Thecus N7700 Network Attached Storage Server

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Thecus N7700 Interior

Inspecting the internal configuration of the Thecus N7700 reveals that this is no ordinary NAS device. Beyond supporting seven internal SATA drives and multiple external drives via eSATA and USB, the Thecus N7700 distances itself from many other NAS servers in its CPU and memory configuration.

     
The Thecus N7700 Motherboard, Up Close and Personal

The motherboard nestled inside the Thecus N7700 is powered by an Intel Celeron M 1.86GHz processor which is coupled to 1GB of DDR2 memory. This thing is more like a pared down Linux-based small form factor system than it is a simple NAS interface for SATA hard drives.

The motherboard and its companions daughterboards are all sport blue PCBs and all of the major internal components are adorned with aluminum heatsinks. For the most part, the heatsinks are passive, with the exception of the CPU heatsink which is outfitted with a small cooling fan. Unfortunately, this small fan generates an audible, high-pitched whine, similar to the sound of the small fans in some performance-oriented notebooks.

     
The Unit's Active CPU Cooler, SATA Backplane, and Inserting A Drive Tray

Also attached to the motherboard is a small IDE-SSD which hold the devices Linux-based operating system. The small module is removable, but there's little reason to disconnect it other than to physically inspect it--without the SSD module, the N7700 is basically useless. However, connecting it to a desktop PC via an adapter may prove to be an interesting prospect for the hardware hackers among you.

You'll also notice the N7700's motherboard has an open DIMM slot, which means the unit's memory configuration is expandable. We experimented with a 2GB memory kit installed and didn't see much of a performance difference, but there may be some heavy-load scenarios that may benefit from installing additional RAM.

   
The Thecus N7700's 300-watt PSU

Powering the Thecus N7700 is an Enhance 300-watt, 80-Plus certified PSU. It is visible at the bottom of the unit, and sports a small cooling fan. The PSU also uses a standard 3-prong power cable, thankfully, so there's no need to worry about losing any proprietary cables with the N7700. 


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