Teardown and Component Analysis

The Iomega EZ Media & Backup Center allows unofficial SSH access. Even without opening up the unit, we could determine that the unit was based on the Marvell Feroceon 88FR131 Kirkwood processor. There is 128 MB of DRAM on the board, and the OS is a customised version of Linux.

The unit is quite easy to take apart. We have a 2000 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200 rpm drive (ST2000DM001). A GbE and USB port make up the rear along with push buttons for the power and reset functions and the power adapter port.

On the motherboard, we have the following important components:

  • Marvell F62E1 Kirkwoord SoC (Dual core at 1.2 GHz)
  • Samsung K4B1G1646G DDR3 SDRAM (1Gbit - 128 MB, x16)
  • Marvell Alaska 88E1318 GbE PHY

The Iomega EZ unit has only half the DRAM of the comparable Western Digital My Book Live (128 MB vs. 256 MB). The Iomega EZ's CPU also seems weaker in terms of the BogoMIPS rating (1200 vs. 1600). That said, the Iomega EZ has some additional useful features such as an explicit power button and a USB 2.0 host port.

Introduction Setup Impressions
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  • Elixer - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Those temps don't look that good, I wonder what the max safe temp range is?
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    I was concerned too, but Iomega indicated that the temperatures are fine. It is important not to operate the HDD itself at 55 C or higher. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a way to find the HDD temperature from the web UI easily.
  • mike55 - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    I was thinking about getting something like this to do automatic backups from a couple computers. I had a WD Elements portable USB drive that I had plugged into my router, but that proved to be entirely unreliable. Would this be ideal? Or is there a cheaper option since I don't need the extra features. An external enclosure with ethernet sounds like a cheap alternative, but I can't find any external enclosures with ethernet, and I'm not sure if the USB ones would be reliable.
  • The0ne - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    The smaller WD Element drives have not proven to be very reliable for me. I've gone through many due to multiple issues. My MyBooks however have been rock solid and have not gone down for any reasons. Therefore, I would suggest using MyBooks instead of the Elements for your HD backups.

    If you go the external enclosure, USB base make sure you select a chipset that is reliable and can provide the speed in which you need. If time is not a concern for you there is another option. I have 3 dual USB docking stations when I need them for backup purposes. I haven't encounter any issues with the dock themselves and have been using them for about 2 years now. The only problem is speed and lack of protection for your hard drives as they will be bare and out in the open, susceptible to static and what not.

    For your highly important data I wouldn't recommend HD backup without redundancy, as pointed out by Subyman. For these types of data I have them on cloud (dropbox, skydrive, googledrive), at work on our network (they get saved to 4 different locations as well), my laptop, my main PC, on HDs and the smaller files on several USB sticks. The data on clouds are automatically sync to my laptop and main PC and, when I get to work, automatically sync to the servers.
  • chizow - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    You should look into the Ix2-DL or the similar offering from Buffalo. They are cheap ($80-$100 AR) but diskless 2-bay options that offer the same features as this reviewed unit along with redundancy with RAID 1.

    I recently picked one up for $80 AR on a Newegg deal and I've been pretty happy with it. A great place to throw in some older 1TB drives and share recorded TV from my CableCARD tuner. Performance is lower than the Synology/Qnap offerings, but they also cost 1/2 the price or less.
  • Subyman - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Ugh, what's the point without redundancy? IMO, a NAS is useless if it can not survive a single drive failure.
  • cjs150 - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link


    4 drive NAS is the minimum for me - and yes I have had discs fail.

    For media storage I have a QNAP 419 (not sure exactly the model). Works perfectly just as you would expect. Just a shame that W8 is so inept it can not cope well with the concept of NAS
  • chizow - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Does the media streaming have that much of an impact on the SoC/CPU performance that it causes such a big performance hit?

    I've also noticed that my PCs don't sleep anymore once I attached this NAS to the network, I imagine media sharing is also the culprit. A shame because media streaming via DLNA is really nice for any "Smart TVs", although I guess I could just stream them to a networked laptop and output to the TV that way.
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - link

    Very much possible! Make sure you don't have the media server aggregation option turned on.

    If you are sure you want to go the DLNA route (not a big fan myself), it is better to let your PC be the DLNA server. If you are running Twonky on your PC, that has aggregation capabilities. I haven't researched much into the aggregation capabilities of the other DLNA servers on the PC.
  • Arbie - Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - link

    I have an early Iomega NAS drive. I had to cut a 3" x 5" hole in the aluminum chassis to keep the drive from frying itself. Support is almost non-existent - either you buy a service contract to get the simplest question answered, or you hope that someone on their forum can help. I would NEVER buy an Iomega network product like this one.

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