Hardware

The LG N2A2 is powered by the popular Marvell 88F6281 SoC (System-on-Chip). This controller includes a 256KB L2 cache and typically operates between 1.0 and 1.2GHz -- it's clocked at 1GHz on the LG NAS. The Marvell chip doesn't require any passive cooling, just as we've found with the faster 88F6282 which works at speeds up to 2.0GHz.

To save space the N2A2 does not feature any SO-DIMM slots for the system memory. Rather there's a single memory chip soldered directly to the PCB providing a 128MB capacity. The Hynix HY5PS1G1631C module works at 667MHz using CAS5-5-5 timings.

The tiny motherboard measures just 3.7" wide x 4.3" long (9.5 x 11cm) and features a pair of SATA ports which are connected to the Marvell 88F6281 SoC, as are the two external USB 2.0 ports. There is also a 3-pin fan header located on the PCB which is used by default to power the 50mm sleeve fan.

The PCB also houses the Marvell 88E1118R-NNC2 controller which provides the N2A2 with Gigabit LAN. Other than the pair of Marvell controllers, the PCB lacks any significant components.

There's just one more obvious ingredient: the 3.5" hard drives. The N2A2 is exclusively configured with a pair of Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C 1TB hard drives, which are valued at roughly $65 each and feature a 7200RPM spindle speed and 32MB of cache.

Although the N2A2 doesn't have a hot-swappable design, it's mostly irrelevant as the unit is not meant to be customized. That said, getting inside and replacing the drives once the unit is out of warranty is not a problem -- we actually found the process to be quite user friendly barring some software issues we'll explain on page five. The drives are connected to a pair of pre-installed custom length SATA data and power cables.