3rd Party vs. Synology Hardware Experience (RAM, M.2 NVME, HDD) - DS923+

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3rd Party vs. Synology Hardware Experience (RAM, M.2 NVME, HDD) - DS923+

Did you go 3rd Party or go with Synology for RAM, SSD, HDD Storage for your DS923+?


  • Total voters
    18
Hi Folks, I hope this is a topic of interest to discuss for folks that have a Synology DS923+ or have first-hand knowledge about the topic being discussed.


I wanted to start a discussion regarding 3rd party and Synology hardware (thoughts, experiences, recommendations) referenced below for the Synology DS923+. These might be some good starter points to get folks going:

A-when to buy / what people think is a good price/deal?

B-what order to buy and install hardware in (e.g. when you buy the NAS, open it, update to the latest DSM with nothing in it as step 1, then buy SSDs because the prices might be going up soon?, then start buying HDDs? and RAM over time? The best time to buy X is when? e.g. Black Friday?)

C-what to buy; what people actually bought that worked that they liked (e.g. 3rd party known to be compatible without losing function/options) <--- this feels like it should be a Poll with recommendations for 3rd party items per Synology device? Did nobody ever do that in this forum? I didn't find it before I started typing this.

D-workarounds for the 3rd party - (e.g. script to disable unofficial RAM warnings)

E-discussions around anything I provided in my personal context I provided below

  1. Use 3rd Party Hardware?
    1. RAM
    2. M.2 NVME
    3. HDD
  2. Use Synology Hardware?
    1. RAM
    2. M.2 NVME
    3. HDD


I have been racking my brain listening to reviews, reading online trying to understand what I might want to do based on comments online and prices I see. To be frank, in general, the Synology costs seem outrageous when you compare it to 3rd party hardware.

Here is some data I collected as of 1/2/2024 in case it helps anyone in any way:
1704317042606.png


Bottom line is I think I know what I want, but i'm looking for folks in the forum to provide their thoughts from their first-hand experiences with the DS923+ and interacting w/Synology the vendor. Maybe someone will bring into this discussion that this RAM is the best that they bought for their DS923+, or this was the approach I took for the SSDs and what I bought that worked on my DS923+, or this is the best HDD I found for my DS923+, but I had to run x, y, and z scripts....whatever nuggets if info folks can share would be awesome. I'm hoping my post will help some folks with their decision-making process as well!

This is where I am coming from for context on what I think I would like to do (perhaps it might help others reading this to consider as well 🤷‍♂️):
  • RAM for Apps & Fast Cache - I want to max it out to 32 GB of RAM using two DDR4 (2666 MHz) 260-pin unbuffered ECC SO-DIMMs (i.e. 2 identical SODIMMs that are 16 GB each) because ECC is supported by the CPU and I believe it's the max amount designed for the Synology DS923+ to use w/Synology DSM software because of the Ryzen R1600 CPU in the NAS from my understanding. The DS923+ only came with 4 GB of RAM. (n)
    • I will be using the NAS for playing around, learning, and running lots of VM's, Docker images, etc. in addition to storage. (I'm trying to move lots of files and media off of USB's, devices, etc. and onto the DS923+ eventually.)
    • I use these specs above because they are what is listed for the "compliant" Synology hardware and I would like to keep it close to what they have and hopefully from their compliance list on their page, but I don't want to lose out on the hardware capabilities anywhere either. Leaning towards 3rd party due to co$t...but willing to go Synology if I must. Maybe someone knows if the $96 OWC I referenced works without throwing any warnings of using unsupported hardware?
    • I simply want ECC because the hardware supports it; if the DS923+ supports something, I don't want to miss out on the option of being able to use that feature/capability. Error Correction Code memory sticks seem like a better idea than non-ECC despite the additional cost to protect from bit-rot.
  • M.2 NVME SSD High Speed Storage/Caching - I planned on using this for caching metadata (e.g. Media server metadata, or Database data, etc.), but also for high-speed read/write access for Virtual Machines, and Docker containers and the sort. There are 2 slots for the DS923+. I heard people say to put both together in a RAID as a faster storage pool and use it for storage and just manually put the metadata in that location. For capacity, i'm not sure. I'm thinking either 2x2TB 3rd Party or 2x800GB Synology. On the compatibility list, the Synology M.2 2280 size NVMe SSD that is a 3.1 inch form factor rated for +3.3V/2.0A connecting via SATA on a USB 3.0 interface. (400,000/70,000 sustained 4K random read/write IOPS for demanding I/O & supports Caching Intensive Workloads up to 1,022 TBWand DSM can update and use the custom firmware on the Synology SNV3000 series.)
    • If I wanted the media server metadata to be able to grow to ~250 GB and the VM and Docker storage to be another ~150 GB, I would need at least 400 GB times 2 for the RAID. Synology's highest on the compatibility list is 800 GB so I could do two of those maybe.
    • Based on the co$t again, does it not make sense to just get 2 of the 3rd Party 2TB M.2 NVME SSD's instead? This is where I was Leaning, but I did not want to get something that might prevent me from using it as a storage pool because my understanding is it will cache fine, but if I get the wrong one, I can't use it for storage; i'm also concerned about the firmware updates on the NAS or the Hardware messing up stuff later and causing issues. The benefit of making one a cache is that it takes stuff from the HDDs that are frequently accessed and makes it available in the cached volume dynamically I think. The 4TB M.2 NVMEs are way more expensive. I researched it for a PS5 before and am not sure if there will be value for me in this NAS to go that high. If anyone has ideas/reasons, to go to 4TB, i'd love to read about that in this as well.
  • Spinning HDDs (Hard Disk Drives) Storage - I want lots of storage, and have 4 bays in the DS923+ to work with. Drives are expensive; especially the Synology branded Toshiba drives. I understand they may have custom firmware for Synology hardware? My plan was to put 4 HDDs that are 16TB each in a RAID 5 array that will protect for a 1 drive failure scenario. The Synology listed compatible drives are 3.5" 7200 RPM, 512 MB Cache, SATA III 6 GB/s, CMR, with a 2.5 Million hours MTTF & 550 TB/year Workload ratings with up to ~262 MB/s sustained transfer rate, so I was hoping for a drive similar to those specs. (I think it includes, CMR or PMR using Helium sealed platters (9) with vibration sensors and balance monitoringtoo.) Plus, I was planning on buying a 5th and/or 6th HDD to have ready as a spare in case of a failure(s). I felt the 16TB price point was my magic number because I needed to buy some spare drives in the event of a failure now and in the future for another NAS. (I am planning on getting another NAS with a good GPU later and a lot more bays....8 maybe... it will cost more in every way, but I wanted to try to use the same size HDD in the future too hopefully.) 16TB was the right cost per TB number for me because of these factors I think. The highest capacity Synology was showing was 18TB on the compatibility lists. I know you can get 22TB and probably more now. If I were going 3rd party and there was a higher capacity at a wow price, I would want to do that for this 4 bay maybe.
    • Backblaze usually puts WD Red Pro's & Toshiba's high on the reliability lists, but they co$t a lot and I saw Seagate there too. Because of the Toshiba's, I was thinking the Synology branded drives might be worth it, but the price is crazy. Then I looked at the Seagate IronWolf Pro's...they are are expensive....less, but still expensive. Someone in a review said the Seagate EXOs were louder, but might be cheaper...I did not find that to be the case really. I'm not so worried about noise, but probably should be.
    • Synology RAID Calculator --> You can never have enough space. :D37.3 GB - System Reserved
      Synology DS923+ [4 x 16TB (RAID 5 - 1 Drive Safety)] translates to....43.7 TB - Available Capacity
      14.6 TB - Protection

    • Again, trying to at least stay close to "compliant" list specs, but co$t makes no sense. Leaning for 3rd party here. I'm guessing most people here do 3rd party with the drives?
Long-winded Disclaimer...sorry :geek:: Thanks in advance to anyone who is willing to join this discussion and offer their advice, experience, insight, and support! Please keep in mind, using unsupported 3rd Party could void your warranty or make you lose support from Synology....at least that's what i've been hearing and reading all over, so I might as well put that disclaimer in here on this first post as well. Everyone has different comfort levels of what that might mean...some may have firsthand experience w/Synology? Either way, do what you do at your own risk...same goes for me. :) I am comfortable running scripts and making changes and tinkering... this is my first NAS, but i've worked in Technology all my life. If I screw something up, i'll be ok. If you don't think you will.... you might want to stick to paying someone else to do it for you or pay for the OEM Synology Hardware.
 
TLDR... but the short answer is that Synology labeling is absurdly expensive and brings nothing to the table.

Exactly that. I cannot understand why the price difference is so extremely high for Synology's products vs 3rd part ones (and I don't care also) that's why I went for 3rd party RAM, HDDs and NVMEs for my DS923+.

  • 2x16GB RAM modules ECC from Kingston (KSM26SED8/16HD)
  • 4x4TB Seagate Ironwolf HDDs (moved from my previous system with hdd migration)
  • 2x1TB WD Red SN700 NVMe drives
Using 007revad's scripts for several months, without issues so far.

I will keep it that way...
 
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As a reference point of what can accept what. 720+, 718+, routers…. and prompts or nags about them:

Trying to vote but since I have 3x nas’s& 2x routers……
I end up ticking 4 boxes: So vote not accepted!
My selections in detail:
3rd party Ram -2 (1x8GB, 1x4GB)
3rd party SSD-SATA-7 (2x router,5x NAS)
3rd party HDD-SATA-4 (NAS)
Synology Ram-2


Actually I have others, not listed:
3rd party NVME M.2-4 (NAS)
3rd party eSATA external expansion-3 (NAS)
3rd party power supply-1 (NAS)

I get no prompts or nags from Ram, and only a warning (on install) on SSD-SATA’s and Some HDD’s, that never display after install.
No prompts or nags from external eSATA expansion, or router SDD’s via USB.
 
The processor type in the NAS governs the maximum amount of memory that can be added to the NAS, 3rd party hardware can work in most NAS models except for those which have been locked down (The 923+ is not locked down), do research on drive models and RAM. Read reviews, watch for sales, always go with boxed retail NAS rated or Enterprise drive models.
 
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Exactly that. I cannot understand why the price difference is so extremely high for Synology's products vs 3rd part ones (and I don't care also) that's why I went for 3rd party RAM, HDDs and NVMEs for my DS923+.

  • 2x16GB RAM modules ECC from Kingston (KSM26SED8/16HD)
  • 4x4TB Seagate Ironwolf HDDs (moved from my previous system with hdd migration)
  • 2x1TB WD Red SN700 NVMe drives
Using 007revad's scripts for several months, without issues so far.

I will keep it that way...
Thank you @dimfil , this is helpful. I'm definitely going to go 3rd Party w/the RAM and planned on utilizing 007revad's script from your post. The Kingston ECC (KSM26SED8/16HD) you mentioned that worked for you in your DS923+ sounds good to me. I'm pulling the trigger on that once I confirm the specs from the seller I found on Amazon selling a 16GB for $79.99. I just want to make sure they clearly say it's DDR4 (2666 MHz) 260-pin unbuffered ECC SO-DIMM....the rest of the description was clear. (y)

$79.99 X 2 = $159.98 for the Kingston i'm waiting on the specs to be confirmed on.
$345.99 X 2 = $699.98 for the Synology I saw from 1/2/2024.

In my humble opinion, Synology is crazy town (....$540 difference!! (n)😤:confused::(:rolleyes::poop:) if they are not looking at these forum threads and are not willing to make their prices more competitive!

If they want to go all restrictive & exclusive type to a lock-you-down mode with their hardware.. I would think they will likely lose cu$tomers... and there will be many pissed off people.... 🤷‍♂️
-- post merged: --

As a reference point of what can accept what. 720+, 718+, routers…. and prompts or nags about them:

Trying to vote but since I have 3x nas’s& 2x routers……
I end up ticking 4 boxes: So vote not accepted!
My selections in detail:
3rd party Ram -2 (1x8GB, 1x4GB)
3rd party SSD-SATA-7 (2x router,5x NAS)
3rd party HDD-SATA-4 (NAS)
Synology Ram-2


Actually I have others, not listed:
3rd party NVME M.2-4 (NAS)
3rd party eSATA external expansion-3 (NAS)
3rd party power supply-1 (NAS)

I get no prompts or nags from Ram, and only a warning (on install) on SSD-SATA’s and Some HDD’s, that never display after install.
No prompts or nags from external eSATA expansion, or router SDD’s via USB.
Hi Jan, thanks for sharing some of your specs; it looks like you got a lot of 3rd party stuff! I noticed you went with 2 Synology RAM modules for some device based on your post? (I saw you had the 718+ and two 720+, and the expansion...very cool! :) )

I think for the RAM, it will not make sense for me to do Synology based on my reply to dimfil above....$540 difference to get Syno-branded vs. Kingston. Perhaps for you those 2 Synology modules are what came with your hardware, i'm not sure?

Sorry about your vote; I was trying to focus on helping folks like me that have the DS923+ to get some ideas on specific upgrades that are 100% known to work on the DS923+ without loss of any feature/functionality.

The poll was intended to help folks coming here to get a sense of what other DS923+ owners were choosing for RAM, SSD, & HDD's... who knows, maybe that will help Synology get a message about the inflated prices for their branded hardware.
 
Yes... and no... While the processor has its limits, excess RAM is used by the OS for caching, and thereby speeds everything up a bit. 16 to 32 GB is a good range to try.
Interesting topic @Telos about the caching comment in your response to @Coop777 ,

Maybe you guys or someone has thoughts on this...I wonder, if the OS data that is cached in the RAM (like Windows and various Linux distros can do).... is similar to how the spinning Hard Disk Drive data is cached onto to the M.2 NVME SSDs in these Synology's...and what the best setup/config might be?

e.g. Windows has RAM it can use...when it uses all of what you have up, it starts eating into storage based on settings to fill a Paging file to virtualize the RAM, but in a file on disk. If you put that Paging file on an SSD, it might be faster.

Maybe you do the same with DSM OS and the RAM you have if that's an option? If you have 2 SODIMMs totaling 32 GB RAM...It gets maxed...maybe there is a paging file concept that can be put on an M.2 NVME SSD Storage Pool? (Maybe you ran a bunch of servers, VM's, dockers, and went nuts.. lol. :) )

Separately, I always thought for the DSM on the NAS, that DSM takes notice of the recent constantly accessed (small files) data to keep it cached onto the M.2 NVME dynamically...like the db's and the metadata for Plex or Jellyfin servers for example.... this would make those things search and work faster for those type of server services..... maybe i'm wrong about that and that's not how it works?
  1. If I got 2 of the 2TB M.2 NVME SSD's for my DS923+, I wonder what people have seen as being the optimal setup? @dimfil got two of the 1 TB SSDs and gave a working model number for the DS923+. Anyone seen a good 2TB confirmed to work for this NAS?
  2. Do you RAID these 2 NVME's so one can fail? I thought you get performance improvements by doing this?
  3. Do you not RAID them and setup one for Cache and the other as a Storage Pool to store files on and not have a failover option? (Perhaps you routinely copy what's on the Storage Pool to the spinning HDDs that are setup in a RAID that supports 1 or 2 drives failing?)
  4. If there is a Pagefile concept with DSM, do you set it up to use the NVME a certain way for speed?
  5. Will there be implications to what's on the SSDs and/or the RAID HDD setup if a power outage happens? I read that it helps to have ECC RAM memory...so if that is correct, ECC is a must for me. Power goes out every once in a while. I know I will want to invest in some kind of a good power supply and UPS power backup too.
 
Regarding 007revad's script and supported memory, I noticed that at some point there was an added function that I was not aware about:

v2.1.37
- Now edits max supported memory to match the amount of memory installed, if installed memory is greater than the current max memory setting.

I don't know what exactly that means and how it changes the status of the memory above the amount supported by the processor. I cannot check it either since my current NAS (DS923+) supports already the 32GB that I have installed.

It would be interesting if someone that uses the script with ram greater than the official supported could tell as how it is used in this case.
 
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Good Synology Forum link on RAM that aUselessdirtyCloth shared on the this post describing similar RAM modules to the Synology branded modules of varying capacities.

A second person (mwhandat) was using this Kingston KSM26SED8/16HD on the DS923+in addition to @dimfil above.

I'm thinking dual rank might be better for the DS923+ because it's Ryzen. Based on the info here, it gets hotter and may be less reliable.

KSM26SES8/16HC = Single Rank <--- confirmed to work on DS923+ by user in forum -------- Kingston Spec Sheet = https://www.kingston.com/datasheets/KSM26SES8_16HC.pdf = DRAM: HYNIX (C-DIE)
KSM26SED8/16MR = Dual Rank <--- TBD confirmation not reported yet. -------- Kingston Spec Sheet = https://www.kingston.com/datasheets/KSM26SED8_16MR.pdf = DRAM: MICRON (R-DIE)
KSM26SED8/16HD = Dual Rank <--- confirmed to work on DS923+ by user in forum -------- Kingston Spec Sheet = https://www.kingston.com/datasheets/KSM26SED8_16HD.pdf = DRAM: HYNIX (D-DIE)

Kingston was nice enough to share the spec sheet links and the IDD Spec, IPP Spec, and physical DRAM type, "DIE", & arrangement differed. The rest of the specs looked identical.

They also shared their part number decoder: https://www.kingston.com/en/memory/memory-part-number-decoder
(Scroll down to "Kingston Server Premier DDR4" for examples above.)
 
I recently upgraded my RAM to 32Gb - I was wondering why my DS was so apparently slow --- but I saw a video on getting the NAS / Network up to 10Gbps where it showed the RAM upgrade. Yes, I went 3rd party - with the same make I used to upgrade my Apple iMac RAM - if it's good enough for Apple ... ! Also, I added two 1Tb SSD drives,,, again, they're pretty much universal these days as 2Tb was actually cheaper than a single 400Gb Synology SSD. The ONLY advantage that I can see is, I'm told, that the Synlogy SSDs can be used as a storage volume. Not sure why I'd need that with the huge capacity one could get anyway. Hoping one day Sunology will allow 3rd part SSDs to be used as another storage volume, though it doesn't really matter to me!

Not all my gear has arrived yet ... but when it does, my network will all be 10Gb :)
 
Hoping one day Sunology will allow 3rd part SSDs to be used as another storage volume
This will not happen for sure. The compatibility for all x23 and x24 models regarding SSDs has been changed. No 3rd party SSDs are on the supported list.
 
I recently upgraded my RAM to 32Gb - I was wondering why my DS was so apparently slow --- but I saw a video on getting the NAS / Network up to 10Gbps where it showed the RAM upgrade. Yes, I went 3rd party - with the same make I used to upgrade my Apple iMac RAM - if it's good enough for Apple ... ! Also, I added two 1Tb SSD drives,,, again, they're pretty much universal these days as 2Tb was actually cheaper than a single 400Gb Synology SSD. The ONLY advantage that I can see is, I'm told, that the Synlogy SSDs can be used as a storage volume. Not sure why I'd need that with the huge capacity one could get anyway. Hoping one day Sunology will allow 3rd part SSDs to be used as another storage volume, though it doesn't really matter to me!

Not all my gear has arrived yet ... but when it does, my network will all be 10Gb :)
One thing to keep in mind - you will see a boost implementing 10GBE, but with spindle drives and RAID - where you will max out depends on the source PC/MAC you are transferring from. For me, I get speeds roughly 2x - 3x faster than 1GBE spindle PC to NAS. NAS to NAS running 7200 RPM spindles both configured as SHR-1 is about 5x faster (both have 10GBE).
 
I wish I could figure out hot to run that stuff

Everything is explained there. Quite easy process.
It is just a matter of uploading the script, "disguise" yourself as root with sudo -i and then run the script with the given command

sudo -i /path-to-script/syno_hdd_db.sh -nr
 
Hi folks, it seems the RAM question is well covered above. :) ... i'm sure this info has helped many already. It is certainly helping me, so thank you all.

I would like to ask this group about another topic now.... what about M.2 NVMe SSD's?

Here are 3 questions specifically:


  1. What did you get? What about the heatsink?
    1. Synology offers 400GB & 800GB M.2 NVMe SSD options. (..at a price of ~$150 & ~$280 respectively). (.... I heard people get 1TBx2 or 2TBx2, but I have not heard a lot of people getting 4TBx2 because the price starts getting very high at that capacity right? So why would Synology only offer 800GB as the max? I heard some people go to 1TB or 2TB sizes because of the cost comparison.)
  2. What are all of the ways you can use the 2 SSD slots in the DS923+ and why would you do one config over another?
    1. Use 1 slot for Storage and 1 for Cache?
    2. Use both slots for Cache? RAID both vs. don't RAID both?
    3. Use both slots as fast SSD Storage capacity? RAID both vs. don't RAID both?
    4. Use 1 slot for read only cache? Use the other slot for read/write cache?
  3. How do you use your SSD slots?

Some of these things i've heard/read, but I could be wrong about some of them... i'm hoping folks can definitively confirm my understanding, or set the records straight/clarify on some these items:
I'm trying to understand the different ways the SSD slots can/should be used with the DS923+. I plan to probably have 32GB of RAM and load a DS923+ up (w/16TB drives potentially in a RAID 5 configuration in case 1 fails). I have heard that people install "their OS?" on the SSD's? (I might have misunderstood what they meant because I thought the DSM OS (if that's what was being referred to) gets installed on the DS923+ on one of the HDD's you put in? I'm not sure how much storage capacity DSM OS takes up..anyone know? If it can be installed on the SSD, maybe performance would be better, but if the SSD crashed..I assume everything would be done for unless you somehow backed it up on the HDD's or something? Maybe it can be installed on the slow HDD's, and the SSD can cache whatever it needs from there to make things run faster instead for a read/write purpose... this way the risk of downtime and losing DSM OS data is minimized. I plan to mess around w/Docker images, VM's, running various types of server services....(e.g. Media servers with lots of metadata like Plex or Jellyfin.) I will also use it to test various other things as well. I know for the media server metadata, that should be on the SSD's somehow. Does that mean I should make 1 of the SSD's a storage SSD and put the media server metadata on there manually?...or I can install it on the slow HDD, but as DSM learns the media servers frequently accessed metadata, it will put it in a designated read only cache SSD slot or something dynamically/automatically? I ask these questions because how do you know what kind of capacity you would want with the caching and/or storage... and if you want to RAID it or not and how to configure caching? (I also heard there was some limit to where caching becomes bottlenecked in the DS923+? Can anyone shed light into that?) I also know that when using the SSD for storage....it can get hot.

Ultimately, I want things to run, and run fast, but not fail or create an unrecoverable downtime situation. If my power goes out, I don't want my RAID arrays to get corrupt. (I know...I will need to invest in a good UPS....future topic.) Might be what most people want...? 🤷‍♂️ Either way, I look forward to hearing what thoughts/considerations/recommendations you all have from your experiences. Thank you everyone in advance for participating in this conversation in any way you can!
 

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