I would like to thank Synology for supplying the review sample.
The DS420j is an affordable NAS by Synology, a key company in this specific market category. It succeeds the DS418j, which I didn't have the opportunity to evaluate. Externally, it looks the same, and internally, we find the same amount of RAM, 1 GB directly soldered to the mainboard, so there is no upgrade option. The critical difference is the stronger CPU in the new model, which has been upgraded from a dual-core Realtek RTD1293 to a four-core RTD1296. Twice the cores is highly welcome, and for those of you worrying about the small amount of RAM, there won't be any issues for home use because the NAS is not resource hungry. Contrary to other operating systems (e.g., Windows), Disk Station Manager is very light. That said, it would still be nice to have the option to upgrade the RAM, but you have to make compromises at this price point.
A nicer front cover would have been good as well, as this one reminds me of a previous era. However, as a NAS is supposed to work tirelessly around the clock, there are other things to worry about first—looks aren't at the top of the list. Because this is mostly a home-oriented NAS, I will additionally test the transcoding performance using Plex, which is now supported on Realtek CPUs.
|Synology DS420j Specifications|
|Processor||Realtek RTD1296 (Quad Core 1.4 GHz)|
|Operating System||Embedded Linux|
|Memory||1 GB SO-DIMM DDR4 (not expandable)|
|Storage||4x 3.5"/2.5" SATA II/III|
|RAID Levels||Single Disk, JBOD, SHR, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10|
|Capacity||up to 64 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 (two licenses are included for free)|
|Video Transcoding||Group 2 (See more)|
|Dimensions||184 (H) x 168 (W) x 230 (D) mm|
|Power Consumption||Access: 21.71 W|
HDD Hibernation: 7.88 W
(with 4x WD10EFRX installed)
|Power Supply||External, 90 W, 100-240 V|
|Fan||2x 80 mm (FD128020HL, DBB)|
|Price Excluding VAT|
(at time of the review)
When it comes to transcoding, Synology classifies this product as a Group 2 NAS, so its transcoding capabilities are limited. That said, my tests proved that this is not the case. Another essential feature is that it supports up to 16 IP cameras—two licenses are provided for free.