Speed up Synology DiskStation

When a Synology DiskStation is running slow, you can try to disable the Memory Compression. They claim that feature should improve the system responsiveness, but in reality it slows the whole thing down. Even on a recent fast DiskStation with SSD storage.

  1. Disable Memory compression
  2. Install an SSD cache
  3. Replace HDD with SSD
  4. Limit the running apps
  5. Expand the internal RAM

Disable Memory compression

  1. In DSM go to the Control Panel as an admin user.
    • For DSM 6: Make sure Advanced Mode is enabled in the top-right corner. It should say Basic mode, oddly indicating you are in the Advanced mode.
  2. Go to Hardware & Power in the System section.
  3. In the Memory Compression section uncheck the checkbox next to “Enable Memory Compression to improve system responsiveness”.
  4. Next click Apply.
  5. And restart the DiskStation from the profile menu.

Tested with a DS214play on DSM 6 and DS218+ and DS720+ on DSM 7.

Install an SSD cache

When you have HDDs installed adding a SSD cache can improve the response time a lot when data is accessed multiple times. These are hardware modules that you install into the M.2 slot of the DiskStation.

Replace HDD with SSD

My DiskStations are running on Crucial MX500 SSDs for around 3 years now with lots of writes all day long. I don’t notice any degradation. To be safe, set them up with Synology Hybrid RAID (SHR) for automatic mirroring and recovery when one of them fails. Make sure to not use all capacity of the drive, keep 10-20% available. The space is used by the SSD for distributing writes and maintenance, keeping up the performance when it is almost full. For SSDs that have built in overprovisioning it is okay to use all the space. And of course, maintain an encrypted offsite backup. Hybrid Backup with any remote storage location is great for this.

Limit the running apps

The package manager makes it very attractive to install so many cool applications. You can have DSM replace all your cloud needs. The downside is that all those applications require memory. When your RAM is (almost) full the OS will start writing memory to the pagefile on your disk. A nasty bottleneck. Either reduce the number of running applications to only the ones you need, or expand the internal RAM by installing a module into the memory slot.

  1. In DSM open Package Center
  2. Click Installed in the left sidebar
  3. Click an app you don’t really need
  4. Click the arrow next to Open and then Stop

The app won’t be uninstalled so everything is remembered. But you have to manually start it again to use the app.

Expand the internal RAM

Most DiskStations have an empty memory slot. Check the official documentation at Synology to learn the type and amount of RAM your DiskStation can work with. The Synology modules are very expensive but ensure compatibility. Those from other brands with the same specification may do fine as well, but may also cause problems.

For my DS720+ I installed a Crucial 4GB sodimm module (CT4G4SFS8266) and it runs fantastic. Before you buy one check reviews that mention your DiskStation model.

Like this article?
Buy me a coffee

Changelog
2023-04-03 – Added more tips
2023-01-18 – Advanced Mode is only for DSM 6
2020-07-07 – Minor clarifications
2020-05-03 – Rewrite steps to include advanced mode


Related stuff

13 thoughts on “Speed up Synology DiskStation”

  1. Is it safe to change this setting and reboot while an “optimizing in the background” task is in progress? (I get a warning when I try to reboot.)

  2. Thank you!
    I cannot believe the difference this has made…

    I went from having lower than 6 Mbps transfers to peaks around 100 Mbps!

    You’re a lifesaver!
    Cannot imagine why this feature is enabled or even exists.

  3. Grégory Aegerter

    can not find find memory option in simple or advanced mode ( change nothing ) on DS414 DSM 6.2.3-25426 / 3

    1. You may need to enable Advanced Mode in the top-right corner of the Control Panel window.

      1. First the DiskStation feels slow. When you change the setting and reboot it feels fast.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *