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Kookoo

348 posts

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#275731 6-Sep-2020 21:24
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I've had the DS214se for 4-5 years now. It's running smoothly, no complaints, until it actually needs to do pretty much anything. Anything from serving image thumbnails, to trying to stream content on Plex, maxes out the Armada 370 CPU and is soooo slow.

 

 

Thing is, CPU/RAM aside I'm perfectly happy with a consumer grade 2 bay NAS. I don't need to run pretty much anything beyond backup/storage, Plex and Photo Station.

 

With that in mind - does upgrading to DS220j make sense? Will it make a difference?

 

 

DS214se: single core Marvell Armada 370 with 256MB DDR3

 

DS220j: quad core Realtek RTD1296 with 512MB DDR4




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SirHumphreyAppleby
1384 posts

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  #2558185 7-Sep-2020 06:51
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The CPU in the DS220j is a major upgrade, but it appears as of June at least there was no hardware transcoding support for the RTD1296, which may limit its usefulness with Plex. I always recommend separating data storage from usage and to use client hardware/software that can handle your media without transcoding.

 

Generating thumbnails (assuming they aren't cached), is I/O intensive and speed may be limited by the disks rather than the CPU.


michaelmurfy
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  #2558190 7-Sep-2020 07:43
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The ram will still be the real killer here. Ideally for Plex you want at-least 2gb worth. Something else you can do is get another computer like a ex-lease Lenovo Tiny, install Linux (Ubuntu / Debian), set up a NFS mount to your media and use that for Plex. It then enables you to run applications you couldn’t normally on the NAS.

With a decent sized SSD in this computer, thumbnail generation should be fine.




 
 
 
 


Kookoo

348 posts

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  #2558216 7-Sep-2020 09:26
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Right. Thanks for that guys, makes sense.

 

So, it sounds like this:

 

- If I'm happy with a minor improvement (RTD1296 supports software transcoding over Armada 370 which doesn't support transcoding at all), and I don't want to spend more money, I probably need to migrate to Qnap TS-230. Same CPU as DS220j, but 2GB of RAM is a winner.

 

- Ideally, I shouldn't be running Plex on my Synology in the first place. So if I'm going to spend $300-$400 on a new low power NAS, I should instead get an ex-lease x86 machine, chuck Ubuntu on it and use it for my media server.





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dafman
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  #2558217 7-Sep-2020 09:26
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Just watching thread, I have a DS212j and thinking of future upgrade.


jbrook3708
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  #2559837 7-Sep-2020 19:25
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Have owned a DS220j for two months, used primarily as a file server, Plex and VPN server. 

 

Works brilliantly, performance is totally acceptable for my needs, DSM UI is very snappy, memory utlisation hovers between 35-55%. 

 

I've read the DS220j is no use for streaming 4k via Plex.. which I couldn't care less about as I'm only streaming up to 1080p, which it achieves effortlessly.

 

File access from my Windows and mobile devices is fast.

 

VPN server setup in minutes, 

 

Gripes? AV software is slow, I'm planning to remove it. Otherwise I'm happy with my purchase.


Sideface
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  #2559844 7-Sep-2020 19:50
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Have you considered a Synology DiskStation DS218play?  (1GB DDR4 RAM)

 

Disclaimer: I run seven Synology NAS units, mostly 5-bay or 8 bay.  Love the DSM software.  😊

 

I bought the DS218play - my first 2-bay NAS - for music streaming, with low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised by its performance.





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Kookoo

348 posts

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  #2559858 7-Sep-2020 20:15
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Sideface:

Have you considered a Synology DiskStation DS218play?  (1GB DDR4 RAM)

 

Disclaimer: I run seven Synology NAS units, mostly 5-bay or 8 bay.  Love the DSM software.  😊

 

I bought the DS218play - my first 2-bay NAS - for music streaming, with low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised by its performance.

 

 

Wow, that's really interesting - the DS218play is advertised as having 4K transcoding capability. Probably less relevant for me though - I don't have 4K media. From description though is sounds like they've tweaked the chipset to add transcoding capability which is a pretty smart solution, but I'm not sure if Plex will agree. They insist on x86 CPUs with Passmark of 12000 for 4K transcoding.

 

https://support.plex.tv/articles/201774043-what-kind-of-cpu-do-i-need-for-my-server/




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Kookoo

348 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2559859 7-Sep-2020 20:16
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jbrook3708:

Have owned a DS220j for two months, used primarily as a file server, Plex and VPN server. 

 

Works brilliantly, performance is totally acceptable for my needs, DSM UI is very snappy, memory utlisation hovers between 35-55%. 

 

I've read the DS220j is no use for streaming 4k via Plex.. which I couldn't care less about as I'm only streaming up to 1080p, which it achieves effortlessly.

 

File access from my Windows and mobile devices is fast.

 

VPN server setup in minutes, 

 

Gripes? AV software is slow, I'm planning to remove it. Otherwise I'm happy with my purchase.

 

 

Awesome to hear from a happy owner. What devices do you stream to?




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bignose
126 posts

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  #2559967 7-Sep-2020 22:17
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Kookoo:

- If I'm happy with a minor improvement (RTD1296 supports software transcoding over Armada 370 which doesn't support transcoding at all), and I don't want to spend more money, I probably need to migrate to Qnap TS-230. Same CPU as DS220j, but 2GB of RAM is a winner.



you could stick with synology and go for the ds418 - same rtd1296 but 2gb of ram same as the qnap

optimal would be a suitable qnap with hdmi out, quad core celeron, 4gb of ram and a remote - run direct off it to the tv - ts-453 series maybe?

Kookoo

348 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2559969 7-Sep-2020 22:38
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bignose:
Kookoo:

- If I'm happy with a minor improvement (RTD1296 supports software transcoding over Armada 370 which doesn't support transcoding at all), and I don't want to spend more money, I probably need to migrate to Qnap TS-230. Same CPU as DS220j, but 2GB of RAM is a winner.



you could stick with synology and go for the ds418 - same rtd1296 but 2gb of ram same as the qnap

optimal would be a suitable qnap with hdmi out, quad core celeron, 4gb of ram and a remote - run direct off it to the tv - ts-453 series maybe?

 

 

DS418 is $830 that's $500 more than TS-230. And since I don't need 4 bays or 2 RJ45 ports, the only advantage it has for me over TS-230 is the Synology software. Nah, not worth it.

 

A NAS with HDMI out is something that never occurred to me. Probably makes more sense to set up HTPC or a separate PLEX machine.




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dafman
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  #2560080 8-Sep-2020 09:27
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This thread is helpful as I am also looking at upgrade options from a DS212j.

 

I see the DS220+ is now available in NZ. Pricespy notes that price dropped to $630 in August, which I have set a price alert for next time it hits this.

 

At that price is more $300 expensive than the DS220j, but if it lasts as long as my current DS212j (which is 8 years and still running) then I can probably justify the extra $ for future proofing.

 

I will have a look at QNAP options - an HDMI out sounds just like the ticket. But I really like the simplicity and ease of use of the Synology UI and associated apps, not to mention the reliability, so will find it hard to move to another brand.


bignose
126 posts

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  #2560092 8-Sep-2020 09:45
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dafman:

 

I will have a look at QNAP options - an HDMI out sounds just like the ticket. But I really like the simplicity and ease of use of the Synology UI and associated apps, not to mention the reliability, so will find it hard to move to another brand.

 

 

 

 

we've used both QNAP and Synology at work heavily - ease of use via the UI, support, reliability etc are basically identical (the only fault on either we've had in 10 years is a dead logic board on a 12-bay rackserver - but it was the model with the 'bad' atom issue). 

 

 

 

The 'dark horse' is Asustor - features to price looks great, but I don't know anyone who's used them heavily and I know their OS (adm) was meant to be a bit behind qts/dsm (but in the end they're all just built on top of linux)

 

 

 

And then for the really brave there's always terramaster.....


jbrook3708
13 posts

Geek


  #2560534 8-Sep-2020 21:38
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Kookoo:
jbrook3708:

 

Have owned a DS220j for two months, used primarily as a file server, Plex and VPN server. 

 

Works brilliantly, performance is totally acceptable for my needs, DSM UI is very snappy, memory utlisation hovers between 35-55%. 

 

I've read the DS220j is no use for streaming 4k via Plex.. which I couldn't care less about as I'm only streaming up to 1080p, which it achieves effortlessly.

 

File access from my Windows and mobile devices is fast.

 

VPN server setup in minutes, 

 

Gripes? AV software is slow, I'm planning to remove it. Otherwise I'm happy with my purchase.

 

Awesome to hear from a happy owner. What devices do you stream to?

 

 

 

2x Sony Bravia Android TV's over ethernet


Kookoo

348 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2560545 8-Sep-2020 22:36
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jbrook3708:

Kookoo:

 

Awesome to hear from a happy owner. What devices do you stream to?

 

 

 

2x Sony Bravia Android TV's over ethernet

 

Concurrently?




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michaelmurfy
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  #2560549 8-Sep-2020 23:01
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Kookoo:
jbrook3708:

 

2x Sony Bravia Android TV's over ethernet

 

Concurrently?

 

This is very dependent on codec used, bitrate, and if transcoding is needed. If you've got an ARM based Synology you'll find with transcoding it won't be able to handle more than a single stream hence why I recommended grabbing a cheap ex-lease computer for your needs.

 

My Lenovo Tiny (which is linked to a NFS mount on my NAS) did at one stage 14 streams to friends / family at once without hardware encoding enabled on Plex - most streams were "direct" meaning no transcoding required and 3 of those were transcoding.





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