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NAS Trade-Off's - Synology, Mac Mini + Thunderbolt Drives

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This is my first post here, a site I just recently found but have already much appreciated. My apologies in advance if this particular topic has already been addressed.


As the title suggests, I'm looking into setting up NAS, and can't decide between using a Synology product or a Mac Mini with Thunderbolt storage attached.


In terms of speed, I think the MM/T setup would be far faster. For example, Synology lists the max read speed of a DS412+ as about 180Mbps, while daisy-chained LaCie 2big's supposedly max out at 670Mbps (using 4+ separate units and RAID 0, I assume). From what I can tell, those numbers are approximately representative of both Synology and Thunderbolt options.


In terms of versatility, it seems the MM would be superior, simply because it's a more fully-fledged computer that can be updated and upgraded more easily and thoroughly than a Synology product. As a result, I'm guessing it would also be the better machine if, in the future, someone else was trying to serve video in one room while I was listening to music in another.


Obviously DSM 4.1 offers a lot of functionality that doesn't come standard with OS X, though I'm not sure how much of that gap remains if one installed OS X server on the MM. Either way, I don't think that'll affect my choice too much.


As I understand things, the Synology's major advantage (depending on the model chosen) is price. As I'm not blessed with infinite income, that will be a major consideration.


Most fundamentally, I don't imagine that either will give me a noticeably different sound when I'm actually listening, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

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