For those just wanting to get their first NAS appliance, the 3204T from ASUSTOR is certainly a great place to start. Its power coming from its quad-core Intel platform is plenty to handle direct media content, storage operations, and even streaming over Plex. Transcoding is always the thing that kills these appliances, and until you get into the high-end platforms running real x86 hardware like an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7, you are stuck dealing with what you can get. With that said, it's not so much a vendor fault as it is Intel's for not supporting hardware transcoding in Linux, what nearly all vendors use for their OS.
The build quality of the 3204T is decent for an entry-level unit and while its split halves design does take away from the traditional feel of a NAS unit, it is rather easy to get inside to install drives. On the other side of things, I was disappointed that ASUSTOR cut corners and soldered the memory to the board as I doubt it would have cost much more to slap a SO-DIMM slot on the board.
Performance is solid, top to bottom. Apart from a few tests in single client, this NAS unit decimated our workload charts with some obnoxious performance including over 1000 IOPs in RAID 10. Sequential performance hovered around the 116 to 118 MB/s area, which is quite good, and even looking at NASPT or single client results, it was right with comparable solutions including the Thecus N5810 reviewed last month.
On the software aside of things, ADM is still looking quite good with solid app support, and the only issue I did have was the unit failing to swap between RAID modes on occasion, causing a reboot and try again scenario. Besides that, all good.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||90%|
|Bundle and Packaging||80%|
|Value for Money||95%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||88%|
The Bottom Line: ASUSTOR's AS3204T carries solid performance, but what's more surprising is the angle ASUSTOR is taking with pricing. At an MSRP of $399, you may never find a better equipped NAS appliance.
PRICING: You can find the ASUSTOR AS3204T Four-Bay Consumer NAS for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The ASUSTOR AS3204T Four-Bay Consumer NAS retails for $397 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: The ASUSTOR AS3204T Four-Bay Consumer NAS retails for £400 at Amazon UK.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
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