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Pros: - Low TDP.
- Stays relatively cool.
- Great performance for an HTPC, and even a gaming PC.
Other Thoughts: - My system uses between 40-50 Watts under normal operation and 60-75 Watts when watching TV via Windows Media Center (though I'm assuming that's also due to the graphics card probably kicking in).
- For some reason I can't get it to go below 40 C under normal operation, even with a Cooler Master GeminII M4 CPU cooler and extra fans at the back of my Silverstone GD05 case. I used both Arctic Silver and Cooler Master thermal paste, but neither seemed to make much of a difference. In general I'm fine with the temperatures hovering around 40 C, but would have liked it to be a little lower. Ran Prime95 and don't believe the temperatures went over 60 C, which is okay for me.
- I'm using my HTPC for both watching TV and gaming, so wanted to get a low TDP CPU that wouldn't create a bottleneck for my games. In general it seems that anything above an i3 will not hamper current video games, so have this CPU paired up with an EVGA GeForce 770GTX 4GB Superclocked card and they work great together.
Pros: - Has 3 tuners
- Gigabit network interface provides plenty of bandwidth
- Relatively painless set-up
- Works great with WMC (need it for copy-protected channels)
- Works well with my LG HDTV via DLNA, though a little awkward since you have to browse channels as folders. Still a nice backup in case something happens to my HTPC.
- Running smoothly after 7 months.
Cons: - I wish SiliconDust made a 4+ tuner version.
Other Thoughts: - I'm using this primarily in conjunction with my HTPC as my main TV watching experience. I'm extremely happy with it and glad I got to break up with the old Verizon FiOS DVR that cost me ~$18/month.
- I have it on the same gigabit switch as my HTPC so haven't had any issues with video quality and choppiness.
Overall I'm very satisfied with this product.
This review is from: Synology DS213j Network Storage
Pros: - Easy to set up
- Works great out of the box
- Good help documentation in the interface as well as plenty or resources online
- Nice selection of apps (particularly Download Station and Cloud Station).
- But most importantly, it's fast and reliable!
Cons: - Slightly under-powered CPU for some of the functionality that's available in the OS. For instance, you can ZIP and un-ZIP files directly through the NAS but it maxes out the CPU. Because of this, I usually ask friends to *not* use the "Download Folder" option when I share assets since the NAS will ZIP up the files before sending (or technically while sending). That might be fine for small shares but not ones that are 1+ GB in size. I haven't seen any stability issues, but prefer not having my NAS run at 100% CPU if it's not necessary. It can also stream TV through a network/USB tuner, but HD streams use up a lot of CPU as well.
- The Cloud Station app lets you set how many versions should be retained for all of your content that's shared through it, and also lets you delete versions individually or for an entire share. However, it would be nice to have the versioning setting available for individual shares/folders instead of just one global setting. For instance, I would like to keep my documents versioned that I keep in my CloudStation home directory, but not necessarily my video/music files.
Other Thoughts: I'm really loving this NAS and finding new things to use it for, even after 6 months of owning it. Some thoughts:
- I have 2x3TB drives using the default Hybrid RAID which amounts to about 2.78TB of redundant storage.
- Getting on average 600Mbps (75MBps) read/write speeds between the NAS and my HTPC, which are both on the same gigabit switch. That's about what the specs are, though it should get slightly better read speeds. I'm very happy with those numbers though.
- I'm using this as storage for all of my movies as well as for my TV shows that I record using my HTPC (via a HDHomeRun Prime network tuner, which is also awesome). Unfortunately Windows Media Center does not allow network drives as primary storage for recorded video, so I have a scheduled task that moves files over from the default location to my NAS. Then I added my NAS shared folder to WMC as a source for recorded TV. Works great.
- Loving Download Station and the associated apps for all of my devices (I have Android, iOS, and WP8; and all of them work smoothly).
- Speaking of which, I love the fact that Synology has created good native apps for all three of the main mobile OSes. That includes Download Station as well as File Station and others.
- Recently I've also downloaded the Git Server to store my app development projects, instead of storing them on Dropbox as I did before. Works great so far.
- I'm currently using the Cloud Station to store all of my work files, and have also gotten my girlfriend to use it for storing her photography files (so that she can work on the same Lightroom catalogs from multiple computers). I'm very happy with the app in general, though I had to turn off the desktop notifications since it would get a little annoying with large transfers (unlike Dropbox which waits to sync everything and notifies you once).
- I have also tested out the Video Station, which I like for streaming videos when I'm away from home. Though it doesn't seem as mature of a product as some of the other apps (I believe it was introduced fairly recently). For instance, there's no way to add a whole folder of videos to a watchlist. Instead, I have to add each individual video, which can become tedious for tutorial packages that contain 100+ small video files. I understand that it was probably primarily developed for Movies, but it would be nice to have some extra configurability. Also, the DTV tuner option is pretty awesome, but it too lacks customizations such as easily organizing channels and seems to be a little buggy. The guide data also doesn't show up for me.
Overall I'm extremely happy with this purchase and look forward to buying more Synology products in the future.