Synology DS715 Review

Written by Antony Leather

June 18, 2015 | 15:02

Tags: #best-hard-disk #best-nas #cloud-storage #hard-disk #raid #synology-nas #two-bay-nas

Companies: #plex #synology

Synology DS715 Review

Manufacturer: Synology
UK Price (as reviewed): £318.96 (inc VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $469.00 (ex Tax)

As one of our favourite NAS enclosure manufacturers, Synology is under our watchful eye as to what new features it can bring to the table to stay ahead of the game. It's products are usually fast, very easy to use and have a wide array of features too, ranging from media streaming to surveillance and of cloud storage and remote access.

The new DS715 aims to bring a little more grunt to its two-bay NAS enclusure range with a quad-core CPU. It's a 1.4GHz Annapurna Labs Alpine AL-314 from ARM's NEON range of CPUs, which amongst other things, allow for faster on-the-fly media transcoding, gaming and image processing. The former is clearly something of particular interest for NAS users, especially those that bolt the Plex media service onto their NAS too.

Synology DS715 Review Synology DS715 Review
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It's a demanding application, particularly so when you start transcoding media when dishing out files to various mobile devices. However, we hit a snag when we can to testing in that Plex doesn't currently support the DS715's CPU in any way shape or form. This was a tad disappointing as we include it on all compatible NAS testing now, but sadly, for the moment there's a brick wall here so if you want a Synology plus Plex combination, it's worth checking the Plex forums for compatible models.

Synology DS715 Review Synology DS715 Review
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We should point out that this is a limitation of Plex, rather than Synology, but given the NEON-based CPU's enhanced media transcoding abilities, it makes absolute sense to get the two talking as soon as possible. The result could be one of the first dual-bay NAS enclosures capable of dealing with decent resolution Plex media transcoding.

That said, you're still able to transcode video using Synology's own Video Station server or it's mobile app - DS Video, and it claims the DS715 can transcode up to 720p for example, to iOS devices - one of only two dual-bay NAS enclosures it claims can do so, the other being the DS215+.

Synology DS715 Review Synology DS715 Review
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So, what else do you get for the £300 price tag? As you'd expect, there are two USB 3 ports, albeit on the rear of the device rather than more handily-located at the front for connecting USB sticks or USB speakers. There's also an eSATA port and dual LAN ports that support link aggregation - probably not something your average home user will need, so we'd certainly like to see a more affordable quad-core dual-bay NAS at some point without the extra business-orientated paraphernalia.

Synology DS715 Review Synology DS715 Review
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As per usual, there's a whisper-quiet 92mm fan at the rear and both of the 3.5in drive bays are tool-free and include anti-vibration mounts. They're also lockable using an included key. The maximum supported hard disks are currently 8TB, alhtough the DS715 does support scaling using one of Synology's expansion units such as the DX513, providing up to 56TB of storage should your needs expand.

Specifications

  • Local connections Front: None, Rear: USB 3, 2 x LAN, eSATA
  • Network connections 2 x Gigabit Ethernet
  • Storage Up to 2 x 8TB hard disk (not included)
  • Cables 1.5m Cat 5 Ethernet,
  • Cooling1 x 92mm fan
  • Features FTP server, Print, webserver, independent download (via HTTP, FTP and BitTorrent), iTunes and UPnP media sever, DLNA, storage server, photo server, video server, external USB hard disk support, USB speaker support, surveillance server, Cloud server.
  • Dimensions (W x D x H) 104mm x 232mm x 157mm
  • Accessories None

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