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Synology DS920+ vs DS918+ compare – is RAM upgrade worth it?

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Synology DS920+ vs DS918+ compare - is RAM upgrade worth it
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Synology DS920+ vs DS918+ compare – is RAM upgrade worth it? The DS918+ is one such flexible variant. It straddles the line between appealing to home prosumers and small businesses, and in either scenario can easily adapt based on what software packages are installed. There are enough features here to ensure its longevity wherever its deployed, making it a flexible storage solution across a variety of scenarios. The Synology DS920+ is the latest in the company’s lineup of updated NAS systems, and although it’s very much the successor to the DS918+.

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Compare Synology DS920+ vs DS918+

ModelDS918+DS920+
CPUIntel Celeron J3455 Quad Core 1.5 GHz (up to 2.3 GHz) 2 MB CacheIntel Celeron J4125 4-core 2.0 GHz burst up to 2.7 GHz 4 MB Cache
Benchmark21533035
SocketFCBGA1296FCBGA1090
GPUIntel HD Graphics 500 250 – 750 MHz (8GB)Intel UHD Graphics 600 250 – 750 MHz (8GB)
RAMDDR3L 4GB Non-ECC SO-DIMM (1 slot free) 1866 MT/s (Upgrade up to 8GB)1X 4 GB DDR4 (expandable up to 8 GB) 2400 MT/s
RAM slots2X1X
Cache2 x M.2 2280 NVMe SSD (drives not included)2 x M.2 2280 NVMe SSD (drives not included)
External port• 2 x USB 3.0 port
• 1 x eSATA port
• 2 x USB 3.0 port
• 1 x eSATA port
LAN2 x Gigabit (RJ-45)2 x Gigabit (RJ-45)

Price

The Synology DS920+ is available now, though pricing in your country will vary depending on taxes and import fees. In the United Arab Emirates for example, the DS920+ is priced at AED 2,520 ($686.09, £546.92, AU$999.28). The Synology DS918+ is priced at AED 2,300 and is available directly from Amazon. 

Review : Synology DS920+ vs DS918+

Design

From a design perspective, the Synology DS920+ looks very much the same as the DS918+. On the front you have the four drive bays, with independent drive locks and an easy, tool-less system to add or remove drives. There’s also a front USB 3.0 port, power button, and LED status indicators.

Ports

At the front you have the four drive bays, which can be easily slid out and also locked in place with the included key. There’s a power button on the front, and LED indicators for the drive status, as well as USB 3.0 port for external storage.

At the back you’ll find two Gigabit Ethernet ports, an eSATA port, USB 3.0 port, and a power port. The eSATA port can be used to expand the DS918+ further with Synology’s expansion unit, taking the total number of drives up to 9.

Capacity – Synology DS920+ vs DS918+

With four drives in place, the Synology DS920+ supports a maximum raw capacity of 64TB (4 x 16TB drives), depending on what RAID setup you’ve selected. This can be expanded to a further 144TB with the addition of a Synology DX517 expansion module connected to the eSATA port.

The DS918+ is a four-bay NAS, and supports up to 64TB of combined storage. With Synology’s expansion unit attached this rises to a staggering 144TB, which is more than enough storage than anyone could want. Both 3.5” and 2.5” drives can be installed, with the exception being that 2.5” drives need to be screwed in using the included screw kit. 3.5” drives on the other hand can simply be popped into any of the drive trays, and then slid back into the NAS – no tools or screws required.

Synology DS920+ vs DS918+ compare – is RAM upgrade worth it?

By default the DS918+ comes with 4GB of DDR3L RAM installed, but you can bump this up to 8GB with a second memory module. Installing is a little bit tricky – you have to power down the NAS, slide out the drives, and then slip the memory module in. The extra RAM is certainly recommended if you’re running some of the more heavy-duty applications on the DS918+ such as virtual machines.

Synology DS920+ comes with 4GB of DDR4 RAM installed. You can slot in an additional 4GB into the memory slot that’s located inside next to the drives, but 8GB is the max you’ll get to. 

Processor

Powering the DS918+ is a quad-core Intel Celeron J3455 processor, clocking in at 1.5GHz. It’s fast enough to run most of the applications on the NAS directly. Internally, the Synology DS920+ now features an Intel Celeron J4125 processor running at 2.0GHz (2.7Ghz in burst mode).

How easy to setup?

Historically, it’s always been easy to setup a Synology NAS, and the DS918+ is no different. Simply install the required number of drives into their bays, add in the M.2 SSD cache if you so wish or additional RAM, and then boot the system up. You’ll then be quickly guided through some easy to follow instructions that install the Synology OS onto the drives. After this, you can set up your admin user account and choose what type of storage setup you’ll need. The system supports a variety of RAID configurations depending on the number of drives installed, and you can choose to use either the ext4 file system or Synology’s btrfs system, which the company says offers better data redundancy and system protection.

Synology DS920+ vs DS918+ Performance review

As a dedicated file server, the DS918+ does pretty well. In a RAID5 configuration of four 3TB WD Red drives, we clocked read speeds of around 148MB/s, and write speeds of 112MB/s.

Performance did get a boost when we enabled the SSD read/write cache by installing two M.2 SSDs into the bottom of the unit. Once installed, you can create a cache with just a few clicks, and once the check has completed the DS918+ handles the rest. We saw read speeds climb to 211MB/s and write speeds reach 202MB/s – just shy of Synology’s advertised speeds.

The Synology DS920+ will vary on performance based of course on your drive and RAID setup, as well as whether or not you’re using the NVMe slots for caching. Our test setup used two Seagate 4TB drives in a RAID 1 array, without caching.  Network file copy of a folder with multiple file sizes peaked at about 127MB/s when copying to the NAS, and about 134MB/s when copying from it. 

Synology DS920+ vs the DS918+ NAS – Performance

ModelDS918+DS920+
EncryptionYes (AES-NI)Yes (AES-NI)
Power28.8W/ 4.25W32.17 W / 9.69 W
Noise value19.8 dB(A)19.8 dB (A)
Codec h264Decode / EncodeDecode / Encode
Codec h265 8bitDecode / EncodeDecode
Codec h265 10bitDecodeNO
Codec VP8Decode / EncodeDecode / Encode
Codec VP9DecodeDecode / Encode
Codec VC-1DecodeDecode
Codec AVCDecode / EncodeDecode / Encode

If you are interested in modern NAS task performance in more typical tasks:

ModelDS918+DS920+
PLEX HDYes (mostly)Yes (mostly)
PLEX 4KYes (without transcoding)Yes (without transcoding)
Native 1080pYes (Mostly)Yes (Mostly)
Native 4KYes (Mostly)Yes (Mostly)
VM SupportYes, Depending on Memory AllocatedYes, Depending on Memory Allocated
ContainersYes, Depending on Memory AllocatedYes, Depending on Memory Allocated
File SystemEXT4 and BTRFSEXT4 and BTRFS
Backup TypesNAS-to-(NAS,PC, Mac, Mobile, USB, Cloud)NAS-to-(NAS,PC, Mac, Mobile, USB, Cloud)

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