[REVIEW] Synology DS413
A couple of weeks ago we got our hands on Synology’s latest product in the home user/SOHO segment: the DS413. This particular unit shares a lot of its design and internal structure with its more networking-potent big brother the DS412+. We have had the chance a couple of months ago to review the DS412+ so we can give you a heads up on how the 2 visually identical units perform. Yet here we are going to keep the main focus on “the little brother”.
Synology’s key features:
- Dual Core 1.06GHz CPU & DDR3 1GB RAM
- 3W smart energy management
- Resume operation via any protocol
- AES 256-bit encryption & Hardware Encryption Engine
- System fan failover & hot swap HDD design
- Features SuperSpeed USB 3.0
- CPU Passive Cooling Technology & System Fan Redundancy
- Hot-swappable Hard Drive Design
- Running on Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM)
- CPU Frequency : Dual Core 1.067 GHz with Floating Point
- Hardware Encryption Engine
- Memory : DDR3 1 GB
- Internal HDD/SSD : 3.5″ or 2.5″ SATA(II)
- Max Internal Capacity : 16 TB (4 X 4 TB HDD)
- Hot Swappable HDD design
- External HDD Interface : USB 3.0 Port X 2, USB 2.0 Port X 1, eSATA Port X 1
- Size (HxWxD) : 165 x 203 x 233.2 mm
- Weight : 2.03 kg
- LAN : Gigabit X 1 with Wake on LAN/WAN
- System Fan : 92 x 92 mm X 2
- Wireless Support (dongle)
- Noise Level : 19.3 dB(A)
- Power Recovery feature
- AC Input Power Voltage : 100V to 240V AC
- Power Frequency : 50/60 Hz, Single Phase
- Power Consumption : 35.62W (Access); 13.09W (HDD Hibernation); 3.37W (System Hibernation);
- Operating Temperature : 5°C to 35°C (40°F to 95°F)
- Storage Temperature : -10°C to 70°C (15°F to 155°F)
- Relative Humidity : 5% to 95% RH
- Maximum Operating Altitude : 6,500 feet
- Certification : FCC Class B, CE Class B, BSMI Class B
- Warranty : 2 Years
Design & acoustics
Honestly, we weren’t too raving mad about seeing no visual distinction or built quality difference compared to the higher-end 412+ model. The “industrial design” as Synology likes to refer to it, is a durable PVC made enclosure, the hard drive trays are made of the same compound. The internal skeleton is made from rolled steel, keeping the hard drives solid into place and takes care of retaining the logic board on the left side of the unit.
Whilst we had both units in our lab, we disassembled both and except for the logic board being different, all the internal parts remained the same. The new 413 even has the exact same USB3.0/E-SATA bracket found in the 412+.
A dual 92mm fan cooling system makes sure your disks will stay cool and happy. Noise levels of this system are generally speaking ok, less than 20Db in low-power mode. Putting it in Cool/performance mode isn’t “audibly recommended” if you’re going to work in close proximity of the device. Yet, Synology hasn’t lost their feeling to keeping the acoustics down to a bare minimum. Worst case scenario one could always replace them by high performance ultra low noise Noctua 92mm fans (which we tried with very positive results).
A word on power efficiency
“The DS413 excels at being energy efficient largely due to its smart energy management mechanism. During HDD hibernation, DS413 consumes about 13W of power. When entering the system hibernation mode, the consumption drops around 77% to a staggering 3W – this is because during system hibernation, only the part of the CPU remains powered. There’s no need to install any special packet to wake up the system. Just access the server as you normally would – by typing its URL, via FTP, or any other supported protocols — and DS413 will resume operation smoothly.”
This said (by Synology) we would like to add that the operational power consumption is indeed low, but when comparing the 80Mb/Sec avg write speed with the 182Mb/Sec write speed of its bigger brother (DS412+) and the averaged read speeds of 111Mb/Sec versus 205Mb/Sec, we tend to raise an eyebrow whether the 36W-stats of the new offspring are actually better than the 44W of the big brother when equating power consumption to performance ratio.
The hibernation mode of 3.4W and 13W idle mode is indeed a lightweight consumption compared to the 15W (both in hibernate/idle) of the DS412+. Still it is hard to defend the DS413 getting an average 50% of the DS412+’s performance level less for a mere 8W power increase. Oh well, one has to keep in mind the DS412+ is an SMB model supporting all the bells and whistles (VMware, Citrix, Win Server) where the new 413 is mainly targeted towards SOHO/Advanced home user and skips on the advanced SMB features.
Enhanced Encryption & Performance
- Government-level 256-bit encryption reassurance data integrity
- Hardware encryption engine lifts the performance during encryption process
As a security measure, users on DSM can easily encrypt a shared folder with AES 256-bit encryption. The AES 256-bit encryption can be considered one of the most powerful encryption algorithms, which is also certified by the U.S. government. Not only is AES 256-bit encryption very difficult to break even with brute-force decryption, a shared folder will not be mounted without the correct input of encryption key. The AES 256-bit encryption is one of the best ways for protecting confidential and critical business information.
DS413 is equipped with hardware encryption engine. When performing encryption or decryption on a shared folder, the server with the engine can greatly reduce the time it takes to do both tasks, which in turn can increase work efficiency.
Speed & performance
We are providing you with a simple table of file read/write actions we performed and which represents a more real world model of what users actually do with their NAS devices. These test are averages from Windows (SMB) and Apple (AFP) systems in RAID 5 setup.
- A set of 100 HQ JPEG photos in folder
- A bulk of 1000 itunes audio files
- A 4GB folder containing mixed small files and folders
- A 8GB single file archive
- A 35GB folder with 10*3.5GB files inside
- An 800MB single file archive
- A 350MB episode
|Synology DiskStation DS413||Copy from NAS in MB/sec AVG – PEAK||Write to NAS in MB/Sec AVG – PEAK|
|1 (100 JPEG)||70 – 111||48 – 53|
|2 (1000 MP3)||70 – 110||57 – 67|
|3 (4GB Folder)||70 – 117||40 – 74|
|4 (8GB Archive)||100 – 118||72 – 81|
|5 (35GB Folder)||115 – 118||72 – 83|
|6 (800MB File)||115 – 117||72 – 87|
|7 (350MB File)||113 – 117||72 – 80|
|ATTO record R5||99 write @64Kb, 118 read @ 4/8Mb|
|Synology DiskStation DS412+||Copy from NAS in MB/sec AVG – PEAK||Write to NAS in MB/Sec AVG – PEAK|
|1 (100 JPEG)||70 – 95||50 – 60|
|2 (1000 MP3)||85 – 101||56 – 70|
|3 (4GB Folder)||67 – 116||60 – 112|
|4 (8GB Archive)||100 – 118||90 – 113|
|5 (35GB Folder)||115 – 118||95 – 109|
|6 (800MB File)||114 – 118||107 – 109|
|7 (350MB File)||114 – 118||105 -112|
|ATTO record R5||119 write @512Kb/1Mb, 117 read @ 4M|
No Jumbo packages, MTU1500. The new firmware update grants a speed boost over default network settings and gets the same speeds on the default MTU15000 VS Jumbo frames enabled at MTU9000.
Default network cables supplied by the manufacturer have been used for testing.
The new firmware gave us slightly different test results over a previously tested 412+ unit. Quite surprisingly, except for the boost in write speeds, the DS413 and DS412+ match one another in read speeds to 1 single computer connected.
A small modification
With the Synology DS412+ we received a couple of reader requests if it was normal that their box had a zoom sound and wasn’t all that quiet as they imagined their purchase to be.
Whilst we had the same issue with our model, we decided to modify the DS413 (exactly the same inside & outside except for the logic board). First off, we got hands on 2x 92mm NF-B9 fans from Noctua, these babies are squeezed off by the L.N.A. cable and run at 1300RPM (instead of the default 1600), they produce a mere 13 dB and give you a bit more than 104 cubic meters of airflow per hour (combined). You could decrease the RPM to 1000 as well and get about 82 cubic meters of airflow per hour for 8dB.
After replacing the stock fans by these Noctuas, we noticed the internal metal skeleton is actually supported by the PVC shell. Which, on its turn cause vibration of the hard drives to be passed down to the PVC, causing a monotone zoom pitch witch seemed to bother both us and a fair few readers.
Solution: Go to your nearest DJ/Music store (or shop online) for sound absorbing foam. This stuff is usually sold in 50x50mm panels used to glue to the walls of recording studios to keep the voice in and the noise out.
A sharp knife will cut this foam like butter, so you best cut up as many pieces as you can glue into the gaps of the PVC shell. We even put a thin layer in the square openings of the plastic front plate and added some foam at the front of the brackets. As long as you make sure the airflow between the hard drives stays intact and you don’t obstruct fresh air reaching the logic board, you should be all good. An additional option would be to cut up a few square bricks of the foam; to be used as feet for the DS413, this kills off any vibration left.
The end result will definitely impress you! The box suddenly runs very silent. And you’ve actually increased the airflow over the stock fans whilst reducing the noise levels otherwise caused by the resonating air gaps.
Announced to arrive shortly after CeBIT this year. A name change and production delay later, Synology finally came round launching the much-anticipated ARM-based DS413.
In essence we see a less pricy less revved up DS412+ with the VM/Citrix certifications shaved off. However, all what made the DS412+ so good has been taken over by the DS413. File server, print server, MyCloud, Mail server, advanced encryption/data protection, it all stayed intact. Plus you can always check in at the Synology Apps station where you can fine-tune your NAS with all the advanced SMB/SOHO apps freely available.
The DS413 makes a perfect companion for any home environment; the DLNA capabilities and file sharing services are very potent for the average home or small office. We dare say the DS413 is very capable to serve up to 5 people who stream music, watch HD movies or work with various office files within the local network. The integrated backup features make sure either PC or Mac will not lose data when things go wrong.
With a MSRP of 450€/500$ Synology might just have hit another winner, even if the dual core CPU inside isn’t the beefed up Intel Atom; they made a great logic board based on ARM architecture. If your requirements are no higher than 5 people simultaneously using your NAS and there is no need for VM/Citrix, then the DS413 is a solid winner. And currently Synology’s DS413 is the most energy efficient device money can buy. Highly recommended!