Upgrading from Synology DS213j?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Bohemien, May 25, 2019.

  1. Bohemien macrumors regular

    Bohemien

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2019
    Location:
    Germany
    #1
    Hi all,

    I hope this is the right forum for my question. I'm running a Synology DS213j attached to my router (Apple Time Capsule, last version). I use it only as a network storage (photo, music and data backup), so I don't need any of the transcoding features, mail server, surveillance stuff. In fact the only thing I'd like to improve on are file transfer speeds to and from my Macs (which are around 40MB/s, tested with Blackmagic speed test).

    So here's the question: leaving everything else as it is (accessing the DS via wi-fi with 2 Macs and my TV), would I see any benefit in file transfer rates to/from the disk station by upgrading to a DS218? And if you know more about these machines: would the DS218j achieve the same speeds, saving me 100€?

    Thanks for your insights! :)
     
  2. HDFan, May 25, 2019
    Last edited: May 25, 2019

    HDFan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #2
    I don't have any Synology experience, but if you are going to use wireless only how fast is your WiFi router? The DS118 spec is is 113/112 MBs. The DS213 is 108/65 MBs. 65 * 8 = 520 Mbps which is a speed few Wifi routers will support, particularly with distance. WiFi is going to be your limiting factor.

    https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/performance#1_2bay
    https://www.synology.com/en-us/company/news/article/Synology_Unveils_DiskStation_DS213

    Those speeds aren't that much different than a directly connected hard disk. For direct connections as you add more disks and add RAID even a 10x improvement or more in speed is possible, depending upon the number and type of disks used.
     
  3. Bohemien thread starter macrumors regular

    Bohemien

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2019
    Location:
    Germany
    #3
    Thanks for pointing that out-I checked, my iMac is connected at 877Mpbs, roughly 110MB/s, so a little more speed than the 40MB/s I get from the DS213j should be possible, I guess? So my question boils down to: will the newer disk stations manage higher read/write speeds due to their faster processors (and more RAM in the case of the DS218)?
     
  4. alembic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    #4
    Sorry. I don't have a clear picture of your network.

    From your cable/DSL modem, you have a wired connection to your Airport Time Capsule. From the Airport, the Synology unit is hard-wired. Everything else in your network connects via wi-fi? and you get 110MB/s throughput to the iMac from the Synology NAS?

    I have two 4-bay Synology units. Both the new (DS-418J) and older (DS-412+) models yield about 110-112 MB/s speeds but only to hard-wired devices. I had to make two adjustments to achieve that throughput:

    1) use CAT5E or CAT6 cables for all hard-wired connections in my LAN;
    2) Enable jumbo frame on my Synology units and use an optimum MTU value through trial and error (mine settled at 5000).
     
  5. Bohemien thread starter macrumors regular

    Bohemien

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2019
    Location:
    Germany
    #5
    You're correct about the setup, but I get only 40MB/s to/from the NAS.

    My setup is like this:
    • I have a wired connection from my DSL modem to the Time Capsule.
    • My DS213j is connected to the Time Capsule with a LAN cable.
    • Everything else is connected to the Time Capsule's wi-fi network.
    Airport Assistant on the iMac shows a connection speed of 877Mbps (which translates to 110MB/s in theory), but I get only around 40MB/s from the NAS when copying directories to/from the iMac. That's the figure I'd like to improve while leaving the setup as it is-if that's possible.

    I'm really not a network expert, so sorry if this is a stupid question: is it possible to connect NAS, router and iMac to a switch and simultaneously access the NAS via cable from the iMac, while the NAS is accessible via wi-fi for other devices? What would I need to read to be able to configure that? ;)

    Thanks for your help!
     
  6. alembic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    #6
    Assuming you have the Time Capsule and NAS in one location and other devices scattered throughout your home connected by wi-fi, you can:

    1) run a cable from the Time Capsule to a gigabit switch located in the same area as your iMac, and connect the iMac to the switch with a cable. This will entail the least amount of change to your current setup.

    OR

    2) run the same cable from the Time Capsule to the switch, then connect both iMac and Synology unit to the switch. You will have to move the NAS box to the same area as the iMac.
     
  7. iluvmacs99, May 27, 2019
    Last edited: May 27, 2019

    iluvmacs99 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2019
    #7
    You are not going to improve on those figures of 40MB/s, as the best this unit could do is around 60-65MB/s for large file sizes and 15-18MB/s for small file sizes. While your network has the potential to exceed 40MB/s, it is the under-powered Armada Marvel chip in the J model that is slowing the transfer speed down. If you want speed, you need to get at least the 4 series and up to get the full speed, which means you need to spend up to 2 to 4x the amount you spent now on the J model. All the 2 series J models made from Synology are slow. They are meant to give you a sample taste of what Synology devices can do for you and want you to quickly upgrade to the non-j model as soon as possible. I had the J series one time and quickly outgrew it within a year when my other RAID NAS was like 4x faster in xfer speed.
     
  8. mlody macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    Windy City
    #8

    You are right, 877 Mbps translates to almost 110 MB/s (109.625 specifically), but since we are talking about Wi-Fi, you need to factor TCP/IP overhead, link quality, signal and several other factors. The 110 MB/s rate is not even achievable in the best case scenarios using cables, so given your conditions, 40-50 MB/s rate you are getting is most likely well within a reason to expect.
    --- Post Merged, May 27, 2019 ---
    Forgot to add, the type and sizes of files have a huge impact on the transfer rates. Try to copy a single 5GB file and 5 GB worth of files and you will see a big difference.
     
  9. alembic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    #9
    Actually, the simplest option is to run that cable from the Time Capsule and plug it directly into the iMac in the other location. No switch. The advantage of using a switch is that if you have other non-portable devices near the iMac, you can leverage the faster throughput of a wired connection.
     
  10. Bohemien thread starter macrumors regular

    Bohemien

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2019
    Location:
    Germany
    #10
    Thanks for your help guys, much appreciated! :cool:

    So you're saying that by upgrading the DS213j to the DS218, I would get at least a noticeable speed bump? If yes, that would solve my problem.

    Unfortunately, running a cable to the TC is not an option in the place I'm living in at the present.

    But just to understand, if I get the possibility in the future: in the setup
    • TC is connected to DSL modem
    • NAS and iMac are connected to TC via cable

    The iMac would have (wired) access to NAS and Internet and all wireless clients of the TC could also access both?
     
  11. iluvmacs99 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2019
    #11
    Over a cabled network link, yes. Over WIFI network however depends on your setup and how much it is used. If you want to find out the latency effect and inefficiencies of your WIFI network is to direct connect your DS213j to your iMac and see how fast you could get via a wired connection. If you are capable of getting more than 40MB/s, then don't bother with the new DS218, but figure out how to improve your WIFI throughput. Right now, you are making the assumption that your WIFI network is providing full throughput for your DS213j. This way, you want to isolate to see if your WIFI does provide full throughput or not. The DS218 and + models will allow more users to access the NAS without severe degradation of throughput like the j model.
     
  12. alembic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    #12
    Yes. The SMB and/or AFP shares on your NAS box will be available to all devices in your local area network. You will get the best throughput when accessing these shares from the wired iMac.

    If you want more than one wired device in the same location as your iMac, you can run a cable from the TC to a switch, and then connect the iMac and other client devices to that switch.
     

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11 May 25, 2019