Synology 4-bay NAS range compared, which one is the best DS420j vs DS418 vs DS420+ vs DS923+ !

Synology 4-bay NAS range compared

Model DS420j DS418 DS420+ DS923+
Estimated Price $299 (18th Jan) $369 (18th Jan) $510 (18th Jan) $599 (18th Jan)
Processor model Realtek RTD1296 Realtek RTD1296 Intel Celeron J4025 AMD Ryzen R1600
Number of CPUs 1 (benchmark score: <1000) 1 (benchmark score: <1000) 1 (benchmark score: 1708) 1 (benchmark score: 3246)
processor architecture 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit 64-bit
processor clock 4-core 1.4 GHz 4-core 1.4 GHz 2-core 2.0 (base) / 2.9 (burst) GHz
2-core 2.6 (base) / 3.1 (turbo) GHz
hardware encryption YES YES (AES-NI) (AES-NI)
Hardware Transcoding Engine 10-bit H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2, VC-1; maximum resolution: 4K (4096 x 2160); maximum frame rate per second (FPS): 60 10-bit H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2, VC-1; maximum resolution: 4K (4096 x 2160); maximum frame rate per second (FPS): 60 H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC), MPEG-2 and VC-1; maximum resolution: 4K (4096 x 2160); maximum frame rate per second (FPS): 30 NONE
Memory
system memory 1 GB DDR4 non-ECC 2 GB DDR4 non-ECC 2 GB DDR4 non-ECC 4 GB DDR4 ECC
RAM slots soldered soldered 2Gb soldered + 1 slot free 1 slot 4GB + second slot free
MAX RAM upgrades NO NO 6 GB (2 GB + 4 GB) 32 GB (16 GB x 2)
storage device
Expansion Unit NO NO NO DX517 x 1
Number of HDD bays 4 4 4 4 +5
Compatible Disk Type 3.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA SSD
3.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA SSD
3.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA SSD
M.2 2280 NVMe SSD (500MB/s)
3.5″ SATA HDD
2.5″ SATA SSD
M.2 2280 NVMe SSD Gen3 x1 (2GB/s)
M.2 Drive Slots NO NO 2 (NVMe) (2GB/s per slot) (CACHE)
2 (NVMe) (2GB/s per slot) (CACHE OR STORAGE)
PCIe slot NO NO NO 1 x Gen3 x2 for 10gbe NIC
external port
RJ-45 1GbE LAN port 1 1 2 2
USB 2.0 port 1
USB 3.2 Gen 1 port* 2 2 2 1
USB / SD Copy
Remark
file system
internal disk EXT4 Btrfs
EXT4
Btrfs
EXT4
Btrfs
EXT4
Power
Noise value* 20.6 dB(A) 20.9 dB(A) 19.8 dB(A) 22.9 dB(A)
Power Supply / Transformer 90W 90W 90W 100W
power consumption 21.71 W (Access)
7.88 W (HDD Hibernation)
26.49 W (Access)
8.78 W (HDD Hibernation)
28.30 W (Access)
8.45 W (HDD Hibernation)
35.51 W (Access)
11.52 W (HDD Hibernation)
BTU 74.08 BTU/hr (Access)
26.89 BTU/hr (HDD Hibernation)
90.39 BTU/hr (Access)
29.96 BTU/hr (HDD Hibernation)
96.5 BTU/hr (Access)
28.81 BTU/hr (HDD Hibernation)
121.09 BTU/hr (Access)
39.28 BTU/hr (HDD Hibernation)
APPs and limits
Maximum number of local user accounts 1,024 2,048 2,048 2,048
Maximum number of Hybrid Share folders none 5 10 10
The maximum number of cameras 16 30 25 40
The maximum number of snapshots none 256 1,024 1,024
SSD TRIM YES YES YES YES
Synology High Availability NO NO YES YES
Synology MailPlus / MailPlus Server NO NO YES YES
Virtual Machine Manager NO NO YES YES
Warranty 2 years 2 years 3 years 3 years
SHR yes yes yes yes
BTRFS yes yes yes yes

Tell me more about Realtek CPU

The Realtek RTD1296 is a powerful system-on-a-chip (SoC) designed for use in multimedia devices such as streaming media players and set-top boxes. It features four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.4 GHz, which provides ample processing power for decoding and rendering high-resolution video.

One of the key features of the RTD1296 is its support for a wide range of video codecs. It can decode H.265 (HEVC), which is a highly efficient codec that allows for high-quality video at lower bitrates. It also supports other popular codecs such as MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2, and VC-1. This makes the RTD1296 a versatile chip that can handle a wide range of video formats.

The RTD1296 also supports 4K resolution (4096 x 2160), which is four times the resolution of 1080p. This allows for incredibly detailed and sharp video, making it ideal for use with 4K TVs and monitors. Additionally, it can handle up to 60 FPS, which is a high frame rate that allows for smooth, fluid motion in fast-paced scenes.

In addition to its video decoding capabilities, the RTD1296 also supports a variety of other features such as HDMI 2.0, USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and SATA. This makes it a complete solution for building multimedia devices, and it is widely used in commercial products such as media players, set-top boxes, and other devices that need high-performance video decoding capabilities.

What about Intel Celeron J4025 

The Intel Celeron J4025 is a budget processor and therefore its multimedia capabilities are limited compared to more powerful processors. However, it does support hardware decoding of H.264 and H.265 video codecs, which allows for smooth playback of high-definition video. It also supports Intel Quick Sync Video, which is a technology that uses the processor’s integrated graphics to accelerate video encoding and decoding.

When used in a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device, the J4025 would be able to handle basic multimedia tasks such as streaming video and audio to multiple devices simultaneously. However, it may not be able to handle more demanding tasks such as transcoding multiple high-definition videos at the same time or running multiple virtual machines.

Additionally, it is important to note that the capabilities of the processor are only one aspect of a NAS’s multimedia capabilities. The performance of the storage, memory and network interface, as well as the software running on the NAS will also play a role in determining the overall multimedia performance of the device.

How does it compare with AMD Ryzen R1600? 

The AMD Ryzen R1600 is a 2-core (4 threads) processor with a base clock speed of 2.6 GHz and a turbo boost frequency of 3.1 GHz. This means that it is less powerful in terms of processing power and multimedia capabilities than what I previously stated.

In comparison to the Intel Celeron J4025, the Ryzen R1600 has a slightly higher base clock speed and boost frequency, but it only has 2 cores and 4 threads, compared to the J4025’s 2 cores and 2 threads. So in terms of processing power, the J4025 and Ryzen R1600 would be quite similar.

In terms of multimedia capabilities, the Ryzen R1600 would still have an advantage over the J4025, as it supports hardware decoding of HEVC, VP9 and AV1 codecs which is not supported by J4025. But in general, the J4025 would be better suited for low-power, low-cost devices and entry-level network appliances, while the Ryzen R1600 would be better suited for embedded and industrial applications that require more processing power.

 

What apps will not work?

DS420+j will NOT have :

Active Backup for Business
Active Backup for Google Workspace
Active Backup for Microsoft 365
Antivirus by McAfee
Active Backup for Business Agent (DSM)
C2 Identity Edge Server
Central Management System
Synology Directory Server
Synology High Availability
Hybrid Share
Synology MailPlus
Synology MailPlus Server
Migration Assistant
Presto File Server
Replication Service
Snapshot Replication
Virtual Machine Manager
Archiware P5
Docker
PACS
Ragic Cloud DB
BRAVIA Signage

DS418 will NOT have:

C2 Identity Edge Server
Central Management System
Synology Directory Server
Document Viewer
Synology High Availability
Virtual Machine Manager
Docker
PACS
BRAVIA Signage

 

What are the apps you get on DS420+ and DS923+?

 

Hybrid Share combines local Synology NAS and C2 Storage cloud storage space to cache frequently used files locally to provide a low-latency file access experience.

The Replication Service is a core service that provides replication of snapshots taken from the source to the destination. This package cannot work alone, it must be used in conjunction with other core packages that provide snapshot functions.

Snapshot Replication is a point-in-time replication mechanism designed specifically for data backup and restoration. Businesses need to protect data against accidental deletion, application or data corruption, and data loss due to viruses.

Active Backup for Business
Active Backup for Business is designed to provide a comprehensive while centralized data protection solution, helping you back up business PCs, VMs, physical servers, and file servers all alike.

Active Backup for Business Agent (DSM)
Active Backup for Business Agent (DSM) allows you to back up your entire Synology NAS, including its system configurations, packages, and data to a remote Synology NAS. Before you start to protect your Synology NAS data, install Active Backup for Business on the remote Synology NAS as your backup destination.

Active Backup for Google Workspace
Active Backup for Google Workspace provides a centralized interface coming with auto-discovery for easy backup and management of My Drive and shared drives, the continuous backup mode for minimizing the risk of data loss, Active Backup for Google Workspace Portal for efficient restoration, and so much more.

Active Backup for Microsoft 365
Active Backup for Microsoft 365 provides a centralized interface coming with the auto-discovery service for efficient data backup and management, the continuous backup mode for minimizing the risk of data loss, Active Backup for Microsoft 365 Portal for easy restoration, and so much more.

Antivirus by McAfee
Powered by one of the most comprehensive engines in the industry, Antivirus by McAfee safeguards the valuable data and system partitions on your Synology NAS. Virus scans can be performed manually or according to a schedule, and the automatic update feature ensures you are protected with the most up-to-date virus definitions.

 

C2 Identity Edge Server
C2 Identity Edge Server retrieves directory information from C2 Identity. By setting it up, C2 Identity users’ access to on-prem resources can be rapidly authenticated by your Synology NAS.

Central Management System
Synology CMS (Central Management System) allows you to efficiently and conveniently manage multiple Synology NAS servers. It provides a single interface to monitor the status of multiple servers, create policies for batch editing the settings of server groups, and keep each server in your fleet up-to-date and running smoothly. Administrator permissions for groups or individual servers can be delegated to specific users or groups, allowing each administrator to control and manage certain configurations, further increasing administrative efficiency and flexibility.

Docker
Docker is a lightweight virtualization application that gives you the ability to run thousands of containers created by developers from all over the world on DSM. The hugely popular built-in image repository, Docker Hub, allows you to find shared applications from other talented developers.

Document Viewer
Document Viewer displays documents of various types, from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice, with ease and rapidity. You can even share documents simply with an encryptable link.

 

Migration Assistant
Migration Assistant seamlessly migrates data and system settings from your old Synology NAS to a new one, while ensuring maximized service availability. (Please ensure Migration Assistant is installed on the destination device for migration.)

 

PACS
PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) is a clinical data management system that consists of multiple open source medical imaging technologies, archive application with its user interface (dcm4che), DICOM viewer (weasis), Identity and Access Management function (Keycloak), and required environment (Wildfly). PACS can be used to store, access, transfer and manage medical images and digital reports in DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) format.

 

Presto File Server
Presto File Server is a package designed to deliver high-speed file transfer, regardless of latency and distance between a Synology NAS server and a computer or between any two Synology NAS servers when transferring over WAN. With Presto File Server, you can monitor user connections in real-time, better control the data arrival time with bandwidth settings, and schedule your tasks with Synology Presto Automator. Presto File Server License is required for package use, and a one-time 30-day free trial can be activated on every Synology NAS model.

 

All Downloads
Synology Application Service
Synology Application Service provides a framework to enrich features and services of Synology packages, including push notifications and profile settings. With Synology Application Service, coherent configurations can be shared across different packages.

 

Synology Directory Server
Synology Directory Server provides Active Directory (AD) domain service powered by Samba. It supports commonly used Active Directory features such as user accounts, group memberships, domain-joining Windows, Linux and Synology DSM, Kerberos-based authentication, and group policies. This makes it easier to manage computers and devices running Synology DSM, Linux, Windows, and deploy Windows applications.

 

Synology High Availability
Synology High Availability leverages the ability of two Synology NAS to maximize service uptime. With the cluster design, the active server is responsible for running all services and sync data to the passive server, which stands by and takes over the services when the active server becomes unavailable.

 

Synology MailPlus
Synology MailPlus is a powerful webmail service with rich features. You can send and receive emails to and from any mail server and centrally manage all the incoming and outgoing emails. You can compose a beautifully formatted email with built-in stickers and text tools. MailPlus also provides the label and smart search functions to help you easily find and manage emails.

Synology MailPlus Server
Synology MailPlus Server provides a cost-effective mail solution for enterprises requiring high-level security and stable performance. The high-availability architecture provides single server fault tolerance to maximize service uptime.

Virtual Machine Manager
Virtual Machine Manager integrates various virtualization solutions in a centralized and refined interface, allowing you to easily create, run, and manage multiple virtual machines on your Synology NAS. With Virtual Machine Manager, you can allocate hardware resources more flexibly, build a virtualization environment for the purpose of the enterprise-level deployment and maintenance, migrate your virtual machines among hosts without disruption and provide a full range fault tolerance protection.

 

NAS 4-bay range performance compared

1GbE Web Server – Nginx PHP Response Performance (using HDD)

Model RS822(RP)+ RS422+ DS923+ DS420+ DS418 DS420j
Responses per second 14,469.82 9,511.32 9,710.53 6,690.60 2,607.81 2,586.49

SMB 1GbE – Windows File Transfer with HDD

Model RS822(RP)+ RS422+ DS923+ DS420+ DS418 DS420j
Windows Download 87.07 89.22 89.74 86.75 80.42 81.96
Windows Upload 76.36 79.24 80.23 74.93 65.34 68.64

SMB 10GbE – Sequential Throughput with M.2 NVMe SSD (64KB)

Model DS923+
Read 1,179.75
Write 772.84

 

SMB 10GbE – Sequential Throughput with HDD (64KB)

Model RS422+ DS923+
Read 601.99 592.65
Write 546.60 562.54

Conclusion

DS420+j is the weakest NAS with 1GB memory which basically only allows to use it for file storage and backups. Anything else will be a slow and painful experience.

DS418  Can do everything mentioned above. But you also get few extra things like Hybrid Share, snapshots and more CCTV camera support.

DS420+ is a dual-core model that supports full range of functionality. Having additional two CPU cores or threads would allow more VM, and more apps running simultaneously. This is also the only NAS left in a 4-bay range that also has video transcoding functionality alongside the other features. Value series app scope is not as wide. It can transcode 4k videos and have access to 4k CCTV cameras remotely.

DS923+ is a whole different-level NAS. It can not transcode 4k videos remotely (movies, phone-recorded home videos, 4k CCTV), but it can do it all in a local network. Remote access is limited to 1080p videos. But you get big upgrades like ECC error-correcting memory, NVMe cache + storage pools. You also get 10GbE upgrade option. More virtual machines and docker. And overall just a faster NAS and its transfer speeds.

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