Build Your Own Dual-Bay NAS With Odroid-HC4

(Image credit: CNX Software / Hardkernel)

One of the typical use cases for a single-board computer (SBC) is acting as network attached storage (NAS). HardKernel embraces this concept and has announced its ODROID-HC4, a $65 SBC designed to provide NAS duties solely (via CNX Software).

ODROID-HC4 Hardware Specifications

  • SoC – Amlogic S905X3 quad-core Cortex-A55 Arm V8 processor @ 1.8 GHz with Mali-G31 MP2 GPU @ 650 MHz
  • System Memory – 4GB DDR4
  • UHS-1 compatible MicroSD card slot for the operating system
  • 2x SATA III ports using an ASM1061 PCIe to SATA controller
  • Networking – Gigabit Ethernet via Realtek RTL8211F PHY
  • Video Output – HDMI 2.0 up to 4K UHD @ 60 Hz
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port
  • Optional OLED Display and Real Time Clock via 7-pin header with SPI and I2C
  • Debugging – 4-pin UART header for serial console
  • IR receiver for remote controller
  • Power Supply – 15V DC via barrel jack
  • Dimensions –  3.3 x 3.5 x 1 inch (84 x 90.5 x 25.0mm)

The ODROID-HC4 is designed for two 2.5 / 3.5-inch SATA drives, which are then inserted vertically into the clear plastic shell, where they are guided down to two SATA connectors. Hardkernel uses an ASM1061 PCIe-to-SATA controller to connect the drives to the external interface, and it's good for around a 400MB/s transfer speed. 

The main board contains the Cortex-A55 Arm v8 CPU along with 4GB of RAM and a micro SD card slot for the operating system. At the time of writing, the OS is limited to Ubuntu 20.04, but third-party images will be available in due course. A single 15V 4A power supply, available from Hardkernel, powers the ODROID-HC4 and SSD drives.

Launching October 27, the ODROID-HC4 starts from $65 for just the board and the plastic enclosure. Spending $10 more, we get a real-time clock and OLED screen that provides live information about the NAS. Hardkernel will also offer optional accessories such as WiFi and Bluetooth adaptors and a remote control. 

Les Pounder

Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".