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Pros: The reviews below give most of the pertinent info. I did find that going cheap (buying and adding fans to the smaller chassis) caused the Supermicro MBD-H8DCL-6F motherboard eventually to become unreliable. (For two years it ran, but then the server started to become unresponsive after being up for about 36 hours, requiring a reboot.) The MBD-H8DCL-6F in the CSE-743TQ-865B, though, has for 5 years worked flawlessly (when not replacing the power supply once). This chassis is surprisingly tight, but does accommodate the Noctua NH-U12DO A3 CPU Cooler that I prefer. Temp avg. ~ 67 F no load; 105 F long-term 75% load. (2 x AMD Opteron 4284 Valencia 3.0 GHz Socket C32 95W 8-core CPUs).
Cons: I did lose the 865W power supply about 4 years ago; replacing it was not cheap ($166.00 + shipping). Just like everything else in this case, only a Supermicro product will fit without excessive modification. And as I found out, with Supermicro case mods are almost entirely useless. Note that, typically, you have to order any accessory from Supermicro direct, which takes time. Therefore, in mission critical situations you have to order an extra power supply (and I suggest CPU support plate) just to have on hand. I don't use the HD back-plane (for reasons you can find listed below); I keep it, however, just in case I get brave enough to use it.
Other Thoughts: I have found the Supermicro MBD-H8DCL-6F motherboard in the CSE-743TQ-865B chassis a reliable (albeit relatively expensive) solution. It is not easy to set up and can be down-right troublesome, given its lack of docs and other peccadilloes (non-included CPU support plate (that isn't packaged with the Supermicro MBD-H8DCL-6F motherboard either; you have to order it separately from Supermicro), non-standard footprint of the power supply, 4-pin fan requirement, quirky HD back-plane, heavy weight, total of 4 USB ports with the 2 front-panel USB running slower than the 2.0 spec, the plastic pedestals always detaching when moving the chassis, etc). Despite these troublesome inconveniences, it is worth it in order to use the MBD-H8DCL-6F motherboard.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Synology DS216j Diskless System NAS DiskStation
Pros: works well, fast transfers (once you replace the network cable), minimum 60 MB/s or so (multitudinous small files), hardware is compact and easily configured.
I don't use the the Internet features, and so thankfully the software has the ability to configure offline (unlike MyBook, and so many others, which require a router and an Internet connection)
Cons: It comes with a bad network cable; once replaced transfer rates soar.
I understand that this is NAS, but is it absolutely necessary to use 3 different ill-labeled menus in order to: 1) initialize a hard drive, 2) format a hard drive, and 3) then create a partition? (None of the menu header labels reflect that they contain these basic operations.) One just has to get used to the way the terminology that Synology uses. (Then the next time you need to do it, you forget the sequence.)
Other Thoughts: I just want network storage; so I format both hard drives JBOD. With the HGST/Hitachi 0F12470 Ultrastar 7K3000, 2TB, 64MB, 7200RPM, SATA III, 6.0GB/B, the cost is under $90 for four TB of storage. Then I have another set of these hard drives that are also formatted JBOD to which I copy the the data, and thereafter I lay aside the first set. That's my redundancy. It may be crude, but this way I feel that I can avoid using a UPS, the models of which (for home networks) are horribly expensive, are unreliable, and have ridiculously short battery life).READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: HooToo HT-PC002 SuperSpeed USB 3.0 2-Port PCI-E Add-On Expansion Card with Internal USB 3.0 19-Pin Motherboard Male Header & 5V 4-Pin Molex Power Connector (VIA VL800 Chipset, Solid Capacitors)
Pros: works as described; using it in a consumer-grade PC
Cons: you need an extra X16 slot (not a lot of server motherboards that have an X1 slot), doesn't support X4 or X8 PCI-e slots
Other Thoughts: don't get this if you run a server, unless you run one that has a X1 or X16 slot ... the card's docs don't emphasize that fact, so be aware ...READ FULL REVIEW