DISCLAIMER: Read the left Column first before proceeding to the right.
First, I would like to thank Asustor for sponsoring the Lockerstor 4 for the NAS CAD Review. Getting in touch with their support division was an easy task. Through all my questions and inquiries, the support team was eager to help and went out of their way to ensure their customer satisfaction.
In my search for a NAS system which can handle all the requirements for CAD usage I came across the Lockerstor 4 AS6604T. This NAS from Asustor is quite impressive on paper as well as in real life.
Here are some key features which the manufacturer advertises:
- Two 2.5 GbE ports with up to 5 Gbps under Link Aggregation
- Dual M.2 NVMe SSD ports for fast caching
- Overwhelming 4K experience
- Intel Celeron quad core CPU – 30% faster than previous generation.
- 4GB DDR4-2400 – 30% faster than DDR3
- Supports Wake on LAN and Wake on WAN
For a more in-depth overview of the AS6604T’s capabilities check out this link.
The Lockerstor 4 arrives in an eco-friendly box with minimal plastic waste; however, it is still well packaged as to avoid any damage to the NAS itself. With 185.5(H) x 170(W) x 230(D) mm and roughly 3kg, this system is small and compact; fitting nicely into the office / home environment by taking up a minimal amount of desk / shelve space. The power supply is included as an external power supply and delivers around 90W at 100-240V AC 50/60HZ. Due to this and the support of many IEEE Standards, the NAS can be used globally without modification. All that is needed is an IEC 60320 C13 appliance connector to the corresponding country wall plug.
The NAS has a very premium feel, being make mostly from sheet metal. The HDD trays are also supported by metal which may cause more noise vibrations to transfer from the HDDs, however, I did not find the noise level to be a problem. Furthermore, this four bay NAS comes with spring loaded tray capable of holding either 3.5” or 2.5” HDDs / SSDs. With the storage installed, the tray slides smoothly into the locking position preventing disconnection or rattling.
The AS6604T works well without any noticeable break in the network bandwidth. On occasion the integrated fan spins up to cool the internal components. This can be reduced by avoiding warm surroundings such as direct sunlight. While cooling, the fan emits a low hum which is barely audible.
To indicate the status of each network port, the NAS includes two LEDs for each port as well as a power indicator (LED), System LED and two LEDs for each of the HDD bays. With the LEDs in their ‘on’ state, the two LEDs next to each port (left and right) indicate the network state / configuration speed. The front power LED (solid blue) indicates that the device is plugged in and turned on. Below this is the System LED which indicates the current operating state.
The Lockerstor 4 has 2x RJ45 2,5 GbE network ports, 3x USB 3.2 Gen. 1 as well as a HDMI 2.0a through which the system can be used as a standalone PC, home media server, and much more. The NAS also includes a button on the front side to enable a “one-touch” backup to an attached USB device (through the USB 3.2 on the front of the device). Furthermore, it has four buttons in the top right of the front panel to control an integrated LCD interface also located on the front side of the NAS. Lastly, the system also has a reset button in the back in case you want to rest to the factory settings.
Right out of the Box the Lockerstor 4 works like a charm. It is as simple as plug and play with an intuitive initialization of the NAS which can either be done through a web GUI, APP, or the display and buttons on the front of the system. The intuitive web-based GUI (Graphis User Interface) for managing the NAS has a very neat and responsive design which delivers a good overview of the NAS’ capabilities. Each setting is fairly easy to find with my only complaint being the lack of a short descriptor of what each setting does. This is only relevant for users with not as much experience with networking / NAS.
In the settings pretty much anything you would need can be configured; whether you want to program a custom message to be displayed on the LCD, manage when the fan spins up or at what speed it runs (if you are not happy with the automatic speed scaling based on hardware temperatures), control the power settings of your system, or to fully control when which LEDs of the system are turned on, this can all be done. The configuration possibilities are lacking little; however, their ADM software still requires minor improvement. The software experience is great, but occasionally you will find a feature / function which still has some bugs and is not working the way it was intended. Asustor is however, constantly working on improving their ADM, delivering an update shortly after launching the NAS / during the month I spent testing their system (ADM 3.5.3.RBH1 was tested).
The NAS was tested for different criteria as well as scenarios, all of which it managed very well. The tested scenarios include, but are not limited to the following:
- CAD usage in VM and from an ISCSI drive (conducted with Autodesk’s Inventor Professional )
- Gaming from an ISCSI drive
- Network throughput speed test
A transfer speed test was conducted with CrystalDiskMark which measured speeds of 223Mbit/s (write) and 295Mbit/s (read). This test was also done in a 5-loop setup with a 1Gb load.
Each test was conducted connected to an ISCSI mounted with two RJ45 Cat 5e cables in link aggregation (5GbE) and two Seagate Ironwolf NAS HDDs configured in RAID 1. It is clear, that the HDD configuration is the limiting factor for increased speed throughput and not the adapter itself.
Another transfer speed test was conducted of the ISCSI SSD drive with CrystalDiskMark which measured speeds of 224Mbit/s (write) and 295Mbit/s (read). This test was also done in a 5-loop setup with a 1Gb load.
Each test was conducted connected to an ISCSI mounted with two RJ45 Cat 5e cables in link aggregation (5GbE) and two Samsung 860 Pro SSDs configured in RAID 1. It is clear, that the SSD configuration is the limiting factor for increased speed throughput and not the adapter itself.
Overall, the Asustor Lockerstor 4 NAS is a cost-effective solution for increasing your local / server storage capabilities in your home or work environment. It is reliable and very easy to configure for your specific desired functionality. I am very happy with this device and can advise other home users or small businesses to purchase this NAS.
For a second opinion and a more in-depth general review of the NAS hardware and software please check out NASCompares.