Enthusiast PCs seem to be going away from towers packed full of mechanical hard drives and towards compact enclosures with limited room for 3.5" drives, or large cases with lots of space dedicated to water cooling hardware. Synology's latest DiskStation devices provide a safe place for pack rats to easily store and share all the drives and data that don't fit in modern PC cases.
Synology's DiskStation Value series DS418 four-bay machines are based on a Realtek RTD1296 1.4 GHz four-core processor with hardware encryption support. The processor is partnered with 2 GB of DDR4 memory and communicates with the world through a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports. The DiskStation DS418 has hardware H.265 transcoding capability for serving up media files to devices throughout the network. The DS418 also supports Synology Hybrid RAID, making it easy to use drivers of dissimilar sizes in a RAID array.
Buyers that need a little more beef can opt for Synology's DiskStation Plus-series boxes. The entry-level DS218+ has a pair of internal bays, an Intel Celeron J3355 two-core processor, 2 GB of DDR3L memory, and a single LAN port. Stepping up to the DS718+ nets a faster Celeron J3455 four-core processor, a second Gigabit Ethernet jack, and expansion capability.
The larger DiskStation DS918+ is similar to the DS718+ but has 4 GB of pre-installed memory and four drive bays plus two M.2 slots. The DS718+ and DS918+ can both be upgraded with one of Synology's DX517 five-bay expansion units. Buyers can add an extra 4 GB to the 2 GB of pre-installed memory in all three Plus-series models.
The six-bay DS3018xs is the fastest of the new models, and it's built around an Intel Pentium D1508 dual-core processor, 8 GB of DDR4 ECC memory, and four Gigabit Ethernet ports. Buyers can upgrade to up to 32 GB of system memory thanks to the pair of SODIMM slots. The DS3018xs can control up to 30 drives with expansion units and also contains a PCIe x8 expansion port that can hold a riser card with a pair of M.2 slots or a 10 GbE Ethernet board. The extra CPU grunt in the DS3018xs lets it transcode two H.265 4K videos simultaneously, though there's apparently no support for Synology Hybrid Raid.
All of Synology's new DiskStations run the company's DiskStation Manager 6.1 software. Internal drives can use the Btrfs or ext4 file systems, while external devices can use any of seven file systems common on Windows, macOS, and Linux. The DSM 6.1 package includes a private email server, a content management system, private cloud office applications, and surveillance camera monitoring and recording features.
The Value-series DS418 and the Plus-series DS218+ come with two-year warranties. The Plus-series DS718+ and DS918+ are backed by the manufacturer for three years. The DiskStation DS3018xs has a five-year warranty and an optional next-day replacement service. Synology didn't provide pricing or availability information.