Back to Article

  • rikm - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - link

    the slide says "All new tubro" , kind of like turbo, but not quite that fast? Reply
  • wintermute000 - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - link

    look forward to benches + real world transcoding testing.
    In particular want to see if everything is covered or there are any notable exceptions in terms of codec/container
  • SilthDraeth - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - link

    Tubro, faster than snailro, just barely. Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    Didn't see that typo in their marketing brochure, to be honest :)

    Just spent some time fixing up the image at my end, so it should be OK now.
  • [-Stash-] - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    Quick, hit the Turbo Button! Reply
  • steveoat - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - link

    Looks interesting. What will be the costs of the 4 and 6 bay units? Reply
  • DanNeely - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - link

    Probably similar to that of their current x69 series which are $540/712 for the bay and $782/925 for the 6 bay models on Amazon depending on if you go with the L or Pro models. Reply
  • Skarn - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - link

    I'll be looking forward to seeing a full review of these units once samples become available. I'd especially like to know if the GPU driver baked in to drive the HDMI port fix the tearing problems I've seen on Sandy Bridge GPUs. While the feature set is sufficient that I'd be interested in these units despite this issue, I find tearing quite bothersome. I'd also be interested in seeing a full list of supported video codecs. Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    I wouldn't hold my hopes too high.. Intel GPUs' Linux drivers for video playback have historically been 'unreliable'. (That is why I wasn't too enthused about XBMC and HDMI output on the Evansport-based NAS units from Thecus and Asustor).

    That said, the list of supported codecs for transcoding input would definitely be something to evaluate and look into in greater details.
  • haardrr - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    the latest intel drivers for linux 14.04 are amazing... (at least for the mythtv)...
    i know mythtv is NOT the same as a NAS box...
    BUT, if the OS on this NAS is 14.04 (or similiar) you should not have any of the problems you have described.
  • ganeshts - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    In a comment on another recent article, one of the readers stressed that deinterlacing is broken in the Linux drivers for the iGPU. I will check on the status with a review sample Reply
  • DanNeely - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - link

    Two questions, the first is a repeat from the initial announcement a week ago. What virtualization platform/virtual drive container format(s) is supported?

    The second is, why assume the additional USB3 is done by consuming a PCIe lane instead of by sticking a USB3 hub onboard as is common with current generation motherboards.
  • modulusshift - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - link

    It would consume a PCIe lane either way. He's talking about total lanes from the CPU, not just the number a motherboard would expose like on normal desktops. Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    I am not sure I understand the question entirely, Dan.

    Are you saying that current generation mobos have the ability to make a single USB 3.0 port from the PCH appear as multiple USB 3.0 ports on the board, i.e, is there a 'USB 3.0 port multiplier' that you are talking about?

    As modulusshift indicates, most of the NEC / Fresco Logic / ASMedia based USB 3.0 ports that I see in the motherboards all communicate with the PCH using a PCIe lane.
  • DanNeely - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    Yes. A lot of the current generation of boards offering 8 or more USB3 ports that have been reviewed on this site recently are being called out for using a cheaper USB3 hub chip (like what would be inside a 2/4 port USB3 hub on your desk) instead of a PCIe-USB3 chip like in the previous generation.

    4 of 5 mobo reviews on the front and second page call the board out for using at least on hub to add USB3 ports, just search the first page of the review for the word hub (the 5th only had 6 ports and presumably didn't need one):
  • ganeshts - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    Got it! Let me see what QNAP comes back with, and I will update the article accordingly. Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    Not a problem. This is something fairly new; and unfortunately appears to be occurring at all pricepoints. I'm mostly ok with doing it on budget boards; but for higher end ones I'd much rather have the option of a 2:4 or 4:8PCIe lane PLX and PCIe-USB3 controllers powering all the ports, rather than have to worry about where I connect high bandwidth devices in the future to avoid bottle-necking. I'm really hoping skylake's chipset will have enough native usb3 ports to make this generation's designs a one off aberration. Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - link


    Virtualization answers from QNAP: OVA, OVF, QVM, XML, VMX.

    Confirmed that an USB 3.0 hub chip is being used

    SATA - PCIe bridge list update in the article.
  • extide - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    No, if you used a USB 3.0 HUB then it would not use a PCIe lane, and that would leave you with two PCIe x1 lanes, so you could add two controllers (ex for the 8-bay you would need a 4-port and a 2-port). Reply
  • name99 - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - link

    I find the premise of the article ("Intel Quick Sync Gets its Killer App") to be quite bizarre.
    In the Apple world, QuickSync has had its killer app for some time supporting remote desktops and video sent from a Mac to an AppleTV. For remote desktops in particular, while this was previously done with software encoding, the lowered latency of QuickSync makes a noticeable difference to the usability if you're connected via a high bandwidth connection. I expect there are substantially more people using OSX ARD than will ever buy this particular NAS.
    There are probably similar use cases happening on Windows, but I don't know much about that side of the fence.

    My point is not to criticize the NAS or talk up OSX; it's simply to point out that the article subtitle is more than a little ridiculous, suggesting, as it does, that poor little QuickSync was just out there languishing in the world with everyone ignoring it until this NAS came along and showed the world how to utilize it.
  • ganeshts - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - link

    The 'killer app' tag line was written from a HTPC / media-centric perspective. For a long time, users wanted QS to be taken advantage of by Plex. As a media transcoder, QS's potential was pretty much not taken advantage of by non-proprietary applications (OS X - Has Apple even exposed QS functionality to developers? Last I remember seeing, HandBrake on OS X doesn't support QS -- may have changed recently ; Remote Desktop acceleration using QS is not exactly media, but, yes, playback to AppleTV is a valid application wrapped in something proprietary).

    Another major point I wanted to convey in the piece was that Intel's VA-API efforts (making QS accessible through open APIs on Linux) has finally paid off in the consumer market.

    Finally, I couldn't probably tag it as 'Killer App for Media Applications' -- that would just make it too long :)
  • shank15217 - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - link

    Virtualization station is damn useful, imagine a open vpn server or even a samba domain server. If qnap develops this feature a bit more it would essentially make it one of the best soho nas out there. Reply
  • Beany2013 - Wednesday, July 02, 2014 - link

    I'd be concerned about resource usage - VMs are different to apps, in that they host the entire OS, crud and all.

    I'd rather drop the relevant SAMBA domain packages into the NAS, than put it in a full debian VM, chewing resources that it doesn't need; the NAS already emulates the filesystem, why blow (limited) resources making the guest OS also have to do this?

    That said, I can see the benefits for some purposes, but it's pretty niche IMHO, until this class of device comes with a minimum of 4gb of RAM, which is by far the biggest limiter here. I'd never want an unattended full install of Windows 7 in a VM, for example, have you seen how big the WinSXS folder can get and how much disk access it can chew up when it's doing housekeeping tasks? Pretty much every time my scabby old (SSD equipped) Macbook starts dragging, it's because the Windows VM I use for troubleshooting has decided it's time to start pissing about with windows update - and not having a Windows (or any, frankly) unattended VM updated is just asking for trouble....

    I like having the option, but I don't think I'd use it!
  • RoboKaren - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - link

    FreeNAS running on FreeBSD. About the only thing it doesn't have is virtualization (it does have jails). And I trust ZFS (RAIDZ2) more than RAID5/6. Reply
  • ganeshts - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - link

    Mobile apps for on-the-go access? The market segment where that is important is what is being targeted by these types of appliances. Reply
  • tuxRoller - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    Not sure why you went with wowza when you could have just grabbed vlc and have it handle the quick syncing:) Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    Is that available on Linux? I see Windows support was added last year.... Reply
  • tuxRoller - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    Vaapi has had transcoder support for more than a year, now. The problem has been apps who don't use proper frameworks but their own solutions.
    For instance, you can use the latest transmageddon (which uses gstreamer 1.4.x) to access quick sync functions. If you feel up to it you can even roll your own pipelines for custom accelerated transcoding by using the commandline tools gstreamer provides.
    In the future, go to some of the open source forums and ask for recommendations (don't take what commenters say as gospel). Not trying to lecture you:)
    You'd be amazed at what's available (for instance, I'd disagree with your final page summation that you can't still "throw" Linux onto a nas and get comparable features to what you've shown here).
    For info, irc is usually the best, but even the Ubuntu forums have vast numbers of knowledgeable folks.
    AT might think about asking someone immersed in oss to chime in from time to time.
  • ganeshts - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    I am yet to see a Linux-based DIY build which is backed up by a good suite of mobile apps (similar to what Synology and QNAP are providing). All that I see in the various forums are ways to access the mobile interface of the NAS's web UI.

    Is there some way to automatically back up the photos that I am taking on my smartphone to, say, a FreeNAS-based (or some other similar) OS ? Any mobile app which can access content on my DIY NAS and get it to my smartphone or tablet with the appropriate hardware-accelerated transcoding at the NAS end ? For the latter, Plex could potentially be useful, but they are not bringing hardware acceleration into the picture at all.
  • lmcd - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    All I know: that's pretty obnoxious that first-stepping Bay Trail didn't get this. All those "Full Windows" tablets could be doing a whole lot better now if Intel shipped the product in its finished state.

    If AMD or Nvidia did this, there'd be a lot more coverage.
  • ganeshts - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    To Intel's defense, they never claimed it would be part of Bay Trail, actually.

    But, I do agree that they could have created new part numbers instead of just stepping changes. I have asked Intel for comment, and will update the piece when they respond.
  • beginner99 - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    After seeing the pricing a DIY looks like a very sweet deal again... Reply
  • ryanmt - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    Yeah... for me, the value prospect of a DIY is in the next-gen file systems with the atomic-COW, bit-level versioning, etc. Until the vendors get on that bandwagon, I don't think they'll get my business. Reply
  • rocktober13 - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    Maybe I missed it, but will Plex use QuickSync if installed on the QNAP? Or does QS only work with QNAP's apps? Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    QS will work only with QNAP's apps. (Qfile and built-in media server) Reply
  • rocktober13 - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    Thanks, I think the adoption of QS is great, but I still think the one or two apps I might use aren't worth the price premium over a DIY NAS. Reply
  • Netscorer - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    Thanks. This & the price makes it a no-go for me. Yet another 'Multimedia' NAS where 1+1 does not equal 2, as they have video transcoding and Plex server but not the two together.
    For now it's still cheaper to buy no-thrills 4-bay NAS fronted by Haswell-based HTPC. You get full Windows on TV, better performance, full-featured (and fully-supported) Plex plus better upgrade flexibility.
  • snakyjake - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    I have five main concerns before I'll consider a NAS:
    1) If a small file is accessed, do all drives spin up?
    2) Data integrity. There's a difference between drive failure and bad data blocks found from a drive surface scan.
    3) Is my data stored in a propriety format?
    4) Upgradability. I can't afford to keep purchasing a new complete system. And what about new vendor software?
    5) Cost.

    OpenMediaVault, FreeNAS, UnRaid, FlexRaid, are very easy. Windows Home Server used to be a viable option too.

    I'm just not willing to let my data become hostage to a proprietary vendor, without assurances.
  • ganeshts - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    All the popular NAS vendors who offer off-the-shelf NAS boxes use software RAID (except for Drobo, whom we have never covered on this site in a review as yet). This means you can take out all the drives, image them and mount on a PC. After that, you could just use something like UFS Explorer to recover the data.

    For 'bad blocks', I have usually seen vendors reallocate without proclaiming drive failure. They do sound a warning in the logs, though (Again, haven't tested for all vendors)

    I have never seen these NAS vendors charge for OS upgrade (that said, sometimes the OS is quite 'demanding' and 4 - 5 year old models are not capable of running the upgraded version).

    (1) and cost vary from vendor to vendor, I guess.
  • mannyvel - Monday, June 30, 2014 - link

    < This means you can take out all the drives, image them and mount on a PC>

    Has anyone actually attempted to do this and get it to work?
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, July 01, 2014 - link

    Yes, I have done it and it works. Reply
  • mannyvel - Tuesday, July 01, 2014 - link

    How did your PC reconstruct the RAID? Did you have to match the RAID driver versions on your linux box/pc with your nas?

    Do you have a blog post/etc on your steps/process?
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, July 02, 2014 - link

    Use UFS Explorer. I have a RAID-1 example here:

    UFS Explorer will show you the volume as-is and does the heavy lifting of RAID reconstruction. I am not sure what you mean by RAID driver version, as these are all just software RAID, nothing proprietary involved - standard EXT4 file system with mdadm.

    I will try to write a post on RAID-5 rebuild sometime in the near future.
  • mannyvel - Wednesday, July 02, 2014 - link

    Oh, what you're saying is they're using the standard linux LVM-based md-raid, not a hardware raid implementation - which is why UFS Explorer works. Reply
  • GreenThumb - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    snakyjake>> 4) Upgradability. I can't afford to keep purchasing a new complete system. And what about new vendor software?

    good point - does QNAP charge for software updates to the same hardware?
  • ganeshts - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    Nope.. They haven't charged till now (and none of their competitors in this market segment have that practice, either). Obviously, don't know about the future. Reply
  • bsd228 - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    These prosumer NAS units have made tremendous strides in the past 2 years, so I'll agree that for the disinterested, the DIY route makes less and less sense. But for those that care, it's as strong as ever. Haswell brought us 10W processors that can do everything Atom could, but 10x faster. For virtualization wishes, or background conversions of dvds/blurays to more highly compressed mp4s, this is essential, but with it sitting idle most of the time, 80W units were wasteful, hot, noisy.

    The key failing still present in this QNAP series is the lack of ECC memory. My HP Microservers have that that for 4 generations, as well as the ability to run numerous VMs (OS dependent - I use solaris). It was until the Gen8s stuck with a poor AMD processor and still isn't where I'd like it to be. So my next one will be truly DIY, not a nearly turnkey microserver.
  • npz - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - link

    It should be noted why open source projects and video enthusiasts have not exactly embraced Quick Sync. Aside from encoding quality (high bitrates is ok, low bitrates is bad), it's just not that flexible.

    The VAAPI table shows it's limited to h.264 High Profile @ Level 4.1 for both encode and decode.

    This means: 8-bit 1080p, max 30fps, with max of 4 reference frames.

    What if you've ripped your blu-rays for archiving at the best quality possible and now you want to transcode for mobile devices, or other home devices like roku, etc? Encoding is possible with QuickSync considering the constrained specs you're targeting, but DECODE is now impossible!
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - link

    With storage being so cheap nowadays, you could just back up your Blu-rays at the best quality (i.e, just remux to MKV, no re-encoding) -- and they would still be compliant for QuickSync decoding.

    Btw, I have seen Quick Sync decoder work great for 1080p60 clips (but that is on Windows using Eric Gur's code). To be frank, I have not seen any non-10-bit H.264 file that is not decodable via Eric's filter. (You could theoretically make a 120 fps clip with crazy high bit-rates that might choke QS, but those are not seen in real life). It even decodes the Planet Earth 16 ref. clip in hardware on the Intel Haswell NUC.

    It might be that VA-API just put that 'restriction' in, because if you want to claim full L5.1 support, that would require supporting really crazy encodes that no one probably does. We will have to see how it works after I get a review sample in hand.
  • npz - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - link

    I haven't tried the windows filter since I normally use MPlayer, VLC, ffmpeg, but that's interesting to know. It could be that the QS hardware supports greater than L4.1 but not L5+ The VA-API lists a 40 Mb/s limit, so that would be one limitation for L5.0

    It's true storage is cheaper, but not that cheap yet. Storage density is also an issue. Recently just built 40TB machine, and it probably won't be enough later. BD remuxes are absolutely out of the question (BTW some Japanese BDs even use several times the bitrate as US BDs!) Also, most of mine L5.0 or thereabouts (meaning res, bitrate, ref limitations match L5), but there is also the additional issue of using features that is not supported by high profile. If you don't specify a profile, and just use CRF for constant iamge quality + very slow preset + tune (which adjusts psychovisual parameters), then x264 will pick the most optimal and efficient settings. I've noticed constraining to high profile will increase the size of my encodes.
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, June 26, 2014 - link

    Single pass transcoding is a joke. You're talking 3 times the file size for the same quality vs a properly configured two pass encoding. What is the point of doing that? The file is still going to end up being way to big. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now