAM and an array with 10TB of usable space. but use ECC ram if you are going to run ZFS to prevent data corruption. But yea, it transfers very fast without hiccups. Also run transmission and plex on it, best thing I've done for my local network yet.
Agreed for a backup server you definitely want ECC.

For an ftp server that is already backed up to other computers non-ecc is fine.

It's also cheaper for the average person to find a non-ecc computer to start experimenting with.
They may already own an old computer stored in a closet, for instance.

When you do finally get the hang of how nas4free/freenas operates and you have crucial data that you are going to back up, then you spring for the 8+ gigabytes of ecc ram along with the ecc capable i3s or xeons.

A backup server doesn't need a lot of ram for the arc (read cache) since the only time you would need to read from it would be during a data restore.

Unless you were also using deduplication, in which case you would need to calculate how much ram or l2arc you would need to fit the deduplication tables in fast memory.

But at this point you are no longer anywhere near the price point of $200, but your nas is many dozens of times more powerful and responsive than a ready-made nas from bestbuy along with having many more features; compression snapshots deduplication ...

An error in memory can corrupt any file system not just zfs.

The reason it is stressed to get ecc for zfs is that is the weakest point in the zfs file system due to everything else being highly reliable such hash checking all data to ensure consistency, along with other features such as zraid's elimination of the write hole.



Mar 29, 2013
Moderators on the FreeNas forums take a bit of a stronger stance on using non-ecc RAM in the ZFS filesystem.
indicate that zfs is great and safe, until you have bad non-ecc ram, and then all the safety features of zfs no longer help and actually hurt you and can actively corrupt your data. Indicate typically people don't notice until they have not only corrupted a bunch of their data, but corrupted their backups too if they are syncing their zfs pool. zfs becomes less reliable than other filesystems if you have bad non-ecc ram.

if you aren't going to use ecc ram, just don't use zfs seems a rather broad agreement over there.
I was only suggesting to use non-ecc ram for learning purposes due to some people already possessing old computers that are no longer in use.

"When you do finally get the hang of how nas4free/freenas operates and you have crucial data that you are going to back up, then you spring for the 8+ gigabytes of ecc ram along with the ecc capable i3s or xeons."

Under no circumstance should you use non-ecc ram in a server for critical data.
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