Can I use NVMe SSD as storage on Synology NAS?
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.
Seagate's IronWolf series is the company's solution for NAS setups, rivaling WD Red. Similar technology, named AgileArray, is implemented to offer enhanced performance and reliability over desktop drives, and these units can be installed in boxes that support up to eight bays. IronWolf Pro is the next step up with slightly more expensive drives but increased supported bays and workload rates.
Western Digital's (WD) Red family of hard drives are manufactured for NAS use and can be deployed in systems that support up to eight bays. WD drives are well known to be of top quality, and they last a long time. The Red series isn't the fastest batch of hard drives on the market, but using them in a RAID formation can make up for this.
Seagate's IronWolf SSD range takes everything that makes the IronWolf HHDs so good and turns it all up to 11. These drives start from 240GB with a 560MB/s sustained transfer speed for enhanced performance compared to mechanical drives.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Rich Edmonds was formerly a 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 on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.