Synology seems to be the last of the manufacturers of Network Attached Storage devices to use the x86 platform in its products. The company’s earlier NASes were based on ARM and PPC processors. We are far from blaming them for that delay because, as we know from our earlier tests, the x86 platform doesn’t bring about any significant improvements for NASes. In fact, the PPC-based DS509+ model is still one of the fastest we’ve ever tested in our labs.
Unfortunately, it is rather hard to perform comprehensive tests of NASes that would reveal the need for more resources. The general recommendation still goes like “more is better” (more memory, higher CPU frequency, etc). Typical resource-consuming applications for desktop PC such as video editing tools and games cannot be run on NASes. Video transcoding is possible, but an entry-level x86 processor isn’t going to be fast for that (although one software module available for Synology NASes makes use of transcoding).
Thus, the new platform in Synology’s DS1010+, DS411+ and DS710+ NASes is not a real necessity, especially as the ARM architecture is developing, too (there are already multi-core ARM processors available). The manufacturer is just keeping up with the times and uses these new products for polishing off x86-oriented software.
Package and Accessories
The size of the package is up to the product class. A five-disk NAS calls for a large box, so the box of the DS1010+ measures 36x32x29 centimeters. As is typical of the recent models from Synology, the box is made from plain cardboard and has small stickers with the model name and brief product specifications.
The box contains everything necessary: a power cord, two network cables, a pack of HDD screws, a quick installation guide, and a CD with software.
The utilities on the CD are Synology Assistant, Download Replicator and Data Replicator in versions for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux (not all of the utilities). There is also a firmware file and electronic documentation on the CD.