QNAP TS-983XU
High performance and reliability
Synology RS1619xs+
High performance and collaboration
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Rackmount NAS appliances are great space-saving network storage solutions for SMBs and larger businesses and the latest low-profile 1U models pack a remarkable range of features into their compact chassis. Qnap and Synology have traditionally offered the most comprehensive ranges of 1U appliances and in this review, we pitch two of their most powerful 1U models against each other and reveal their pros and cons to help you make the right buying decision.

Specifications​

Along with common file sharing duties, both these NAS appliances are capable of running a huge range of business applications so it pays to get the best specification you can afford. A fast multi-core CPU and plenty of memory are essential if you don’t want the appliance running out of steam in the future as you ask it to provide more services.

 

Synology’s RS1619xs+ is powered by a quad-core 2.2GHz Intel Xeon D-1527 CPU and the price includes 8GB of DDR4 server-grade memory which can be upgraded to 64GB. True, the D-1527 CPU was launched nearly five years ago but as you’ll see in our performance tests, it still offers plenty of horsepower.

 

Qnap’s TS-983XU wins out in the power contest as when it was announced, it was the first NAS appliance on the market to sport Intel’s new Xeon E (Entry) CPUs. It’s endowed with a much faster quad-core 3.3GHz Intel Xeon E-2124 CPU and comes with 8GB of server-grade DDR4 ECC memory expandable to 64GB.

 

Why is ECC (error correcting code) memory important? Used in all servers and high-end workstations, it prevents data corruption by detecting and correcting memory errors as they occur and is essential if your NAS is running business-critical apps.

Compare Specs

TS-983XU

Priced from $2,499

TS-983XU-RP

Redundant PSU model

Priced from $2,699

TS-983XU vs RS1619xs+Head to Head Comparison
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CPU Model
Intel Xeon E-2124
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Intel Xeon D-1527
CPU Architecture
64-bit x86
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64-bit
CPU Frequency
Quad-core 3.3 GHz base/burst up to 4.3 GHz
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Quad-core 2.2 (base) / 2.7 (turbo) GHz
System MemoryDDR4 ECC UDIMM
8GB
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8GB
MemoryExpandable up to
64GB
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64GB
Flash MemoryFor OS
5GB
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Drive Bays
9 (4 + 5)
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4
10Gbe PortsFibre Channel
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Dual Power SupplyStandard - The TS-983XU has a dual PSU model available, but at a higher cost
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WarrantyManufacturer Warranty
5 Year
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5 Year

RS1619xs+

Priced from $1,999.99

Compare the QNAP TS-983XU with the Synology RS1619+

Specification Comparison and Reviews

Storage features

Up to five SSDs can be installed in the TS-983XU and used to create a high-performance data tier on demand

 

The TS-983XU takes the top spot for storage versatility as the ‘9’ in its model name indicates that it supports 9 drives. It gives nothing away from the front but all is revealed when you remove the lid as underneath is a row of five SFF trays.

 

These are designed to accept SATA SSDs which can be used for general storage duties, as a performance enhancing cache or as part of a tier where they receive hot data from Qnap’s Qtier 2 feature. The RS1619+ isn’t as exciting as it only provides four standard bays across the front which can be used for LFF and SFF hard disks and SSDs.

The RS1619xs+ delivers on its performance promises with good iSCSI MPIO speeds

 

It does have an ace in the hole though, as its motherboard offers a pair of M.2 SSD slots which support 2280 length NVMe or SATA cards. M.2 NVMe devices offer far greater performance than SATA devices and make the RS1619xs+ a great choice if you are running I/O intensive apps as they can be used as a high-speed cache.

Networking and expansion potential

If you expect your NAS appliance to be handling high volumes of traffic you should consider 10-Gigabit (10GbE) network connections. File sharing with multiple users plus workstations and server backup can be demanding so you’ll want the fastest connection speeds to avoid any bottlenecks.

 

The TS-983XU takes top spot in this department as along with dual copper Gigabit ports, it has a pair of 10GbE SFP+ fiber ports. A drawback of these is the price doesn’t include laser transceivers so you’ll need to factor the cost of these in and also possible further expenditure on a suitable network switch and fiber cabling as well.

 

The RS1619xs+ comes with four standard copper Gigabit ports so you’ll need to consider a 10GbE network adapter card. The appliance has a spare PCI-E slot and Synology’s compatibility list includes plenty of industry standard copper and fiber 10GbE adapters.

 

There’s room in the TS-983XU for more network ports as it also offers a spare PCI-E slot. The compatibility list includes an impressive range of 10GbE adapters from Qnap and there’s also support for those from Intel and Mellanox.

 

If you want to expand storage outside the box, the TS-983XU offers the biggest choice as it supports all of Qnap’s USB 3.2 tower and rack storage shelves. Alternatively, you can use Qnap’s SATA shelves which come with a SATA expansion card or you can add a SAS3 expansion card and connect up to eight 12- or 16-bay SAS3 shelves.

 

For more modest expansion plans, the RS1619xs+ supports a single 12-bay RX1219/RP rack shelf. One key advantage though, is the appliance has an embedded high-performance Infiniband port so you won’t lose the expansion slot.

NAS and IP SAN 10GbE performance

To test performance we loaded each appliance with Seagate IronWolf NAS hard disks and created RAID5 arrays. Our test host was a Dell PowerEdge T640 Xeon Scalable tower server equipped with copper and fiber 10GbE ports and running Windows Server 2019.

 

As expected there’s little between the appliances for NAS performance with them both delivering high Iometer sequential read and write rates for a mapped share. It was the same story for IP SANs with both appliances returning high throughputs for a single 10GbE connection to a 500GB iSCSI target.

 

 

 

We saw more marked differences when we increased the pressure with a dual 10GbE MPIO link to the target. The TS-983XU delivers slightly faster sequential read speeds whereas the RS1619xs+ handled iSCSI write operations much better and was around 27% faster.

 

 

Real world NAS testing produced some surprising results as the RS1619xs+ was consistently faster than the TS-983XU for our 25GB file copies and 22.4GB folder backups. Qnap’s more powerful CPU streaked ahead in our write test to an encrypted NAS share as not only was it 72% faster, but CPU utilization was 16% lower.

 

Software comparison

Don’t judge a NAS appliance on hardware alone as all will be for naught if it doesn’t have the software features to match. Suffice to say that Qnap and Synology are miles ahead of the competition as their respective QTS (Qnap Turbo Station) and DSM (DiskStation Manager) operating systems are crammed to the gills with hundreds of features and apps.

 

Synology’s Active Backup for Business app takes data protection to the next level

 

There are too many to list here so we’ll cover those apps that deserve honorable mention. First up is Synology’s Active Backup Suite which offers apps for securing servers, workstations and virtualized environments plus G Suite and Office 365.

 

Along with server and workstation protection, the Active Backup for Business (ABB) app offers agent-less backup for VMware vCentre and ESXi hypervisors. The latest version brings Hyper-V into the mix as it can protect virtual machines (VMs) created on Windows Server 2016/2019 hosts and the best bit is the entire suite is free.

 

Qnap is our pick for virtualization duties as its Virtualization Station can host just about any OS you want and it links up with the Network & Virtual Switch app allowing VMs to be isolated on selected ports. More options are provided as Qnap’s Linux Station can run Ubuntu alongside QTS while the Container Station supports LXC and Docker apps in lightweight containers.

 

Synology gets our vote for video surveillance as its Surveillance Station app has consistently been a standard setter. It supports over 7,000 IP camera models, its recording features are unsurpassed and it can even receive live video feeds from iOS and Android mobile devices.

The TS-983XU is a great choice for virtualization duties and Qnap offers plenty of apps to manage VMs

 

QNAP is a great choice if you want to bring cloud storage into the network equation. QTS can boost performance as the HybridMount app allows you to mount storage from a range of cloud providers as NAS shares and assign a local cache to them.

 

The Qnap VJBOD Cloud add-in snaps into the Storage & Snapshots app and allows cloud storage from providers including Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure to be presented as block-based NAS, iSCSI or Fibre Channel volumes and have SSD caching assigned to them.

 

Other standout business apps include Qnap’s Hybrid Backup Sync (HBS) 3 app for automated data backup and deduplication, Synology’s smart Security Advisor for keeping your NAS secure and Qnap’s Qtier 2 for migrating data blocks between HDD and SSD storage pool tiers based on usage.

Conclusion

Let’s be clear – both the RS1619xs+ and TS-983XU are excellent 1U rack NAS appliances. They’re capable of handling an extensive range of business tasks so your choice will come down to what you want them to do.

 

Despite its older CPU, the RS1619xs+ has a slight edge on overall NAS and IP SAN performance although during testing we noticed the cooling fans ramping up under heavy load and increasing noise levels. That aside, it is a fine contender as a backup repository or as a high-capacity recording vault for surveillance duties and Synology’s DSM apps won’t be faulted. Other noteworthy points about the RS1619xs+ is value looks even better as the price includes dual redundant power supplies and a generous 5-year hardware warranty.

 

The TS-983XU is the preferred choice if you want the greater support for HDDs and SSDs as the 9 bays make it a lot more versatile. It is more expensive but value looks good as the price includes dual 10GbE fiber ports.

Its powerful Xeon E CPU is a better bet for virtualization made all the more appealing by Qnap’s extensive range of apps. For fiber channel (FC) adapter support, Qnap is the only place to go as Synology is unlikely to include this until the release of DSM 7.0.

And the winner is...

Qnap’s TS-983XU takes the top step of the podium as along with Xeon E-2100 power, its innovative internal design offers a versatile mix of HDDs and SSDs, it comes with dual 10GbE fiber ports and the QTS software delivers an impressive range of storage, data protection and virtualization features.
5/5
9.6Expert Score
Qnap TS-983XU

The TS-983XU is the preferred choice if you want the greater support for HDDs and SSDs as the 9 bays make it a lot more versatile. It is more expensive but value looks good as the price includes dual 10GbE fiber ports.

Performance
10
Features
10
Build Quality
9.5
Usability
9
Value
9.5
Positive
  • Great value
  • Smart internal storage design
  • Powerful Xeon E-2100 CPU
  • Dual 10GbE SFP+ ports
  • Feature-rich QTS software
Negatives
  • Will require additional 10GbE transceivers
0/5
8.3Expert Score
Synology RS1619xs+

Despite its older CPU, the RS1619xs+ has a slight edge on overall NAS and IP SAN performance although during testing we noticed the cooling fans ramping up under heavy load and increasing noise levels.

Performance
9.5
Features
8
Build Quality
8
Usability
8
Value
8
Positive
  • Excellent 10GbE performance
  • Dual M.2 NVMe/SATA SSD slots
  • Great data protection apps
  • 5 year warranty
Negatives
  • Fans get noisy under load
  • Comparatively old CPU
  • No 10GbE support as standard
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