I would like to thank Synology for supplying the review sample.
After the DS420j, an affordable 4-bay NAS, I thought to take a look at the most affordable "j" models. The DS220j costs less than $170, making it one of the most affordable NAS servers on the market today. It uses the same SoC as the DS420j, the Realtek RTD1296, which has four cores clocked at 1.4 GHz. This CPU is not a speed demon and has been on the market for quite some time now, almost three years, but has very low energy demands and is strong enough to cover the needs of a mainstream NAS.
The RTD1296 SoC uses a quad-core Cortex A53 CPU and is equipped with an ARM Mali-T820 MP3 GPU. It includes a hardware transcoding engine capable of handling H.264 and H.265 files at up to 4K resolution and with 24 FPS (H.264) and 60 FPS (H.265) refresh rates. This SoC also has a hardware encryption engine.
In demanding applications or when many applications are running simultaneously, the limits will probably be set by the low amount of RAM (512 MB) first and not the CPU. To make matters worse, you cannot upgrade the RAM since there is no slot—the RAM is soldered to the mainboard. On the other hand, half a gigabyte will suffice for home-centric tasks that aren't very demanding given the light operating system. Still, it would be nice to have the upgrade option.
|Synology DS220j Specifications|
|Processor||Realtek RTD1296 (quad-core 1.4 GHz)|
|Operating System||Embedded Linux|
|Memory||512 MB SO-DIMM DDR4 (not expandable)|
|Storage||2x 3.5"/2.5" SATA II/III|
|RAID Levels||Single Disk, JBOD, SHR,|
RAID 0, 1
|Capacity||up to 32 TB (disks not included)|
|File System (internal drives)||EXT4|
|File System (external drives)|
|iSCSI||Target & Initiator|
|Networking||1x 10/100/1000 Mbit Ethernet|
|I/O Ports||USB 3.0 x 2|
|IP Cameras||up to 16x (2x included)|
|Video Transcoding||Group 2 (See more)|
(max. number of connections)
|Dimensions||165 (H) x 100 (W) x 225.5 (D) mm|
|Power Consumption||Access: 12.46 W|
HDD Hibernation: 5.06 W
(with 2x WD10EFRX installed)
|Power Supply||External, 90 W, 100–240 V|
|Fan||1x 92 mm|
|Price excluding VAT|
(at time of the review)
As with the DS420j, Synology classifies the DS220j as a Group 2 NAS for transcoding purposes, so its transcoding capabilities are limited, at least on paper. Another essential feature is that it supports up to 16 IP cameras—two licenses are provided for free.