Build, Technical Data, And Power Consumption
The Intel SS4200-E is available for just under $600 online; hard drives are not included in this price. You will be surprised as soon as the new Intel NAS device arrives: at almost 7 kg, the SS4200-E is a lot heavier than the network storage products from other manufacturers. The heavy weight can be explained by the fact that Intel protects the unit’s insides with a solid metal housing. Even the clamps for the hard drives, which competitors usually make out of plastic, are solid metal. The user can choose to put the housing in either a horizontal or vertical orientation, almost like a game console. Feet are included in the package for the latter option.
Metal Housing, Plastic Cover
For aesthetic reasons, Intel put a dark grey plastic cover over the metal housing. Another visual feature is the silver plastic stripe with small holes in it, which surrounds the front and the sides of the case.
The clean design is also apparent from the front of the housing, which only has one power button. This changes color from blue to amber depending on the status of the system. The same is true for the four LEDs that show the status of the hard drives. Another two LEDs inform you of hardware drives and network activity. Finally, there are two USB 2.0 ports on the front to let you connect external storage media.
Ports on the Backside
The back of the housing is organized similarly. The first thing you’ll notice are the two 70 mm fans that blow the warm air out of the unit. A third fan is responsible for exhausting air from the 250 watt power supply. Although there are three fans in total, you can hardly hear them during normal operation.
On the back of the Intel SS4200-E you will find another pair of USB 2.0 ports and two eSATA ports. Because the chipset is missing support for the eSATA ports, they are controlled by a Silicon Image SIL3132CNU controller. You connect to a network using a Gigabit Ethernet port managed by an Intel 82573E Ethernet controller.
You may have been a bit concerned by the aforementioned 250 watt power supply, and unfortunately, we have to confirm those worries. The Intel SS4200-E is not an energy-saving wonder. The NAS device uses a full 35 watts, even with a configuration of two hard drives put into sleep mode. When doing read and write operations with four hard drives, the power consumption used hovers around 70 watts. As expected, we measured the highest power consumption when turning on the device on: about 140 watts.
|2x HDD||4x HDD|
|Sleep||35 W||38 W|
|Idle||46 W||60 W|
|Operating||50 W||73 W|
Hard Drive Mounting
In order to fit four hard drives into the housing, which measures only 12 cm, Intel’s engineers came up with an interesting design. The hard drives are placed next to each other in the housing and are mounted to it using screws with rubber heads. Not only can those screws be tightened without tools, but the rubber on them means that they also decouple the hard drives from the housing, effectively suppressing vibrations and reducing noise levels.