TerraMaster F4-423 review – A low-power 4-bay NAS tested with Unraid

Hey Karl right here. The timing couldn’t have been extra opportune once I was requested to review the TerraMaster F4-423 4-bay NAS. Let me clarify why.

I run Unraid as my OS of selection for my dwelling lab. I’ve discovered it simple to take care of and exhausting to interrupt. My outdated rig had a 3900X with 3 cores, 6 threads devoted to docker containers, and the remaining cores operating VM’s. It has been a enjoyable and studying expertise.

I’ve run it with a number of totally different VM configurations over the previous few years. The majority of the time I ran 2 VM’s. One private and one work and I’d RDP over to the work VM. If I needed to sport I had a 3rd gaming VM and allotted all sources to it. It’s not tremendous handy and as convoluted because it sounds. But not too long ago I moved again to my firm-supplied laptop computer and was liking the thought of operating naked metallic once more.

I needed a devoted server however had some reservations relating to house, energy, and noise. I’m not a knowledge hoarder. I’ve a modest assortment of flicks and storage is especially for photos and residential movies. I’m going to share my expertise migrating my Unraid server over to the F4-423.

TerraMaster F4-423 specs

The NAS is driven by an Intel-based Celeron 5095 board which I discovered wholly ample for my wants.

TerraMaster F4-423 specs pulled from the Amazon retailer:

  • Powerful {hardware}: N5105/5095 Quad-core 2.0GHz CPU, 4GB RAM DDR4 (expandable as much as 32GB). Dual 2.5-Gigabit Ethernet ports – Supports as much as 5 Gbps beneath Link Aggregation. 4-bay NAS designed for SMB excessive-efficiency necessities.
  • Maximum inside uncooked capability: 80TB (20 TB drive x 4). Compatible with 3.5-inch and a couple of.5-inch SATA HDD, and a couple of.5-inch SATA SSD. Supports RAID 0/1/5/6/10, Supports on-line capability enlargement, and on-line migration. The constructed-in M.2 2280 NVMe SSD slot can notice SSD cache acceleration and enhance the storage effectivity of the disk array a number of instances.
  • Multiple Backup Solutions: Centralized Backup, Duple Backup, Snapshot, and CloudSync; improve the protection of your knowledge with a number of backup functions.
  • Easily construct file storage servers, mail servers, net servers, FTP servers, MySQL databases, CRM methods, Node.js, and Java digital machines, in addition to a bunch of different industrial functions.
  • Small-sized compact design that can be utilized vertically and horizontally. Features an aluminum-alloy shell and clever temperature management extremely-quiet fan, good in warmth dissipation and Very Quiet.

Unboxing and Teardown

Terramaster F4-423 NAS unboxing

Terramaster F4-423 screw set

Terramaster F4-423 fans &ports
6 screws on the again to teardown. I want these have been captive.

Let’s review exterior connectivity first.

HDMI 2.0, USB 3.2 Gen 2×1. This gives 10Gbps throughput per port. I solely have one excessive-pace gadget – the Elgato Camlink 4k –  and through testing bumped into no points. It appears actually delicate to bandwidth limitations and would understand it instantly. This was tested passthrough to a Windows VM in Unraid.

Next are two 2.5gbps Ethernet ports. These are utilizing 1 lane every with an Intel i225i chip.

Terramaster F4-423 board

4x SATA board for NAS

The board solely helps 2280 NVMe drives. It is lacking the standoffs for the shorter drives. I had a few 2230 SSD and tested them with Kapton tape.

NAS assemblyTerramaster F4-423 dual fan cooling

Now let’s have a look at the PCIe config within the BIOS.

Aptio Setup AMI PCI Express configuration

Lanes 1 and a couple of are the LAN ports talked about above.

Lanes 3 and 4 are labeled USB/LAN/UFS. This is what seems to be thought-about onboard ports and consumes lanes.

Lane 5 and 6 are the M.2 slots.

Lane 7 is the Asmedia ASM1061 offering two extra SATA ports

Lane 8 isn’t labeled with an excellent description. PCI Express Root Port 8. Unused?

PCI Express Root Port 8

PCI Express Link Performance
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express

We have PCIe 3.0 which provides us about 0.985 GB/s or 985MB/s or 7.88 Gbps per lane.

M.2 NVMe

This is the only engineering choice that raises a question for me. It looks like the two M.2 NVMe sockets only have one PCIe lane dedicated to each drive. I tried 3 drives and they all peak around this same speed. If unused I wish they used that last lane on one of the drives.
One lane NVMe SSD

CrystalDiskMark SSD performance

CPU utilization & energy consumption

Predictable and consistent 2.8GHz boost for a few seconds then down to 2.4GHz.

Terramaster F4-423 CPU frequency

Celeron N5095 Processor Load Temperature
I additionally tracked energy for a number of weeks with a SONOFF Pow.

Terramaster F4-423 power consumption

Lowest wattage idling with Unraid, no drives spun-up, C states enabled on left. Max Wattage 100% load with all drives spun-up with 3 magnetic, one SSD on proper.

The each day common for 34 days is 0.449 kWh. This consists of all of the up-and-down instances over these days. I really feel like my each day common will likely be lower than 0.4 kWh per day. I did 2 parity checks and imagine that’s the place it seems slightly heavy. One I did for migration and one other because of an influence outage. This takes about 11 hours to finish. I solely not too long ago turned on C states within the BIOS and it seems to have decreased energy utilization slightly extra. I’ll want extra time to find out precisely how vital and guarantee no downsides. Regardless it sips energy in my view.

Aptio Setup C states

Unraid notes

Here are my notes from migrating my Unraid installation to the TerraMaster F4-423. It was mostly uneventful. First I worked out how to boot Unraid. There is a USB 2.0 Type-A female directly on the board that boots into TerraMaster’s software installer. I thought about extending it outside the case but I have no need right now, but it is an option in the future. I can only foresee adding a Blu-Ray to rip movies and I still have a USB 3.2 available for that. I tinker a lot and for now, I just removed the TerraMaster drive, stored it, and installed my Unraid boot drive in one of the externally available USB ports. The second USB header looks available inside as well if needed.

Terramaster F4-423 internal USB port

I began cautiously and created a brand new Unraid USB drive to check with and put in one spare exhausting drive within the enclosure. I went with typical BIOS boot choices and Unraid was booting. Posting takes a couple of seconds longer than on a shopper desktop. I booted and made positive every thing was working. After I used to be assured every thing was working as anticipated I cleaned up my manufacturing Unraid drive eradicating the {hardware}-particular configs and prepping it for the transfer. I solely missed eradicating CPU pinning or else it might have been an ideal first boot. I obtained an error so I booted into secure mode and eliminated the CPU pinning and all my docker providers have been restored.

Transcoding movies on the TerraMaster F4-423

Transcoding was easy to enable in Unraid. I installed two plugins through the App Center: ich777’s Intel GPU-TOP which is the one factor that’s required, and b3rs3rk’s GPU Statistics for monitoring. Then passthrough /dev/dri to my docker containers. This CPU has been out for some time and all of the exhausting work is completed and kinks labored out. I discovered some older threads and went down some rabbit holes however finally above is all that’s required.

I solely tested Jellyfin and transcoding for probably the most half was a non-situation. The solely caveat is with H.265. My expertise didn’t precisely match what the documentation stated. It might be a bug. The situation was with 4K H.265 @ 60fps in Chrome as Jellyfin was solely in a position to transcode this file @ locked 45 fps per the log inflicting points. But if I kicked it all the way down to 1080 it transcoded @ 30 with out pausing (I noticed a couple of updates to Jellyfin and determined to verify once more. This appears to be a transferring goal. Now a number of the 60fps H.265 information I had points with are enjoying in Chrome direct. I did allow Chrome direct HEVC playback initially however it didn’t work. Now it appears to work on some information.) I had no points with another codec. That identical file streamed to my Shield high quality which it ought to based on the docs. My films are all in 1080p H.264. I used to be in a position to get 6 direct H.264 streams going with Jellyfin. I’ll by no means want that many. Max 1 at a time right here.

Network Connectivity

I don’t have the network gear to test the 2.5 GbE. Ethernet networking is taken care of by an Intel i225-V chip. It was easy to max out @ gigabit speeds. I did try to link aggregation but I could not get it to work with my Unifi switches. I believe I am going to wait a little while longer before I upgrade my switches. I want to go straight to 10 Gbps but will probably step to 5 Gbps switches first.

Wrap-up and random notes

I have had the F4-423 and tinkered for about 45 days and overall I like it. Small and attractive looking. Quiet and sips power. I was expecting a low-power NAS and that is what I got. Fully decked out you could populate with four 20TB drives and in Unraid you would have 60TB of usable storage. Then a couple of NVME for cache, dockers, and VMs. If we say an average Blu-Ray is 35GB, that would correspond to around 1714 uncompressed movies.

I upgraded the ram with a 16GB 2933 Crucial kit.

Windows boots from an NVMe with out situation. The Device Manager was a multitude with unknown gadgets however it booted. I didn’t take a look at any additional than this.

Terramaster F4-423 Unraid

I revisited establishing a LAN cache drive and it labored fairly nicely however I forgot concerning the one factor that makes it suck for a everlasting setup and that’s DNS being a single level of failure.

I needed to check ripping and transcoding, however don’t have a drive proper now. I believe it might be a enjoyable challenge to automate ripping and transcoding films. From what I’m studying this may be utterly automated and the TerraMaster F4-423 ought to deal with this high quality with {hardware} transcoding.

The TerraMaster F4-423 NAS may be picked up on Amazon for $499 or bought immediately from TerraMaster for $499.


Related Posts