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Thecus W2000+ NAS as a music server, thoughts please.


antibob
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Hi all,

 

Cant find any discussion on CA about this Thecus W2000+ server, it’s not exactly a new product, having been around at least a couple of years, just wondered if anyone has any thoughts on this as a music server ?

 

Looks like Thecus produce a range of 5 NAS boxes all running Windows Server 2012 R2, curiously though they call it Windows Storage Server (I believe this is just an embedded version of WS) The 2000 is a 2 bay NAS the 4000 being a 4 bay and you guessed it the 5000 a 5. The + version of each increases the DDR3 Ram from 2GB to 4GB and all run on an Atom D2701 clocked at 2.13GHZ . The OS is run from a separate SSD (60gb I believe) housed inside. There is a PCIe expansion slot but to me (no expert) it looks like the slot on the case of the 2000 is a bit small, maybe bigger on the 4000. I read in a review somewhere (not an audio review I might stress) the chip is only 10w TDP and is cooled passively by a large heatsink, there is a case fan just for a bit of airflow, I’m hoping this could be disconnected or an alternative solution installed to reduce electrical noise.

 

They seem like a bit of a bargain, in the UK I can pick one up for under £500, add a couple of 250GB SSD’s for around £200. Install Audio Optimzer and we are away ? To buy a copy of the 2012 R2 Essentials alone would be around £350.

 

Thecus specs etc here: Windows Storage Server

A review with some internal pics here: https://www.bjorn3d.com/2015/10/thecus-w2000-nas/

 

I have a few concerns, which hopefully some of you experts out there may be able to help me with.

 

1) By disconnecting the case fan am I likely to boil the chip ? Are there any alternatives to the fan to consider, better on chip passive cooler or heatpipes ? I will only be using as a NAS feeding a Bluseound Node 2. An alternative may be to put a swith on the fan so I can be operational just for backing up the drives for offsite. Am I likely to get any errors from Windows if the fan is disconnected (even if the temrature remains low ans stable) ?

2) My plan was to fit a SoTM USB card to the PCIe X1 slot, any thoughts on whether this would fit ? The spec just says it has a PCIe X1 slot, I read somewhere it is a half height, whatever that means ?

3) I assume I wouldn’t have any problems running AO on Windows Storage Server but I would like to know for sure before I hit the button.

4) I have no imminent plans to run Roon server but given it’s modest spec would this likely cause problems/slow response.

5) The supplied power brick should be easily upgraded to a less noisy item, would this likely be an off the shelf upgrade (albeit an audio shop/specialist) ?

 

Thanks in advance for any help and comments.

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Thecus are very 'business' I have two at work but QNAP are far friendlier for home use IME, I have one at home and one at work.

 

QNAP can run Windows, Mac or Linux as long as the model supports it, I think some accept PCIe cards.

 

Regardless I'm not sure if using a NAS would sound as good as an Aries Mini and there are more good things coming at decent prices.

 

I wouldn't rush in IIWY.

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

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The answer to #4 is almost cdertainly a YES. Look up my threads on the subject. I have a Synology 1513+ with 4GB RAM and a similar Atom processor. Even with nothing else running on the NAS, and a direct ethernet connection to my Auralic Altair, I get drop-outs using Roon. These drop outs increase in frequency and severity as the file resolution goes up. To run Roon, they recommend something running a core i5 or higher, which puts you in the QNAP camp.

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