DS1621+ vs DS1520+ for video playback

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DS1621+ vs DS1520+ for video playback

DS1621+, DS415+
Operating system
  1. Windows
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
G'Day Peeps

I am in the market for a new NAS as my old Synology DS415+ has recently decided to die :-( Not very considerate of it!

I have narrowed down my search to 2 Synology NAS's, the DS1621+ and the DS1520+.

However, my familt and I do watch lots of movies on our smart TV's through the NAS. These movies are 720p all the way up to 4k in both H264 and H265 (HEVC). While the DS415+ did struggle with some of the 4K files (especially in HEVC), it played most things.

I have watched review videos for Plex and Video Station on the DS920+ (which has the same CPU as the DS1520+) and the DS1621+trying to figure out which one is the best for watching movies and dealing with bigger, denser files, including 4K HEVC. I can't seem to figure out which NAS will be best. While the Celeron chip on the DS1520+ seems like it would be better as it has a little GPU capabilities on the CPU, the AMD Ryzen is a beefier chip and seems to come off better on your videos even though it is doing software transcoding on HEVC.

The price difference between the 2 NAS's isn't an issue (happy to pay more for the DS1621+). But which one is the better NAS for video playback, especially at 4K HEVC?

Also, if I go for the DS1621+, would a RAM upgrade or NVMEe SSD for cacheing help with video playback?

Help me out... I need guidance!


NAS Support
DS412+, DS718+, DS918+, 2x RS3614RPxs+ with expansions
  1. RT1900ac
  2. RT2600ac
  3. MR2200ac
Operating system
  1. macOS
Mobile operating system
  1. iOS
Also, if I go for the DS1621+, would a RAM upgrade or NVMEe SSD for cacheing help with video playback?
The short answer it won't.
1621+ was not targeted as a media NAS primarily. The fact that the AMD CPU inside it can't do HW transcode over Plex will (as you noticed) do an SW transcode and the difference in power over the Celeron CPU will even them out.

However, if you are watching your content as you say mostly on your smart tv maybe it would be a way to prepare the content so that there is no transcode needed at all. If you don't have any remote stream needs, a non-HW transcode NAS can work really well without even breaking a sweat.

On top of this, choosing 5bay vs 6bay is also something to consider as well as the fact that 1621 is the new kid on the block so, in the long run, it will have longer support as well.

So, IMHO, between these two I would go for 1621 (considering it has a few extra things going on with that model that 1520 does not) with your specific needs. You could recode the content to not force any transcode needs and with that minimize it or eliminate it completely leaving more CPU power for other tasks. Also regarding storage, one extra bay is one extra bay.

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