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Hardware

The DS-409+ is powered by a Freescale Semiconductor microprocessor (MPU) known as MPC8533VTARJ. This is a RISC-based processor using a 32-bit wide memory bus and designed to operate at 1067MHz. The processor is passively cooled using a small aluminum heatsink that looks much like something you would find on a south bridge motherboard chip.

Rather than soldering the memory chips directly to the PCB, as was the case with past Synology NAS devices, the DS-409+ features a single SO-DIMM slot that comes preloaded with 512MB of DDR2-667 memory. Although removing the DDR2 module will void your warranty, it would be possible to upgrade the DS409+ with 1GB of memory or more.

Also featured on the PCB is a Marvell 88SX7042, Silicon Image Sil3132CNU, and Marvell 88E8001-LKJ1 controller. The Marvell 88SX7042 is a PCI Express 4x SATA controller that supports up to 4 ports. The eSATA hard drive is connected to the Silicon Image Sil3132CNU controller.

The Marvell 88E8001-LKJ1 controller gives the DS-409+ gigabit LAN support. It is also worth mentioning that Synology has gone with a 100% solid capacitor design, making the DS-409+ a more durable product.

The motherboard supports a total of four SATA ports, along with four power connectors. These ports are easy to access, making drives installation a breeze. There are also two 3-pin fan headers, which are used by default to power the dual 80mm fans.

There is one more obvious ingredient that must be added and that is the hard drives. The DS-409+ compatibility list is quite broad, supporting a wide range of Hitachi, Maxtor, Samsung, Seagate and Western Digital hard drives. At this stage Western Digital 2TB drives are supported, though there is no mention of support for the Seagate versions just yet.