Synology had organized the Synology 2016 Conference back in September 2015 to talk about their plans for the next couple of quarters. We had covered it in great detail. In the conference, the beta version of DSM 6.0 was launched. Synology also talked about their 2-bay Braswell unit, the DS716+ and a 802.11ac router, the RT1900ac.

Synology's booth at CES 2016 had a working demo of the RT1900ac. The 'DSM' experience delivered by the Synology Router Manager (SRM) OS on the router is quite impressive and will definitely make other router vendors rethink the interface for their offerings. As is common nowadays, management of the router can also be done via a mobile app. The router OS also has plenty of interesting features for power users. One of the unique features is the application layer QoS optimization that can bring down the bandwidth available for, say, YouTube or BitTorrent. Other routers have similar features, but Synology claims that their implementation provides the best granularity.

Hardware-wise, the unit is based on the legacy 2nd generation Broadcom 802.11ac platform (AC1900 - 3x3 in 5GHz band for 1300 Mbps and 3x3 in 2.4 GHz with 256-QAM for 600 Mbps). The rest of the specifications as well as the hardware aspects are reproduced below from the datasheet.

Going with an older platform has allowed Synology to price the unit at $150. This is quite cheap for the specifications and will definitely be a worthy competitor to the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk router which has similar specifications and is priced at $200.

Synology DS716+

Coming back to the NAS side, Synology was also demonstrating the DS716+, a 2-bay Braswell NAS which can be expanded up to seven bays with the DX513. The interesting aspect here is that the unit is capable of supporting btrfs volumes.

The hardware specifications of the DS716+ are reproduced below.

Synology claims around 223 MBps for reads and 137 MBps for writes to a RAID-1 volume on the DS716+. Enabling encryption doesn't cause any noticeable drop in the claimed numbers. The Quick Sync engine is now taken advantage of in DSM to deliver real time 4K transcoding (no HEVC, though). The DS716+ is available for $450 on Amazon.

Synology DS416j

In fresh NAS news (i.e, what we didn't hear about at the Synology 2016 conference), Synology also launched the DS416j in order to replace the DS414j in their budget-friendly 4-bay lineup. As is usual for budget NAS models, this unit comes with only one network port. However, RAID-5 performance is still very good, with reads coming in at 112 MBps and writes at 101 MBps according to Synology.

The interesting aspect here is that Synology has opted to go with the Marvell ARMADA 88F6828 with four native SATA ports. It is a high-end variant in the the ARMADA 38x family, and replaces the Mindspeed SoC used in the DS414j. The DS416j is available for $340 on Newegg.

Synology has focused more on bringing attention to their RT1900ac router at CES 2016. Personally, I was hoping to hear about Braswell-based NAS units with 4+ bays. Consumers looking at commercial off-the-shelf NAS units with btrfs support will definitely be waiting for those.

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  • Makaveli - Sunday, January 10, 2016 - link

    You can find the Netgear R7000 on sale.

    I paid $175 for mine like 3 months ago.

    And the fact that you can run ASUS merlin firmware on the nighthawk gives it the edge.
  • Dunkurs1987 - Monday, February 15, 2016 - link

    £120 pounds for functionality is not too bad:
  • JonHK - Sunday, January 10, 2016 - link

    They released the 1900ac router in Asia a while ago and I have been using it for the last 2 months. It is utterly reliable unlike the R7000 which was my previous router. It also has unsurpassed range on the 2.4GHz bands compared to anything else I have tried. The web interface is also far better than any other router interface I have used, although I have the advantage in being a Synology NAS user so it is very familiar indeed. The fact that it is a reasonable price and quite compact for its capabilities are additional major plus points.

    But that budget 4 bay NAS design really is terrible...
  • Leonick - Monday, January 11, 2016 - link

    Was not aware of this though apparently it has been out in Europe since November.

    The software is impressive, not only is the GUI fancy but it seems feature packed as well. Haven't seen as advanced traffic control in any router I've looked at.

    Here's hoping it does well for them so the do more routers. I'd love to have that software but I really don't need that powerful WiFi in my apartment so a bit hard to justify the price. An AC750 or thereabout would be great.
  • mitr - Friday, May 20, 2016 - link

    How come Anandtech dropped/missed sinology ds 916+?
  • mitr - Friday, May 20, 2016 - link

    How come Anandtech dropped/missed synology ds 916+?

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