NAS - Synology DS918+ or Qnap TS-453Be?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by DiscostewSM, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. DiscostewSM
    OP

    DiscostewSM GBAtemp Guru

    Member
    12
    Feb 10, 2009
    United States
    Sacramento, California
    Apologies for the long post.

    Synology DS918+
    Qnap TS-543Be

    So I've decided on getting a NAS, and initially was going to get the Synology NAS, but I saw the Qnap NAS listed, and now I'm not sure. Both offer the same CPU, both upgradeable to 8GB RAM (or more?), but with Qnap's setup, it seems more like it could be used like a desktop computer, having 3 additional USB ports, HDMI ports, audio ports, etc. Not sure I'd use it as such, as I have a laptop that is far more capable and an unused desktop that is even moreso. With the Synology, it offers 2 M.2 slots right off the bat while for the Qnap, I'd have to purchase a separate PCIe card to add those. However, those slots with Synology can only be used for caching (and even then, to get both R/W caching, it requires having to fill both slots). With Qnap in this regard, not only can a single SSD provide that R/W caching, but the SSDs themselves could be used as actual volumes, where apps and such can be installed for quicker loading. That PCIe slot can also provide a 10GbE LAN, separate from the dual 1GbE LAN. The Synology can add more drives through the use of the expansion at a price, but I don't see myself needing more than 4 bays at this time. 2 bays may even be fine, but having 4 is a "just-in-case" measure. I hear that regarding software, Synology has Qnap beat (at least for new NAS owners like myself in time), but in hardware, Qnap is on top over Synology.

    Now, of the two listings, the Qnap is cheaper for the base unit, but it's the 2GB RAM listing. The 4GB version is about $30 more, but considering I'd upgrade to 8GB at least, going the 2GB route and upgrading from that with a RAM kit not only would be roughly the same price as just upgrading to 8GB from 4GB with a single stick in the other version, but the RAM kit provides the same sticks with same specs, designed to work with each other. Even with that, the Qnap would still be cheaper than the Synology in the long run if I did nothing regarding SSDs or the PCIe slot.

    At this time, it's really a question of what I need, and frankly, I don't know. I do have some basic requirements, which I believe both units can provide.
    • First is simply being used to back up and grant ease of access to my important documents, hold movies, music, pictures, ROMs, etc from just about any device (even my Nintendo Switch?), both on my network and possibly remotely when the time comes. Also to keep them safe and protected in case of problems like HDDs crashing, to which the use of a RAID setup (or storage pools, I don't know much about those) so if one drive breaks, I won't lose my data and can just replace the drive.
    • Second is being a media center, like using Plex. Both units provide h265/h264 transcoding (and the Qnap has HDMI-out if I wanted to connect it straight to my TV), but my devices, such as my laptop, TV and phone, already support those formats, so the only real transcoding to be done is with audio. Then again, the movies I have also contain subtitles that aren't necessarily supported on my TV, so transcoding to burn those subtitles in would then be needed, but certainly at a loss of quality. I just find SRT subtitles, which are supported.
    • Third is using the NAS as a general downloader, whether that's simple downloading, torrents, etc, to which it not only downloads, but can also be anonymous through the use of an installed VPN like ExpressVPN (which I currently use). If I'm downloading something large that is going to take a while that I was going to have on my NAS anyways, I'd rather not leaving my laptop on to download it (for who knows how long) only to have to copy it over to the NAS later, taking time as well as well as space on my laptop that is already limited with using SSDs. In that sense, if I'm out and about, and using my phone and find something I want to download for later, being able to tell my NAS at home remotely through my phone to download it would make it great (but is that possible?).
    So those are things I know I want provided with a NAS, and either one of what I listed could probably do the job. The question is what else could a NAS do that might interest me, and what NAS of those two could provide that? Both support surveillance options, but I live alone in an apartment that I can't modify inside or outside. Will I ever need the use of SSDs for caching or as a physical volume? Would I need a 10GbE LAN connection? Do either NAS options provide other apps that can be useful? It's this regard for future-proofing that always gets me, making it hard to decide something because it could be after I get something, I find that if it had this other feature, it would be great, but I'd be kinda stuck with what I have until the need arises that I'd upgrade to something that has that feature, but with others to warrant the upgrade.

    Again, apologize for the long post. This is a very real decision about buying something that would remedy a burden in my life, but a decision that I'd need to stick with for the long run that hopefully doesn't have me pulling my hair out because the one that gets chosen may have been the wrong choice. ~$500 just for the unit and no HDDs is no small amount. Initially I was going to wait until Black Friday for possible sales on either unit and HDDs, but I have two WD My Book Essentials (3TB, they are rather old though) that used to be my father's ext HDDs, so I thought about pulling those drives out in prep for a NAS that I could get now, then wait for a sale on WD Reds (8TB) and drop those into the NAS as well, using all 4 bays.
     
  2. Plstic

    Plstic Guru Meditation Error

    Member
    7
    Apr 21, 2010
    United States
    Milwaukee WI
    When I was deciding on a NAS I went with a third option. I got a used HP Proliant DL-180 with twelve 3.5 bays. The only caveat is that it's louder than a vacuum and you have to get acquainted with ESXi.
     
  3. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

    Member
    8
    Apr 21, 2008
    London, UK
    Stepping up from a NAS to a SAN is a pretty big jump. The size, power, noise and usage requirements are night and day, although I do admit that it’s far more capable than a dinky little NAS box.

    Back on topic, I would look up reviews of both devices and try to decide between them. Since your needs aren’t so specific, I think either device can work to your needs.
     
  4. Plstic

    Plstic Guru Meditation Error

    Member
    7
    Apr 21, 2010
    United States
    Milwaukee WI
    I guess I'm just a cheap bastard. It only cost me 125 and I got 32 gigs of brand new ram for like 60 bucks.
     
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