QNAP isn’t restricting itself to Intel and Marvell SoCs in its NAS offerings and has several models featuring AMD CPUs. One of these is the TS-x73 line consisting of three models with four, six, or eight bays respectively. All TS-x73 models are equipped with an AMD RX-421ND quad-core CPU and two PCIe slots for an optional QM2 card for M.2 SSDs and 10GbE RJ45 connectivity, a wireless network card, or a graphics card. Yes, the time has come for NAS server to support graphics cards, which will greatly enhance their multimedia capabilities. With a dedicated GPU, the TS-x73 models will not only feature enhanced multimedia encoding capabilities, but HDMI outputs, which are, in our opinion, essential for any multimedia device.
We will evaluate the smallest member of the line, the TS-473. It is available in two versions that are only differentiated by the amount of RAM. The TS-473-4G, as its model number denotes, has 4 GB of RAM, which is more than enough for a NAS server for business environments. Besides the four bays for 3.5″ or 2.5″ disks, the TS-473 is also equipped with two M.2 slots for M.2 SSDs with 2260 or 2280 form factors. The RX-421ND only has a 35 W TDP, so we expect low power consumption and a silent operation. Fans that keep the SSDs or hard drives cool also play an incredibly important role in NAS servers since such drives are supposed to operate around the clock, with the low TDP SoC being cooled passively in many cases.