Disassemble guide in replacing the first SO-DIMM slot on the DS218+

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Disassemble guide in replacing the first SO-DIMM slot on the DS218+

The casing for the DS218+ make upgrading the first SO-DIMM difficult, it involves taking the whole device apart and flipping the motherboard while the DS718+ and DS918+ has the first slot exposed without having to disassemble the device.

The Intel Celeron J3455 CPU (4 core) in the DS718+ and DS918+ needed a different motherboard layout due to the taller heatsink for the higher temperature, this force Synology to put the motherboard facing up allowing more air flow without a metal cage design.

Lets get to disassembling the DS218+, first empty the storage bays

Remove the 5 screws from the back of the unit.

Put aside the fan shield

Have a plastic tool to pull down the metal bracket inside the entrance of the storage bays, I wouldn’t recommend a metal tool due to the soft plastic casing.

While pulling down the metal bracket slide the top cover inwards

Lift the top cover to expose the casing.

Hold on to the metal plate when removing the top screw, and remove the two screw that connect to the bottom of the casing.

Remove the single screw for the plastic fan holder.

Remove the two screw that connect to the bottom of the case on the other side.

You have to tilt the metal case to allow the motherboard to be removed from the bottom casing.

Top view of the DS218+ motherboard but mounted upside down, the CPU is located here due to the heatsink being shorter and wider than the DS718+ and DS918+ heatsink. To flip the motherboard you have to remove the motherboard from the metal casing with the 4 screws

Pull the motherboard up from this side to disconnect the SATA connector, making it easier to lift the board from the case.

Replace the first SO-DIMM with a matching module as your second, to assemble it just reverse the steps.

Upon switching it on, you can check the RAM upgrade instantly in the Info section. I would recommend doing a memory test with Synology Assistant application.

Now to benchmark the difference between mis-match and matching pair memory modules.

Better performance shown in Geekbench

DS218+ 10GB vs 16GB Compare link

Shows a big boast in Memory performance when installing matching modules compared to the 2GB and 8GB combination set-up I had earlier.

This 16GB combination makes it closer to the Intel Atom C2538 CPU with the same Crucial 16GB set-up, the memory performance helps push the numbers up.
DS218+ 16GB vs RS215+ 16GB Compare link

The default module in the DS218+ is:
2GB DDR3L 1866Mhz CL13 1.35V,

Final set-up:
2*Crucial 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz CL11 1.35V CT102464BF160B

There isn’t a need to get the fastest 1866Mhz module when the performance is just has good as the Intel Atom C2538.

While Synology does not recommend in replacing their default memory, it’s best that you keep the memory module in a safe place to revert the changes. Hope you find this tutorial helpful

13 Responses

  1. hhb says:

    I just got 218+ and I am going to upgrade the RAM, but I I don’t get something: even if you feed it with 16 GB, the CPU is limited to total 8GB of RAM (see here: https://ark.intel.com/products/95597/Intel-Celeron-Processor-J3355-2M-Cache-up-to-2_5-GHz).

    So, even if you upgrade it to 10 or 16 GB, and even if it shows the total amount, can the DS actually use it? Did you try running some VM using more than allocatable amount of ram? Say, Win10 allocating 13 GB of RAM in virtual machine?


    • poyu says:

      Everything seems to work fine, docker and VM detects the 16GB. There are many people that has already done this upgrade with no ill effect. The Intel documentation is probably stating one channel, where the CPU can handle two memory channel

  2. John says:

    Interesting- but, money would have been much better spent going with the 718+ and simply going with (2) 4GB modules.

    • poyu says:

      Here in UK, the cost of the DS218+ £311 to the DS718+ £415 is £114 difference, price from Amazon.UK at the time. The 16GB RAM only costed £64, it’s still £50 more to get an 2GB DS718+ I would still need to spend more money on getting the DS718+?

  3. hhb says:

    Thanks. I will try the setup myself.
    On unrelated note, I was very cautious regarding noise. Noise issues with DS218+ can be fixed with noctua NF A9 FLX. I installed it and the LowNoise adapter (13). The device is virtually silent now.

    NOCTUA: https://noctua.at/en/products/fan/nf-a9-flx
    ORIGINAL is FD129225LL-N: http://www.ystech.com.tw/ysfan/products_detail.asp?id=57

    26th on the list. Just comparing numbers is crazy, actual performance even more.

    • poyu says:

      Odd that your default fan seems loud, on my system the HDD that I’ve used seems louder than the fan. Overall the system is not distracting when located above my head on a shelf, though I will check out your recommendation if the fans dies.

    • Sean says:

      Thanks. I was looking into replace the fan.

  4. Oric says:

    Can we hope an disassemble guide for DS418 ?

    • poyu says:

      Must have ‘+’ or ‘play’ model name for consumer DiskStation to have removable RAMs removable, sadly your DS418 would not be able to upgrade. Hence an disassemble guide would not help.

  5. Oric says:

    Hey it’s not for memory upgrade but for replace fan for more quieter one.

    • poyu says:

      I would of assumed you meant memory upgrade consider this post is about upgrading the RAMs, I’m not sure if I get the DS418 in.

  6. Brian Bullard says:

    Thank you so much for the info! My NAS showed 16GB of memory.

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