Ugreen DXP8800 Plus network storage review: good hardware, beta software

Ugreen DXP8800 Plus review: mature hardware, young software

uGreen DXP8800 Plus

3.0/5 Kickstarter Fund

Accessory maker Ugreen is moving into a new product category and has launched a wide range of network attached storage devices with excellent price/performance ratio. Unfortunately, the line comes with software that's too immature to recommend without reservation today.

The Ugreen NASync line includes storage devices for consumer and professional use, ranging from two-bay devices to 8-bay versions. It also offers a four-bay version aimed at multimedia professionals that uses M.2 NVMe drives to deliver fast speeds.

For this review, Ugreen provided us with the DXP8800 Plus, an eight-bay model designed to provide high storage capacity for business and power users.

As a first step into the NAS space, Ugreen is expected to stick with a fairly simple design, namely an entry-level offering a basic level of features and a few frills. Instead, Ugreen tries to jump to the fences on the first try.

The field was located right in the middle, the swing was clean, and the ball hit deep into the center of the field — but he has not yet cleared the wall.

Ugreen DXP8800 Plus 8- Bay NAS Review – Design

The DXP8800 Plus is a fairly typical looking NAS with an aluminum chassis that's the size you'd expect from a device that can accommodate eight hard drives.

The drive cassettes are locked, each with separate mechanisms on the front, under an identification number. Below and to the left is a row of nine indicators for drive activity and network connection, as well as the main power button.

Ugreen DXP8800 Plus review: A Mac Pro to scale

For easy downloads and media access, there are also two Thunderbolt 4 ports, as well as an SD card reader 4.0 and USB 3.2 Gen 2 connection operating at speeds up to 10 Gbps.

However, these ports do not provide features similar to Drobo. You cannot use them to connect directly to a computer and use the hardware as direct storage. They are intended only for expanding NAS using regular enclosures.

On the back there is a large magnetic dust cover with the Ugreen logo in the middle. There's a second USB 3.2 connection, as well as two 480Mbps USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, a Kensington lock slot, and a pair of 10Gbps Ethernet connections that can be combined up to 20Gbps on a properly configured and equipped network.

Ugreen DXP8800 Plus review: back panel, with ports and removable magnetic dust cover

This last point is especially useful for enterprise networks, as you expect to reap the benefits high-speed network infrastructure to provide access to files to many users. This is certainly overkill for home users today, but some other lower-bandwidth models also include 2.5 Gigabit ports.

In addition, there is a PCI-E 4.0 x4 slot on the rear panel of the case, providing more expansion options.

There is an expansion door underneath the device that can be unscrewed. The compartment contains two slots for RAM and two slots for M.2 drives.

During operation and under load, the device noise is about 49 decibels at a distance of a meter from the device, which is mainly due to the rattling of the drive and the whine of the fan. This isn't too bad, and considering most network attached storage devices aren't on your desk, it's not a problem at all.

Review of Ugreen DXP8800 Plus 8-bay NAS storage – Disks and processing

Installing discs into individual disc trays is easy and requires no tools. Once the tray is pulled out, you can slide out a section on one side of the tray to accommodate the drive, and then push it back in to secure it inside the tray. There are also screw holes for 2.5-inch drives such as SSDs.

Ugreen DXP8800 Plus review: how the drive tray can install drives without screws or tools

With eight main bays for installing 3.5-inch hard drives drives, the DXP8800 Plus has the highest potential capacity in the lineup simply due to the number of drives. It can accommodate up to eight 22 terabyte drives and simultaneously install up to 176 terabytes of spinning platters.

However, Ugreen claims that the maximum capacity of the DXP8800 Plus is actually 184 terabytes. This includes two M.2 SSD slots, each of which can accommodate a 4TB drive.

These M.2 drives can be used for additional storage, but they can also be used for caching, potentially allowing users to enjoy even faster data transfer speeds than with just spinning metal.

Another positive aspect of the DXP8800 Plus is its handling of grunt. Featuring a 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235u processor with dual 4.4GHz performance cores and eight 3.3GHz efficiency cores, as well as 12 threads, the NAS boasts multitasking capabilities and hardware video decoding.

Aiding the processor is 8GB of DDR5 memory clocked at 4800 MHz, which again helps improve speed. However, users can upgrade the memory manually, with the maximum supported RAM being 64 gigabytes. The processor also provides PCI-E 4 support for the expansion slot on the device.

Ugreen DXP8800 Plus review: door under the device with M.2 and RAM slots

This processor is powerful enough to handle many of the tasks the device performs simultaneously I just can't do it right now. But more on that later.

While users can keep the NAS running under JBOD, it also includes support for various RAID configurations. The DPX8800 Plus can operate with RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 and 10, providing a wide range of capacity, speed and redundancy options.

That's all well and good, but network attached storage devices often contain drives of different sizes. As stated, the UGOS Pro operating system cannot handle this configuration in RAID and requires all disks to be the same size.

This may change over time, but as of April 2024 this functionality does not exist.

Review of Ugreen DXP8800 Plus NAS storage with 8 bays – setup and interface

Once the drives are installed, setting up the DPX8800 Plus is fairly straightforward. After downloading and installing the client software, you are given the ability to search for the NAS on your network, followed by a registration process and then the creation of a local management account.

This registration is required to use external network features such as SMS notifications and remote access through the companion mobile app.

Desktop and mobile apps allow users to stream movies stored on the NAS, view photos, and manage and transfer files. To ensure file security, the software includes SHA256 encryption and uses SSL/TLS for transmission.

The built-in security manager also offers real-time protection functions and can be used to schedule virus scans of your data.

As of April 2024, the operating system is generally acceptable. It works and delivers the expected speeds on a 10Gbps wired network — but it lacks the features that other devices have.

For example, there is no two-factor authentication or full encryption. We expect improvement over time, but can't give them credit for it right now. Obviously, those who occupy NAS space for a long time have more mature software.

In addition, many applications available for other NAS ecosystems are not available. Currently, support for virtual machines is limited, and there is no way to install Plex or the BitTorrent client outside of a container.

For more advanced users, Docker was added in the last days of this review. This allows you to install these applications from other sources, which greatly expands the capabilities of the device.

Before Docker debuted, this review was a little harsher. However, this does not change the fact that most NAS users prefer native applications to Docker containers.

For a narrower range of users, there is no iSCSI support at all, and there doesn't seem to be a short-term path to adding it.

As for alternative operating systems, there is a documented process for this, and we've been tinkering with TrueNAS for a while. UGreen initially stated that doing so would void all hardware warranties, but in recent days comments in the Kickstarter threads have cleared up the issue.

In general, these are big omissions. We cannot review products based on features that do not exist. This is the problem of the target audience — but hopefully short-lived.

Ugreen DXP8800 Plus 8-Bay NAS Review – Multimedia and Photos

A powerful Intel processor will at some point excel at typical transcoding and media streaming functions. This will be useful if you have a collection of movies that you want to watch. While you can stream them over your local network, the built-in HDMI port allows for a more direct connection without network access, and also supports 8K video — but the existing HDMI playback interface is shaky.

Ugreen DXP8800 Plus Review: Rear Ports with HDMI

This processing and memory speed also helps another smart technology used in the device. The NAS includes image recognition and classification, which means it can analyze and recognize the content of photos stored on its drives.

For end users, this can mean stopping browsing through entire collections to find the right photo by simply searching for photo packages using text prompts. Existing Photos users on macOS and iOS know how useful this can be, especially for large data collections.

Ugreen DXP8800 Plus 8-Bay NAS Storage Review – A Great First Try

A company's first attempt at introducing a product in a new category may result in it hitting the fence and missing the mark as designers and engineers understand the hardware.

Some of this is on display here. The hardware is good, but the software is currently lacking. Let's see how this changes over time.

Ugreen is showcasing the DXP8800 Plus NAS, which can easily be used in a business environment or on an extremely demanding home network. Add in things like automated image recognition, 8K video support, and massive amounts of memory, and you've got some extremely powerful hardware.

As of mid-April 2024, its software is not very functional. In fact, it is still in beta testing.

I really like the hardware. But given the immaturity of the software, it won't replace my Synology just yet. We'll try again in about six months.

Ugreen DXP8800 Plus 8- Bay NAS Review – pros

  • Excellent price-performance ratio.
  • Powerful hardware for the price.
  • Easy expansion of PCI-E, SSD and RAM
  • Quite convenient disc trays, but…

Ugreen DXP8800 Plus 8-Bay NAS Review – Cons

  • These trays would be much better if they were metal
  • As of April 2024, the Ugreen NAS operating system is still in fairly early beta.
  • Hybrid RAID is not currently supported.
  • Extremely limited today native application support
  • No iSCSI support.

Rating: 3 out of 5

We cannot evaluate products on promised future features. The UGreen DXP8800 Plus has superior hardware, but other NAS devices have more mature software.

In a month of working with the device, we have not encountered any data loss, but we are afraid that somewhere the beta version has access to important files and the ability to destroy them if something happens. go bad.

However, we want to emphasize that a single network attached storage device used for production is in no way a backup solution. Make sure that if you purchase any network-attached storage device from any vendor, you also have cold storage for your important files.

In any case, if all you ever need is network-attached storage, at some point in 2024 you'll probably be suited to the Ugreen NAS line — not today, unless you want to put the hardware on a shelf and wait for OS updates. We'll come back to this later this year as the operating system evolves.

Where to buy Ugreen DXP8800 Plus with 8 NAS bays

Currently, the Ugreen DXP8800 and other models in this group are funded on Kickstarter through crowdfunding. The company has proven itself well, the project is significantly overfinanced, and the supply of equipment does not particularly concern us.

However, any crowdfunding project comes with risks.

As of mid-April, the DXP8800 Plus is priced at $974, with an expected retail price of $1,499, according to review. By comparison, the eight-bay Synology DS1823sx+ retails for $1,800.

Other devices with varying numbers of bays and processors are available on Kickstarter. Deliveries are expected in June 2024.

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