TerraMaster T6-423 and its box

TerraMaster T6-423 review: Expansive storage on a budget

TerraMaster is known for creating some of the more value-focused NAS on the market and the TerraMaster T6-423 is one fine example. It’s a six-bay enclosure with an Intel processor, M.2 slots for SSDs, upgradable RAM, and speedy networking. Being a more expensive TerraMaster NAS, it’s essential to consider how this stacks up against the competition.

Powered by the TerraMaster Operating System (TOS), the TerraMaster T6-423 promises similar performance to the company’s other premium enclosures, including the F4-423, but in a tower form factor. With plenty of options for upgrades, the TerraMaster T6-423 is an excellent choice for those looking for a stable foundation to grow a business.

TerraMaster provided NAS Master with a T6-423 sample for the purposes of this review. Let’s see if this is one of the best NAS TerraMaster has launched.

TerraMaster T6-423

Expansive storage performance

TerraMaster T6-423
TerraMaster T6-423. (Source: TerraMaster)
CPUIntel Celeron N5095
GPUIntel UHD Graphics
RAM4 GB DDR4
(32 GB max)
Bays6 (SSD/HDD)
Expansion2x M.2 2280 (SSD/PCIe)
Cooling2x 80 mm
Ports2x 2.5GbE
2x USB-A 3.1
1x HDMI
Power draw~39.2 W
  • Impressive performance
  • Build quality
  • Two M.2 slots
  • Speedy networking
  • Drives require screws
  • Useless HDMI port

Price and availability

Being a more affordable six-bay enclosure, the TerraMaster T6-423 comes in at $700. That’s a fair chunk of change to part with for a TerraMaster branded NAS but this has some serious specifications. An Intel CPU, 4GB of RAM, two M.2 slots, and 2.5GbE networking make this a compelling purchase.

Design and features

Front of the TerraMaster T6-423
Front of the TerraMaster T6-423. (Source: NM)

TerraMaster NAS enclosures usually come in the form of a metal and plastic chassis with an aluminum finish but the TerraMaster T6-423 is in an entirely different league. It’s a silver metal enclosure with a black front. It certainly has a more compelling and professional look, which is reflected in the $700 price tag.

The right side is completely bare and the left has some ventilation for cool air to be sucked in to help keep the six hard drives operating within optimal temperature ranges. The six drive bays can be removed easily and are locked into place. Compared to more affordable TerraMaster NAS, these bays feel more sturdy and premium.

On the rear of the NAS is the array of ports as well as two 80mm fans. Two 2.5GbE connections make up the networking stack, two USB-A 3.1 ports can be used for external drives and other mediums, and a HDMI port is reserved for select usage. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to use the port for viewing content stored on the NAS.

I’m a big fan of the design of the TerraMaster T6-423. With this enclosure and the recently released F2-212, the company seems to be on a roll when it comes to design improvements. Accessing the M.2 slots is fairly straightforward compared to other TerraMaster enclosures too.

Software

TerraMaster TOS 5

Powering the T6-423 is the TerraMaster Operating System (TOS). It’s still a little rough compared to some of the competitor platforms, but the company has worked hard on improving the user experience and it’s starting to pay off. The installation process takes a few minutes and it’s easy to get up and running.

One area where TOS continues to fall behind is with app support. TerraMaster has been attempting to solve this through community-made apps and services, but it doesn’t quite have the same appeal as what Synology’s DSM offers. You won’t have any trouble with storing files, running Plex and some other services, however.

Performance

TerraMaster T6-423 disk trays removed
TerraMaster T6-423 disk trays removed. (Source: NM)

Inside the TerraMaster T6-423 is the trusty Intel Celeron N5095 processor. It has four physical cores with four threads. The chip will run at 2.0GHz and boost to 2.9GHz should the need arises. This makes the N5095 ideal for resource-intensive tasks such as running Plex Media Server.

4GB of RAM is installed by TerraMaster and the company states the NAS will be able to handle up to 32GB. Intel has just 16GB as the maximum capacity, but this is the case with other TerraMaster enclosures with the same processor. It’s more than enough for six drives and two M.2 NVMe SSDs.

Inside the TerraMaster T6-423
Inside the TerraMaster T6-423. (Source: NM)

In our testing I was able to fully saturate the two 2.5GbE connections. This makes the T6-423 ideal for busier households and/or offices where multiple people are connecting to the same hub. Running apps that are available through TerraMaster’s storefront is not an issue either even without upgrading RAM.

Competition

Synology DiskStation DS1522+
Synology DiskStation DS1522+. (Source: NAS Master)

There’s not too much competition against the TerraMaster T6-423 as the six-bay NAS segment isn’t as popular as two and four bay enclosures. On the Synology front, there’s the Synology DiskStation DS1621+ with six bays but a more traditional horizontal layout. The Synology NAS is also powered by an AMD Ryzen V1500B.

QNAP has the TVS-672XT with 10GbE networking, an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of DDr4 RAM out of the box, and two M.2 slots. There’s room to install two PCI cards, an HDMI port that can actually be used for directly streaming content, and an excellent operating system for managing everything.

Is the TerraMaster T6-423 suitable for Plex?

Plex
Plex. (Source: NM)

The TerraMaster T6-423 is powered by the Intel Celeron N5095 processor. You’ll find this chip inside many of the best Plex NAS that are capable of handling 4K transcoding on the fly, making them ideal for running Plex Media Server. The TerraMaster T6-423 is one such NAS and I’d recommend it for a media streaming service.

One thing worth noting (as is the case with every TerraMaster NAS) is the lack of any functionality through the HDMI port. It cannot be used for streaming media directly to a TV or monitor. That said, this enclosure will easily be able to transcode more than one 4K stream simultaneously.

Should you buy the TerraMaster T6-423?

TerraMaster T6-423 disk trays removed
TerraMaster T6-423 disk trays removed. (Source: NM)

Do I recommend you purchase the TerraMaster T6-423? Absolutely, so long as the NAS ticks all the right boxes for your needs. The six drive bays are capable of holding 22 TB drives each, resulting in a maximum total capacity of 132 TB before taking into account RAID. That’s plenty of storage space, even for busier homes and offices.

The Intel Celeron N5095 is a beastly little chip and it works well in this form factor. Paired with two 2.5GbE ports, you’ll have no issue transferring a lot of data in quick succession. TerraMaster’s TOS operating system has also come a long way with recent updates and I’ve found it to be more pleasant to use daily.

It’s a striking tower NAS with a premium look, but that’s where things come to an end as the drive trays themselves require screws to be attached in securing the drives. The HDMI port is also borderline useless, which is a shame since it would have been great for media use. Still, the TerraMaster T6-423 is a superb six-bay NAS for the price.

TerraMaster T6-423

TerraMaster T6-423
TerraMaster T6-423. (Source: TerraMaster)

The TerraMaster T6-423 is a superb enclosure for the price. Six drive bays, a premium metal structure, speedy networking ports, and high-quality trays make this a compelling network storage device.

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