Synology DS214se & DSM 5.0 Overview 3

Synology DS214se & DSM 5.0 Overview

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Synology DS214se Specifications
ProcessorMarvell Armada 370, 0.8 GHz
Operating SystemEmbedded Linux
Memory256 MB DDR3
Storage2x 3.5"/2.5" SATA II/III
RAID Levels:Single Disk, JBOD,
RAID 0, 1, Synology Hybrid RAID
Capacityup to 10 TB (disks not included)
iSCSITarget & Initiator
Networking1x 10/100/1000 Mbit Ethernet
Additional Connectors2x USB 2.0
Dimensions 165(H) x 100(W) x 225.5(D) mm
6.50(H) x 3.94(W) x 8.88(D) inch
Weight 0.87 kg
Power ConsumptionHDD Hibernation: 3.59 W
In operation: 19.14 W (with 2 x Western Digital 2TB WD2002FYPS installed)
Power SupplyExternal, 72 W, 100-240 V (EA10721A-120)
Fan 1x 92 mm
Warranty2 years
Price excluding VAT
(at the time of the review)


The Synology DS214se features a Marvell Armada 370 CPU, an ARM V7-based system-on-a-chip (SoC) with a Floating Point Unit (FPU) operating at up to 1.2 GHz (3000 DMIPS), with 256K L2 cache and multiple I/O peripherals. This SoC features two Ethernet controllers, but the DS214se only comes with a single Ethernet port because it is meant for use at home. The Armada 370 supports the older USB 2.0 protocol, so Synology would have had to use a separate controller to offer USB 3.0 compatibility, which they unfortunately didn't. The unit also only comes with 256 MB of RAM, which is low for even mainstream NAS servers. We would feel more comfortable with at least 512 MB as RAM modules are, after all, fairly affordable now-a-days.

The DS214se can take up to two HDDs and is compatible with both SATA II and SATA III, although it doesn't take advantage of the faster speeds that the latter provide since it lacks the appropriate SATA III controller. It is also compatible with the fresh Seagate 5TB HDDs, so you can use two of those for a capacity of 10 TB. It is very nice to see the NAS support the iSCSI protocol, which most mainstream NAS servers do not.

The DS214se's I/O is rather sparse since it only includes a couple USB 2.0 ports and a single Ethernet port. We would at least like a USB 3.0 port and an eSATA port, but Synology didn't do us the favor. They apparently meant to cut cost by excluding those options, so you had better go with a higher DS model if you need more I/O ports.

The DS214se is very compact and pretty light. Its low-clocked CPU also makes it incredibly power efficient, which curtails the power consumed nicely. It consumes less than 20 W of power while operating normally with two large HDDs installed, a reading its strong power brick will easily provide. The 92mm fan keeps everything cool, and we are pretty satisfied by its relatively large diameter; that is, in relation to other fans that equip NAS servers. The fan will provide adequate cooling and the same amount of airflow at lower speeds than a 80mm fan.

Synology's warranty is only two years long, which, however, isn't terrible as a mainstream product like the DS214se comes with the same warranty period as high-end NAS servers. As for its price: It is quite low for a branded NAS that runs Synology's famous DSM operating system. You, after all, aren't just paying for the hardware but Synology's support and the software Synology painstakingly developed over several years to ensure the NAS performs incredibly well and is easy to use. The programmers that worked and continue to work incredibly hard to develop and improve all of Synology's software need to be paid, too, especially since all of them are delivering such excellent work.
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