Thecus N7710-G 7-Bay NAS with 10 GbE

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Connecting System Configuration:

Server Drive Configurations Tested:

Measurement and Analysis Tools

Testing Procedures

Given the limited customization options of the Thecus N7710-G, our physical testing procedures were brief. First, the system was put through a couple of different load states while system temperatures, power consumption, and noise were recorded. Secondly, we benchmarked the machine using LAN Speed Test, a network benchmark tool configured to transfer 10 successive packets of 1MB, 10MB, and 100MB, back and forth between it and a designated machine on our LAN detailed above. Timed manual file transfers of a batch of 99 files of various sizes totaling 1738MB was also performed. All performance tests were conducted three times each way with the results averaged. All traffic flowed through an unmanaged D-Link gigabit switch. There's nothing special about our network — all our hardware is consumer grade.


Noise Measurements: Idle
Empty, fans disabled
24 dBA
28 dBA
4 x 4TB Seagate NAS HDD
29~30 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle left/front of case.
Ambient temperature: 20°C.

The N7710-G has four fans altogether, one on the CPU heatsink, one in the power supply, and two 92 mm exhaust fans to cool the hard drives. Sitting idle without any drives installed, the NAS registered a total SPL of 28 [email protected], which is plainly audible if not exactly loud, but not by NAS standards. The last two NAS devices we tested, the QNAP TS-469L and HP MicroServer Gen8, were in the same ballpark. Adding four Seagate NAS HDD 4TB hard drives only increased the overall SPL by 1~2 dB.

Unfortunately there are no built-in fan control options. Unplugging the 92 mm fans resulted in a noise savings of 4 dB, but after it finished booting up, the NAS beeped continuously until they were reconnected. 24 [email protected] is about as quiet as it gets, even if the case fans are taken out of the equation. The power supply fan is the louder and more annoying of the two remaining fans, so it's not possible to quiet it further without replacing the PSU or modifying its fan. The power supply is a 1U unit manufactured by Enhance, model number FLEX-0130D. A quick look at the unit spec sheet available here shows the Enhance is 80+ approved, but only for a modest 80% efficiency. There are no details on acoustics.

Stock 92 mm fan.

The stock 92 mm fan runs at 2500 RPM at full speed (about 1500 RPM when the system is idle) but it's a standard 3-pin fan and thus easily replaced. We were able to swap them for 1000~1200 RPM models which worked flawlessly with the system slowing them down to 650~750 RPM, so just about any speed fan will do the job. Devices with in-line resistors/rheostats are another option as the fans themselves aren't too bad acoustically, they just spin far too fast.

Out-of-the-box, the system's acoustic profile is dominated by the case fans. They produce a turbulent sound that helps hide the more high-pitched electric whine coming from the power supply. The hard drives introduce some significant vibration effects as evinced by the tonal peak at just under 100 Hz, corresponding to their rotational speed of 5900 RPM, though this is mostly drowned out by the fans.

Our makeshift vibration dampening system.

The vibrations from the hard drives were affecting the loose side panels. The aforementioned tonal peak was all but eliminated by sticking thick pieces of foam to the drive cage so it would press up against the panel prevent it from shaking. This improved the subjective noise. However, measured SPL remained the same as the low frequency of the tone isn't well represented in A-weighting.

System Measurements

System Measurement Comparison (4 x Seagate NAS HDD 4TB)
Thecus N7710-G
System State
H.264 Playback (XBMC)
H.264 Playback (XBMC)
CPU Fan Speed
N/A, passively-cooled
1230 RPM
1270 RPM
System Fan Speed(s)
980 RPM
1540 / 1520 RPM
1620 / 1600 RPM
CPU Temp
System Temp(s)
23°C / 23°C / 33°C
23°C / 24°C / 37°C
System Power (AC)
28 dBA
29~30 dBA
32 dBA
Measuring mic positioned 1m at diagonal angle left/front of case.
Ambient temperature: 20°C.

Compared to the QNAP TurboNAS TS-469L, the N7710-G is louder and more power hungry. Its fans are more sensitive to minor temperature increases, so much so that merely playing H.264 video with XBMC caused the fans to pick up the pace even though the CPU never exceeded 40°C. The ~17W power difference is understandable as its Pentium G850 processor is a standard desktop chip with a TDP of 65W while the TurboNAS is powered by 10W Atom D2700. The N7710-G also has more fans, an extra NIC, and PCI-E slots, and a larger SATA/RAID controller.

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