Thecus Top Tower N6850 NAS
This is the first Top Tower unit we've seen so there's a lot to cover. Everything on the front of the N6850 is aluminum and it looks really good. The front door is actually chambered to reduce any noise coming from the hard drives.
Individual locks are located on each drive bay, but the front door itself does not lock.
Unlike many of the consumer focused NAS products, the Top Tower units accept SAS drives.
Both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports are on the front of the unit. Four ports might seem a little excessive, but I'll take excessive over insufficient.
Activity indicators located in a strip on the front of the NAS show activity.
The sides of the N6850 are solid so all of the air flow goes past the drives from the front to the back.
Most of the magic happens on the back of the NAS and there are connectors everywhere. The Top Tower series is one of the most highly connected NAS we've ever tested.
An inboard power supply powers the system and uses a 40mm fan to keep itself cool.
Audio, video and NICs - oh my! Thecus' Top Tower is part of a new breed of NAS servers that bring audio and video to the mix. The N6850 has an HDMI out port close to the bottom and audio in and out ports at the top. In between you'll find dual USB 3.0, dual USB 2.0, eSATA, dual gigabit Ethernet ports and a single serial IO port.
We've covered a lot of IO ports already, but if that's not enough, you also get two PCIe slots inside the NAS to expand even further.
Just like a standard computer case, the side panel comes off and you have access to the inner workings of the unit.
This is where we installed our Intel 10GbE card. There are two PCIe ports, one 16 lane and one 8 lane.
The side cover slides on and off easily and uses thumb screws so the process is tool less until you remove the PCIe port cover.
Here we see the unit powered on and all lit up. The vertical strip of white light is an indicator for trouble. When everything is going well the light is white as you see here. If there is a problem, the white light changes to deep red and you can see from all the way across a room that your NAS has an issue.
Thecus also used their OLED high-resolution display. This allows you to configure the NAS without a PC and gives status information.