Synology DiskStation DS224+ with the front cover off

Synology DiskStation DS224+ vs. DS223: Which NAS is best?

Are you looking at a new Synology NAS but aren’t too sure which two-bay enclosure to buy? This guide will go into depth surrounding the Synology DiskStation DS224+ vs. DS223 to help you make the right decision. We’ll be looking at price, specs, performance, and software support.

Synology DiskStation DS224+

More powerful

Synology DiskStation DS224+
Synology DiskStation DS224+. (Source: Synology)
  • Intel CPU for 4K transcoding
  • Same excellent OS
  • Upgradable RAM
  • More expensive

The new Synology DiskStation DS224+ was highly anticipated due to the popularity of the DS220+ it replaces. Synology opted to renovate instead of innovate with the DS224+, upgrading the processor and keeping everything else the same. That’s not a bad thing for the most part.

Synology DiskStation DS223

More affordable

Synology DiskStation DS223
Synology DiskStation DS223. (Source: Synology)
  • More affordable
  • Same excellent OS
  • Realtek RTD1619B CPU
  • RAM cannot be expanded

The Synology DiskStation DS223 is a more affordable version of the DS224+ with the same sleek design and an ARM processor. This makes it a better buy for those who simply wish to store some files in a safe place. It’s not great for more intensive NAS applications.

The Synology DiskStation DS224+ is the better NAS of the two in terms of performance and system capabilities. The Intel processor is excellent and allows for 4K transcoding, should you desire in creating your very own media streaming service. Other parts can be upgraded too, namely the system memory. The DS223 is a good budget-friendly choice.

Specifications

The major differences between the Synology DiskStation DS224+ vs. DS223 are the processor, RAM, and ports on the rear of the enclosures. The DS224+ is the more powerful two-bay NAS built for the masses and sports a quad-core Intel Celeron J4125. This chip is capable of boosting up to 2.7 GHz and is one we’ve seen in some of the best NAS enclosures.

The Synology DiskStation DS223 has a Realtek RTD1619B. Never heard of this chip? We don’t blame you. It’s a low-power processor with four cores and a maximum burst speed of 1.7 GHz. It’s not as powerful as Intel’s Celeron offering and there’s no support for hardware transcoding. It’s perfectly fine for running a storage server and DSM, but that’s about it.

Synology DiskStation DS224+Synology DiskStation DS223
CPUIntel Celeron J4125
(4-core, 2.7 GHz burst)
Realtek RTD1619B
(4-core, 1.7 GHz burst)
RAM2 GB DDR4 (max 6 GB)2 GB DDR4 (max 2 GB)
Drive bays2 SSD/HDD2 SSD/HDD
Capacity40TB40TB
Expansion support
Cooling1x 92 mm fan1x 92 mm fan
Ports2x 1 GbE
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1x eSATA
1x 1 GbE
3x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
Power draw~14.69 W~17.3 W
Dimensions165 x 108 x 232.2 mm165 x 108 x 232.2 mm
Weight1.3 kg1.28 kg
Price$300$250

Then there’s the 2GB of DDR4 RAM inside both NAS. It’s possible to expand this capacity up to 6GB with the DS224+ whereas the DS223 does not support the installation of an additional DIMM module. The rest of the specifications are identical aside from swapping one of two 1GbE ports on the DS223 for an additional USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port.

Interestingly, as stated by Synology on its official website, the DS223 consumes more power than the DS224+ when in use with hard drives.

Design

Side view of the Synology DiskStation DS224+
Side view of the Synology DiskStation DS224+. (Source: NM)

The Synology DiskStation DS224+ and DS223 share the same chassis. They’re an all-black slab of metal and plastic with a removable front panel that shields the two drive bays. One USB-A port is located on the front with some status LEDs and a power button. The two sides are used for ventilation and the top and bottom panels are completely bare.

The rear of the DS224+ has two 1GbE connections and a second USB-A port. The DS223 has one 1GbE port and two USB-A ports. Both use an external power supply and the same drive trays, which make the installation process of a 3.5-inch drive quick and painless. DiskStation Manager (DSM) is also excellent.

The installation process takes a few moments to download and install the OS, configure the drives and NAS, and set up a primary user account. The best app selection is found on the DS224+ due to it having an Intel processor. The ARM chip inside the DS223 will limit what apps are available, including Plex Media Server.

Performance

Drives installed on the Synology DiskStation DS224+ tray
Drives installed on the Synology DiskStation DS224+ tray. (Source: NM)

Both enclosures will perform similarly for file storage. The ARM processor inside the DS223 is capable of fully saturating the 1GbE network port on the rear of the NAS. The DS224+ is more powerful land as such can handle the second network link to provide more bandwidth for more simultaneous connections.

Intels’ Celeron processor has a powerful integrated GPU that can be used by Plex Media Server for transcoding media up to 4K, depending on what the client device supports. It will also allow for other tasks to be run at the same time, allowing a single NAS to stream media, handle surveillance footage, and store backups.

DSM runs well on both NAS and for transferring data to and from connection devices, either enclosure would work well. For general file storage, the Synology DiskStation DS223 would be the better value pick, costing less and still providing the means to run DiskStation Manager and all the supported transfer protocols, including SMB.

Synology DiskStation DS224+ vs. DS223

Out of the two NAS, the Synology DiskStation DS224+ is not only the best NAS for Plex and other intensive applications, but the enclosure also offers better value with room to improve system performance. It costs slightly more than the DS223, but we’d recommend this NAS if your budget is able to stretch slightly.

Synology DiskStation DS224+

Synology DiskStation DS224+
Synology DiskStation DS224+. (Source: Synology)

For the absolute best two-bay NAS from Synology in terms of value, we’d point you toward the DiskStation DS224+ with its Intel Celeron chip and expandable RAM.

ContentShould you be on the tightest of budgets, the Synology DiskStation DS223 is still a good NAS to use for storing lots of data. The two drive bays provide redundancy against data loss and a maximum capacity of 40TB. This is a great solution for the home and/or office for storing data and allowing for easier collaboration.

Synology DiskStation DS223

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

The Synology DiskStation DS223 looks identical to the DS224+ aside from the model sticker on the front panel. It has more affordable internals to make it a better pick for those on tighter budgets.

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