Let's put this into perspective real quick. The Thecus N4510U costs less than $600, is a rackmount NAS, ships with 2GB of DDR3 from the factory, and just happens to outperform products costing twice as much in our multi-client test. It's like the little NAS server that could!
Let's look at the price first because it's an important aspect for the entry-level rackmount server market. Google Shopping returned a price of less than $600 in our search and more than one e-tailer managed to return a similar result. The lowest priced 4-bay rackmount from QNAP is $730+, the new 2-bay Synology RS214 costs nearly $560, the Synology Rack Station RS812RP, another 4-bay costs $1700 and the Asustor AS-604RS 4-bay rackmount NAS costs just over $1,100. These are the entry-level rackmount competitors to the Thecus N4510U, and the numbers speak for themselves when it comes to pricing.
We haven't tested any of these other products, so we can't comment on their performance, but when it comes to entry-level pricing, the N4510U is a bad ass. It also ships with rails, a big plus and 2GB of DDR3, twice more than the entry-level industry standard.
To be honest, we pulled more performance out of the Intel Atom 1.86GHz processor than I ever thought possible. If this was on TV, we'd say da da dah, da da dant, the Sports Center jingle on ESPN. Going into this review, just from the specs alone, I didn't expect much from the N4510U, since other products on these charts go up to 6 drives and have faster processors. This is a testament to the new Thecus OS 5 efficiency.
Looking at the performance in our multi-client test, the best test in the world for small office NAS environmental testing, the N4510U does a really good job getting to peak performance and then holding that level of performance for several more users. We peaked at 24 users and then the NAS stayed very close to that same level of performance all the way to 80 clients. The results are very impressive and make me want to go back and retest other Thecus NAS I have in the office with the new OS 5 software.
All things considered, the N4510U offers excellent value and better than expected performance for a unit that costs less than $600. This NAS is able to outperform products from other manufacturers that cost twice as much... and it includes rack rails.
UPDATE - We just received word from Thecus that the N4510U is about to get a facelift, pictured above. A new front fascia, much like the N8900 and other high-end Thecus rackmount units, with a full length door is the upcoming enhancement. The door holds the LCD display and replaced the hinged LCD system. Internally, the updated N4510U is the same. We like the new look and full black color scheme.