In June 2008, the world glimpsed gigabit Ethernet for the first time. By 2009, around the same time as the Y2K madness, the ratification process completed and we began to see products. That was nearly twenty years ago, and it's still the standard today. Could you imagine still using a 2009 Core2Duo processor today?
In a world dominated by hard disk drives, Gigabit Ethernet made sense. Most of our readers evolved their computing devices past spinning disks to flash-based storage where performance increased up to 35x over gigabit Ethernet. That's insane!
Gigabit's replacement has also been in place for a number of years, but 10-gigabit Ethernet technology has been expensive. Migrating can also be challenging due to cabling requirements and our addiction to wireless devices where the performance curve hasn't increased linearly with wired technology.
That was all in the past. Wi-Fi performance has increased, 10-gigabit switching technology cost have shrank, and devices with the technology are plentiful.
It's not that we just have consumer-grade devices, those came two years ago. The important milestones in 2018 revolve around affordable devices like motherboards, switches, and NAS.
The NAS is the last piece of the puzzle for many shippers and prices have started at $700+ with 10GbE connectivity that maximize your host system's NVMe SSD capabilities. Asustor thought that was too much and designed a storage-focused system to deliver 10GbE connectivity for less than $400. Today we're looking at the Asustor AS4004T.
|Pricing||$359.99 (Amazon)||$259.99 (Amazon)|
|CPU||Marvell ARMADA-7020||Marvell ARMADA-7020|
|CPU Frequency||Dual Core 1.6GHz||Dual Core 1.6GHz|
|System Memory||2GB DDR4||2GB DDR4|
|Maximum Memory Upgrade||NA||NA|
|Supported RAID||JBOD, 0, 1, 5, 6, 10||JBOD, 0, 1|
|Network||1x 10GbE, 2x 1GbE||1x 10GbE, 2x 1GbE|
|USB||2x USB 3.1 Gen 1||2x USB 3.1 Gen 1|
|Dimensions (HxWxD)||170mm x 174mm, 230mm||170mm x 114mm x 230mm|
|Sound Pressure Level||19 Db Idle||18.6 dB Idle|
|Cooling||1x 120mm||1x 70mm|
The main feature of the new Asustor AS4004T is the 10G-BASE-T port, but it's hardly the heart of the system. This consumer-focused NAS appliance features a Marvell ARMADA 7020 dual-core processor running at 1.6GHz with 2GB of DDR4 system memory.
Asustor designed the system for storage and maximum connectivity capabilities rather than multimedia features we often see tacked onto systems that are more expensive. Features like HDMI output for third-party software are absent.
I wouldn't call the AS4004T a stripped down model; it just gets back to the core features of this category before companies made them all-in-one PCs, servers, media centers, and NVR systems to control a network of cameras.
That omitted features found on systems that are more expensive stops at the IO ports. The Asustor AS4004T still uses the same ADM operating system and software found across the Asustor product line.
Pricing, and Warranty
We found the Asustor AS4004T 4-bay system on Newegg for $363.72. The AS2004T, the 2-bay model with 10GbE technology was not listed at the time of writing.
Both new systems carry a best in class 3-year warranty.
A Closer Look
The system has a strong consumer design with a magnetically held front cover and just enough status LEDs to keep the user informed. The back of the system is much more impressive. 10GbE connectivity at this price point is is the strongest hardware feature, but these systems are a combination of both hardware and software playing off each other to deliver an impressive user experience.
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