Synology DiskStation DS223j

Synology DiskStation DS223j vs. DS223: Which two-bay NAS is best?



The new Synology DS223j was launched to replace the aging DS220j, bringing with it a new ARM processor and double the capacity of RAM for a smoother experience. Synology also launched the DS223 with an ARM CPU and similar specifications, so which is the better two-bay NAS? I’m going to run you through everything to work out which is better between the DS223j vs. DS223.

Synology DiskStation DS223j

More affordable

Synology DiskStation DS223j
Synology DiskStation DS223j. (Source: Synology)
  • Same ARM CPU and OS
  • Two drive bays
  • More affordable
  • No USB copy
  • No drive hot-swapping
  • 1 GB of RAM

Synology’s DiskStation DS223j was the direct replacement of the DS220j whereas the DS223 is a new kid on the block. Both NAS are very similar aside from a few specifications and overall design. The DS223j is harder to replace drives and doesn’t support hot-swapping.

Synology DiskStation DS223

Slightly better specifications

Synology DiskStation DS223
Synology DiskStation DS223. (Source: Synology)
  • Same ARM CPU and OS
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • Two drive bays
  • USB copy
  • Drive hot-swapping
  • More expensive

The Synology DiskStation DS223 could be considered a toned-down version of the mighty DS223+. It has the same ARM processor (with 2 GB of RAM) as the DS223j but with a more refined design and support for USB copying and drive hot-swapping.

The Synology DiskStation DS223j is one of the company’s most affordable enclosures. The DS223 is budget-friendly, but costs more and comes rocking a more premium design. Which NAS is best for you depends almost entirely on whether you prefer hot-swap drive bays and USB copy support. The NAS are almost identical.

The DS223 has better specs

The Synology DiskStation DS223j and DS223 have almost identical specifications. Both NAS enclosures have the same Realtek RTD1619B processor with four physical cores and a maximum burst speed of 1.7 GHz. They have the same two drive bays for up to 40TB of raw data capacity, but the DS223 has double the RAM at 2 GB.

Synology DiskStation DS223jSynology DiskStation DS223
CPURealtek RTD1619B
(4-core, 1.7 GHz burst)
Realtek RTD1619B
(4-core, 1.7 GHz burst)
RAM1 GB DDR4 (max 1 GB)2 GB DDR4 (max 2 GB)
Drive bays2 (SSD/HDD)2 (SSD/HDD)
Expansion support
Cooling1x 92 mm fan1x 92 mm fan
Ports1x 1GbE
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1x 1GbE
3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
Power draw~16.31 W~17.34 W
Dimensions165 x 100 x 225.5 mm165 x 108 x 232.7 mm
Weight0.88 kg1.28 kg

The addition of 1 GB DDR4 RAM allows the DS223 to run more apps and handle more connections before sluggish performance is experienced. It’s not a game-changer since the same processor is in use as the DS223j, but every little helps when it comes to system memory.

Both NAS enclosures are designed for data storage. Apps are available through Synology’s storefront and packages can even be installed manually, but you won’t want to push either enclosure too hard. Still, they’re definitely among the best NAS available for those just starting with their first enclosure.

Go with the DS223j if it’s on sale

Synology DiskStation DS223j vs. DS223
Inside the Synology DiskStation DS223j. (Source: NM)

There is one instance where the Synology DiskStation DS223j may make sense and that’s if you can locate one at a discount. It still has two drive bays and very similar specifications to the DS223, but the design is widely different and it’s not quite as easy to install and/or replace drives.

Unlike the DS223, the entire unit of the DS223j needs to be dismantled. Luckily, Synology made this as simple as removing two screws and pulling the chassis apart, but it’s nowhere near as straightforward or seamless as the process on the DS223 with its hot-swap drive bays.

Saving $60 for losing this luxury (and the 1 GB of RAM) may be worth it to those who simply wish to have somewhere to stash some files and run an app or two. The DS223j won’t win as many awards as the DS223 for capabilities, but it runs the same DiskStation Manager (DSM) operating system and comes with the usual cloud support.

Synology DiskStation DS223j vs. DS223

The Synology DiskStation DS223 is the better buy in terms of functionality and specifications, but I’d go for the Ds223j if you don’t need USB copying, an additional 1 GB of RAM, and hot-swap support for drive installation.

Synology DiskStation DS223j

Synology DiskStation DS223j
Synology DiskStation DS223j. (Source: Synology)

The DS223j may be one of the cheapest Synology NAS available, but underneath is a capable ARM processor, the same DSM operating system, and a solid NAS for storing data.

Synology’s DiskStation DS223 is the more powerful NAS and only costs $60 more. This may be worth it for those who prefer the sleek black Synology design and an easier process of installing drives.

Synology DiskStation DS223

Synology DiskStation DS223
Synology DiskStation DS223. (Source: Synology)

Double the RAM, easier drive installation, and an extra USB port for copying files make the DS223 the better NAS to buy if money isn’t an issue.

Richard Pinnock-Edmonds Avatar

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