I bought the ts-140 from a slickdeals thread several months back. I got the core i-3 based unit with 8gb of ecc ram.
I promptly upgraded the ram to 12gb, which looking back probably wasn’t necessary. I also modified the case to allow me to store more 3.5″ hard drives. The real shortcoming of the ts-140 is the lack of drive spaces in the case. It has room for several cd-rom drives, but that’s not really necessary in a NAS device.
I was able to grab a 5 drive rack from ebay that I shoehorned into the case. It took some work with a dremel and a drill, but it fits… just barely. I also trimmed the front of the case to allow me to install a slim 120mm cooling fan. I had to remove the front usb 3.0 ports, but I wasn’t using them anyway so the sacrifice was worthwhile.
My modified case:
As you can see the drives and the fan just barely fit, but that still counts! the face of the drives where the power and data connect are extremely tight to the side panel of the case. I ended up buying 90 degree sata connectors to create room, but I had to contend with the power connectors as well. the factory setup has large spaces between the connectors so you end up with excess wire. I bought some 90 degree connectors online and punched them onto the power wires to get the spacing just right. Now everything squeezes in just enough to get the side panel closed.
I ran the server while plugged into my kill-a-watt to get some power readings. Sitting at idle it uses around 40-50 watts and under load or during startup it jumps past 60-70, but that’ not typical for my usage.
For software I has nas4free running on a thumbdrive. It’s a pretty normal installation with 1 zfs pool that includes all my drives. I ended up with 22.6tb of storage for my media files etc.
If I end up wanting more drives in the future I will have to add another drive cage in the top section where the cd-rom area is, which shouldn’t be too hard. I will also need some sort of raid card to get more sata connections. The real pain will be the psu. If I upgrade I have to repin it to fit the funky lenovo connections on the motherboard. Not a deal breaker, but annoying to have to deal with.