Trancoding comparison – DS3018XS, DS3617XS, DS918+

I am trying to work the best NAS for my needs. I am looking for a NAS that can give me virtualisation with possibly two vm’s. But also need the ability to run & transcode 4k files. I currently own a DS509+, which cannot play all file formats in terms of video and is now stuck on the older version of the DSM iOS, so cannot take advantage of the newer applications that are available.

I listened to one of your reviews where your colleague said the DS3617XS was the best transcoding NAS that he had come across. How does the DS3018XS & DS918+ compare to that?

Once decided I will be looking to buy two machines as I have a client who will be following my recommendation.

Note I use my DS509+, heavily for the video, photo, back up features, DS Cloud, data storage. etc


We have done transcoding tests which proved that DS3617xs is best performing NAS. We also did Plex transcoding test which proved that it also does 4K transcoding in Plex (with few exceptions). You can have a look at the test result in the table below.

DS918+ has built-in transcoding engine, which helps with file conversion on the fly without affecting other users with their tasks. This NAS comes with Quad-core Celeron CPU which is powerful but not enough to handle all 4K media. It will struggle with some really high bitrate videos and 10bit formats. With Plex, it will be even worse. It will do only a few 4K video format transcoding. But remember, you might not need transcoding at all. For just streaming the original file, DS918+ will o good job with any file.

DS3018xs is powerful but not as good as DS3617xs. It does not have transcoding engine which means CPU need to work harder to do transcoding tasks. In the tests, you can see that it will do transcoding for all 4K media, but CPU will be working at 100%. Any other tasks and users will be affected during the transcoding process. With Plex – it will perform as good as DS3617XS (almost there).


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