We would like to thank Synology for supplying the review sample.
The new DS416 NAS belongs to Synology's value series of products, along with the DS715 we evaluated last year. Compared to the DS415+, which we also took a look at in the past, the DS416 uses a weaker dual-core SoC by Annapurna Labs and 1 GB of RAM. The DS415+, on the other hand, uses an Intel Atom C2538 CPU, a SoC of the Rangeley family, and 2 GB of RAM. As such, we expect the DS416 to perform worse, although its specifications are strong enough to cover the needs of an enthusiast user or a small office since its Alpine AL-212 SoC has proven to be very efficient while offering enough computing power for a mid-centric NAS.
An incredibly strong CPU isn't a must with a NAS since these machines use custom-tailored Linux editions that run well on weaker hardware—hardware utilization is kept low under even stressful conditions to make sure a NAS server's operating system stays snappy. NAS servers use weaker CPUs than desktops, which makes them incredibly energy efficient, which is important since these are supposed to operate around the clock. A CPU with a low TDP can also be cooled passively, which decreases output noise and increases reliability because fans have moving parts, which make them more prone to failure.