Internal Hardware

The DS1512+ is powered by a 2.13GHz Intel Atom D2700 "Cedarview" (32nm) processor. Although it's only a dual-core chip, it supports four threads thanks to HyperThreading. The processor is passively cooled using a small aluminum heatsink that looks much like something you would find on a south bridge motherboard chip.

Rather than soldering memory chips directly to the PCB, as was the case with earlier Synology NAS devices, the DS1512+ features a pair of SO-DIMM slots. The slot on the front side of the PCB comes preloaded with 1GB of DDR3-1066 RAM. The second slot is easier to access on the rear side of the PCB, allowing you to expand the RAM up to 3GB.

Also featured on the backside of the PCB are two Intel 82574L network controllers while on the front side is a Silicon Image Sil3132 controller, along with the Intel ICH10R southbridge chip.

The ICH10R debuted in November 2008 with the X58 (Tylersburg) chipset and the new Core i7 CPUs. The ICH10 has numerous iterations and the Synology DS1512+ uses the AF82801JIR I/O controller, otherwise known as ICH10R. This high-end version of the chip has AHCI and RAID support.

The 31x31mm chip uses just 4.5 watts and supports a host of features, such as SATA 3Gb/s and USB 2.0. It also supplies the five internal bays with support for a number of volume types including basic, JBOD, RAID 0, 1, 5, 5+Spare, 6 and 10 -- all courtesy of Intel's Matrix Storage Technology. Synology uses the ICH10R to supply internal SATA support to the five bays, while the Silicon Image Sil3132 controller connects the DS1512+ to the DX510 expansion units.

Two tiny Intel 82574L controllers provide dual gigabit LAN support via the PCI Express 1.1 x1 (2.5GT/s) interface. They're built on a 90nm design process, measure 9x9mm and have a maximum thermal design power of just 0.727 watts.

Although the ICH10R supports twelve USB 2.0 ports, the DS1512+ provides users with just four, while a fifth is used to connect an internal micro drive. This tiny micro drive features a USBest UT165-L46 controller, which is often used in thumb drives. The controller is connected to a single Samsung K9F1G08U0C-PCB0 128MB memory chip that houses the DS1512+ operating system install.

There is a separate PCB mounted in the rear of the unit that houses two eSATA ports and two USB 3.0 ports. However, the main PCB doesn't contain a USB 3.0 controller and since the ICH10R doesn't offer USB 3.0, it left us wondering how the ports were supported

After removing the separate PCB from the rear of the case, we discovered that it contains a NEC uPD720200 controller that provides two USB 3.0 ports. There is another PCB mounted in the back of the DS1512+ and that carries five hot-swappable SATA connectors without any additional controllers.

Now we're only missing one ingredient: hard drives. The DS712+ compatibility list is quite broad, supporting many Hitachi, Maxtor, Samsung, Seagate and Western Digital drives, including 3TB units.