Synology DS414slim - Setup, Performance & Verdict

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Synology DS414slim: Setup

As a result of DSM, setup is a

breeze. Once booted up the NAS can be detected by typing

‘find.synology.com’ into a web browser or downloading the Synology

Assistant from the website. Upon detection the browser-based setup lets

you pick username, password, setup remote access and decide upon the

RAID type (SHR wisely chosen by default). A wizard then guides you

around the DSM desktop on first boot.

One aspect that will need a

little more of your time though is the physical setup. Unlike the

DS414, the slim doesn’t have tool-less bays and each drive needs to be

screwed into its holder. Given how often drives are swapped in a NAS

this isn’t a big deal and the drives feel very secure, but it will add

10 minutes to your setup and the tiny screws can be fiddly.

Synology DS414slim 6

Synology DS414slim: Performance

Given

the slim uses the same chipset as the ReadyNAS 102 we were expecting to

see similar results (strong reads, weak writes) but it proved a

significant step up from Netgear’s offering.

largeTransferring

large files across our network using WD Red drives saw the slim achieve

consistent read speeds of 97.6MBps (780Mbps) while writes managed

74.7MBps (597.6Mbps). The former doesn’t quite hit the limits of Gigabit

Ethernet (circa 110MBps) meaning the inclusion of Link Aggregation is

more about a failsafe than the speed benefits, but it is plenty fast

enough for most.

Where our interest lies, however, are the write

speeds which are nearly 50 per cent higher than what was achieved by

the ReadyNAS 102. They are also much faster than Synology quotes on its

website. This may be because the speed isn’t always consistent, but it

is a rare example of a manufacturer underselling its device. Predictably

neither result compares to the Gigabit smashing performance of the

DS414, but it is a match for that of the more expensive dual bay DS214play.

smallIt

was a similar story with the more processor intensive small file test.

Here we pass a 2GB folder of over 2,000 files across the network and

again the slim held its own with average read and write speeds of

31.4MBps (251.2Mbps) and 18.5MBps (148Mbps). Both are more than 50 per

cent slower than the DS414, but they are 50 per cent faster than the

ReadyNAS 102. However Synology has squeezed more performance out of the

Marvel chip, it has worked.

Lastly, while the focus on 2.5in

drives may put the slim on a performance disadvantage, where it can

stand tall over its 3.5in rivals are the acoustics. Synology quotes an

unpopulated noise level of just 21 decibels and with our WD Red drives

it only increased to 24 decibels at one metre which means it will remain

below audible noise levels unless the NAS is being intensively worked.

Synology DS414slim 4

Should I buy the Synology DS414slim?

While we have some doubts about whether the reduction in size is worth the

significant compromise in storage (2.5in drives current max out at 2TB

whereas 3.5in drives recently hit 6TB and cost far less size-for-size)

those convinced smaller is better will be very happy with the DS414slim.

This is backed up by a £240 asking price, £135 less than the

full-size DS414. If budget is your main concern the four-bay

3.5in ReadyNAS 102 can be purchased for just £119 while Synology’s 3.5in

four bay DS414j is £275.

But while 2.5in NAS still seems like a strange idea, there are few finer examples than Synology’s latest. If it’s what you’re after, it’s a very good choice.

Verdict

A very good 2.5-inch NAS system. If space is a priority then it’s well worth considering.

Next, read our Synology DiskStation DS414 review or check out more NAS Reviews

Score in detail

  • Performance 8
  • Value 8
  • Features 9
  • Build Quality 8
  • Usability 9
  • Design 8
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