Synology SAT5200 SSD review: Rapid NAS storage with a premium price tag

Synology enters the SSD market with a premium offering at a premium price.

Synology SAT5200
(Image: © Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

Synology makes some of the best-selling network-attached storage (NAS) enclosures on the market, so it makes sense the company would like to tap into other areas, including physical storage. The dream would be for Synology NAS owners to utilize Synology-branded storage and that's precisely what the SAT5200 series of enterprise-grade SSDs are meant to deliver.

This range of SSD storage makes use of the 6GB/s SATA interface for read and write speeds of 530MB/s and 500MB/s, respectively. On paper, these drives sound like a worthwhile consideration for NAS owners who wish to bump up the transfer rate of stored data. Starting at $180 for 480GB of space is a steep mountain to climb, but Synology believes it to be worth every penny.

We took a look at the 960GB model, sent to us by Synology, to see if these drives are the best SSDs for NAS and worth the asking price.

Synology SAT5200 SSD specifications

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CategorySAT5200-480GSAT5200-960GSAT5200-1920GSAT5200-3840G
Format2.5-inch
SSD
2.5-inch
SSD
2.5-inch
SSD
2.5-inch
SSD
Capacity480 GB960 GB1,920 GB3,840 GB
Read speed530 MB/s530 MB/s530 MB/s530 MB/s
Write speed500 MB/s500 MB/s500 MB/s500 MB/s
TBW1,145 TB2,290 TB4,581 TB9,162 TB
Power~4.2 W~4.6 W~5.1 W~6.2 W
Warranty5 years5 years5 years5 years
Price$180 (opens in new tab)$347 (opens in new tab)$591 (opens in new tab)$1,246 (opens in new tab)

Synology SAT5200 SSD what I like

Synology SAT5200

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

The SAT5200 is certainly marketed as a premium option for NAS (and enterprise) customers. The smallest capacity comes in at 480GB, so it's clear this is meant to be used in high-capacity solutions, like a NAS enclosure. Other options in the family include 960GB, 1,920GB, and 3,840GB. Prices start from $180 for the 480GB model.

Synology's SAT5200 SSD range is perfect for your NAS enclosure.

The PCB is a serious work of art too. Synology certainly didn't want to cut any corners with its initial SSD offering, especially if it plans to market these drives as the perfect flash solution for continuous use. There's a Phison controller, matched by a few embedded flash modules, alongside some capacitors for power-loss prevention.

It's this sort of approach that provides Synology with the leg-up against the competition. On paper, we've got high read and write speeds. There are premium components inside the metal casing, and there are even some enterprise-grade features like power-loss protection. If you plan on using these inside your NAS, you'll want to make sure you won't lose any data.

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CategoryReadWrite
Synology SAT5200516 MB/s500 MB/s
Seagate IronWolf 110504 MB/s437 MB/s

So how fast are these drives? Fast. Actually, Synology gets its marketing spot on regarding speeds. I saw upwards of 520MB/s for read and 500MB/s on the dot for write. That's inside a PC running benchmark software. Inside a Synology NAS, it's a similar story. Transferring files across the network was a seamless process and one that took no longer than other NAS in the market.

Synology SAT5200 SSD What I didn't like

Synology SAT5200

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

SSDs remain considerably more expensive than mechanical HDDs and that's even more so with the SAT5200, which is far more pricey than normal 2.5-inch SSDs. While prices begin at $180 for 480GB, you can quickly spend more than $1,000 for less than 4TB. The same money on NAS-grade HDDs would see you quadruple the capacity to 16TB.

Should you buy the Synology SAT5200 SSD?

Synology SAT5200

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

Who it's for

  • If you want faster storage for your NAS
  • If you have a Synology NAS
  • If you want an SSD with power-loss protection

Who it isn't for

  • If you want the best bang for your buck
  • If you need massive amounts of space

Synology essentially knocked it out of the park with its initial SSD offering. The company only had to match what was already available on the market, but it somehow succeeded some of the more established SSD solutions. The SAT5200 isn't for anyone who requires some serious space. You'd be far better off with HDDs, but if you need the faster read and write rates, this is a good way to go.

Like other 2.5-inch SATA SSDs on the market, you'll be able to hit around 500MB/s and slightly above for read and write access, but it's the additional features that really sets the SAT5200 family apart. The available capacitors for power-loss protection, high TBW rating, and a high-quality controller makes for quite the NAS-friendly storage package.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

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.