ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T)

ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T) review: A speedy SSD-only NAS

The ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T) is an all-flash NAS enclosure with six M.2 NVMe SSD slots for storage. Unlike most other enclosures available on the market, it is not possible to install any mechanical 3.5-inch drives, limiting capacity and requiring the purchase of more expensive SSDs.

The flip side to this is an increase in read and write speeds, especially with later-generation drives. Compared to mechanical drives, M.2 SSDs have no moving parts, which means they should last longer, and they draw considerably less power without emitting as much noise. The ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 should be one of the quietest NAS around.

In our in-depth review, we’ll be looking at the hardware and software to determine whether or not this is one of the best NAS and if you should buy one for your home or office.

ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T)

ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR NAS
ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR NAS. (Source: ASUSTOR)

The ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T) is an impressive bit of kit from the NAS brand with full support for M.2 NVMe SSDs that unlocks seriously high-performance levels. It’s not perfect but it is an excellent start from ASUSTOR.

CPUIntel Celeron N5105
GPUIntel UHD Graphics
RAM4 GB DDR4
(16 GB max)
Bays0
Expansion6x M.2 2280 (SSD/PCIe)
2x AS6004U
Cooling1x 80 mm
Ports2x 2.5 GbE
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2×1
2 x USB-A 2.0
1x HDMI 2.0b
1x S/PDIF
Power draw~18.2 W
  • Amazing performance
  • Slim form factor
  • Excellent ADM OS
  • No hot-swapping support
  • Expensive (as are the SSDs)
  • Not fanless

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ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T): Price and availability

ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T)
The compact and sleek styling of the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6. (Source: NM)

Launching with an MSRP of $500, the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T) is not an affordable NAS by any stretch, but for an all-flash enclosure, it’s not terrible value. NAS are often discounted for promotions like Black Friday so we’d recommend holding out for picking up this enclosure and some NVMe SSDs to populate it with. Like all other NAS, this enclosure comes diskless.

NAS drives will need to be purchased separately. Should you require more M.2 slots, there’s the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 12 Pro (FS6712X) with double the number of slots. The rest of the specifications are similar, aside from the networking. ASUSTOR allows for expansion units to be attached to the FLASHSTOR series of NAS too.

ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T): Design and features

Angled view of the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T)
Angled view of the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T). (Source: NM)

I’m a fan of ASUSTOR’s NAS design language though the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T) doesn’t look like any other NAS the company has released (aside from the other FLASHSTOR enclosure, of course). This isn’t a negative and I also like how the FS6706T looks. It’s vastly more compact compared to other diskless ASUSTOR NAS, largely thanks to the removal of all 3.5-inch drive bays.

Instead of mechanical hard drives, the FS6706T is an all-SSD NAS with six slots for M.2 2280 NVMe SSDs. The ASUSTOR FS6706T resembles a video game console, namely the classic Sony PlayStation 2. The NAS even has an HDMI port for direct connection to the big screen in the living room. There’s one of two available USB-A 2.0 ports on the front, as well as a small vent.

Four LED indicators are located on the top panel of the NAS, which is split into two sections. One is a place of black plastic and the other has a brushed metal styling. You may have noticed we’ve yet to mention the power button, which is located on the right side of the NAS along with more ventilation. Ports on the rear of the FS6706T include three USB-A ports (one 2.0 and two 3.2 Gen 2×1), one HDMI 2.0b port, two 2.5GbE connections, and SPDIF.

In order to install an SSD inside the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T), one has to remove the access door, located underneath the NAS. The removable panel also disconnects the 80 mm fan, which is connected to the main PCB with an internal USB port. Each of the six available M.2 slots uses a plastic clip to hold the drives in place, which is another great feature to make installing them easier.

ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T): Software

ASUSTOR ADM 4
ASUSTOR ADM 4. (Source: NM)

Like other branded NAS, the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T) is powered by the company’s ADM operating system. It’s one of the best OS for prebuilt NAS and I’ve always been a fan of the UI and how everything is laid out. Once at least one drive is installed inside the FS6706T, the NAS is able to automatically download and install the latest version of ADM.

Installing the OS is painless and lasts a few moments, depending on your network speed. The installation wizard will run you through the process of downloading the OS, setting up drives, configuring the NAS with a user account, setting up RAID, and more. Once complete, the FS6706T is good to go with the full power of ADM available. Everything from a surveillance centre to Plex Media Server can be installed with a few mouse clicks.

ADM is one of the best OS for prebuilt NAS and I’ve always been a fan of the UI and how everything is laid out.

ADM is like other operating systems, including Synology’s DiskStation Manager (DSM), in that it’s designed to resemble desktop platforms, such as Linux, macOS, and Windows. We’d recommend spending a good hour playing around with ADM and following ASUSTOR’s initial guide that highlights some features.

ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T): Performance

ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T)
CPU heatsink inside the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6. (Source: NM)

Powering the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T) is the Intel Celeron N5105. This quad-core chip has been found in countless other NAS and has proven itself to be a very capable processor with ample performance. It has enough raw power and a decent integrated GPU for transcoding even 4K media through Plex Media Server. 4GB of DDR4 RAM is preinstalled by ASUSTOR.

This should be more than enough for most people to get started with. The good news is the 4GB can be expanded up to 16 GB if required. Where things take a turn for the worse is how ASUSTOR has handicapped its M.2 slots bandwidth. The N5105 processor has eight PCIe lanes in total, which simply isn’t enough for six PCIe 3.0 SSD slots, USB ports, and network links.

The 2.5 GbE networking is also a bottleneck, which can only hit 590MB/s. That’s still a lot of data moving every second but is a considerable drop from what PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSDs are capable of. One has to remember that most home networks don’t support speeds of more than 1 GbE, which would cause issues if the FS6706T was able to allow the NVMe drives to operate at full speeds.

ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T): Competition

ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T)
Comparing the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 vs. TerraMaster F2-223. (Source: NM)

There’s not much in terms of competition for the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T). It’s an all-flash NAS with NVMe slots alone. You won’t find any 3.5-inch bays here, which is not something we’ve seen in other enclosures. Whether you should pick this up over traditional enclosures largely depends on how many NVMe drives you have to spare.

Synology does have the FlashStation FS range of NAS, but these are rackmount servers designed for cabinets.

Should you buy the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T)?

ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T)
HDMI sticker on the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6. (Source: NM)

Who should buy this?

  • Those who don’t need to store too much data.
  • Those who don’t want loud NAS with vibrations.
  • Those who prefer to use flash storage.

Who shouldn’t buy this?

  • Those who are required to use the highest-capacity drives.
  • Those who want drive hot-swap support.

It’s still early days for all-flash NAS but the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T) is a good start for the brand. The enclosure is unlike anything else on the market, providing ASUSTOR with a leg up on the competition, though this is still a niche within the NAS world. It’s a launch that provides some insight into what future NAS may be.

The FS6706T is a very powerful NAS with a compelling Intel CPU, more than enough RAM to get started, and support for super-fast NVMe drives. Interestingly, the NAS will perform about as well as other HDD enclosures, including ASUSTOR’s own DRIVESTOR range of NAS. This is due to the LAN and CPU limitations, but there’s still plenty to like with the FS6706T.

A highlight of the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T) is the low-noise operation.

A highlight of the ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T) is the low-noise operation. There’s still a fan present and it will spin most of the time, but this does keep installed drives and the CPU within safe operating ranges – NVMe SSDs can run seriously hot. The ADM operating system is also excellent, allowing one to get up and running in no time at all. Plenty of apps are available with one-click installation.

Flash-based NAS will become more of a common sight as other brands catch on to what ASUSTOR has here. The price of NVMe storage will continue to drop and capacity increase, making such enclosures a more compelling purchase. For now, it’s a good choice for those who want to rid of some noise and lower power consumption with NAS SSDs.

ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T)

ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR NAS
ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR NAS. (Source: ASUSTOR)

Ready to move into the world of flash storage? The ASUSTOR FLASHSTOR 6 (FS6706T) is designed with only M.2 NVMe drives in mind. It’s expensive but well worth it if you don’t wish to use HDDs.

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