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Synology DX513 Diskless System Expansion Unit for Increasing Capacity of the Synology DiskStation
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs No-Brainer if You Have A Compatible Synology Device 12/10/2013

This review is from: Synology DX513 Diskless System Expansion Unit for Increasing Capacity of the Synology DiskStation

Pros: Convenience, performance, features, compatibility.

Cons: Not the cheapest NAS in the world, but you get what you pay for. Also, documentation is erroneous (see "Other Thoughts").

Other Thoughts: If you have a compatible device that's full, then this is a no-brainer. Yes, it may be expensive if you consider it to be just another set of slots and a power cord, but that's selling the architecture short.

Synology is tops for SMB NAS--features, performance, and usability. Price, not so much, but if you're looking to save money, you're not looking at Synology devices anyway.

A few things that contradict the PDF directions from my experience (and verified by Synology support):

1) The documentation says that you should insert the eSATA plug with the "eSATA" text facing up. At least in my experience, the cable simply didn't go that way; I had to insert it with the "Synology" logo facing up on both the master device and the DX513. Worked just fine.

2) If you boot up the master device with ZERO disks in the DX513, the 513 will briefly power on, then shut itself down, perhaps to save power, I'm not sure. The DX513 will NOT show up in "External Devices" in DSM on the master device. This is intentional, near as I can tell: just put at least one disk in the DX513 and power it on, and it'll stay powered on and the device and the disk(s) will show up in DSM on the master device just fine.

Also, kudos to Synology support for getting back to me so quickly.

Synology is the best, and you get what you pay for. $500 for five bays of top-performing, fully-featured NAS storage is pretty reasonable no matter how you slice it.

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Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Excellent price:capacity ratio; decent performance; 100% compatibility with Seagate NAS devices.

Cons: Some reliability concerns; not terribly fast.

Other Thoughts: I have 16 of these, mostly in NAS boxes with some in servers. 2 of these have had occasional reliability issues, but nothing that has resulted in significant data loss. It's also not 100% clear as to whether the issues were disk or NAS related so I'm hesitant to blame the disks... but it's notable that the 4TB and 4TB NAS disks I've been using in other NAS boxes have had zero issues.

If you need cheap 3TB disks, either to use in a desktop/server or to fill a NAS box for which you don't have a terribly pressing need for speed or performance, this is your disk, period. If your needs vary from that description, then you may want to consider other options.

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Synology DS1512+ Diskless System High Performance NAS Server Scales up to 15 Drives for SMB Users
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Insane speeds, outstanding features, incredible management UI, tons of expandability, great design, SHR as an hot-expandable alternative to RAID protection... and did I mention the performance?

Cons: Cost: At >$100/bay, this will eat a hole in your wallet even before you stock it with drives.

Other Thoughts: I have NAS devices from Seagate, Buffalo, Iomega/Lenovo, and Drobo. This Synology outperforms all of them by nearly a factor of 10 on the same network on the same files under the same traffic and environmental conditions. For years, I was tempted by Synology but resisted because of the cost... now I can truly recognize that you really do get what you pay for. Take the plunge and buy it... you won't be sorry.

If your data needs are huge, or will/might be huge, this might actually be one of the cheaper approaches. Consider that, fully maxed out, the 1512 costs around $80 per SHR-protected TB... that's not bad at all compared to the 3-4 separate NAS devices you'd have to buy on their own.

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Jason P.'s Profile

Display Name: Jason P.

Date Joined: 07/09/04

  • Reviews: 24
  • Helpfulness: 13
  • First Review: 01/09/10
  • Last Review: 12/10/13
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