TRENDING NOW: US flexes its military might to Earth by launching a nuclear deterrent

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review

ASUSTOR's Nimbustor 2 AS5202T may be the best two-bay NAS ever and definitely one of the most noteworthy we have ever tested.

@TylerBernath
Published Jun 28, 2022 10:40 AM CDT
Manufacturer: ASUSTOR
TweakTown's Rating: 95%
TweakTown award

The Bottom Line

The AS5202T is hard to beat in the two-bay NAS consumer market. It may be the only two-bay device to include 2.5GBe, a must for a modern NAS platform.

Nimbustor has been around for several years, serving as the Home to Pro user flagship NAS in the ASUSTOR lineup. The latest two-bay platform, AS5202T, continues this by offering class-leading hardware and ASUSTOR ADM NAS firmware that offers all the high-end features consumers want from a DIY platform.

With this new platform, ASUSTOR packs in a dual-core Intel Celeron SoC paired with 2GB of DDR4, and it is upgradable with two SO-DIMM slots available. Continuing the design, the Nimbustor shares much of its aesthetic with past appliances from the same family; this being a two-bay unit, we have two included toolless trays while the rear I/O remains stacked with USB 3.2 and 2.5Gbe.

Packaging and the Hardware

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 02 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 24 IMAGES

Packaging includes features and an image of the NAS on the front.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 03 | TweakTown.com

The back panel includes a full specification for the NAS.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 04 | TweakTown.com

Included in the box, we have an ethernet cable and power adapter alongside the NAS itself.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 05 | TweakTown.com

Up close, the AS5202T offers LEDs on the left panel for power, activity, and ethernet connectivity. We also have indicators for drive activity and USB.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 06 | TweakTown.com

The backside of the NAS includes a cooling fan at the center and a lock slot below. To the right, we have the I/O that includes two USB 3.2, HDMI, and two 2.5GBe ports.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 07 | TweakTown.com

Drive trays for the Nimbustor are toolless for 3.5" drives, but 2.5" HDD and SSD must use screws.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 08 | TweakTown.com

Internally, the Nimbustor does offer access to the memory slots for an upgrade.

ADM WebGUI

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 20 | TweakTown.com

Setting up the AS5202T was simple with the help of the Control Center app from ASUSTOR. From here, we search the NAS on the network after powering it up and then trigger setup by clicking on the NAS to open the WebGUI.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 21 | TweakTown.com

Going through setup, ASUSTOR does offer options.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 22 | TweakTown.com

After the initial steps, ADM will contact the server to ensure the system is up to date.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 23 | TweakTown.com

You can choose a light or dark theme and one-click setup or manual.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 24 | TweakTown.com

One-click setup asks for a few more details, including user and password and the scenario you want to work with, maximum capacity, or data security.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 25 | TweakTown.com

Once complete, you will land at the dashboard seen above. Quite familiar for anyone that has used a DIY NAS platform in the past. All the icons are self-explanatory, including App Central, Activity Monitor, and Storage Manager.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 26 | TweakTown.com

Running through some of these items, the Activity Monitor offers insight into the CPU, Memory, and Network use of the appliance.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 27 | TweakTown.com

App Central allows the management of a huge library of applications to further enhance the capabilities of the AS5202T. Some of the more popular apps can be seen above.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 28 | TweakTown.com

Backup and restore offers options for managing your data, including Rsync to a second NAS platform, FTP backup, and external drive options.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 29 | TweakTown.com

External devices allow you to manage and connect things like printers, Wi-Fi dongles, and Optical Drives.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 30 | TweakTown.com

Services available to the AS5202T include the list seen above. The most used are SMB and AFP. We also have FTP support and WebDAV, Terminal, and Rsync.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 31 | TweakTown.com

Storage Manager allows configuration of your drives after initial setup. From here, you can also configure SSD Cache and iSCSI connections.

Test System and Results

  • System: Lenovo ThinkPad X1
  • Networking: Sabrent 10Gbe Thunderbolt Adapter
  • OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro (buy from Amazon)

I tested the AS5202T in SMB, mapped drive mode, and iSCSI with a mapped LUN. All testing was done with a 2.5GBE connection.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 40 | TweakTown.com

I initialized testing by setting up a RAID 0 array on our WD Red drives. Mapping the drive to our system gave us 296 MB/s read, and 292 MB/s write in sequential tasks.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 41 | TweakTown.com

We also experimented slightly with Sabrent SO-DIMM, installing 32GB of DDR4 in the AS5202T. Performance was nearly the same in our tasks above, though it did help tremendously with vmbox instances on the NAS.

We did pick up a few numbers with iSCSI using 32GB of RAM, going from 170 MB/s write to 295 MB/s.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 43 | TweakTown.com

We swapped some drives, running a single WD Red alongside a 2.5" SSD to test caching. Random performance was up the most from the addition of the SSD cache. Sequential performance was on par with expectations.

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS Review 44 | TweakTown.com

Final Thoughts

The AS5202T will be where most consumers want to enter the DIY NAS market, and ASUSTOR has opened this market up by offering one of the best platforms possible at this price point.

To that point, ASUSTOR continues its use of Intel hardware, and this offers Quick Sync transcoding, a huge feature for Plex users. Additionally, the app library continues to grow, allowing consumers to customize their NAS. Back again to hardware, the ability for consumers to expand the NAS to fit their needs is similarly huge, and ASUSTOR allows 64GB of RAM to be installed via the two DDR4 SO-DIMM slots.

In testing with our Sabrent RAM sticks, this didn't lend much performance to the sequential numbers we saw in CDM but made the system way more responsive when running multiple tasks simultaneously and when getting into VMs.

With the MSRP coming in at $299, I would hazard to say there isn't a better NAS at this price point, especially a platform that includes dual 2.5Gbe alongside USB 3.2 expansion.

Buy at Amazon

Performance

90%

Quality

95%

Features

99%

Value

95%

Overall

95%

The Bottom Line

The AS5202T is hard to beat in the two-bay NAS consumer market. It may be the only two-bay device to include 2.5GBe, a must for a modern NAS platform.

TweakTown award
95%

ASUSTOR Nimbustor 2 (AS5202T) Two-Bay NAS

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$299.00$299.00$299.00
* Prices last scanned on 8/19/2022 at 3:04 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Tyler joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

Newsletter Subscription
We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.
Newsletter Subscription
Latest News
View More News
Latest Reviews
View More Reviews
Latest Articles
View More Articles