QNAP's updated pedestal server form-factor is as innovative as it is powerful. When first released, systems designed like the TS-963X cost thousands of dollars before you even started looking at drives. The new TS-963X is the evolution of those designs in a scaled down, but still effective form. This system uses a downscale processor, eliminates the least useful features for an office environment (like HDMI video), and uses lower-cost materials in the case design to cut the price by more than a third.
QNAPA priced this system aggressively in relation to other five and six-bay systems on the market today. 10-gigabit has spread all the way down to NAS costing as little as $400, so that's no longer a standout feature. Nearly every $600-$800 NAS released now checks the 10GbE box. What makes the TS-963X unique is the drive configuration that allows users to treat the system as two with a flash, and disk array, or as a 5-drive HDD NAS with a massive 4-drive tiered cache in front of the rotating disks.
With our testing, we've had a difficult time getting QNAP's Qtier "warmed up" with synthetic workloads. The company is now on its second revision of the technology with Qtier 2.0, but it's difficult to utilize under synthetic workloads. We are pursuing new testing methods.
Even without Qtier working with our synthetic workloads, the TS-963X shows strong performance that is often times faster than anything we've tested in this price range.
QNAP offers this system in two configurations, one with 2GB of system memory and the other with 8GB. The 2GB model is a better overall value now that DDR3 memory prices have dropped again. Some users may opt to buy the 2GB model and then replace the SO-DIMM sticks with two 8GB sticks and still have an overall package that costs less than the 8GB model.
Others may choose to keep the system closed and just accept the additional to lieu of upgrading the memory. Either way, the TS-963X is a stronger value for system administrators looking for a low-cost system that scales with increased user demand.
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