TerraMaster F2-223

TerraMaster F2-223 review: The new best-value Intel-powered NAS

TerraMaster’s most affordable Intel NAS is the TerraMaster F2-223. This two-bay enclosure has just about everything a homeowner requires from a compact server. The dual-core Intel CPU is joined by 4GB of DDR4 RAM, supports up to 40TB of storage capacity, and you can even throw two M.2 drives inside for good measure. This review will go into detail about what makes this a contender for your next NAS.

TerraMaster F2-223

TerraMaster F2-423
TerraMaster F2-223. (Source: TerraMaster)

The TerraMaster F2-223 is a good value NAS with two drive bays, an Intel processor, M.2 slots for SSD caching, 2.5GbE networking, and a decent operating system to store all your files.

CPUIntel Celeron N4505
GPUIntel UHD Graphics
RAM4 GB DDR4 (32GB)
Drive bays2
Expansion2x M.2
Ports2x 2.5 GbE
2x USB-A 3.1
1x HDMI
  • Intel Celeron N4505 CPU
  • 2.5GbE networking and HDMI port
  • M2 slots and upgradable RAM
  • Great value NAS
  • Limited app collection
  • Not the most powerful Intel CPU
  • No expansion support

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TerraMaster F2-223: Price and availability

TerraMaster F2-223
TerraMaster F2-223 with a 4TB Seagate IronWolf NAS HDD.

The TerraMaster F2-223 has an MSRP of $250. This is an aggressive price for such an enclosure, especially when compared to the competition. We’re fans of the Synology DiskStation DS220+, which costs $300 and used to be the best-value NAS we would recommend. The F2-223 destroys this NAS in all ways excluding the OS.

TerraMaster F2-223: Design and features

TerraMaster F2-223
Front of the TerraMaster F2-223.

TerraMaster NAS looks unique when placed next to enclosures from competing brands. They’re finished with an aluminum color coating on the outside of the main chassis. The F2-223 is no different and looks almost identical to the outgoing F2-221. What has changed is plenty of the internal parts.

The front of the NAS has two drive bays, a few status LEDs for drive and network activity, and a lone power button. The sides of the F2-223 have TerraMaster branding, but it’s the rear where all the magic happens. You’ve got two 2.5GbE networking connections, two USB-A 3.1 ports, and a single HDMI port. There’s also AC input which carries power from the external power supply.

Removing the two drive bays is effortless and tool-less. Installing a 3.5-inch drive is just as easy. With both bays extracted, access can be obtained to the available two DIMM slots for up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM to be installed, as well as the two M.2 slots. Simply remove four screws, disconnect the rear fan, and pull the main shell off. The latter can be used for SSD caching to improve system performance.

We’ve put together a short guide on the best RAM for the TerraMaster F2-223, if you’re interested in making the upgrade.

TerraMaster F2-223: Software

TerraMaster TOS 5

TerraMaster NAS, including the F2-223, is powered by the company’s TOS software, which stands for TerraMaster Operating System. It’s currently on version 5 at the time of this review and has been heavily modified over the past year to make it more visually appealing and easier to use.

Firing up the NAS for the very first time after installing two 4TB Seagate IronWolf NAS drives, we were greeted by the familiar TOS welcome screen, which handled the downloading and installation of TOS. Setting up just about any prebuilt NAS in 2023 is a painless process and it’s no different with the TerraMaster F2-223.

After creating a user profile and confirming a valid email address, the NAS and TOS 5 are good to go! We opted to use TRAID for the test run with the F2-223 to simulate what the user would experience on their first unboxing of the enclosure. After all that is out of the way, we’re at the “desktop” screen with access to all TerraMaster’s preinstalled apps.

TerraMaster’s application storefront isn’t packed full of apps and it’s a little light compared to other operating systems, but there are plenty of popular choices, including Plex Media Server. We fired up Plex to see how transcoding will run on the NAS, though we’ve used enclosures with this processor already and have a rough idea.

Various operations such as managing the storage pools and drives can all be done through TOS, but really you won’t be spending too much time here unless things go wrong with connections and other parts of the NAS. Throughout our testing, we encountered no issues with TOS or the NAS itself. It’s just not quite at the same level as Synology’s DSM.

TerraMaster F2-223: Performance

TerraMaster F2-223
TerraMaster F2-223 with its fan removed.

The best NAS often has the highest performance results and it’s clear to see the price of this NAS when looking at the numbers compared to more capable enclosures. For the price, the TerraMaster F2-223 simply flies through most tasks one would use such an affordable enclosure for.

BenchmarkTerraMaster F2-223
CrystalDiskMark (Sequential)271 MB/s read
281 MB/s write
PCMark10 (Data Drive)91.2 MB/s
31.3 ms
File transfer (15GB folder)262 MB/s

Transferring lots of data is easy and fast with a 15GB transfer coming in at 262MB/s. The processor has no problem handling a few simultaneous connections, but if you’re running some software like Plex with a client streaming and transcoding, some sluggishness should be expected with the dual-core chip.

Still, being an Intel processor, the TerraMaster F2-223 has access to hardware transcoding, making it a contender for one of the best Plex NAS for those on tighter budgets. It’s just a shame there’s no option to add an expansion unit. Once the two drive bays are fully populated, you’re out of luck.

TerraMaster F2-223: Competition

TerraMaster F2-223 and QNAP TS-253E
TerraMaster F2-223 with the QNAP TS-253E.

As aforementioned, the Synology DiskStation DS220+ is a close contender to this NAS. We’ve already compared the Synology DiskStation DS220+ vs. TerraMaster F2-221 and here we are comparing TerraMaster’s successor. The F2-223 has a newer and more capable processor in the form of the Intel Celeron N4505.

There’s also the inclusion of a dedicated HDMI port, two M.2 slots, and 2.5GbE networking, all of which aren’t present on the DS220+. It’s cheaper, more powerful, and newer. TerraMaster is onto a winner here, at least until Synology comes out with a DS220+ successor.

It’s a similar story comparing this NAS to competing QNAP and ASUSTOR enclosures. In order to match the specifications of this NAS with competitor brands, you can expect to pay an additional $50, if not more.

TerraMaster F2-223: Should you buy?

TerraMaster F2-223
Front of the TerraMaster F2-223.

Who should buy this?

  • Those who require a NAS with two drive bays.
  • Those who want a good value Intel-powered enclosure.
  • Those who aren’t seeking a huge catalog of apps and cloud support.

Who shouldn’t buy this?

  • Those who want the very best Plex performance.
  • Those who need to store a lot of data.
  • Those who need 5GbE ports (or higher).

The TerraMaster F2-223 is an impressive enclosure for the price. Compared to ASUSTOR, QNAP, and Synology, TerraMaster manages to undercut the competition through aggressive pricing. The enclosures don’t tend to be the most well-rounded with extensive cloud and app support but they offer a more affordable way to access more powerful features.

This is a well-equipped enclosure for less than $300, offering far better value than competing hardware.

The Intel Celeron processor is more than enough for most tasks typically undertaken on a two-bay NAS such as this enclosure. It’s not the most powerful Intel Celeron processor inside NAS (and TerraMaster does offer the F2-423 with a better chip). Still, it’s good enough for 4K transcoding and running some intensive software. For storing data in one location, it’s perfect.

And that’s our view on the TerraMaster F2-223. It’s not the best NAS, but it’s not designed to be. This is a well-equipped enclosure for less than $300, offering far better value than competing hardware.

TerraMaster F2-223

TerraMaster F2-423
TerraMaster F2-223. (Source: TerraMaster)

We’re big fans of what TerraMaster is able to offer for the low price with the F2-223. Having an Intel processor unlocks much potential, even if it isn’t the most capable chip available from the Celeron series.

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