Which NAS is the Cheapest to Run 24×7?

What NAS is the Cheapest to Run 24×7?

Have you SEEN how much electricity costs these days? Because of any one of about a hundred different global factors (local conflict, slow renewable energy uptake, monopolizing energy companies with powerful lobbying – take your pick!) most of us in2022/2023 have seen increases in energy costs. 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, to resolve this concern, we have created this chart below that details the power consumption of several popular Synology and QNAP NAS systems in the market right now, defined by their reported power consumption (supplied on their official pages) and worked out how that translates into $, £ and Euros! But before we start, what is the difference between ACTIVE power use and IDLE power use? It’s pretty important when it comes to a device that will be on days, weeks, months and even YEARS at a time.

Can NAS Manufacturers be trusted to provide accurate power consumption numbers?

Popular NAS brands such as Synology, QNAP, Asustor and Terramaster are all obligated to provide a certain degree of information/specifications to end users when selling their wares globally. The extent of this information can vary, with some brands only giving you the CPU, Memory and PSU/Power brick wattage, whereas more reputable brands give you details breakdowns of the reported/average power usage of the device when in active, standby and/or idle use. Now, the question is, how much can you trust/rely on these figures? Surely it is in the interest of the brand to keep this number as LOW as possible to entice the end user? Well. I will say you can definitely, 100% TRUST the figures that the NAS brands report on their devices in use, HOWEVER, you need to always scroll down to the bottom of the page and check the DRIVES and RAID that were used in the testing. It is not uncommon for a NAS brand to use specific low-powered SSDs, or a RAID 0 as opposed to RAID 5 (which requires less system operation to maintain). These are not terrible guidelines, as there ARE users that use these setups, but it would be better if there was a form of universal standard in place (e.g separate 4TB / 8TB / 16TB / 22TB tests).

Note – Alongside these results based on officially provided energy consumption, I have been making videos and articles on SPECIFIC power usage tests, covering Active/Idle usage. These tests are going to take place throughout the next 12+ months and will cover around 30 NAS’ and 18 drive variations (capacity, performance, brands, SSD vs HDD, etc). You can read the MASSIVE article that is being regularly updated with fresh test results HERE. You watch the playlist so far HERE on YouTube.

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?

All Synology and QNAP NAS Drives, Listed in Power Use and Cost (Best to Worst)

Below are the NAS we have added so far to our energy calculator. You can add your own electricity price/tariff/rate in the box at the top if you want to narrow things down a little and/get a better understanding how the reported power usage by each NAS device will work out for you in costs per day, month and year. We will be adding more NAS brands and devices as time goes on.

Electric price (UK 34 pence, US 15 cents, EU 46 cents ) Usage?
Brand Model Power Usage Power saving mode Daily usage Monthly/ Yearly
Qnap TS-133 7.32W 2.74W £0.06 £1.79/21.8
Synology DS120j 9.81W 4.68W £0.08 £2.4/29.22
Synology DS124 10.69W 3.44W £0.087 £2.62/31.84
Synology RT2600ac 10.80W 7.94W £0.088 £2.64/32.17
Qnap TS-233 10.81W 3.43W £0.088 £2.65/32.2
Asustor AS1102T 11.6W 5.97W £0.095 £2.84/34.55
Asustor AS1102TL 11.7W 3.1W £0.095 £2.86/34.85
Asustor AS3302T 12.3W 6.04W £0.1 £3.01/36.63
Qnap TS-264 12.448W 8.198W £0.102 £3.05/37.08
Qnap TS-262 12.448W 8.198W £0.102 £3.05/37.08
Synology MR2200ac 12.95W 5.21W £0.106 £3.17/38.57
Asustor AS3302T v2 13.1W 4.5W £0.107 £3.21/39.02
Synology DS224+ 14.69W 4.41W £0.12 £3.6/43.75
Asustor AS6602T 15.9W 9.2W £0.13 £3.89/47.36
Synology DS223j 16.31W 4W £0.133 £3.99/48.58
Asustor 效能 17W 10.5W £0.139 £4.16/50.63
Asustor AS5202T 17W 10.5W £0.139 £4.16/50.63
Synology DS223 17.343W 4.08W £0.142 £4.25/51.65
Qnap TS-253E 18.09W 10.56W £0.148 £4.43/53.88
Asustor FS6706T 18.2W 0.83 (Sleep Mode)W £0.149 £4.46/54.21
Qnap TS-473A 19.576W 29.792W £0.16 £4.79/58.31
Asustor AS6702T 21W 13.5W £0.171 £5.14/62.55
Synology DS723+ 21.07W 8.62W £0.172 £5.16/62.75
Qnap HS-453DX 22.38W 13.55W £0.183 £5.48/66.66
Qnap TS-433 22.54W 8.45W £0.184 £5.52/67.13
Asustor AS5402T 22.9W 12.7W £0.187 £5.61/68.21
Asustor AS3304T 23.1W 10.1W £0.188 £5.65/68.8
Asustor AS1104T 23.1W 10.1W £0.188 £5.65/68.8
Asustor AS3304T v2 25.1W 8.4W £0.205 £6.14/74.76
Qnap TS-873A 25.668W 54.067W £0.209 £6.28/76.45
Qnap TS-462 25.98W 11.3W £0.212 £6.36/77.38
Qnap TS-464 25.98W 11.3W £0.212 £6.36/77.38
Asustor FS6712X 26W £0.212 £6.36/77.44
Qnap TS-431K 26.57W 11.928W £0.217 £6.5/79.14
Qnap TS-431X 26.7W 11.65W £0.218 £6.54/79.52
Qnap TS-431KX 26.7W 11.65W £0.218 £6.54/79.52
Asustor AS5304T 27W 12.6W £0.22 £6.61/80.42
Asustor AS6604T 27.6W 12.6W £0.225 £6.76/82.2
Qnap TBS-464 28W 18W £0.228 £6.85/83.4
Synology DS423+ 28.3W 8.45W £0.231 £6.93/84.29
Qnap TS-435XeU 30.878W 17.367W £0.252 £7.56/91.97
Qnap TS-431XeU 30.99W 12.42W £0.253 £7.59/92.3
Synology DS423 32.41W 4.97W £0.264 £7.93/96.53
Qnap TS-453E 33.88W 15.78W £0.276 £8.29/100.91
Synology DS620slim 34.88W 7.59W £0.285 £8.54/103.89
Asustor AS6704T 35W 17.3W £0.286 £8.57/104.24
Qnap TS-464eU 35.297W 21.105W £0.288 £8.64/105.13
Qnap TS-664 35.437W 18.634W £0.289 £8.67/105.55
Synology DS923+ 35.51W 11.52W £0.29 £8.69/105.76
Qnap TVS-472XT 37.32W 24.14W £0.305 £9.14/111.15
Synology RS422+ 37.93W 13.43W £0.31 £9.29/112.97
Asustor AS5404T 38.3W 17.7W £0.313 £9.38/114.07
Qnap TS-432PXU 39.558W £0.323 £9.68/117.82
Synology DVA3221 43.92W 28.43W £0.358 £10.75/130.81
Qnap TVS-672XT 45.6W 26.52W £0.372 £11.16/135.82
Qnap TVS-672X 45.6W 26.52W £0.372 £11.16/135.82
Qnap TVS-h674 45.6W 26.52W £0.372 £11.16/135.82
Qnap TS-673A 45.898W 21.891W £0.375 £11.24/136.7
Synology RS822RP+ 47.69W 16.7W £0.389 £11.67/142.04
Synology RS822+ 47.69W 16.7W £0.389 £11.67/142.04
Asustor AS6504RS/RD 47.7W 28.4W £0.389 £11.68/142.07
Asustor AS6504RS 47.7W 28.4W £0.389 £11.68/142.07
Asustor AS6504RD 47.7W 28.4W £0.389 £11.68/142.07
Asustor AS6706T 48.5W 27.7W £0.396 £11.87/144.45
Synology RS1221+ 49.89W 22.64W £0.407 £12.21/148.59
Synology RS1221RP+ 49.89W 22.64W £0.407 £12.21/148.59
Synology DS1621+ 51.22W 25.27W £0.418 £12.54/152.55
Synology DS1522+ 52.06W 16.71W £0.425 £12.74/155.06
Qnap TS-432PXU-RP 53.343W £0.435 £13.06/158.88
Qnap TS-473 56.23W 33.24W £0.459 £13.77/167.48
Qnap TS-832PXU 56.412W £0.46 £13.81/168.02
Synology DS1821+ 59.8W 26.18W £0.488 £14.64/178.11
Qnap TVS-675 60.794W 41.897W £0.496 £14.88/181.07
Qnap TS-h686 61.115W £0.499 £14.96/182.02
Qnap TS-673 63.69W 35.11W £0.52 £15.59/189.69
Qnap TVS-872X 65.03W 41.47W £0.531 £15.92/193.69
Qnap TVS-h874 65.03W 41.47W £0.531 £15.92/193.69
Qnap TVS-872XT 65.03W 41.47W £0.531 £15.92/193.69
Asustor AS6508T 66.9W 37.2W £0.546 £16.38/199.25
Synology RX1217 68.60W 27.45W £0.56 £16.79/204.32
Synology RS1619xs+ 68.68W 34.78W £0.56 £16.81/204.56
Qnap TS-832PXU-RP 69.191W £0.565 £16.94/206.08
Qnap TS-873 70.26W 36.43W £0.573 £17.2/209.26
Qnap TS-877XU 73.1W £0.596 £17.89/217.72
Synology DS2422+ 73.11W 32.12W £0.597 £17.9/217.75
Synology FS2500 74.83W £0.611 £18.32/222.87
Qnap TS-h886 75.79W £0.618 £18.55/225.73
Asustor AS6510T 76.8W 41.1W £0.627 £18.8/228.74
Asustor AS7110T 78.7W 40.1W £0.642 £19.27/234.4
Qnap TS-1273AU-RP 78.92W 43.67W £0.644 £19.32/235.06
Qnap TS-1232PXU-RP 83.57W £0.682 £20.46/248.9
Qnap TS-877XU-RP 86.04W £0.702 £21.06/256.26
Synology DS1823xs+ 87.93W 28.37W £0.718 £21.53/261.89
Asustor AS7112RDX 92.4W 45.5W £0.754 £22.62/275.2
Synology RX1223RP 93.59W 30.73W £0.764 £22.91/278.75
Synology DS3622xs+ 94.42W 54.33W £0.77 £23.11/281.22
Qnap TS-1673AU-RP 97.34W 47.75W £0.794 £23.83/289.92
Synology RS2821RP+ 97.54W 49.57W £0.796 £23.88/290.51
Qnap TS-1283XU-RP 105.12W £0.858 £25.73/313.09
Qnap TS-h1277XU-RP 106.66W £0.87 £26.11/317.68
Synology FS3410 113.84W £0.929 £27.87/339.06
Asustor AS6512RD 115W 67W £0.938 £28.15/342.52
Qnap TS-h1886XU-RP R2 117.92W £0.962 £28.87/351.21
Qnap TS-h1886XU-RP 117.92W £0.962 £28.87/351.21
Synology RS2423+ 119.95W 46.21W £0.979 £29.36/357.26
Synology RS2423RP+ 119.95W 46.21W £0.979 £29.36/357.26
Asustor AS7116RDX 121.7W 51.5W £0.993 £29.79/362.47
Qnap TS-h1677XU-RP 136.45W £1.113 £33.4/406.4
Synology SA3400 137.17W 70.95W £1.119 £33.58/408.55
Synology RS3621RPxs 140.01W 65.94W £1.142 £34.27/417.01
Synology RS3621xs+ 142.5W 72.76W £1.163 £34.88/424.42
Synology RS3618xs 142.76W 55.05W £1.165 £34.95/425.2
Qnap TS-h2477XU-RP 143.97W £1.175 £35.24/428.8
Synology RS4021xs+ 145.79W 62.68W £1.19 £35.69/434.22
Qnap TS-h1090FU 157.97W £1.289 £38.67/470.5
Synology SA6400 180.5W 88.56W £1.473 £44.19/537.6
Synology RX1222sas 194.4W 82.56W £1.586 £47.59/579
Synology UC3400 239.25W £1.952 £58.57/712.58
Synology SA3400D 257.78W £2.103 £63.1/767.77
Synology FS3600 258.23W 127.99W £2.107 £63.21/769.11
Qnap TS-h3088XU-RP 261.81W 129.57W £2.136 £64.09/779.77
Qnap TS-h2490FU 277.64W £2.266 £67.97/826.92
Synology FS6400 288.49W 145.8W £2.354 £70.62/859.24
Synology SA3200D 417.48W 274.38W £3.407 £102.2/1243.42
Synology UC3200 417.48W 274.38W £3.407 £102.2/1243.42
Qnap TDS-h2489FU 467.59W £3.816 £114.47/1392.67
Qnap ES1686dc 500.87W £4.087 £122.61/1491.79
Qnap ES2486dc 579.59W £4.729 £141.88/1726.25
Synology HD6500 1025.2W 418W £8.366 £250.97/3053.46

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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 and QNAP NAS systems (and more importantly their respective WD Drive setups and CPU usage).

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5 thoughts on “Which NAS is the Cheapest to Run 24×7?

  1. Fantastic table, have been looking at this table a lot as info for venturing into my first NAS.

    Is there a chance this can be updated with terramaster NAS’ as well? Or are their cpu / hdd setup cost be similar.

    Missus wants it to be cheap to run – and thinks turning it off will be a worthwhile saving, though I’m only looking at a 2 bay NAS, and as a cheap NAS I don’t think I’ll get any needed transcoding; is it worthwhile spending more than the price of the as1102 / TS-233 / DS220J, and that turning it off will only bring a negligible savings over a year.

    Cheers for this website, it’s been a really helpful place to learn.

    1. In terms of CPU and HDD setup, the cost for Terramaster NAS can be similar to Qnap NAS, but it really depends on the specific models and configurations you’re looking at. Generally, more powerful CPU and higher storage capacity will come with a higher price tag.

      Regarding the running cost, turning off the NAS when it’s not in use can save some power consumption, but the amount of savings would depend on the frequency and duration of usage. In general, a 2-bay NAS like the AS1102, TS-233, or DS220J doesn’t consume a lot of power and the savings from turning it off may not be significant over a year.

      As for transcoding, it’s a feature that allows you to convert media files to a different format that can be played on different devices. If you’re not planning to use this feature, then it may not be necessary to spend more on a NAS that supports transcoding. However, it’s always good to check the specifications and features of the NAS models you’re considering to ensure they meet your requirements.

      1. Thanks for the reply!

        I ended up buying the ts-233, only reason over the Asus and ds 220 was the newer CPU, and 2gb ram, over the 1 and 512mb respectively, and the 233 was only $40 aud more than the others as well.

        I won’t need to transcode unless out of the house and it’s not primarily need for media anyway, all my devices can natively play 4k/h265 easily.

        Thanks again!

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for the nice work!

    It would be very interesting to see the power consumption normalized to some other attribute, like the power draw per drive in the NAS or power draw per unit performance (in some scenario(s)). That way one could more easily find the most efficient system for the desired use case.


  3. User question ” Maybe you can make TS-451D2 electricity consumption test? ”

    We do not have this model. But we can estimate the power consumption as follows

    Full power | Saving mode | Cost per day | Cost per month/year
    25.98W | 11.3W | £0.212 | £6.36/77.38

    I hope this helps.