Synology DiskStation DS1512+ 5-Bay NAS Review

By on March 28, 2012, 10:55 PM

Synology made significant upgrades to its high-end small and medium business product range last year, adding the 5-bay DS1511+ and 12-bay DS2411+ to counter the competition's products in the sub-$1,000 to $2,000 range. Despite being nearly a year old and as expensive as ever at $800 and $2,000 (that's without storage drives), the DS1511+ and DS2411+ are still very solid and relevant in today's market.

Both are still quite sound in terms of technical specifications -- unless you need USB 3.0, which is rapidly becoming a standard feature for NAS devices. As such, Synology has upgraded the 5-bay DS1511+ with the latest USB standard and it's taken the opportunity to polish some other specs too.

Known as the DS1512+, the revamped 5-bay device boasts faster read and write speeds compared to its predecessor, and packs a dual core 2.13GHz Intel Atom D2700 (32nm Cedar Trail) processor, which should provide a little more oomph than the dated 1.8GHz Atom D525 (45nm Pineview).

These extras come at a reasonable $100 premium over last year's DS1511+, which should position the DS1512+ as a respectable contender in the current NAS market -- or so the spec sheets would have us believe. Let's take a closer look at the hardware and software (including the recently released DiskStation Manger 4.0) before we greet Synology's latest offering with our usual array of benchmarks.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 19

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cookiedude cookiedude said:

Impeccable timing, been looking for a good review of this enclosure. Can happily go ahead and buy one now

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I've been ranting and raving about my "new" 1511+ for a few weeks now and I've gotta say if this is any better then it must be great. I have been having a tricky AD issue with mine the last week or so, but not sure who is at fault with that. Device keeps falling off the domain for some reason.

Guest said:

I got myself Qnap TS-412 for Rs. 26,000 ($510). On top of that, the Green drives from Seagate and WD don't play nice in these RAID environments.

Just wondering, aren't these NAS boxes are just rip-off for average consumers?

Guest said:

I have the 1511+ and it's one of the best investments I've ever made. That being said, it does more than the average user needs. But it is "the Cadillac" of NAS systems.

cookiedude cookiedude said:

I got myself Qnap TS-412 for Rs. 26,000 ($510). On top of that, the Green drives from Seagate and WD don't play nice in these RAID environments.

Just wondering, aren't these NAS boxes are just rip-off for average consumers?

Are those drives listed on the Qnap's compatibility list??

Guest said:

Could you do some tests with USB3 speeds with external NTFS HDDs? A real week point for other NAS boxes was terrible speeds with NTFS drives. Just interesting to see how it does.

PS. 4TB drives are actually officially supported,

Guest said:

You need to check the synology forums and amazon. There have been several reports of these units working fine for about a week to a day, then you reboot them or power them back on and get a flashing blue power light.

The unit I bought did this after a week and two days (just when a rsync job from my older nas finished). Rebooted the synology unit, and it never came back up. Followed the FAQ.....failed the self test. Emailed support.....except synology support does not work on the weekends (no email, nothing). Called them (no 800 number). Was told simply it was dead, sorry, return it to the dealer. No trouble shooting. Nothing.

Thanks synology. Was able to get the unit up again after having it unplugged for about 12 hours. Still going back and forth with synology to get a new unit (very very very slow). They wanted the unit shipped back with the original boxes and everything. But those got thrown out since it was working perfectly for over a week.

Nice software, and the unit is nice. Their support really seems to suck. What company does not have at least email support over the weekends? I know of none.

Guest said:

^

This surprises me, usually their support is top notch and its predecessor which I own is the DS1511+ is great. I'm sure Synology will get back to you on a fix especially if their seems to be a 'bug' especially if there have been user reports. As for support, you should be very grateful that they even offer 'free' support rather than paying extra like Drobo's (which I owned before the DS1511+) and even so their support still sucked.

Hang in there and hopefully there will be a fix soon.

jameslr said:

Guest said:

You need to check the synology forums and amazon. There have been several reports of these units working fine for about a week to a day, then you reboot them or power them back on and get a flashing blue power light.

The unit I bought did this after a week and two days (just when a rsync job from my older nas finished). Rebooted the synology unit, and it never came back up. Followed the FAQ.....failed the self test. Emailed support.....except synology support does not work on the weekends (no email, nothing). Called them (no 800 number). Was told simply it was dead, sorry, return it to the dealer. No trouble shooting. Nothing.

Thanks synology. Was able to get the unit up again after having it unplugged for about 12 hours. Still going back and forth with synology to get a new unit (very very very slow). They wanted the unit shipped back with the original boxes and everything. But those got thrown out since it was working perfectly for over a week.

Nice software, and the unit is nice. Their support really seems to suck. What company does not have at least email support over the weekends? I know of none.

I had the same experience with my first DS1512. I originally bought the DS1511, and the DS1512 came out 3 days later. I returned the 1511 to get the 1512 for the additional processing power and storage support for 4TB disks. After about a week - the motherboard spontaneously failed upon a reboot. I have since received a replacement and all is well. Still frustrating to say the least. It has been 2 weeks since I've had my replacement unit. No problems so far. I rebooted it last night after an upgrade to a newer version of DSM 4.0.

I think it's worth noting that there is not another NAS out there with the features, performance, and simplicity of this unit in this price range. I even looked at building my own. While I could put more RAM and a faster processor in it, this has the best features.

Guest said:

I'd watched a few you tube videos from a gentleman that had a DS1511+ and finally bit the bullet a couple weeks ago and ordered the DS1512+ with only a single 3tb drive to start. Some had had issues with 3TB drives, at least with the 1511, so I only wanted to risk a single drive for now. So far I've had zero issues and plan to order two more drives this month, then the final two sometime later. I really like that I can expand it later and have a single architecture and interface to manage it.

Guest said:

Can you mix and match drive sizes? I have ordered one of these units but my drives range from 100 to 2000 gb. I'm really worried about the reported problems though and wondering if I should cancel my Amazon order before it is too late

Staff
Steve Steve said:

We are yet to run into any problems like those suggested by others. Also yes you can mix and match drives without a problem.

Guest said:

I'm thinking of buying one of those 2.

is it really worth the 150 ? extra for a 1512+?

I'm not gonna use it in an office environment but mainly for streaming video at home.

cookiedude cookiedude said:

I'm thinking of buying one of those 2.

is it really worth the 150 ? extra for a 1512+?

I'm not gonna use it in an office environment but mainly for streaming video at home.

Might be a bit overkill for home use! You should look at some of Synology's more affordable products, such as:

[link]

[link]

[link]

Or Qnap:

[link]

[link]

[link]

I'm looking at something like this for home use:

[link]

[link]

Guest said:

I thought I was going to have the same issue as the gent who complained about flashing blue light on reboot. I tried the old fashioned "hard reset" (push the blue blinking button until the unit turns off, wait 30 seconds, and push the button again) and things seem to have come back online quite normally. This was after I tried to "reboot" the DS1512+ from within the web-based management tool.

Now, if someone can just help me figure out how to get my Mac to shut down without stopping on the spiky circle of death forever (also requires a hard boot) I would much appreciate it.

Guest said:

Just read comments after the comparison of 1511+ & 1512+. I have DS1511+ since Feb with 5 x 2TB Seagate Barracuda drives (ST2000DM001) - I was advised that the Seagate "green" drives don't work well, so took the advice.

I have reccommended the 1511+ to friends for home use based on my findings. I haven't done physical comparison against other NAS, but have noting but praise for this Synology box. From what I read, even better is the top-notch DSM software - this is the clincher: lots of controls and utilities for the least capable, so long as you have an understanding that you have now created a network and it needs users, etc.

Wake from disc sleep sometimes is a little long, sometimes I need to reconnect one of my 3 macs but this is acceptable and not at all painful. DS File and other utilities are excellent, music server for Squeezebox (Touch, Classic) means uninterrupted access to on-line music (FLAC and internet radio).

It appears that once you have chosen Synology Hybrid Raid (SHR) instead of one of the standard RAID (up to RAID10), you cannot go back; this seemed an issue, but then SHR seems more flexible and does much the same. Also, I was slightly taken back with the actual space available from 5 x 2TB discs - a little chunk out of each disc (maybe I'm reading it wrong.. still checking). I kinda like ability to hot-swap, altho have no inclination to do so; more interested to see what tasks would be involved to replace 5x2TB with 5x3TB when the time comes... Also like that I can add an additional 30TB via two additional boxes.

If DS1512+ is a slight upgrade to DS1511+, then I'd recommend it as well. Not looking back.

Synology - great! Seagate - excellent!

Perfect combo.

Guest said:

When you're paying north of $1k the only gratitude should be coming from the company that got the sale, which is Synology. The days of throwing together products with no support are over. Adapt or suffer the market's wrath. I would rather pay $ to be able to access someone at Synology. Their support isn't just pathetic....it's non-existent. I've been emailing them since May 31st and have still received no reply. What kind of respectable company treats their customers that way??

Guest said:

There were issues with the first batch of DS1512+ but they were all sorted out as of April 2012. They asked people to remit serial numbers and anyone whose fell into a certain batch were replaced/fixed and any stores that had them were to return them and they would work it out with them. In any event, any of them sent to stores after April no longer have the issues I saw mentioned on thread.

If any of you are having any, then you will have one of the first ones so do make sue you remit your serial number and it will be taken care of.

If you do a google search, you will find a forum that had a short thread about it as only a few had the problems but after the company posted about, the complains stopped. Or at least I assume it was someone in he company the posted. Anyhow, I must say that mine works so well and I initially thought it was a bit too expensive but I am very happy know I indulged myself!

Guest said:

Perhaps the power supplies are a weak point in these devices.

Green drives giving problems? Who cares they are generally slower at 5400rpm anyway.

I do have the original box and packing but I am reluctant to return the device (without drives and caddies obviously) just to be possibly told. We cannot find a fault!

Not only that I have to go back to the company I bought it from rather Synology directly. There is some room for improvement here.

Synology kit it excellent, I own a few.

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