Best Upgrade Path From DS220j - Basic Home Media Server Requirements

I need some upgrade advice. I want to move up from my very first Synology NAS into something a little more robust now that I’ve seen what a home NAS can do for me.

Unsure of whether this was really for me, I kept my initial investment low - I started with two of the very bottom tier, white enclosure models (2 bay, 220j with 512mb of RAM) and a remote site backup, single bay 120j with the same 512mb of RAM.)

Right now I am running a pair of mirrored 6TB drives on the 220j, giving me a 6TB storage pool, with the same 6TB available on the remote backup.

Surprisingly, this existing setup will still do basically everything I need, storing documents, photos, videos and music. Its primary use is as my home media server, hooked into the home theater through an AppleTV, iPads throughout the house, etc. For now, about the most demanding thing I ask it to do is stream one 1080p video at a time with no transcoding. And I am using DS video rather than Plex in a pretty lean install. But boy is it ever dog slow. Everything takes forever to load up, the interface is slow, DSVideo is slow, etc.

I assume it is largely the tiny 512mb of RAM that is making it so slow, but I don’t know enough about the architecture of a NAS to know where the chokepoint is here. Does DSVideo start to choke if you have too many video files in its index no matter the hardware? I’ve got about 4TB of video files, mostly my large collection of ripped DVDs and home movies so it comes out to a few thousand mostly relatively small video files.

Anyway, my 6TB pool is also now down to about 1TB free, so I am starting to think about the upgrade path. For future-proof reasons, I’m imagining something with enough horsepower to easily stream 4k, and support for a storage pool up to maybe 12TB initially, with a max ceiling of no more than 20TB. When I upgrade, I will probably move the 220j into the remote backup role, potentially moving it to a RAID 0 configuration which would give me 12TB of backup off the two existing drives.

What is the most cost effective way to upgrade from where I am now, to something I won’t have to replace for at least the next few years or more?

What Synology model would you experts recommend?

4 Bays vs 2 Bays?
Minimum RAM?
Minimum Processor?
Do I need to care about Intel CPU if I don’t plan to do hardware transcoding of video?

Bonus points for low power usage/quiet. This is a home NAS, so it inevitably sits idle a lot, but will occasionally get hit hard with multiple users watching movies at once.

Thanks for any help you can offer!

I think a DS224+ (2-bay) or DS423+ (4-bay) are great upgrades from a DS220j.

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