Front of the Synology DiskStation DS224+

Synology DiskStation DS224+ vs. DS223j: Which NAS is best?

Synology makes some great NAS enclosures and offers numerous models with two bays. If you’re on the hunt for a more affordable NAS enclosure with decent capabilities, I’d recommend either the Synology DiskStation DS224+ or DS223j. Here’s all you need to know about the DS224+ vs. DS223j. I’m going to go over the specs, pricing, and performance to help you choose the best NAS.

Synology DiskStation DS224+

Value NAS for home

Synology DiskStation DS224+
Synology DiskStation DS224+. (Source: Synology)
  • More powerful
  • Same excellent OS
  • Hot-swap bay support
  • Great for media transcoding
  • More expensive
  • Same storage capacity

The Synology DiskStation DS224+ was launched to replace the old DS220+. Synology didn’t change too much inside the enclosure but did upgrade the CPU to provide better performance across the board.

Synology DiskStation DS223j

Entry-level NAS

Synology DiskStation DS223j
Synology DiskStation DS223j. (Source: Synology)
  • More affordable
  • Same excellent OS
  • Same storage capacity
  • No integrated GPU
  • Weaker performance
  • No hot-swap bays

Two drive bays are found inside the DS223j but it’s considerably cheaper than the DS224+. It’s not quite as powerful as the DS224+ in terms of raw performance, but you will save money in the long run on running costs.

Choosing between the Synology DiskStation DS224+ vs. DS223j is an easy process as it entirely depends on what you need to use the NAS for and how much you’re willing to spend. The DS224+ is the best NAS out of the two, but you’re paying for the luxury. The Synology DiskStation DS223j should be considered if you want to save the most money.

Specifications

Inside the Synology DiskStation DS224+ is the Intel Celeron J4125 with four cores that can hit speeds of 2.7GHz. Synology’s DiskStation DS223j has a slower Realtek RTD1619B chip with four cores and a maximum burst speed of 1.7 GHz. This isn’t the only area where DS224+ is the best NAS.

2GB of DDR4 RAM is present inside the DS224+ but you could upgrade it to a maximum of 6GB. There’s just 1GB inside the DS223j and it cannot be expanded at all. Because the two NAS enclosures have the same number of drive bays, the maximum raw storage capacity is identical.

Synology DiskStation DS224+Synology DiskStation DS223j
CPUIntel Celeron J4125
(4-core, 2.7 GHz burst)
Realtek RTD1619B
(4-core, 1.7 GHz burst)
RAM2 GB DDR4 (max 6 GB)1 GB DDR4 (max 1 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 1GbE
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
Power draw~14.69 W~16.31 W
Dimensions165 x 108 x 232.2 mm165 x 100 x 225.5 mm
Weight1.3 kg0.88 kg
Price$300$190

Just one 92mm fan keeps both NAS cool. The one 1GbE port is just fine on the DS223j though the DS224+ turns things up a notch with an additional network port. There’s also a dedicated eSATA port and both enclosures can be used for USB devices with two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 connections.

Price

Synology DiskStation DS223j
Inside the Synology DiskStation DS223j. (source: NM)

Synology’s DiskStation DS224+ has an MSRP of $300, which is the same as the older Synology DiskStation DS220+. This is a fair chunk of change to part with for a two-bay enclosure and is undercut by TerraMaster’s counterparts. The DS223j comes in at just $190 but can be found for even less with a promotion such as Prime Day or Black Friday.

Design

Both the DS224+ and DS223j are very similar in terms of dimensions with the two massive 3.5-inch drive bays, but they differ in materials and colors. The Synology DiskStation DS224+ is an all-black enclosure with hot-swap drive bays for quickly ejecting and installing NAS drives.

The Synology DiskStation DS223j is an all-white plastic shell that needs to be taken apart to gain access to the two 3.5-inch drive bays. It has the same cooling fan and USB ports, and both NAS utilize an external power supply. Most of the major differences are found inside the two enclosures.

Performance

Synology DiskStation DS224+ vs. DS723+
Synology DiskStation DS224+ RAM slot. (Source: NM)

For performance, one of the most popular deployments on enclosures such as these are media apps. Plex Media Server is a fantastic solution for cataloging and streaming purchased movies, shows, and more. The Intel processor has integrated graphics processing and is capable of hardware transcoding.

The Synology DiskStation DS223j has an ARM chip and isn’t as powerful for running such heavy apps and services. You may find it struggling with the 1GB of DDR4 RAM, though it will be vastly superior to the outgoing DS220j.

Synology DiskStation DS224+ vs. DS223j

If I were to recommend just one NAS enclosure to buy, it would be the Synology DiskStation DS224+. It has a better processor and upgradable RAM, which makes it the better pick for those who may need slightly better performance. The DS223j has limitations due to its 1GB of RAM and ARM chip.

Synology DiskStation DS224+

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

The Synology DiskStation DS224+ has ample performance for the price, allowing it to be used for creating a media server, surveillance station, and central hub for backups and general data storage.

If all you care about is saving money, the Synology DiskStation DS223j is a cheaper option for storing all your data and even setting up a media streaming platform. It’ll also allow you to save money by canceling cloud storage subscriptions and testing the waters of NAS without spending too much.

Synology DiskStation DS223j

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

Synology’s DiskStation DS223j is a killer affordable NAS with an ARM processor, two drive bays, the same excellent DSM operating system, and a great price to boot.

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