Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review

Synology does much right with the DS224+, but the lack of 2.5Gbe or SSD caching hampers this unit when these additions could have made it a must have.

Published
Manufacturer: Synology
4 minutes & 41 seconds read time
TweakTown's Rating: 86%

The Bottom Line

The DS224+ offers solid performance alongside a robust software platform, but lacks SSD caching or 2.5GBe, two features that would push it above any competition.

Pros

  • + DiskStation Manager (DSM) 7.0
  • + Price

Cons

  • - Limited by 1Gbe
  • - No SSD caching

Should you buy it?

AvoidConsiderShortlistBuy

Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 01

On the heels of the DS223j, Synology released several additions to its lineup. These are part of a yearly cycle of updating aging models with newer hardware and features. For this round, the two models released are the DS124 to replace the DS118, and our unit here today, the DS224+, takes over for the DS220+.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 03

The hardware for this new unit has changed slightly, the CPU being the largest upgrade, with the J4025 in the DS220+ being swapped for the J4125. This lends the new DS224+ with two additional cores over the older model for a total of four cores. Memory capacity has not changed; the DS224+ supports a peak of 6GB if we go off the specifications, with 2GB of that being soldered and one SO-DIMM slot available for upgrades. Storage is deployed over two trays. 2.5" and 3.5" drives are supported with both BTRFS and EXT4 support.

Connectivity for this NAS includes two RJ45, both operating at 1Gbe. Two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports are available as well.

Pricing

The MSRP of the Synology DS224+ comes in at $299.99 with a two-year warranty, which can be extended to four years with an extended warranty plan from Synology.

Buy at Amazon

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$299.99$299.99-
Buy at Newegg
$300.99$300.99-
* Prices last scanned on 9/26/2023 at 12:02 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Packaging

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 05

The DS224+ did come to our door as a retail unit. The package includes details about the NAS on a sticker on the top right.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 06

Accessories include the power adapter and ethernet cables alongside additional hardware.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 07

The DS224+ shares the same design as its predecessor, which gives us status, LAN, and disk activity LEDs, along with a front-mounted USB 3.2 port and backup button that is configurable.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 08

The backside includes a 92mm fan up top. Both LAN ports are just below, along with the second USB 3.2 and Kensington lock.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 09

The trays for this unit are tool-less for 3.5" drives. We are testing this NAS with Synology HAT3300 drives.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 10

Internally, there is a single SO-DIMM slot for upgrading the memory on the right side of the drive bay. At the rear of the drive bay, we noted the SAS backplane.

Software

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 20

The setup of this NAS is like any other Synology platform I have tested. We point our browser to find.synology.com, and there is no need for any additional software.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 22

Once setup is complete, we land on the dashboard, with system info displayed to the right in a widget and desktop icons to navigate the interface.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 23

The package center includes a plethora of Synology apps. X86 NAS unit has a full suite of third-party solutions as well.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 24

The control panel gives us options for creating users and groups, managing shared folders, and configuring network settings, including services and application privileges.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 25

File Station allows you to manage files and folders within the NAS interface.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 26

The Storage Manager allows you to configure any installed hard drives with RAID. Arrays supported include RAID 0 and RAID 1, along with SHR and JBOD on the 224+.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 27

DSM 7 also includes a resource manager with a task manager to see resource usage. Near the bottom, you can set up performance alarms as well.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 28

Last, the top left corner of the DSM desktop offers an icon to open up several additional options for configuring your NAS. In this menu, you will find items like SAN Manager, Security Advisor, and any applications you may have installed.

System Benchmarks

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 36

Like the DS223j, we used an SHR array to test the DS224+. This time around, we picked up 118 MB/s read and write.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 37

Alongside testing the DS224+ in its stock configuration, we luckily had a spare 8GB DDR4 SO-DIMM stick lying around, so we upgraded the NAS and came back with a solid increase in random performance at QD32. The increased RAM allowed the NAS to cache data longer with the increase in memory size.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 30

We then switch to our 1TB iSCSI share for our first IOMeter workload. So, in the chart above, we have both the DS223j and DS224+, with the 224+ offering similar random performance to the DS223j in its stock configuration, but we did lose a bit after the memory upgrade.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 31

Random write was identical for the most part. We did see a longer period of increased performance at QD1 thanks to the NAS caching data in memory.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 32

Sequential workloads showed much more consistent performance from the 224+ with the memory upgrade. Performance hovered at 118 MB/s, while stock peak performance wasn't reached until QD16.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 33

Sequential write hit 118 MB/s at QD2, the 224+ doing slightly better than the 223j.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 34

OLTP once again was about the same in stock configuration and with the extra memory.

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS Review 35

OLAP was very consistent for the DS224+ at lower QD. Around QD16, we see the NAS ramp up to about 2000 IOPS.

Final Thoughts

Initially, I was bullish on the DS224+ because it was a plus series NAS without 2.5Gbe. Then we received the official pricing from Synology, which is quite good. At $299 MSRP, we are $100 more expensive than the DS223j, but we do have a much more powerful processor, a four-core solution clocked at 2GHz base with the ability to boost to 2.7GHz and it is x86, so we have hardware transcoding for those using Plex and a much larger software library.

Additionally, the DS224+ offers upgradable memory, though specifications say there is a 6GB max, but we did install an 8GB stick without issue. This unit also gives us back the front USB 3.2 alongside its backup button.

Testing went well. CDM showed the limits of the 1Gbe connection immediately, with the 224+ picking up 118 MB/s read and write. Adding 8GB of memory to this system improved random performance, which is likely worth it for those running VMs, but for the typical consumer, it is not likely to see much performance improvement. IOMeter showed solid results from OLTP and OLAP workloads - OLTP IOPS steady QD1 to QD128 at 500. While OLAP was steady up to QD16, hovering around 500 IOPS, we picked up quite a bit, peaking out at 2000 IOPS.

DSM 7.2 works quite well with this NAS solution. I certainly enjoy the increased software library and the ability to upgrade the memory if needed, but we do miss out on SSD caching, where most Plus series NAS have an M.2 slot under the unit, but the DS224+ does not.

With all that, we look at the current market for the DS224+. Those looking to get into a two-bay solution have multiple options from several vendors. ASUSTOR offers the AS5202T at $299, and QNAP offers the TS-262 at $369.99, and both options provide 2.5Gbe out of the box. For Synology, you will not see the ability for muti-gig ethernet unless you push up to the two-bay DS723+, which lands at $449.99, and then you need to buy the add-in card for another $110.

Photo of product for sale

Performance

90%

Quality

90%

Features

80%

Value

85%

Overall

86%

The Bottom Line

The DS224+ offers solid performance alongside a robust software platform, but lacks SSD caching or 2.5GBe, two features that would push it above any competition.

86%

Synology DS224+ SOHO NAS

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$299.99$299.99-
Buy at Newegg
$300.99$300.99-
* Prices last scanned on 9/26/2023 at 12:02 am CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Tyler joined the TweakTown team in 2013 and has since reviewed 100s of new techy items. Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

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