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Synology DiskStation DS1522+ review: Impressive 5-bay AMD NAS

Ryzen up the cores.

Synology has an impressive line-up of NAS enclosures for 2022 and the Synology DiskStation DS1522+ is the latest addition. It’s a five-bay server with an AMD Ryzen processor in place of its predecessor’s Intel Celeron chip. This does reduce its potential as a Plex Media Server, but does offer impressive performance for big data storage.

Five-bay enclosures are an interesting segment of the NAS market. They’re designed primarily for medium to large businesses that require upwards of 100TB (if not more) of storage capacity. With the number of home users saving more data on the rise, it’s only a matter of time before four bays just aren’t enough, which is where the DS1522+ comes into play.

Synology makes some of the best NAS available and the DiskStation DS1522+ is poised to be one of the five-bay greats. While not perfect, this review will showcase just what sets this NAS apart from the competition.

Synology DiskStation DS1522+
Synology DiskStation DS1522+ (Source: Synology)

Synology DiskStation DS1522+

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The impressive DS1522+ from Synology has the latest AMD Ryzen processor, an option for 10Gb networking, and the ability to connect expansion units for big data applications.

  • AMD Ryzen R1600 CPU
  • Two M.2 slots
  • Upgradable DDR4-2666 RAM
  • Optional 10Gb networking
  • Feature-rich OS with plenty of apps
  • Pricey
  • Proprietary 10Gb adapter
  • Weak media transcoding support
  • M.2 slots for SSD caching only

Synology DS1522+: Price, specs, and availability

Synology DiskStation DS1522+
Synology DiskStation DS1522+ (Source: NAS Master)

The Synology DiskStation DS1522+ is a five-bay NAS that can hold up to five 20TB drives. This makes it possible to utilize a storage pool of 100TB, making it a very versatile NAS. This isn’t anything new as its predecessor, the DS1521+ could do the same, but Synology made a few changes with the 2022 refresh to keep things interesting.

I’ve looked at the differences between the Synology DS1522+ vs DS1520+, in case you’re considering either NAS or already own the older model and want to learn what’s new (and if you should upgrade). The most notable change with the DS1522+ is the processor, which is now a dual-core AMD Ryzen R1600.

SpecificationSynology DS1522+
CPUAMD Ryzen R1600
GPU
RAM8GB DDR4-2666 ECC
(32GB max)
Drive bays5x HDD/SSD
2x M.2 2280 (SSD/PCIe)
Capacity100TB
ExpansionDrives: 2x DX517
LAN: Gen3 x2 Synology slot
Cooling2x 92mm
Ports2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
2x eSATA
4x 1Gb LAN
Power draw~52.06W
Dimensions166 x 230 x 223mm
Weight2.7kg

Then there’s the ability to install up to 32GB of DDR4-266 RAM, two M.2 SSD slots for caching, and an optional 10Gb networking adapter for rapid data transfer rates. All of these features come at a cost, both in terms of power consumption and cost, making the Synology DiskStation DS1522+ one of the more expensive five-bay NAS enclosures.

Synology DS1522+ vs. DS1520+

Synology DiskStation DS1522+
Synology DiskStation DS1522+ (Source: NAS Master)

Synology’s DiskStation DS1522+ is a vastly improved DS1520+.

The main differences between the newer Synology DiskStation DS1522+ and outgoing DS1520+ include the processor, RAM, and optional 10Gb adapter support through a proprietary PCIe port. The Intel Celeron has been substituted by an AMD Ryzen R1600 chip with two cores (four threads) and a base clock speed of 2.6GHz.

The RAM has been improved in that you can now technically install more GBs without sacrificing official support from Synology. Previously, one could only install up to 16GB but now it’s possible to install two 16GB modules for a total of 32GB. This makes the DS1522+ more capable in scenarios for virtual machines and other heavy tasks.

Finally, there’s expansion support included with the Synology DiskStation DS1522+. You can connect up to two Synology DX517 expansion units (four drives each) for a total bay count of up to 15, resulting in a maximum capacity of 300TB. All these improvements make the newer NAS vastly more versatile.

Synology DS1522+: Design and features

Synology DiskStation DS1522+
Synology DiskStation DS1522+ (Source: NAS Master)

The Synology DiskStation DS1522+ is unlike any other Synology NAS enclosure. It’s a black slab of plastic and metal, which is the norm for the company’s server design. It’s not ugly to gaze at, nor does it cause insult, but the DS1522+ won’t win any awards for attractive looks. The server is sleek enough for deployment, which is what’s important.

The front panel has five drive bays that are not covered. There are LED indicators for drive activity, as well as power, NAS status, and network activity. There’s also the power button and one of two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports. Each drive bay is secured using a proprietary key supplied with the NAS, though any Synology NAS key will work here.

It’s great to have the option for 10Gb networking but I’d prefer to have a standardized port.

The two sides and top of the NAS are bare, aside from perforated branding on the sides of the DS1522+. It’s underneath where things get a little more interesting. Here is where you’ll find two M.2 slots, which can be accessed by removing the two covers. No tools are required! The two RAM module slots are found inside the server itself on the right side.

Finally, we’ve got the rear of the Synology DiskStation DS1522+, which has all the ports and cooling fans. There’s a second USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, two eSATA ports, and four 1Gb LAN ports. There’s a single DC input for the external power supply brick and a single PCIe expansion port for the optional proprietary 10Gb LAN adapter.

Synology DS1522+: Software and performance

Synology DSM 7.0
Synology DSM (Source: NAS Master)

Synology develops its own operating system for NAS enclosures, much like most other vendors. Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM for short) is superb. We’re currently on version 7.1 for NAS and the DS1522+ runs the latest release out-the-box after installing. If you’ve never used a NAS before, DSM is one of the easiest software packages to learn.

Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM for short) is superb.

You can think of DSM as a web version of Windows, Linux, or some other PC OS. You can install apps, manage settings, add and manage users, store files, and more. You’ll likely spend the least amount of time in DSM when using your Synology NAS, but it’s good to know you’ve got a powerful OS at the ready should you need it.

The AMD Ryzen R1600 CPU and 8GB of RAM installed at the factory is excellent. This processor runs at 2.6GHz but is capable of boosting higher thanks to the cooling solution used inside the DS1522+, allowing the chip to stretch its legs. It can easily handle the two M.2 slots and five drive bays, fully populated with a healthy mix of HDDs and SSDs.

To test this NAS, I utilized the 1Gb ports as well as the 10Gb adapter, supplied by Synology for review. Four 8TB Seagate IronWolf drives were installed, as well as two Sabrent Rocket 4 PLUS SSDs. Whether you’re rocking the 1Gb or 10Gb ports, you can expect to enjoy a full 100MB/s or 400MB/s, the latter limited by the installed drives.

Unlike ASUSTOR, Synology only allows one to utilize M.2 slots for SSD caching. This is a shame as it would be great to expand local storage with speedy drives. The issue is exasperated by the sheer amount of RAM that can be installed. 32GB of DDR4-2666 results in some impressive performance and I’ve written a guide on the best RAM for Synology DiskStation DS1522+.

Synology DS1522+: Competition

TerraMaster F5-221
TerraMaster F5-221 (Source: NAS Master)

There’s ample competition for the Synology DiskStation DS1522+. Synology has a tough job to make its enclosure stand out and adding the option for a 10Gb LAN port is a good place to start. The only problem is this proprietary adapter is expensive, making something like the TerraMaster F5-422 slightly more appealing.

The TerraMaster NAS has 10Gb LAN networking out the box and without the need to buy anything but the enclosure itself. Then there’s the price with the F5-422 costing a full $100 less than the DS1522+. Both NAS are from 2022 catalogs, but one is great for big data and the other is excellent for running Plex, thanks to the HDMI port.

SpecificationSynology DS1522+TerraMaster F5-422
CPUAMD Ryzen R1600Intel Celeron J3455
GPUIntel HD Graphics 500
RAM8GB DDR4-2666 ECC
(32GB max)
4GB DDR4
(4GB max)
Drive bays5x HDD/SSD
2x M.2 2280 (SSD/PCIe)
5x HDD/SSD
Capacity100TB100TB
ExpansionDrives: 2x DX517
LAN: Gen3 x2 Synology slot
Cooling2x 92mm2x 80mm
Ports2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
2x eSATA
4x 1Gb LAN
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1x HDMI
1x 10Gb LAN
2x 1Gb LAN
Power draw~52.06W~45W
Dimensions166 x 230 x 223mm227 x 225x 136mm
Weight2.7kg3.6kg

The TerraMaster F5-422 does have a few limitations, however. It doesn’t have any expansion unit support, so you’re stuck with the five drive bays. Then there’s the RAM, which tops out at 4GB. Finally, we’ve got no M.2 slots. If you don’t care for any of these, you’re good to save big with this NAS instead of the DS1522+.

Synology DS1522+: Should you buy it?

Synology DiskStation DS1522+
Synology DiskStation DS1522+ (Source: NAS Master)

Who should buy this?

  • If you want a five-bay NAS for big data applications
  • If you want a powerful NAS with an AMD Ryzen CPU
  • If you need a NAS with upgradable DDR4 RAM
  • If you plan on running virtual machines (VM)
  • If you don’t mind spending $700

Who shouldn’t buy this?

  • If you don’t require a powerful AMD Ryzen CPU
  • If you want to transcode 4K media
  • If you don’t have a network to handle 2.5Gb+ connections
  • If you don’t plan on using M.2 SSDs
  • If you don’t want to spend $700

The Synology DiskStation DS1522+ is a brilliant five-bay NAS enclosure for those who have a lot of data to store. Even if you run out of local storage space with the five bays, you can always throw up to two Synology DX517 expansion units into the mix. This results in a single NAS that can hold up to 300TB of content.

It’s not perfect and I’m not a fan of the proprietary 10Gb networking upgrade, but the AMD Ryzen processor is fantastic. The ability to upgrade the DDR4 RAM to 32GB is brilliant, and the Synology DiskStation Manager OS is excellent as always. If you need somewhere to store data, the DS1522+ is a great NAS to choose.

Synology DiskStation DS1522+
Synology DiskStation DS1522+ (Source: Synology)

Synology DiskStation DS1522+

The DS1522+ is a great successor to the DS1520+. the AMD Ryzen processor, 10Gb LAN adapter, and overall system performance are fantastic, making this one of the best five-bay NAS around.

By Richard Edmonds

I've been covering the tech industry for more than a decade and have tinkered with NAS for just as long. Follow my ramblings and more right here on NAS Master!

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