Performance and Conclusions
Video: Thecus N5200B Network Attached Storage (NAS) Review - Storage 39

As we mentioned in our video review on the first page, the performance results on the Thecus N5200B were about where we expected them to be.  Even though the theoretical limit to a Gigabit network connection is 125 MB/s, very rarely will you be able to approach that speed in real-world circumstances.  Getting 43 MB/s write and 47 MB/s read speeds for our pair of Raptor hard drives in RAID 0 would be disappointing for drives in a system but is quite reasonable for networked storage. 

On a side note – in reality you should NOT be running RAID 0 on a NAS device – that defeats the purpose and is a waste of drives in my view.  Since you are performance limited on the Gigabit network there is no point in trying to gain performance with a RAID 0 array.  Instead, use that extra hard drive for a more secure RAID 1 array or move up to RAID 5 with a set of three drives. 

Features

The Thecus N5200B network attached storage device definitely has a lot of features that are appealing to both casual users and enterprise customers.  Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, an integrated printer server, eSATA and USB support and the ability to run RAID 5 and 6 really give the N5200 an edge over most other options on the market.  And not many NAS devices offer the ability to use 5 hard drives; another plus for storage hungry users.

Video: Thecus N5200B Network Attached Storage (NAS) Review - Storage 40

I do think the web-based administration could use a little polish – it wasn’t organized or presented in a way that I would consider to be “user friendly” for the basic PC user or even some enthusiasts.  There are a lot of advanced features that I feel are “forced” on the user and during use I couldn’t help but feel like I didn’t need most of the stuff the Thecus was throwing at me a lot of times.  I think those features are important and give Thecus an edge over other NAS devices that are TOO simplified but moving them into an advanced or optional section of the configuration would be more useful I think.

Pricing and Availability

Now for something that might interest you: the price.  The Thecus N5200B we tested here today is actually the lowest priced 5000-series NAS from Thecus available for $639 at Newegg.com.  That is going to be a pretty steep price for most users to accept and I really think that unless you really want the room for 5 hard drives in a NAS or need some of the more advanced networking options on the device you might be okay with a much more basic, and cheaper, NAS. 

Final Thoughts

The Thecus N5200B network attached storage device is a utility that many users will not be attracted to while others will fall in love with the features and advanced control that it offers over other cookie-cutter NAS units on the market.  Support for two different Gigabit Networks and 5 3.5-in hard drive bays really give the N5200 a unique stance in the market and if you can swallow the somewhat surprising price this Thecus NAS could find a cozy spot on your network.

Video: Thecus N5200B Network Attached Storage (NAS) Review - Storage 41

If you have any feedback on the video please let us know!



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