Synology DiskStation DS923+

Synology DiskStation DS923+ vs. TerraMaster F4-424: Which NAS is best?

The Synology DiskStation DS923+ and TerraMaster F4-424 are two powerful NAS enclosures with similar specifications, design, and build quality. Where they differ is through offering different processors and operating systems. This guide will showcase the positives and drawbacks of both NAS to help you work out which is the better buy.

Synology DiskStation DS923+

Powerful AMD NAS

Synology DiskStation DS923+
Synology DiskStation DS923+. (Source: Synology)
  • Great for heavier use and Plex
  • Excellent DSM operating system
  • More apps
  • Better ecosystem
  • More expensive
  • Weaker processor
  • 1GbE LAN ports

The Synology DiskStation DS924+ was launched to replace the old DS920+. Synology didn’t change too much inside the enclosure but did upgrade the CPU to provide better performance across the board.

TerraMaster F4-424

Best value NAS

TerraMaster F4-424
TerraMaster F4-424. (Source: TerraMaster)
  • Better value
  • Better processor
  • Faster connectivity
  • Same storage capacity
  • Slightly rougher OS
  • Fewer apps
  • Weaker ecosystem

TerraMaster decided to go all-out with its new 424 series of NAS enclosures and even this F4-424 is a very capable server with some impressive specifications.

Synology launched the DiskStation DS923+ to replace the popular Plex NAS DS920+, upgrading the processor to an AMD chip and refining the user experience slightly. It wasn’t a colossal upgrade many were hopeful for, but it’s still a solid enclosure. TerraMaster’s F4-424 is an entire new four-bay NAS from the company with a beefy Intel processor and excellent value on paper.

Specifications

When shopping around for the best NAS, it’s important to bear a few factors in mind. The first is price and value. NAS enclosures, like most other technology, can vary greatly in cost. The cheaper the NAS enclosure, the less capable it will be for running intensive apps and you likely won’t be able to have too many simultaneous connections or store a lot of data.

Next up are specifications, which is where we’ll directly compare the Synology DiskStation DS923+ and TerraMaster F4-424 first. The former NAS has an AMD Ryzen R1600 processor, which is a common sight inside Synology’s mid-range home servers. TerraMsster is keeping to Intel with the N95 chip.

The Intel processor beats the AMD counterpart with an integrated GPU. This helps with transcoding and other tasks that can be handled by a GPU, freeing up the CPU for other processes. The AMD Ryzen R1600 may not have a GPU at hand, but the chip is still good for transcoding and other intensive workloads.

Synology DiskStation DS923+TerraMaster F4-424
CPUAMD Ryzen R1600
(2-core, 3.1 GHz burst)
Intel N95
(4-core, 3.4 GHz burst)
RAM4 GB DDR4 (max 32 GB)8 GB DDR4 (max 32 GB)
Drive bays4 SSD/HDD4 SSD/HDD
Capacity88TB88TB
Expansion support2x M.2 SSD2x M.2 SSD
Cooling2x 92 mm fan1x 120 mm fan
Ports2x 1 GbE
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1x eSATA
2x 2.5GbE
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1x HDMI 2.1
Power draw~35.51 W~33 W
Dimensions166 x 199 x 223 mm222 x 179 x 154 mm
Weight2.24 kg3.4 kg
Price$600$500

Then there’s system memory. Synology includes 4GB of DDR4 RAM with the DS923+ whilst TerraMaster installs 8GB, the latter being vastly superior at running multiple apps and services. Both NAS enclosures can expand system memory up to 32GB, but the F4-424 will happily run for longer before you’d need to upgrade.

Four drive bays are present in both enclosures and so are two M2. SSD slots. Synology has started to allow these speedier PCIe-enabled slots to be used for storage, but the TerraMaster F4-424 is restricted to SSD caching. TerraMaster does allow you to connect to and manage files quicker with two 2.5GbE connections over the 1GbE ports found on the Synology DiskStation DS923+.

On paper, the TerraMaster F4-424 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

Synology DiskStation DS923+
Synology DiskStation DS923+. (Source: NM)

The Synology DiskStation is the more expensive NAS of the two. It costs $600 at MSRP and is a full $100 more than the TerraMaster enclosure at launch. This is a fair chunk of change that could fund the cost of a single NAS hard drive. It’s worth considering the price as it doesn’t necessarily reflect the specifications and performance.

The TerraMaster F4-424 is the more capable NAS on paper, but it costs less, coming in at $500. It’s not a clear story as the Synology NAS arguably has the better NAS and cloud-based ecosystem. As well as running a media streaming platform, the DS923+ 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

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

Synology DiskStation DS923+
Synology DiskStation DS923+. (Source: NM)

Plex Media Server is a popular app and service run on NAS enclosures. Most servers available from various brands 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, though the TerraMaster F4-424 does have the integrated GPU.

AMD’s Ryzen R1600 isn’t the same Zen processors found inside desktop PCs, but it’s no slouch and has four available threads for brute forcing its way through heavier tasks. You’ll also have 4GB and 8GB with Synology and TerraMaster, respectively. Bumping these NAS up to 32GB would provide a substantial boost to what can be run simultaneously.

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

Synology DiskStation DS923+ vs. TerraMaster F4-424

It’s a difficult decision to make unless you know precisely what you’re after. If you value getting the most bang for your buck, I’d go for the TerraMaster F4-424. It also has a slightly better processor and comes with more RAM from the factory. The Synology DiskStation DS923+ has a better ecosystem and app selection.

Synology DiskStation DS923+

Synology DiskStation DS923+
Synology DiskStation DS923+. (Source: Synology)

The Synology DiskStation DS923+ 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.

I wouldn’t rule out the TerraMaster F4-424 as this NAS offers impressive performance and looks at a more reasonable price. The $100 discount over the DS923+ is more than enough to fund the cost of a NAS drive, which will have to be bought separately with either enclosure.

TerraMaster F4-424

TerraMaster F4-424
TerraMaster F4-424. (Source: TerraMaster)

TerraMaster’s F4-424 offers impressive value with a capable Intel chip, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and 2.5GbE networking. It’s the better value NAS here with a weaker ecosystem.

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