Synology RackStation RS816 4-Bay NAS Review 5

Synology RackStation RS816 4-Bay NAS Review



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We would like to thank Synology for supplying the review sample.

Synology also offers several rackmount NAS boxes that are clearly for business environments since most home users don't use or even have racks. Synology's entry rackmount NAS offering is the 1U RS816 capable of taking up to four HDDs, or twice that in combination with a compatible expansion unit.

In order to reduce production cost and energy consumption, the RS816 uses a Marvell SoC featuring a dual-core CPU. Supported by 1 GB of RAM, these specs are far from impressive, but given the frugal hardware requirements of Synology's OS (DiskStation Manager), we believe the RS816 will perform well. Synology says this NAS to be capable of up to 220 MB/s read and 145 MB/s write speeds if you exploit both its Gigabit Ethernet ports through the link aggregation protocol.

A business-oriented NAS will frequently be asked to handle encrypted and normal file transfers, and Synology says the RS816 to fare pretty well with such tasks because of the hardware encryption engine its SoC provides. The read and write speeds Synology claims this NAS to be capable of with encrypted files look satisfactory, but we will verify them using our custom-made test suite, which will push the server's hardware to its limits.


Synology RackStation RS816 Specifications
ProcessorMarvell Armada 385 88F6820 (Dual Core 1.8 GHz)
Operating SystemEmbedded Linux
Memory1 GB SO-DIMM DDR3 (Non Expandable)
Storage4x 3.5"/2.5" SATA II/III
(8x maximum with expansion unit)
RAID Levels:Single Disk, JBOD,
RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10
Capacityup to 40 TB (disks not included) (80 TB with expansion unit)
iSCSITarget & Initiator
Maximum IP cam (Licenses required)16 (including 2 Free Licenses)
Video TranscodingGroup 2 (See more)
Networking2x 10/100/1000 Mbit Ethernet
I/O PortsUSB 3.0 x 2, eSATA x 1
Dimensions 44 (H) x 430.5 (W) x 295.5 (D) mm
17.3 (H) x 169.5 (W) x 116.3 (D) inch
Weight 4.34 kg
Power Consumption In operation: 27.9 W
Disk hibernation: 12.4 W
(with 4 x Western Digital 1TB WD10EFRX installed)
Power SupplyInternal 100 W @ 50 °C, 100-240 V (DPS-100AP-13A)
Fan 3x 40 mm
Warranty3 years
Price excluding VAT
(at the time of the review)


A Marvell Marvell Armada 385 SoC is the brains of this NAS. It incorporates a dual-core 1.8 GHz CPU with 1 MB of L3 cache. This SoC supports up to three Gigabit ports, but the RS816 only has two, which is enough for this server's most likely usage scenarios. The other features of the Marvell Armada 3858 (88F6820) include its support of two USB 3.0 and two SATA 3.0 ports and its very low TDP of 5 W.

There is only 1 GB of DDR3 RAM for the CPU, and although the hardware requirements for DSM are low, more RAM would have been nice, especially since RAM modules are very affordably priced nowadays. This NAS can accommodate up to four disks and can be connected to a Synology RX415 expansion unit for four more disks because it has an eSATA port.

There are a total of 16 IP camera channels, with two provided for free. The RS816 is compatible with Synology's Group 2 multimedia category, which includes products that can transcode video files at up to 720p resolution.

This NAS server's dimensions make it compatible with all racks, and its restricted height will only occupy 1U of space. There are also three small fans to handle the system's cooling, but it is quite expensive for its low hardware specifications. However, rackmount capability doesn't come cheap since it takes a very particular design that minimizes the server's height.

This unit is equipped with an internal PSU of high quality despite its limited height, capable of delivering its full power (100 W) at up to 50 °C ambient. The PSU's high temperature rating clearly points us toward this product's orientation, which is that of a business environments with tough operating conditions.


The box is very large and at its front are a sticker with a picture of the NAS, some of its specifications, and a list of the contents inside.

Contents & Bundle

Two pieces of packing foam adequately protect the contents inside the box.

A small box houses the bundled accessories and the quick start guide.

The NAS is accompanied by two sets of screws for HDD/SSD mounting, two brackets and the corresponding screws for mounting the NAS to a rack, and the keys for the tray's locks.


This NAS isn't very tall because of its 1U design. At its front are the power switch and a series of LED indicators. The trays feature locks, a requisite in a business-oriented product.

We removed the trays in order to take a better look at them.

Thankfully, the HDD trays are made out of metal, not plastic, but they come without any anti-vibration materials, which could make them a source of noise.

The sides of the NAS have screw holes, which will help you mount it to a rack with the provided brackets.

Around the back, we find three fans, a couple Ethernet ports, an eSATA port, two USB 3.0 ports, and a COM (serial) port.
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May 17th, 2022 01:45 EDT change timezone

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