SSDs are known for their fast read and write performance. SATA SSDs are about three or more times faster than regular hard drives, and very recently, their cost has plummeted, almost closing the gap with HDDs.
This raises the question of installing SSDs on a NAS system. These can be used for various purposes, like data storage or for caching. Some NAS support this and do it so well, so let’s see some of the best NAS with SSD.
There are several features that cut across the board to make the NAS effectively use the SSD.
List of Best NAS with SSD in 2021
The following NAS drives offer NAS for improved performance.
- Synology DiskStation DS920+ – 2 NVME slots Recommended NAS with SSD Slots
- QNAP TS-473-4G – High-performance CPU plus GPU support
- QNAP TVS-672XT – Very expensive, has 10Gigabit networking
- Synology DiskStation DS720+ – Dual-drive with 2 NVME slots
- Synology DS620 slim – Has 6 2.5-inch drive bays
1. Synology DiskStation DS920+ – 2 NVME slots Recommended NAS with SSD Slots
This system from Synology comes with two M.2 SSD drives built-in. Installing the NVME SSDs will significantly boost the performance of the system, especially if you have HDDs installed in the main drive bays rather than SATA SSDs.
This is because the NVME SSDs can serve as a cache for the commonly used files on the HDDs, storing them in a faster-to-access location.
What makes this the best NAS with SSD is the availability of 4 drive bays. As such, you get the opportunity to have large storage capacities.
There’s also the possibility of implementing RAID which can be used to boost performance or improve data security by having copies of files on multiple drives.
The device features hardware encryption. This means there’s a dedicated chip on the motherboard that solely works on keeping your files secure. Even with this, the device still posts high data throughputs with sequential speeds going over 225MB/s.
2. QNAP TS-473-4G – High-performance CPU plus GPU support
Users looking for the best NAS with SSD should consider this. It has a powerful CPU from AMD that runs at 2.1 to about 3.4GHz. This is backed by 4GB of DDR4 RAM which adds up to a high-performance system.
It has four drive bays for either SSDs and HDDs. Their physical sizes are enough to accommodate even the larger 3.5-inch drives which are good for people who already have hard drives and are just looking for a NAS to install them in.
For disk performance, users get to M.2 SSD slots on the device. These can be equipped with the 2280 and the 2260 form factor SATA SSDs which will result in high performance when serving as caches to hard drives.
Furthermore, there are two PCIe X4 slots on the board. These can be equipped with faster networking cards, and you can even opt for high-speed wireless networking for faster data transfers. You can also install a GeForce GT1030 graphics card for people who rely on 4K video transcoding.
With QNAP’s Q-tier technology, on-demand data is moved to faster access storage devices for faster delivery.
3. QNAP TVS-672XT – Very expensive, has 10Gigabit networking
It is well-featured though, as it comes equipped with Intel UHD graphics and 8GB of RAM. For users with more demanding needs the RAM can be upgraded as needed, but with a maximum of 32GB.
There are two Thunderbolt ports for fast data transfers between other devices. You also get 5 other USB ports. As such, moving files from external thunderbolt hard drives to this system for more central storage is easy and seamless.
There’s support for a 10Gigabit Ethernet connection. This is used to reduce network latencies and bottlenecks, especially on very high traffic networks. And, the fast transfer speeds make using SSDs with this NAS more efficient.
Two PCIe slots are available. Each is third-generation, however, one comes pre-equipped with the Thunderbolt adapter. The second one can be used for other purposes, including having another network card. Its sheer power makes this the best NAS with SSD.
4. Synology DiskStation DS720+ – Dual-drive with 2 NVME slots
Another expandable thing is storage capacity. The device comes with 2 drive bays that can be equipped with HDDs or SSDs. However, this can be scaled to 7 with the help of the DX517 expansion kit from Synology.
Being expandable and offering users much-needed flexibility is what makes this the best NAS with SSD.
As for performance, the device is capable of sustaining 225MB/s and 195MB/s of sequential read and write speeds respectively. It also has two M.2 NVME slots built-in. These take the 2280 form factor card and when set up as cache, they allow you to accelerate storage performance significantly.
You can rest easy knowing that your files are safe thanks to the device’s hardware encryption. The main aim of this is to limit unauthorized access to your files. Novice users will find this simple and straightforward.
5. Synology DS620 slim – Has 6 2.5-inch drive bays
This device is slim and compact. It has 6 drive bays but can only accommodate the smaller 2.5-inch form factor cards. As such, users who already own larger 3.5-inch drives that they are planning to use should skip this.
Luckily, the device comes with support for 2.5-inch SSDs, making it the best NAS with SSD. Using SSDs will result in faster read and write performance, and overall higher data transfers, of course depending on the user’s network.
The NAS supports read and write speeds of over 220 and 190 MB/s. And while it does carry out hardware encryption, transmitting the encrypted data does not cause any significant performance impacts.
The six drive bays open up users to high flexibility with their RAID configuration. This does many things including securing files on multiple drives as well as increasing disk read times.
You get plenty of RAM. The base unit ships with 2GB of DDR3, but this can be upgraded to 6GB when the need arises.
The system also supports dual-channel 4K transcoding which can come in handy for streaming or 4K video editing.
Guide to Choosing the Right NAS for SSD
SSDs are ideal for applications dependent on fast disk access, and their benefits include significantly faster streaming among others, particularly where many users are connected.
But, is it advisable to install an SSD on your NAS already?
NAS and SSDs
NAS systems run using your network, and will even run over the internet once connected. They provide central access to your files, and security while at it.
Most NAS can support SSDs. The drive bays typically run on SATA, and users may, in many cases, opt for the faster storage. But you have to consider a few things.
A Gigabit connection can transmit at about 110MB/s. This is moderately fast, but many HDDs can accomplish this, and the link speed is too little to even consider using an SSD. In such a case, you will not get the speed benefits of employing SSDs over HDDs.
However, many NAS come with multiple ethernet connectors, and they might support link aggregation. For that, you may get faster speeds.
You can even get around this by opting for some more expensive NAS that support 10Gigabit connections or those that allow the installation of expansion cards.
Many NAS that support 3.5-inch drives will need an adapter to fit the smaller 2.5-inch form factor.
Furthermore, support for certain SSDs may not be guaranteed. It is thus vital for users to check in with the manufacturer of their NAS to see if their model supports SSDs.
SSDs may be installed, not to be used as the main storage, but as cache. Some NAS have extra slots like M.2 for this purpose. They may be SATA or PCIe, but they do help boost performance.
Benefits of SSDs
Speed is only one benefit that you can get from using SSDs over HDDs in a compatible system. Another thing is noise reduction. If you have a NAS with multiple drive bays, each with an HDD, it will be moderately loud due to the spinning disks.
SSDs, on the other hand, are much more silent since they have no moving parts.
You also get to save much more power with SSDs. HDDs draw a lot of power to spin the disks and to move the reading arm. With SSDs, nothing moves and data is read electronically off the chips, resulting in less current draw and more savings if you have multiple drives running.
SSD can drastically improve the performance of your NAS. NVMe SSDs, particularly, run at extraordinary speed. The PCIe v3 NVMe can run at as much as 35X times the speed of a normal hard disk.
If you looking for improved performance, then the list of best SSD for NAS here should have at least pointed you to the right direction.