Not too many people have four identical drives lying around. I know I didn’t, but Nate did happen to have five Western Digital WD1500 SATA Raptor hard drives he used in testing the Thecus N5200. He let me borrow four of them for my testing. These drives came out in 2006 and are no longer in production as they have been replaced by newer and faster drives such as the Western Digital VelociRaptor that Nate reviewed a number of months ago. The weakness of these Western Digital Raptor WD1500 hard drives is the fact that they are only SATA 1.5GBps and not SATA 3 Gbps, so keep that in mind during the benchmark results.
Installing the drives in the Thecus N4100PRO is very simple, and the only thing that is needed is a Philips screwdriver and about five minutes of free time. In order to attach the hard drives to the trays, simply attach the four screws to the bottom of the drive through the tray. Once all the drives are installed they can be locked in place so no one can open a tray and pull one out when you aren’t around. The box itself measures only 6”W x 8”H x 9”D, so if you are worried about theft then be sure to secure the entire server as well.
The Thecus N4100PRO only has connections for the standard SATA backplate, so if you wanted to use IDE drives or the original Western Digital VelociRaptors (WD1500GLFS), you are out of luck with this model. The new Western Digital VelociRaptors (WD1500HLFS) with the standard backplane do work in the Thecus N4100PRO!