RS1221+ or DS1821+ to rack or not to rack and what is the new IronWolf pro?

I’ve built my first home server rack. It’s a 25U four post rack from I’m running a Unifi UDM SE, and USW pro, along with a couple shelves to hold bits like the fiber gateway, Philips Hue hub, etc.

I’ve got an old DS212J that has served me well as a home file server, and media server, but it’s showing its age and I’m eager to start experimenting with VMs, Docker containers, hosting a VPN for when I’m out of town, and more that newer Synology systems offer.

I’m stuck deciding between the RS1221+ and DS1821+. I have plenty of room in my rack at present so I could place the DS1821+ on a shelf. Until my home renovations are completed at the end of the year noise would also be a factor since the rack is currently in my home office. After the renovation, the rack would be moved to a dedicated closet where noise wouldn’t be an issue.

I’m leaning towards the DS1821+ for the cheaper price, and the fact it includes NVMe cache support out of the box. With one kid, and another on the way, I’m filling up storage with photos and videos as an avid user of Adobe Creative Cloud tools.

After researching hard drives, I’m planning to go with Will’s recommendation of using Seagate Ironwolf HDs, but I hit another decision point when I saw on Amazon there’s three different offerings of Ironwolf drives. Ironwolf, Ironwolf Pro, Ironwold Pro (new). I was looking at the 16TB drives expecting to buy five and add on later as needed.

From Amazon the pricing confused me.

  • 16TB IronWolf: $320
  • 16TB IronWolf Pro: $249.99
  • 16TB IronWolf Pro (new): $249.99

I can’t find any information about the difference between the pro and pro(new) model. Also, the pro model was cheaper than the normal IronWolf and had higher performance? Is the pro model drive significantly louder than the normal IronWolf drives?

I appreciate any help/opinions you all can offer. I know I’m very new to the “home lab” hobby, but I’m not afraid to tinker with technology. I’m hoping this NAS solution gives my family a place to centrally store data and utilize it wherever they are. Managing multiple cloud service subscriptions at present is driving us nuts.


the NT drives have higher writes than the NE drives. The 1821+ is a great nas and you can hook it up at 10gbe if you are so inclined.

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I totally agree with @notsimar, the DS1821+ is an awesome unit! You not only get the exact same unit (same RAM, CPU, Number of Bays) of the RS1221+, but you also get 2x NVMe slots, and its cheaper then the RS1221+!

As for the pricing oddity, it comes down to stock, as well as the fact that amazon is a bidding system in the back end. Thats why you get weird pricing. AFAIK the non pro IronWolf drives have been discontinued. I have not seen them in stock in a very long time, which probably is why they are more expensive.

I would go with the 16TB IronWolf Pro (new): $249.99

Happy homelabbing!

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Thanks @notsimar and @Will I’ve got 5 16TB Ironwolf Pro (new) drives and a DS1821+ on its way. Already watching videos on how to properly set the NAS up.

I do plan to upgrade the RAM to 16GB, but I’m wondering what NVmE drives (make/size) would you recommend? I’d like to go with Synology’s offerings but the prices are so much higher than other top quality brands I trust like Samsung or Kingston.

So for most use cases I would say a single NVMe with 500 gigs is more than enough. You really want the NVMe storage for very frequently accessed system files and things like that. From there pretty much any NVMe drive will work!

I actually go over a lot of the updates in the video I just posted here:

I went with the wd sn700 1tb drives have high tbw (2000 tbw) on my 1621. For ram, any ddr4-2666 ecc sodimm should do.

So RAM is the one thing that I would recommend people be cautious with when installing in a Synology. For some reason I have had multiple clients throughout the years who have had a bad RAM DIMM actually cause them real issues with the NAS. No clue if it was one off brand kit or something like that, but I have run into those issues before.

This is also coming from someone who is currently running off brand unofficial RAM in his DS1819+ without any issue

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From my experience, as long as the RAM is a decent brand like Crucial or something and matches the specs 100%, never had an issue, drives on the other hand, 9/10 models will take any drives like the Ironwolf Pro but I have come across one or two models that are locked to Synology branded drives only but the client had a $55k budget so it was all good.

The Synology SSDs (2.5" not NVMe), I do think they’re worth the price though. The endurance compared to other drives is insane.

Thanks @james-melb , @notsimar , and @Will I’ll look into the upgrades after getting the DS1821+ set up. Got it into the rack yesterday. It’s slowly transferring the data over from the DS212J via rsync Hyperbackup. After which I plan to use the DS212J as a local backup for critical files on the DS1821+.

Also @Will welcome to Raleigh!

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Great plan @Raleighite ! Let us know how everything goes :slight_smile:

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ALWAYS Rack… :wink:

IronWolf Pro all the way. 2+ years running strong…192TB RS1221RP+. I was tired of running out of space. lol
I dropped WD several years ago due to excessive failures. Which ironically is why I dropped Seagate 20 years ago…

It’s funny I’m on the same cycle but the other way around. Had a bunch of seagate failures and now I’m back to WD. I guess it’s just luck of the draw.

For me I have dropped WD due to their business practices.

  1. The whole WD Red SMR drives fiasco
  2. Now the ‘WD Test’ on Synology’s has started flailing drives that have hit 3 years of power on hours as ‘warning’ even if there are no smart test failures or anything like that! After only 3 Years!!!

I went 16tb red pro drives on the 923 since they have double the cache of the ironwolf pro’s and I wondered if they would be able to push more throughput with the extra cache.

Hi all! Can I use a third party PCIe SPF+ card in the 1821+ or 1221+? Thanks!

You can, they don’t have a up to date compatibility list anymore (all the add is their own cards) but in general it should work.

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