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Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS – Which NAS Software is Best for You?

30 janvier 2023 à 18:00

Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software & Hardware Comparison

When buying a NAS drive, it’s important to consider the software included with the purchase. Brands like Synology and QNAP offer different software designs, user priorities, and learning curves. Even if you plan to mostly use third-party software, you will still need to interact with the NAS software and GUI. The software for these brands is constantly evolving, so it’s difficult to compare them in a definitive way. However, we can examine their strengths and weaknesses to determine which one is best for you.


Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Brand Priorities

Before delving into a comparison of Synology DSM and QNAP QTS, it’s important to understand the company’s priorities and how they impact the software, hardware, and usability for different users. Synology generally has three key brand characteristics.

Synology NAS Brand and DSM Focus

First-Party Priority in Hardware and Software – Synology prioritizes its own software and hardware tools over third-party alternatives. In some instances, such as VMs and cloud services, they may also support third-party options, but their focus on their own products is evident. In other cases, they do not support third-party options as they design their systems around their own products, such as newer rackmount releases, Synology HDDs, memory upgrade modules, and Synology C2 in HybridShare.

Software Over Hardware – NAS systems is often viewed with scepticism by PC builders due to their relatively modest specifications and price tags. While it can be argued that NAS are 24×7 systems that prioritize storage, Synology NAS systems typically have more modest specs than other brands, with 1Gbe as the standard and limited upgrade options, especially for third-party options. This is primarily because Synology NAS solutions are a much more software-and-hardware combined package than other brands. Synology invests heavily in its software, and then ensures that its hardware can make the most of it. I will later discuss some standout apps from Synology, but it’s clear that their primary focus is on software.

Hiding/Removing Some Configuration/Customization options for Performance & Stability – The DSM platform of Synology NAS servers is highly regarded for its smoothness and responsiveness when accessed remotely. The system utilizes intelligent memory caching and flushing techniques to ensure fast performance, but this is achieved in certain ways that may not be preferred by all users. For example, certain applications may only work with data stored in specific directories, and some customization options may not be available to maintain the high performance of the system software. While some users may be bothered by these limitations, most users are unlikely to be affected.

QNAP on the other hand, although similar in a number of ways has a broader and more open platform. This typically means that a user who wants to create an especially bespoke setup, has lesser-known file formats to content with, wants to use their own software (with the NAS as a storage target) or just like to ‘have it their own way’ might prefer the QNAP QTS NAS ecosystem. Their brand priorities can be summarized as:

QNAP NAS Brand and QTS Focus

Balanced 1st Party and 3rd Party Software – When using QNAP NAS QTS software, it quickly becomes apparent that they aim to support a wide range of users and utilities, which can be seen as either very versatile or overwhelming. QNAP and QTS include a variety of first-party applications with the NAS hardware, such as file management, multimedia management, backups, and business-class services like VMs, Surveillance, and Cloud Hybrid/Gateway tools. One of the reasons some users choose QNAP over Synology is their support for third-party storage systems and software, and the ability to adapt to them. Unlike Synology, which prioritizes stability over flexibility, QNAP offers a more open platform for the end-user to customize the system to their existing hardware and software. However, it should be noted that this may not be as straightforward as with Synology.

First To Release NAS Hardware – The last five years have seen QNAP at the forefront of many significant innovations in network-attached storage. They were the first to introduce the TS-2490FU All NVMe U.2 and ZFS rackmount (as well as new PCIe Gen 4 flash systems in 2022), combined 10Gbe and NVMe SSD Combo cards in their QM2 series, and changed the editing experience for many professionals in video post-production with Thunderbolt-enabled NAS. QNAP is widely considered the most innovative brand in the market, but some of their groundbreaking hardware could benefit from more development time before being released. This can be seen in the comparison between the QNAP QM2 card and the Synology E10M20-T1, which were released almost 18 months apart, but with significant differences in design and functionality.

Software Development On the Fly – The QNAP NAS QTS software is designed to support a wide range of users and utilities, which can be seen as both versatile and overwhelming. QNAP and QTS include many first-party applications with the NAS hardware, such as file management, multimedia management, and business-class services. They also have the ability to adapt to 3rd party storage systems and software, which is a major reason why some users prefer QNAP over Synology. However, the open structure of QNAP’s software can make it less cohesive compared to Synology’s more controlled approach. Additionally, QNAP’s software innovations, though early to market, may not always be fully polished and may require beta testing. This allows for early access to new features, but can also introduce beta software into the system, which some business users may not be comfortable with.

When comparing QNAP’s QTS and Synology’s DSM, a recurring theme is that QNAP offers more control and information, while Synology prioritizes ease of use. In the past, this has been compared to the difference between PC gaming and console gaming. Synology, like console gaming, offers a more stable and consistent platform with limited customization options but at a higher cost. On the other hand, QNAP, like PC gaming, may require a steeper learning curve but offers better value for money, greater adaptability and flexibility, and the potential for better performance. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on the user’s needs and willingness to invest in the setup.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Smooth, Accessible, Easy to Learn

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – Adaptable, Capable and Wider Support Options


Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Web-Based GUI

For most users, the initial interaction with their new NAS system will be through the mobile app, with some users even using their mobile phone to set up the NAS. However, the web-based graphical user interface (GUI) still offers the most configuration and control options for both Synology and QNAP NAS systems. The GUI, which can be accessed over the network or remotely through 1st party internet access portals, has evolved over time to resemble a full operating system control panel. The interface of both Synology DSM and QNAP QTS have become distinct from one another, much like Mac OS and Windows.

The web-based interface for both Synology DSM and QNAP QTS have similarities in their layout and functionality, such as the options button at the top left, desktop shortcuts, and notifications at the top right. However, a comparison of the latest versions of DSM 7.1 and QTS shows that the two systems have distinct differences in how they allow users to control and manage their NAS systems through a web browser.

 

The design of Synology’s DSM is similar to that of Mac systems, whereas QNAP’s QTS design is more similar to Android in terms of how applications and options are presented. Synology’s DSM feels more responsive and reactive to user input, while QNAP’s QTS is smooth for a network GUI, but may have a slight delay when switching between apps and windows. However, QNAP’s QTS provides more detailed information and analysis on each screen, which can save time when searching for specific information. The resource monitor on Synology’s DSM software is clear and simple, displaying CPU, memory, disk, and bandwidth usage, and allowing users to delve deeper into each category if needed.

The design of the Synology DSM interface is similar to Mac systems, while the QNAP QTS design is more like Android in its presentation of apps and options. Synology DSM is more responsive and reactive to user input, while QNAP QTS may have a slight delay when switching between apps and windows, but it offers more information on each screen. The resource monitor on QNAP QTS provides more detailed information about background processes, compared to the Synology DSM resource monitor. For users who want a more in-depth understanding of their system’s performance, the QNAP resource monitor will be useful, but for those who find it overwhelming, it may be considered too much information.

The logic that both Synology and QNAP provide to the end-user even in something as arguable pedestrian as a task manager will give you a decent idea of how they will be for you in practically every interaction moving forward. Below is a video on how each system compares in its graphical user interface, configuration and initial setup (users, folders, shares, etc):

In short, it comes back to that idea of control and customization. The Synology DSM Control is going to appeal more to new NAS users and those who want the system to just-shut-up-and-do-its-job! Whereas the QNAP QTS platform will throw more information (sometimes too much!) at you in the hopes that you can create a more bespoke and controllable environment.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Easy to Use and Intuitive

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – Better Analytics and Control


Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Mobile-Based GUI and Apps

It’s not surprising that Synology and QNAP both offer a variety of mobile apps for iOS and Android. These apps include not just backup tools to protect your photos, but also sync tools, file management tools, and others that make accessing your NAS from your mobile phone easy and intuitive. Additionally, both companies offer apps that allow you to customize your access to the NAS system based on your specific needs. Popular apps include those for photos, music, video, and surveillance.

NAS Access Type
System Management DS FInder QManager
NAS File Management DS File & Synology Drive QFile, QSirch
General Phone Backup DS Cloud QSync Pro
Photography Synology Photos QPhotos & QuMagie
Video Streaming DS Video QVideo
Music Streaming DS Audio QMusic
Surveillance DS CAM & Synology LiveCam QVR Pro Client,
Downloading DS Get QGet
eMail Synology MailPlus QMail Client
Notes & To-Do Lists DS Note QNotes3
NAS-VPN Manager Synology VPN Plus QVPN
NAS Router Manager App DS Router QuRouter
Other/Misc Synology Secure Sign in – Login 2-Step Authentication

Synology Chat – Synology Chat Service App

OceanTV Client – Karaoke Mobile Client

QContacts – Contacts and Connections Database

QRemote – HDMI-enabled NAS Remote Control

DJ2 Client – Livestream NAS Manager

QMiix – Alternative to IFTTT client

KoiCast & Koi Talk – Video and Internet Call Client

Throughout my time, I have evaluated a majority of the key apps for system management, file management, backups, photos, music and video. Here, I will present my findings and provide videos that will give you a better understanding of how Synology DSM and QNAP QTS enable you to access your NAS drive on-the-go through your mobile device in a more data-specific manner. (You can click on the video title to open it in a new window on Youtube or watch them within the article)

NAS Control and Accessibility

NAS Control and Accessibility

NAS File Management

NAS File Management

Photography

Photography

Video Media

Video Media

Music Media

Music Media

Surveillance and Camera Access

Surveillance and Camera Access

At first glance, it’s apparent that Synology’s applications have more consistency and similarity to third-party applications (e.g. Synology Drive and Google Drive, Synology DS Video and Plex, Synology Chat and Skype), while QNAP’s applications, even the newer ones, tend to have more distinct differences in GUI and layout, which can take more time to learn. However, QNAP’s mobile applications are generally more customizable and offer greater control and customization, both within the individual apps and in how they allow the user to control the NAS. Both NAS brands have their own strengths and weaknesses in how they have developed and implemented their mobile applications. Ultimately, the biggest deciding factor for the end-user will likely be the platform they primarily use to access the NAS. Desktop users may find QNAP’s platform more suitable for desktop access, while Synology’s platform has focused more on bringing mobile and desktop application experiences to the same level. Users who primarily access the NAS via mobile or have a balance of mobile and desktop access will likely find Synology’s platform more intuitive and smooth.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Intuitive and Streamlined UI

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – More Apps and Greater Control


Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Storage Options and GUI

While Synology and QNAP are both focused on storage, they have distinct approaches to displaying and managing data. They also have varying storage trends they support within their ecosystems. However, both offer highly evolved and reliable network storage options for safeguarding your data. Similar to the apps, user interfaces, and access discussed earlier, Synology and QNAP have each evolved their storage options and configurations differently in recent years, providing unique and specific features that can make the choice between them much simpler.

Both QNAP QTS and Synology DSM NAS Drives Provide the following Storage Features:

  • Both NAS Systems Support Snapshots
  • Both NAS Systems Support Rsync, RTRR and Multi-Platform Backup Setups (Cloud, USB, NAS, etc)
  • Both NAS Systems Support Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) on all hardware (Brand Differences though, eg Synology has a fluid Hybird RAID, SHR. Whereas QNAP QuTS has RAID Z and Triple Parity options)
  • Both NAS Systems Can Connect to the Cloud
  • Both NAS Systems Support USB Drives
  • Both NAS Systems have Varied Expansion Options (Brand Differences though)
  • Both NAS Systems support SSD Caching (Brand Differences though)
  • Both NAS Systems Support SATA Hard Drives up to 18TB and 20TB
  • Both NAS Systems SATA SSDD Storage Pools
  • Both NAS Systems Support EXT4 amoung others  (Brand Differences though)
  • Both NAS Systems support RAID Hot Spare Automation, which is when a spare HDD/SSD is initialized by the system but is unavailable for storage. Then, in the event of a drive failure, the system will automatically integrate the spare drive into the RAID for rebuilding

So, regardless of whether you buy Synology or QNAP NAS, you have a great deal of storage support available. However, there are a large number of brand SPECIFIC storage services and options that ONLY one brand of the two have. Let’s start with the Synology NAS DSM exclusive options.

Synology NAS, its Services and Features Provide the Following:

  • Synology Hybrid RAID – SHR is the fluid RAID system that allows you to mix the drive sizes and types in order to get the best possible capacity and storage as you upgrade the drives in the system lifespan
  • Synology systems for the most part (CPU and Memory dependant) arrive with BTRFS that is a file system that supports lower resource-consuming background snapshots, file self-healing and faster-shared folder cloning (other benefits too)
  • Synology C2 – Synology has its own first-party cloud service that can be synced with your Synology NAS with HybridShare (DSM 7.0) and allows a disaster recovery backup (subscription-based)
  • Synology Active Insight (Subscription Based) allows intelligent storage health and Synology monitoring send to admins and appropriate users with recommendations on resolution, repair or replacement
  • Synology has its own range of HDDs and SSDs in the HAT5300 (SATA 3.5″ hard drives), SAT5200 (2.5″ SATA SSDs) and SNV3400/SNV3500 (M.2 NVMe SSDs) that feature east firmware updates, high endurance. Some recent 2023 systems have compatibility largely reduced to just the Synology HDD range

So, as you can see, a large range of first-party prioritize storage that is still quite a capable list of support services, formats and hardware in terms of storage in a Synology NAS. None fo the above is currently supported/available from QNAP NAS, however, they have their own range of very unique and QNAP-ONLY available storage options. They are as follows.

QNAP NAS, its Services and Features Provide the Following:

  • QNAP NAS QTS and QuTS allow users to use NVMe SSDs for storage pools and volumes
  • QNAP NAS QuTS here allows ZFS as a file system choice which includes triple parity RAID, RAID 5/6 builds that take minutes, RAID ReSilvering, inline data compression (space saver) and inline data deduplication (saves 1 copy of files that are located in multiple locations in realtime)
  • QNAP Hybrid Mount and vJBOD allows you to connect many, many cloud storage providers (Synology HybridShare only allows Synology C2 cloud at the time of  writing)
  • QNAP allows installation of HDDs/SSDs from Seagate, WD, Toshiba, etc on ALL of their NAS systems
  • QNAP has DA Drive Analyzer for real-time storage hardware health reports and automated background RAID repair with connected media drives
  • QNAP NAS QTS allows QTier, which allows the user to create a single storage pool that is comprised of HDD+SSD media and then the NAS system learns which files are accessed most and moves them to the fast storage media internally (not the same as caching with copies the files and more suitable to smaller files)
  • Much, MUCH larger degree of storage expansion chassis on QNAP, both in terms of the number of NAS hardware systems that CAN be expanded AND the range of expansions that arrive with USB 3.2 Gen 1, USB Gen 2 and a range of external SAS based connections that can go up to 5,000MBs+ externally

The QNAP Storage options unsurprisingly are a great deal more open (wider HDD/SSD support on all their hardware, wider cloud support on their cloud gateway software, expansion chassis and connections), however, Synology and its focus on the 1st party R&D results in stronger and more evolved ‘in house’ results (such as Synology Hybrid RAID, their own range of media that has unique options, btrfs integration on all apps, etc).

Why Choose Synology NAS? – BTRFS, Synology Hybrid RAID and Ease of Use

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – ZFS, Better Encryption Options, HybridMount/vJBOD and Better Expansion Options


Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Multimedia

Many home users and prosumer customers consider purchasing a NAS for their multimedia collection. With digital media becoming increasingly popular and the decline of physical media in recent years, the appeal of having your own personal “Netflix” with a NAS is attractive. As expected, both Synology and QNAP have made significant advancements in multimedia streaming and sharing in recent years. Although the core function of streaming media to devices such as DLNA Smart TVs, Amazon Firesticks, phones, and home theaters is similar on both brands, they have each developed their own unique features in terms of presentation, third-party hardware support, and how photos, music, and videos are handled internally. Additionally, both Synology and QNAP support Plex Media Server, Emby, Jellyfin, iTunes, and traditional file/folder level DLNA media streaming to a similar degree, with some differences depending on the hardware of each NAS release. The following guides compare Synology and QNAP in terms of photography, music playback in the GUI, and video streaming. First, here is how Synology DSM and QNAP QTS compare with Photography:

Synology Advantages

Support of Live Photos/Gifs in the Browser/Apps

Excellent Cross-App Support with Drive

Synology Photos in DSM 7 merges Photo Station & Moments

Very Attractive and Easy to Control GUI

Better Geo Location Recognition/Map View

Better Multi Face Tag Searching

QNAP Advantages

Album+File/Folder Browsing in QuMagie

Better AI Recognition in QuMagie (inc ‘Things’)

AI Photo Recognition can be improved with a $25-30 Goolg eTPU M.2 Card

Allows Custom Photo Directories

Multimedia Console Allows Better Indexing/Thumbnail Generation

Better Cross-Software Tag Support

Next, this is how Synology DSM and QNAP QTS compare with Music and the browser GUI:

Synology Advantages

Support of DS Audio Skill on Amazon Alexa Voice Recognition

GUI Very Appealing

Better Config Options

Better Album Thumbnail Utilization (especially Mobile)

QNAP Advantages

Album/File+Folder Browsing

Better DLNA Streaming

Support of Local Speaker Connections

More 3rd Party Audio Applications

Support of more Formats, codecs and Compressions

Finally, we have how both Synology DSM and QNAP QTS compare with Video Media in the GUI:

Synology Advantages

Video Station/DS Video have VERY easy-to-use GUI

DS Video App available on FireTV / Amazon Firestick

Comparable to Plex and Emby

Intuitive Setup for Libraries and Metadata resource connections

QNAP Advantages

Supports HDMI Out

More Media Server Players are available

Better offline Transcoding Options

Cayin player option for H.265/HEVC 10bit Support

It’s undeniable that QNAP generally has a more open/customizable multimedia user interface when it comes to music and video media, while Synology has invested heavily in developing their Video Station and Audio Station to rival Freemium services like Plex Media Server and WhatsApp, with advanced metadata scraping and 1st party apps on Amazon FireTV and Alexa voice support in DS Video and DS Audio. In terms of photography, QNAP’s QuMagie platform offers more control, recognition, file/folder access and keeps it as two separate apps. Similarly, the multimedia console application on QNAP QTS is a standout feature, allowing complete control over all multimedia indexing, sharing, and transcoding from a single portal. Ultimately, it depends on the type of media you plan to watch, the device you want to watch it on, and how much customization you plan to make.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Video Station, DS Audio Alexa Voice Support – Choose for Amazon FireTV, Alexa and ‘Netflix-level’ video streaming

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – Multimedia Console control is Unparalleled, QuMagie provides better AI recognition and Custom Directories as standard. Also, H.265/HEVC 10bitplayback better with the CAYIN player option


Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Backup Tools

It’s worth taking a closer look at the similarities and differences between the Synology DSM and QNAP QTS NAS software and services. While both brands offer similar functionality, there are some subtle distinctions that could cause frustration if you’re not aware of them. For example, Synology’s NAS platform comes with Hyper Backup and Active Backup Suite, while QNAP has Hybrid Backup Sync and Hyper Data Protector. BOTH Synology and QNAP across their respective two apps each provide support of:

  • Multi-site backups that can be scheduled, have filters applied, utilize deduplication and support NAS-to-Cloud/NAS/USB/Folder operations
  • Can Backup VMs from VMware and Hyper V and (in the right format) restore the VM image on the brand-specific VM app on either brand NAS
  • Support Version retention on regular bare metal backups and VM backups
  • Guide you through a 3-2-1 Backup System using 1st party resources and applications only
  • Supports numerous backup protocols/methods that include RSync, RTRR, Differential backups and TCP BBR

The Synology and QNAP NAS software and services both provide similar functionality, but there are a few small differences that may affect your experience. Both brands offer backup solutions, but the Synology’s Hyper Backup and Active Backup Suite have a more user-friendly interface and support for multiple cloud platforms. On the other hand, QNAP’s Hybrid Backup Sync and Hyper Data Protector have additional features such as inline deduplication and compression provided by the ZFS-based QuTS Hero platform, which also handles encrypted backups better. Additionally, while both brands support cloud connections, QNAP requires additional license fees while Synology’s Active Backup Suite offers it for free with Google Workspace and Office 365 add-ons.

There is more to discuss regarding Synology Drive and its client applications, QSync Pro and its enhanced mobile client-to-NAS services, etc, but these topics pertain more to synchronization, file streaming, and remote access rather than backups. While QNAP software is still exceptional for various backup methods, and ZFS and its file transmission advantages stand out, it offers more options for external storage and cloud support. On the other hand, Synology Backup tools and services are more tailored to specific needs, with different services included in Hyper Backup and Active Backup Suite for home and business use respectively.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Active Backup Suite, Hyper Backup, Licence Free Office 365/Google Workspace Sync and Synology C2

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – Hybrid Backup Sync, Many More Cloud Services Supported and Hyper Data Protector has Better Retention Policies


Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Surveillance

When considering buying a new NAS drive, many users take into account not just the backup software and multimedia streaming capabilities, but also the potential use as a surveillance system. Both Synology and QNAP offer business-class surveillance software packages that allow the use of multiple IP cameras, speakers, and network door locks, all accessible through a single interface. However, in recent years, the two brands have taken different approaches to their surveillance software. QNAP’s Surveillance software is more spread out across a web browser and local client apps, with adding cameras and customizing the setup primarily done through the web browser GUI, and camera access and control mainly on the client apps. On the other hand, Synology’s Surveillance Station allows for all camera setup and customization through the browser and most functions through the desktop client app. While the mobile client for QVR Pro and Surveillance Station is somewhat limited, Synology’s platform generally offers more even access to the software’s full capabilities. Here is a breakdown of the main benefits/PROs of each surveillance NAS software:

PROS of Synology Surveillance

PROS of QNAP Surveillance

Considerably Better Browser Access & Controls

Beter 3rd Party Software integration with the Surveillance station API

Better Camera Feed Accessibility in the Browser & Clients

Fast Search Runs remarkably Smoothly

LiveCam converts a Mobile to Live NVR IP Camera Feed

Share Live Feeds to YouTube for Fast/Easy Sharing

Synology have 1st Party IP Cameras, TC500 and BC500 (More coming later in 2023)

 More Camera Licences (8x in QVR Pro)

Technically 3 Surveillance Platforms to Choose that vary in complexity

Better Client App Control and Analytics

Local KVM (Keyboard/Video/Mouse) Support

AI Surveillance services can be added on Integrated CPU NAS, Google TPU card or a GPU Card

USB Web Camera Support

AI Services can be improved with the support of an m.2 Google TPU Coral NU Upgrade ($25-30)

CONS of Synology Surveillance

Only 2 Camera Licenses included in most NAS’ systems

AI Surveillance Services are ONLY available on the DVA3221 and DVA1622 NAS (at the time of writing)

Practically no KVM setup on Diskstaiton NAS systems

CONS of QNAP Surveillance

QVR Elite for QuTS Hero Only has 2x Licenses and is subscription licence based

Camera Feeds Cannot Natively be used and controlled by QVR Pro in the Browser

The bulk of AI Supported Services are Annual Subscription Fee-Based

Upon initial examination, the QNAP QTS QVR Pro software has an advantage over Synology’s Surveillance Station with the inclusion of 8 camera licenses, compared to the 2 offered by Synology. Additionally, the support for keyboard, video, and mouse on QNAP NAS systems with an HDMI port allows for direct interface with the system in case of network failure. A significant advantage of QNAP is the availability of AI-supported surveillance services on systems with a sufficient embedded graphics CPU, a TPU M.2 Coral upgrade, or a graphics card installed. Synology, on the other hand, has restricted AI surveillance to only two of their NAS systems with a GPU card pre-installed and at a higher cost. While these AI-supported services may be niche, they are certainly appealing to some users. Here is my video breakdown comparing the two popular surveillance services for QNAP and Synology:

It is worth highlighting however that the AI-supported services on the QNAP QVR Platform are not technically ‘completely free’ and before you think that the Synology DVA3221 near £2K box is an overspend, it is worth highlighting that in order to use all the same AI-powered services on the QNAP NAS platform, you will need a NAS that either has a decent embedded CPU (starting at just over £1K for the QNAP TVS-472XT to start with) and/or a GPU card installed. Then you have to factor in the licences. Not just the camera licences (although both the DVA3221 and any QTS NAS have 8 camera licences for adding camera) but the license to use the AI services on the QVR Surveillance software. Somewhat annoyingly, QNAP has put each of the AI services (tracking faces, people recognition, AI recording analysis, Smart AI Door unlocking, etc) behind individual licenses that (for the most part) are all ‘annual’, so you will need to renew them (see below for current pricing and terms). This is quite a bitter pill to swallow in the long term and although the saving versus the Synology DVA system seems good at first, if you want to run a 4 Bay AI-Powered Surveillance system on the QNAP NAS system with 4-8 cameras, it ends up costing just as much (maybe even more once you factor in the annual fees) and only partially mitigated by the flexibility of the system you want to use.

Overall, it is pretty clear that QNAP gives the end-user ALOT in terms of surveillance for their money (although that licensing model structure gets a thumbs down from me), as well as allowing access to many modern AI CCTV services that Synology either choose to not pursue or only allow on a select few systems. Maybe you are reading this in the future and Synology have opened up this logic to allow ‘Synology supported GPU Cards’ to be installed, which would certainly give this comparison a different outcome, but there is no denying that the QVR Pro surveillance platform allows more flexibility in its setup. Alongside this, the QVR to software right now has a lot more camera licences included (though this drops to x2 on QVR Elite on the QuTS Hero platform – which though admittedly has higher performance on the local client integrated, is a bit of a shame) and many will end up seeing the potential savings being enough to overlook that Synology Surveillance station is the better Surveillance tool in terms of the GUI, supported service add ons and in how user-friendly it can be.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Better Surveillance Software Overall, Especially in the Web Brower GUI

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – More Camera Licenses, QVR Pro has KVM Support, Wider AI Surveillance Support and Upgrade Options


Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Virtual Machines

It wasn’t such a long time ago that the use of virtual machines (VMs) was exclusively in the business sector. The ability and utility to create a virtual and remotely accessible version of a computer (giving you need a terminal in order to utilize them in most cases) was simply not of use to the average home or even small business user. However fast forward to 2023/2024 and you find that they have accelerated in popularity, thanks to businesses requiring centralized data storage for both the convenience of duplicating computers AND to simplifying the backup/restore process. Then you have the simple appeal for prosumer or small business users to be able to create an emulated version of their own computer in order to access it anywhere in the work, run test with software/updates that they are hesitant to run on their core system OR simply to allow them to create an accessible VM of an operating system that can be run parallel to that of the core hardware (i.e. a Linux/Unbuntu VM that runs in a window, on a Windows/Mac matching). Most high-end business users in recent years have used one of two popular 3rd party client TOOLS for this, VMware vSphere and Hyper V (with other smaller tools like VirtualBox popping up). Where a NAS can be integrated into this is actually pretty cool, such as:

  • A NAS can be used as a backup target (with versioning, snapshots, etc) for the virtual machine, so you have a local restorable copy
  • A NAS can be used to run the core VM files as a remote target, whilst still using the 3rd Party Software
  • A NAS can have the 3rd Party VM data sent over to it and then the NAS can host the Virtual Machine in its very own premium VM Software
  • A NAS Can combine all three of the above to create a backup access point to a VM (in supported formats and correctly imported) that allows remote accessing VM users, in the event of disconnection or forced restoration, to switch over to the NAS based VM and continue working

Now it is worth highlighting that BOTH Synology and QNAP have excellent VM hosting applications, in Virtual Machine Manager and Virtualization Station respectively, which perform all of the above services, however, they do it in slightly different ways (involving other applications in the system that are integrated) but for VMware/HyperV, the restoration is arguably handled smoother with the Synology Virtual Machine tool and Active Backup Suite tool working together to allowing exclusive integration with Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) as the temporary disaster recovery solution allows you to instantly restore services to the Synology storage server even when the production environment is down. QNAP have very similar services to this, but not the same fast, easy and integrated pass-over system. For a better understanding of the GUI of Synology Virtual Machine Manager vs QNAP Virtualization Station, take a look at the video below:

There are several very unique and arguable superior elements to the QNAP VM software that are worth highlighting. First off there is access to a VM marketplace from within the app that allows you to install Virtual Machines directly on the QNAP NAS without having to obtain the VM Image/ISO independently. These include firewall and network management virtual images such as Pfsense, RouterOS and Zabbix, but there is also a 3-click Windows VM installation option too. This allows users who just want to try out a Windows 7/8/10/Server VM before committing fully to a NAS based VM environment for business/home use and includes a 90-day trial (you can use your existing windows registered key/login if you want. Alongside this, there is also the improved VM-to-Hardware integration available on Synology Virtual Machine Manager and QNAP Virtualization station that allows you to connect USB ports to a VM and allow that virtual desktop environment to access physical local USB devices, however, QNAP takes this a noticeable degree further with the support of PCIe-to-VM connectivity that allows you to connect a Graphics card (or other suitable PCIe to that VM architecture) and allow the virtual environment to scale up considerably (perhaps for video editing or gaming, if the CPU is appropriate). Then there is the flexibility of setup on the QNAP, with Virtualization Station supporting a KVM environment and QVM (QNAP Virtual Machine) to allow a NAS with connected Keyboard, HDMI Video monitor and Mouse to have a local VM that can ALSO be accessed remotely too. Finally, QNAP has a dedicated Ubuntu application that allows you to create VMs of multiple versions of Ubuntu (the free Linux alternative to Windows and MacOS) in around 3-4 clicks of the mouse! This is a very rare occasion in this Synology vs QNAP comparison where I can genuinely 100% say that QNAP spent much, much more time working on 1st party support and Synology keeping it a little more openly supported with 3rd parties – though, given the maturity of the likes of VMware, this is understandable. This is also demonstrated on the subject of container image and deployment (if a VM is an entire OS, then a Container is an application or program that is running without an OS to live on to off) where the QNAP platform has its own Container Station application and download center/marketplace and Synology use the industry popular Docker tool.

Synology’s Virtual Machine Manager is a fantastic tool and definitely one that has enterprise users in its sights! With that improved integration with existing enterprise VM software providers in the market, they have made a very clear decision that their free VM software still has a business feel, whereas QNAP has shaped their VM tool to something more accessible for all tiers (though lacking the snap cloud-to-local VM deployment – which is a real shame). Much like AI surveillance on the QNAP platform, a few of the biggest features of Synology Virtual Machine Manager are license/subscription fee-based (which is a shame, but understandable given the target demographic and its scope when FULLY deployed, these include:

Synology VMM

(Free)

Synology VMM Pro

(License Required)

Supported Operating System Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM
Cluster Management Included Included
QoS Settings Included Included
CPU Overcommit Physical CPU threads x2 Physical CPU threads x4
Max Virtual Switches 4 4096
Max Snapshots per VM 32 255
VM Share Links per Host 1 16
Remote Replication Plan Not Included Included
Remote Storage Migration Not Included Included
Run VM on Remote Host Not Included Included
High Availability Not Included Included
Live Migration Not Included Included

Overall, it is going to be a case of whether you are coming into the subject of virtual machines as a completely fresh start, coming from a moderately experienced background or are looking for a system to integrate into your already well established VMware or Microsoft VM environment. QNAP and Virtualization station provides a huge array of self-hosted VM deployment options, connecting with numerous 3rd party download centers to easily pull a VM image onto their system, restore an existing VM image, convert VMs into QNAP supported images and then allows you to integrate a greater deal of hardware resources towards them (GPU card, KVM, etc). They are certainly supporting those bigger VM platforms out there and allow backups, snapshots, faster restoration and making big moves into that SaaS and reducing downtime practices that businesses want, but this is where the Synology Virtual Machine Manager tools shine. With a grander focus on those Hyper-V/VMware VSphere established systems and presenting themselves as a failure and support system, they make their integration a great deal easier for companies to choose. They still take a big advantage by allowing a VM live backup to be stitched over to Synology Virtual Machine Manager as a viable recovery and restoration option, which is likely going to be the clincher for many.

Why Choose Synology NAS? – Synology Virtual Machine Manager is VERY intuative, Cloud VM-to-Local VM Migration & Restoration

Why Choose QNAP NAS? – QNAP Virtualization Station supports more OS/Formats, 3 Click VM download & Install, Dedicated VM tools for different VM Images and has Better Hardware Configuration Options Overall


Synology DSM vs QNAP QTS NAS Software – Conclusion

It’s been a very, VERY long road but we can finally look at just how Synology DSM and QNAP QTS for NAS (as well as all the hardware and services in between) compare. There has been a long-running theme all the way through that where Synology has focused on FIRST-PARTY (i.e. Synology-brand) software and hardware priority, then supporting THIRD-PARTY services/hardware when they haven’t got a viable alternative in-house – to mixed degrees of popularity. Whereas QNAP has been a much more level playing field where they have released their own innovative hardware/software (occasionally a little too quickly) and sung its praises, but also tried to keep customization and flexibility for 3rd parties as open as possible and shouting loud-and-proud about that too – which can be a tad overwhelming for the less tech-savvy. Both brands have done an incredible job evolving their platforms as much as they have in 2023/2024, especially when Microsoft, Google and Amazon are pouring BILLIONS into the SaaS (and PaaS and IaaS – Platform and Infrastructure as a Service) in order to create entirely streamable ecosystems for businesses, with NAS brands like Synology and QNAP not only integrating with them but also thriving alongside them as a local/bare-metal failsafe.

These are all very lofty ideas and ones that most home or small business users will likely have little time for right now (aside from where NAS fits in with their Google/Office 365 office tools like documents, email and spreadsheets at a pinch) and for those users, who the NAS stands on its own two feet is what is going to matter most. Synology is earning its position in the market as the complete 1st party software and hardware package in 2023/2024, with a genuinely groundbreaking range of available services, but still managing to make NAS accessible for all in DSM. That said, the trends we are seeing in those sub-enterprise services that are slowly receding in support of popular 3rd party hardware, software and services, making using a Synology NAS alongside your own existing setup in a frictionless way cannot be ignored and leading some to think Synology is shifting their industry position towards something higher.

QNAP NAS on the other hand, although maybe trying to cover too many bases at once, is still trying to cover as much as it can to appear to its audience. Their support of considerably more 3rd party platforms/software/services, even when they have their own software available, is certainly admirable and aside from rather aggressive pricing on their QVR Pro surveillance platform, are still the better choice for those who want a much more adaptable and customizable platform. Its a pretty understandable fact that most people who buy a NAS will be arriving with an existing collection of software in their daily workflow (Office 365 for docs, Gmail for their email, Plex for their media, Chromebook for their commute, Skype/Whatsapp for their communication, TB3 for their editing, etc) and it has to be said that QNAP keeps a more open platform to adapt a NAS into this mix than Synology – occasionally less intuitively and not without a little setup-friction, but certainly to more customizable results.

Unsurprisingly, I am going to tell you that both Synology and QNAP NAS are good NAS brands and have earned their place at the top of the industry (whilst both making their own respective moves to integrate into the next tier – ie SaaS providers, Hyperscale environments and Boundless cloud storage), but there is no denying that no one brand has managed to do EVERYTHING to perfection. So, if in double, below is how I would recommend QNAP and Synology NAS to you, for each user case scenario and I hope this guide and my recommendations help you with your next big data storage purchase.


 

Why Choose Synology NAS?

Better Surveillance Software in ‘Surveillance Station’

Whole NAS System Backup (apps, paths, accounts, everything)

Synology Drive supports file pinning/Streaming on both Mac and Windows

More Intuitive and User-Friendly Design

Better Security History (PSIRT, PWN2OWN participation, Bountry Program for years)

EXCELLENT 1st Party Alternative Apps to Existing 3rd Party Tools

(including Synology Chat, Mail, Office, Drive, Calendar and more)

Greater Support/Migration with VMware & Hyper-V

Better Redundant System Options (SHA)

Greater Support on Amazon Home Hardware

Synology Hybrid RAID for flexibility in Media Upgrades

BTRFS on Most systems

Longer Warranty Available on More Systems

First-Party SSD and HDDs Available

Typically Quieter Operation

If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, please use the links below. It costs you nothing extra and results in a small return fee to Eddie and me here at NASComapres, which goes 100% into making more content – Thank you!

Why Choose QNAP NAS?

Better 1st Party/Hosting Virtual Machines

Significantly more flexible in encryption of folders, volumes, targets, etc

Better Plex Media Server NAS

More Adaptable and Customizable

Wider Support of Surveillance using AI Recognition

EXCELLENT KVM Support

More Camera Licenses

ZFS or EXT4 File System Choice on many systems now

2.5Gbe Network Interfaces at 1Gbe Cost

Allows NVMe SSD Storage Pools and Volumes in all supported QNAP NAS

Support of QTier for intelligent Data storage for Access

AI Module Upgrade option with Google Coral / TPU / NPU Upgrade

PCIe Gen 4 Systems (both M.2 NVMe and PCIe Upgrades in the QM2 Series)

Greater 1st and 3rd Party Hardware Upgrade Compatibility

(including Graphics Cards, WiFi 6 and Thunderbolt)

If you are thinking of buying a QNAP NAS, please use the links below. It costs you nothing extra and results in a small return fee to Eddie and me here at NASComapres, which goes 100% into making more content – Thank you!

 

Need More Help Choosing Between Synology or QNAP NAS?

Choosing the right data storage solution for your needs can be very intimidating and it’s never too late to ask for help. With options ranging from NAS to DAS, Thunderbolt to SAS and connecting everything up so you can access all your lovely data at the touch of a button can be a lot simpler than you think. If you want some tips, guidance or help with everything from compatibility to suitability of a solution for you, why not drop me a message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible with what you should go for, its suitability and the best place to get it. This service is designed without profit in mind and in order to help you with your data storage needs, so I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible.

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Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]  

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    Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

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Synology DSM 7.2 Beta Update – Coming Soon!

18 janvier 2023 à 15:50

Synology NAS DSM 7.2-63134 Beta Coming Soon

Good news for anyone that is waiting to see (and test) the latest improvements in Synology’s Diskstation Manager software, as there are strong indications that we will be seeing a DSM 7.2 Beta launched soon. Thanks to updates on the brand’s official download pages, we can see that developer tools have been made available. These toolkits are supplied in order for devs to adapt and update their existing tools to remain compatible with any changes in the synology DSM software. Full details on when the beta will be launched (though Synology did state in their Synology 2023 and Beyond event that they were looking at the end of Q4 2022 to Q1 2023 for the DSM 7.2 beta) is still yet to be confirmed, but they would not make toolkits for developers unless the rollout for the platform is going to be relatively soon. Currently, there are entries in the Synology download section in two areas (at the time of writing) for DSM 7.2-63134 tools:

Synology has often rolled out the latest significant updates to their premium software platform in beta long before full release, in order to identify any weaknesses or improvements that can be made to it – something that only massive ‘in the field, real-world testing’ can provide. So, given the likelihood that we will see DSM 7.2 arriving very soon, let’s discuss whether you should wait for a full release or go ahead and install the beta to test it out (and what is the process and risks of doing so?).

Should You Test the Synology DSM 7.2 Beta or wait till a Full Official Release and/or Release Candidate?

Testing a beta of ANY software is going to be for everyone and in the case of DSM, we are talking about installing an incomplete and comparatively untested software platform on your data storage! Needless to say, this is NOT recommended unless one/all of the following applies to you and your setup:

  • Your NAS does not have at least 1 backup of all data that it contains in another location (ideally 2 backups!)
  • Your NAS is being used for regular/constant backups that cannot withstand potential interruption
  • You are regularly using 3rd party applications on your NAS that will risk being incompatible with a significant update to DSM on your NAS
  • Your NAS has even the slightest business use

Those points are quite broad, but ultimately cover that if you are using your Synology NAS in a way whereby losing access to your system, data or applications is a dealbreaker (and your workflow cannot take on board a drop in service), then you should NOT install a Beta of DSM. Instead, you should await the release of a complete/final version – often referred to as the ‘Release Candidate’ (the version intended by the brand to be a full release of the software). There is still no confirmation when a virtual version of DSM 7.2 (using a license for vDSM on your NAS) will be available at the same time as the full download, but unless you are happy to accept the possibility of needing to re-initialize your NAS (unlikely, but possible), do not install the beta. Additionally, it is often the case that a significant DSM update CANNOT BE REVERSED. This is technically not true, but the process of reverting to a previous version of DSM is NOT easy and requires time/effort spent in SSH and inputting commands that, if done wrong, could brick your NAS. So, in summary, make sure you only install the DSM 7.2 Beta when it arrives if you have nothing to lose or have your data/configs all neatly backed up!

What New Features will be included in the Synology DSM 7.2 Beta?

When the Synology DSM 7.2 Beta does arrive, we are still unsure which features Synology detailed in their 2023 event last year will be available at launch. We detailed the improvements and new services in this article, but do not be surprised if these roll out more granularly as the beta rolls on. Most of these features and updates were discussed in a YouTube video featuring myself and Luka over on BlackVOID towards the end of last year HERE, otherwise here is the list of features you can expect in DSM 7.2 within the beta or when the RC version arrives:

Volume Encryption Coming to DSM 7.2

A long-term request by Synology NAS users for a few years, the ability to encrypt your NAS beyond the current ‘folder’ level in DSM. It is a little odd that Synology has not provided Disk, Volume or Pool level encryption in the system storage manager. The ability to encrypt the full volume means that you can be a great deal broader in your protection from your storage getting intercepted outside of your own authorized use. Prior to this, encrypted upto the folder/shared-folder level meant that you would likely need to maintain multiple key files/codes, as well as result in more work as your structured your system. Volume-level encryption hugely simplifies this, as well as allowing a larger container of storage to encrypt within.

Mac OS Active Backup Client Support

Another HUGELY requested feature is parity in the Mac OS Support in Synology Active Backup that is currently available for the Windows Client. Up until now, Mac users that wanted to create a system-wide (OS level) backup relied on Apple Time Machine. This is still a solid and user-friendly option, but not hugely storage efficient, is tougher to browse through images than Synology AB and also does not play as nice with remote backups as it does with local backups (ie it supports network backups, but even then quite regimentally and does not correlate/manage those particular backups as well as using a Synology client and Synology NAS running Active Backup). Equally, Synology AB and Mac OS client app should allow viable and easier remote Mac image recovery options in a way currently not available.

Improved Active Backup NAS to NAS Remote Backup

NAS to NAS backups are NOT a new thing, but are more often than not either on a file/folder level (i.e using Hyper Backup) or, in the case of 3rd party general/linux servers, a big block of data that cannot effectively be viewed or managed natively. Improved Active Backup NAS to NAS support means that the same level of system/OS level backup image backup that is afforded to Windows PCs, VMs and More in Active Backup Suite can now be made with another Synology NAS server. Till now, the best options you had for NAS-to-NAS backups were Hyper Backup Folder level backups, Snapshot replication to send snapshot images on a schedule/sync/retention configuration, Backup your NAS image to Synology C2 Cloud (which can be synced elsewhere) and a few different file level sync/backup tools between servers. As Active Backup grows in popularity with Synology NAS users, including it in your 3-2-1 system-wide backup strategy makes alot of sense and for those that are already running a periodic/scheduled NAS to NAS backup, this makes even more sense than current file/folder level backups.

Synology Drive to Support Active Directory (AD)

Synology already has a very competent Active Directory management tool in ‘Synology Directory Server’, which turns your Synology NAS into a domain controller (DC) to manage users, devices, groups, and domain policies in a breeze. However, support of Microsoft AD is coming to Synology Drive. For the unaware, Active Directory (AD) is a directory service that runs on Microsoft Windows systems (i.e Windows Server). The main function of Active Directory from the client side is to enable administrators to manage permissions and control access to network resources. In Active Directory, data is stored as objects, which include users, groups, applications, and devices, and these objects are categorized according to their name and attributes. Then you have AD DS (Active Directory Domain Services) are a core component of Active Directory and provide the primary mechanism for authenticating users and determining which network resources they can access. AD DS also provides additional features such as Single Sign-On (SSO), security certificates, LDAP, and access rights management.

WORM Support Addition

Write Once, Read Many (WORM) has been around in the world of data storage for a considerable length of time and allows a file to be accessed by many, many users without the original file being in any way changed or corrupted – a real issue if a file/database is being accessed by many users and changes inadvertently occur which overwrite the file or changes being made by others (file/media editors tackle this in other means, such as via using shadow editing or non-linear editing). WORM (Write Once, Read Many) is used to avoid modification of saved data.  With increasingly stringent regulations on how information is stored, many countries require government agencies, financial institutions, and healthcare providers to comply with strict data archiving regulations. Many of these require storage systems to not tamper with archived data. This has led to WORM becoming increasingly common in commercial setups. Good examples are photos, contracts, financial reports, emails, employee information, and other important documents. They should not be modified once stored. In some professional fields, massive data needs to be analyzed, and huge amounts of real-time data need to be recorded and tracked. WORM technology is ideal for protecting these records so that they will not be overwritten and can be saved as a reference for future use.

The support of WORM in the Synology storage infrastructure will allow loving for files for a predetermined time, as well as configuration into two separate types – Compliance and Enterprise. Compliance issues ZERO write/edit/change, even by IT admins for the pre-defined period of time. Enterprise is similar, however, it DOES allow IT admin(s) to make changes and/or adapt the WORM access. Also, grace periods can be set in for files going into WORM configurations, which allow a period of time to pass before locks are engaged. This change along with several others that are to be implemented in DSM 7.2 are slated for Q1 of 2023 (Jan-March). In short, in WORM enabled folders data is protected from manipulation by not being able to change or delete it for a specified period of time. Immutable data backups can also be carried out via Hyper Backup for further protection and retention down the line too.

SMB Multi-Channel – Better Port Utilization and Improved Drive Integration

SMB is not new, but updates to Drive and SMB support also see changes with Synology DSM 7.2, with cross-protocol file locking between SMB shares and Drive, ensuring that files in use cannot be edited or overwritten across them. In addition, with SMB multichannel transfer, all network connections available between servers and clients can be used to increase the performance of SMB file transfer, regardless of traditional conflicts that would prevent them being bound/crossed together conventionally

Improvements to Synology Office Services and Features

Synology has provided their Office application in the DSM application list for quite a long time, serving as an in-house alternative to using 3rd party office doc tools such as Google Docs and Microsoft office. This combined with the Synology Drive application results in you being able to open all of your office format docs (text, spreadsheets, PDFs, etc) from within the Synology ecosystem, where your data lives. However, there is always room for improvement and we are told that new features such as document watermarks, improved revision recognition on docs exported over and an increase in support of file format/layouts from Microsoft Word etc.

 

Scale-Out Clusters and ‘Synology Backup Cloud’

Synology highlighted their massive HD6500 and then discussed HUGE scale out cluster storage. The new scale-out clusters are also scheduled to appear in 2023 and provide faster file and object storage. This should allow server combinations of HD6500s servers that scale upto that of 12 petabytes to operate with a write speed of up to 60 GB/s (60,000MB/s).

Additionally, Synology is improving the management of large-scale backups from a single portal point, via a new platform/service they are calling ‘Synology Backup Cloud’ (name almost certainly will change!) that will cover the operations of Active Backup, Hyper Backup and C2 Backup operations. Synology is aiming for this tool to provide the IT admin with a single easy window to manage, remote control and monitoring of all aspects of data backup.

Not a lot was said on this feature, but expect its development to be a little slower than most as, much like Active Insight, this is very much an enterprise site tool and likely at a premium.

Improvements in Synology C2 Identity

The Synology C2 Identity application that was introduced with Synology DSM 7 at launch is also going to see updates in its supported authentication methods and client tech. These will include Windows Hello and Apple Face ID/Touch ID, as well as in connection with the upcoming C2 identity user portal, employees using managed devices can be automatically signed in with SAML.

Synology Drive – Remote Erase

The benefits of Synology Drive when it comes to larger teams of users being able to access the same folder(s) of data in order to collaborate on projects are already well documented. However, what if a client system that has access to a synced drive folder gets hijacked? Or at a moment’s notice, you need to suspend access to the share from a specific client machine AND want to ensure that no locally sync’d/download copy is still there? Well, soon Synology Drive will be receiving an update to allow exactly that includes the ability to delete data remotely and is intended to minimize security risks by removing synchronized folders from stolen Windows and macOS systems.

That just about covers it. There were further improvements that were featured in Synology Secure sign-in and C2 Password services to improve the range of supported authentication methods, as well as improvements to their Synology C2 cloud platform access and implementation. However, as these are more to do with the individual services/applications, I will save this for the inevitable Synology DSM 7.2 Beta preview and included services. So, what do you think of the planned improvements coming to DSM 7.2? Would you have liked to have seen further updates to the more ‘everyman’ services, i.e upgrades to Synology Photos AI recognition to match that of Synology Moments? Or a little more parity between Windows and Mac OS compatibility? Let’s discuss it below. We pool the comments on this article and the videos that are featured in it to keep all the relevant comments in one place, so take a look and see if your POV is the same as everyone else’s.

 

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]  

Support What We Do


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    Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Synology DS723+ NAS – Should You Buy?

16 janvier 2023 à 15:40

Synology DS723+ NAS Drive – Does It Deserve Your Data?

The Synology DS723+ NAS is one of the most capable 2-Bay systems that the brand has ever released, featuring a number of series-firsts in terms, yet still maintaining largely the same price point as the other two bays in the plus series to date. However, there is no avoiding that this is not going to be a system that suits everyone and although I waxed lyrical and was largely positive about its features in my Synology DS723+ NAS Review, there are definitely going to be some elements of the DS723+ NAS that will convince you to opt for a different solution. So, today I want to discuss the five things about the Synology DS723+ that make it a must-have NAS in 2023 and five things that will possibly convince you that your money and data should go elsewhere. Let’s begin.

Note – You can find my full ‘Before You Buy’ video on the Synology DS723+ NAS here. It covers mostly the same points, but also touches on a few more.

Reasons You SHOULD Buy the Synology DS723+ NAS

So, first things first! Here are five reasons why the Synology DS723+ NAS might well be exactly the private desktop server that you have been waiting for.

The 10GbE Upgrade on the DS723+

It may seem especially unusual for Synology to provide the option of 10GbE on a 2-Bay NAS (as the brand has been oddly reluctant to provide greater than gigabit connectivity on their smaller devices till now) but this was a feature in one form or another that users who have been looking at the expandable 2-Bay and 4-Bay diskstation series (DS716+, DS718+ and DS720+) have been requesting for YEARS! The Synology DS723+ NAS arrives with an upgrade slot on the rear of the chassis (PCIe Gen 3 x2) that allows the installation of a 10GbE (10GBASE-T) network upgrade module that allows the system to upgrade towards a 1,000MB/s network connection! With the DS723+ NAS running on a very competent and fast-file-service internal architecture AND supporting 2 drives in a RAID environment to increase internal performance, the option to scale up the external connectivity to 10x that of traditional gigabit is fantastic. Although there is a question of whether it is possible to fully saturate a 10GbE/1,000MB/s connection with a 2x SATA drive NAS, you also need to factor in the option to expand the system by 5 more bays with the DX517, or by running a storage pool on one or more of the M.2 NVMe SSD bays. Either of these options will allow that 10 Gigabit connection to be fully saturated with ease.

The network upgrade choice on the DS723+ is delivered via an optional purchase of the Synology E10G22-T1-mini (find the Synology E10G22-T1-MINI here on Amazon), and it is a 1x Port 10G card, with its own onboard controller and heatsink attached. The module is also by far the easiest 10GbE/Network upgrade I have ever installed in a NAS, as it can be installed by popping it in the available slot on the back – as opposed to needing the chassis be partially dismantled in order to access a PCIe slot). The PCIe Gen 3×2 bandwidth that is afforded to it is more than enough for the 10G connection. Currently, the E10G22-T1-mini is the only upgrade option that is supported by the network upgrade slot on the DS723+ NAS (as well as the DS923+, RS422+ and DS1522+), but I would not be surprised if Synology roll out an SFP+/Fibre option in due course, though the jury is still out if they were to also add a 2.5G/5GBe option.

ECC Memory Type and Maximum Scalability of the DS723+

Another one of the expectations of the expandable 2-Bay diskstation hardware that the DS723+ goes ahead and smashes is in the area of Memory. Previous generations of this series have arrived with 2GB of Memory which can be upgraded to 6GB of memory (in some cases, with the initial 2GB of memory being soldered to the main controller board). The DS723+ NAS makes a couple of significant changes by providing the same amount of memory at 2GB (which is a little disappointing), BUT it can support upto 32GB of memory across two SODIMM slots! that is more than FIVE TIMES the maximum of any other system in the series’ history and that is going to allow ALOT of apps to stretch their muscles a bit with that much RAM to share out!

This memory in the DS723+ improves further on its predecessors by virtue of being ECC memory (Error Correcting Code), something that you would never ordinarily find on a 2 Bay system. ECC memory arrives with an extra memory chip per module on board that (in caveman terms) allows the system to have a blueprint of the data that is passing through the memory on the way to being written/sent to the disks and then, at the end of the memory processes, it is compared against the blueprint and if errors/inconsistencies are observed, the memory repairs the data. ECC has always been proven invaluable at the business level as it ensures data that has been stored on the NAS for warm or cold storage has no silent inconsistencies that down the line could result in invalid/corrupt data (e.g bitrot). Synology has been championing the use of ECC memory in their systems and slowly but surely, all of their product ranges in PLUS and above (i.e XS, SA, etc) are arriving with this enterprise-class memory by default.

The DS723+ NAS featuring ECC memory DOES mean that official Synology memory upgrades are going to be more expensive, but the RRP of the DS723+ NAS (with the original 2GB of ECC Memory) already arrives at a very, very similar price point to its predecessor’s RRP when they were released, so any extra cost down the line is optional.

Low Noise, Small Power Use and Compact Design

This is a point that will appeal to a very specific % of NAS buyers, but the D723+ NAS arrives in the same 2-Bay Diskstation chassis as the DS720+ and DS718+ before it (with tweaks here or there), which was very low impact in it’s design. What I mean by that is that it is quite a compact casing that is very easy to deploy, very well-ventilated on almost all sides (even the official logos on either side are ventilation panels) and is surprisingly low noise when in operation. The DS723+ has a single rear active fan and is a low-noise fan too. The huge amount of ventilation that passes over the internal heatsinks (no internal CPU fans or a PSU fan, as that is external) is assisted by the copious ventilation and the result is a NAS that has had alot of time in R&D to balance between internal system temps in 24×7 operation AND having low ambient noise/space impact to the end user. HERE is my noise testing of the Synology DS920+ NAS (using a similar chassis, but in 2 bays) using different kinds of HDD and SSD media to show the noise levels that were hit.

All that said, do keep in mind that the Hard Drives that you choose to use will make an impact on noise. Any NAS HDDs (WD Red or Seagate Ironwolf) of 8TB or lower capacity will be lovely and quiet (only really making noticeable noise in periods of high access frequency), but larger capacity HDDs or enterprise class/industrial built Hard Disks will make more ambient noise (vibration hum, clicks of the internal arm/actuator and spinning disk platters) and these will be easily noisier than the DS723+ noise when in operation.

FULL DSM 7.1 and DSM 7.2 Support

At Launch, the DS723+ NAS arrives with the latest version of Synology software, DSM 7.1. However, this does not stop evolving as soon as you get your Synology NAS. DSM has been in continues to be the dominant force in the world of NAS software, providing a massive arrangement of services, applications (first and third-party supported) and a huge number of client applications for desktop, mobile, Windows, macOS and Linux (as well as a bunch of other more home-based tools). These allow management and access to the data on the DS723+ in very tailored ways, as well as the web browser-based access that has the appearance, intuitive design and responsiveness of a local operating system. The DSM interface can be accessed by hundreds of users at the same time (with each user having tailored access, rights and privileges). DSM is available with ALL Synology NAS and the depth and abilities of DSM on any NAS are dependent on the hardware architecture of the NAS itself. In the case of the Synology DS723+, it supports EVERYTHING that is offered by Synology’s platform. DSM is currently in version 7.1, but soon we will see the DSM 7.2 software update, which will be adding WORM (write Once Read Many) support, Volume scale encryption and numerous improvements to individual applications. If you want to learn about it, you can read the DSM 7 Full Review HERE.

As mentioned, the DS723+ supports pretty much the entirety of the DSM 7.1 applications and services (DSM 7 and DSM 6.2 are still in circulation and still receive regular service and security updates, though the DS723+ will arrive with DSM 7.1 by default and cannot be rolled back). If you are an existing user of SaaS and PaaS (Software as a service and Platform as a service) from the likes of Google Workspace and Office 365, knowing that you can synchronize these systems or choose to export away from them onto the Synology services is going to be very appealing. Then there is the increasing development of their 1st party cloud platform, Synology C2, which is slowly integrating into all the applications that are available on your bare metal NAS (allowing you to add a cloud layer of backup, synchronization and access to your data storage setup). This is a subscription platform, which can only be used with your Synology NAS system (as well as connected with some 3rd party SaaS services, but for those that are moving away from Google/Microsoft/AWS for security reasons, but still want a Cloud+Metal storage network in place, C2 covers pretty much everything. Indeed, although below I have highlighted a number of the key/best applications that are included in your DS723+ Service with DSM, most of them can be immediately integrated with Synology C2  (with even more being added in 2023 with DSM 7.2). Key business and consumer applications that are included with your NAS are:

Synology Office – Create documents, spreadsheets, and slides in a multi-user environment. Real-time synchronization and saving make collaboration a breeze.

Synology Chat – Aimed at businesses, Synology Chat is an IM service that transforms the way users collaborate and communicate.

Synology Drive – Host your own private cloud behind the safety of your NAS with 100% data ownership and no subscription fees. Drive has become one of the premier applications of DSM and allows uses to create intelligent shared team folders that support versioning, file streaming+pinning, encryption, Windows AD support (soon) and native file system support with Windows and macOS.

Synology Photos – Manage your photos and videos with deep-learning algorithms that automatically group photos with similar faces, subjects, and places. Designed after the merger of Synology Photo Station and Moments, it also includes tailored folder, sharing and categorization features to help photographers manage their photos and share them with clients for feedback or business development.

Synology Calendar – Stay on track, share calendars, and schedule meetings, while ensuring sensitive information remains safely stored on company premises.

Synology Active Backup for Business (ABB) – Consolidate backup tasks for virtualized environments, physical servers, and personal computers, and rapidly restore files, entire machines, or VMs – license-free. This software also arrives as a specialised Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace platform to sync with those platforms and allow a bare metal tier to your cloud office services

Synology Hyper Backup – Backup your NAS safely and efficiently to multiple destinations with deduplication, integrity checks, compression, and versioning.

Synology Surveillance Station – Safeguard your business, home, and other valuable assets with reliable video surveillance tools. With improved AI services being accessible thanks to Synology BC500 and TC500 Cameras arriving in 2023. Additionally, you can connect this platform with Synology’s cloud platform to use ‘C2 Surveillance’ and bolster the odds of recordings being maintained in the event of accidental/malicious damage to your surveillance system.

Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) – An intuitive hypervisor that supports Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM virtual machines. Its powerful disaster recovery tools help users achieve maximum service uptime.

Synology High Availability – Synology High Availability (SHA) combines two Synology NAS servers into one active-passive high-availability cluster, alleviating service disruptions while mirroring data.

Synology Central Management System (CMS) – Synology CMS allows you to manage multiple Synology NAS servers quickly and conveniently from a single location.

Synology Video Station – Manage all your movies, TV shows, and home videos. Stream them to multiple devices or share them with friends and family.

Synology Audio Station – Manage your music collection, create personal playlists, stream them to your own devices, or share with family or friends.

Synology File Station – Manage your Synology NAS files remotely through web browsers or mobile devices. This tool allows complete file management and contains all the features and services of your own native file management platform (archiving, extracting, Copy, Cut, Paste, Sharing, native file format opening, integration with the rest of the Synology applications, property/metadata access, etc)

You cannot really fault the software and services that are included with the Synology DS723+ NAS, as you are going to get the very best experience available on the platform, thanks to the hardware and architecture of this NAS. DSM 7 is an ever-evolving platform, so if you are reading this now at the time of publishing or years later, there is always going to be something in DSM for everyone. That said, Synology in recent years has been increasing its priorities towards first-party software and services. This does make sense, as they want to promote their systems and software as a complete ecosystem for your home or business data storage needs (going on in the last few years to release even more Synology alternatives to popular software AND releasing non-NAS hardware accessories such as Routers, Network Adapters, HDDs, SSDs and now IP Cameras). This can occasionally lead to the compatibility lists of hardware or software that you wish to use in conjunction with the DS723+ NAS being a little smaller/restricted than you might like. A specific 3rd party software/service or physical accessory (HDD, Memory module, Network Upgrade) might not appear on the Synology compatibility pages, but that does not mean it will not function with the DS723+ NAS. It is more a case of Synology choosing not to test/evaluate a particular setup (in their defence, there are ALOT) and therefore until stated otherwise is therefore listed as incompatible and is therefore being used without their full, guaranteed support long term. In short, you can DEFINITELY feel that DSM 7/7.1 is a fantastic NAS platform, but it comes with a certain degree of rigidity by Synology on the DS723+ NAS. A little more relaxed than entries in the Enterprise XS or SA systems, but it is definitely still there.

PCIe Gen 3 M.2 SSD Support and the Future of Synology Storage

Another development from Synology very recently that the DS723+ NAS benefits from is the support of M.2 NVMe SSDs as Storage Pools – something that has been demanded by new/old Synology NAS users alike for YEARS! Synology was one of the first (if not, THE first) to introduce M.2 NVMe SSD bays on to desktop 2/4-Bay NAS systems way back in 2017/18, but restricted their use for caching only (read/write). It has only been now with the release of the Synology DS923+ and DS723+ that the brand has become a little more flexible and allowed users the choice to use these much, MUCH faster (and so much, MUCH more expensive) types of storage media to be used as storage pools and volumes. With M.2 NVMe SSDs arriving with thousands of MBs of throughput (compared with the rather limiting 250-270MB/s maximum of modern high-end HDDs), this feature also effectively turns the DS723+ 2-Bay into a 4-Bay NAS system.

It is also worthing keeping in mind that you technically do not need to actually make a choice between these M.2 NVMe SSD Bays as storage pools. This is because the system has two 2280 M.2 NVMe bays and you can opt to use one SSD for a storage pool (for your higher performance needs in databases, VMs, etc) and the other can still be assigned as a read cache drive in it’s own group, which can be assigned to the HDD or SSD storage pools if you choose. Currently, Synology DSM 7.1 does not support ‘write only cache pools’, but I can definitely see this as a feature in future DSM updates, as it is an often requested feature.

Once you have made a storage pool using 1 or 2 M.2 NVMes, this area of storage can be used just the same as the HDD equivalent in DSM. It can be used as the target storage for individual applications, as the primary storage area for VM or Container deployment, as the location of multiple iSCSI LUNS and Shared Folders and just pretty much anything. For those users looking to take advantage of the external 10GbE network upgrade option for Photo/Video editing, the use of M.2 NVMe SSD storage pools for this is going to be substantially better than the performance that the two SATA HDD/SSD bays could have ever reached.

 

Nevertheless, it is still great to finally have the support of M.2 NVMe SSDs as storage pools in a Synology NAS, especially when you roll in that optional support of 10GbE. It’s worth highlighting though that, as this feature has only JUST been added to DSM on the DS723+/DS923+ NAS, it arrives with a few limitations at this time (ones we assume/hope will change in future DSM 7.2 and above updates). For a start, you cannot initialize the DS723+ and install DSM on the M.2 NVMes as a boot drive. If you try to boot the DS723+ first time without any HDDs installed, but with the 2x M.2 NVMe Bays populated, the system will not recognize them as suitable for initializing DSM on the NAS. See below:

Reasons You SHOULD NOT Buy the Synology DS723+ NAS

Of course, though, the Synology DS723+ NAS is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It is fair to say that there are some elements in this follow-up to the 2.5yr old DS720+ that have rubbed a few users up the wrong way. Let’s discuss the five reasons why the DS723+ NAS (and indeed a Synology system in some cases) might not be the ideal private server solution for you.

The CPU in the DS723+ is a little divisive

The CPU inside the DS723+ is the AMD Embedded Ryzen R1600 processor, an x86 64bit Dual core, four-thread processor with an impressive base level clock speed of 2.6Ghz that can be scaled up to 3.1Ghz when needed. Now, the DS7xx+ series has always arrived with a Quad Core Intel Celeron (or Pentium) processor in the past and when it was revealed that the DS723+ was arriving with a dual-core embedded ryzen, many users were a little unhappy. This was largely down to two factors. The first was that the R1600 is a dual-core, not the four-core that everyone expected. Now the R1600’s four-thread architecture does allow the CPU to spread out quite alot across tasks and services (as well as virtual CPUs in VM deployment), as well as having a higher power in both base and burst mode available, which means it isn’t a bad CPU! But the bigger area of contention from some buyers is that the R1600 lacks integrated graphics. This means that for some tasks and services that are more graphical in nature, the result will be a higher typical CPU Uages % than a processor that has a more specialized graphics management component onboard.

How the Synology DS720+ Intel Celeron J4125 and DS723+ AMD Emb.Ryzen R1600 Compare:

The traditional data handling of the R1600 is very good, as seen in our DS1522+ testing earlier in 2022. As far as DSM (the Synology software) is concerned it will be able to run EVERYTHING! Additionally, the general file handling and throughput internally are going to be great too, so all good news. Then you have the advantage of the newer gen CPU in the DS723+ over the DS720+ supporting PCIe3 lanes, affording greater bandwidth to the rest of the hardware (i.e those M.2 slots being higher bandwidth and enabling that network upgrade slot), all the while with the CPU having the potential to hit 3.1Ghz of power when needed. It is genuinely a good CPU and there are lots of reasons why Synology have opted for this CPU, but it is by no means perfect and some specific user setups and their concerns do have merit.

For a start, the AMD R1600 has a higher typical usage (unsurprising for the spec and generally identified as TDP, as a maximum) compared with the avg Intel Celeron being used in other NAS systems released in 2022 (such as the Intel N5105 or J6412) and in a system that will be in operation 24×7, this is going to a question mark for those affected by erratically rising energy prices right now, The difference might only be pence on the day, but those pence add up! Then there is the dual cores. Although having the four threads IS handy and will be useful, Cores will always beat threads when it comes to capabilities.

The DS723+ arrives with 1GbE By Default

Those ethernet ports. The default model of the DS723+ NAS arrives with two one gigabit ethernet ports (the same as the DS720+DS718+ and DS716+ before it), despite almost other commercial NAS brands producing solutions at this consumer-tier/scale arriving with at least 2.5GbE. Now, the adoption of greater than gigabit connectivity in client hardware (laptops, PCs, routers, switches, docking stations, etc) is by no means as ubiquitous as 1GbE (which has been around for decades at this point), BUT it is growing. ISPs are providing fiber internet connections globally that exceed gigabit speeds, along with 2.5GbE and WiFi 6 routers. We are seeing more prosumer switches, routers and PCs with default 2.5Gb network ports (at the same/similar cost as 1GbE), $20 USB-to-2.5G adapters and even the affordability of 10GbE on some client devices has allowed users to gradually scale up their hardware environment. The fact the DS723+ arrives at the tail end of 2023 and does not feature greater than 1GbE ports by default is quite damning. Even if you have no plans for 2.5G right now in your setup and think it something of a fad (favouring 10GbE), in terms of future-proofing and the general standard or networking hardware right now, gigabit ethernet is a surprising weakness here.

Only One USB Port and It’s Functionality and Support on the DS723+ is Underwhelming

This is going to sound fantastically churlish, however when looking at a smaller scale NAS system, the importance of external connectivity (backups, migration of data, etc) grows in importance. The DS723+ arrives with just one USB Port and it is USB 3.2 Gen 1, so 5Gb/s (500-500MB/s max bandwidth). Much like the 2.5G vs 1Gb complaints I made earlier, most other NAS brands at this hardware tier have rolled in USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10G / 1,000+ MB) ports, as well as USB-C in some cases, with minimum 2-3 ports (often 4). With the ease with which a user can add a USB tier to their 3-2-1 backup strategy (allowing them to be a little more financially creative with a network/remote/cloud backup tier as well), the slightly old skool single USB port here is a little underwhelming. With significantly more affordable RAID-enabled USB solutions in the market and/or M.2 NVMe external USB drives arriving affordable to comfortably provide faster external storage for backups, this seems like a bit of a misstep by Synology to ignore. in such a small scale system.

Also, DSM 7 and DSM 7.1 (with DSM 7.2 coming soon enough) have reduced the range of use of the USB ports of Synology NAS systems (removing many network adapters, DTV tuners, wireless dongles, office accessories such as printers, scanners and optical drives), and limiting them largely to storage, UPS’ and assigning them to VMs. I am sure Synology has done the market research and observed reduced utilization of USB on their systems to dictate this decision, but it seems to be another move by the brand to prioritize network/remote access only with their systems.

M.2 NVMe SSD Storage Pools ONLY Support Synology SSDs and are Currently Limited to Gen 3×1

Now, I have listed this as a ‘con’ and/or ‘reason to not buy the DS723+ NAS’, but really this could well be a positive for many business NAS buyers or those that want a much easier system to manage, upgrade – especially those who do not have much technical knowledge and/or an in-house IT admin. Over the last 4-5 years we have seen Synology become increasingly focused on it’s own first-party hardware and services. This is not uncommon (it would be weird if they didn’t invest heavily in developing their platform!), but many have highlighted that this has been to the detriment of it’s support of popular/common 3rd party hardware and software. Synology is increasingly becoming a ‘one-ecosystem’ platform (again, not necessarily a bad thing) that wants to provide a COMPLETE solution for a users network and data storage needs. DSM still supports a large number of 3rd party business services and platforms (SaaS and PaaS once, such as Office 365, Google Workspace, Hyper-V + VMware to name just a few) AND home/homelab ones like Plex, Docker, Emby etc. This first party priority also applied to their M.2 NVMe SSD Storage Pool support, as (see gif below) at the time of writing, you can only use Synology’s own first-party M.2 NVMes for storage pools. If you choose to install alternative drives in this bay from the likes of WD, Kingston or Seagate, the result is that the system will state that it cannot proceed, highlighting that the drive is not tested by Synology for this purpose. You can still use the SSDs for M.2 NVMe SSD caching, but right now the storage pool feature appears to only be for Synology SNV3400 and SNV3410 Drives.

Another thing that was observed (first in the DS923+) was that although these are physically PCIe Gen 3×4 Bays (checked using Putty over SSH), they have been throttled to PCIe Gen 3×1. Now, there are several reasons for this move (appearing online from 1st/3rd party sources, as well as in communication with the brand previously) with the most recurring reason being to do with increased heat from these bays needing to be avoided. Now, though this may have merit and Synology will have little reason to do this otherwise, other NAS brands offering m.2 NVMe SSD Storage pools on their systems have not included this downgrade in PCIe speed for similar reasoning (though many use processors that lack the PCI Lane coverage afforded to the DS723+ and the Ryzen, meaning fixed 3×2 or 3×1 speeds for reasons of architecture, not heat). Its a slightly odd move and one that is also further baffling when it was confirmed that the support of M.2 NVMe SSD pools on previous Synology Diskstation releases with support of these 2280 slots (DS920+DS1621+xs+, DS1821+ etc just to name a few) is not coming any time soon.  It is still better to have support of M.2 NVMe SSD pools rather than not, but this has been a slightly odd way of approaching the feature and hopefully one that will see revision and improvement in further software/hardware updates in 2023/2024.

Server Side HEVC/H.265 Support and Conversions on the DS723+ are Weak

Finally, there is a lack of integrated graphics. Most users will not notice this as an issue in day-to-day use, but multimedia users and especially a large % of Plex users will notice, if they are a little more reliant on the server-side processing than on the client. For example, if your media collection contains alot of dense/complex audio media (RAW, MP4a, etc) OR alot of higher-end HEVC/H.265 Media BUT you do not have client hardware that supports these types (or allows local client conversions/transcoding), then the NAS will have to use raw horsepower to get the job done – much less efficient than embedded graphics doing the job. Again, you might not be impacted by this (your client hardware might have enough power and privileges, or you own a local HEVC-licensed device), but it IS a concern if you are running a Plex Media Server on the DS723+ and need the NAS to convert files on the fly. Earlier in 2022, I compared the DS920+ (with a Celeron) vs the DS1522+ (with this same AMD R1600) in a detailed YouTube video testing 4K Media in Plex. Here are the results:


Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict

(FULL Review from 11/01/22 Can Be Found HERE) – There is no denying that the Synology DS723+ NAS is the most powerful, capable and upgradable 2-Bay that Synology has EVER released. Although the AMD Ryzen dual core Ryzen CPU is going to be a sticking point for those who wish a quad-core and/or integrated graphics CPU had been used (eg video conversions server side in Plex and the like) – the capabilities of the DS723+ NAS in it’s traditional performance, handling and throughput are better than they have ever been on ANY other Synology 2-Bay before. The 10GbE optional upgrade on this system is a very welcome but surprisingly option on this device (given Synology’s past reluctance to prove this on a system that may well struggle to saturate it with just two bays). Then there is the support of M.2 NVMe SSD storage pools, making the DS723+ NAS just the 2nd every Synology NAS to support this function (alongside SSD cache support of course) – though odd decisions on Gen 3×4>3×1 handling are still a touch puzzling. Support of DSM 7.1 (DSM 7.2 beta soon, at time of writing) runs beautifully on the  DS723+ NAS and is still clearly what the primary selling point of this system is, with Synology offering the system as a solution and entry point into their ecosystem, rather than a hardware/nuts-and-bolts purchase. The full range of 1st party tools (Active backup, VMM, Photos, Drive, Collaboration Suite, Hyper Backup, Surveillance Station and more) still continue to impress and to have full and (mostly) licence-free access to these from such a compact server system is genuinely fantastic. Likewise, the support of 3rd party client applications and SaaS/PaaS services (Google WorkSpace, Office 365, VMware, Hyper-V, etc) still maintains a high standard of integration with the Synology tools, though with a clear growing movement by the brand to prioritize it’s own services.

Still, there is a lingering feeling that the DS723+ NAS in it’s default state is crying for a defacto day one upgrade. The 2GB of base memory seems rather penny-pinching, despite the support of ECC. The 10GbE upgrade option is welcome, but largely inevitable when the default connection are 1GBe – IN 2023! I return to my point at the intro, where there DS723+ arrives (at least in terms of hardware) as practically half of the DS923+ (half the bays, half the memory, half the USBs, etc), but with a pricepoint that is certainly not half. Therefore in many ways, the DS723+ NAS serves as a compelling argument to just skip it entirely and go for the DS923+ for about £200 more and enjoy those extras and partially populate. The support and compatibility of 3rd party hardware on the DS723+ NAS is a fraction more streamlined than some might like (eg 22TB and 20TB HDDs still remain absent on the compatibility list, yet Synology branded 18TB drives are clearly available and we absent upto that point despite WD and Seagate NAS alternatives in the market), but overall the DS723+ is still a great NAS and easily cements itself as the best 2 bay offering by the brand in their 20+ year history.

SOFTWARE - 10/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻DSM 7/7.1 (and DSM7.2 Around the corner) still continues to be an absolute tour-de-force of NAS Software
👍🏻Most Affordable 10GbE upgradable Synology NAS in the market!
👍🏻ECC Memory Support and scalability to 32GB is completely unparallel at this price point
👍🏻The design of the DS723+ NAS still continues to be market-leading
👍🏻The New CPU architecture allows great PCIe3 bandwidth to be afforded to the rest of the hardware, inside and out
👍🏻Low Noise, Low Physical Impact and Intelligent Automatic Power Use Adjustment Settings
👍🏻Increased Support for macOS in Synology Drive and Active Backup Suite (DSM 7.2)
👍🏻Synology C2 Cloud Services, 1st Party Backup/Sync Tools and Collaboration Suite App = Complete 1st Party Eco-system that can rival Office365 and Google Workspace
👍🏻PCIe Gen 3 M.2 NVMe SSD Support as Storage Pools!!! FINALLY!
👍🏻Tremendously User-Friendly!!!
CONS
👎🏻The AMD Emb.Ryzen instead of a Intel Celeron (with Integrated Graphics) will be a dealbreaker for alot of users
👎🏻The default 1GbE ports that the system arrives with are tremendously dated
👎🏻The USB port on the system (only x1?!) is older gen USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) and their support/usability have been quite pared back in recent DSM releases
👎🏻The continued moves by Synology to prioritize 1st party hardware and software services may put some users off
👎🏻Plex Support on the Synology DS723+ is still great for native playback, client-side handling and client devices with relevant multimedia licenses in place, but if server-side media conversions are needed - this system will struggle in comparison with the DS720+ before it


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Synology DS223 NAS Drive Released

11 janvier 2023 à 13:57

Brand New Synology DS223 Value Series NAS Released

Hot on the heels of their recent releases in the Synology Plus range, Synology has now revealed a new Value Series 2-Bay NAS – The Synology DS223 NAS. Powered by a newer generation Realtek ARM v8 processor, this is the first entry into a no doubt soon to expand value range of diskstation devices to replace the (frankly) long overdue refresh of the DS218, DS118, DS418, DS120j and DS220j devices in their portfolio. Arriving with a similar level of hardware across the rest of the device to the 2018-2020 released value/budget devices in most other regards, the most notable change here is the scale up in processor from the RTD1296 to the RTD1619B. Let’s discuss the hardware that we know, how that will impact DSM and where it improves upon the older gen.

What Are the Hardware Specifications of the Synology DS223 NAS

So, as mentioned above, the actual hardware across the bulk of the DS223 is largely identical to the DS218 NAS. Synology have pretty much kept everything (the chassis, USB standard, network connection, memory capacity and scalability) identical. That CPU is the only meaninglful change. Then again, they did see huge success with the Realtek product family up to this point and it would make sense for them to continue using this fantastically efficient but capable series. So, let’s dig into those specifications a little:

Synology DS223 NAS Drive
Processor
Processor model Realtek RTD1619B
Number of CPUs 1
processor architecture 64-bit
processor clock 4-core 1.7 GHz
hardware encryption engine Yes
Memory
system memory 2 GB DDR4 non-ECC
Remark Synology reserves the right to replace memory components with the same or higher frequency depending on the supplier’s product availability. Its compatibility and stability have undergone the same rigorous testing and inspection, please feel free to use it.
storage device
Number of slots 2
Compatible Disk Type
  • 3.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD
Disk hot-plug support* Yes
external port
RJ-45 1GbE LAN port* 1
USB 3.2 Gen 1 port* 3
USB / SD Copy No
Remark
  • The maximum MTU value of the 1GbE network port of this product is 1500.
  • The USB-IF renamed the standard formerly known as USB 3.0 as USB 3.2 Gen 1 in 2019.
file system
internal disk
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
external disk
  • Btrfs
  • EXT4
  • EXT3
  • FAT
  • NTFS
  • HFS+
  • exFAT
Exterior
Size (HXWXD) 165mm x 108mm x 232.7mm
weight 1.28 kg
other projects
system fan 92 mm x 92 mm x 1 pcs
fan mode
  • full speed mode
  • low temperature mode
  • silent mode
Front panel LED indicators with adjustable brightness Yes
Power Auto Reply Yes
Noise value* 14.6 dB(A)
Timer switch Yes
wake on lan Yes
Power Supply / Transformer 60W
AC input voltage 100V to 240V AC
current frequency 50/60 Hz, single frequency
power consumption 17.343 W (access)
4.08 W (disk hibernation)
BTU 59.19 BTU/hr (access)
13.92 BTU/hr (disk hibernation)
Remark
  • For more information on how to measure the power consumed by a power supply, please refer to this article .
  • Noise level test environment: The Synology system is fully loaded with Synology SATA SSD hard drives in standby mode, and two GRAS Type 40AE microphones are set up at a distance of 1 meter from the front and back of the device. Background noise value: 16.49-17.51 ​​dB(A); temperature: 24.25-25.75˚C; humidity: 58.2-61.8%.
warranty
2-year hardware warranty, you can purchase Extended Warranty Plus to enjoy up to 4-year product warranty service.
environment
RoHS Compliant
package contents
  • Host X 1
  • Accessory bag X 1
  • Transformer X 1
  • Power cord X 1
  • RJ-45 network cable X 1
  • Quick Installation Guide X 1

So, this CPU. Synology are not the first brand to start utilizing this processor (Terramaster were the first, with their own Value series that was unveiled at the end of 2022). In the coming weeks, we will be investigating further into the capabilities of this CPU, but there is no doubt that Synology will have thoroughly explored the running and efficiency of DSM 7.1 (7.2 Beta arriving soon) on this processor. The system arrives with 2GB of DDR4 Memory (non-ECC) that cannot be upgraded. This is not a huge surprise (this has been the case for this product family, plus the play and Value series running on ARM processors pretty much since day dot!) and we will almost certainly see scaling in memory in the 1-Bay, 4-Bay and J series alternatives to this NAS as they arrive to popular Synology’s Value tier for 2023/2024. 2GB is more than enough for DSM 7.1. PLUS series features like the inclusion of M.2 NVMe SSD bays are absent, but that is not something I would have expected on this series anyway. Another question some users might have is regarding hard drive and SSD compatibility. Synology in 2022 made some rather strong moves towards prioritizing their own storage media and upgrades in their Plus and above series’, still supporting the use of 3rd party hardware in a bunch of areas (relenting at one point and adding WD Red and Seagate Ironwolf on the compatibility lists, where previously they seemed absent).

I am pleased to confirm that the Synology DS223 NAS will definitely arrive with compatibility and support of the 3rd Party HDD/SSD manufacturers (as well as their own HDDs and SSDs of course). The maximum supported capacity is still at 18TB (again, likely in line with their own HAT5300 capping at 18TB at the time of writing), but at least users of this value tier device will not have to be concerned with opting for media outside of their usual brand of choice. Let’s discuss DSM’s supported features and services on the Synology DS223 NAS.

What Are the Software Specifications of the Synology DS223 NAS

The Synology DS223 NAS will arrive with the latest version of DSM 7 available, as well as the support of Synology Hybrid RAID too. As this is an ARM v8 processor, there is going to be the odd compromise here o there (although 4K handling is possible, 4K transcoding and general video encoding/conversion to a meaningful degree is going to be something of a pipe dream! Synology has managed to include the bulk of DSM 7’s features and serives with the DS223 hardware here, though the depth of support of 3rd party applications and services is still TBC till I have one in the office for review. Things like Virtual Machines are DEFINITELY NOT going to be possible here and the performance/scale of surveillance on this NAS with Synology’s Surveillance Station application re ging to be a little lighter than on a PLUS model, but again that is something we would expect for a value series device. Let’s go through those services and features of DSM that are supported, as well as the extent to which they run:

DSM Product Specifications
storage space management
Maximum single volume capacity* 108TB
Maximum number of storage spaces 64
SSD TRIM Yes
Support RAID disk array type
  • Synology Hybrid RAID
  • Basic
  • JBOD
  • RAID 0
  • RAID 1
RAID Configuration Migration Basic to RAID 1
Larger hard drives can be used to expand storage space
  • Synology Hybrid RAID
  • RAID 1
Add new hard disk to expand storage space Synology Hybrid RAID
Remark
  • The usable capacity of each volume is lower than the size of the maximum volume, and actually depends on the file system and the amount of system metadata stored.
  • The actual maximum storage pool and storage space size depends on the hard disk capacity used, the number of available disk slots and the RAID type.
file service
file agreement SMB/AFP/NFS/FTP/WebDAV
Maximum simultaneous SMB/AFP/FTP connections 200
Windows Access Control List (ACL) Integration Yes
NFS Kerberos authentication Yes
Remark The test standard is based on the maximum number of simultaneous connections supported by this model. During testing, 25% of the connections were concurrently transferring files. The transmission process only ensures that the connection is not interrupted, and cannot guarantee the minimum transmission speed.
Accounts and Shared Folders
Maximum number of local user accounts 1,024
Maximum number of local groups 256
Maximum number of shared folders 256
Maximum Shared Folder Sync Tasks 4
Hybrid Share
Maximum number of Hybrid Share folders 5
log center
Number of logs received per second 400
General Specifications
Internet protocol SMB1 (CIFS), SMB2, SMB3, NFSv3, NFSv4, NFSv4.1, NFS Kerberized sessions, iSCSI, HTTP, HTTPs, FTP, SNMP, LDAP, CalDAV
Supported browsers
  • Google Chrome
  • firefox
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Safari
supported language English, Deutsch, Français, Italiano, Español, Dansk, Norsk, Svenska, Nederlands, Русский, Polski, Magyar, Português do Brasil, Português Europeu, Türkçe, Český, ภษษไทย, Traditional Chinese, Simplified
Remark For details of supported browser versions, please refer to DSM Technical Specifications .
Additional Kits View Full Kit List
Synology Chat
download station
Maximum number of download tasks 80
SAN Manager
Maximum number of iSCSI Targets 10
Maximum number of LUNs 10
LUN Clone/Snapshot, Windows Offload Data Transfer (ODX)
Media Server
DLNA compatible
Synology Photos
face recognition
Snapshot Replication
The maximum number of snapshots supported by a single shared folder 256
Maximum number of system snapshots 4,096
Surveillance Station
The maximum number of cameras supported (camera authorization is required) 20 (including 2 sets of free licenses) (see compatible IP cameras)
Frames per second (FPS) (H.264) 600 FPS @ 720p (1280×720)
460 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080)
300 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536)
150 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944)
110 FPS @ 4K (3840×2160)
Frames per second (FPS) (H.265) 600 FPS @ 720p (1280×720)
500 FPS @ 1080p (1920×1080)
400 FPS @ 3M (2048×1536)
350 FPS @ 5M (2591×1944)
250 FPS @ 4K (3840×2160)
Remark
  • Maximum number of IP cameras and FPS figures are the result of a test unit recording continuously with a full hard drive.
  • Actual system capacity will vary based on system configuration, hard drive performance, number of features enabled, and presence of other workloads.
Synology Drive
Recommended number of clients that can sync simultaneously 200 (the number of devices that can be connected at the same time when the recommended number of stored files is reached)
Recommended number of files to store 500,000 (applicable to files indexed or belonging to Synology Drive , files accessed through other protocols, please refer to the file service in the above field)
Remark
  • Exceeding the recommended amounts above will not cause the kit to stop functioning, it will just cause longer response times.
  • The Btrfs file system and unencrypted shared folders were used in the above tests.
Synology Office
Maximum number of users 200
Remark
  • The test opens multiple files, and each file is edited by 30 users at the same time.
  • Client performance may affect the maximum number of simultaneous editing users. Client test computer specifications: Intel Core i3-3220 / 8GB memory
Video Station
VPN Server
Maximum number of connections 20

If you are interested in the full range of services and applications (of which the Synology DS223 will likely run around 80% or so of which, just not the higher-end process/graphically demanding ones), you can watch my full Synology DSM 7.1 Review below. It covers pretty much everything and you can use the chapters at the bottom to fast-forward to the appropriate app/service/function that you are most interested in.

Next, let’s discuss how much improvement/difference we have in the DS223 against the DS218 NAS that it is seemingly refreshing for 2023.

How Does the Synology DS223 compare with the DS218 NAS?

The Synology DS223 NAS is not going to be an enormous jump in terms of ability over the DS218. Yes, this new CPU will bring improvements in power (aka clock speed) which means more ‘umpf’ under the bonnet to get things done, but also it will be more efficient, as it will benefit from the further developments by Realtek in getting the most out of these more economical of processors. The RTD1619b and RTD1296 are both quad-core, but the newer gen DS223 CPU is 1.7Gh in clock speed, so that means more resources to get your tasks done and (thanks to that R&D) less being used per task – so win-win. Below is a breakdown of how the DS223 and DS218 compare:

Hardware

Synology DS218 NAS (2018/2019)

Synology DS223 NAS (2023)

Processor model Realtek RTD1296 Realtek RTD1619B
Number of CPUs 1 1
processor architecture 64-bit 64-bit
processor clock 4-core 1.4 GHz 4-core 1.7 GHz
Memory
system memory 2 GB DDR4 non-ECC 2 GB DDR4 non-ECC
Remark Synology reserves the right to replace memory components with the same or higher frequency depending on the supplier’s product availability. Its compatibility and stability have undergone the same rigorous testing and inspection, please feel free to use it. Synology reserves the right to replace memory components with the same or higher frequency depending on the supplier’s product availability. Its compatibility and stability have undergone the same rigorous testing and inspection, please feel free to use it.
storage device
Number of slots 2 2
Compatible Disk Type* (see all supported disks)
  • 3.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD
  • 3.5″ SATA HDD
  • 2.5″ SATA SSD
Ports
external port
RJ-45 1GbE LAN port 1 1
USB 2.0 port 1 0
USB 3.2 Gen 1 port* 2 3
The only other notable difference (and that is stretching it a bit, I know) is that the DS223 is USB 3.2 Gen 1 throughout (3 ports), whereas the DS218 has 3 USB ports but one is a USB 2.0 (annoyingly, the front one that you would most likely use for regular LOCAL BACKUPS!). I am also pleased that they have kept the front-mounted copy button, which is used more in this value tier than most.

When Will the Synology DS223 NAS Drive Be Released and what is the Price?

Right now, Synology is taking its time on rolling the information out on this device globally, but we will likely see the full release of the Synology DS223 NAS globally before the end of Jan 2023. Regarding pricing, Synology will be keen to maintain the price point of their other value series NAS devices, so expect to see the DS223 arriving at around $270 / £230 / €260 (be sure to factor in your local tax and shipping of course). We can almost certainly expect the arrival of a 4-Bay DS423 and DS223j and/or DS423j NAS too soon.

Check Amazon and other retailers to see if the Synology DS223 NAS is available now using the links to them below (it supports us, costs you nothing extra and me and Eddie who run NASCompares will get a commission that goes directly back into the YouTube channel and blog):


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Synology DS723+ NAS Review

11 janvier 2023 à 01:01

The Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Tremendous 2-Bay?

Synology has always maintained a remarkably envious position in the NAS industry over the last decade or so. Although they didn’t ‘invent’ the idea of a private server in the home/office, they were the first to give the concept a fantastically consumer and accessible presentation. Over that time we have seen their popular Diskstation series go from strength to strength, with this new DS723+ NAS 2-Bay being the latest to join their growing lineup. All this said, the landscape has changed somewhat and with a vastly more informed and hardware-aware audience is not quite as optionless as it once was. Despite Synology’s top-tier platform ‘DSM’ still setting the standard for NAS software, the brand has come under growing criticism for their hardware choices. The DS723+ is the latest offering from the brand that hopes to challenge this reputation of software over hardware, providing a number of key improvements to the modest 2-Bay tier, such as ECC memory and optional network upgradability. Arranging as effectively HALF of the DS923+ NAS in most ways (but crucially, not half the price due to DSM being the main selling point), will the DS723+ NAS simply serve to upto the 4-Bay, or does it present itself as the perfect high powered and high-speed compact solution for those larger HDD capacities arriving in 2022 (20TB, 22TB and 26TB by the end of the year)? Let’s find out in my review of the Synology DS723+ NAS.

Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

There is no denying that the Synology DS723+ NAS is the most powerful, capable and upgradable 2-Bay that Synology has EVER released. Although the AMD Ryzen dual core Ryzen CPU is going to be a sticking point for those who wish a quad-core and/or integrated graphics CPU had been used (eg video conversions server side in Plex and the like) – the capabilities of the DS723+ NAS in it’s traditional performance, handling and throughput are better than they have ever been on ANY other Synology 2-Bay before. The 10GbE optional upgrade on this system is a very welcome but surprisingly option on this device (given Synology’s past reluctance to prove this on a system that may well struggle to saturate it with just two bays). Then there is the support of M.2 NVMe SSD storage pools, making the DS723+ NAS just the 2nd every Synology NAS to support this function (alongside SSD cache support of course) – though odd decisions on Gen 3×4>3×1 handling are still a touch puzzling. Support of DSM 7.1 (DSM 7.2 beta soon, at time of writing) runs beautifully on the  DS723+ NAS and is still clearly what the primary selling point of this system is, with Synology offering the system as a solution and entry point into their ecosystem, rather than a hardware/nuts-and-bolts purchase. The full range of 1st party tools (Active backup, VMM, Photos, Drive, Collaboration Suite, Hyper Backup, Surveillance Station and more) still continue to impress and to have full and (mostly) licence-free access to these from such a compact server system is genuinely fantastic. Likewise, the support of 3rd party client applications and SaaS/PaaS services (Google WorkSpace, Office 365, VMware, Hyper-V, etc) still maintains a high standard of integration with the Synology tools, though with a clear growing movement by the brand to prioritize it’s own services.

Still, there is a lingering feeling that the DS723+ NAS in it’s default state is crying for a defacto day one upgrade. The 2GB of base memory seems rather penny-pinching, despite the support of ECC. The 10GbE upgrade option is welcome, but largely inevitable when the default connection are 1GBe – IN 2023! I return to my point at the intro, where there DS723+ arrives (at least in terms of hardware) as practically half of the DS923+ (half the bays, half the memory, half the USBs, etc), but with a pricepoint that is certainly not half. Therefore in many ways, the DS723+ NAS serves as a compelling argument to just skip it entirely and go for the DS923+ for about £200 more and enjoy those extras and partially populate. The support and compatibility of 3rd party hardware on the DS723+ NAS is a fraction more streamlined than some might like (eg 22TB and 20TB HDDs still remain absent on the compatibility list, yet Synology branded 18TB drives are clearly available and we absent upto that point despite WD and Seagate NAS alternatives in the market), but overall the DS723+ is still a great NAS and easily cements itself as the best 2 bay offering by the brand in their 20+ year history.

SOFTWARE - 10/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻DSM 7/7.1 (and DSM7.2 Around the corner) still continues to be an absolute tour-de-force of NAS Software
👍🏻Most Affordable 10GbE upgradable Synology NAS in the market!
👍🏻ECC Memory Support and scalability to 32GB is completely unparallel at this price point
👍🏻The design of the DS723+ NAS still continues to be market-leading
👍🏻The New CPU architecture allows great PCIe3 bandwidth to be afforded to the rest of the hardware, inside and out
👍🏻Low Noise, Low Physical Impact and Intelligent Automatic Power Use Adjustment Settings
👍🏻Increased Support for macOS in Synology Drive and Active Backup Suite (DSM 7.2)
👍🏻Synology C2 Cloud Services, 1st Party Backup/Sync Tools and Collaboration Suite App = Complete 1st Party Eco-system that can rival Office365 and Google Workspace
👍🏻PCIe Gen 3 M.2 NVMe SSD Support as Storage Pools!!! FINALLY!
👍🏻Tremendously User-Friendly!!!
CONS
👎🏻The AMD Emb.Ryzen instead of a Intel Celeron (with Integrated Graphics) will be a dealbreaker for alot of users
👎🏻The default 1GbE ports that the system arrives with are tremendously dated
👎🏻The USB port on the system (only x1?!) is older gen USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) and their support/usability have been quite pared back in recent DSM releases
👎🏻The continued moves by Synology to prioritize 1st party hardware and software services may put some users off
👎🏻Plex Support on the Synology DS723+ is still great for native playback, client-side handling and client devices with relevant multimedia licenses in place, but if server-side media conversions are needed - this system will struggle in comparison with the DS720+ before it


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Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Presentation & Packaging

I won’t spend too long talking about the external packaging of the Synology DS723+ NAS, as it is remarkably similar to that of other Diskstation devices at this scale. The presentation of the retail box does have more attention to detail than you might expect though (given this is a 99% online purchased device and therefore any kind of glossy/detailed livery is almost a vanity addition!), as alongside the expected Synology logo and sticker for the model ID, the box is printed with tonnes of devices specific details. Synology has always been very, VERY aware of the power of branding with their solutions, as its little details like these (as well as embossed handles and favouring solution/every-man related terminology over cold specifications on the packaging) go a long way to set them apart from the sea of brown-box-rinse-repeat found in most online IT solutions you buy online and not at retail.

Despite the fact the DS723+ NAS is shipped unpopulated from Synology, we still need to grade/review them on the protection this unit is afforded in transit. As solid as a lot of IT kit looks, you cannot ignore the effects of shock or motion damage on them in long-distance travel from their point of manufacture (Taiwan in this case), so I will always give a brand extra points if they have gone the extra mile to spend a little more on protecting their system. In the case of the Synology DS723+ NAS, it’s mostly ok. I wish they used more hard foam/surrounding as you find in their 6-Bays and higher solutions (DS1621+, DS1821+, etc), as the DS723+ NAS arrives in a mostly cardboard structure that I think will be fine for the most part, but wouldn’t stand up to physical pressure tremendously well. Everything is separated very well and the structure/framework is there, it is just mostly cardboard! But I am being a bit petty here… let’s move on!

The DS723+ arrives with the accessories you would expect. The NAS unit itself, an external 65W PSU, Screws for 2.5″ media (3.5″ media installation is toolless), RJ45 Cat 5e ethernet cable, keys for the storage bays, first-time setup document and information on your warranty. All fairly standard stuff, though I am always surprised by the fact that Synology never include heatsinks for the M.2 NVMe SSD bays, given the high priority of the brand towards caching on these storage bays – something that can get those M.2 SSDs pretty hot. This is especially true in the case of this system being one of only two in the Synology hardware lineup to support M.2 NVMe SSD bays for caching AND storage Pools! This might well be the reason for the brand’s throttling of these bays in a few ways, but more on that later.

The external PSU is Synology branded, always a nice touch, and although there is a contingent of users that prefer an internal PSU (less fuss, tidier) I will always prefer an external power supplier, as it is hugely easier to replace, reduces the size of the NAS chassis itself and keeps those internal temps a little lower too. Luckily this NAS is such a low-impact model in terms of power use that a modest external power brick is completely possible.

The retail kit for the Synology DS723+ NAS is all fairly standard stuff in contents, but still a very branded package and completely what we would have expected from this very brand-aware company! Let’s discuss the design of the DS723+.

Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Chassis Design & Features

The chassis design of the DS723+ NAS is largely the same as the DS720+ and DS718+ that came before it. This is a particularly well-designed device, both in terms of aesthetic design AND it’s efficient system operation 24×7, with tonnes of ventilation throughout and very structured component distribution. Also, the chassis is a largely plastic external casing in matt black, that contains a much smaller structure on aluminium internally. The result is a NAS that is pretty low noise when in operation (unless you use HDDs larger than around 10TB and/or enterprise-grade 7200RPM disks), something that alot of users who plan on taking advantage of the potential increased external bandwidth that DS723+ for photo/video editing will hugely appreciate. That said, one consistent vibe you get in the design of the DS723+ is that direct/physical interaction with the device is kept to a minimum, preferring almost entirely network/internet-based interactivity. Not a huge surprise for a ‘NAS’ of course, but there are a handful of physical attributes that are intentionally absent here. The front of the chassis lacks any kind of LCD display, instead favouring LED indicators. The bulk of the front panel is occupied by the main storage bays and these have alining of ventilation all around them to act as passive airflow.

Passive airflow is definitely a big focus on the design of this chassis, with almost every side of the case featuring ventilation of one sort of around, with the Synology logo being vented. As this system will be in operation 24×7, it is heavily reliant on the rear fans to push air effectively through the system and over the assortment of internal heatsinks as effectively as possible and this chassis does that very well indeed. The Diskstation series at the 2/4 Bay level has always done a great job of melding modern design with necessary system temperature management and the DS723+ is no exception.

The LEDs on the front of the system use the usual three-colour system to denote drive activity and system status (network activity is absent, but the usual LEDs on the RJ45/Ethernet ports themselves are still present). These can have their brightness adjusted (or deactivated entirely) and although lack alot of the more information abilities of an LCD panel (IP addresses, system temp, alert description), they still serve ok as an initial indicator of system activity.

The main two storage bays of the DS723+ NAS are SATA interfaces and can be fully or partially populated with 2.5″ or 3.5″ media. The HDD/SSD compatibility of the DS723+ is still thinner than that of the DS720+, but Synology softened its stance a pinch on this subject after DSM 7.1 and the negative feedback on stricter HDD compatibility (i.e Synology media only). Although the full compatibility list is not as broad as that of the DS720+, we expect more drives to be added after launch (much as we saw with the DS1522+ and RS422+), though drives above 18TB are still absent (at the time of writing) despite 20TB and 22TB hard drives being tested on the DS723+ and working immediately. These two bays also allow you to use a large range of RAID configurations (redundant array of independent disks – a system of combining multiple drives to benefit storage scale, performance and/or data redundancy/safety-net). The usual configurations are here, RAID 0 and RAID 1 but the system also supports Synology’s Hybrid RAID (SHR) which allows you to mix different HDD/SSD capacities. It’s pretty unlikely that you will mix drive media on day 1, but if you partially populate or want to upgrade your drives gradually a few years down the line, SHR is SIGNIFICANTLY easier to expand and absorb newer/larger drives into an existing RAID. That said, the performance of SHR is a pinch lower than RAID 5 and RAID 1 conventionally, so for those hoping to take advantage of the 10GbE connectivity might do well to think about their Day 1 RAID and it’s impact down the line.

The trays themselves are plastic click-n-load tracks that feature a locking mechanism. It’s worth highlighting that this lock is by no means ‘industrial’ and removing a drive is going to be easy for particularly nefarious individuals, but this lock is more to prevent accidental removal than it is as a meaningful security barrier. The trays have screw holes for 2.5″ media to be installed with screws, but 3.5″ media is installed in seconds with the use of side clips that hold the drive in place via it’s own fixtures. The plastic tray is pretty sturdy and heat/cracking is not going to be any concern here. Also, the plastic trays will lower the ambient noise level when in operation more than metal trays would do, but (sorry to be repetitious) if you use bigger than 10TB HDDs, it is simply not possible to reduce the clicks, hums and whurs of these more industrial drives.

The front of the DS723+ NAS also features a USB port that can be used for connecting an external drive for backups in either direction (i. backup the drive contents to the NAS, or present files and folders to the NAS to the drive). Now, the DS723+ does not feature a front-mounted copy button (bit annoying) but DSM does include a USB copy tool that allows drives to automatically trigger a pre-set USB-to-NAS or NAS-to-USB operation when a drive is connected, which is pretty detailed in its setup (pre-set directories, age of files, exclusions, schedules, versioning, etc). The USB port is a USB 3.2 Gen 1, so 5Gb/s (500-500MB/s max bandwidth). Much like the 2.5G vs 1Gb complaints I made earlier, most other NAS brands at this hardware tier have rolled in USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10G / 1,000+ MB)  ports, as well as USB-C in some cases. With the ease with which a user can add a USB tier to their 3-2-1 backup strategy (allowing them to be a little more financially creative with a network/remote/cloud backup tier as well), the slightly old skool USB port here are a little underwhelming. With significantly more affordable RAID-enabled USB solutions in the market and/or M.2 NVMe external USB drives arriving affordable to comfortably provide faster external storage for backups, this seems like a bit of a misstep by Synology to ignore. Also, DSM 7 and DSM 7.1 (with DSM 7.2 coming soon enough) have reduced the range of use of the USB port of Synology NAS systems (removing many network adapters, DTV tuners, wireless dongles, office accessories such as printers, scanners and optical drives), and limiting them largely to storage, UPS’ and assigning them to VMs. I am sure Synology has done the market research and observed reduced utilization of USB on their systems to dictate this decision, but it seems to be another move by the brand to prioritize network/remote access only with their systems.

The base of the system is where you will find those two M.2 NVMe SSD slots (again, tonnes of passive ventilation) that support SSD caching in conjunction with the larger HDD array, or use as an independent storage pool. At the time of writing, you cannot initialize the DS723+ and DSM to run directly from these faster drives, though you CAN choose to install individual applications on the NVMe SSD Storage pool after initialization. You can even go a little off-piste and use one bay for Read caching and the other for a storage pool if you choose – quite nice for a 2-Bay SATA NAS to technically have 4 usable storage bays total. Space is a little tight, but there is certainly room for a couple of M.2 $8-10 heatsinks (I successfully tested the Eluteng Dual Design M.2 Heatsinks found HERE on Amazon) and definitely recommend heatsinks for drives in these bays, regardless of their use for caching and/or pools.

Performance on these bays will comfortably saturate an external 10GbE connection (see gif below using two M.2 NVMes below tested with AJA externally over 10GbE). This is going to be useful for those that were concerned that 2x SATA HDDs or SSDs would struggle to saturate the 1,000MB/s bandwidth offered by the 10G upgrade. However, the full bandwidth afforded by the use of these bays in a storage pool is a little less clear than many would like.

First and foremost, although these are physically PCIe Gen 3×4 Bays (checked using Putty over SSH), they have been throttled to PCIe Gen 3×1. Now, there are several reasons for this move (appearing online from 1st/3rd party sources, as well as in communication with the brand previously) with the most recurring reason being to do with increased heat from these bays needing to be avoided. Now, though this may have merit and Synology will have little reason to do this otherwise, other NAS brands offering m.2 NVMe SSD Storage pools on their systems have not included this downgrade in PCIe speed for similar reasoning (though many use processors that lack the PCI Lane coverage afforded to the DS723+ and the Ryzen, meaning fixed 3×2 or 3×1 speeds for reasons of architecture, not heat). Its a slightly odd move and one that is also further baffling when it was confirmed that the support of M.2 NVMe SSD pools on previous Synology Diskstation releases with support of these 2280 slots (DS920+, DS1621+xs+, DS1821+ etc just to name a few) is not coming any time soon.  It is still better to have support of M.2 NVMe SSD pools rather than not, but this has been a slightly odd way of approaching the feature and hopefully one that will see revision and improvement in further software/hardware updates in 2023/2024.

I have always been a big fan of the Synology Diskstation chassis for it’s minimalistic, yet attractive and efficient design. The absence of a USB copy button still irks me a little and the largely plastic design is not going to be to everyone’s taste, but you cannot fault the amount of R&D that has gone into the construction here. Let’s discuss the ports and connectivity of the DS723+ NAS.

Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Ports and Connections

The ports and connections that the DS723+ NAS arrives with are something of a mixed bag and compared with the 2020 released DS720+ only real include on different (but it IS a BIG difference). The system has a single active 92mm cooling fan that will automatically adjust its RPM as the system’s ambient temperature requires. You can adjust it manually if you are especially noise-sensitive, but I would really recommend it (a low system temp = better system efficiency). The fan is not immediately removable (built into the back panel of the system), so cleaning and maintenance are a little fiddly and involve removal of the bulk of the chassis, but thanks to the large amount of ventilation afforded to the system, this is not really an issue long-term.

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way early doors! Those ethernet ports. The default model of the DS723+ NAS arrives with two-gigabit ethernet ports (the same as the DS720+, DS718+ and DS716+ before it), despite almost other commercial NAS brand producing solutions at this consumer-tier/scale arriving with at least 2.5GbE. Now, the adoption of greater than gigabit connectivity in client hardware (laptops, PCs, routers, switches, docking stations, etc) is by no means as ubiquitous as 1GbE (which has been around for decades at this point), BUT it is growing. ISPs are providing fiber internet connections globally that exceed gigabit speeds, along with 2.5GbE and WiFi 6 routers. We are seeing more prosumer switches, routers and PCs with default 2.5Gb network ports (at the same/similar cost as 1GbE), $20 USB-to-2.5G adapters and even the affordability of 10GbE on some client devices has allowed users to gradually scale up their hardware environment. The fact the DS723+ arrives at the tail end of 2023 and does not feature greater than 1GbE ports by default is quite damning. Even if you have no plans for 2.5G right now in your setup and think it something of a fad (favouring 10GbE), in terms of future-proofing and the general standard or networking hardware right now, gigabit ethernet is a surprising weakness here.

HOWEVER, we do need to acknowledge the bit change that the DS723+ brings over it’s 2.5yr older predecessor – the ability to upgrade your network connectivity to 10GbE. The DS723+ is now the 4th Synology NAS to arrive (after the DS923+, DS1522+ and RS422+) with support of the Synology E10G22-T1-mini, a proprietary network upgrade module that is one of the easiest and quickest upgrades that I have ever seen to 10G to install! This module fits neatly (by design of course) into the PCIe Gen 3 x2 network upgrade slot, though powering down the device is necessary during installation. At first, I was a little sceptical about Synology providing a 10GbE upgrade to the DS723+ via a custom-made and largely proprietary designed upgrade module (thereby limiting you to ONLY the Synology PCIe upgrade, but not any other traditional PCIe Card 10G upgrades), but over time I have come round a little on this one.

I like how easy this is to install (zero case deconstruction) and it is a very well-designed component (not just a rebadged card with a logo). The 10G upgrade is only available in copper (RJ45/10GBASE-T) currently, but I would not be surprised if Synology roll out an SFP/SFP+ version down the line. As much as I would like to see this port and it’s utility get expanded (2.5G/5G, Dual port?), realistically this is still a PCIe 3×2 slot (so maximum 2,000MB/s to play with and that’s without network/hardware friction) and the physical space here is pretty small.

PERFORMANCE TESTING IN PROGRESS! IMAGES VERY SOON

The next question many will have about the DS723+ and this optional 10GbE upgrade is, can you even saturate a 10G (1,00MB/s+) connection with 2 bays of SATA storage? It’s a good point, as generally, domestic-class NAS HDDs will give you about 180-220MB/s max, with enterprise-class (or Pro) drives giving you 250-275MB/s. RAID configuration will add to this by increasing performance per drive bay. On Synology’s own pages, they rate the device to hit 471MB/s Sequential Read and 225MB/s Write – arguably quite slow numbers in the grand scheme of things. Of course, using SATA SSDs and/or M.2 NVMes in flash based storage pools will tell a very different story (with the latter EASILY maxing a 1,000MB/s connection, as seen in the previous gif above). That said, this port bing proprietary and unique to this product family/generation mean that there are a number of other Synology NAS PCIe upgrades that are unsupported. Although the NAS chassis size is an obvious and unavoidable factor (as is the saturation on offer), but hopefully that SFP+ support and perhaps compact dual port options might come on day…

Another thing I wanted to touch on was USB and… well… the lack of a rear port! I was rather surprised by this as, although the support of USB peripherals has dropped in DSM 7/7.1 (discussed earlier), the lack of a 2nd USB port on the DS723+ NAS is an odd move. Moving aside from additional storage add ons for backups and simply storage carry-over, smart UPS’ that still use USB connectivity and/or assigning a USB device to a VM in Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) is going to now become a bit of a swap fest! Lastly, there is the expansion port that allows you to attach the official 5-Bay DX517 expansion device. This £350-400 5x SATA Bay JBOD enclosure is connected via a screw-in eSATA connection and allows you to either expand an existing RAID to increase the drive quantity and capacity overall (though not recommended to spread RAIDs over NAS+Expansion). Alternatively, you can use the expansion as a means to create an additional separate RAID configuration (which can also be gradually populated) that is treated exactly the same as the internal storage of the DS723+. The fact this expansion is JBOD only means that the RAID is managed by the main DS723+ device (which given the expansion cost, is a little annoying), but having this expandability is very useful. You cannot use third-party eSATA JBOD enclosures (unsurprisingly) and you can not get smaller/larger expansion chassis that are compatible with the DS723+, but the support of an expansion does mean that your storage options years down the line have this official option.

Overall the ports and connectivity of the DS723+ are technically no differences in the base model than the 2.5yrs older DS720+, it is only the option to add improved network connectivity towards 10GbE (and paying £129-139 extra for that) that makes this any way improved upon as a refresh of the older device. This upgrade is certainly welcomed, but there is still the hanging question of why they could not just roll this into the DS723+ as a default port on day 1 and just increase the price £100 – as I think there is a good % of NAS users who would have preferred this (especially with 10GbE largely supporting auto-negotiation with 5G, 2.5G and 1G, therefore allowing backwards compatibility). The expandability remains exactly the same too, which is useful but with only supporting the single expansion type and the lack of rear USB port, things are a little ‘blah’. Let’s take a closer look at the internal hardware and discuss the other big changes that the DS723+ brings over its predecessor.

Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Internal Hardware

This is likely to be one of the biggest areas of contention for many users who have been waiting for the release of the DS723+, as the hardware choices that Synology has made for this system are quite a change of architecture that many expected. The internal framework of the DS723+ is an aluminium storage cage for the main SATA bays, with its own multi-port backboard. The same goes for the M.2 NVMe SSD bays, with both of these boards connecting to the controller board that has CPU and Memory storage. As mentioned earlier, the DS723+ does not take advantage of any active cooling systems (beyond the rear fans) and is heavily reliant on heatsinks internally to dissipate the heat from key components like the CPU and disperse that heat into the air. The CPU inside the DS723+ is the AMD Embedded Ryzen R1600 processor, an x86 64bit Dual core, four-thread processor with an impressive base level clock speed of 2.6Ghz that can be scaled up to 3.1Ghz when needed. Now, the DS7xx+ series has always arrived with a Quad Core Intel Celeron (or Pentium) processor in the past and when it was revealed that the DS723+ was arriving with a dual-core embedded ryzen, many users were a little unhappy. This was largely down to two factors. The first was that the R1600 is a dual-core, not the four-core that everyone expected. Now the R1600’s four-thread architecture does allow the CPU to spread out quite alot across tasks and services (as well as virtual CPUs in VM deployment), as well as having a higher power in both base and burst mode available, which means it isn’t a bad CPU! But the bigger area of contention from some buyers is that the R1600 lacks integrated graphics. This means that for some tasks and services that are more graphical in nature, the result will be a higher typical CPU Uages % than a processor that has a more specialized graphics management component onboard.

How the Synology DS720+ Intel Celeron J4125 and DS723+ AMD Emb.Ryzen R1600 Compare:

The traditional data handling of the R1600 is very good, as seen in our DS1522+ testing earlier in 2022. As far as DSM (the Synology software) is concerned it will be able to run EVERYTHING! Additionally, the general file handling and throughput internally are going to be great too, so all good news. Then you have the advantage of the newer gen CPU in the DS723+ over the DS720+ supporting PCIe3 lanes, affording greater bandwidth to the rest of the hardware (i.e those M.2 slots being higher bandwidth and enabling that network upgrade slot), all the while with the CPU having the potential to hit 3.1Ghz of power when needed. It is genuinely a good CPU and there are lots of reasons why Synology have opted for this CPU, but it is by no means perfect and some specific user setups and their concerns do have merit.

For a start, the AMD R1600 has a higher typical usage (unsurprising for the spec and generally identified as TDP, as a maximum) compared with the avg Intel Celeron being used in other NAS systems released in 2022 (such as the Intel N5105 or J6412) and in a system that will be in operation 24×7, this is going to a question mark for those affected by erratically rising energy prices right now, The difference might only be pence on the day, but those pence add up! Then there is the dual cores. Although having the four threads IS handy and will be useful, Cores will always beat threads when it comes to capabilities. Finally, there is that lack of integrated graphics. Most users will not notice this as an issue in day-to-day use, but multimedia users and especially a large % of Plex users will notice, if they are a little more reliant on the server-side processing than on the client. For example, if your media collection contains alot of dense/complex audio media (RAW, MP4a, etc) OR alot of higher-end HEVC/H.265 Media BUT you do not have client hardware that supports these types (or allows local client conversions/transcoding), then the NAS will have to use raw horsepower to get the job done – much less efficient than embedded graphics doing the job. Again, you might not be impacted by this (your client hardware might have enough power and privileges, or you own a local HEVC-licensed device), but it IS a concern if you are running a Plex Media Server on the DS723+ and need the NAS to convert files on the fly. Earlier in 2022, I compared the DS720+ (with a Celeron) vs the DS1522+ (with this same AMD R1600) in a detailed YouTube video testing 4K Media in Plex. Here are the results:

Next, we can move on to the other big internal change that the DS723+ NAS has arrived with over the DS720+ before it, the Memory. The DS723+ arrives with 2GB of DDR4 Memory like it’s predecessor, which is half the memory of the 4-Bay DS923+, but after that it is all change! This memory is ECC (Error Correcting Code) memory that is more often found in enterprise NAS setups, due to its higher pricetag, but also its huge benefits towards avoiding bitrot and silent data inconsistency that are not going to be spotted till years down the line when accessing old data. As data passes through the memory, the memory has an additional onboard module that is designed to be constantly making a blueprint/snapshot/parity bit of the data at the start. This is then used to check the data on the exit path and if there are any inconsistencies, the data is remapped/repaired to its original form.

ECC Memory has appeared on lots of Synology NAS’ over the years (with pretty much ALL devices higher than ‘mid-high business having it as standard now), so it is great to see it here on this 2-bay diskstation model. In other good news, whereas the DS720+ had 2GB of memory that was soldered to the main controller board and could be upgraded to 6GB with 1 free slot, the Synology DS723+ has two slots available (one prepopulated with the initial module) and can be upgraded to a massive 32GB. This again is thanks to that R1600 CPU being used. Although Synology still maintains quite a tight compatibility/whitelist on supported memory modules (stating that you can/should ONLY use their own first-party modules), I cannot fault the choice of memory and its upgradability here!

In summary, in terms of the internal hardware, I am mostly happy. The lack of an integrated graphics processor (especially when the same AMD Embedded Ryzen R1000 CPU family has a graphics-equipped model, which was passed over here for the R1600) is a real pain for alot of users, but by no means does it mean this NAS is a write-off! That CPU has alot of capabilities, has opened up the hardware on the system to greater bandwidths, is capable of great internal+external performance and outside of conversion-based activities in multimedia, and still plays 4K and 1080p media very well. There are a few other details regarding AMD Emb.Ryzen vs Intel Celeron that you can learn more bout by reading this article HERE, but let’s move on to the Software side of the Synology DS723+ NAS and DSM 7.

Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Software and Services

At Launch, the DS723+ NAS arrives with the latest version of Synology software, DSM 7.1. However, this does not stop evolving as soon as you get your Synology NAS. DSM has been in continues to be the dominant force in the world of NAS software, providing a massive arrangement of services, applications (first and third-party supported) and a huge number of client applications for desktop, mobile, Windows, macOS and Linux (as well as a bunch of other more home-based tools). These allow management and access to the data on the DS723+ in very tailored ways, as well as the web browser-based access that has the appearance, intuitive design and responsiveness of a local operating system. The DSM interface can be accessed by hundreds of users at the same time (with each user having tailored access, rights and privileges). DSM is available with ALL Synology NAS and the depth and abilities of DSM on any NAS are dependent on the hardware architecture of the NAS itself. In the case of the Synology DS723+, it supports EVERYTHING that is offered by Synology’s platform. DSM is currently in version 7.1, but it looks like we will be seeing beta/full release of DSM 7.2 at the start of 2023, which will be adding WORM (write Once Read Many) support, Volume scale encryption and numerous improvements to individual applications. If you want to learn about the DSM 7 and the software and services that are included with the DS723+ NAS, watch my FULL review below (alternatively, you can read the DSM 7 Full Review HERE):

As mentioned, the DS723+ supports pretty much the entirety of the DSM 7.1 applications and services (DSM 7 and DSM 6.2 are still in circulation and still receive regular service and security updates, though the DS723+ will arrive with DSM 7.1 by default and cannot be rolled back). If you are an existing user of SaaS and PaaS (Software as a service and Platform as a service) from the likes of Google Workspace and Office 365, knowing that you can synchronize these systems or choose to export away from them onto the Synology services is going to be very appealing. Then there is the increasing development of their 1st party cloud platform, Synology C2, which is slowly integrating into all the applications that are available on your bare metal NAS (allowing you to add a cloud layer of backup, synchronization and access to your data storage setup). This is a subscription platform, which can only be used with your Synology NAS system (as well as connected with some 3rd party SaaS services, but for those that are moving away from Google/Microsoft/AWS for security reasons, but still want a Cloud+Metal storage network in place, C2 covers pretty much everything. Indeed, although below I have highlighted a number of the key/best applications that are included in your DS723+ Service with DSM, most of them can be immediately integrated with Synology C2  (with even more being added in 2023 with DSM 7.2). Key business and consumer applications that are included with your NAS are:

Synology Office – Create documents, spreadsheets, and slides in a multi-user environment. Real-time synchronization and saving make collaboration a breeze.

Synology Chat – Aimed at businesses, Synology Chat is an IM service that transforms the way users collaborate and communicate.

Synology Drive – Host your own private cloud behind the safety of your NAS with 100% data ownership and no subscription fees. Drive has become one of the premier applications of DSM and allows uses to create intelligent shared team folders that support versioning, file streaming+pinning, encryption, Windows AD support (soon) and native file system support with Windows and macOS.

Synology Photos – Manage your photos and videos with deep-learning algorithms that automatically group photos with similar faces, subjects, and places. Designed after the merger of Synology Photo Station and Moments, it also includes tailored folder, sharing and categorization features to help photographers manage their photos and share them with clients for feedback or business development.

Synology Calendar – Stay on track, share calendars, and schedule meetings, while ensuring sensitive information remains safely stored on company premises.

Synology Active Backup for Business (ABB) – Consolidate backup tasks for virtualized environments, physical servers, and personal computers, and rapidly restore files, entire machines, or VMs – license-free. This software also arrives as a specialised Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace platform to sync with those platforms and allow a bare metal tier to your cloud office services

Synology Hyper Backup – Backup your NAS safely and efficiently to multiple destinations with deduplication, integrity checks, compression, and versioning.

Synology Surveillance Station – Safeguard your business, home, and other valuable assets with reliable video surveillance tools. With improved AI services being accessible thanks to Synology BC500 and TC500 Cameras arriving in 2023. Additionally, you can connect this platform with Synology’s cloud platform to use ‘C2 Surveillance’ and bolster the odds of recordings being maintained in the event of accidental/malicious damage to your surveillance system.

Synology Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) – An intuitive hypervisor that supports Windows, Linux, and Virtual DSM virtual machines. Its powerful disaster recovery tools help users achieve maximum service uptime.

Synology High Availability – Synology High Availability (SHA) combines two Synology NAS servers into one active-passive high-availability cluster, alleviating service disruptions while mirroring data.

Synology Central Management System (CMS) – Synology CMS allows you to manage multiple Synology NAS servers quickly and conveniently from a single location.

Synology Video Station – Manage all your movies, TV shows, and home videos. Stream them to multiple devices or share them with friends and family.

Synology Audio Station – Manage your music collection, create personal playlists, stream them to your own devices, or share with family or friends.

Synology File Station – Manage your Synology NAS files remotely through web browsers or mobile devices. This tool allows complete file management and contains all the features and services of your own native file management platform (archiving, extracting, Copy, Cut, Paste, Sharing, native file format opening, integration with the rest of the Synology applications, property/metadata access, etc)

You cannot really fault the software and services that are included with the Synology DS723+ NAS, as you are going to get the very best experience available on the platform, thanks to the hardware and architecture of this NAS. DSM 7 is an ever-evolving platform, so if you are reading this now at the time of publishing or years later, there is always going to be something in DSM for everyone. That said, Synology in recent years has been increasing its priorities towards first-party software and services. This does make sense, as they want to promote their systems and software as a complete ecosystem for your home or business data storage needs (going on in the last few years to release even more Synology alternatives to popular software AND releasing non-NAS hardware accessories such as Routers, Network Adapters, HDDs, SSDs and now IP Cameras). This can occasionally lead to the compatibility lists of hardware or software that you wish to use in conjunction with the DS723+ NAS being a little smaller/restricted than you might like. A specific 3rd party software/service or physical accessory (HDD, Memory module, Network Upgrade) might not appear on the Synology compatibility pages, but that does not mean it will not function with the DS723+ NAS. It is more a case of Synology choosing not to test/evaluate a particular setup (in their defence, there are ALOT) and therefore until stated otherwise is therefore listed as incompatible and is therefore being used without their full, guaranteed support long term. In short, you can DEFINITELY feel that DSM 7/7.1 is a fantastic NAS platform, but it comes with a certain degree of rigidity by Synology on the DS723+ NAS. A little more relaxed than entries in the Enterprise XS or SA systems, but it is definitely still there.

NOTE – Video Review is ‘In Progress’ and will include the 10GbE and DSM 7.1 Testing, which will also be added to this review shortly afterwards. Apologies for the delay.

Synology DS723+ NAS Review – Conclusion & Verdict

There is no denying that the Synology DS723+ NAS is the most powerful, capable and upgradable 2-Bay that Synology has EVER released. Although the AMD Ryzen dual core Ryzen CPU is going to be a sticking point for those who wish a quad-core and/or integrated graphics CPU had been used (eg video conversions server side in Plex and the like) – the capabilities of the DS723+ NAS in it’s traditional performance, handling and throughput are better than they have ever been on ANY other Synology 2-Bay before. The 10GbE optional upgrade on this system is a very welcome but surprising option on this device (given Synology’s past reluctance to prove this on a system that may well struggle to saturate it with just two bays). Then there is the support of M.2 NVMe SSD storage pools, making the DS723+ NAS just the 2nd every Synology NAS to support this function (alongside SSD cache support of course) – though odd decisions on Gen 3×4>3×1 handling are still a touch puzzling. Support of DSM 7.1 (DSM 7.2 beta soon, at time of writing) runs beautifully on the  DS723+ NAS and is still clearly what is the primary selling point of this system is, with Synology offering the system as a solution and entry poit into their ecosystem, rather than a hardware/nuts-and-bolts purchase. The full range of 1st party tools (Active backup, VMM, Photos, Drive, Collaboration Suite, Hyper Backup, Surveillance Station and more) still continue to impress and to have full and (mostly) licence free access to these from such a compact server system is genuinely fantastic. Likewise, the support of 3rd party client applications and SaaS/PaaS services (Google WorkSpace, Office 365, VMware, Hyper-V, etc) still maintains a high standard of integration with the synology tools, though with a clear growing movement by the brand to prioritize it’s own services.

Still, there is a lingering feeling that the DS723+ NAS in it’s default state is crying for a defacto day one upgrade. The 2GB of base memory seems rather penny-pinching, despite the support of ECC. The 10GbE upgrade option is welcome, but largely inevitable when the default connection are 1GBe – IN 2023! I return to my point at the intro, where there DS723+ arrives (at least in terms of hardware) as practically half of the DS923+ (half the bays, half the memory, half the USBs, etc), but with a pricepoint that is certainly not half. Therefore in many ways, the DS723+ NAS serves as a compelling argument to just skip it entirely and go for the DS923+ for about £200 more and enjoy those extras and partially populate. The support and compatibility of 3rd party hardware on the DS723+ NAS is a fraction more streamlined than some might like (eg 22TB and 20TB HDDs still remain absent on the compatibility list, yet Synology branded 18TB drives are clearly available and we absent upto that point despite WD and Seagate NAS alternatives in the market), but overall the DS723+ is still a great NAS and easily cements itself as the best 2 bay offering by the brand in their 20+ year history.

PRODUCT IMAGE
Synology DS723+ PROS Synology DS723+ CONS
  • DSM 7/7.1 (and DSM7.2 Around the corner) still continues to be an absolute tour-de-force of NAS Software
  • Most Affordable 10GbE upgradable Synology NAS in the market!
  • ECC Memory Support and scalability to 32GB is completely unparallel at this price point
  • The design of the DS723+ NAS still continues to be market-leading
  • The New CPU architecture allows great PCIe3 bandwidth to be afforded to the rest of the hardware, inside and out
  • Low Noise, Low Physical Impact and Intelligent Automatic Power Use Adjustment Settings
  • Increased Support for macOS in Synology Drive and Active Backup Suite (DSM 7.2)
  • Synology C2 Cloud Services, 1st Party Backup/Sync Tools and Collaboration Suite App = Complete 1st Party Eco-system that can rival Office365 and Google Workspace
  • PCIe Gen 3 M.2 NVMe SSD Support as Storage Pools!!! FINALLY!
  • Tremendously User-Friendly!!!
  • The AMD Emb.Ryzen instead of a Intel Celeron (with Integrated Graphics) will be a dealbreaker for alot of users
  • The default 1GbE ports that the system arrives with are tremendously dated
  • The USB port on the system (only x1?!) is older gen USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) and their support/usability have been quite pared back in recent DSM releases
  • The continued moves by Synology to prioritize 1st party hardware and software services may put some users off
  • Plex Support on the Synology DS723+ is still great for native playback, client-side handling and client devices with relevant multimedia licenses in place, but if server-side media conversions are needed – this system will struggle in comparison with the DS720+ before it
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Synology DS923+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Which Should You Choose?

4 janvier 2023 à 16:59

The Synology DS923+ vs DS1522+ NAS Comparison

Synology Diskstation NAS in the 2022/2023 generation saw a surprising overhaul in the traditional hardware specifications of the brand’s 4-Bay and 5-Bay series, ditching Intel Celeron processors and deciding to make the switch to AMD’s Embedded Ryzen series of CPUs. This change, along with it’s effect on the rest of the hardware architecture available and the performance of Synology DSM services, has resulted in a considerable amount of debate by users on the right NAS for their needs. Despite the near half a year release difference between them, the Synology DS1522+ 5-Bay and DS923+ 4-Bay NAS have drawn particular comparison, as the price difference between them is surprisingly small – especially when you factor in the difference in hardware provided by both devices. The DS1522+ is certainly the more expensive of the two, but once you start crunching the numbers of what you get for the money – Does it end up being better value than the DS923+ NAS? That is the aim of today’s article, to figure out which NAS is best for you and your data from 2023 onwards. Let’s begin.

Just $126.28 Price Difference (click below for the latest price)


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The Synology DS923+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Internal Hardware

I already touched on this, but these two relatively new NAS systems (at the time of writing) are both built using the AMD Embedded Ryzen family of processors. More precisely, they both arrive with the dual-core, four-thread R1600 x86 64bit CPU, which arrives with a 2.6Ghz clock speed that can burst up to 3.1Ghz when needed. Many users were a little disappointed by a lack of integrated graphics (both because these product families from Synology had always arrived with either an Intel Celeron or Pentium processors, but also because there is an integrated graphics chip in the AMD R1000 family). Although the SMB tier of the 5-Bay generations from Synology (DS1517+, DS1515+, etc) had featured more traditional server-grade file system processors around 5 years ago from Intel, this tier was re-addressed after success in the 6-Bay market by the brand. Although this CPU lacks integrated graphics and is a dual-core, as opposed to a quad-core, it DOES make up for it a much higher base clock speed than previous diskstations in this family, support of ECC memory (error correcting code, checking write actions for inconsistencies and repairing where appropriate) upto 32GB and an increase from PCIe Gen 2 lanes to PCIe Gen 3 Lanes (effectively doubling the internal bandwidth) and this in term allowing a network upgrade option that was sorely absent in the previous generation. Aside from ths, the bulk of the hardware architecture and design remained largely unchanged compared to the last gen, with the advantages being more in how well they ran of how much bandwidth was afforded to them (eg PCIe Gen 3 NVMe SSD Bays, as opposed to PCIe Gen 2). Let’s see how the DS923+ and DS1522+ NAS directly compared in the internal hardware:

How do the Synology DS1522+ and DS923+ NAS Compare in Internal Hardware?
NAS Model Synology DS923+ NAS Synology DS1522+ NAS
Front Design
CPU Model AMD Ryzen R1600 AMD Ryzen R1600
CPU Architecture 64-bit 64-bit
CPU Frequency 2-core 2.6 (base) / 3.1 (turbo) GHz 2-core 2.6 (base) / 3.1 (turbo) GHz
Hardware Encryption Engine (AES-NI) Yes Yes
Vents
Memory
System Memory 4GB DDR4 ECC 8GB DDR4 ECC
Memory Module Pre-installed 4GB x1 Module 8GB x1 Module
Total Memory Slots 2 2
Maximum Memory Capacity 32GB (16GB+16GB) 32GB (16GB+16GB)

Moving slightly away from the subject of storage (which we will cover in the next section), there is really only ONE difference between the DS923+ and DS1522+ NAS in terms of internal hardware – that extra 4GB of memory. It’s a small, but (in context) quite important difference. 4GB of DDR4 SODIMM memory would normally set you back around $25-35. However, Synology is pretty strict in terms of their compatibility and support lists for their systems and insist on use of their own branded memory models (with specific ECC and NON-ECC modules for different Diskstation/Rackstation system. The DS1522+ and DS923+ are no exception to this and, when looking at how much it would cost to buy 4GB of ECC DDR4 SODIMM Synology memory, the price point jumps up to $80-100 a module! See Below:

Click to view slideshow.

Now, there IS the argument that Synology is in charge of the price difference between these devices, the cost of their own memory and therefore technically the ones who are quantifying the difference here. But still, nonetheless – give the $100-120 current price difference between these two NAS devices (and we have ALOT more than memory differences to cover). this 4GB ECC default memory increase in the DS1522+ is already a very compelling reason to pick it over the DS923+. Let’s discuss the storage differences between these two NAS systems (don’t worry, there is alot more to it than an extra drive bay).

The Synology DS923+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Storage Options

Both the DS923+ and DS1522+ NAS support SATA hard drives and SSDs in the main storage bays, as well as supporting the traditional RAID configurations (RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, etc) and even Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) for fluid storage pools. They also both have PCIe Gen 3 M.2 NVMe SSD bays that can be used for SSD caching (with one difference on this coming up in a bit) and can also both have their storage pools expanded with the official JBOD expansion enclosure – the DX517. DSM has a wide range of storage services and features that can be used by home and business users to really make the most of their server (you can find out more on all the services and tools of the platform in my massive Synology DSM 7.1 NAS Software Video Review here), but from this point onwards, there is DEFINITELY some core advantages in storage that are exclusive to either system over the other. Here are the storage specifications:

How do the Synology DS1522+ and DS923+ NAS Compare in their Storage Options?
NAS Model Synology DS923+ NAS Synology DS1522+ NAS
M.2 NVMe SSD Bays
Drive Bays 4 5
Maximum Drive Bays with Expansion Unit 9 (DX517 x 1) 15 (DX517 x 2)
M.2 Drive Slots 2 (NVMe) 2 (NVMe)
M.2 NVMe Services
SSD Caching and Storage Pool Use SSD Caching Only

So, the most straight forward advantage clearly goes to the DS1522+ NAS, with its additional SATA storage bay allowing you to either add an additional drive to your total potential storage pool, increase your redundancy from 1 drive to 2 in a RAID 6/SHR-2 configuration or been have the additional drive bay for a hot spare 24×7. Yes, you are paying extra for the privilege and will have to add the cost of a drive in order to use it (though there ARE some savings to be made on large # of drives in a smaller capacity vs fewer drives of larger capacity with the right RAID config) but that extra bay will can be useful both on day 1 and day 1000!

Talking of Day 1000 and the future, there is the question of expandability. As mentioned, they both support the DX517 JBOD expansion from Synology, but the DS923+ can support 1x expansion and the DS1522+ supports 2x. That means that alongside that extra SATA bay on day 1, the DS1522+ can scale upto 15 bays of SATA storage, whereas the DS923+ caps at 9 Bays. Focusing on the latest generation (at the time of writing) 22TB Hard drives from WD Red and Seagate Ironwolf, that means a total potential capacity of 198TB storage on the DS923+ and 330TB on the DS1522+! Again, all of this is going to cost you more to occupy/populate this additional storage potential, but better to have that option than not at all! So, what on earth can the DS923+ NAS throw up in its defence against the high-level storage potential of the DS1522? Well…

Three Words (technically)… NVMe Storage Pools! The Synology DS923+ NAS is the FIRST Synology NAS to allow its M.2 NVMe SSD Storage pools to be used for either caching OR M.2 NVMe SSD Storage pools! This is a big, BIG deal and kinda shocking that it is NOT available on the DS1522+ NAS (given the incredible similarity in their hardware internally). M.2 NVMe SSDs are around 4-5x more expensive than traditional SATA HDDs (and around 2-3x more expensive than SATA HDDs), as well as NVMe SSDs not being quite as durable as mechanical HDDs – so why is this such a big deal in favour of the DS923+? Well because of PERFORMANCE! Whereas SATA HDDs tend to cap at 200-250MB/s top performance on average and SATA SSDs can hit close to 500MB/s (factoring consistent and sustained performance), M.2 NVMes can hit THOUSANDS of MB/s. Having drives of such high performance restricted to JUST caching use has always been something of a pain for Synology users and they have been the tiniest bit jealous of brands such as QNAP, Asustor and even the value brand Terramaster, which all allow M.2 NVME SSD bays for use in caching or storage pools. This feature ONLY being available on the DS923+ NAS does give it a significant draw in the eyes of users who want to run larger databases, edit photo/video on the NAS or want to host higher-performing VMs. However, it is also worth highlighting that the use of M.2 NVMe SSDs as storage pools on the DS923+ does arrive with a catch! The first catch is that the M.2 NVMe SSD bays on the DS923+ NAS have been capped at PCIe Gen 3 x1 (despite their architecture being PCIe 3×4). This drops their potential bandwidth from 4,000MB/s to 1,000MB/s (remember, bandwidth is the size of the pipe, it’s still up to the SSD t pump the ‘water’ fast enough). There are several theories/official-statements that are floating around online regarding the reason for this, with the most repeated one being that Synology are concerned about the heat generated by the SSD at full speed in this rather compact chassis, so have throttled it to avoid this – but regardless of the reason and it’s validity, it still means that SSDs in this slot cannot really exceed 1,000MB/s (despite many PCIe Gen 3 NVMes hitting 3,000MB/s+ quite easily).

Next up, at the time of writing, ONLY Synology SNV3400 and SNV3410 NVMe SSDs can be used with this feature. If you use non-Synology branded SSDs in the DS923+ NAS, the system will only allow you to use them for SSD caching (listing the non-synology drives as un-verified by the brand and unsupported). Much like Synology memory (discussed earlier), Synology branded SSDs are noticeably more expensive than similarly designed SSDs of the same controller+NAND+Capacity. Synology state this is because these drive’s firmware are designed in parallel with Synology systems, as well as also allowing particular features (firmware updates, more responsive and efficient running, etc) to be possible inside DSM. Regardless of how you look at it, it still means that although this feature of NVMe SSD storage pools on the DS923+ NAS is tremendously appealing, it is being delivered with a degree of compromise.

Overall, although the NVMe SSD Storage pool feature of the DS923+ NAS is really appealing, the DS1522+ just provides a greater degree of storage scalability with its extra bay and two the expandability (remember, just $100-120 difference, which also has the 4GB extra memory). It is looking increasingly slim that the DS1522+ NAS will have an update to allow M.2 NVMe SSD storage pools (though never say never! Plus it can also be done unofficially), but overall I would still heavily recommend the DS1522+ over the DS923+ NAS in terms of storage. Next up, let’s discuss external connectivity.

The Synology DS923+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Ports and Connections

The DS923+ and DS1522+ NAS are extremely similar in terms of external connectivity. Both systems are still sporting 1GbE network ports (though the DS923+ has 2x and the DS1522+ has 4x – so twice the potential network bandwidth with LAG/Port-Trunking/Multi-Channel), but they also now both arrive with the option to upgrade the external network connectivity to 10GbE, thanks to that increased bandwidth/lanes of the AMD CPU over the Intel Celeron in the 2020 generation. Both systems also have USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) connectivity, which can be used for USB storage, UPS’ and a handful of peripheral devices in DSM 7/7.1/7.2, both systems use an external PSU and of course, there are the eSATA expansion ports on either NAS that we have already covered. Let’s see how they compare:

How do the Synology DS1522+ and DS923+ NAS Compare in their Ports and Connections?
NAS Model Synology DS923+ NAS Synology DS1522+ NAS
Rear Ports
RJ-45 1GbE LAN Port 2 (with Link Aggregation / Failover support) 2 (with Link Aggregation / Failover support)
USB 3.2 Gen 1 Port 2 2
eSATA Port 1 2
PCIe Expansion 1 x Gen3 x2 network upgrade slot 1 x Gen3 x2 network upgrade slot
System Fan 92 mm x 92 mm x 2 pcs 92 mm x 92 mm x 2 pcs
Power Supply Unit / Adapter 100 W 120 W

The network upgrade slot can be populated with the optional E10G22-T1-mini 10GbE adapter (Copper), which costs around $139-149 currently. It is a little expensive for a 1 port upgrade and does mean that a traditional half/full-height PCIe card cannot be installed, but on the plus side, it is a VERY easy installation (slots right in) and the drivers are inside DSM – so no need to download anything extra upon rebooting. At this time, there are no other modules/upgrades supported by this slot, though Synology might look into an SFP+/Fiber alternative or even alternative network ports (its a PCIe 3×2 slot) down the line. Of course, the real question when upgrading these NAS’ is whether a 4-Bay or a 5-Bay can actually saturate (fill) a 1,000MB/s connection – especially when you factor in the RAID configuration?

Short answer, absolutely YES. I have already performed 10GbE testing on the DS1522+ NAS HERE and further 10GbE testing on the Synology DS923+ NAS HERE. In both cases, in full population and with select file sizes, you could hit 1,000MB/s. However, the extra drive bay in the DS1522+ NAS clearly means that you can hit it easier (as well as increase your capacity and/or RAID redundancy level). Then there is the support of M.2 NVMe SSD Caching on the DS923+ NAS. With two M.2 NVMe SSD storage bays, SURELY you can max out a 10GbE connection. Well, yes! However, the fact that these two bays are still capped at PCIe Gen 3×1 does mean that even if you DID have a greater than 10GbE external connection available, you would only really see performance benefits of the drives from a RAID R/W bonus, than from the drive’s own performance levels.

Once again, it will not come as a huge surprise to know that, overall, I think the DS1522+ NAS is the better choice in terms of external connectivity. The additional 2x 1GbE network ports (still kinda bummed that they are 1GbE and not 2.5GbE like most other brands in 2023) and it’s resulting increased Performance vs Capacity vs Redundancy that it brings is just going to be more useful. M.2 NVMe SSD Storage pools and therefore largely guaranteeing 1,000MB/s for a storage pool and volume on them WILL be useful to those planning on working on the NAS for post-production or raw editing over 10GbE will be desirable for many users, but even then the limits to only Syn SSDs right now will undermine any savings you might make rather than just putting in 4-5x Pro/Ent HDDs and editing on those!

The Synology DS923+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Software Performance

Threre is very little to say in terms of DSM Software differences between the Synology DS923+ NAS and DS1522+. Aside from the advantages that the extra storage bay and memory of the DS152+ will bring in terms of ‘max active users/processes’ and storage pool/volumes sizes, Diskstation Manager 7.1/7.2 will run practically the same on either system unless you REALLY push it! Even the added M.2 NVMe SSD Storage pool support of the DS923+ will only add 2-3 more choices in the storage manager, but not effect the rest of the system. You cannot install DSM on the M.2 NVMes (at the time of writing) and although you can create a volume and then install Synology apps on that particular volume, that will only change their running marginally (unless yo really have heavy use). Synology DSM 7.1 on with NAS still runs great and if you want to learn more about it, you can watch my HUGE review of DSM 7.1 in 4K in the video below from late 2022:

The Synology DS923+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Plex Media Server

For those of you looking at the Synology DS923+ or DS1522+ NAS as a plex media service, they perform near enough IDENTICALLY! Previously, I have compared both them with the 2020 released DS920+ NAS (which featured that Intel Celeron CPU with integrated graphics). You can watch my DS920+ vs DS923+ Comparison HERE or my DS1522+ vs DS920+ 4K Plex Comparison HERE. Either way, the results are largely the same, as these two 2022/2023 generation devices have the same Ryzen R1600 CPU. You can watch the videos below to see how each NAS independently handled 10 different 4K Files in HEVC/H.264 in numerous formats.

4K PLEX PERFORMANCE DS923+ NAS

4K PLEX PERFORMANCE DS1522+ NAS

Overall, as long as you are not planning on using server-side conversions/transcoding (i.e the NAS needs to change complex files, dense/large media files or convert HEVC to H.264 for licencing reasons), either NAS work pretty much identically. The additional 4GB of memory in the DS1522+ NAS did not really provide any kind of advantage, as Plex Media Server runs perfectly well on a NAS with just 4GB. If you plan on running multiple apps that are a little memory hungry at the same time as plex (a bunch of IP cameras in surveillance station, a VM, containers, etc), then the DS1522+ NAS is probably the better choice. Though, if you are planning on scaling towards this later down the line, the DS923+ NAS is still fine and will just need a memory upgrade later on. Let’s conclude.

The Synology DS923+ vs DS1522+ NAS – Conclusion

It will likely come as no shock that, overall, the DS1522+ NAS is just the better Synology NAS choice when compared with the DS923+ NAS. If the price difference is/was more vast, then it might not be such a clean sweep – however the DS923+ only being $100-120 cheaper than the DS1522+ just highlights how much better value the 5-Bay is! With an extra storage bay on day 1, twice the expandability, twice the network connectivity and all this in a similarly sized package means that the DS923+ ends up looking much less desirable. The support of M.2 NVMe SSDs for storage pools on the DS923+ DOES go a little way towards making it more justifiable over the DS1522+ NAS, but given the BIG demand there has been for this feature from their user-base and how it has been presented (oddly capped and drive limited at the moment), it just isn’t a compelling enough case to fight against the scalability, value and future-proofing that is evident in the DS1522+ NAS.

Shoud You Buy the Synology DS1522+ or DS923+ NAS?
NAS Model Synology DS923+ NAS Synology DS1522+ NAS
Front Design

$599

$749

Reasons to Choose
  • M2 NVMe SSD Support as Storage Pools
  • More Affordable
  • Lower Power Consumption
  • Lower Potential Noise when in Operation
  • Extra Bay of Storage and 2x Expansion Add-ons Supported
  • 8GB Memory by Default
  • 4 default 1GbE LAN Ports
  • Better Value for Money in terms of hardware

asasa

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]  

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    Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Best Surveillance NAS of the Year – 2022/2023

31 décembre 2022 à 18:00

A Guide to the Best Surveillance NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

When you consider investing in a NAS drive in your home or business environment, you always want to maximize your investment in this new kind of technology. Systems are designed to do many different things at once and each top-tier NAS brand includes a complete software and application environment with their hardware, allowing you to support multiple different services at any given time. The most popular services that new buyers tend to choose are that of multi-tiered backups, multimedia playback, shared drives for collaboration and, of course, surveillance. Utilising a NAS system as a bespoke and highly proficient NVR (network video recorder) system is growing in popularity all the time and allows home to small business users to ensure the safety and security of family and employees alike. It is for this reason that the majority of brands have their own surveillance software included with the purchase of your NAS, allowing you to add multiple IP cameras in your network environment that can be accessed and recorded from 24/7, with customised alerts and an enterprise-level dashboard with which to control them. Because all of the NAS brands tend to include surveillance software with their hardware, it can be hard to choose the right NAS for your own particular surveillance setup. Factors such as the maximum number of cameras you can use, compatibility with IP Camera brands and available camera licenses will always play a part. So today I am showing you the top 3 NAS for surveillance to buy in 2022/2023. Each one has been selected based on their own individual highlights, with one being the best value surveillance solution, one being the most robust surveillance NAS and finally one is the best business class enterprise NAS surveillance solution where power and performance are key. Let’s take a look.

Best Surveillance NAS – What Qualifies?

As mentioned, almost all NAS drives have an element of surveillance included to a greater or lesser extent, so how can I break down thousands of NAS solutions down to just three? Well, first off all NAS that are considered need to confirm against the following qualifications for a NVR use NAS system:

  • Only Desktop/Tower systems are being considered, Rackmount servers are generally harder to compare and are more tailored to data center and/or general server file storage
  • Each solution must be a combined Hardware+Software solution – Include a Surveillance Management utility
  • Must have at least 2 years of manufacturers warranty
  • MUST include at least 4 Camera Licenses (a large part of the cost ultimately)
  • Must be at least a 4-Bay NAS, as you need to provision for storage AND redundancy in the event of a failed drive
  • Must have the ability to export footage without interrupting live feeds
  • Must support accepted camera brands (AXIS, Hikvision, Edimax, Reolink, Annke, etc) as well as ONVIF protocol and client applications

The above rules certainly narrow down the available NAS drives in the market down a little, but it still means that a lot of NAS drives are suitable, but not PERFECT. So, below is my top three recommended NAS to buy for surveillance in 2022/2023.

What Have All the Best Surveillance NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different Surveillance NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super-budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions righty seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best Surveillance solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another Surveillance NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS includes the following software and services:

  • Combined Hardware & Software Solution – That means that you are buying the hardware, but it ALSO includes a web browser GUI, mobile apps and desktop client apps (including backup, media, streaming, surveillance and file management software)
  • All NAS systems in this guide are compatible with (and can be accessed by) Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems
  • All NAS Solutions arrive with between 2-3 years Warranty (with the option to extend to 5 years)
  • All NAS drives can be accessed locally over the network, as well as secure remote access is possible with brand-supported services (at no additional cost)
  • The most modern and regularly updated NAS systems will support the very latest 20TB NAS hard drives (such as the Seagate Ironwolf 22TB and WD Red 22TB)
  • All the recommended solutions support multiple drive configurations (RAID) for drive failure protection and performance enhancements
  • All solutions receive regular updates to their security, features and services
  • All recommended NAS drives can connect and synchronize with cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), as well as Business/Enterprise services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze and more
  • All NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature the ability to host a shared drive on your PC/Mobile/Laptop systems that are synchronized with the NAS via the network/internet, but is shown in your native operating system file manager (i.e Mac Finder or Windows Explorer)
  • All the NAS solutions listed can be accessed DIRECTLY via an ethernet/network cable being connected from your PC/Mac system, to the NAS RJ45 port for 100MB/s and higher connectivity
  • All the best NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature backup and sync tools that can be installed on your local client computer and allow regular backups of your files and system data

So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above as these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best Surveillance NAS to buy now in 2022/2023.


Best All Round Surveillance NAS Drive – QNAP TS-453E NAS

0-88TB, 8 Surveillance Camera Licenses, 40x Camera Max, M.2 Google TPU Support for AI Services, USB Camera Support,KVM Support, 2x M.2 Gen 3 NVMe 2280, Intel J6412 Celeron CPU, 8GB Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, 3yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $599

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review Aug ’22:

The QNAP TS-453E NAS is a device that really grew on me! With these home/business server companies releasing refreshes of their ranges every 2-2.5yrs or so, it is easy to see them fall into repetitive patterns when it comes to how the hardware is picked at each tier/price-point. The TS-453E NAS on the other hand manages to carve a new tier into the brand’s portfolio right now in 2022, managing to give you some really solid internal/external hardware that most would have assumed would be half of what it is at this level of QNAP’s 4-bay portfolio (i.e Quad-Core, 8GB, NVMe M.2s, 2.5GbE, 10G USB, 3yr warranty, etc) and it will certainly make some buyers wonder about whether the current Prosumer/flagship TS-464 is as necessary to their home or office as they once thought.

Click to view slideshow.

The fixed memory, even at 8GB default, is rather annoying and a lack of PCIe slot means that 10GbE will remain out of reach – but look at this NAS sandwiched between the TS-451D2 & TS-464 and it makes alot of sense. This is for those not really looking at expandability years from now and although that plastic case still looks a little dated/cheap, this is not a device designed to be noticed day-to-day. For those looking to make their first tentative entry into the world of NAS a decent one or looking to upgrade cautiously from an ARM system, the QNAP TS-453E is an excellent shout!

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 10/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.8
PROS
👍🏻Exceptional CPU choice for the Scale/Tier
👍🏻8GB of DDR4 Memory
👍🏻2.5GbE (x2) Ports on Day 1
👍🏻Two USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) Ports!
👍🏻2x M.2 NVMe Slots alongside those 4x SATA Bays for Storage (Caching, Tiered Storage or standalone Pools)
👍🏻Includes VM, Surveillance (8 licenses and upto 32 Cams), Backup, Sync, Multimedia, SaaS sync/migration and office tools (some with added AI services)
👍🏻3-Year Warranty (Can be extended)
👍🏻VERY Compact, low-impact design
👍🏻Supports 1-2x Expansions
👍🏻20TB and 22TB Confirmed Compatibility
CONS
👎🏻Memory Cannot be Upgraded
👎🏻M.2 NVMe SSD Slots are Gen 3 x2
👎🏻Chassis is still a little dated looking

 


Most Powerful Surveillance NAS System – Synology DVA3221 NAS

0-88TB, 4-Bays, Intel C3538 4-Core CPU,  4-32GB ECC Memory, 4x 1Gb Ports, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, 3yr Warranty, 8 Camera License included, 

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $2000+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review Nov ’20:

The Synology DVA3221 is a NAS that when I heard it could be used as a surveillance station NAS and a Diskstation NAS made me very happy indeed. However, now with the benefit of hindsight, I can see that this compromise in dedicated surveillance use has led to some choices (the CPU and lack of HDMI/DVI + KVM output) that in many ways limit its complete potential. I have no hesitation in saying this is the very best and most capable surveillance NAS that Synology has ever produced, and once you take into account the inclusion of that graphics card and 8 camera licences for surveillance station, the price can even be justified for the most part. What it comes down to is whether you desperately need these features and don’t mind paying more now to save lots later. A year from now Synology might allow users to install their own graphics cards or will find a way to introduce some deep video analysis features onto non-GPU NAS – of this there is no guarantee, but if you need these features in 2020/2021, this is the best NAS you can get right now. The DVA3221 NVR NAS features familiar internal hardware in terms of CPU and available memory. Arriving with the Intel C3538 Atom CPU, this quad-core processor with a 2.1 GHz clock speed has already proven on several occasions to be a highly capable processor for everything from surveillance to virtual machines and multimedia use in the likes of the DS1819+ and DS1618+. I know it is not the most popular processor in the market right now since Synology has moved their SMB devices towards the Ryzen-embedded V1500B, but Synology has spent quite a few years working with this CPU family and has optimised the hell out of it for the DSM platform. Though it’s the support of 4K is less than other Celeron and Pentium processors right now, it is still a CPU with a tremendous amount of potential still left in it.

Once again, they could have opened the door to a more capable processor such as the Intel Xeon found in the DS1621xs+, but this would have only served to increase the base price point of the DVA3221 again. This CPU is further supported with 8GB of DDR4 memory, that can be upgraded all the way to an impressive 32GB of memory. Additionally, this memory is Error Code Correction (ECC) memory, which is especially attractive to business users and (in the case of an NVR solution) is another layer of protection from data failure to have. If you intend to use the DVA3221 to its full potential, it is recommended that you increase the base memory of this device to at least 16GB, as although the memory on the graphics card provides great real-time analytics and analysis of captured footage, the standard memory of the NAS is still going to be tremendously important for the typical running of this device.
SOFTWARE - 10/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 7/10


8.0
PROS
👍🏻Affordable Alternative to the DVA3221
👍🏻Real-Time AI Camera recording saves hundreds of man-hours
👍🏻Uses CPU Integrated Gfx, using less power than a separate Graphics Card
👍🏻8 Camera Licenses included (worth around £300)
👍🏻BTRFS and SHR Support
👍🏻Great Surveillance Person/Thing tracking
👍🏻Intelligent Motion Tracking
👍🏻Intelligent Counting and Border Control
👍🏻Additional Deep Video Analysis Options
👍🏻KVM Support over a 4K 60FPS HDMI
👍🏻Synology Recently released first-party cameras!
CONS
👎🏻ONLY 6GB Max Memory
👎🏻Quite expensive for a 2-Bay NAS and not expandable
👎🏻The CPU is a little disappointing for 2022
👎🏻No m.2 slots and only 1 LAN

Surveillance Station DVA1622 DVA3221
Video Analysis Deep Video Analytics Features
  • People and vehicle detection (with license plate recognition)
  • People counting
  • Vehicle counting
  • Intrusion detection
  • Face recognition
  • People and vehicle detection (with license plate recognition)
  • People counting
  • Vehicle counting
  • Intrusion detection
  • Face recognition
Deep Video Analytics Tasks
  • People and vehicle detection (with license plate recognition): up to 2 tasks
  • People counting: up to 2 tasks
  • Vehicle counting: up to 2 tasks
  • Intrusion detection (detecting specific objects): up to 2 tasks
  • Face recognition: up to 1 task
  • People and vehicle detection (without license plate recognition): up to 12 tasks
  • People and vehicle detection (with license plate recognition): up to 6 tasks
  • People counting: up to 12 tasks
  • Vehicle counting: up to 12 tasks
  • Intrusion detection (detecting specific objects): up to 12 tasks
  • Intrusion detection (detecting all objects): up to 6 tasks
  • Face recognition: up to 6 tasks

Best Affordable AI Surveillance System NAS  – Synology DVA1622 NAS

0-44TB, 2-Bays, Intel Celeron J4125 4-Core CPU, 4-32GB ECC Memory, 1x 1Gb Ports, Uses Integrated Graphics for AI Processes, 3yr Warranty, 8 Camera License included, 16 CAMS Max

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $599

Hardware Review – (Coming Soon)

YouTube Video Review – (Coming Soon, Hardware Overview HERE)

Synology NVR DVA1622 is a 2-bay desktop recording server that gives home and small business users access to fast, smart, and accurate video surveillance powered by deep learning-based algorithms. Built-in automated event detection helps safeguard properties by detecting people, vehicles, or objects and alerting staff when self-configured rules or thresholds are breached

Click to view slideshow.

Complete Surveillance Solution With Built-in AI Capabilities
The DVA1622 makes powerful AI-enabled surveillance available for everyone in a compact solution that includes everything you need to create an efficient surveillance system.

  • Cover all angles: Record and manage up to 16 IP camera feeds
  • Leverage deep learning: Run 2 simultaneous real-time video analysis processes or 1 facial recognition task
  • Licenses included: Add up to 8 IP cameras without purchasing additional licenses
  • Direct video output: Simply plug a monitor into the built-in HDMI port to watch surveillance feeds without a separate PC or mobile device
  • Local management: Set up, manage, and control your deployment locally by attaching a keyboard and mouse
SOFTWARE - 10/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 7/10


8.0
PROS
👍🏻Affordable Alternative to the DVA3221
👍🏻Real-Time AI Camera recording saves hundreds of man-hours
👍🏻Uses CPU Integrated Gfx, using less power than a separate Graphics Card
👍🏻8 Camera Licenses included (worth around £300)
👍🏻BTRFS and SHR Support
👍🏻Great Surveillance Person/Thing tracking
👍🏻Intelligent Motion Tracking
👍🏻Intelligent Counting and Border Control
👍🏻Additional Deep Video Analysis Options
👍🏻KVM Support over a 4K 60FPS HDMI
👍🏻Synology Recently released first-party cameras!
CONS
👎🏻ONLY 6GB Max Memory
👎🏻Quite expensive for a 2-Bay NAS and not expandable
👎🏻The CPU is a little disappointing for 2022
👎🏻No m.2 slots and only 1 LAN

 


 


Where to Buy a Product
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Best 4K Plex NAS of 2023

29 décembre 2022 à 18:00

A Guide to the Best 4K Plex NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

If you have been looking at buying a Synology or QNAP NAS drive in 2023 for use as a Plex Media Server, then chances are you are doing this because you are sick of paying for a bunch of online streaming services OR you have an enormous physical library of discs that you own in your home that you want to watch conveniently on an Amazon FireTV, Roku Box or home Console, disc free! It’s not a big ask, is it! Do you remember when watching movies and boxsets from your sofa was easy? You owned a few hundred DVDs or Blurays, you popped in the disc for what you wanted to watch, then you watched it. It had a few extra steps that Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and Disney+, BUT you owned what you watched and you were in control of what you wanted to see. The dominance of subscription streaming services was unquestionable and for a while, it genuinely felt like it was the best option for ease of access to a huge library of multimedia that you only really wanted to watch once or twice anyway – all for just $5-10 per service. However, it got complicated. We went from 3-5 media streaming services, to suddenly HUNDREDS, with Films/Boxsets appairing on exclusive platforms (in some cases actual tv seasons being divided across different services too). This also led to TV shows being available/featured on a streaming service considerably shorter, due to the show-owner realising that timed exclusivity and switching streamingly platforms is much more lucrative in the long run. So, the streaming services STOPPED being so convenient, stopped being such good value – with most households now having/needing 3-4 different subscription services (so, in most cases Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and the cable TV/Sky provider service) and spending $400-500 a year, and not owning a single piece of media or having control of when things are not available. Add to that the rather bias search abilities of these platforms pushing ‘suggested’ content and you cannot help but pine for those simple days of sitting on the sofa and watching that DVD. It is for this reason that many have made the jump over to Plex Media Server. To find out more about what Plex, a Plex Media Server NAS are and what they do, watch the video below:

A free service that allows you to stream the media YOU own, but still features slick graphics, user-friendly GUI, descriptions, trailers, thumbnails, reviews and more. Today I want to discuss the best three NAS drives for use as a Plex Media Server. There are literally thousands of different NAS devices on the market that can be used for Plex (it is a fairly low resource demanding tool in its smallest form) but the extent to how much you will use it, the number of users you want to share with, the volume of media and the quality of the content (e.g 4K, 1080p, etc) make a HUGE difference to which NAS you should choose for your Plex Media server. So my five PLEX NAS recommendations for 2023 are based on the best Budget 1080p Plex NAS, the best 4K Plex NAS and finally, the Best EVERYTHING Plex NAS for 2023. Let’s begin.

What Have All the Best Plex NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different Plex NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super-budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions righty seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best Plex solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another Plex NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS include the following software and services:

  • Combined Hardware & Software Solution – That means that you are buying the hardware, but it ALSO includes a web browser GUI, mobile apps and desktop client apps (including backup, media, streaming, surveillance and file management software)
  • All NAS systems in this guide are compatible with (and can be accessed by) Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems
  • All NAS Solutions arrive with between 2-3 years Warranty (with the option to extend to 5 years)
  • All NAS drives can be accessed locally over the network, as well as secure remote access is possible with brand supported services (at no additional cost)
  • The most modern and regularly updated NAS systems will support the very latest 20TB NAS hard drives (such as the Seagate Ironwofl 20TB and WD Red 20TB)
  • All the recommended solutions support multiple drive configurations (RAID) for drive failure protection and performance enhancements
  • All solutions receive regular updates to their security, features and services
  • All recommended NAS drives can connect and synchronize with cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), as well as Business/Enterprise services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze and more
  • All NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature the ability to host a shared drive on your PC/Mobile/Laptop systems that are synchronized with the NAS via the network/internet, but is shown in your native operating system file manager (i.e Mac Finder or Windows Explorer)
  • All the NAS solutions listed can be accessed DIRECTLY via an ethernet/network cable being connected from your PC/Mac system, to the NAS RJ45 port for 100MB/s and higher connectivity
  • All the best NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature backup and sync tools that can be installed on your local client computer and allow regular backups of your files and system data

So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above. As these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best Plex NAS to buy now in 2022/2023.


Best All Round 4K PLEX NAS Drive – QNAP TS-464 NAS

0-88TB, 4-Bays, 2x PCIe Gen 3×1 M.2 NVMe 2280, Intel Celeron N5105 CPU, 4-16GB Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, 1x PCIe Gen 3×2 Slot, 1 HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $550

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review April ’22:

The TS-464 comfortably arrives with the best hardware in its tier of the NAS market and that is something that QNAP has always been quite good at. Even if you rewind just 5 years, the level of hardware scalability and ease of upgradability that the TS-464 provides is frankly incredible and, fast forward to 2022, is still pretty unmatched. A Desktop 4-Bay NAS (eg Prosumer RAID 5 storage) has always been the next confident step for users who are tired of their hands being tied by subscription cloud services from Google, OneDrive and DropBox, who are looking for their own competent, flexible and fully-featured private server. In the TS-464 NAS, you find a system that is unquestionable the best hardware for your money you can possibly get right now. In software, things are a little less straightforward. QTS 5, although massively software and service-rich, arrives as a complete operating system in your web browser with multiple mobile/desktop clients and hundreds of applications and apps that can be installed at the touch of a button – which can all too often be something of a steep learning curve for many.

Lacking the slightly chewable, user-friendly nature of many of their rivals, QNAP and its software/service still have a tendency to be a bit of an information overload that can quickly intimidate the novice. However, for those that are looking for a system that is completely customizable in how/when/where you want data presented to you, as well as a wide degree of 3rd party support, QNAP and QTS 5 still manages to provide a huge degree of brand-unique service that are simply not available elsewhere. Just be prepared to invest your time wisely in its setup and more time ensuring the system is perfect for your needs.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 10/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.8
PROS
👍🏻Very compact chassis design, despite large storage potential
👍🏻A BIG jump in hardware and scale from the TS-453Be and TS-453D, but with a largely identical RRP at launch
👍🏻Easily one of the most hardware packed SMB/Mid-range 4-Bay on the market
👍🏻Up to 16GB of Memory is fantastic
👍🏻m.2 NVMe SSD Bays AND a PCIe Upgrade Slot (no need to choose one upgrade path)
👍🏻8x Included Camera Licenses
👍🏻Includes Anti-virus, Firewall Tool, VPN client tools, Malware Remover, network manager and Security Councilor Tool
👍🏻3 Different Container/VM tools that also feature image download centers
👍🏻10Gb/s (1,000MB/s) USB Ports will be incredibly useful
👍🏻Large range of expansion options in the TR/TL series in 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 Bays
CONS
👎🏻The PCIe Slot is PCIe 3×2 and the M.2 SSD Bays are PCIe 3×1 (likely limitations of all this H/W on a Celeron+chipset
👎🏻QNAP Has had 3 ransomware hits in 2019-2021 (Qlocker, Qsnatch and Deadbolt). Lots of Security app/changes since, but people remember and QNAP needs to win back that trust in 2022/2023

Best Low Noise 4K PLEX NAS Drive – QNAP HS-264 NAS

0-48TB, 2-Bays, Fanless Design, Intel Celeron N5105 CPU, 8GB Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, 2x HDMI 2.0 4K 60FPS, KVM Support, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $549

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review April ’22:

I think it would be fair to say that QNAP has quite a few different NAS ranges in their portfolio. From hefty enterprise rackmounts and thunderbolt machines, to compact prosumer desktops and modest entry-level systems, the majority of their solutions all seemingly share the same physically architecture – a desktop or rackmount enclosure that has changed really only aesthetically in the last 10-15 years. However, QNAP’s Silent NAS series (started back in 2014/2015) has always been a very different beast and even in its earliest iterations was breaking the rules of what we thought a NAS is supposed to look like and (more importantly) sound like. The QNAP HS-264 is the latest release in the HS NAS series of devices (previously HS-251+ and HS-453DX) that has the bold claim to be ‘silent’! Now, of course, that is not strictly true. It IS a fanless NAS that is designed in a horizontal profile to promote increased heat dissipation into a unit heatsink system (that is how the use of a fan is avoided) along with the physical spreading of the system also dispersing vibration much better. This results in a reported active noise level with traditional NAS hard drives under 8TB to produce a lower rating than other 2-Bay systems in idle/standby (can’t switch off HDD spin and actuator noise). Plus, QNAP state that using SSDs results in the system being genuinely silent. Now for those that want their own NAS service for multimedia, plan on working in close proximity with the system or have a small office where this system will be working hard 24×7 in – the thought of a silent NAS is dream come true. However, hold your horse, just because the HS-264 is going to be quieter than the average NAS/bear, doesn’t mean it is automatically a ‘good NAS’.

Overall you cannot say that QNAP has not been a pinch more mature and sensible (perhaps to a fault) in the design and architecture of the HS-264 NAS. Living slightly in the shadow of the more bandwidth equipped but more expensive HS-453DX, the HS-264 is still a solid entry in the QNAP x64 series and if you are looking for a truly silent NAS that includes all the tools and services that a modern NAS system should feature, the HS-264 is unquestionably a great NAS system. As long as you factor in the noise of HDDs in 2022 (an often overlooked detail I would add), the HS-264 NAS is a system that focuses it’s abilities and power internally, which being by far the most ‘power and heat’ aware system that the brand has ever released in this series. Concerns about QNAP and recent ransomware attacks are always going to dog the brand for a while yet, but nevertheless, that does not undercut the achievement in hardware and design that this system provides. Perhaps if QNAP could have released a modernized version of the HS-453DX, buyers would be fully satisfied, but in it’s absence, the HS-264 and what it brings to the table ticks most of the important hardware boxes for me.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 8/10


8.0
PROS
👍🏻The Silent NAS series has always been impressive and unique
👍🏻
👍🏻Very unique and discreet at just 4.1cm in height
👍🏻
👍🏻
👍🏻8x Included Camera Licenses
👍🏻
👍🏻
👍🏻Includes Anti-virus, Firewall Tool, VPN client tools, Malware Remover, network manager and Security Councilor Tool
👍🏻
👍🏻
👍🏻3 Different Container/VM tools that also feature image download centers
👍🏻
👍🏻
👍🏻10Gb/s (1,000MB/s) USB Ports will be incredibly useful
👍🏻
👍🏻
👍🏻Large range of expansion options in the TR/TL series in 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 Bays
CONS
👎🏻Comes across as a less impressive package than the HS-453DX (though the HS-264 is $200 less)
👎🏻
👎🏻Sustained high power use makes the top panel noticeably hot
👎🏻
👎🏻
👎🏻8GB of Memory Max, despite the CPU and other 64 series QNAP’s supporting upto 16GB

Best Value 4K PLEX NAS Drive – Asustor Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 NAS

0-88TB, 4-Bays, 4x PCIe Gen 3×1 M.2 NVMe 2280, Intel N5105 CPU 4-Core Integrated Gfx, 4-16GB DDR4 Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, 1x HDMI 2.0b, PCIe Upgrade Slot, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $579

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review Nov’22:

The Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 NAS is a respectable piece of kit! Indeed, the hardware here is almost faultless! Unless you are particularly noise sensitive (and therefore the metal chassis adding a few dBa to the ambient sound), there is almost nothing I can fault here on the devices hardware. The scaling up of practically all hardware over the Gen 1 Lockerstor, such as Better CPU, Better Memory that goes higher, HDMI 2.0b, USB 3.2 Gen 2, a 10GbE upgrade option and THOSE FOUR M. 2 NVMe SSD SLOTS – you simply cannot fault how much is getting included here at the price point vs it’s competitors. The software is a little less compelling, with a smaller range of 1st party applications on offer, more of a reliance on 3rd party services and the absence of a few AAA+ features that are present on other devices in the market (AI services, Cloud Bolt on live synchronization, 1st Party SaaS native sync with Google Workspace/Office365, etc).

That said, ADM does run very well, is clear and still quite user-friendly. The addition of choice of file systems EXT4 or BTRFS, flexibility on the use of those M.2 NVMe SSD bays and the Asustor HDMI portal still bring fantastic flexibility to the Lockerstor 4 Gen 2 NAS too. Ultimately, this is a system that is clearly making big waves on it’s hardware more than it’s software, but as long as you keep your feet on the ground and appreciate that this system is more of a 70/30 purchase of hardware vs software, you will come to respect and rely on this Asustor NAS as the backbone of your data storage setup.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 10/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻Hard/Impossible to find this level of NAS Hardware elsewhere at this price point
👍🏻Those FOUR M.2 NVMe 2280 SSD slots are great and turn this 4-Bay NAS into an 8-Bay
👍🏻2.5GbE by default, as well as the option to add further 2.5/5Gb connections over USB
👍🏻The option to scale up the network connectivity to 10GbE down the line (4 and 6 Bay only)
👍🏻$60 increase over RRP of Lockstor Gen 1, but upgrades practically everything 1-2 levels (New Celeron CPU, Better/High Memory Max, USB 10G, HDMI 2.0b, PCIe Gen 3 Architecture)
👍🏻Includes support for either EXT4 or BTRFS
👍🏻Includes KVM Support with Parallel GUI over HDMI, Asustor Portal
👍🏻ADM is better tha nit has ever been, responsive, clear and intuitive
👍🏻Several different setup and initialization options
👍🏻One of very few 4-Bay NAS drives that still feature a fully functional and controllable LCD Panel
👍🏻Full Support of the traditional RAID levels for this scale (RAID 0-1-5-6)
👍🏻Storage can be expanded with TWO of the Asustor AS6004U 4-Bay
CONS
👎🏻Lack of a fluid RAID System (such as Synology Hybrid RAID, Drobo BeyondRAID or Terramaster TRAID) to allow mixed drive media and easier scaling of storage over time
👎🏻Metal chassis and trays is going to result in an increase of ambient noise (hum/vibration) than other plastic casing/tray NAS systems
👎🏻Some apps (such as the Surveillance Center apps) are long overdue an update in visuals and services
👎🏻ADM is good, but lacks the killer apps/AAA and AI service tools that are being offered by other brands right now
👎🏻They were targeted by the Deadbolt ransomware attack at the start of 2022 and although the linux vulnerability that was used has been reported to be closed and they worked with affected users, this is still going to be on the minds of some buyers

Lowest Priced 4K Plex NAS Drive – Terramaster F4-423 NAS

0-88TB, 4-Bays, 2x Gen 3 x1 M.2 NVMe 2280, Intel N5105 Celeron CPU Quad-Core Integrated Gfx CPU, 4-16GB Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, 3yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $500

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review May’22:

Terramaster still continues to be the most affordable fully-featured provider of the whole NAS market and although a number of their solutions have always felt a little rough around the edges, you always got the impression that you were getting a good deal for the hardware that was available from QNAP and Synology. Now in 2022/2023, the same continues to be true but in the F4-423 NAS’ case, you are actually getting some pretty top tier (for the Home/Prosumer) market at a price tag that is really tough to argue with. Terramaster has clearly been watching their bigger competitors and cherry-picked the features that people have been asking for (2.5GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 2, M.2 NVMe SSD bays, etc) for this new generation.

In terms of software, things are a little less convincing and although TOS 5 (currently in Beta at the time of writing) still continues to evolve into something genuinely fully featured and impressive, TOS 4 that the F4-423 includes at launch is usable (if unexciting) platform that provides the base level services that a new NAS user would want, but lacks killer apps that their competitors are offering right now (File Streaming, AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc). Most of these ARE included in TOS5, but until it arrives much later in 2022 in a full release, the F4-423 feels like a powerful NAS that doesn’t have the software to show off its strengths yet. If you are reading this later in 2022 or 2023, this might well be irrelevant though, as the brand rolls out their bit firmware update to ALL Terramster NAS devices. Overall, I definitely CAN recommend the F4-423 NAS for its hardware, for Plex Media server or as an affordable multi-tier backup solution, but if you are looking for a NAS for more tailored data access or in a much more fully-featured package – hold out a little longer till TOS 5 gets released first.

SOFTWARE - 5/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 10/10
VALUE - 8/10


7.8
PROS
👍🏻2.5GbE at the Price of 1GbE
👍🏻Good CPU for the Price Point
👍🏻USB 3.2 Gen 2 is very forward-thinking for local backups
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS Support if preferred
👍🏻Supports Plex and all 1080p Transcoding
👍🏻4K Video transcoding natively
👍🏻A large amount of maximum memory supported (16-32GB – TBC)
👍🏻Includes two M.2 NVMe SSD Bays that can be used for storage or caching
CONS
👎🏻Default 4GB memory is 2133Mhz
👎🏻HDMI Currently Unsupported
👎🏻Until TOS5 is Fully Released, TOS Software feels a little empty of Killer-Apps (AI photo recognition, Surveillance, etc)

ULTIMATE 4k and 8K Plex NAS Drive – QNAP TVS-h874 NAS

0-176TB, 8-Bays, 2x PCIe 4 M.2 NVMe 2280, PCIe Gen 4×16 Upgrade Slot, Intel Core 12th Gen i5/i7/i9 CPU, 16-64GB DDR4 Memory, 2.5Gbe Port, 10Gb x2 Prots (Intel i9 Version), KVM, ZFS or EXT4 Setup, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $2000-2500-3000

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review Dec ’22:

The QNAP TVS-h874 NAS is easily one of the most hardware-capable desktop NAS systems that I have ever seen (as you would expect for £2500+) and has clearly been designed with phenomenal future proofing in mind! If you are concerned about the longevity of this NAS, this hardware architecture will still be top tier 5 years from now, with the added support of PCIe 4 meaning that high capacity and performing micro upgrades throughout its life also ensuring it remains relevant long after. It’s price tag clearly moves this purchase out of the home and squarely into the business market (though likely those that take their media seriously will add it to the cart) and the TVS-h874 will function as a solid solution for Video editing (even at 8K), high frequency and performing VMs, large scale AI powered Surveillance setup, hybrid cloud/on-prem alternative to Office 365/Google Workspace services and as the center point for all your data storage operations. Crucially though, it is that the hardware on offer here will be able to do ALL of these at the same time, therefore maximising the investment for most businesses that want to move aware from their cloud dependant ops. In terms of software,t things are a little less absolute, with QTS and QuTS still getting a little busy at times, with a steeper learning curve than its big rival DSM from Synology. That said, die-hard fans of ZFS (Zettabyte File System) will adore the inclusion of benefits in RAID handling, management and recovery that are exclusive to that platform, whilst enjoying the wide range of applications and service benefits in QuTS that are often restricted to Linux platforms.

8K PLEX TESTS – QNAP TVS-h874 4K PLEX TESTS – QNAP TVS-h874

The slightly conveluded approach to release hardware that does complicate the selection process (different CPUs in the Intel 12th Gen family changing the rest of the system architecture) is something that I hoped this brand would graduate from (for the sake of simplicity), but for many, this level of choice in hardware and budget will be welcome. As is QNAP’s position on the support of 3rd party hardware (drives, PCIe upgrades, etc) and software, something that we have seen a worrying trend in the last few years against elsewhere in the industry but some other brands, to err towards 1st party/proprietary compatibility more and more. There are still lingering doubts by some on the security of NAS, with ransomware attacks on the rise and ALL brands and ALL platforms being targetted (NAS, Cloud ,etc), finding a middle ground between ease of use and depth of security being a tricky tie rope walk indeed. The TVS-h874 arrives with a wide range of Day 1 tools, further rigid defaults in QTS/QuTS in 2022/2023, considerable security settings to configure and multiple system scan tools for recommendations & preventative measures available. The QNAP TVS-h874 is probably the most powerful desktop/tower NAS drive I have ever reviewed and if you are looking for a system that can legitimately do anything server-side, but you are also willing to put in the time to configure it correctly – you will genuinely be hard pushed to find a better system in 2022, 2023 and likely 2024 at this price point and scale.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 10/10
PERFORMANCE - 10/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 9/10


9.0
PROS
👍🏻First Commercial Intel Core 12th Gen i5, i7 and i9 NAS Drive
👍🏻Upto 20 Cores, 24 Threads and High End Integrated Graphics
👍🏻PCIe Gen 4 x16 Upgrade Slot for 10/25/100GbE Cards and 2x PCIe Gen 4 x4 M.2 NVMe Slots for 7GB SSDs
👍🏻No Obstinant 3rd Party Hardware Limitations on Support or Compatibility
👍🏻Much larger support of 3rd Party Software Services than most other NAS Brands
👍🏻10Gb/s USB Connectivity, in Type A and Type C
👍🏻Upto 64GB of Memory and Potential for 128GB
👍🏻ZFS or EXT 4 File System Choice
👍🏻M.2 NVMe SSD Bays can be used for Storage or Caching
👍🏻Volume Encryption, SED SSD Support and WORM
👍🏻Enhanced AI Surveillance Services, with opt to upgrade with $30 Google TPU
👍🏻AI Photo Management Tool (QuMagie) Includes Thing Recognition and works offline
👍🏻ALL the ZFS Benefits, whilst also the GUI and App benefits of a Linux Software Platform in one
CONS
👎🏻Available Versions/Configs of the 4/6/8-Bay are confusing
👎🏻QVR Elite (not QVR Pro) only has 2 Cam Licences
👎🏻HDMI Output is 1.4b
👎🏻10Gbe is ONLY included with the most expensive Intel i9 Model
👎🏻Noisy when in operation when fully populated
👎🏻Too Many licenses on Enterprise Tools (Drive Analyzer, Face Tiger, etc) with too few free licenses

And there you have it. Those are the three best Plex NAS drives available right now at the end of 2022 and going into 2023. thought it is always worth remembering that these systems typically have a refresh (i.e manufacturers release a new version/follow-up) every 2-3 years on average. Therefore although these systems are all still great Plex NAS drives, they might have been upgraded in a newer released version, or recently released alternative Plex’s may have arrived on the scene that provides better pricing, value or features. If you are in doubt about whether to buy a Plex solution from my recommendations, want to check if a newer system has been released recently OR are simply looking for some free expert advice, then use the free advice section below over. Just enter in a few details of your setup, storage requirements and (in the case of buying a new solution) your budget – then me and Eddie the Web guy can help you with your question. This is a completely free service, is NOT provided with profit in mind and is manned by two humans (no bots, no automated replies, etc). Assistance might take an extra day or two (the service gets a lot of visitors) but we do try to answer every message. If you want to support this service, you can find out how to donate HERE. Otherwise, you can still jsut message us for free advice anyway!

 

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Synology M.2 NVMe Storage Pool 10GbE Performance Tests

5 décembre 2022 à 18:00

10GbE & M.2 NVMe SSD Storage Pools on the Synology DS923+ NAS

When it comes to those of you who are considering buying the Synology DS923+ NAS in 2022/2023, I think it would be fair to say that two of the ‘stand out’ features of this desktop server are 1) the fact it can be upgraded with a 10G network upgrade and 2) that it supports the use of it’s M.2 NVMe SSD bays for use as storage pools. These are two features that were surprisingly (annoying?) absent on the DS920+, as well as the bulk of Synology NAS hardware up to this point. This 4-Bay Diskstation is just the right price (at $550-600), size, power and scale for many users, yet just because it supports these two features, does not necessarily mean that it will do either/both of them well! So, today I want to go through the results of my 10GbE connected performance tests of the DS923+ NAS, covering individual M.2 NVMe SSD use, as well as the comparative performance of RAID 0 and RAID 1 drive pairs.

Interesting in the 10GbE performance of the Synology DS923+ NAS with 4x Enterprise Hard Drives in a RAID Storage Pool? Find my testing here – https://nascompares.com/2022/11/24/synology-ds923-nas-10gbe-speed-tests

Internal vs External SSD Performance on M.2 NVMe SSD Storage Pools

Before we head into the DS923+ 10G and M.2 NVMe Test setup, there are a few very important things we need to highlight. The first is that we are measuring the EXTERNAL performance of these drives over 10GbE. As you might already be thinking, that means that the results cannot effectively exceed 1GB (1,000NB/s+), as this is the bandwidth of a single 10GBASE-T connection. This is true and I AM working on internal performance benchmarks using the NAS for internal stats. However, these take much more time, and require alot more setup and therefore I wanted to get the external testing out the way first. Regardless of the write/read speed of the drives in the system, external 10G performance is still valid in the case of single and/or RAID’d drives, as I will be covering several different file sizes (starting at 64MB and ending at 16GB), which will show us the benefits of these drives, their reported IOPS vs Throughput and in the case of tests that repeat (AJA for example above) it will show how the M.2 NVMe SSD Pool dealt with over-saturation.

NVMe Compatibility on the DS923+ NAS as Storage Pools

Next, the subject of M.2 NVMe SSD compatibility on the DS923+ NAS for storage pools. At the time of writing (and after testing 10 other SSDs, including WD Black, Seagate Firecuda and Sabrent Rocket drives), you can ONLY use the Synology range of SSDs for M.2 NVMe SSD storage Pools (so, SNV-3400, SNV3410 and SNV3500). Hopefully this feature, as time wears on, will be opened up to support more M.2 NVMe SSDs, but as it stands right now, you can only use Synology drives. Aside from the question of limited support towards only 1st party drives (always unpopular), the SNV3400 and SNV3500 series have notably low Seq Write speeds (capping at around 800-1000MB/s depending on the capacity). Read speeds are the expected PCIe3 3,000MB/s though. This does mean that write performance in these tests, regardless of internal or external performance, is going to be pretty underwhelming. As mentioned, hopefully, Synology resolves this by producing faster 1st party m.2 NVMe SSDs or opens up the compatibility.

PCIe Architecture of the M.2 NVMe SSDs inside the DS923+ NAS

Last point is regarding the M.2 NVMe SSD architecture of the DS923+ NAS. At the time of writing, this is still being further dug into, but it would appear that the M.2 NVMe SSD slots of the DS923+ NAS are capped at PCIe Gen 3 x1, despite being PCIe Gen 3×4 DESIGN. Now, whether this is because Synology is using many of the NAS Chipset/lanes towards other hardware components of the system, or this is something that will get opened up later, remains to be seen. But at PCIe Gen 3 x1, that means these bays are going to hit a wall at the 1GB mark. Again, this is something I will be fully investigated with Eddie before pursuing our internal DS923+ NAS tests but still needed to be highlighted here.

Synology M.2 NVMe SSD Storage Pools – Test Setup

So, the tests! The first thing I need to establish is the setup of the M.2 NVMes in each of the tests. Throughout these tests, the DS923+ NAS was populated with 4x HAT5300-16T 16TB hard drives and 2x M.2 NVMe SNV3400-400G SSDs. Now, the HDDs are NOT used in the tests (they are just present generally and DSM is running from them, you cannot boot DSM from the M.2 NVMes – see here about 2/3 down in the article) and at each of the test scenario, I will be using the same setup of Shared Folder, Volume Number at full available capacity and testing over direct point-to-point 10GbE connectivity via a windows PC, the Sonnet Solo 10G thunderbolt-to-10G adapter and the Synology E10G22-T1-mini upgrade.

As you can see in the image below, I have installed 2x m.2 NVMe SSDs and run the performance tests using the Synology Storage Manager Benchmark tool. Depending on the test setup, it will either be 1 or 2 SSDs initialization and placed in a RAID group.

The network setup was conducted with the DS923+ NAS having the E10G20-T1-mini network adapter installed, a direct NAS-to-PC connection being established (no network switch) and the MTU/Jumbo frames at either end being set to 9K. The storage of the Synology NAS we are going to target is a shared folder, connected as a mapped network drive via windows SMB. On each test, the shared folder was re-created and always pointed at the relevant volume for the test.

Click to view slideshow.

For the PC to NAS connection over 10Gb, I used the Sonnet Solo 10G to Thunderbolt 3 Adapter. I did this out of convenience, but even a low-level 10G unmanaged switch-based 1-to-1 connection should achieve the same results.

So, that is how my tests were set up (with each change in RAID/Pool resulting in the tests being rebuilt each time). Let’s go through how each RAID/Profile of M.2 NVMe SSDs in the DS923+ Performed.

Hardware I used in this test and where to buy it:

Synology DS923+ NAS – HERE on Amazon

Synology E10G22-T1-MINI Network Adapter – HERE on Amazon

Synology SNV3400-400G M.2 NVMes – HERE on Amazon

Sonnet Solo 10G 10GbE to Thunderbolt 3 Adapter – HERE on Amazon

Test Scenario 1 – 1x SNV3400-400G M.2 NVMe SSD Storage Pool (no RAID)

So, test one was the SINGLE test. This was just one Synology M.2 NVMe SNV3400-400G being used to create a Storage Pool, then a Max size volume was created, followed finally by a shared drive (no storage quota/limit) on that volume that was connected to the Windows PC as a mapped network drive. I did consider using a targetted LUN via a 10GbE mounted/connected target (as used in my original coverage on this subject on YouTube in Nov ’22), but the range of changes that would be made throughout the different scenarios made this overly complex and (at least as far as 10Gb and these drives over NVMe speeds would dictate) a Mapped Network Drive is more than sufficient.

Atto Disk Benchmark, 1x SNV3400-400G M.2 NVMe SSD Storage Pool Tests

Atto was the first test. I conducted five different file size profiles at 64MB, 256MB, 1GB, 4GB and 16GB. It is worth highlighting that the 10GbE connection in these tests is only really going to show meaningful strain when the file size exceeds 1GB/1000MB, HOWEVER it is more important that we observe the repeat transfers in relation to the I/O sizes, as the weight of these files and how the SSD performance vs DS923+ system hardware can repeatedly deliver the growing file is what we want to measure. additionally, I have included the IOPS-I/Os at each scaled file. Now, these are not really indicative of the drives (as most random IOPS ratings are publicized at 4k), but I include them more for the smaller profile tests. Here are the results:

64MB File Size

256MB File Size

1GB File Size

4GB File Size

16GB File Size

So, as you can see,full network saturation was achieved in all the 1GB and under tests consistently in Seq Read, though the reported low write speed of the Synology M.2 NVMe SSD bays was pretty clearly down to the SNV3400-400G arriving with that low reported write speed to begin with. In the greater than 1GB testing, that is when we saw the Seq Read begin to buckle a little. Still, to still maintain a 500-600MB/s benchmark at the 16GB (as well as hit 700-1000MB several times at the 4GB level) was still very good. Let’s move on to the AJA tests

AJA Speed Test 1080i, 1x SNV3400-400G M.2 NVMe SSD Storage Pool Tests

AJA testing was conducted on 4 different file sizes (256MB, 1GB, 4GB and 16GB) of a 1080I HD test file. Only a single cycle was performed, so over saturation of the SSD cache/controller is not a factor (as well as no slow spin up that you would need to factor in a HDD array). Here is how those tests went:

256MB File Size

1GB File Size

4GB File Size

16GB File Size

Once again, we saw very similar results to those of the ATTO Disk Benchmark tests, as well as having the graphs at the foot of each test image to show how consistent the read/writ was against the result (i.e avg).

Black Magic Speed Test, 1x SNV3400-400G M.2 NVMe SSD Storage Pool Tests

Finally, we went with three tests using Blackmagic Disk Speed Test at 1GB, 3GB and 5GB. For those considering the DS923+ NAS and it’s M.2 NVMe SSD Bays for video editing over 10Gb, these tests will give you a pinch more insight:

1GB File Size

3GB File Size

5GB File Size

Overall, throughout all of these tests, Seq Read speeds were consistently high and were fully saturating the 10G in files tests upto about 3-4GB for the most part (unsurprisingly). However, that write performance of a single SSD on the already low official benchmark SNV3400-400G really showed that you are simply not going to max out a 10Gb connection with a single drive, even in the smallest 64MB file test. Let’s move onto the first of our RAID tests.

Test Scenario 2 – 2x SNV3400-400G M.2 NVMe SSD Storage Pool in RAID 0

We repeated the exact same setup in our tests, but this time we are using TWO of the SNV3400-400G SSDs in a RAID 0 (combining their capacity, but with no redundancy – so lost a drive, lose the RAID!). This means that in our testing we will effectively have two drives being read/written too and although we likely won’t see the benefits in Read speed until we exceed the 1GB mark, the seq Write speed will hopefully see improvements against the 1x drive tests in the DS923+.

Atto Disk Benchmark, 2x SNV3400-400G M.2 NVMe SSD RAID 0 Storage Pool Tests

So, ATTO tests first and this time we saw the 1GB/1,000MBs mark get hit ALOT more on both the Read and Write. Things are particularly worth noting at these larger capacities:

64MB File Size

256MB File Size

1GB File Size

4GB File Size

16GB File Size

Even when we were hitting the 4GB and 16GB test will, we saw write speed hitting 1GB/1000MB/s, thanks to the 2-drive access on the RAID 0. Additionally, even the seq read speeds 250-400MB/s higher this time. As good as this sounds though, you have to factor this against the lack of any redundancy and I would still highly recommend using the HDD array or even an off site system as a sync of these drives in the background to leverage a little against the lack of RAID safety net. Next, AJA testing!

AJA Speed Test 1080i, 2x SNV3400-400G M.2 NVMe SSD RAID 0 Storage Pool Tests

AJA tests in the 2x M.2 NVMes in a RAID 0 in the DS923+ was almost a complete clean sweep for full 10GbE saturation. Here is how it went down:

256MB File Size

1GB File Size

4GB File Size

16GB File Size

Looking closely at the graphs, you can see that even in the 16GB testing, the drops were few and far between, with the avg/medium being in the 900MB/s fairly constantly. Once again, RAID 0 advantages of performance are clearly available on these m.2 Bays and although the PCIe3 gen speed on these individual bays is still a little in question, the system is clearly running these into a wide enough bandwidth controller slot to take advantage.

Black Magic Speed Test, 2x SNV3400-400G M.2 NVMe SSD RAID 0 Storage Pool Tests

Finally, those Black Magic Speed tests and again, the RAID 0 of the M.2 NVMe SSD storage pool, regardless of the 1/3/5GB file size, hugely saturated the connection at all times:

1GB File Size

3GB File Size

5GB File Size

So, overall and unsurprisingly, we saw the 10GbE connection with two of these drives fully saturate the connection. However, we can not overlook that creating a RAID 0 to achieve this on the proprietary Synology SSDs (which relative to other PCIe3 NVMes from Samsung, WD and Seagate are lower in performance, yet higher in price) is going to need additional layers of protection/backup to compensate for the loss of redundancy. So, what about a RAID 1? Is that going to give us even a pinch better results than the SINGLE or RAID 0? Is the loss of 50% of possible capacity going to be made up for by the performance? Lets see.

Test Scenario 3 – 2x SNV3400-400G M.2 NVMe SSD Storage Pool in RAID 1

Once again, we rebuild the test, this time with the 2x Synology SNV3400-400G M.2 NVMes in a RAID 1, a new Shared folder and mapped drive connection living on the volume and a repeat of all of our tests.

Atto Disk Benchmark, 2x SNV3400-400G M.2 NVMe SSD RAID 1 Storage Pool Tests

Atto Disk Benchmark tests first and although we saw a small improvement over the SINGLE in test #1, they were nowhere near what we saw from the RAID 0 results (unsurprisingly):

64MB File Size

256MB File Size

1GB File Size

4GB File Size

16GB File Size

Overall, the RAID 1 vs SINGLE M.2 NVMe SSD tests in ATTO on these DS923+ mounted M.2 NVMes resulted in an increase of around 180-220MB/s on the file tests (average).

AJA Speed Test 1080i, 2x SNV3400-400G M.2 NVMe SSD RAID 1 Storage Pool Tests

AJA tests up next and their results were surprisingly low, in some cases under the SINGLE tests. Now, how much of this was down to the RAID 1 handling overworking the system compared with both the straightforward SINGLE and accessible RAID 0. Indeed, there may have been other factors in the test that need investigating (system access? Other Synology DSM services that taxed the system that were not disabled/deactivated? Perhaps a HDD-linked service that resulted in a bottleneck of throughput that is visible on the AJA performance graph). I intend to revisit these tests at a later date and update this article if the results are better on a 2nd test (unfortunately the test setup of DS923+ and drives is unavailable), but for now, here are the results:

256MB File Size*

1GB File Size*

4GB File Size

16GB File Size

*I am suspicious of this test results and will be returning/revisiting these in this setup at a later date to confirm/update them.

Black Magic Speed Test, 2x SNV3400-400G M.2 NVMe SSD RAID 1 Storage Pool Tests

Finally, we have Black Magic for the RAID 0 M.2 NVMe SSD Performance tests and, although they were mostly good, the results were still dwarfed by the RAID 0 tests.

1GB File Size

3GB File Size

5GB File Size

So, better results in RAID 1 than SINGLE (again, marginally), but RAID 0 still continues to be the big performer overall. Let’s conclude.

10GbE & M.2 NVMe SSD Storage Pools on the Synology DS923+ NAS – Conclusion

I would say that a RAID 1 test, once you factor in the cost of the Synology SNV3400-400GB SSDs vs buying a SATA drive that these M.2 NVMes can sync with sync/schedule within the background, is not worth using in this setup. The Performance of the RAID 0 on the DS923+ NVMe SSD Storage Pool was just so much better! Using the Faster area of storage on for video editing (when BOTH the Read and Write are important) as a scratch/editing disk, whilst letting the NAS coordinate with a slower but more cost-effective area of HDD RAID storage in the background makes alot more sense. Generally, I would NEVER recommend RAID 0 for anything in terms of meaningful storage as the lack of redundancy alone is a HUGE red signal, but as long as you have created a good sync in conjunction with it (as well as throwing in a layer of backup of course – remember, redundancy and backup are NOT the same thing!), it is going to give you the best results here in terms of external performance. Of course, as Synology play with this feature in future, perhaps enabling DSM booting from the M.2 NVMes, using the faster storage areas for apps and/or accessible storage in VMs and ABB, RAID 1 on these bays will lively be the smarter long term move. But right now, as these bays on the DS923+ appear to be capped AND compatibility (at least a the time of writing) is incredibly limited to lower speed drives than those available across the market, I would maybe recommend holding out on this feature until it gets a little more support and development. It is GREAT that M.2 NVMe SSD storage pools ar starting to become available to Synology NAS systems, but the way in which it is being rolled out is rather perplexing!

Can You Boot Synology DSM from the M.2 NVMe SSDs?

Unfortunately, at the time of writing and testing, you cannot use the M.2 NVMe SSD Bays on the DS923+ NAS as a boot drive for DSM. To clarify, I booted the device with NO SATA HDD/SSDs and JUST the 2x M.2 NVMe SSDs inside (so the system was in initialization mode). The DS923+ did not recognize the M.2 NVMe SSD drives as usable system media for the DSM OS. You are greeted with the image below:

Perhaps this will be changed later on as the M.2 NVMe SSD Storage Pool utilization improves, but as it stands right now, you cannot use the NVMe drives for the system OS (but you CAN create Storage Pools and Volumes that you can then use within existing applications as sources, such as the Virtual Machine Manager and Active Backup.

Synology DS923+ NAS Review – Quick Conclusion

Synology has clearly made something of a gamble in the release of the Synology DS923+ NAS. There is no avoiding that making the switch from the Intel Celeron that has historically been the build choice of this product family and opting for the AMD Emb.Ryzen has ruffled some feathers! On the face of it, the R1600 here has a heck of alot of going for it over the previous generation! Higher clock speed, greater PCIe Gen 3 Support throughout, that 4-32GB of DDR4 memory in such a compact system and just generally giving you a lot more horsepower to play with, as well as better bandwidth potential inside and out! But at what cost? The 1GbE standard connectivity in the base model leaves alot to be desired, the proprietary 10Gb upgrade (though incredibly handy) limits the upgradability a tad and the lack of an integrated graphics processor is likely going to result in many long-term Synology advocates to skip this generation. Synology Diskstation Manager (DSM 7.1 at the time of writing) still continues to impress and although the brand still continues to heavily push their 1st party priorities, they have left a little more wriggle room in DSM 7.1 than DSM 7 before it in terms of media compatibility. In terms of design, I cannot fault Synology on this as the DS923+ chassis still arrives as one of the best-looking and still exceptionally well-structured devices at this physical scale and storage level. As always, a Synology NAS is more about the software than the hardware (and the DS923+ delivers in spades on the software side!) and with DSM 7.2 around the corner improving things. Just always keep in mind that the Synology DS923+ NAS is a system that arrives with the slight emphasis on having to do many things ‘their way’. If you are less technically versed, then you will definitely appreciate this level of user-friendly design and assistance, but more technically minded admins’ main strain a pinch! In short, the DS923+ IS a good NAS drive, but its focus has certainly ebbed more towards the business user this generation than the home.

SOFTWARE - 10/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻DSM 7/7.1 (and DSM7.2 Around the corner) still continues to be an absolute tour-de-force of NAS Software
👍🏻This latest generation expandable 4-Bay arriving with a 10G Upgrade Option is fantastic
👍🏻ECC Memory Support and scalability to 32GB is completely unparallel at this price point
👍🏻The design of the DS923+ NAS still continues to be market-leading
👍🏻The New CPU architecture allows great PCIe3 bandwidth to be afforded to the rest of the hardware, inside and out
👍🏻Low Noise, Low Physical Impact and Intelligent Automatic Power Use Adjustment Settings
👍🏻Increased Support for macOS in Synology Drive and Active Backup Suite (DSM 7.2)
👍🏻Synology C2 Cloud Services, 1st Party Backup/Sync Tools and Collaboration Suite App = Complete 1st Party Eco-system that can rival Office365 and Google Workspace
👍🏻PCIe Gen 3 M.2 NVMe SSD Support as Storage Pools!!! FINALLY!
👍🏻Tremendously User-Friendly!!!
CONS
👎🏻The AMD Emb.Ryzen instead of a Intel Celeron (with Integrated Graphics) will be a dealbreaker for alot of users
👎🏻The default 1GbE ports that the system arrives with are tremendously dated
👎🏻The USB ports on the system are older gen USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) and their support/usability have been quite pared back in recent DSM releases
👎🏻The continued moves by Synology to prioritize 1st party hardware and software services may put some users off
👎🏻Plex Support on the Synology DS923+ is still great for native playback, client-side handling and client devices with relevant multimedia licenses in place, but if server-side media conversions are needed - this system will struggle in comparison with the DS920+ before it

Where to Buy a Product
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amzamexmaestrovisamaster 24Hfree delreturn VISIT RETAILER ➤


Amazon USA 47.91 OFF (WAS 867) [LINK HERE]
Amazon UK 24.87 OFF (WAS 630) [LINK HERE]
Amazon UK 39.63 OFF (WAS 1598) [LINK HERE]
Amazon CA 410.09 OFF (WAS 1282) [LINK HERE]

If you are thinking of buying a Synology NAS, this article helped you AND you planned on buying from Amazon anyway, please use the link below. As this won’t cost you anything extra and results in me & Eddie at NASCompares receiving an affiliate fee from Amazon, which goes directly back into us doing what we do!

Need More Help Choosing the right NAS?

Choosing the right data storage solution for your needs can be very intimidating and it’s never too late to ask for help. With options ranging from NAS to DAS, Thunderbolt to SAS and connecting everything up so you can access all your lovely data at the touch of a button can be a lot simpler than you think. If you want some tips, guidance or help with everything from compatibility to suitability of a solution for you, why not drop me a message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible with what you should go for, its suitability and the best place to get it. This service is designed without profit in mind and in order to help you with your data storage needs, so I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible. We pool the comments on this article and the videos that are featured in it to keep all the relevant comments in one place, so take a look and see if your POV is the same as everyone else’s.

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We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]  

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    Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Best Photography NAS of the Year – 2022/2023

20 décembre 2022 à 18:00

Choosing the NAS for Photo Viewing, Sharing and/or Editing Photography of the Year

Many users first time hearing about NAS drives will often be when the limitations of their 3rd party cloud storage space (from the likes of Google, Apple or DropBox) start to become clear, with few groups feeling this pinch more than keen amateur or professional photographers. In the beginning, backing up your photo collections onto a space-free or low-price subscription cloud space seems so convenient! Backing up those photos from your phone so easy, the space you can free up from your phone periodically is so useful – but within a year or two it suddenly becomes apparent that you have been digging quite a hole for yourself! Limitations such as small capacities, slow backup speeds, regular payments towards something you will need to pay for indefinitely without true ownership and the every present nagging query about if your photos are completely under your control. Many users who want to quit the cloud are going to need somewhere for those photos to live eventually and the more time passes, the bigger the collection becomes. Now a NAS drive is so much more than a simple ‘hard drive on the internet’ and in reality is a multi-faceted storage system that can serve as an easy photo backup device, smart AI-powered photo recognition and organization tool, an editing target, a professional sharing space for business or all of those together (with plenty of other services leftover). Thanks to the continued evolution of NAS’ keeping up with the advances in camera technology, the result is that a NAS can provide an equal/better level of photo data management than all the cloud platforms on the market, with the added benefit that YOU have FULL CONTROL of your photography. Today I want to discuss the three best NAS drives on the market for Photographers, ranging from the best value, to professional business photo storage and ending at the ultimate photo NAS right now.

What Have All the Best Photography NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different Photography NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super-budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions righty seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best Photography solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another Photography NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS includes the following software and services:

  • Combined Hardware & Software Solution – That means that you are buying the hardware, but it ALSO includes a web browser GUI, mobile apps and desktop client apps (including backup, media, streaming, surveillance and file management software)
  • All NAS systems in this guide are compatible with (and can be accessed by) Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems
  • All NAS Solutions arrive with between 2-3 years Warranty (with the option to extend to 5 years)
  • All NAS drives can be accessed locally over the network, as well as secure remote access is possible with brand-supported services (at no additional cost)
  • The most modern and regularly updated NAS systems will support the very latest 20TB NAS hard drives (such as the Seagate Ironwolf 22TB and WD Red 22TB)
  • All the recommended solutions support multiple drive configurations (RAID) for drive failure protection and performance enhancements
  • All solutions receive regular updates to their security, features and services
  • All recommended NAS drives can connect and synchronize with cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), as well as Business/Enterprise services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze and more
  • All NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature the ability to host a shared drive on your PC/Mobile/Laptop systems that are synchronized with the NAS via the network/internet, but is shown in your native operating system file manager (i.e Mac Finder or Windows Explorer)
  • All the NAS solutions listed can be accessed DIRECTLY via an ethernet/network cable being connected from your PC/Mac system, to the NAS RJ45 port for 100MB/s and higher connectivity
  • All the best NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature backup and sync tools that can be installed on your local client computer and allow regular backups of your files and system data

So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above as these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best Photography NAS to buy now in 2022/2023.


Best Semi-Pro Photography NAS Drive – Synology DS923+ NAS

0-88TB, 4-Bays, 2x PCIe Gen 3 M.2 NVMe 2280, Dual Core AMD Emb.Ryzen R1600 CPU, 4-32GB DDR4 ECC Memory, 2x 1Gbe Port, 10GbE Optional Upgrade Slot, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $550+

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

Synology DSM NAS Software Review – HERE

Apps/Tools for Photographers and Photo sharing Services: Synology Photos (AI Photo Recognition), Synology Drive, Active Backup Suite, Hyper Backup and 10GbE Support for Editing

What I said in my review Nov’22:

Synology has clearly made something of a gamble in the release of the Synology DS923+ NAS. There is no avoiding that making the switch from the Intel Celeron that has historically been the build choice of this product family and opting for the AMD Emb.Ryzen has ruffled some feathers! On the face of it, the R1600 here has a heck of alot of going for it over the previous generation! Higher clock speed, greater PCIe Gen 3 Support throughout, that 4-32GB of DDR4 memory in such a compact system and just generally giving you a lot more horsepower to play with, as well as better bandwidth potential inside and out! But at what cost? The 1GbE standard connectivity in the base model leaves alot to be desired, the proprietary 10Gb upgrade (though incredibly handy) limits the upgradability a tad and the lack of an integrated graphics processor is likely going to result in many long-term Synology advocates to skip this generation. Synology Diskstation Manager (DSM 7.1 at the time of writing) still continues to impress and although the brand still continues to heavily push their 1st party priorities, they have left a little more wriggle room in DSM 7.1 than DSM 7 before it in terms of media compatibility.

Click to view slideshow.

In terms of design, I cannot fault Synology on this as the DS923+ chassis still arrives as one of the best-looking and still exceptionally well-structured devices at this physical scale and storage level. As always, a Synology NAS is more about the software than the hardware (and the DS923+ delivers in spades on the software side!) and with DSM 7.2 around the corner improving things. Just always keep in mind that the Synology DS923+ NAS is a system that arrives with the slight emphasis on having to do many things ‘their way’. If you are less technically versed, then you will definitely appreciate this level of user-friendly design and assistance, but more technically minded admins’ main strain a pinch! In short, the DS923+ IS a good NAS drive, but its focus has certainly ebbed more towards the business user this generation than the home.

SOFTWARE - 10/10
HARDWARE - 7/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻DSM 7/7.1 (and DSM7.2 Around the corner) still continues to be an absolute tour-de-force of NAS Software
👍🏻This latest generation expandable 4-Bay arriving with a 10G Upgrade Option is fantastic
👍🏻ECC Memory Support and scalability to 32GB is completely unparallel at this price point
👍🏻The design of the DS923+ NAS still continues to be market-leading
👍🏻The New CPU architecture allows great PCIe3 bandwidth to be afforded to the rest of the hardware, inside and out
👍🏻Low Noise, Low Physical Impact and Intelligent Automatic Power Use Adjustment Settings
👍🏻Increased Support for macOS in Synology Drive and Active Backup Suite (DSM 7.2)
👍🏻Synology C2 Cloud Services, 1st Party Backup/Sync Tools and Collaboration Suite App = Complete 1st Party Eco-system that can rival Office365 and Google Workspace
👍🏻PCIe Gen 3 M.2 NVMe SSD Support as Storage Pools!!! FINALLY!
👍🏻Tremendously User-Friendly!!!
CONS
👎🏻The AMD Emb.Ryzen instead of a Intel Celeron (with Integrated Graphics) will be a dealbreaker for alot of users
👎🏻The default 1GbE ports that the system arrives with are tremendously dated
👎🏻The USB ports on the system are older gen USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) and their support/usability have been quite pared back in recent DSM releases
👎🏻The continued moves by Synology to prioritize 1st party hardware and software services may put some users off
👎🏻Plex Support on the Synology DS923+ is still great for native playback, client-side handling and client devices with relevant multimedia licenses in place, but if server-side media conversions are needed - this system will struggle in comparison with the DS920+ before it

 


Best Home Photography NAS Drive – QNAP TS-453E NAS

0-88TB, 4-Bays, 2x PCIe Gen 3×2 M.2 NVMe 2280, Intel Celeron J6412 CPU, 8GB Memory (fixed), 2x 2.5Gbe Port, 1 HDMI 1.4b 4K 30FPS, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $589

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

QNAP QTS NAS Software Review – HERE

Apps/Tools for Photographers and Photo sharing Services: QNAP Photo Station, QNAP QuMagie AI Photo Recognition, Multimedia Console Manager, QSync Share, HybridMount, Hybrid Backup Sync 3 and support of 2.5GbE and 5GbE Adapters

What I said in my review Aug ’22:

The QNAP TS-453E NAS is a device that really grew on me! With these home/business server companies releasing refreshes of their ranges every 2-2.5yrs or so, it is easy to see them fall into repetitive patterns when it comes to how the hardware is picked at each tier/price-point. The TS-453E NAS on the other hand manages to carve a new tier into the brand’s portfolio right now in 2022, managing to give you some really solid internal/external hardware that most would have assumed would be half of what it is at this level of QNAP’s 4-bay portfolio (i.e Quad-Core, 8GB, NVMe M.2s, 2.5GbE, 10G USB, 3yr warranty, etc) and it will certainly make some buyers wonder about whether the current Prosumer/flagship TS-464 is as necessary to their home or office as they once thought.

Click to view slideshow.

The fixed memory, even at 8GB default, is rather annoying and a lack of PCIe slot means that 10GbE will remain out of reach – but look at this NAS sandwiched between the TS-451D2 & TS-464 and it makes alot of sense. This is for those not really looking at expandability years from now and although that plastic case still looks a little dated/cheap, this is not a device designed to be noticed day-to-day. For those looking to make their first tentative entry into the world of NAS a decent one or looking to upgrade cautiously from an ARM system, the QNAP TS-453E is an excellent shout!

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 10/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.8
PROS
👍🏻Exceptional CPU choice for the Scale/Tier
👍🏻8GB of DDR4 Memory
👍🏻2.5GbE (x2) Ports on Day 1
👍🏻Two USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s) Ports!
👍🏻2x M.2 NVMe Slots alongside those 4x SATA Bays for Storage (Caching, Tiered Storage or standalone Pools)
👍🏻Includes VM, Surveillance (8 licenses and upto 32 Cams), Backup, Sync, Multimedia, SaaS sync/migration and office tools (some with added AI services)
👍🏻3-Year Warranty (Can be extended)
👍🏻VERY Compact, low-impact design
👍🏻Supports 1-2x Expansions
👍🏻20TB and 22TB Confirmed Compatibility
CONS
👎🏻Memory Cannot be Upgraded
👎🏻M.2 NVMe SSD Slots are Gen 3 x2
👎🏻Chassis is still a little dated looking

 


Most Powerful 4K/8K Photo Editing NAS Drive – QNAP TVS-h874 NAS

0-176TB, 8-Bays, 2x PCIe 4 M.2 NVMe 2280, PCIe Gen 4×16 Upgrade Slot, Intel Core 12th Gen i5/i7/i9 CPU, 16-64GB DDR4 Memory, 2.5Gbe Port, 10Gb x2 Prots (Intel i9 Version), KVM, ZFS or EXT4 Setup, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $2000-2500-3000

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

QNAP QuTS NAS Software Review – HERE

Apps/Tools for Photographers and Photo sharing Services: Intel Core 12th Gen CPU with High-End Integrated Gfx, Dual 7,000MB/s SSD Slots for Editing 4K/8K, Support of 10GbE/25GbE/100GbE PCIe Upgrades, ZFS or ETX 4 File System Choice, QNAP Photo Station, QNAP QuMagie AI Photo Recognition, Multimedia Console Manager, QSync Share, HybridMount, Hybrid Backup Sync 3 and support of 2.5GbE and 5GbE Adapters

What I said in my review Dec ’22:

The QNAP TVS-h874 NAS is easily one of the most hardware-capable desktop NAS systems that I have ever seen (as you would expect for £2500+) and has clearly been designed with phenomenal future proofing in mind! If you are concerned about the longevity of this NAS, this hardware architecture will still be top tier 5 years from now, with the added support of PCIe 4 meaning that high capacity and performing micro upgrades throughout its life also ensuring it remains relevant long after. It’s price tag clearly moves this purchase out of the home and squarely into the business market (though likely those that take their media seriously will add it to the cart) and the TVS-h874 will function as a solid solution for Video editing (even at 8K), high frequency and performing VMs, large scale AI powered Surveillance setup, hybrid cloud/on-prem alternative to Office 365/Google Workspace services and as the center point for all your data storage operations. Crucially though, it is that the hardware on offer here will be able to do ALL of these at the same time, therefore maximising the investment for most businesses that want to move aware from their cloud dependant ops. In terms of software,t things are a little less absolute, with QTS and QuTS still getting a little busy at times, with a steeper learning curve than its big rival DSM from Synology. That said, die-hard fans of ZFS (Zettabyte File System) will adore the inclusion of benefits in RAID handling, management and recovery that are exclusive to that platform, whilst enjoying the wide range of applications and service benefits in QuTS that are often restricted to Linux platforms.

Click to view slideshow.

The slightly conveluded approach to release hardware that does complicate the selection process (different CPUs in the Intel 12th Gen family changing the rest of the system architecture) is something that I hoped this brand would graduate from (for the sake of simplicity), but for many, this level of choice in hardware and budget will be welcome. As is QNAP’s position on the support of 3rd party hardware (drives, PCIe upgrades, etc) and software, something that we have seen a worrying trend in the last few years against elsewhere in the industry but some other brands, to err towards 1st party/proprietary compatibility more and more. There are still lingering doubts by some on the security of NAS, with ransomware attacks on the rise and ALL brands and ALL platforms being targetted (NAS, Cloud ,etc), finding a middle ground between ease of use and depth of security being a tricky tie rope walk indeed. The TVS-h874 arrives with a wide range of Day 1 tools, further rigid defaults in QTS/QuTS in 2022/2023, considerable security settings to configure and multiple system scan tools for recommendations & preventative measures available. The QNAP TVS-h874 is probably the most powerful desktop/tower NAS drive I have ever reviewed and if you are looking for a system that can legitimately do anything server-side, but you are also willing to put in the time to configure it correctly – you will genuinely be hard pushed to find a better system in 2022, 2023 and likely 2024 at this price point and scale.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 10/10
PERFORMANCE - 10/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 9/10


9.0
PROS
👍🏻First Commercial Intel Core 12th Gen i5, i7 and i9 NAS Drive
👍🏻Upto 20 Cores, 24 Threads and High End Integrated Graphics
👍🏻PCIe Gen 4 x16 Upgrade Slot for 10/25/100GbE Cards and 2x PCIe Gen 4 x4 M.2 NVMe Slots for 7GB SSDs
👍🏻No Obstinant 3rd Party Hardware Limitations on Support or Compatibility
👍🏻Much larger support of 3rd Party Software Services than most other NAS Brands
👍🏻10Gb/s USB Connectivity, in Type A and Type C
👍🏻Upto 64GB of Memory and Potential for 128GB
👍🏻ZFS or EXT 4 File System Choice
👍🏻M.2 NVMe SSD Bays can be used for Storage or Caching
👍🏻Volume Encryption, SED SSD Support and WORM
👍🏻Enhanced AI Surveillance Services, with opt to upgrade with $30 Google TPU
👍🏻AI Photo Management Tool (QuMagie) Includes Thing Recognition and works offline
👍🏻ALL the ZFS Benefits, whilst also the GUI and App benefits of a Linux Software Platform in one
CONS
👎🏻Available Versions/Configs of the 4/6/8-Bay are confusing
👎🏻QVR Elite (not QVR Pro) only has 2 Cam Licences
👎🏻HDMI Output is 1.4b
👎🏻10Gbe is ONLY included with the most expensive Intel i9 Model
👎🏻Noisy when in operation when fully populated
👎🏻Too Many licenses on Enterprise Tools (Drive Analyzer, Face Tiger, etc) with too few free licenses

 

 



Where to Buy a Product
amzamexmaestrovisamaster 24Hfree delreturn VISIT RETAILER ➤ 
amzamexmaestrovisamaster 24Hfree delreturn VISIT RETAILER ➤

Need More Help Choosing the right NAS?

Choosing the right data storage solution for your needs can be very intimidating and it’s never too late to ask for help. With options ranging from NAS to DAS, Thunderbolt to SAS and connecting everything up so you can access all your lovely data at the touch of a button can be a lot simpler than you think. If you want some tips, guidance or help with everything from compatibility to suitability of a solution for you, why not drop me a message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible with what you should go for, its suitability and the best place to get it. This service is designed without profit in mind and in order to help you with your data storage needs, so I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible. Just enter in a few details of your setup, storage requirements and (in the case of buying a new solution) your budget – then me and Eddie the Web guy can help you with your question. This is a completely free service, is NOT provided with profit in mind and is manned by two humans (no bots, no automated replies, etc). Assistance might take an extra day or two (the service gets a lot of visitors) but we do try to answer every message. If you want to support this service, you can find out how to donate HERE. Otherwise, you can still just message us for free advice anyway!

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]  

Support What We Do


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    Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

The Synology DS723+ vs Terramaster F2-423 NAS – Best 2-Bay?

19 décembre 2022 à 18:00

Synology DS723+ or Terramaster F2-423 NAS – Which Should You Buy?

For such a long time, the general hardware that all the NAS brands were offering was generally comparable (Celeron CPU, 2/4GB Memory, coupled of 1GbE and USB) and it was only when you delved into the software that you could see the big differences. However, 2022 has really thrown a spanner in the works and although all the big-name brands (not just Synology and Terramaster) have released new hardware into the market, they are all so different this time around! The F2-423 from Terramaster (largely considered the more cost-effective and value arm of the NAS industry) arrived in Summer ’22 and featured 2.5GbE Gen 3 PCIe M.2 slots and a new Intel Celeron. Meanwhile, Synology held off right till the end of 2022 to release their DS723+ with an Optional 10GbE upgrade, switching to an AMD-embedded Ryzen processor and ramping the memory up to business-class ECC modules. If this is your first tentative steps into the world of NAS and you are considering a Synology or Terramaster NAS, you would be forgiven for being a little confused by these recent changes by the brands in 2022/2023 and wondering which one of them is best served to store your data. So today I want to compare the flagship 2-Bays from Synology and Asustor to help you decent which one is best for you.

Terramaster F2-423vs Synology DS723+ NAS – Internal Hardware

These 2-Bay NAS dives from Synology and Terramaster have always arrived as Intel Celeron or Pentium-powered solutions – but in 2022, Synology changed tac and decided to move the DS723+ to an AMD chip. Its predecessor, the DS920+ NAS from 2020, first arrived with a 4 Core Intel Celeron Processor that featured integrated graphics, 2-6GB of DDR4 2666Mhz memory and NVMe SSD upgrade slots. In the two years since its release though, Synology clearly decided to make some big changes in the DS723+ to make it considerably more scalable and general business/file-ops focused. The newer 2-Bay Diskstation features a dual-core AMD R1600 that, although arriving with half the cores of the Celeron in the Terramaster F2-423 has more threads, has a higher CPU frequency and can have it’s frequency increased further in turbo/burst when needed. That said, users will be surprised to learn that this CPU also does not feature embedded graphics, so therefore the DS723+ will be less CPU efficient at handling complex multimedia tasks or generally more graphically demanding operations. The double thread count of the Celeron in the Terramaster will make a difference certainly, but with the R1600 CPU having a higher power consumption and threads (though more efficient) will not be as effective in operations as having more cores. You can learn more about the main user differences in our video below (in which me and Eddie take to either side of the Emb.Ryzen v Celeron debate) to see their respective strengths and weaknesses.

Though both systems feature DDR4 memory, the DS723+ has the much higher pedigree (but half the capacity of 2GB vs 4GB) and thanks to its use of much more impressive ECC (error code correction) memory to identify and repair any bit-level write errors (AVOIDING BITROT) and can also be scaled to a considerably higher 32GB of memory (with the Terramaster F2-423 NAS maxing out at 16GB). Returning to those M.2 NVMe slots, both system feature 2 bays that can be used for SSD storage upgrades, although both the DS723+ and F2-423 support SSD caching (when a pool of SSDs is used to speed up data write/read in conjunction with the larger HDD RAID array), the Terramaster is the only one that also allows this to be used as a standalone storage pool and volumes. This is the first of several key differences between the Terramaster F2-423 and Synology DS723+ NAS that show the divide in hardware between these units. Now, if Synology were to allow NVMe SSD usage for raw storage pools and volumes (something of a rumour that is floating around about DSM 7.2 allowing this feature – which I am still looking into at the time of writing), that would be a different story, as the DS723+ is running on PCIe3 lane architecture, with the bays inside the NAS likely being M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 3 x2 or x4 (so 2,000-4,000MB/s bandwidth). But again, this is still a very, very tenuous rumour at this stage and therefore cannot be counted on.

 

Model Synology DS723+ NAS

 Terramaster F2-423 NAS

Number of SATA Bays x2 x2
Supported RAID RAID 0, 1 and SHR (Flexible) RAID 0, 1 and TRAID (Flexible)
Number of M.2 NVMe Bays (Gen) 2x NVMe M.2 2280 Gen 3 x4 (TBC) 2x NVMe M.2 2280 Gen 3×2
M.2 NVMe Deployment? Caching Only (at the time of writing) Caching and/or Storage Pools
CPU AMD Embedded Ryzen Intel Celeron N5105 CPU
Cores 2-Core 4-Core
Frequency 2.6-3.1Ghz 2.0Ghz-2.9Ghz
Integrated Graphics No Yes
Default Memory 2GB DDR4 SODIMM ECC 4GB DDR4 SODIMM
Max Memory 32GB SODIMM – 2 SLOTS 16GB SODIMM – 2 SLOTS
Storage Expandability Yes, eSATA connected DX517 No, but external USB RAID is Supported
Power Supplier 65W 65W

The Intel Celeron inside the Terramaster F2-423 and its integrated graphics are definitely going to make it more popular with Plex NAS users. Tasks that require more advanced graphical techniques, such as encode, decode, QuickSync-supported tasks, viewing images that can be manipulated in the viewer and running of anything presented in HEVC/H.265 compression are going to benefit from the graphical toolkit present in the N5105 CPU, whereas the R1600 will need to complete these tasks less efficiently, with raw power. For example, earlier in 2022 we compared the two NAS’ with VERY similar hardware to the DS723+ and F2-423,  the QNAP TS-464 against the Synology DS1522+ NAS (which also runs on the AMD R1600 CPU) on 4K Plex playback. In those tests, both the Intel N5105 and AMD R1600 were about to playback UHD 4K Media upto 60Mbps bitrate in H.264 equally well, with the embedded graphics on the celeron not presenting any advantage. However, when it came to transcoding and converting HEVC/H.265 media in practice, the R1600 struggled (hitting 100% CPU utilization almost immediately). Now, there are lots of ways to get around the HEVC/H265 barrier. You can:

  • Use Media Client Hardware for watching your Plex Server Media that is powerful enough to allow ‘client side’ conversions
  • Only Use H.264 Compressed media
  • Use a client hardware device that includes an HEVC/H.265 Licence purchase option

However, if you are running your Plex Media streaming to mobile devices (many of which do not allow client-side hardware conversions) or an Amazon Fire Stick (same again), these will rely quite heavily on the NAS doing the heavy lifting in the event of you needing HEV/H265 content modified. So, although BOTH the Terramaster F2-423 and Synology DS723+ NAS are going to be good for Plex in native playback, when it comes to media that is going to need some extra horsepower server-side, the Terramaster F2-423 NAS has the better internal Hardware. Also, the power use/efficiency of the Intel Celeron in 24×7 use is going to typically be lower in like-for-like use cases (with a TDP rating of 10W on the Celeron vs 25W on the R1600 – but these represent max usage/non-typical). Finally, the Intel Celeron in the Terramaster is a 4-core processor, double that of the R1600 at 2-core. 4 Cores means that you can spread those dedicated cores to other processes more effectively and present a larger degree of processing power to those tasks. Now, the DS723+ and it’s AMD R1600 does counter all of these points with some impressive strengths of it’s own. For a start, that much higher base and turbo frequency of 2.6Ghz > 3.1Ghz. This means that you have a much more powerful NAS at your disposal to get most other tasks done and if you are not focused on those graphical areas mentioned earlier that the N5105 favours, the R1600 is going to get most other tasks done quicker and/or have more resources to spread out to more users at once.

Synology DS723+ or Terramaster F2-423 NAS – Design

This is going to be a real area of contention for some users who are either in close proximity to the NAS they buy or are a little more sensitive to noise. I say this because the Terramaster F2-423 NAS has great hardware, but the design is a little less impressive. The chassis (arriving in a combination of plastic and metal internal structure) is a little more dated in design than the Synology DS723+. This is further underlined when you measure the two NAS side by side. The result is a NAS that is a bit wider than the DS723+. Additionally, the chassis feels a little more cost-effective/budget on the Terramster than the Synology. Synology has been using this 2-Bay chassis since around 2017 in this product series and it still looks pretty modern by comparison.

The rear of these two chassis reveals that they both arrive with two active cooling fans. These fans are designed to maintain the best possible internal running temperature, as NAS servers of this scale rarely have CPU fans and rely on well-placed heatsinks and strategically placed airflow throughout the system to keep the components running at the most efficient temperature 24×7. The fans on the Synology are a little more subtle, but are also a fraction larger (92cm sq each on the Synology vs 80cm sq on the Terramaster). You might think this means that the Synology is the noisier of the two. However, in reality, the Terramaster is the tiniest pinch louder in ambient noise when in operation. This is due to several factors. The first is that the fans are part of a larger external block on the rear of the device (as opposed to being contained within the larger casing). The other reason is that the Terramaster NAS chassis contains more metal (on the base and a much more structured use of aluminium internally by comparison to the Synology which features alot more plastic in it’s framework and external. The noise difference is very, VERY small, but will be increased a pinch more when using more industrially designed HDDs above 10TB (that have more platters thanks to helium-sealed drive technology, dedicated 7200RPM) because of the increased vibration and resulting hum, clicks and whirrs. It’s a very small difference, but the particular noise sensitive will notice this.

The final thing to discuss in the chassis design of the Synology DS723+ and Terramaster F2-423 is velitation and passive cooling. Both of these NAS drive’s have ventilation places around their casing to work in conjunction with those active cooling fans. The Synology arguably does a better job of things on this too, as not only do the sides of the casing have the familiar brand logo in a vented design, but the M.2 slots have ventilated covers on the base and even the trays have a bit more airflow between the drives. The Terramaster has a small amount of ventilation on the front between the bays, but the bulk of the passive ventilation on the F2-423 is on the base of the chassis (under the storage bays). Although the overall impact of these passive ventilation methods is still going to be heavily dependent on the fans and internal heatsinks, the design of the Synology DS723+ chassis just seems a little more thought out.

Overall, the SYNOLOGY design wins overall, thanks to its better middle ground design between airflow, chassis size and noise compared with the Terramaster F2-423. Although neither brand provides its solutions in a variety of colours, the Black and largely square Diskstation chassis will blend in better in most environments too. Next, let’s discuss network connectivity.

Synology DS723+ or Terramaster F2-423 NAS – Ports and Connections

The connections that a NAS arrives with will heavily dictate the access speed and performance between it and your client devices. This becomes especially true when your NAS is going to be accessed by a large number of users/tasks at any given time, as the result is the bandwidth (the maximum potential connection speed) being shared between them all. Now the  DS723+ arrives with arguably very dated connectivity (in its default state, but scalability is possible). This is especially true when compared with the F2-423.  Here is how they compare off the bat:

Model Synology DS723+ NAS

 Terramaster F2-423 NAS

Default Network Connections 2x 1GbE 2x 2.5GbE
Network Upgrade / PCIe Slot Yes, PCIe Gen 3×2 for E10G22-t1-mini 10G Upgrade No
USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10G) 0 2x
USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5G) 2x 0
USB 2.0 0 0
eSATA 1 0
HDMI No 1x HDMI 2.0 (Command Interface ONLY, no GUI)
Audio In/Out No No

So, alot of difference here to unpack. Some things are quite brand specific, such as the Synology DS723+ featuring an eSATA port that is used for the DX517 JBOD expansion 5-Bay. The same goes for the Terramaster F2-423 having an HDMI port for local (command level) access with a USB Keyboard, something Synology have never provided outside of very specific Surveillance solutions. Bt the areas we CAN compare are the USB connectivity and the network connectivity. The USB ports on the Synology are USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) and have limited support in the system software (DSM), but are largely used for external storage drives and UPS devices, that’s about it (you can assign them to a VM). The USB ports on the Terraamster on the other hand are USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s), so twice as higher bandwidth than the Synology, as well as supporting a larger number of USB devices (so storage and UPS’ like the Synology, but also devices such as printers, scanners, network adapters and WiFi dongles). The next big difference is that the Synology arrives with two 1GbE Network ports (these can be combined via LAG/Port-Trunking to 2GbE with a smart switch) and the Terramaster has 2x 2.5GbE ports (which can also be combined too). This means the Terramster has a significantly higher external network bandwidth available. You will still need to be using a greater than Gigabit Router or Switch in order to take advantage of these speeds, but given that now you can get USB-to-2.5GbE adapters for as little as £20, this is getting easier to take utilize. If you are in a pure 1GbE network environment and have zero intention to upgrade to 2.5G or 10G in the next few years, you can largely ignore this advantage, but given that an increasing number of day-to-day devices are arriving with 2.5G at the same price as 1G (ISP Routers with WiFi 6, Prosumer routers, Switches, PC Motherboards, etc), its tough to overlook that extra external connectivity that the F2-423 provides here in the default/day 1 state. However, things can change if you take advantage of the network upgrade slot of the DS723+ NAS.

Moving away from the CPU, we CAN talk about one the stand-out features of the Synology DS723+ NAS that has been demanded for quite a long time – 10GbE support. Now, before we get too excited, it’s really important to once again highlight that this is OPTIONAL 10GbE and available via an additional purchase of the E10G22-T1-mini upgrade module. The DS723+ by default arrives with 1GbE network ports, but the option of 10GbE is very welcome indeed, though many will wonder why they didn’t just roll this in and increase the DS723+ NAS price a fraction. There are many who argue that 2.5GbEsuch as it is found on the F2-423 NAS is still something of a fad (with 1GbE still massively available in it’s decades of use and 10GbE becoming more affordable as a client hardware upgrade with interchangeable hardware and backwards compatibility with legacy devices) but there is also the question of future-proofing to consider. When you buy ANY piece of hardware, you are buying it BOTH to be compatible with current hardware trends AND to remain useful in the future. 2.5GbE has gained traction thanks to $25 adapters over USB supported on Windows/Mac, affordable network cards, growing wireless network adoption of WiFi 6/6e and more hardware peripherals proving 2.5GbE at the same cost as 1GbE in 2022. Plus, a 2.5GbE NAS will still give you 250-279MB/s connected to a 10GbE network if/when you upgrade to Copper/RJ45/10GBASE-T. So, although the inclusion of optional 10GbE on the DS723+ with the E10G22-T1-mini adapter IS a very welcome addition, the lack of 2.5GbE will certainly be noticed!

The 10GbE upgrade for the DS723+ is an incredibly easy process – with the E10G22-T1-mini module being significantly easier than traditional PCIe Card upgrades. Arriving on a PCIe Gen 3×2 board, this singe port accessory slots into the back (power down necessary, as this is a PCIe upgrade) and immediately adds the 1,000MB/s+ bandwidth connection to your DS723+. As this NAS is a 2-Bay system, there is the question of whether there is enough media throughput the saturate the full 10GBASE-T connection. Using a fully SATA SSD populated device will likely full/close-to saturate the 10G connection, as would using the 5-bay DX517 expansion in a combined RAID with the main 4-Bays (the DX517 connects over eSATA which is capped at 6Gb/s – so a combined RAID with the primary storage is the only way you are going to hit 1,000MB/s), but what about if you are only using the main 2x DS723+ bays with 3.5″ hard drives?

Luckily, I can answer the question of how this NAS CPU and 4 hard drives will perform over 10GbE now. Previously here on the NASCompares, I was fortunate enough to run ATTO tests on the DS1522+ (same R1600 CPU, 8GB Memory) with RAID 0 and RAID 5 with four WD Red Pro 22TB Hard Drives. Now, it is worth remembering that these are NOT your common, everyday SATA hard drives and are designed to be rugged, high-performance disks (7200RPM, 512MB Cache, 10x 2.2TB platters, etc). In a RAID 0 and RAID 5 setup and in particular file size tests, full saturation of read transfers of 1.15GB/s was achieved, with write performance peaking at around 800-900MB/s. Now these ARE artificial tests (so, not really representative of everyday use), but nevertheless, very compelling results for 4 drives over 10GbE and DO indicate that the DS723+ +Expansion hardware is sufficient to saturate the E10G22-T1-mini upgrade. More domestic/smaller scale HDDs such as the WD Red Plus or Seagate Ironwolf drives without the use of a DX517 expansion, will likely cap at around 350-450MB/s at most.

Note – You can READ the full article that details all the tests and results of the Synology DS1522+ NAS and WD Red Pro 22TBs over 10GbE HERE. Alternatively, you can watch my YouTube video on these tests (with 5GbE testing too) here on the NASCompares YouTube Channel.

Synology DS723+ or Terramaster F2-423 NAS – Software

On the subject of NAS software, this is where the Synology NAS is exceedingly strong! Although the Terramaster NAS platform has seen a huge number of improvements in recent years (TOS version 5 was launched in Summer 2022), with new apps, services and modes included, Synology and DSM is still considered the dominant force in NAS software. The Synology DSM platform feels alot more responsive, has a huge number of first-party applications (As well as mobile and desktop client applications too) and although 3rd party application support is available in a number of their tools, the real strength in the Synology software is how the brand releases it’s own 1st party alternatives (allowing you to create a single ecosystem of tools for your NAS storage and network). Use Skype or Whatsapp? Then you can use Synology Chat. Use DropBox or Google Drive for team sharing and local storage synchronization? Use Synology Drive. Use Google Docs, Google Cloud Space and Google Workspace? Then use Synology Collaboration Suite and Active Backup. Plex or Emby? Use Synology Video Station instead, as it has metadata scraping and no subscription. Even high-end business is covered. Synology Virtual Machine Manager instead of Hyper-V or VMware, Surveillance Station instead of Milestone – the list is huge AND crucially, all of these apps are compatible with 3rd party tools too, whether it is to sync with them to create a bare-metal NAS backup, or to open and continue from your 3rd party setup into a 1st party setup. Below is my full review of Terramater TOS 5 and Synology DSM:

Now, this isn’t to say that the Terramaster TOS system is not good, it is better than it has ever been, very responsive, features improved 1st party apps in its latest version (new AI-powered Photo recognition tool Terra Photos, Surveillance Center application, VM support, improved muti-tier and multi-site backup manager and more), but the apps and the GUI does not feel quite as polished as the Synology platform and you definitely get the feeling that a larger % of the cost of a terramaster goes towards the hardware than the software. If you are only planning on using the NAS as a target drive for your 3rd party tools, then the Trramaster will support you well. Just know that the total Hardware+software type buyer will want to opt for Synology and the award-winning DSM.

Synology DS723+ or Terramaster F2-423 NAS – Conclusion and Verdict

Many home and prosumer users that are comparing these two NAS in terms of hardware are doing so because of Plex Media Server support (with that Intel inside the Terramaster doing alot of the heavy lifting here). However, you have to look at the F2-423 and DS723+ NAS as complete hardware+software solutions and are priced as such. So, therefore the choice between the Synology DS723+ and the Terramaster F2-423 NAS comes down to two main factors. 1) Do you prioritize Hardware or Software? As the Terramaster is the best for the former and the Synology is much better for the latter! 2) What do you expect from the NAS system? If you want a system that is designed to just be your storage system and sit in the background and do its job, then the Terramaster will not only be the more economical choice, but it will also be the one that is better for direct and no-frills tasks. If however, you want a more dynamic system or one that you plan on wrapping your small business around – then the Synology will be the better choice, as it has been designed with precisely this kind of user and deployment in mind. If you came to this article wondering why the Terramaster NAS online always seems to be more affordable/cheaper in price, I hope this guide helped you understand. Both the DS723+ and F2-423 or among the best examples of what each brand has on offer right now in 2022 – but it is a case of what you, the end user, want for your money. Then you have to factor in the upgrade option of the Synology that allows you to scale it up to 10GbE (for around £129+) and it’s CPU upto 32GB ECC Memory combo that is designed much more towards throughput and performance than graphical management, so in a somewhat ‘tortoise and the hare’ style, the Synology has the potential to outperform the Terramaster here down the line. Then again, Plex users who are reliant on server-side transcoding/conversions (eg thanks to H.265/HEVC compression barriers) are going to have a CONSIDERABLY better experience on the F2-423 when playing back these files.

Synology DS723+ NAS

 Terramaster F2-423 NAS

Reasons to Buy Reasons to Buy
10GbE Upgradability

More User Friendly with noticeably more polished Apps, Tools and GUI

Allows a greater Max Memory of 32GB, which is also ECC

Synology HybridRAID Migration and Expansion

Includes 1st party apps to replace/sync with your existing 3rd party ones

Better File Throughput internally

The BEST NAS Surveillance Application

Enterprise Grade tool Active Backup Suite

Much More Affordable and Regularly on Offer

Better Plex HEVC/H.265 Media Management on the Server side

TRAID Flexible RAID

Easy Software Switch to TrueNAS (HERE)

2.5GbE by Default

USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb) Connectivity for Storage

Wide HDD and SSD Compatibility (upto 22TB – Dec ’22)

TOS 5 has an AI Photos App and Surveillance (Entry Level)


Where to Buy a Product
amzamexmaestrovisamaster 24Hfree delreturn VISIT RETAILER ➤ 
amzamexmaestrovisamaster 24Hfree delreturn VISIT RETAILER ➤

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Synology DS1522+ NAS Power Cost Test – How Much Will it Cost You To Run?

14 décembre 2022 à 18:00

How Much Electricity Does A Synology DS1522+ NAS Use and How Much Does it Cost to run 24×7?

In this energy-aware climate, it can be appreciated that a NAS drive (a 24×7 appliance) seemingly has its cost to the end user in terms of electricity as something of a vague number. With so many kinds of NAS available in the market, featuring a mix of CPUs, PSUs, Bays and utilities, PLUS the wide range of HDD/SSD drives in the market to choose from – there are just so many variables when trying to work out how much power your NAS drive is using and how much that is translating to in your monthly energy bill! So, today’s article is about working out how much electricity the popular Synology DS1522+ NAS and WD Ultrastar 10TB HDDs (Western Digitals Higher Class Data Center line of HDDs) will consume, as well as how much that equals to you in £, $ or € per day, month and year! We tested the Synology NAS system, connected them to an energy monitor and worked out how much power they used in full active use and in idle. Let’s begin.

The Synology DS1522+ NAS
Current Price/Availability on Amazon –$799
The WD Ultrastar 10TB HDD (x5)
Current Price/Availability on Amazon –$249
AMD Ryzen R1600 CPU, 2-Core 2.6-3.1hz Celeron CPU
8GB DDR4 Memory, 1GbE
10 Terabyte Capacity – SATA 3.5″ Form Factor
7200RPM – 256MB Cache – 7 Platters

NAS Power Use Test Setup

Choosing the appropriate NAS drive for these tests was always going to be tough. I DO intend on repeating these tests with several different NAS drives after this in some follow-up articles (the larger article that I will be adding to can be found HERE), but wanted these first few tests to be focused on one of the most POPULAR NAS setups (and the DS1522+ is still one of the most popular Synology NAS the brand has ever produced and the WD Ultrastar 10TB HDDs, as well as identifying the difference between using newer gen CPUs and Larger drives vs using older generation devices and smaller capacity media. This will involve 2x tests on each NAS+Media configuration. Here is a breakdown of the hardware configurations and test architectures:

  • Synology DS1522+ NAS, AMD CPU+8GB Memory Setup over 1GbE
  • 5x WD Ultrastar 10TB (RAID5)
  • During ‘ACTIVE’ 24hr Tests, the NAS was prevented from going into standby/idle. 1 VM running, 1-Core and 1GB Memory, 2x IP Cameras recording non-stop, drive S.M.A.R.T tests scheduled to be hourly
  • During IDLE 24hr Tests, the VM was deleted, VM and Surveillance Software disabled, ALL S.M.A.R.T tests disabled and network cable (1GbE) disconnected.
  • The first day of operation (which includes initialization and RAID creation) not counted (but visible at the start of the graph).
  • Power was monitored with a GOSUND SMART KIT Smart Plug, Mini 13A – Find HERE

The initial 24 hours (used for system initialization and RAID configuration) were NOT included in the power usage monitoring, as although they appear on the graph they are one-off single-event scenarios. Each test (Active vs Idle) was conducted for 24hrs and the overall electricity usage was displayed in kw (kilowatt). But what is the difference between Active and Idle activity? Why does it matter?

What is the Difference Between a NAS Drive ‘Active’ and in ‘IDLE / Standby’?

Although a NAS is designed to be in operation 24×7 and is consuming electricity when running, the actual reality of this and the extent to which it is consuming it is actually alot more nuanced. Most home users who have a NAS system will use the NAS directly for a significant;y smaller portion of time per day than it is actually powered on for. Perhaps to stream a movie or a couple of TV episodes, run a daily backup, have a couple of cameras in/outside their home that are sending recordings (or more likely just alerts and associated captures) to the NAS and that is about it. They will periodically do more than these, maybe a VM, more sophisticated backup or use some of the other services ad hoc, but the result is that in most domestic/bog standard home scenarios, a NAS will be switched internally to Idle/Standby after no pro-active use quite quickly and spend 80-90% of the time in low power modes. Business users might well be using the system 24×7 for sync’d tasks and on-going camera recording, but even then, this will be a lower %  of system resources in use. So, in order to find a comparable and relative means to study the electricity use of a NAS and it’s cost, I have conducted two tests per NAS+HDD configuration. The first, a 24 Hour Active test, with the system using a decent % of it’s CPU+Memory, a swell as the HDDs not being given the chance to switch to Idle/Standy (by constantly writing AND performing S.M.A.R.T tests hourly). The idle tests involve all of those apps, services and scheduled operations being cancelled and the network cable being disconnected from the NAS (for another 24hrs). From here we can work out the cost of an hour of power usage by either setup in high activity and near-zero activity. But how can we work out the COST of the electricity used by the NAS in that time period?

How Energy Costs in these NAS Tests were Calculated?

The results of the energy usage are then cross-referenced by ‘sust-it.net’ and calculations of the cost of the used electricity per day, month and year was calculated for the UK, U.S, Germany, Australia and Canada. Now, using a select energy tariff is much harder, as there are quite literally thousands of different energy providers globally, each with their own pricing on the cost of energy per ‘kWh’. So, I used the national average calculations that were provided by ‘sust-it’ for each of those areas. Some are clearly more up-to-date than others (i.e the United Kingdom Avg Energy cost tariff is dated October 2022, whereas the Canada’s average energy cost is from way back in March 2020), however, these will still provide a good basis for understanding what a NAS drive is going to cost you in electricity when it is in operation. The national tariff averages used in this article for each region are as follows:

UK: Energy Price (October 2022) electricity rate of 34.00 pence per kWh.

USA: Average (Feb 2022) electricity rate of 14.80 cents per kWh.

Germany: Average (June 2021) electricity rate of 31.93 Eurocents per kWh.

Australia: Average (March 2022) electricity rate of 23.59 cents per kWh.

Canada: Average (2020) electricity rate of 8.50 cents per kWh.

Source – https://www.sust-it.net

There are the rates that we will be using to calculate the running costs of the Synology NAS system (and more importantly its Drive setup and CPU usage).

Test – Synology DS1522+ NAS and 5x WD Ultrastar 10TB Drives

I set the Synology DS1522+ NAS and WD Ultrastar 10TB Hard drives up in the following configuration for the Active tests:

  • Synology DS1522+ NAS
  • WD Ultrastar 10TB HDD, RAID 5
  • Surveillance Station 9 and 2x Reolink Dome IP Cameras (24hrs Active)
  • Synology Virtual Machine Manager, 1x Windows VM, 1 Core, 1GB Memory (24hrs Active)
  • Synology Storage Manager (DSM 7.1) and S.M.A.R.T Tests per Hour (24hr Active)
  • Reported Average power requirements of a WD Ultrastar 10TB (Single):
    • 9.2W Active
    • 8.0W Idle

Then, 24hrs later, I disabled all these processes, disconnected the RJ45 LAN and let the NAS fall into idle/standby mode. The results were as follows:

The power that was used in the initialization of both the NAS and the drives in the RAID was NOT included in the respective Actie/Idle tests.

Synology DS1522+ and WD Ultrastar 10TB HDD Test Results:

0.047083kW use per Hour in full access/use and 0.02333kW use per Hour in idle/standby:

1hr Active Use (KW) UK Power Use £ U.S Power Use $ Germany Power Use € Australia AU$ Canada CA$
Per Hour £0.02 0.007 0.015 0.0111 0.004
           
1hr Idle Use (KW) UK Power Use £ U.S Power Use $ Germany Power Use € Australia AU$ Canada CA$
Per Hour £0.01 0.0035 0.0074 0.0055 0.002

Here are the results for 24 HOURS OF ACTIVITY (no standby time or drive hibernation)

24hr Active Use (KW) UK Power Use £ U.S Power Use $ Germany Power Use € Australia AU$ Canada CA$
Cost Per Day £0.38 0.168 0.36 0.2664 0.096
Cost per Month 11.68 5.11 10.95 8.103 2.92
Cost Per Year 140.16 61.32 131.4 97.236 35.04

Here are the results for 24 HOURS OF IDLE/STANDBY with no system use and ethernet/network connection disconnected

24hr Idle Use (KW) UK Power Use £ U.S Power Use $ Germany Power Use € Australia AU$ Canada CA$
Cost Per Day £0.19 0.084 0.1776 0.132 0.048
Cost per Month 5.767 2.555 5.402 4.015 1.46
Cost Per Year 69.204 30.66 64.824 48.18 17.52

So, what about if you were to only use the NAS at active use for around 25% of the day (i.e 6hrs of active with backups, multimedia, etc) and 75% of the day as idle (i.e 18hrs unused):

25%/75% Active/Idle Use:

6hr Active Use and 18hr Idle Use (KW) UK Power Use £ U.S Power Use $ Germany Power Use € Australia AU$ Canada CA$
Cost Per Day £0.24 0.105 0.2232 0.1656 0.06
Cost per Month 7.24525 3.19375 6.789 5.037 1.825
Cost Per Year 86.943 38.325 81.468 60.444 21.9

Now it is worth keeping in mind that the costs for each region have a notably different price per kW rate, so even after factoring in currency conversions between different units (eg Pounds vs Dollars), there is a significant degree of difference in the costs per day, month and year of the exact same NAS+HDD setup above. Stay tuned, check below to see if other NAS power tests have been published and recommended to you, or watch the video version of these tests (which goes into more detail on the current predicaments in the energy crisis facing many of us in 2022, 2023 and beyond.

VIDEO

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    Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

Best 6-Bay NAS of the Year – 2022/2023

12 décembre 2022 à 18:00

A Guide to the Best 6-Bay NAS Drives to Buy Right Now

In the last 5 years or so, the popularity of 6-Bay NAS systems has skyrocketed! Up until that point, most users in the home/small-business market who were looking at desktop solutions would either settle for the modest 2/4 Bay scale of system, or jump up towards the 8-Bay scale when they needed more storage capacity to play with. However, the recent increase in 6 Drive server systems is larger thanks to two factors. The first is the huge capacities of drive that have arrived in the last few years (currently hitting 22TB sizes and with 24TB around the corner) that have allowed even modest-sized NAS systems to easily break into the 100TB storage mark. The second factor is the growing concerns over data redundancy and doubt about the single drive safety net afforded by RAID 5 compared with the 2 drive failure protection of RAID 6. These two factors together have resulted in 6-Bay NAS systems specifically leveraging large drives in a RAID 6 configuration to become a great deal more affordable and palatable. NAS Manufacturers have definitely observed this and we have seen considerable growth in the range of 6-Bay NAS solutions arriving on the market, scaling in hardware, power and price. Today I want to share with you my recommended 6-Bay NAS drives to buy in 2022 and 2023. These are solutions that stand out for their own specific reasons. So, let’s go through the best 6-Bay NAS servers you should be considering

What Have All the Best 6-Bay NAS Drives Have in Common?

It is worth remembering that although there are ALOT of different 6-Bay NAS drives available to buy, they are by no means created equal! With numerous super-budget brands popping up online, it can be tempting to consider these alongside the premium NAS brands. However, all too often they offer solutions righty seem ‘too good to be true’ and then are gone from the web before your warranty even gets cold! So, whether you are looking at the three best 6-Bay solutions that I am recommending below OR are looking at another 6-Bay NAS you saw on offer/recommended elsewhere – the best NAS system ALWAYS includes the following software and services:

  • Combined Hardware & Software Solution – That means that you are buying the hardware, but it ALSO includes a web browser GUI, mobile apps and desktop client apps (including backup, media, streaming, surveillance and file management software)
  • All NAS systems in this guide are compatible with (and can be accessed by) Windows, Mac, Android and Linux operating systems
  • All NAS Solutions arrive with between 2-3 years Warranty (with the option to extend to 5 years)
  • All NAS drives can be accessed locally over the network, as well as secure remote access is possible with brand-supported services (at no additional cost)
  • The most modern and regularly updated NAS systems will support the very latest 20TB NAS hard drives (such as the Seagate Ironwolf 22TB and WD Red 22TB)
  • All the recommended solutions support multiple drive configurations (RAID) for drive failure protection and performance enhancements
  • All solutions receive regular updates to their security, features and services
  • All recommended NAS drives can connect and synchronize with cloud services (Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, etc), as well as Business/Enterprise services such as AWS, Azure, Backblaze and more
  • All NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature the ability to host a shared drive on your PC/Mobile/Laptop systems that are synchronized with the NAS via the network/internet, but is shown in your native operating system file manager (i.e Mac Finder or Windows Explorer)
  • All the NAS solutions listed can be accessed DIRECTLY via an ethernet/network cable being connected from your PC/Mac system, to the NAS RJ45 port for 100MB/s and higher connectivity
  • All the best NAS solutions (regardless of brand) feature backup and sync tools that can be installed on your local client computer and allow regular backups of your files and system data

So, make sure that if you are looking at a NAS solution that is NOT recommended below, that it includes all of the above as these are some of the clearest areas that brands all too often cut orders to produce cheaper by ultimately inferior NAS servers for home and business. So, let’s discuss the very best 6-Bay NAS to buy now in 2022/2023.


Best All Round 6-Bay NAS Drive – QNAP TS-664 NAS

0-132TB, 6-Bays, 2x M.2 NVMe 2280, Intel N5105 4-Core 2.0-2.9Ghz CPU, 8-16GB Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, 4K HDMI 2.0 Port, USB 3.2 Gen 2 10G, PCIe Gen 3×2 Slot, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $799

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review April ’22:

In terms of hardware, it is extremely hard to fault the QNAP TS-664 NAS. For its price tag, short of building your own system from the ground up, what you have here is the best example of a 6-Bay NAS available for under $800-850. Then the fact that it features embedded graphical, upgradability in a number of ways (storage, network bandwidth, both), faster local backup options and an aggressive 16GB memory maximum (almost unheard of at this price tier without going higher end SMB). So yeah, the hardware included in the TS-664 certainly (especially when you factor in that this is a hardware/software combined solution when you pay for it) is a good deal. All that said, the system has certainly spread itself a little thin in places to ensure this level of upgradability, trimming those PCIe and M.2 slots in bandwidth to allow the CPU to stay on top of everything, something that only the especially die-hard NAS user is going to notice in day to day use. Now, in terms of software, the sheer range of applications available from QNAP included with the TS-664, as well as the range of 3rd party support that the system can handle has to be appalled, though the learning curve on day 1 has to be acknowledged and means the TS-664 might not be the right system for those that largely want to ‘setup and forget’ the system.

Click to view slideshow.

Then there is the subject of ransomware and security that QNAP has been taken to task over in the last 2021/2022. Although the company has stressed that vulnerabilities found in an earlier version of their software (some from Linux that practically all NAS software from all brands is built on, but also ones found in their own services stemming from poor security defaults and control being given to users without sufficient understanding of the consequences) have been addressed, with changes and improvements throughout the platform, many buyers are still going to view the TS-664 with slight trepedation. Overall I would still highly recommend the TS-664 NAS and if you know what you are doing, have a well-developed 3-2-1 backup strategy in place (as we ALL should) and don’t become overly reliant on default settings, you will genuinely struggle to find a better 6 Bay for your prosumer RAID6 in the market right now.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 10/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 8/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.8
PROS
👍🏻Very compact chassis design, despite large storage potential
👍🏻A BIG jump in hardware and scale from the TS-453Be and TS-653D, but with a largely identical RRP at launch
👍🏻Easily one of the most hardware packed SMB/Mid-range 6-Bay on the market
👍🏻Up to 16GB of Memory is fantastic
👍🏻m.2 NVMe SSD Bays AND a PCIe Upgrade Slot (no need to choose one upgrade path)
👍🏻8x Included Camera Licenses
👍🏻Includes Anti-virus, Firewall Tool, VPN client tools, Malware Remover, network manager and Security Councilor Tool
👍🏻3 Different Container/VM tools that also feature image download centers
👍🏻10Gb/s (1,000MB/s) USB Ports will be incredibly useful
👍🏻Large range of expansion options in the TR/TL series in 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 Bays
CONS
👎🏻The PCIe Slot is PCIe 3×2 and the M.2 SSD Bays are PCIe 3×1 (likely limitations of all this H/W on a Celeron+chipset
👎🏻QNAP Has had 3 ransomware hits in 2019-2021 (Qlocker, Qsnatch and Deadbolt). Lots of Security app/changes since, but people remember and QNAP needs to win back that trust in 2022/2023

 


Best Software 6-Bay NAS Drive – Synology DS1621+ NAS

0-132TB, 6-Bays, 2x M.2 NVMe 2280, AMD Emb.Ryzen V1500 4-Core 2.2Ghz CPU, 4-32GB DDR4 ECC Memory, 4x 1Gbe Port, 1x PCIe Gen 3×8 Slot, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $899

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review Oct ’20:

Whether you’re looking at buying the new Synology DS1621+ as your first footsteps into the world of NAS, or as an upgrade to your existing smaller network-attached storage system, the DS1621+ ticks practically every box. Although some might argue that the hardware might seem almost a little too mid-range, they are missing the point of this device entirely. The DS1621+ is a prime example of everything that Synology is about and frankly, if you love the brand you will love this NAS device. Finding a fair middle ground internally and externally at this price point, the DS1621+ represents Synology doubling down on hardware R&D over the last 2 years and is largely successful in every way. It would have been nice to see a more graphically equipped processor, or something a tad closer in architecture to that of the comparatively powerhouse DS1621xs +, but right now this is the best Synology 6 bay you are going to find and without breaking the bank. 

Click to view slideshow.

The Synology ‘Plus’ series of devices has long held a reputation for providing mid-range hardware to mid-range business customers. Because of this, the DS1621+ needs to balance a fine line between providing fast and reliable hardware, whilst still maintaining a price point that won’t intimidate the average small-medium business user. In this regard, I think the Synology DS1621+ NAS gets it right, finding an impressive halfway point between these two factors. However, it is important for buyers to understand what they are buying and where the budget for the Synology DS1621+ is being aimed. Although it seemingly lacks some of the multimedia and prosumer features of ‘cheaper’ NAS devices in the Synology portfolio, it doubles down on more business and enterprise-level features in efforts to support that core audience. It’s about getting the right tool for the job and in that area, Synology almost completely succeed. The lack of +gigabit connectivity afforded to a NAS unit at this price point, compared with their competitors, may put some users off, but on the whole, you are getting good performance and excellent value on this combined hardware and software solution with some excellent scalability.

SOFTWARE - 8/10
HARDWARE - 8/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 7/10
VALUE - 8/10


7.8
PROS
👍🏻Desktop Ryzen Powered Solution
👍🏻Dual NVMe M.2 cache
👍🏻PCIe Gen 3 x8 PCIe Equipped
👍🏻Great RAID Options (inc SHR)
👍🏻Excellent choice of Apps
👍🏻DDR4 ECC Memory up to 32GB
👍🏻Numerous Backup Software Options
👍🏻Huge Virtualization Support
👍🏻3yr Warranty and Extendable to 5yrs
CONS
👎🏻1Gbe Ports seem a bit limited now
👎🏻Shame it does not support 1/2 x DX1215
👎🏻NVMe SSDs cannot be used for RAW storage

 


Best Value Hardware 6-Bay NAS Drive – Asustor Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS

0-132TB, 6-Bays, 4x M.2 NVMe 2280 (PCIe Slot Swap Opt for 10GbE), Intel N5105 4-Core 2.0-2.9Ghz CPU, 8-16GB Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, 4K HDMI 2.0b Port, USB 3.2 Gen 2 10G, 3-5yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $809

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review Nov ’22:

The Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS is a respectable piece of kit! Indeed, the hardware here is almost faultless! Unless you are particularly noise sensitive (and therefore the metal chassis adding a few dBa to the ambient sound), there is almost nothing I can fault here on the device’s hardware. The scaling up of practically all hardware over the Gen 1 Lockerstor, such as Better CPU, Better Memory that goes higher, HDMI 2.0b, USB 3.2 Gen 2, a 10GbE upgrade option and THOSE FOUR M. 2 NVMe SSD SLOTS – you simply cannot fault how much is getting included here at the price point vs it’s competitors. The software is a little less compelling, with a smaller range of 1st party applications on offer, more of a reliance on 3rd party services and the absence of a few AAA+ features that are present on other devices in the market (AI services, Cloud Bolt on live synchronization, 1st Party SaaS native sync with Google Workspace/Office365, etc).

Click to view slideshow.

That said, ADM does run very well, is clear and still quite user-friendly. The addition of choice of file systems EXT4 or BTRFS, flexibility on the use of those M.2 NVMe SSD bays and the Asustor HDMI portal still bring fantastic flexibility to the Lockerstor 6 Gen 2 NAS too. Ultimately, this is a system that is clearly making big waves on it’s hardware more than it’s software, but as long as you keep your feet on the ground and appreciate that this system is more of a 70/30 purchase of hardware vs software, you will come to respect and rely on this Asustor NAS as the backbone of your data storage setup.

SOFTWARE - 7/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 8/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.4
PROS
👍🏻Hard/Impossible to find this level of NAS Hardware elsewhere at this price point
👍🏻Those FOUR M.2 NVMe 2280 SSD slots are great and turn this 6-Bay NAS into an 10-Bay
👍🏻2.5GbE by default, as well as the option to add further 2.5/5Gb connections over USB
👍🏻The option to scale up the network connectivity to 10GbE down the line (4 and 6 Bay only)
👍🏻$60 increase over RRP of Lockstor Gen 1, but upgrades practically everything 1-2 levels (New Celeron CPU, Better/High Memory Max, USB 10G, HDMI 2.0b, PCIe Gen 3 Architecture)
👍🏻Includes support for either EXT4 or BTRFS
👍🏻Includes KVM Support with Parallel GUI over HDMI, Asustor Portal
👍🏻ADM is better tha nit has ever been, responsive, clear and intuitive
👍🏻Several different setup and initialization options
👍🏻One of very few 6-Bay NAS drives that still feature a fully functional and controllable LCD Panel
👍🏻Full Support of the traditional RAID levels for this scale (RAID 0-1-5-6)
👍🏻Storage can be expanded with TWO of the Asustor AS6004U 4-Bay
CONS
👎🏻Lack of a fluid RAID System (such as Synology Hybrid RAID, Drobo BeyondRAID or Terramaster TRAID) to allow mixed drive media and easier scaling of storage over time
👎🏻Metal chassis and trays is going to result in an increase of ambient noise (hum/vibration) than other plastic casing/tray NAS systems
👎🏻Some apps (such as the Surveillance Center apps) are long overdue an update in visuals and services
👎🏻ADM is good, but lacks the killer apps/AAA and AI service tools that are being offered by other brands right now
👎🏻They were targeted by the Deadbolt ransomware attack at the start of 2022 and although the linux vulnerability that was used has been reported to be closed and they worked with affected users, this is still going to be on the minds of some buyers

 


Best Price Hardware 6-Bay NAS Drive – Terramaster T6-423 NAS

0-132TB, 6-Bays, 2x M.2 NVMe 2280, Intel N5105 4-Core 2.0-2.9Ghz CPU, 8-32GB Memory, 2x 2.5Gbe Port, 4K HDMI 2.0b Port (Code/Command Level Access, no GUI), USB 3.2 Gen 2 10G, 3yr Warranty

Current Price/Availability on Amazon – $649

Hardware Review – LINK

YouTube Video Review – Watch

What I said in my review July ’22 of the T9-423 9-Bay (Same Hardware, but 3 More Bays!):

I like the terramaster T9-423 NAS a lot more than I thought I was going to! Over the years I have seen several quirky NAS designs appear from brands looking to find gaps in the existing market between the traditional 2-bay, 4-bay, 8-bay and rackmount systems. In most cases, these brands tend to never really hit the ground running with these systems and a lot of that is because they are either priced poorly, have bad internal hardware choices for the sake of offsetting the overall cost of a new design or simply do not read the room in knowing what people want. I’m pleased to say that the Terramaster T9-423 does not seem to suffer any of these things. This 9-Bay arrives in a chassis that is a smaller and more convenient frame than many eight-bay desktops, arrives at a price point that for the scale is reasonable and has the same or better hardware than most other mid-range desktop NAS in 2022.

Click to view slideshow.

Alongside this, Terramaster’s innovations in TOS5 to improve their platform to include many more storage services, backup methods and a few premium apps in the works means that the brand still manages to be competitive in spite of its more cost-effective reputation and hardware focus. First-party app development still pales in comparison to bigger NAS brands (though popular third-party tools that already exist in the market are supported and available to download) and in terms of software, this system is still a little underwhelming, if very functional. Then you have the build quality. The construction of this chassis is particularly higher than I anticipated and unlike many of the brand’s rather dated or plastic-looking cases in 2 and 4 bays, The T9-423 is remarkably well constructed with excellent considerations being made to ventilation and keeping the device compact despite its large storage potential. As long as you keep in mind that you are buying a more cost-effective or value alternative to top-tier brands, as well as having perhaps a little more patience with the software than you might like, the Terramaster T9-423 is a great NAS and an exceedingly positive move by the brand to further evolve.

SOFTWARE - 7/10
HARDWARE - 9/10
PERFORMANCE - 9/10
PRICE - 9/10
VALUE - 9/10


8.6
PROS
👍🏻Surprisingly compact for 9 Bays of Storage
👍🏻Good Middle ground between a Rackmount and Desktop System
👍🏻2.5GbE at the Price of 1GbE
👍🏻Good CPU for the Price Point
👍🏻USB 3.2 Gen 2 is very forward-thinking for local backups
👍🏻Great RAID Options
👍🏻Snapshot Replication
👍🏻BTRFS Support if preferred
👍🏻Supports Plex and all 1080p Transcoding
👍🏻4K Video transcoding natively
👍🏻A large amount of maximum memory supported (16-32GB – TBC)
👍🏻M.2 SSD Bay inside for caching/storage at PCIe Gen 3×2
CONS
👎🏻Only 1x M.2 NVMe SSD Bay
👎🏻Default 4GB memory is 2133Mhz
👎🏻HDMI Currently Unsupported
👎🏻TOS Software feels a little empty of Killer-Apps at the moment (as the AI photo recognition, Surveillance, Centralized Backup tools, etc are still in Beta)

 


Where to Buy a Product
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Need More Help Choosing the right NAS?

Choosing the right data storage solution for your needs can be very intimidating and it’s never too late to ask for help. With options ranging from NAS to DAS, Thunderbolt to SAS and connecting everything up so you can access all your lovely data at the touch of a button can be a lot simpler than you think. If you want some tips, guidance or help with everything from compatibility to suitability of a solution for you, why not drop me a message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible with what you should go for, its suitability and the best place to get it. This service is designed without profit in mind and in order to help you with your data storage needs, so I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible. Just enter in a few details of your setup, storage requirements and (in the case of buying a new solution) your budget – then me and Eddie the Web guy can help you with your question. This is a completely free service, is NOT provided with profit in mind and is manned by two humans (no bots, no automated replies, etc). Assistance might take an extra day or two (the service gets a lot of visitors) but we do try to answer every message. If you want to support this service, you can find out how to donate HERE. Otherwise, you can still just message us for free advice anyway!

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]  

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    Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Synology DS720+ vs Terramaster F2-423 NAS Comparison

8 décembre 2022 à 18:00

Should You Buy the Synology DS720+ or Terramaster F2-423 NAS Drive

Prosumer 2-Bay’s such as the Synology DS720+ and Terramaster F2-423 NAS are designed for users who prioritize system power over maximum capacity in their server. If you have just made the decision to switch from public cloud services (Google Dive, DropBox, etc) towards your own private NAS server, then chances are you might have been a little surprised by the price tag of the average NAS. Because subscription services are months subscription-based that are spread over years and years, requiring little-to-no extra physical hardware on the client side (you!), a fully deployed NAS server with HDDs and/or SSDs can seem quite the investment up from for a small home or business user. Thankfully, the NAS market has evolved quite alot over it’s 20+ years of commercial availability, resulting in scaled solutions/brands that do a reasonable job of fulfilling their portfolio with NAS drives that allow you to make more targeted purchases (i.e you pay for the things you want to use and save on the bits you don’t). Now, in the world of private servers, the big brand that everyone recommends as your entry point into NAS is Synology. This brand has an extensive portfolio of solutions, trades more on it’s 1st party software than hardware and despite its ‘generally higher than most pricetag’ is considered the top brand in NAS. However, that higher price point and prioritising software over hardware has always been something of an annoyance to some of the more DiY or technically-versed buyers. These are users that want to adapt a solution themselves, want value for money and don’t want to be locked in too much to a single ecosystem. Into this debate, arrives Terramaster. Terramaster is a smaller company, that trades more on it’s hardware than its software – whilst still keeping things affordable. Changes are you came to this article because you have been comparing the Synology DS720+ from 2020 and the Terramaster F2-423 from 2022, trying to figure out how a Synology that is 2.5yrs old with lesser hardware is STILL more expensive than the 3 months old Terramaster with pretty current Prosumer hardware on board. So, that is the purpose of today’s comparison, to lay out how they differ, and how they are the same and ultimately help you decide which solution is best for you and your data in 2022/2023!

Synology DS720+ or Terramaster F2-423 NAS – Internal Hardware

Now, the hardware inside the Terramaster F2-423 is definitely the more modern (unsurprisingly given the 2+ year release difference) and, frankly, in terms of the traditional hardware available in the default model of each, the Synology is certainly showing its age a tiny bit. Both of these are 2-Bay SATA 3.5/2.5″ drive systems that support multiple 2 Disk RAID systems (JBOD, RAID 0 and RAID 1) and an internal Fluid/Flexible RAID (SHR or TRAID respectively) for better scaling of storage over time. As well as traditional storage, they also feature two M.2 NVMe 2280 SSD bays. Now, after this, the comparisons get a little all over the place! For a start, the M.2 NVMes on the Synology can only be used for read/write caching performance benefits, whereas the slots on the Terramaster can be used for caching AND raw storage pools (i.e to store data the same as the HDD bays). Both systems support the choice of BTRFS or EXT4 as the file system at initialization – though traditional file system performance (regardless of the hardware difference) seems better on the Synology NAS. They both arrive with DDR4 memory by default, but the Synology DS720+ arrives with 2GB and can only be upgraded to 8GB (CPU/Brand recommendation), whereas the Terramaster F2-423 arrives with 4GB and can be upgraded to 16GB. Before we dip into the main CPU differences, here are the internal specifications side-by-side:

Model Synology DS720+ NAS

 Terramaster F2-423 NAS

Number of SATA Bays x2 x2
Supported RAID RAID 0, 1 and SHR (Flexible) RAID 0, 1 and TRAID (Flexible)
Number of M.2 NVMe Bays (Gen) 2x NVMe M.2 2280 Gen 2 x4 2x NVMe M.2 2280 Gen 3×2
M.2 NVMe Deployment? Caching Only Caching and/or Storage Pools
CPU Intel Celeron J4125 CPU Intel Celeron N5105 CPU
Cores 4-Core 4-Core
Frequency 2.0Ghz-2.7Ghz 2.0Ghz-2.9Ghz
Integrated Graphics Yes Yes
Default Memory 2GB DDR4 SODIMM (Fixed) 4GB DDR4 SODIMM
Max Memory 6GB SODIMM – 1 SLOT 16GB SODIMM – 2 SLOTS
Storage Expandability Yes, eSATA connected DX517 No, but external USB RAID is Supported
Power Supplier 65W 65W

The CPU inside the Synology DS720+ NAS is an Intel J4125, released at the end of 2019 and although was a very popular CPU at the time (with many brand, including Terramaster featuring it in their systems), it has now seen a couple of newer generation quad-core Celeron’s for servers released in that time – the N5105 and J6412. Now the pandemic and its effect on the supply chains through 2020/2021 did make things rather messy in the Celeron family (at one point the N5105/N5095/N5095A were all running at the hardware/OEM level), but things have levelled out now and in terms of this scale of storage, most other brand have moved onto the N5105 or J6412 CPU. As you can see in the chart below (N5105 highlighted in particular, as it is the best of the three), in the release time between the Intel J4125 and N5105, there have been multiple improvements in architecture, efficiency and scalability of the CPU inside the Terramaster NAS.

Now, this margin of difference between the DS720+ and F2-423 NAS’ CPU is NOT Synology’s fault – we ARE comparing two devices that were commercially released two years apart! However, with the recent news that the next-gen DS723+ NAS is arriving with an AMD Embedded Ryzen Dual Core R1600 CPU (no integrated graphics, half the cores, higher TDP/Power use potential – but the same threads and higher clock speed), right now the DS720+ is still the go-to NAS for Prosumers/Plex Media users wanting a 2-Bay Synology NAS with an integrated graphics CPU for things like transcoding and conversion of HEVC/H.265 media on the server side. So, in THAT context, the hardware in the DS720+ still needs to be compared against that of the F2-423 and, sadly, is found a little lacking 2.5yrs on. The general hardware, performance and throughput of the Synology DS920+ NAS is still excellent, but if you are considering a NAS server for it’s hardware so you can run 3rd party processes and want value for money, the Terramaster F2-423 NAS is the hardware favourite here!

Synology DS720+ or Terramaster F2-423 NAS – Design

This is going to be a real area of contention for some users who are either in close proximity to the NAS they buy or are a little more sensitive to noise. I say this because the Terramaster F2-423 NAS has great hardware, but the design is a little less impressive. The chassis (arriving in a combination of plastic and metal internal structure) is a little more dated in design than the Synology DS720+. This is further underlined when you see that the F4 series used the same chassis material, design and shape as the F5 and F4 systems. The result is a NAS that is a bit wider than the DS720+. Additionally, the chassis feels a little more cost-effective/budget on the Terramster than the Synology. Synology has been using this form of design in their 2-Bay and 4-Bay chassis since around 2017 in the Diskstation series and it still looks pretty modern by comparison.

The rear of these two chassis reveals that they both arrive a single rear active cooling fan. These fans are designed to maintain the best possible internal running temperature, as NAS servers of this scale rarely have CPU fans and rely on well-placed heatsinks and strategically placed airflow throughout the system to keep the components running at the most efficient temperature 24×7. The fans on the Synology are a little more integrated into the shape, but are also a fraction larger (92cm sq on the Synology vs 80cm sq on the Terramaster). You might think this means that the Synology is the noisier of the two. However, in reality, the Terramaster is the tiniest pinch louder in ambient noise when in operation. This is due to several factors. The first is the fan is part of a larger external block on the rear of the device (as opposed to being contained within the larger casing). The other reason is that the Terramaster NAS chassis contains more metal (on the base and a much more structured use of aluminium internally by comparison to the Synology which features alot more plastic in it’s framework and external. The noise difference is very, VERY small, but will be increased a pinch more when using more industrially designed HDDs above 10TB (that have more platters thanks to helium-sealed drive technology, dedicated 7200RPM) because of the increased vibration and resulting hum, clicks and whirrs. It’s a very small difference, but the particular noise sensitive will notice this.

The final thing to discuss in the chassis design of the Synology DS720+ and Terramaster F2-423 is velitation and passive cooling. Both of these NAS drive’s have ventilation places around their casing to work in conjunction with those active cooling fans. The Synology arguably does a better job of things on this too, as not only do the sides of the casing have the familiar brand logo in a vented design, but the M.2 slots have ventilated covers on the base and even the trays have a bit more airflow between the drives. The Terramaster has a small amount of ventilation on the front between the bays, but the bulk of the passive ventilation on the F2-423 is on the base of the chassis (under the storage bays). Although the overall impact of these passive ventilation methods is still going to be heavily dependent on the fans and internal heatsinks, the design of the Synology DS720+ chassis just seems a little more thought out.

Overall, the SYNOLOGY design wins overall, thanks to its better middle ground design between airflow, chassis size and noise compared with the Terramaster F2-423. Although neither brand provides its solutions in a variety of colours, the Black and largely square Diskstation chassis will blend in better in most environments too. Next, let’s discuss network connectivity.

Synology DS720+ or Terramaster F2-423 NAS – Ports and Connections

The connections that a NAS arrives with will heavily dictate the access speed and performance between it and your client devices. This becomes especially true when your NAS is going to be accessed by a large number of users/tasks at any given time, as the result is the bandwidth (the maximum potential connection speed) being shared between them all. Now the 2020 released DS720+ arrives with arguably very dated connectivity. This is especially true when compared with the 2022 released F2-423.  Here is how they compare off the bat:

Model Synology DS720+ NAS

 Terramaster F2-423 NAS

Default Network Connections 2x 1GbE 2x 2.5GbE
Network Upgrade / PCIe Slot No No
USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10G) 0 2x
USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5G) 2x 0
USB 2.0 0 0
eSATA 1 0
HDMI No 1x HDMI 2.0 (Command Interface ONLY, no GUI)
Audio In/Out No No

So, alot of difference here to unpack. Some things are quite brand specific, such as the Synology DS720+ featuring an eSATA port that is used for the DX517 JBOD expansion 5-Bay. The same goes for the Terramaster F2-423 having an HDMI port for local (command level) access with a USB Keyboard, something Synology have never provided outside of very specific Surveillance solutions. Bt the areas we CAN compare are the USB connectivity and the network connectivity. The USB ports on the Synology are USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gb/s) and have limited support in the system software (DSM), but are largely used for external storage drives and UPS devices, that’s about it (you can assign them to a VM). The USB ports on the Terramaster on the other hand are USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s), so twice as higher bandwidth than the Synology, as well as supporting a larger number of USB devices (so storage and UPS’ like the Synology, but also devices such as printers, scanners, network adapters and WiFi dongles). The next big difference is that the Synology arrives with two 1GbE Network ports (these can be combined via LAG/Port-Trunking to 2GbE with a smart switch) and the Terramaster has 2x 2.5GbE ports (which can also be combined too). This means the Terramster has a significantly higher external network bandwidth available. You will still need to be using a greater than Gigabit Router or Switch in order to take advantage of these speeds, but given that now you can get USB-to-2.5GbE adapters for as little as £20, this is getting easier to take utilize. If you are in a pure 1GbE network environment and have zero intention to upgrade to 2.5G or 10G in the next few years, you can largely ignore this advantage, but given that an increasing number of day-to-day devices are arriving with 2.5G at the same price as 1G (ISP Routers with WiFi 6, Prosumer routers, Switches, PC Motherboards, etc), its tough to overlook that extra external connectivity that the F2-423 provides here.

Synology DS720+ or Terramaster F2-423 NAS – Software

On the subject of NAS software, this is where the Synology NAS is exceedingly strong! Although the Terramaster NAS platform has seen a huge number of improvements in recent years (TOS version 5 was launched in Summer 2022), with new apps, services and modes included, Synology and DSM is still considered the dominant force in NAS software. The Synology DSM platform feels alot more responsive, has a huge number of first-party applications (As well as mobile and desktop client applications too) and although 3rd party application support is available in a number of their tools, the real strength in the Synology software is how the brand releases it’s own 1st party alternatives (allowing you to create a single ecosystem of tools for your NAS storage and network). Use Skype or Whatsapp? Then you can use Synology Chat. Use DropBox or Google Drive for team sharing and local storage synchronization? Use Synology Drive. Use Google Docs, Google Cloud Space and Google Workspace? Then use Synology Collaboration Suite and Active Backup. Plex or Emby? Use Synology Video Station instead, as it has metadata scraping and no subscription. Even high-end business is covered. Synology Virtual Machine Manager instead of Hyper-V or VMware, Surveillance Station instead of Milestone – the list is huge AND crucially, all of these apps are compatible with 3rd party tools too, whether it is to sync with them to create a bare-metal NAS backup, or to open and continue from your 3rd party setup into a 1st party setup. Below is my full review of Terramater TOS 5 and Synology DSM:

Now, this isn’t to say that the Terramaster TOS system is not good, it is better than it has ever been, very responsive, features improved 1st party apps in its latest version (new AI-powered Photo recognition tool Terra Photos, Surveillance Center application, VM support, improved muti-tier and multi-site backup manager and more), but the apps and the GUI does not feel quite as polished as the Synology platform and you definitely get the feeling that a larger % of the cost of a terramaster goes towards the hardware than the software. If you are only planning on using the NAS as a target drive for your 3rd party tools, then the Trramaster will support you well. Just know that the total Hardware+software type buyer will want to opt for Synology and the award-winning DSM.

Synology DS720+ or Terramaster F2-423 NAS – Conclusion and Verdict

Overall the choice between the Synology DS720+ and the Terramaster F2-423 NAS comes down to too main factors. 1) Do you prioritize Hardware or Software? As the Terramaster is the best for the former and the Synology is much better for the latter! 2) What do you expect from the NAS system? If you want a system that is designed to just be your storage system and sit in the background and do its job, then the Terramaster will not only be the more economical choice, but it will also be the one that is better for direct and no-frills tasks. If however, you want a more dynamic system or one that you plan on wrapping your small business around – then the Synology will be the better choice, as it has been designed with precisely this kind of user and deployment in mind. If you came to this article wondering why the Terramaster NAS online always seems to be more affordable/cheaper in price, I hope this guide helped you understand. Both the DS720+ and F2-423 or among the best examples of what each brand has on offer right now in 2022 – but it is a case of what you, the end user, want for your money.

Synology DS720+ NAS

 Terramaster F2-423 NAS

Reasons to Buy Reasons to Buy
More User Friendly with noticeably more polished Apps, Tools and GUI

Synology HybridRAID Migration and Expansion

Includes 1st party apps to replace/sync with your existing 3rd party ones

Better File Throughput internally

The BEST NAS Surveillance Application

Enterprise Grade tool Active Backup Suite

1st Party Cloud offering in Synology C2

Much More Affordable and Regularly on Offer

TRAID Flexible RAID

Easy Software Switch to TrueNAS (HERE)

2.5GbE by Default

USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb) Connectivity for Storage

Wide HDD and SSD Compatibility (upto 22TB – Dec ’22)

TOS 5 has an AI Photos App and Surveillance (Entry Level)


Where to Buy a Product
amzamexmaestrovisamaster 24Hfree delreturn VISIT RETAILER ➤ 
amzamexmaestrovisamaster 24Hfree delreturn VISIT RETAILER ➤

Need More Help Choosing the right NAS?

Choosing the right data storage solution for your needs can be very intimidating and it’s never too late to ask for help. With options ranging from NAS to DAS, Thunderbolt to SAS and connecting everything up so you can access all your lovely data at the touch of a button can be a lot simpler than you think. If you want some tips, guidance or help with everything from compatibility to suitability of a solution for you, why not drop me a message below and I will get back to you as soon as possible with what you should go for, its suitability and the best place to get it. This service is designed without profit in mind and in order to help you with your data storage needs, so I will try to answer your questions as soon as possible.

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]  

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    Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

Synology DS2422+ NAS – Power Consumption Tests and the Cost

30 novembre 2022 à 09:00

How Much Electricity Does A Synology DS2422+ NAS Use and How Much Does it Cost to run 24×7?

Let’s talk BIG STORAGE! Have you been considering the Synology DS2422+ NAS for your business storage? Alongside having an impressive 12 bays that you can populate with HDDs upto 22TB in scale (at the time of writing), it also features a great internal hardware architecture that is designed to be both efficient AND powerful when it needs to be. But, what about if you have this device on all day, every day! How much is the DS2422+ larger scale NAS going to consume in energy, your energy bill size and ultimately how much is this going to cost you to run! In this energy-aware climate, it can be appreciated that a NAS drive (a 24×7 appliance) seemingly has its cost to the end user in terms of electricity as something of a vague number. With so many kinds of NAS available in the market, featuring a mix of CPUs, PSUs, Bays and utilities, PLUS the wide range of HDD/SSD drives in the market to choose from – there are just so many variables when trying to work out how much power your NAS drive is using and how much that is translating to in your monthly energy bill! So, today’s article is about working out how much electricity the popular Synology DS2422+ NAS and HAT5300 16TB HDDs (the recommended HDD series for this NAS) will consume, as well as how much that equals to you in £, $ or € per day, month and year! We tested the Synology NAS system, connected them to an energy monitor and worked out how much power they used in full active use and in idle. Let’s begin.

The Synology DS2422+ NAS
Current Price/Availability on Amazon –$1899
The HAT5300 16TB HDD (x4)
Current Price/Availability on Amazon –$599
AMD Ryzen V1500B CPU, 4-Core 2.2hz Celeron CPU
2GB DDR4 Memory, 4GbE
16 Terabyte Capacity – SATA 3.5″ Form Factor
7200RPM – 512MB Cache – 8 Platters

NAS Power Use Test Setup

Choosing the appropriate NAS drive for these tests was always going to be tough. I DO intend on repeating these tests with several different NAS drives after this in some follow-up articles (the larger article that I will be adding to can be found HERE), but wanted these first few tests to be focused on one of the most POPULAR NAS setups (and the DS2422+ is still one of the most popular Synology NAS the brand has ever produced and the HAT5300 16TB HDDs, as well as identifying the difference between using newer gen CPUs and Larger drives vs using older generation devices and smaller capacity media. This will involve 2x tests on each NAS+Media configuration. Here is a breakdown of the hardware configurations and test architectures:

  • Synology DS2422+ NAS, AMD CPU+4GB Memory Setup over 1GbE
  • 4x HAT5300 16TB (RAID5)
  • During ‘ACTIVE’ 24hr Tests, the NAS was prevented from going into standby/idle. 1 VM running, 1-Core and 1GB Memory, 2x IP Cameras recording non-stop, drive S.M.A.R.T tests scheduled to be hourly
  • During IDLE 24hr Tests, the VM was deleted, VM and Surveillance Software disabled, ALL S.M.A.R.T tests disabled and network cable (1GbE) disconnected.
  • The first day of operation (which includes initialization and RAID creation) not counted (but visible at the start of the graph).
  • Power was monitored with a GOSUND SMART KIT Smart Plug, Mini 13A – Find HERE

The initial 24 hours (used for system initialization and RAID configuration) were NOT included in the power usage monitoring, as although they appear on the graph they are one-off single-event scenarios. Each test (Active vs Idle) was conducted for 24hrs and the overall electricity usage was displayed in kw (kilowatt). But what is the difference between Active and Idle activity? Why does it matter?

What is the Difference Between a NAS Drive ‘Active’ and in ‘IDLE / Standby’?

Although a NAS is designed to be in operation 24×7 and is consuming electricity when running, the actual reality of this and the extent to which it is consuming it is actually alot more nuanced. Most home users who have a NAS system will use the NAS directly for a significant;y smaller portion of time per day than it is actually powered on for. Perhaps to stream a movie or a couple of TV episodes, run a daily backup, have a couple of cameras in/outside their home that are sending recordings (or more likely just alerts and associated captures) to the NAS and that is about it. They will periodically do more than these, maybe a VM, more sophisticated backup or use some of the other services ad hoc, but the result is that in most domestic/bog standard home scenarios, a NAS will be switched internally to Idle/Standby after no pro-active use quite quickly and spend 80-90% of the time in low power modes. Business users might well be using the system 24×7 for sync’d tasks and on-going camera recording, but even then, this will be a lower %  of system resources in use. So, in order to find a comparable and relative means to study the electricity use of a NAS and it’s cost, I have conducted two tests per NAS+HDD configuration. The first, a 24 Hour Active test, with the system using a decent % of it’s CPU+Memory, a swell as the HDDs not being given the chance to switch to Idle/Standy (by constantly writing AND performing S.M.A.R.T tests hourly). The idle tests involve all of those apps, services and scheduled operations being cancelled and the network cable being disconnected from the NAS (for another 24hrs). From here we can work out the cost of an hour of power usage by either setup in high activity and near-zero activity. But how can we work out the COST of the electricity used by the NAS in that time period?

How Energy Costs in these NAS Tests were Calculated?

The results of the energy usage are then cross-referenced by ‘sust-it.net’ and calculations of the cost of the used electricity per day, month and year was calculated for the UK, U.S, Germany, Australia and Canada. Now, using a select energy tariff is much harder, as there are quite literally thousands of different energy providers globally, each with their own pricing on the cost of energy per ‘kWh’. So, I used the national average calculations that were provided by ‘sust-it’ for each of those areas. Some are clearly more up-to-date than others (i.e the United Kingdom Avg Energy cost tariff is dated October 2022, whereas the Canada’s average energy cost is from way back in March 2020), however, these will still provide a good basis for understanding what a NAS drive is going to cost you in electricity when it is in operation. The national tariff averages used in this article for each region are as follows:

UK: Energy Price (October 2022) electricity rate of 34.00 pence per kWh.

USA: Average (Feb 2022) electricity rate of 14.80 cents per kWh.

Germany: Average (June 2021) electricity rate of 31.93 Eurocents per kWh.

Australia: Average (March 2022) electricity rate of 23.59 cents per kWh.

Canada: Average (2020) electricity rate of 8.50 cents per kWh.

Source – https://www.sust-it.net

There are the rates that we will be using to calculate the running costs of the Synology NAS system (and more importantly its Drive setup and CPU usage).

Test – Synology DS2422+ NAS and 4x HAT5300 16TB Drives

I set the Synology DS2422+ NAS and HAT5300 16TB Hard drives up in the following configuration for the Active tests:

  • Synology DS2422+ NAS
  • HAT5300 16TB HDD, RAID 5
  • Surveillance Station 9 and 2x Reolink Dome IP Cameras (24hrs Active)
  • Synology Virtual Machine Manager, 1x Windows VM, 1 Core, 1GB Memory (24hrs Active)
  • Synology Storage Manager (DSM 7.1) and S.M.A.R.T Tests per Hour (24hr Active)
  • Reported Average power requirements of a HAT5300 16TB (Single):
    • 4W Standby/Idle
    • 7.63W Active

Then, 24hrs later, I disabled all these processes, disconnected the RJ45 LAN and let the NAS fall into idle/standby mode. The results were as follows:

The power that was used in the initialization of both the NAS and the drives in the RAID was NOT included in the respective Actie/Idle tests.

Synology DS2422+ and HAT5300 16TB HDD Test Results:

0.053333kW use per Hour in full access/use and 0.02625kW use per Hour in idle/standby:

1hr Active Use (KW) UK Power Use £ U.S Power Use $ Germany Power Use € Australia AU$ Canada CA$
Per Hour £0.02 0.0079 0.017 0.0126 0.0045
           
1hr Idle Use (KW) UK Power Use £ U.S Power Use $ Germany Power Use € Australia AU$ Canada CA$
Per Hour £0.01 0.0039 0.0084 0.0062 0.0022

Here are the results for 24 HOURS OF ACTIVITY (no standby time or drive hibernation)

24hr Active Use (KW) UK Power Use £ U.S Power Use $ Germany Power Use € Australia AU$ Canada CA$
Cost Per Day £0.43 0.1896 0.408 0.3024 0.108
Cost per Month 13.213 5.767 12.41 9.198 3.285
Cost Per Year 158.556 69.204 148.92 110.376 39.42

Here are the results for 24 HOURS OF IDLE/STANDBY with no system use and ethernet/network connection disconnected

24hr Idle Use (KW) UK Power Use £ U.S Power Use $ Germany Power Use € Australia AU$ Canada CA$
Cost Per Day £0.21 0.0936 0.2016 0.1488 0.0528
Cost per Month 6.497 2.847 6.132 4.526 1.606
Cost Per Year 77.964 34.164 73.584 54.312 19.272

So, what about if you were to only use the NAS at active use for around 25% of the day (i.e 6hrs of active with backups, multimedia, etc) and 75% of the day as idle (i.e 18hrs unused):

25%/75% Active/Idle Use:

6hr Active Use and 18hr Idle Use (KW) UK Power Use £ U.S Power Use $ Germany Power Use € Australia AU$ Canada CA$
Cost Per Day £0.27 0.1176 0.2532 0.1872 0.0666
Cost per Month 8.176 3.577 7.7015 5.694 2.02575
Cost Per Year 98.112 42.924 92.418 68.328 24.309

Now it is worth keeping in mind that the costs for each region have a notably different price per kW rate, so even after factoring in currency conversions between different units (eg Pounds vs Dollars), there is a significant degree of difference in the costs per day, month and year of the exact same NAS+HDD setup above. Stay tuned, check below to see if other NAS power tests have been published and recommended to you, or watch the video version of these tests (which goes into more detail on the current predicaments in the energy crisis facing many of us in 2022, 2023 and beyond.

VIDEO

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This description contains links to Amazon. These links will take you to some of the products mentioned in today's content. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Visit the NASCompares Deal Finder to find the best place to buy this device in your region, based on Service, Support and Reputation - Just Search for your NAS Drive in the Box Below

Need Advice on Data Storage from an Expert?

We want to keep the free advice on NASCompares FREE for as long as we can. Since this service started back in Jan '18, We have helped hundreds of users every month solve their storage woes, but we can only continue to do this with your support. So please do choose to buy at Amazon US and Amazon UK on the articles when buying to provide advert revenue support or to donate/support the site below. Finally, for free advice about your setup, just leave a message in the comments below here at NASCompares.com and we will get back to you. Need Help? Where possible (and where appropriate) please provide as much information about your requirements, as then I can arrange the best answer and solution to your needs. Do not worry about your e-mail address being required, it will NOT be used in a mailing list and will NOT be used in any way other than to respond to your enquiry. [contact-form-7]  

Support What We Do


support what we do
    Terms and Conditions Alternatively, why not ask me on the ASK NASCompares forum, by clicking the button below. This is a community hub that serves as a place that I can answer your question, chew the fat, share new release information and even get corrections posted. I will always get around to answering ALL queries, but as a one-man operation, I cannot promise speed! So by sharing your query in the ASK NASCompares section below, you can get a better range of solutions and suggestions, alongside my own.  

 

Synology DS923+ NAS – 10GbE Speed Tests

24 novembre 2022 à 18:00

Performance Tests of the Synology DS923+ NAS and E10G22-T1 10GbE Upgrade

The release of the Synology DS923+ NAS has definitely set a cat among the pigeons when it comes to the home vs business community. When Synology changed the long-standing inclusion of an Intel CPU in this product series to an AND Embedded Ryzen, many users were a little confused about it’s hardware. However, on big, BIG improvement in the new DS923+ over it’s predecessors is that this is the first 4-Bay NAS from the brand that have the option to scale it’s network connectivity from to 10GbE! This optional upgrade, using the Synology E10G22-T1 Network Upgrade module opens up the single point of external connectivity of this rather compact NAS from 1Gb/109MB/s (technically 2GbE with 2x1GbE via LAG) to 10GbE, or 1,000MB/s+. Now, this additional modular upgrade will cost you an additional $139-149 (more in some locations once you factor in local tax and logistics), as well as some user questioning whether four SATA bays that are populated with NAS hard drives can actually saturate (fill) the whole 1 Gigabyte external connection. So, today I have set up the DS923+ NAS, fully populated it with Synology’s own branded storage media, set up a direct 10GBASE-T/Copper connection with a Windows PC and I am going to run some performance tests using popular benchmark software ATTO Disk Benchmark, AJA Speed Test and Black Magic Speed Test. Do remember that these are synthetic tests and therefore, the results found in your own individual setup or using a specific piece of file transmission or editing software will likely differ. Let’s begin.

Interested in how the DS923+ NAS performed with 2x M.2 NVMe SSDs in a RAID Storage Pool Performed? Find my MASSIVE Speed Test article HEREhttps://nascompares.com/2022/12/05/synology-m-2-nvme-storage-pool-10gbe-performance-tests

Note  – M.2 NVMe SSD Bays as Storage Pools Confirmed (images of use and storage options) are detailed here in a newer post – https://nascompares.com/2022/11/16/synology-nas-and-m-2-nvme-ssd-storage-pools-finally

Hardware I used in this test and where to buy it:

Synology DS923+ NAS – HERE on Amazon

Synology HAT5300-16T Hard Drives – HERE on Amazon

Synology E10G22-T1-MINI Network Adapter – HERE on Amazon

Synology SNV3400-400G M.2 NVMes – HERE on Amazon

Sonnet Solo 10G 10GbE to Thunderbolt 3 Adapter – HERE on Amazon