What is the Best Synology NAS for Plex?

  • Post author:WunderTech
  • Post published:September 17, 2022
  • Post last modified:May 20, 2024
  • Post category:Synology
  • Reading time:12 mins read

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In this article, we will look at the best Synology NAS for Plex. When you start looking at Synology NAS devices, it’s important to understand exactly what you’re looking for. First, you need to consider storage space, meaning how much total volume you’ll need.

To determine this, you’ll have to get an understanding of how much you’d like to store on your Synology NAS and the hard drive size you’d like to use. Plex will run on any Synology, so having the total storage space that you need is incredibly important.

We will look at a few important questions below before looking at other options and I’ll do my best to break down the three options below and why I think that almost all users should fall into one of these categories.

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How Much Storage Space Do I Need?

The first thing you should do is use Synology’s RAID calculator to get an idea of how much storage space you’ll have after accounting for RAID. Plug the numbers into the RAID calculator and try and determine how many bays you’ll need in your Synology NAS, then proceed.

Do I Want to Use Hardware Acceleration?

First off, Hardware acceleration is NOT required for most people. However, you should understand if you’d actually like to use it as the Synology NAS device you select must be compatible with Hardware Acceleration.

It’s difficult to explain if Hardware Acceleration is necessary for each individual circumstance, but you should read and understand exactly what it does to confirm if you do or do not need it. Then, look for the Hardware Acceleration Compatible info below to ensure you get a device compatible with Hardware Acceleration.

Best Synology NAS for Plex Devices

what is the best synology nas for plex

The devices listed below are some of the best and recommended options for Plex.

After you’ve selected your NAS, make sure you buy the best Hard Drive you can!

Synology DS423+: Best Overall Synology NAS For Plex

Synology DS423+ Plex Review

WunderTech

What is the Best Synology NAS for Plex?
Performance
Features (PCIe Expansion, SSD Caching, Upgradable Memory)
Networking Support
Hardware Acceleration Performance
Value

Summary

The Synology DS423+ is the best Synology NAS for Plex because it has a powerful processor that can handle 4K hardware transcoding, four drive bays that can store up to 64 TB of media, and two M.2 NVMe SSD slots. This device is extremely similar to the DS920+ (when it was available), and while technically that was a better device, the DS423+ has the same processor, same M.2 Drive slots, same RJ-45 ports, and only 2GB less memory. This is the one that I think almost everyone should get.

4

Synology DS224+: Best Value

Synology DS224+ Plex Review

WunderTech

What is the Best Synology NAS for Plex?
Performance
Features (PCIe Expansion, SSD Caching, Upgradable Memory)
Networking Support
Hardware Acceleration Performance
Value

Summary

The Synology DS224+ is the best Synology NAS for beginners and might just be the best Synology NAS for Plex. Generally, this device will do everything, including hardware transcoding due to the Intel J4125 processor. A lot of the devices below don’t support hardware acceleration, so if that’s a requirement for you and two bays are enough, you should go with the Synology DS224+. It’s just the best overall value and offers the most functionality for media servers on this list. If you want more bays, check out the DS423+ below.

3.5

If you want to go with a two-bay NAS and do not care about hardware acceleration, get the Synology DS723+. To be clear, the outgoing DS720+ was technically a better unit for Plex since it supported Hardware Acceleration, but if you’re not going to use that, this is a great option. This device also allows you to eventually expand, if necessary, by purchasing an expansion unit as media files tend to grow in size as resolution grows.

Synology DS923+: Best Overall Synology NAS

Synology DS923+ Plex Review

WunderTech

What is the Best Synology NAS for Plex?
Performance
Features (PCIe Expansion, SSD Caching, Upgradable Memory)
Networking Support
Hardware Acceleration
Value

Summary

If you simply want the best overall NAS you can buy, get the DS923+, but keep in mind, it’s not the best Synology NAS for Plex. It comes with a Ryzen processor and 4GB of DDR4 ECC memory that’s expandable(the devices above don’t support ECC memory) . It has an expansion slot for 10GbE networking, supports SSD Caching and is just a great overall device, but it does not support hardware acceleration.

3.3

If the Synology DS923+ is on your radar, you can also check out the DS1522+, DS1621+, or DS1821+. They all do not support hardware acceleration but are great devices in their own right. You can learn more about them when looking at our article on the best Synology NAS devices.

Setting Up Plex on a Synology NAS

Now that we looked at the best Synology NAS for Plex, let’s look at how to configure Plex. There are two different ways that you can set up Plex on a Synology NAS. The first is by using the Plex Package. This is arguably the easiest way, as you simply download and install the Plex package, and then configure it.

The second is by using Plex and Docker, which will allow you to run Plex on Docker and standardize it (as opposed to using the package). Finally, the third is by using Plex, Docker, and Hardware Acceleration.

Conclusion & Final Thoughts

This article looked at the best Synology NAS for Plex devices. Please note, the new DS923+ (which is what most people think is the best overall Synology device) DOES NOT support hardware acceleration, so if you want to use it with Plex, you must get the DS920+ (if you can find one) or DS423+.

If you can still get your hands on a DS1520+, this is one of the best devices as well, however, it’s been replaced by the DS1522+ which does NOT support hardware transcoding. If you only need two drive bays, the DS723+ is the device you should buy. With that said, not everyone needs Hardware Acceleration, so going with the DS1621+ or DS1821+ is a great option as well.

Thanks for checking out the article on the best Synology NAS for Plex. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments!