Will Upgrading Your Synology NAS to DSM 7.2 Stop You From Using Third-Party Memory?
As great as it is that Synology recently released the latest version of its premium NAS software, DSM 7.2, there are always going to be detractors hesitant to upgrade their systems with the latest firmware. Despite the obvious benefits new software updates often bring, such as feature updates, compatibility improvements, stability, and security updates, all too often we will hold off updating software in case something that has always worked suddenly doesn’t! You only have to look at the sheer number of people refusing to update from Windows 10 to Windows 11 to see that for some, change is not always good. However, in the case of updating your Synology NAS to a bigger and newer software revision, there is also the question of unofficial and unsupported configurations and how this impacts their use after a big update. Although many users will use custom code or applications from sites such as Synocommunity on their Synology NAS (which are easily broken by larger DSM updates anyway), the big question for many is: Will updating your Synology NAS to DSM 7.2 result in your third-party memory and unsupported memory configuration ceasing to work? In this article, I conduct two different tests on a Synology DS923+ to test the impact of upgrading your NAS from DSM 7.1 to DSM 7.2.
|DS923+(Arrives with ECC Memory)||DDR4-2466 ECC Unbuffered SO-DIMM 260pin 1.2V||D4ES02-8G (ECC)
|Crucial ECC 4GB – Buy Here
Kingston NON-ECC 4GB- Buy Here
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Kingston NON-ECC 8GB- Buy Here
Crucial NON-ECC 16GB – Buy Here
Kingston NON-ECC 16GB- Buy Here
Kingston NON-ECC 32GB – Buy Here
Kingston ECC 8GB – Buy Here
Arch ECC 16GB – Buy Here
vColour ECC 32GB- Buy Here
Synology and 3rd Party Memory Use – A Disclaimer
It’s important to keep in mind that when using third-party memory or unsupported memory configurations in your Synology NAS, you are using the system in a way that Synology does not endorse and may result in them being unable to support you long-term in the event of system failure or software issues. We have performed numerous tests here on NAS Compares of installing third-party memory from the likes of Kingston, Crucial, Samsung, and Sabrent in Synology NAS systems and although we have not encountered any issues using it, there is still no avoiding that this may lead to your system flagging the memory as an unsupported configuration and be noted internally within the system logs. So, keep in mind that if you opt for non-Synology branded memory, you are using the system outside of the usual supported remit of the brand, and it might result in the system behaving in an unpredictable fashion, according to Synology. They also suggest that you should always run the inbuilt memory test function of the Synology Assistant client application when installing any new memory module on your Synology NAS, to ensure that the memory you install is working perfectly.
How I Tested A Synology NAS with 3rd Party Memory, Upgrading from DSM 7.1 > 7.2
In order to conduct this test, I am using a Synology DS923+. It has been updated to DSM 7.1.1 and has two 16GB Crucial DDR4 memory modules already installed.
These have been working for months, and I have seen no issues inside this Synology NAS. Also, the system has a RAID 5 configuration with three Ultrastar 10TB hard drives, but that is not too important here.
The next step was downloading DSM 7.2 from the official Synology Download Center. Once this was done, I went to the control panel of the Synology DS923+ and updated the system to DSM 7.2.
I am pleased to confirm that the NAS updated to DSM 7.2 swiftly and although there was a slight delay as individual applications were updated to be compatible from DSM 7.1 to DSM 7.2, the system rebooted successfully and I can confirm that both Crucial 16GB memory modules functioned and were seen by the system.
I can also confirm that the memory modules were present in the resource monitor of DSM and were available to be used just as they were in DSM 7.1 previously.
Next, I wanted to test if DSM 7.2 limited users who are running greater than recommended memory configurations on their Synology NAS. For this, I planned to upgrade the 2x 16GB Crucial memory modules to 2x 32GB Kingston memory modules. It’s worth highlighting that the CPU in the DS923+ only supports up to a maximum 32GB total. And exceeding the official maximum memory supported by this system and the CPU manufacturer, AMD, means that you are utilizing this system in an unsupported configuration and might limit the support the brand will give you later down the line in the event of needing support from the brand. The next step was shutting down the Synology NAS and installing the two 32GB Kingston modules to see if DSM 7.2 will still allow us to use these greater than officially supported memory modules.
After giving the system a few minutes to spin the disks down completely, I removed the disks and swapped the Crucial 16GB memory modules with the Kingston 32GB modules. After doing so, I rebooted the system as normal.
Much like in DSM 7.1, the system took an extra minute or so to recognize and confirm the new memory configuration at boot. Nonetheless, after a brief spin-up in which the drives were initialized, it continued as normal to boot into DSM, and upon a quick inspection of the control panel, I can confirm that DSM 7.2 still allowed me to use this third-party, greater than maximum supported memory configuration.
So, it looks like at least for now you can still continue to utilize third-party memory configurations in your Synology NAS running DSM 7.2. Once again, it is important to keep in mind that this configuration and these tests do not necessarily 100% confirm that a comparable update and testing on your own separate NAS and memory configuration are guaranteed to work. They certainly suggest so, but nonetheless, you should always make sure to have multiple backups in place of both your system and configuration, as well as take extra care when moving any drives to and from your system, and ensure that you handle any memory modules with your NAS safely. If you are interested in finding out which third-party memory modules are best suited for your own Synology NAS, use the third-party memory guide below which goes through every currently available Synology NAS and includes recommendations for alternative memory from brands such as Kingston, Samsung, Crucial, and Timetec.
What Are the Dangers of Using 3rd Party Memory in a Synology NAS? Or Exceeding the Maximum Amount of RAM?
Using third-party memory in a Synology NAS has both potential benefits and risks. From the consumer perspective, third-party memory can often be less expensive and more readily available than the manufacturer’s own, which can be enticing. Additionally, for tech-savvy users, these memory modules might provide a performance boost or a higher capacity than what’s officially supported by Synology.
However, there are a number of important considerations to keep in mind:
- Compatibility: Not all third-party memory modules are compatible with Synology NAS systems. Even if a module fits and seems to work initially, it might cause unexpected issues or fail prematurely due to subtle differences in specifications.
- Performance: While some users find that third-party memory performs just as well as Synology’s own, there’s a risk that it might not. Reduced performance could mean slower data access times, which might be a significant drawback for some users.
- Warranty and Support: Synology, like most manufacturers, cannot guarantee that third-party components will work flawlessly with their products. Therefore, if you experience problems while using third-party memory, Synology may not be able to provide support, and it could potentially void your warranty.
- System Stability: Using incompatible or unofficially supported memory modules could lead to system instability. This can manifest as frequent crashes, data corruption, and even loss of data, which would be devastating for most NAS users.
On the subject of exceeding the maximum recommended memory in your NAS: while it can be tempting to go beyond the stated limit to achieve increased performance or capacity, this comes with its own set of risks. Overloading your system’s memory capacity can cause hardware strain, lead to system instability, and may potentially shorten the lifespan of your NAS. Furthermore, using more memory than your system’s CPU can handle might not result in any additional performance gains, as the CPU might not be able to effectively utilize the excess memory. While there can be benefits to using third-party memory modules, the potential risks are considerable. It’s essential to research thoroughly and make sure that any third-party memory you’re considering is fully compatible with your specific Synology NAS model. Always back up your data before making hardware changes, and consider the implications for your warranty and support services.
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