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Can I use NVMe SSD as storage on Synology NAS?

Synology DiskStation DS1621+
Synology DiskStation DS1621+ (Image credit: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

Can I use NVMe SSD as storage on Synology NAS?

Best answer: No, Synology doesn't currently allow NVMe M.2 SSDs to be used for storage. You can use M.2 drives installed on a Synology NAS for only caching.

No NVMe storage support

Synology does not allow the use of NVME SSDs for storage on NAS enclosures, not even the best Synology NAS. It's a little confusing for those who buy NAS enclosures with M.2 slots only to realize these are limited to caching only. So, what gives? Why is Synology handicapping data transfer speeds?

It seems as though the company is concerned with heat. NVMe SSDs can get extremely hot, especially the newer PCIe 4.0 drives like the excellent Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus series. These drives can go beyond 70C with passive cooling and fans circulating cool air inside a PC chassis. Most NAS enclosures come only with small rear blowers.

Instead, Synology allows M.2 SSDs to be used as cache. Instead of being included in a RAID array and storing large amounts of data, the M.2 drives are only used for keeping the most frequently accessed data for faster access. It's not currently known when (or if) Synology will allow NVMe storage.

Some owners have been able to work around this limitation, but we wouldn't recommend doing so as it could void your warranty. It's not all bad since you can find incredibly dense mechanical HDDs with 7200RPM motors for a good price. We've rounded up some of the best storage drives for NAS.

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.