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Synology DiskStation DS1815+

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External reviews of Synology DiskStation DS1815+
  • Synology DS1815+

    Plus

    • Can take up to eight HDDs on its own and 18 with the optional DX513 expansion
    • High performance
    • Good build quality
    • Japanese polymer caps are used on the mainboard and the PCIe SATA card
    • Strong internal PSU
    • Highly intuitive and easy-to-use operating system (OS) with lots of features
    • DSM provides some crucial security options (antivirus application, AES 256-bit encryption, optional 2-Step login verification, trust-level option for the installation of additional application packages, etc.)
    • Lockable trays
    • Upgradable RAM
    • AES-NI hardware encryption engine
    • Four Ethernet ports
    • USB 3.0 support
    • Ability to skip disk-checking during RAID setup
    • Lots of optional application packages
    • Comes with two camera licenses (and supports up to 40)
    • SSD caching and TRIM support
    • Tool-less installation of HDDs
    • Fans can be replaced easily
    • Fast boot and restart times

    Minus

    • The C2538 CPU doesn't features a hardware-transcoding engine
    • Noise because of the vibrations the plastic HDD trays cause
    • They should use metallic HDD trays
    • No USB port at the front
    • Should come with more RAM (at least 4 GB, or even 8 GB)
    • RAM can only be upgraded to 6 GB
    • You cannot format an external disk into NTFS (however, external NTFS disks can be read and written to properly)
    • No HDMI output

    Conclusion
    The DS1815+ is a high-performance NAS, there is no doubt about that. And while NAS servers with such capabilities usually use stronger i3 or i5 CPUs, Synology proved that even an Atom SoC (Rangeley) can provide such a unit with good performance if paired with the proper OS, and DSM is among the best available today for NAS servers; DSM is very efficient because of its Linux roots and incredible customization, so it doesn't depend on a very strong CPU and a lot of RAM to be snappy while offering high network-transfer speeds. The DS1815+'s huge storage capacity, especially if paired with Synology's optional expansion units, will make it the perfect candidate for a large office or mid-level company. The only significant downside is the unit's limited amount of RAM. Given the fact that it is very hard to reach the occupied RAM slot and that doing so would probably void the warranty, Synology should have used a 4 GB DIMM in order to allow for a RAM upgrade to 8 GB with the installation of another 4 GB DIMM into the empty RAM slot. The price of DDR3 RAM is low nowadays, and a small price increase to a unit that already costs a thousand bucks for more RAM wouldn't draw any negative attention. Synology will hopefully take my recommendation seriously by rethinking their approach on this matter. While there is the DS1815+'s high performance, other features also make me hold it in high regard. It, for instance, only uses Japanese polymer caps, which will have a tremendously positive effect on its longevity. Taking into account that a NAS will be called upon to operate around the clock, the quality of its motherboard caps is important—these filter the voltage rails that feed such sensitive components as the CPU, HDDs, and RAM. Its high quality PSU also plays an important role. Speaking of the latter, its manufacturer is Delta Electronics. The same PSU as in most high-end NAS server, its build quality is also incredible. Another sensitive component in a NAS are the cooling fans, but I found two fans with ball-bearings for a lifetime of 60,000 hours in the DS1815+. The interesting thing here is that these fans can easily be replaced without having to remove the top- and side panel since they are installed on a separate bracket. This is a very thoughtful move, and I would like to see the same design in other high-end NAS servers moving forward. Moving on to the things I would like to see improved, the most important is probably the low quality of the HDD trays; these aren't only made of plastic, but also lack any anti-vibration materials, which makes them a rather annoying source of noise. I actually noticed that the noise due to occupied HDD trays completely covered up what little noise the fans produced. The latter were working at low speeds, but believe me, the sound these trays emit can get incredibly annoying fast.

    6 years ago