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May 30, 2023

QNAP's TS-464 has just about everything you'd need in a powerful compact NAS

QNAP is responsible for some of the more powerful network-attached storage (NAS) enclosures, including the QNAP TS-464. This four-bay NAS has an Intel Celeron processor, expandable system memory, M.2 SSD slots, a PCI expansion slot, dual 2.5GbE networking, and a dedicated HDMI port. It's designed for use at home or in the office and is more than capable of running more demanding apps and services such as Plex Media Server. We're going to take a quick look at the TS-464 and see if it's a contender for our best Plex NAS collection.

The QNAP TS-464 is a brilliant and powerful NAS, rocking an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM out of the box, and even two M.2 slots and a single PCIe expansion slot. It has everything you need to run a Plex Media Server, including dedicated HDMI output.

The QNAP TS-464 has an MSRP of $550. This is a considerable sum, even for a prebuilt NAS enclosure. Being a four-bay NAS with an Intel Celeron CPU, M.2 SSD slots, and expansion support, it's clear where the money is going. It would be difficult to locate a better value NAS with the same specifications, even when looking at TerraMaster, which is renowned for undercutting QNAP and other brands with similar hardware.

The QNAP TS-464 is part of the company's business family of NAS servers, and the TS-x64 series consists of the TS-264, TS-464, and TS-664, which have two, four, and six drive bays, respectively — they're essentially identical otherwise. The design of these enclosures, the TS-464 included, is not a simple slab of black metal. QNAP usually attempts to make its NAS look unique and interesting, and the TS-464 is no exception.

On the front is a black plastic panel that can be removed easily to show the four available drive bays. To the right of this is a gold strip from top to bottom. This is where you will find the power button, front-facing USB port, and an array of LED indicators for activity and status. The sides and top are bare, but the rear of the NAS is where all the connectivity occurs. Two USB-A 2.0 ports join the second USB-A 3.2 Gen2 port, as well as an HDMI port, and two 2.5GbE connections.

At the top of the rear panel of the QNAP TS-464 is the single PCI expansion slot. Access to the two available M.2 slots is made possible by carefully rotating the NAS to access the bottom panel, where two drive doors are located. The RAM can be upgraded by accessing the internals of the TS-464, requiring the front-facing drive bays to be extracted. It's worth noting that this is only possible on the 4GB model of the TS-464. The 8GB model has 8GB of DDR4 soldiered to the PCB instead of using two DIMM slots.

QNAP includes just about everything one would require to get up and running with the TS-464. The included accessories box has all the necessary cabling and screws to install 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drives and hook up the server to your LAN.

Installing QNAP's QTS operating system takes a few minutes and is mostly painless. There's no CD or USB installation. Simply populate the NAS with at least one drive and fire it up. Should the NAS be connected to the LAN (and have an active internet connection), the TS-464 can download and install the latest version of the QTS operating system directly from QNAP's website.

QNAP's OS is similar to what Asustor and Synology offer with their respective enclosures and performs much like a traditional desktop PC experience. If you've used macOS, Linux, or Windows for some time, you'll feel right at home with QTS. Apps and services can be downloaded through the App Center or installed manually by downloading from other sources. We'd recommend installing everything through App Center unless otherwise recommended by the developer.

Populating the four drive bays with NAS drives, installing the OS, and configuring the admin account took approximately 10 minutes, including the time it took to download the necessary files. QTS is snappy with the Intel Celeron processor, thanks to its high clock speeds and four physical cores. It's easy to install and run something like Plex Media Server and continue performing other tasks on the NAS without sluggish performance.

The two 2.5GbE connections are excellent for upping available bandwidth, and it's possible to install a 5GbE or 10GbE connection using the PCIe slot, should it be required. We were able to fully maximize throughput and hit the limit of what's possible with the 5GbE aggregated link. You can expect to see anything up to 570MB/s depending on network infrastructure. The ability to install two M.2 drives and use them to expand the storage pool makes for a compelling argument to upgrade to a 5GbE or 10GbE network expansion card.

This is one seriously powerful NAS with an operating system with just about everything you could require from smarter connected storage. QNAP isn't quite there with Synology in terms of cloud platform support, but if you prefer a more localized approach, the QNAP TS-464 would be a great investment.

There are only a handful of NAS enclosures from other brands capable of competing against the QNAP TS-464 in terms of price and specifications. First up is the Asustor LOCKERSTOR 4 Gen2 (AS6704T) with almost identical specifications, although it costs $609. The TerraMaster F4-223 is another fine four-bay NAS with similar specifications (aside from the slower Intel Celeron CPU). Still, it comes in at just $440 and only really loses the PCI expansion slot.

You should consider buying the QNAP TS-464 if you're searching for a four-bay NAS with considerable amounts of power and connectivity. The specifications would be considered overkill for most home users, but it's designed so that you likely won't require a replacement for many years. The ability to run more demanding NAS services and have multiple users accessing the server simultaneously makes it perfect for a small bustling office or a busy home.

The QNAP TS-464 is a little pricey, with an MSRP of $550. It's possible to pick up a NAS for as little as $100, as covered in our best budget NAS buyer guide. That said, you will likely lose out on the 2.5GbE connectivity, the Intel CPU, and other useful premium features by downgrading to less capable models. So long as you're set to take advantage of and fully utilize what's on offer with the QNAP TS-464, it's a fantastic NAS to buy.

The QNAP TS-464 is a brilliant and powerful NAS, rocking an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM out of the box, and even two M.2 slots and a single PCIe expansion slot. It has everything you need to run a Plex Media Server, including dedicated HDMI output.

Richard is a Senior Commerce Writer at Valnet and has been covering the technology industry for more than a decade. He's been building PCs and managing network infrastructure for just as long. When he's not creating content for Valnet, you can often find him inside a chassis somewhere.

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