Front of the Synology DiskStation DS224+

Synology DiskStation DS224+ vs. TerraMaster F2-424: Which NAS is best?

The Synology DiskStation DS224+ replaced the older DS220+ NAS enclosure and today I’m going to compare it against the similarly priced (and powered) TerraMaster F4-424. These are two powerful NAS with good build quality and similar designs, so which is the better buy? This guide will run you through all the similarities and differences to help you make the right choice.

Synology DiskStation DS224+

Better NAS OS

Synology DiskStation DS224+
Synology DiskStation DS224+. (Source: Synology)
  • Great for heavier use and Plex
  • Excellent DSM operating system
  • More apps
  • Better ecosystem
  • More expensive
  • Weaker processor
  • 1GbE LAN ports

Replacing the older DS220+, the Synology DiskStation DS224+ is a very capable enclosure with an upgraded processor to better handle daily NAS tasks and more intensive applications. It’s a solid two-bay NAS.

TerraMaster F2-424

Better value NAS

TerraMaster F2-424
TerraMaster F2-424. (Source: TerraMaster)
  • Better value
  • Better processor
  • Faster connectivity
  • Same storage capacity
  • Slightly rougher OS
  • Fewer apps
  • Weaker ecosystem

If you don’t mind using a NAS enclosure with fewer apps and a slightly rougher OS environment, the TerraMaster F2-424 offers incredible value compared to the Synology DiskStation DS224+.

The Synology DiskStation DS224+ launched in 2023 to replace the aging DS220+, which has been the best NAS of choice for many, myself included. TerraMaster has yet to officially release the F2-424, but the larger F4-424 and F4-424 Pro are already available so I cannot see it being too much longer before we see this two-bay NAS beast listed.

Where Synology simply upgraded the processor inside the DS224+, TerraMaster’s F2-424 is an entirely new two-bay NAS from the company with a beefy Intel processor and excellent value on paper.

Specifications

There are a few important factors to bear in mind when shopping around for a NAS enclosure. Two bay servers such as the DS224+ and F2-424 are ideally suited for those looking to buy their very first NAS enclosure. Supporting up to around 44TB without taking into account RAID offers better capacity support than many cloud storage subscriptions.

Where the Synology DiskStation DS224+ and TerraMaster F2-424 differ the most is in the specifications. Synology made the switch to AMD processors for many of its newer enclosures but the DS224+ still makes use of the Intel Celeron J4125 with four physical cores and a maximum burst speed of 2.7 GHz. The TerraMaster F2-424 has an Intel N95 with four cores and a 3.4 GHz burst.

Both processors are excellent with ample performance for lighter NAS use and even running a media streaming platform such as Plex Media server. They’re equipped with integrated GPUs and you shouldn’t have any trouble running any available app and service. For RAM, Synology offers 4 GB of DDR4 vs. 8 GB from TerraMaster and the DS224+ can only support 6 GB — the F2-424 can handle a whopping 32 GB.

Synology DiskStation DS224+TerraMaster F2-424
CPUIntel Celeron J4125
(4-core, 2.7 GHz burst)
Intel N95
(4-core, 3.4 GHz burst)
RAM4 GB DDR4 (max 6 GB)8 GB DDR4 (max 32 GB)
Drive bays2 SSD/HDD2 SSD/HDD
Capacity44TB44TB
Expansion support2x M.2 SSD
Cooling1x 92 mm fan1x 80 mm fan
Ports2x 1 GbE
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
2x 2.5GbE
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1x HDMI 2.1
Power draw~35.51 W~22 W
Dimensions166 x 199 x 223 mm222 x 119 x 154 mm
Weight2.24 kg2.2 kg
Price$400$380

Two drive bays are available inside both NAS enclosures and 22TB drives are listed as the highest capacity supported by the operating systems. I’d always recommend using RAID for better data protection, which leaves up to 22TB of usable storage space with two drives installed. Where the TerraMaster F2-424 shines is with its two M.2 SSD slots for data caching.

On paper, the TerraMaster F2-424 is the more powerful NAS. Be it the processor, RAM (out of the box), and faster networking. It’s easier to push the NAS harder should you manage to grow accustomed to the TOS operating system.

Price

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

The Synology DiskStation DS224+ is the better NAS of the two if you value the OS above all else. Costing $400 at release, it’s not the most affordable enclosure available from the brand, but it does pack a punch. The TerraMaster F2-424 is slightly more affordable with an MSRP of $380. That’s with a better processor, more RAM, and faster LAN ports.

The TerraMaster F2-424 is the more capable NAS on paper but it’s not clear cut as the Synology NAS has the better cloud-based ecosystem. As well as running a media streaming platform, the DS224+ can even host a Bitwarden instance for managing passwords. Synology’s DSM OS is still the best of its class.

If you want to get the most out of your money, I’d always recommend building a DIY NAS. It’ll always work out better than buying a prebuilt enclosure, but you’ll have to make sure everything works and carry out support yourself.

Design

If you’re familiar with TerraMaster’s aluminum design for its enclosures, you’ll be surprised to see an all-black chassis to match the competition. It’s a shame as I enjoyed seeing unique devices that don’t have the usual tried-and-tested black look. The F2-424 and DS224+ look similar and will

TerraMaster NAS enclosures used to have an aluminum finish applied to the outer shell and front of the drive trays. This made the NAS stand out against the sea of black enclosures from other brands. This is no longer the case and the F4-424 has a similar all-black design, making it more difficult to tell them apart.

Just like the DS923+, there are four drive bays accessible at the front of the NAS. When using the best NAS drives, it’s easy to swap a bad unit out without any tools. The sides of both enclosures are bare aside from some branding, and the rear has a similar layout of ports, though the F4-424 has two 2.5GbE connections.

Accessing the RAM and M.2 slots inside the DS923+ is a much easier process than the TerraMaster F4-424. Synology places the RAM slots inside the enclosure and the M.2 slots have individual bay doors on the bottom of the server. The F4-423 requires the chassis to be taken apart. Both NAS have an external power supply.

Performance

Side profile of the TerraMaster F2-212
Side of the TerraMaster F2-424. (Source: NM)

These NAS enclosures are powerful servers with Intel processors and integrated graphics. The CPU is what allows the device to run various apps simultaneously and handle multiple connections for file transfers. RAM also helps with this by allowing the NAS to store more data before accessing the drives.

The Synology DiskStation DS224+ comes with 4 GB of DDR4 RAM with the ability to upgrade this to a maximum of 6 GB. TerraMaster wins with the F2-424 having 8 GB from the factory with support for up to 32 GB. 4 GB is a healthy amount of system memory to start with and I don’t expect you to have any issues on either enclosure.

Many NAS enclosures are used for running a media streaming platform and I’ve relied on Plex Media Server for almost a decade. Most servers are capable of running the media streaming service and transcoding video if required. Between these two NAS enclosures, you’ll be looking at a similar experience, and both are great for transcoding 4K content.

Regardless of which NAS you pick here, you’ll not be disappointed. As aforementioned, one note worth bearing in mind is the app selection with TerraMaster NAS isn’t as good as Synology’s DSM OS.

Synology DiskStation DS224+ vs. TerraMaster F2-424

If you want the very best NAS experience with a friendly UI and a huge catalog of apps to install, I’d recommend the Synology DiskStation DS224+. It has everything you need for a capable home server or a starter box for an office. Whether you need to stash files and/or run a few additional services, the DS224+ has enough performance.

Synology DiskStation DS224+

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

The Synology DiskStation DS224+ offers decent 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.

TerraMaster may not have as flashy OS or a means to offer support through a cloud ecosystem (yet), but the company does have some of the best value enclosures on the market. The TerraMaster F2-424 is the more capable NAS, yet manages to undercut the DS224+.

TerraMaster F2-424

TerraMaster F2-424
TerraMaster F2-424. (Source: TerraMaster)

TerraMaster’s F2-424 offers impressive value with a capable Intel chip, 8 GB of DDR4 RAM, and 2.5GbE networking. It’s the better value NAS here with a weaker ecosystem.

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