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4+ Bay, high-performance, very low-noise NAS for home?

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ungr8phul

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I've kicked out a Windows 2003 server among other extraneous devices recently, and I'm looking to replace with a QUIET yet capacious unit capable of multi-drive data redundancy as the central point of data storage for home.

RAID5 is required. Performance-wise, I'm looking at the top fifteen range of the RAID5 Write tests in the NAS Charts. 4 bays as a minimum, capable of taking 2Tb drives proven - and later, above. I'll start with 3Tb's total (i.e. 4 x 1).

Noise is the driving factor, followed by performance. Budget is not a factor.

The ReadyNAS Pro with the large fan seems plausible - but I've read no definitive word on its silence (or otherwise). Reviewer's definitions of 'quiet' also differs wildly. I put QUIET in capitals as it's a dealbreaker if it's not. Put simply - if it's noisier than a Mac Pro at idle in low ambients, then no deal.

Which would you recommend?
 
why not buy a second mac pro then and add disks as you like? i imagine you can put 4 disks into a mac pro? would probably make a kickass-nas, and if its as quiet as you like you wont have any problems with the noise.

i own a readynas pro and you do notice it if you place it close to where you usually sit. i have it ~1m from my computer and my computer is far far louder than my readynas pro. if i shut the computer down i can hear the fan of the pro.. its a very faint constant noise in eyes.

if i sit in front of my tv and stream stuff from it, i dont notice it anymore, in spite of only sitting 4m apart from it across the room.

of course the nas will get louder the hotter it gets in the room, so if you live in the desert without any air condistioning, you will probably hear the fan screaming, trying to cool the drives down..

my ambient temperature is ~25°C and my chassis fan (which is the one you will most likely notice) runs at a whopping 896 rpm (it can rev up to over 2000 rpm if necessary).
 
In general, the ReadyNASes are not the quietest NASes in terms of FAN noise.

Very quiet and four-drive NASes are contradictory. Even with no fan, the drive noise from four drives will be audible. I did a quick search and didn't find any four (or 3, 5 or 6) drive NASes that I rated "very low" for noise.
 
Thanks for the replies.

Why not Mac Pro or similar?
- The expense / non-need for power - I like to keep Crapple hardware to a minimum for starters, and there's obviously a more efficient way to serve up files than a dual-Xeon / Nehalem box. Plus, I'd need a RAID card to do RAID5.

Why not a PC / similar?
- Maintenance more than anything else. I would like a hands-off (with the exception of the occasional firmware upgrade) machine.

Drive noise is a given, I'm resigned to that - but a substantial case construction would mitigate the worst of that. I'm basically looking for something that doesn't 'whiiiirrrrrrr' like say the cheaper Thecus two-drive units and is close to or better than a ready-built quiet PC. I would imagine this isn't an impossible target as a performance Intel-chipped NAS only needs 2 fans, assuming a fanless PSU.
 

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