Synology DS723+ Review

Synology released a couple of new NAS devices that we saw at CES 2023. They sent along their two drive unit called the 723+ for me to review. You can see the video here!

Synology addressed some of the feature requests users had for a smaller more affordable plus series device, but not everyone will be happy in the implementation of them. First they added 10 gigabit ethernet support but you’ll need to purchase an additional $150 Synology manufactured adapter for that.

This drive also includes dual NVME SSD slots on the at the bottom for caching or using as a separate volume. Volume use, however, requires the use of official Synology branded NVME drives that cost a lot more vs. non-Synology ones. I tried using a WD branded drive and was presented with this message:

The new 723+ NAS includes 2 GB of RAM which is expandable to a whopping 32GB. However Synology only recommends using their branded ECC memory and will not support configurations using off-brand RAM.

Performance-wise this is a big step up over previous models using the NVME storage and 10 gig network adapter. In my testing we were seeing transfer speeds easily 7-8x what a typical 1` gigabit NAS can achieve off of the NVME volume. We saw slightly faster speeds when we configured the NVME as a striped RAID 0, with read speeds topping 1 gigabyte per second. From a practical standpoint I was able to edit a 4k Final Cut Pro project completely over the network.

The biggest problem here is the processor Synology chose for the 723+. After years of exclusively using Intel processors they switched to an AMD Ryzen R1600. While the processor is adequate enough for the types of small and medium sized business users might need, it lacks the built in video encoder found on an Intel processor. The result is that this will not work well as a Plex server because it’s not able to do any hardware transcoding of video. It’ll be fine for in-home streaming but any out of the home streaming requiring a transcode will grind its processor to a halt.

That issue aside the 723+ delivers an endless number of features. This class of Synology NAS gets you access to a bulk of their enterprise apps including advanced backup solutions we looked at in a recent tutorial series. It also has a nice docker client, virtual machine manager for booting up other OS’s and even an office suite that replicates many of the features of Google Workspace. You can see more about all of the features here.

In summation this is a solidly performing unit but long-time customers will be disappointed with the processor choice and limitation of having to use only Synology branded RAM and NVME storage. I hope Synology will re-think their decision to limit RAM and NVME choices as these restrictions can very easily be lifted in a software update.