Synology DS720+ NAS Hardware Tear Down
For those of you that are interested in the newest generation of Synology NAS, you are probably wondering about what exactly goes on under the bonnet. We talk about the CPU and Memory plenty, but what about on the inside? Where does the Synology DSM software get extracted from? Where is the other memory bay? How is the CPU kept cool? There are interesting (if slightly nerdy) questions. Luckily I have a spare DS720+ NAS here and I am an interesting (if slightly nerdy) guy who wants to find out. So, let’s take the Synology DS720+ NAS apart and find out what is inside that small black chassis. Alternatively, if you are looking for the DS720+ NAS Review, please find my DS720+ Hardware Review HERE. Now, I’ll go get my screwdriver.
Disclaimer – Please, Please, PLEASE do not try this yourself. I am doing this so you do not have to! I mainly started this to find out how Synology had locked the device to 6GB maximum memory. Do not do this unless you have the technical knowledge to know what you are doing OR are ok with invalidating your warranty. Also, BACKUP YOUR DATA!
Taking the Synology DS720+ NAS apart
First things first, I made sure to safely power down the DS720+ NAS, then remove the PSU and LAN connection. Then I removed the HDD media from inside.
Once I removed the HDD media and trays I made sure that the SODIMM memory module was empty.
Then I rotated the device in order to gain access to the rear 3x screw that hold the device casing together. First is the top left corner.
Then remove the lower screw on the same side.
After removing these screws, the larger half of the external chassis will slide away.
Then I removed the screw located next to the USB 3.0 Port, as this secures the connector internally to the chassis
Once the larger part of the framework is gone, you will see the main SATA HDD frame.
Next, you need to unscrew each of the fans from the internal framework. Each is secured with a single screw.
Next, you will need to insecure the main internal framework that holds the SATA media cage and its connection to the main base metal panel. These are formed of 8 screws (4 on each side)
There are two groups of different screw types on each side
From there you can remove the white power connectors for the fan and silver cable tape, which should allow you to remove the internal frame cage and main PCBs from the 2nd half of the DS720+ chassis. This should allow you to loosen the main cage from the base of the casing.
Removing those 8 screws and removing the white fan plugs will loosen the physical connection with the rear of the chassis and allow you to access the two screws that are just behind the fan modules, that keep the USB internal connector attached.
Once these screws are removed, along with the single rear screw we removed right at the start, we can remove the USB 3.0 Cable connector that is the final thing holding the internal frame, controller board and remaining chassis casing together.
You need to be careful though, as you will be removing the main internal frame and NVMe connector from their respective PCIe connectors.
This will allow you to remove the main cage and you are left with the main controller board with its metal panel on the top.
The metal panel is held against the internal controller board by 4 screws at each corner and is easily removed, exposing the mainboard.
Once you remove these four screws, you have the main controller board exposed, along with all its key components. Again, BE CAREFUL!
The large black heatsink in the centre is where the Intel J4125 CPU is kept, and this heatsink is several times its size. To the right of the CPU is the small piece of flash ROM memory that keeps the DSM software that is shipped with the device at launch.
Flipping the board over (carefully) shows us the side that many users are the most interested in. The board has the SODIMM DDR4 Memory slow for adding a 4GB Synology DDR4 2666MHz RAM module.
However the memory module is indeed the ONLY available upgrade slot inside and those that hoped to find a 2nd slot inside (which included me too, will recently) are met with a collection of soldered memory chips in the main board inside. These make up the 2GB of DDR4 memory that the device ships with.
These 4 cells are memory models and K4A4G165WE-BCTD in model ID. That is Samsung memory, more information here – https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/dram/ddr4/K4A4G165WE-BCTD. As well as a bank of information on the Samsung datasheets HERE. And there you have it. That is the inside of the Synology DS720+ NAS Drive. Once again, I do not recommend you do this yourself, but I do hope that you found it useful. If so, why not let me know in the comments. Otherwise, thank you for reading.