Hard drives for new Synology NAS

Hi chaps,

I have a two bay Synology NAS arriving in the New Year, to replace my ageing Qnap.

Seagate IronWolf HDs seem to be the current flavour of the month, but before coming to a decision, does anyone have any views on them, or, for that matter, any recommendations for another brand?

Many thanks,


The tried and tested drives for a Synology NAS are WD Red. Whether flavour of the month IronWolfs are any better, I wouldn’t know.


WD Red’s are tried & tested - but not the Pro-Red’s they are intended for business & high speed access.
I read good stuff about the IronWolfs, nothing much to choose other than Red’s are more economical running slower disc speed, quieter & cooler. Whatever the MTBF on them is exceptional. Personally I would stick with Red’s as thats what I have & zero problems for 5 yearst. , .

1 Like

I’ve used WD Red drives in my Synology NAS devices since 2014 with no issues - from 2Tb up to 10Tb.


Just been through a similar decision…I decided to go with the IronWolf drives. I’ve only had them in place about 3 weeks and all seems well. Certainly the WD Reds also seem like a good option. I stuck with Seagate primarily as I had Barracuda drives before and they had been in my NAS for 9 years without any issue so couldn’t complain. Only time will tell. The drives do make some noise, it’s not a problem for me as NAS no where near the music room but that might also be a consideration for you.

My Synology with Red’s lives in a small cabinet in the listening room. The only time I hear a very low level rumble noise is during start up or coming out of hibernation.

I looked at the specs and pricing comparing Seagate The Iron Wolf and WD Red drives. The Iron Wolf drives were slightly cheaper and slightly better spec (including slightly lower power consumption, and hence running very slightly cooler), the biggest difference was a better MTBF for the Seagate drives.

Thanks for the replies thus far folks.

I does seem like a straight two horse race between the tried and tested WD Red, and the newer kid on the block in the Seagate IronWolf, with the WD slightly in front.

The NAS will not be used to stream music, but will merely act as a backup to the 2Tb drive in my HDX ripper/ server, so at least I won’t have to get into the debate over which third party UPnP server or ripping software is best.

I’ve been running two Ironwolf 10TB drives in my 718+ for a year with no problems. I run a UPS on the NAS (and have a secondary NAS that is used as a backup, plus regular USB backups), so that plus the 2 drive mirroring should be enough to resolve my data loss paranoia :wink:

Be prepared for a little head scratching when you set it up for the automatic backup! Or perhaps you’ve been there before?

Erm, no … originally, the redoubtable Steve Harris did this for me remotely on a NAS which now resides at a different address as a backup, so this will all be something new to me.

Still, what could possibly go wrong? :roll_eyes: :roll_eyes:

There may still be someone left at Naim who is able to do this. Otherwise, given that I managed it, it’s not impossible. Naim did publish a how-to guide, which may still help, despite being written for a much older Synology model. https://www.naimaudio.com/sites/default/files/kb/RS2105_Synology_DS212j_Setup.pdf
Use this, plus the info in the HDX manual, and you’ll get there.
If you have WAVs, I would convert them all to FLAC before doing anything else.
Good luck!

1 Like

Hi Chris,

As someone who, rightly or not, has convinced himself that WAV sounds better than FLAC, I’m reluctant to do this, though I do accept that FLAC handles metadata better than Naim’s proprietary version of WAV, particularly if I ever moved on from Naim gear.

I know that I can have them convert back to WAV on the fly for replay, but then that opens up the whole question of the processing affecting SQ.

If I simply back them up as WAV from the HDX, would I not be able to convert them to FLAC at a later date, should that ever become necessary?

… hmm strange ??? when I looked at the specs I found the Red had lower power, … anyhow a recheck on the data sheets, using 2TB for comparison on the mentioned data

MTBF 1,000,000 hrs
Disc Speed 5400rpm
R/W 4.1W
Idle 2.7W
Standby/Sleep 0.4W
Noise 23dB

MTBF 1,000,000 hrs
Disc speed 5900rpm
R/W 4.3W
Idle 3.56W
Standby/Sleep 0.5W
Noise 21dB

Next to nothing difference.

If you convert to FLAC after transfer, it’s too late, the metadata will not be properly added into the FLAC files, so you need to do it on the HDX. (It takes a while if you have a large library, but when you do your initial backup, it will then be much quicker with the reduced file size.)
On my Unitiserve, I listened to various different albums before committing, and concluded that FLAC converted to WAV on the fly sounded identical to straight WAV. The streamer would get the exact same WAV fed to it either way, so I wouldn’t expect anything else. How this would go using the HDX internal DAC, I wouldn’t know. After all, the whole point of feeding WAV to your streamer is that the workload of unpacking FLACs is done remotely on the server.
The main advantage to my mind is that you can then run a UPnP server on the NAS, so it your HDX stops working, you don’t just have a backup of the music folder, you have a complete backup server that allows you to continue listening while you get it fixed.

1 Like

Gotcha, Chris … much to consider here, and since the drives won’t be arriving until the New Year, I’ll have time to ponder.

As for the HDX, it was completely refurbished by Naim a few months back, so, fingers crossed, there’s plenty of life left in it yet … now there’s the kiss of death if ever I saw it. :roll_eyes: :roll_eyes:

Many thanks for your advice,


If you have a bit of time before you reach the point of no return, I would suggest converting a few albums to FLAC, and having a listen. Then turn on transcoding on the fly, and see if it sounds any different to straight WAV.

I have WD Red in 10TB, 8TB, 6TB, 2TB & 1TB sizes
I have a pair of WD Black 1TB
I have a pair of Seagate 4TB

The Seagates were the noisiest and are now “off-line” backups, taking a periodic snap shot and then keep in plastic cases.

Ah! yes it may well depend on the capacity of the disk.

That’s interesting the WD Reds are now claiming 1,000,000 hrs MTBF, it used to be 500,000 hrs.

Arghhh … so are we saying that if the HDX were to pack in, and having simply backed up the Naim rips in WAV to the NAS, if I then subsequently installed a UPnP server on the NAS, that software wouldn’t find the metadata contained in the Naim WAV rips?