Upgrading The QNAP TS-870 NAS – New CPU And RAM

Upgrading The QNAP TS-870 NAS – New CPU And RAM


Hey guys, Jarrod here and today we’re going
to upgrade the CPU and RAM in my QNAP TS-870 NAS, because well why not! Almost two years ago I bought this QNAP TS-870
NAS to store most of my files on, it’s been great as I can centrally access files anywhere
on my network at home. By default the NAS came installed with an Intel Celeron G1620
CPU at 2.7GHz with 2 CPU cores and no hyperthreading. There’s also a single stick of 2GB DDR3
RAM at 1333MHz. While these basic specs have been alright
and I honestly haven’t noticed any performance issues, I wanted to try out some simple upgrades
that would help in speeding things up for years to come. First we’ll look at the CPU. This particular NAS uses Intel socket 1155,
so I could essentially get any CPU that would fit this to replace the low tier Celeron. As this socket is end of life I had a look
on Ebay through different 3000 series i3, i5 and i7 CPUs, particularly T and S series
chips. CPUs ending in ‘S’ have a peak TDP of 65W, while CPUs ending in ‘T’ have
a peak TDP of 35 or 45w. This is mainly for power efficiency, a NAS
is typically a low power device and as I leave it running 24/7 and the CPU cooler is a passive
system, a chip with a low TDP is definitely preferable. In the end I found a i5-3470S for $110 in
my area so I could cut down on shipping, most of the CPUs would have come from overseas
which increased the cost. This is a 4 core CPU at 2.9GHz and can turbo to 3.6GHz at 65w
TDP. There’s no hyperthreading available here, however I decided that it should be
fine as we’re still doubling the total core count from the stock CPU and increasing the
speed. While the maximum power draw is a little higher than I’d have liked, it’s only
10W higher than the original chip so it should be fine with the stock cooling system. In regards to the memory, there are two RAM
slots available with only one of them in use with a 2gb stick. This model of NAS supports
up to 16gb of RAM so I bought 2x 8gb sticks of SODIMM memory at 1600MHz for around $100
AUD, so 8x the amount of RAM and slightly faster. Now I’ll walk you through what’s involved
in the upgrade process, keep in mind that this will void your warranty. The only tools
I used were a few different sizes of phillips head screwdriver, as well as a permanent marker
so that I could mark cables. Before starting make sure that you have unplugged the NAS
from the power. I’ll also note that there is a lot of sharp metal inside the NAS, so
be careful when you’re poking around. So to begin with we basically want to take
off the case of the NAS, and to do this you just need to unscrew the 6 screws all around
the outsides of the casing. After this I did actually have a bit of trouble popping the
case off, so I used a flat head screwdriver to pry around the edges until it basically
clicked up and I was able to slide the whole thing off. After this I start using a permanent marker
to start marking some of the cables so that I can plug them back in when reassembling.
Next I start taking some of the screws out of the back, namely those around the power
supply and network adapter card. After this I start taking out the rest of the screws
from the back with the exception of the screws that are holding the fans in. There’s also
3 screws under the NAS so don’t forget about those, and there’s also one on the bottom
on each side. Next I take out the network adapter card and
unplug the fans while I’m at it. At this point I remove the tiny screw which is between
the two audio jacks, and there’s also a hidden screw behind one of the stickers. Once
all those screws are out you should be able to just pop out the back. Next I start taking the screws out from the
power supply as that’s in the centre and I want to move it out of the way. At this
point I realise I’m going to need to move the hard drive backplane out because it’s
plugging directly into the mainboard, and to do this I need to take out the disks. I
probably should have done this at the start, and I’d recommend taking them out at the
start if you’re going through with this upgrade, you don’t really want to have those
disks in the NAS while you’re moving it around and working on it. Once the hard drives are out I take the cables
out from the power supply which are plugging into the hard drive backplane and the mainboard.
Next I start unscrewing some of the screws holding the CPU cooler on the mainboard for
the CPU to the actual case of the NAS itself. A bunch of these screws also hold the hard
drive backplane in place which I need to try and get out of the way so I can detach it
from the mainboard. This is one of the parts that will void your
warranty, there’s warranty sticker covering one of the screws on the back of the mainboard.
So I basically just move that out of the way then unscrew the four screws holding that
board in place. There’s also a sheet of plastic on the back that looks like it’s
doing a good job at covering it from dust, so I clean that off to use again when I reassemble
to keep dust off the mainboard. Once the mainboard is unscrewed I’m not
really able to move it out of the way as the hard drive backplane is still inserted into
the mainboard, so in order to get this out I need to unscrew it further so that I can
slide it outwards. I had to use a longer than average screwdriver in order to actually reach
the screws as they were in a bit of a weird position, but after that it slide out easily.
Once disconnected I just had to move the back of the NAS case with the fans out of the way
and then I was able to move the mainboard out. Once I had the board out there was this
single ribbon cable that was plugged into the NAS, it had a couple of melted plastic
pieces holding it in place, so I simply scratched these off with my fingers and then I’m able
to remove the ribbon cable and completely detach the the mainboard from the body of
the NAS so that I can start working on it. Once I’ve got the mainboard completely removed,
the first thing I do is take out that 2GB stick of RAM. Once this is done I open up
the 2 8GB sticks I bought and put them into the slots, and that’s basically all there
is for the RAM upgrade. Now for the CPU upgrade. I start by unscrewing
the screws of the heatsink from the mainboard so I can completely remove that heat sink
and get to the CPU. Once I’ve removed the heatsink I clear the thermal paste off and
then open the CPU socket and take out the old CPU. After that I get the new CPU, put it in the
socket, and start to apply my thermal paste. I probably should have closed the socket before
applying the thermal paste, but I don’t think it really matters too much. After the
thermal paste has been applied, I close the socket and get the CPU heatsink and begin
screwing it back evenly into the board. That’s basically all there is to it, the
RAM and CPU upgrade are now complete. So all that’s left is to reassemble the NAS which
is basically the reverse process of what I just said, so this will begin with attaching
the ribbon cable back to the mainboard, and then gently sliding the mainboard back into
its original position. After this I slide the hard drive backplane back in, attach the
cables, and then screw the mainboard back into the body of the NAS. After this it’s
just a case of putting all the screws back in, reattaching the network expansion card,
and screwing the power supply back into place. Then you just want to screw the back of the
case back into the body of the NAS. Once it’s all screwed back together you should be able
to put the case of the NAS back on and screw that into place. At this point I put my hard
drives back in, in the same order that I took them out, and then I put the three screws
back into the bottom of the NAS. So that’s all there is to it, the whole
thing took me a little over an hour. After reassembling the NAS of course I had one screw
left, oops. So now let’s compare some of the before
and after benchmarks to see what the changes actually did. Upon logging into the web interface of the
NAS we can see that our new hardware has correctly been detected. The first test I ran was to transcode a 105mb
video file from 1080p to 240p, 360p, 480p and 720p. Before the upgrade on the stock
CPU this took 2 minutes and 23 seconds to complete. After the upgrade transcoding the
same file took just 45 seconds thanks to the better performing CPU. I used hdparm with the -T flag which works
with cache to get an idea of the read speeds of the memory, before the upgrade I got around
6.5GB/s and after I got about 25GB/s, confirming that the new memory is helping out here. Next I mounted 1gb of RAM and wrote data to
it to get an idea of the write speeds. We can see here that after the upgrade the amount
of time taken to write a 1gb file was almost twice as fast going from around 600ms to 300ms. I also performed some basic hashing tests,
by hashing the same data as md5, sha1, sha256 and sha512. The results are a little faster
here, showing the increased single threaded performance. The upgraded CPU has AES-NI instructions which
essentially speed up AES operations at the hardware level rather than depending on software
to take care of it. I’m looking to encrypt the whole NAS in the future, so this functionality
will definitely be put to good use and I have therefore run some basic encryption benchmarks.
As we can see here, the after results in all of these AES tests is higher with the new
CPU as expected. In some tests the difference was not too much, while in others it was more
than 5 times faster. I also found that the temperatures were a
little better with the new CPU, under full load the Celeron CPU was sitting around 51c
while the upgraded CPU was sitting at 48c, the temperature of the room I was testing
in was 22c during both tests. The idle temperature both before and after the upgrade was around
46c. So that’s basically it, we can see that
the upgrades have improved things though admittedly this probably won’t have too many noticeable
real world improvements, however I have considered running some virtual machines on the NAS which
is more possible now. I’ve been considering upgrading to 10 gigabit,
however after running a local storage benchmark on the NAS directly and not over the network
I’m only getting around 120MB/s write speed anyway which is not much more than gigabit,
so this wouldn’t really be worth it unless I’m using SSD storage or caching. It’s
not currently practical to replace the disks with SSD’s and I don’t really want to
have to use a whole bay for a cache drive either as I’d prefer to have mass storage
instead. Also the costs associated with installing a 10gbe NIC in the NAS and my PC are pretty
high. Due to these reasons, 10 gigabit is on hold for now. In future I might also look at replacing the
fans with something a bit better and quieter, the stock fans both run at 600rpm while idling
and are a little too audible for my liking. As shown it’s not too difficult to get into
the NAS and perform the upgrades, it’s essentially a small low end server or PC when it comes
down to the components and replacing them. I liked that it wasn’t locked down and I
can actually get in and perform these upgrades if I want to, sure it will void the warranty
but it’s a good optional way to increase the power of your NAS if you need it. Thanks for watching, if you enjoyed this video
then make sure to leave a like, and comment if you have any questions or feedback. Also
don’t forget to subscribe for future videos like this one.

40 thoughts to “Upgrading The QNAP TS-870 NAS – New CPU And RAM”

  1. very nice i have a ts-453a for the moment,in the future i might upgrade to something of this size of 6 or 8 bays

  2. Excellent video! Good content, nice and concise and full of information. Sound and image both first class. Thanks for making it and sharing it!

  3. My question is, if i upgrade the memory in my NAS will it "Unlock" other apps to use i.e. i have a TS-469 PRO and if i "Upgrade my memory" will it unlock the Virtualization Station or other more memory intensive apps

  4. As diligent as you tried to be, your ip address was exposed @ 8:14. Need more whiteout there. Hopefully it's not relevant anymore, seeing this is a year+ old.

  5. I have two of these exact units and was wondering if this upgrade was possible. I peg the cpu at times right now and was wondering what a non celeron full intel would bring. Any issues with the OS after? I have my complete volumes encrypted so the on board AES support at cpu level will be a much welcomed bonus!

  6. QNAP TS-563-2G 5-Bay AMD 64bit x86-based NAS, Quad Core 2.0GHz, 2GB RAM, 2 x 1GbE, 10G-ready. This is from amazon: https://www.amazon.com/QNAP-TS-563-2G-x86-based-2-0GHz-10G-ready/dp/B00ZQ05TGE/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1519526696&sr=1-1&keywords=QNAP+TS-563-2G

  7. Hello
    Can the Qnap TS-1635-8G-US cpu be updated as well.
    If yes what is the highest cpu m can it takes.

  8. Hello, I have the TVS-682 with the intel i3 6100. Can I update with the Intel 7700 i7? Thank you for the video.

  9. Hi there, nice video.
    I have a ts-639 Qnap and I don't know what CPU is inside…
    Can I upgrade it please ?
    Also the RAM ?
    Thanks a lot.

  10. Do you think that the nuc board with a i3 7100u (nuc7i3dnbe) could be fit inside the 439 pro 2 as a full replacement of the original board ofc?

  11. Does somebody know if it's possible to upgrade the cpu from an QNAP NAS TS653A (Intel Celeron N3160 1.60Ghz 4 Core)? Thx!

  12. I just upgraded my qnap 470 ts to i7 3770S and 16gb ddr 3 ram 1600mhz.
    System flies. I added also 8$ pci nvme off ebay with 256gb toshiba nvme ssd it works like a charm. Used new arctic paste on cpu. Syste. Runs faaaast 😎 soo happy iam set for a while now.

  13. Hi, Do you know if TS859 memory (Uses single slot with 2 GB) can be upgraded to 4G or more? Also, if the CPU can be upgraded for better performance?

    I have seen you TS-870 which uses newer motherboard, CPU and Ram module ====>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFoox-OSoas&t=525s

  14. Hi, I have QNAP ts-569 pro with Intel Atom CPU D2701 @ 2.13GHz … What is RAM upgrade max? What about processor?

  15. On this hot Australian summer's day, I was wondering how the stock cooling went with your i5-3470S upgrade. I'd assume not a lot of difference for only +10W TDP. I've got the PRO model, which already has the i3-3220. For everyday use (maybe play around with virtualisation, but not seriously), I probably won't see a lot to be gained from any Ivy Bridge CPU upgrade. I've found an i7-3770 (TDP 77W) as well as the i5-3470S you used. Concerned I'll then have to mess around with the cooling in the case of the i7. What do you think? Keep the stock i3-3220 (55WTDP) and just upgrade the RAM? Put in the i7-3770 and deal with the cooling if necessary?

  16. Hey there! I'm thinking about buying the QNAP TS-873, but do you think that the CPU of that model is also upgradable? And if so; how do you know which CPU's will fit on the motherboard?

  17. Hello Jarrod, question – Do you think putting in a Intel I-7 cpu at 95 thb into the ts-870 pro would be to high? I saw that you used a Intel I-5 processor and you said that you were concerned about the tbd being higher than you liked but was ok . Do you think the I-7 would be ok, my qnap is on 24/7.
    Thank you
    Joe

  18. thanks for this detailed video. i'm finally getting around to upgrading my 870 pro, so my appologies for the very late reply! 🙂

    May i ask – why did you go with the 3470S over the 3470T, which you stated had a lower TDP rating which would be desirable. what it just a cost decision?
    I am still weighing my options as to what the best CPU to go for is… and am looking at their bigger brothers, the i7-3770T & 3770S. by your logic, the T is the better choice… so long as it's not too pricey. are you still running the same setup all these years later and happy with how everything has been?

  19. I know its an old video, but I still use my TS-870 Pro as a media server and backup storage device. I did your upgrade with 16 GB Crucial RAM ($80.00 US) and the i5-3470S ($18.00 on ebay). What a way to breathe new life into an otherwise awesome NAS. Although I'd have figured out the procedure myself, your video was most helpful !!! Thanks for sharing. Oh… BTW – your description says you used an i5-3450S not the 3470S you really used. I really like the i5-3450S as its a true 4-core CPU, not 2-core with HyperThreading. 4 full cores always performs better than 2 + 2HT. 😉

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