Home / Gaming / QNAP HS-453DX NAS box review: The most powerful multimedia NAS box that money can buy

QNAP HS-453DX NAS box review: The most powerful multimedia NAS box that money can buy

QNAP’s HS-453DX two-bay NAS field weighs in at a hefty $699 MSRP with out drives, nevertheless it’s a multimedia beast that won’t simplest movement information, however play them immediately onto your show or TV by the use of HDMI. Throw in a tiered SSD/HDD construction and 10-gigabit ethernet, and the cost begins to make sense, although it stays formidable to the typical consumer. Additionally difficult will also be the configuration. But when the cost and setup don’t segment you, you’ll like this field.

Design and specifications

The HS-453DX, like its HS-251 predecessors, seems to be extra like a cable field than your conventional NAS tool. In large part as a result of its two three.Five-inch power bays are laid out horizontally, moderately than in the standard vertical association. The unit may be fan-less which makes it very, very quiet. It could actually additionally make it very popular, relying on utilization and what you employ for garage: SSDs or laborious drives. Because the brushed-metal best of the unit serves as a warmth sink, with a minimum of some air waft within the house, thermal issues will have to now not happen. 

The HS-453DX is in reality a four-drive unit if you happen to rely the 2 M.2 slots supporting SATA 6Gbps SSDs. The SSDs can be utilized for caching, or as standard volumes. The slots are accessed by means of disposing of the to best/quilt, which is secured by means of seven quick screws accessed from the ground of the unit.

Tip: You don’t want to take away the screws completely. Should you’re delicate, you’ll stand the unit upright and upload a power with out ever having the screws fall out, after which lay it back off and re-tighten them. 

hs 453dx backQNAP

The port array at the again of the HS-453DX seems to be extra like what you’d to find on a sensible TV than a NAS field’s.

Two ethernet ports are at the again of the unit, the second one of which helps 10-gigabit ethernet (that drops to two.5Gbps if you happen to’re the usage of not up to CAT7 cable). There also are two USB 2.zero ports, two Sort-A USB three.zero ports, and a unmarried Sort-C USB three.zero port. Multimedia I/O is supported by means of two three.5mm analog audio inputs and a three.5mm audio output, plus two HDMI 2.zero ports that fortify video answer as much as (3840 x 2160 pixels at a 60Hz refresh reate).

The HS-453DX is wider than the HS-251 that I’m used to—just about 16 inches versus slightly below 12 inches. Each the HS-251 and HS-453DX are about nine inches deep and rather less than 2 inches tall. 

In contrast to the in large part black HS-251, the HS-453DX is finished up in white and the aforementioned brushed metallic. Individually, I preferred the fewer glaring glance of the older devices, in addition to the on/off button placement at the again. You should take away the magnetically connected entrance quilt from the HS-453DX to get admission to its on/off transfer. In most cases, this isn’t a subject matter, however I used to be by no means ready to get the field to energy up on a time table. The HS-251 once in a while suffers this factor as smartly.

The HS-453DX is powered by means of an Intel Celeron J4105 quad-core processor 1.5GHz (with burst speeds as much as 2.5GHz), which is in flip fed by means of both 4GB or 8GB of DDR4 reminiscence relying at the configuration you order. The SODIMM slots, just like the M.2 slots also are obtainable with the highest quilt off. 

hs 453dx open no ssdQNAP

If this seems like the interior of a PC to you, it’s. NAS packing containers are mainly PCs with out peripherals operating a server OS. Connect a show, keyboard and mouse, and there you pass.


I examined the HS-453DX in 3 other configurations: with two 16TB Seagate IronWolf laborious drives reflected in RAID 1; that setup with a Samsung 850 EVO SSD within the first M.2 slot set to cache the entirety; after which with two 1TB 2.Five-inch SATA SSDs operating in RAID zero to look simply how briskly the field may pass.

I hooked up from the HS-453DX’s Aquantia AQC107 NBase-T/IEEE 802.3bz port immediately to an Intel 540-T1 single-port 10GbE adapter card on our testbed and ran CrystalDiskMark 6. I additionally ran CDM6 on my place of work gigabit community, however simplest with the apparent reflected laborious power setup because it nonetheless quicker than a unmarried gigabit connection can deal with.

cdm 6IDG

10GbE indisputably will increase sustained throughput, however we didn’t see the huge development with SSDs that we had been anticipating. 

It was once no surprise that 10GbE greater than doubled the sustained throughput of 1GbE, however I used to be shocked that the striped SSDs (RAID zero) weren’t quicker. I’ve noticed 900MBps transfers with SATA SSDs in RAID zero (by the use of USB three.x Gen 2) and was once anticipating, if now not that, undoubtedly greater than the 380MBps I noticed. 

380MBps will nonetheless ship much more high-definition video than the 118MBps sustained switch fee unmarried gigabit connection maxes out at, however nonetheless. After all, you wish to have 10GbE apparatus, which stays fairly pricey consistent with port, and isn’t readily to be had in person grade community equipment. A tight 10BASE-T (RJ45) transfer prices round $500.

QNAP mentioned that their revel in with two SATA SSDs striped in RAID zero is write pace commensurate with the learn numbers I garnered. That was once my expectation, however no quantity of CrystalDiskMark runs or replica exams altered the effects that I’ve revealed. A conceivable clarification was once the usage of two other manufacturers of SSD for the check.

A mountain of apps

The HS-453DX can fill a number of roles past garage and multimedia playback (QNAP recommends the usage of it as a Roon server, amongst different issues). I take advantage of the QNAP in my rack as a central repository for my track, so I will be able to report (with native caching) and edit from a number of other PCs. It additionally serves as a TimeMachine vacation spot for a number of Macs, in addition to the WordPress server for my private website online. I’ve extensively utilized it as an e mail server every now and then. There are greater than two dozen backup apps, together with shoppers for plenty of on-line garage services and products.

Some other primary function a QNAP NAS can fill is community video recorder for surveillance. There’s a recording app, Surveillance Station (the entirety’s a “station” in QNAP-land), that permits you to report as much as 4 video streams free of charge (the selection of unfastened streams varies with the type), with further licenses to be had. There’s additionally a model of Libre Place of work, YouTube, and quite a lot of different excellent stuff. You’ll discover the chances on the corporate’s on-line app middle.  

Direct video output

I’ve all the time discovered direct HDMI video output from a NAS field extra helpful for administering the field in a check setup than for turning in multimedia to a TV. Maximum good TVs can movement and play again motion pictures, track, and photographs over the community from any NAS field with a DLNA server, which is what I just about all the time finally end up doing.

hs 453dx trayQNAP

Exploded view of the HS-453DX with the magnetically safe entrance panel off and the power trays prolonged.

Because the HS-453DX helps USB TV tuners, on the other hand, you’ll mainly roll your individual good TV the usage of it and any dumb show. This might be very to hand if you happen to’re in reality pressed for area and want to use your laptop show as your TV. 

Now not as simple because it will have to, or might be

The windowed working device in a browser that QNAP makes use of to manage their NAS packing containers is good. If you understand Home windows (or macOS, or Linux…) you’ll use it. Past that and issues get tough in a rush. A part of that’s the nature of the beast (it’s a server!), however QNAP doesn’t make issues any more straightforward. There are a number of difficult to understand app names akin to HybridDesk Station (the HDMI output configuration application). Then you may have instrument pointers that do not anything however mimic the object title, plus lend a hand that regularly reads extra like promoting than lend a hand. Even if the lend a hand is to be had, it’s now not in particular granular, assuming some distance an excessive amount of wisdom for non-IT varieties.

In most cases I give QNAP a go, since the target market is typically tech savvy. The HS-453DX, on the other hand, has some attraction as a consumer-electronics tool, so I assumed a caution suitable—it’s nowhere close to simple.

As discussed, I additionally had a subject matter with the HD-453DX waking on time table, however I’ve had proceeding problems with FTP/CIFS/SMB sync operations failing on all my QNAP packing containers through the years, for causes which can be not up to glaring. Those received’t impact maximum customers, however they’ve bitten me greater than as soon as, and it’s probably the most necessary roles for a NAS field.


The HS-453DX is speedy, can dangle a large number of knowledge, and will fill a large number of roles together with its moderately distinctive multimedia project. It’s a super NAS field if you’ll have the funds for it. Please observe, on the other hand, that you’ll get a lot the similar revel in, together with HDMI output and 10GbE by the use of PCIe playing cards, from inexpensive QNAP packing containers.

For that topic, on the subject of any NAS field with a DLNA server will swimsuit the typical consumer who’s merely having a look to movement multimedia, and the ones will also be had from distributors akin to WD and others for far much less.

That mentioned, when you have the cash and the experience, I believe you’ll like this field.

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