Terramaster D6-320 6-bay: 30 second review
Terramaster D6-320 6-bay Specs
Disk Slot Number: 6
Compatible Disk Types: 3.5" SATA HDD, 2.5" SATA HDD, 2.5" SATA SSD
Maximum Internal Raw Capacity: 132TB
Reading/Writing Speed: Up to 1016MB/s (Read), 986MB/s (Write)
Noise Level: 28.4 dB(A)
Power Supply: 120W, AC Input 100V to 240V
Size: 226 x 130 x 218 mm
Weight: Net weight 3.4 Kg, Gross weight 4.5 Kg
Warranty: 2 years
The TerraMaster D6-320 is a 6-bay external hard disk enclosure that combines speed, storage, and versatility. Designed to accommodate the modern-day data hoarder, like the amateur photographer who stores every high-res RAW files they've ever taken, or the professional video editor who simply needs a flexible mass storage solution the TerraMaster D6-320 6-bay has the flexibility to accommodate.
Utilising the latest USB 3.2 Gen2 protocol, the D6-320 boasts a data transmission bandwidth of 10Gbps. That's a real-world read and write speeds reaching up to 1,016MB/s with the right hard drives and configuration of course. That's a huge amount of potential especially when dealing with large media files. Add to that the capability to support a wide range of hard drives, including 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch SATA hard disks and 2.5-inch SATA SSDs.
However, there are caveats. For instance, while it claims to offer super-large storage space, it only works in a single-disk working mode as there is no built-in hardware RAID functionality. If you want to RAID your drives, then you'll need to do that in a third-party piece of software. And if you're looking to extend your NAS storage, it's worth noting that this function is only available on TerraMaster NAS drive systems running TOS 5.1 or above.
However, the D6-320 is unique in what it offers at this price and will offer a simple and highly affordable solution for many.
Price and Availablity
The TerraMaster D6-320 is currently available at a retail price of $299.99 While that price tag may seem steep initially for what is essentially an empty enclosure, you're paying for one of the most flexible storage solutions out there.
Unlike other hardware RAIDs or enclosures, the TerraMaster D6-320 6-bay stands out for its six bays. Simply lock and load a drive into the caddy and insert and it will appear on the desktop like an individual drive. So if you have six drives installed you'll see six drives appear. However, if you decide to use a software RAID to secure your data, then this is the perfect solution.
For approximately $65, you'll get a 1TB drive, and then you can scale up as you need more capacity and performance. If you're looking at the speedier 2.5-inch SATA SSDs, you'll also need to factor in the cost of caddies to make them fit snugly into the 3.5-inch slots. These caddies usually retail for around $5 to $10 each.
So, the total investment could easily climb into the £700-£800/$700-£800 range if you're going for a full setup with higher-end drives. It's essential to consider these additional costs as you assess the D6-320's value proposition.
The TerraMaster D6-320 follows functional aesthetics, placing practicality and performance above stylish design. Its design can be best described as industrial-chic, boasting an all-metal enclosure that leans more towards "robust" than "elegant." But don't let that put you off; this workhorse is built for serious business.
Positioned at the rear are two large fans, that will keep things cool even under heavy load and when pushing the device to its limits. These fans effectively dissipate heat, ensuring your drives stay cool even under intense operation. Right next to the fans, you'll find the power input neatly tucked away to keep your workspace uncluttered
A solitary USB Type-C port graces the back of the unit. It's a versatile connector that allows you to hook up the D6-320 to a compatible TerraMaster NAS box or directly to your computer. However, this single USB port also has a caveat—it can only serve as the terminal link in a daisy chain of NAS systems. It's a bit of a limitation if you're planning a more complex setup.
One design feature that deserves special mention is the hot swap capability for the hard drives. A simple push and release of the locking mechanism allows you to swiftly extract or insert drives—even while the machine is operational.
The TerraMaster D6-320 is packed with features that both amateur and professional tech enthusiasts will appreciate. One of the standout attributes is its Compatibility with a range of hard disk types. However, it's worth noting that this feature is most optimized for TerraMaster NAS systems running TOS 5.1 or above. This Compatibility is especially useful for those who need scalable storage solutions, enabling gradual build-up of storage capacity over time.
Then there's the hot-swapping functionality, a great feature for those looking for an integrated system that enables you to quickly clear drives without having to eject and reconnect drives. During testing, the device performed admirably with a 500GB WD Green drive and a variety of older drives that I needed to back up and clear, with the hot swap function this all became very quick and easy, aside from the drives that had unfortunately already come to the end of their spinning lives.
When it comes to performance, the D6-320 doesn't disappoint. With a USB Type-C controller, the drive speeds are exceptional, reaching up to 450MB/s when SSDs are used. Intelligent features like the disk sleep function worked well and the NAS fell silent when the computer switched off or fell asleep. This functionality has been tested and performed well, particularly when connected to an OWC hub.
The D6-320 marries key features with practical, real-world applications, making it a decent choice for a huge range of storage needs.
Outfitted with SSDs, this NAS system shoots up to transfer speeds of around 450MB/s, which is outstanding but only just touches the surface of what's possible. Even with HDDs, we clocked it at a respectable 140MB/s using WD Red drives. Using lower-end WD Green drives and the test results still pulled in a decent 80MB/s.
Despite its high-speed performance, the D6-320 runs nicely quiet, with the most worrying noise coming from a hard drive that was coming close to the end of its life. The noise from the operation and fan is completely acceptable with the intelligent, temperature-controlled fan ensuring everything is kept cool even when transferring large amounts of data.
Given that this is a 6-bay NAS system, you have many RAID options for balancing speed, redundancy, and capacity. RAID 0 would be the way to go for speed-obsessed users, although you'll be trading off data protection. If you're looking for a balanced profile, RAID 5 or 6 would be more suitable, providing both speed and one or two-drive failure tolerance, respectively. And if it's maximum data protection you're after, RAID 10 delivers on that front. All of these options are available with software and I utilized Apple's Disk Utility in the first instance to Create a RAID 1.
Due to the set-up of the disks, it's possible to create different RAID Arrays, and while Apple's software can get you started a more advanced option is required to make full use of the potential.
The TerraMaster D6-320 delivers an excellent combination of speed and capacity without skimping on features or requiring a complicated setup. The beauty of this system is its simplicity that anyone can understand and use. Of course, the disks and configurations you choose will inevitably affect the overall speed, but what's good to know is at the base of the TerraMaster D6-320 6-bay is the potential for the upper speeds of the disks that it contains.
Should you buy a TerraMaster D6-320 NAS
The TerraMaster D6-320 NAS enclosure is a great piece of kit if aesthetically underwhelming, offering a sturdy build and a superb set of features like hot swapping, intelligent temperature control, and disk sleep functionality. It stands out particularly in the performance department, delivering impressive speed even when fully populated. However, it's not without its limitations—the single USB Type-C port and specific compatibility requirements might make it less suitable for some. If you are looking to buy a TerraMaster D6-320 NAS then it is a sound investment offering robust performance and reliability that will enable you to consolidate your storage or expand capacity. Just make sure it fits within your existing or planned tech ecosystem.
Value: Robust features at a fair price. 4 / 5
Design: Robust, Functional, Compact, Industrial, User-Friendly 3.5 / 5
Features: Versatile, Scalable, Speedy, Secure, Efficient 4 / 5
Performance: Fast, Reliable, Quiet, Customisable, Robust 4.5 / 5
Total: Versatile, Powerful, Efficient, User-Friendly, Solid 4 / 5