For 2020, Synology has started its refresh cycle by selecting its entry-level two-bay platform as the first candidate. This platform is the successor to the DS218j from late 2017 and builds on the success with an overall increase in hardware performance as well as software with the newest DSM builds.
As mentioned, the DS220j offers considerable hardware upgrades over the 218j by moving from a dual-core Realtek solution to the new quad-core Realtek CPU in the 220j. DRAM has been upgraded as well with a move from DDR3 to DDR4, with capacity staying the same at 512MB.
Connectivity for this solution includes USB 3.0 for adding external drives and Gigabit LAN. Internally, we have two 3.5" bays that support both 2.5" and 3.5" hard drives and SSDs.
The MSRP of the Synology DS220j comes in at $179.99 with a one-year warranty.
The Synology DS220j
Packaging and a Closer Look
The packaging is a brown box for the 220j, and we have a sticker that offers models and features.
When compared to the 218j, the chassis and enclosure for the 220j haven't changed a bit. We have activity LEDs to the right for each bay along with LAN. The power button is at the bottom.
On the backside, we have a massive cooling fan with dual USB 3.0 ports below. Gigabit Ethernet will be the primary method of connectivity with a Kensington lock slot to the right and power below.
The scope of delivery includes LAN cables and power brick.
Test Setup and System
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair VIII Formula X570 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB 2x8GB DDR4 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H60 (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Carbide 275R (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Corsair MP600 1TB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
Setup begins with Synology Assistant. Optionally, you can use the web setup at find.synology.com.
Moving through, we set up the admin account with username and password.
Once complete, the dashboard or desktop for the 220j includes package center, control panel, and file station. To the right, you will see a task manager of sorts showing array status and resource usage.
The package center offers a full offering of app solutions for the 220j.
The control panel includes options for file sharing, connectivity, and system functions.
The info center shows the full specifications of the 220j.
Storage Manager offers an overview of the arrays and drives, including usage and health.
Storage Pool allows you to configure your array. The DS220j supports RAID 0, 1, and JBOD.
Single Client Throughput
HD Video Play - 720p HD stream from Windows Media Player, 256kB reads
2HD Video Play - 2x playback
4HD Video Play - 4x playback
HD Video Record - 720p HD stream, 256kB writes
File Copy from NAS - 4GB file copy, 64kB reads
File Copy to NAS - 64kB writes
With SSDs, the DS220j was quickly able to max out the Gigabit connection. Playback, record, and file copy operation all reached 118 MB/s.
RAID 1 didn't lose much performance, if any at all. Playback came in at 118 MB/s, while file copy reached 114 MB/s.
Switching gears to sequential performance, the DS220j was able to reach 118 MB/s read, and 117 MB/s write pretty quickly.
RAID 1 very similar again, 118 MB/s read 117 MB/s write.
SMB Workloads showed strong performance for Workstation, pushing over 10K IOPS.
RAID 1 showed only a minor drop in performance, workstation still at the top.
For those wanting to get into NAS, the Synology DS220j represents a substantial value as both a personal cloud device and platform for mass storage. With two bays, the DS220j has the ability to offer 32TB of capacity across 16TB drives, and even more in the future as drive capacity expands.
Even better, with its low cost of entry, the $179.99 MSRP offers a window for consumers to enter a robust NAS ecosystem that has the ability to upgrade as your data needs multiply.
In testing, the DS220j was quickly able to push to the limits of Gigabit ethernet, something we see more and more as CPU power increases, even in these mainstream solutions. Sequential read and write topped 118 MB/s in single client and sequential workloads. SMB Workloads showed substantial capability reaching over 10K IOPS, with SSDs none the less.
The price of this platform is simply fantastic. At $179.99, it may be the lowest cost two-bay platform on the market. Comparable solutions would be the ASUSTOR AS1002T or TS228 from QNAP, both Marvell platforms.
The Bottom Line
As an entry-level platform, the DS220j provides a low-cost solution for those wanting to get their feet wet in a solid NAS ecosystem.