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20 posts

Geek


# 173407 21-May-2015 23:44
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I'm wanting to get a Linux server which I can run a Plex media server on, back up my files to and do overnight downloads on. It's going to be running 24 hours a day so I'd like something which is cheap to run.

I was looking at Intel NUC's on PB Tech but to get one that has a good enough CPU for Plex to do transcoding seems quite expensive. Another option I was considering was getting an Alienware Alpha and installing Linux on it but I suspect that wouldn't be cheap to run.

For an NUC build I was looking at:

This NUC kit - http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=MBDINT2520391&name=Intel-Next-Unit-of-Computing-Kits-(NUC)-BOXDN2820F 
T
his HDD - http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=HDDSE5710&name=Seagate-1TB-2.5-Solid-State-Hybrid-(SSHD)-ST1000LM
T
his memory - http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=MEMCRU044098&name=Crucial-4GB-DESKTOP-DDR3-1600Mhz-DIMM-240pin-Non-E

T
houghts? The requirements for Plex (https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/200375666-Stand-Alone-Server) say a 2.4ghz Core 2 Duo which is a bit more powerful than the one in the kit.

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483 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 1309625 22-May-2015 06:16
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What are you downloading overnight? That would dictate storage requirements.



4527 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 1309639 22-May-2015 07:13
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Maybe you'd be better with a NAS?  Some of these can run downloading software and even plex.  Things like a QNAP, but WD have one and so to Synology.

The caveat is that the CPU is generally not big enough to support Plex transcoding (the ARM ones, but there are intel as well)....only an issue if your clients require lots of transcoding.  A higher end plex client will take the raw video.





Previously known as psycik

OpenHAB: Gigabyte AMD A8 BrixOpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller, Raspberry PI, Wemos D1 Mini, Zwave, Xiaomi Humidity and Temperature sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 10
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


 
 
 
 




20 posts

Geek


  # 1309648 22-May-2015 07:58
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roobarb: What are you downloading overnight? That would dictate storage requirements.




Nothing major, just the occasional torrent and I'd like to run SteamCMD to download larger games. I'm not planning on downloading constantly though so shouldn't need too much space. I'll be transferring the 450gb of data on my current HD onto it and I don't think I'd fill up the remaining space of a 1tb drive quickly.



20 posts

Geek


  # 1309650 22-May-2015 08:03
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davidcole: Maybe you'd be better with a NAS?  Some of these can run downloading software and even plex.  Things like a QNAP, but WD have one and so to Synology.

The caveat is that the CPU is generally not big enough to support Plex transcoding (the ARM ones, but there are intel as well)....only an issue if your clients require lots of transcoding.  A higher end plex client will take the raw video.



Hmm, that's an option. My main uses for the device are the Plex server and an external backup that I can access from anywhere. Are there any particular NAS systems that you'd recommend?

I would be slightly concerned about it not being able to handle transcoding as one of the main devices I use Plex on is a Chromecast.

4527 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 1309651 22-May-2015 08:08
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LordUberDowzen:
davidcole: Maybe you'd be better with a NAS?  Some of these can run downloading software and even plex.  Things like a QNAP, but WD have one and so to Synology.

The caveat is that the CPU is generally not big enough to support Plex transcoding (the ARM ones, but there are intel as well)....only an issue if your clients require lots of transcoding.  A higher end plex client will take the raw video.



Hmm, that's an option. My main uses for the device are the Plex server and an external backup that I can access from anywhere. Are there any particular NAS systems that you'd recommend?

I would be slightly concerned about it not being able to handle transcoding as one of the main devices I use Plex on is a Chromecast.


That just changes the drive of the device.

My brother in law has a Synology 212 - a 2 bay arm based NAS.  You can load plex on that, but it can't transcode.  They have an intel version but your starting to get up to desktop type prices.

Actually a chromecast should be fairly capable with 1080p.  It's things like phones that need the most transcoding.

If you want transcode, then its likely to put you out of the league for cost effective linux/NUC/NAS machines and you'll probably need to look at more full featured CPUs.  I have n a8 brix....but I've never tried transcoding with that.  I have a full tower machine to handle the heavy lifting.




Previously known as psycik

OpenHAB: Gigabyte AMD A8 BrixOpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller, Raspberry PI, Wemos D1 Mini, Zwave, Xiaomi Humidity and Temperature sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 10
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex




20 posts

Geek


  # 1309654 22-May-2015 08:18
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davidcole:

That just changes the drive of the device.

My brother in law has a Synology 212 - a 2 bay arm based NAS.  You can load plex on that, but it can't transcode.  They have an intel version but your starting to get up to desktop type prices.

Actually a chromecast should be fairly capable with 1080p.  It's things like phones that need the most transcoding.

If you want transcode, then its likely to put you out of the league for cost effective linux/NUC/NAS machines and you'll probably need to look at more full featured CPUs.  I have n a8 brix....but I've never tried transcoding with that.  I have a full tower machine to handle the heavy lifting.


Oh, OK, I assumed that the Chromecast would need transcoding. If that's not the case then I don't need anything particularly powerful at all (I have Plex on my Android phone but I rarely use it because I hate watching on such a small screen). I'll take a look at some NAS systems.

4527 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 1309658 22-May-2015 08:26
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LordUberDowzen:
davidcole:

That just changes the drive of the device.

My brother in law has a Synology 212 - a 2 bay arm based NAS.  You can load plex on that, but it can't transcode.  They have an intel version but your starting to get up to desktop type prices.

Actually a chromecast should be fairly capable with 1080p.  It's things like phones that need the most transcoding.

If you want transcode, then its likely to put you out of the league for cost effective linux/NUC/NAS machines and you'll probably need to look at more full featured CPUs.  I have n a8 brix....but I've never tried transcoding with that.  I have a full tower machine to handle the heavy lifting.


Oh, OK, I assumed that the Chromecast would need transcoding. If that's not the case then I don't need anything particularly powerful at all (I have Plex on my Android phone but I rarely use it because I hate watching on such a small screen). I'll take a look at some NAS systems.


Have a check on that.  I don't have a chromecast, but do have plex on a pc, roku3, ipad and apple tv.  They vary in their trancoding requirements and in some cases (apple tv and roku do not need a format change but a container change).  Chromecast may be similar, but you'd want to have that verified before shelling out $$$.




Previously known as psycik

OpenHAB: Gigabyte AMD A8 BrixOpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller, Raspberry PI, Wemos D1 Mini, Zwave, Xiaomi Humidity and Temperature sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 10
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


 
 
 
 




20 posts

Geek


  # 1309660 22-May-2015 08:28
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davidcole:
LordUberDowzen:
davidcole:

That just changes the drive of the device.

My brother in law has a Synology 212 - a 2 bay arm based NAS.  You can load plex on that, but it can't transcode.  They have an intel version but your starting to get up to desktop type prices.

Actually a chromecast should be fairly capable with 1080p.  It's things like phones that need the most transcoding.

If you want transcode, then its likely to put you out of the league for cost effective linux/NUC/NAS machines and you'll probably need to look at more full featured CPUs.  I have n a8 brix....but I've never tried transcoding with that.  I have a full tower machine to handle the heavy lifting.


Oh, OK, I assumed that the Chromecast would need transcoding. If that's not the case then I don't need anything particularly powerful at all (I have Plex on my Android phone but I rarely use it because I hate watching on such a small screen). I'll take a look at some NAS systems.


Have a check on that.  I don't have a chromecast, but do have plex on a pc, roku3, ipad and apple tv.  They vary in their trancoding requirements and in some cases (apple tv and roku do not need a format change but a container change).  Chromecast may be similar, but you'd want to have that verified before shelling out $$$.


I'll do some research. Thanks for your help!

138 posts

Master Geek


  # 1309665 22-May-2015 08:45
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If you are looking at a NAS for Plex transcoding, look at this Google Doc from Plex on NAS compatibility. Essentially look at the list of devices that you can install PMS on and ones that can transcode to 1080p.

I have only really looked at Synology devices around this, but I know a lot of people have success with the 415+ and the 1515+ devices. Not cheap though.

701 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1309697 22-May-2015 09:45
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I use an old AMD X2 3600 PC for pretty much the same requirements you have.  Mine runs Windows but mainly because I use Backblaze to do backups and they don't have a Linux client.  It also runs Plex server and does transcoding fine.  Can handle multiple streams fine as we've had the TV and the kids tablets all watching streams at the same time.

So the point is - if you want to do it yourself, any cheap modernish PC will do fine.  If you want storage and don't want to go a NAS route I'd recommend a case you can throw a few drives into (but that doesn't limit your choices much at all).



20 posts

Geek


  # 1309710 22-May-2015 10:07
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nzkc: I use an old AMD X2 3600 PC for pretty much the same requirements you have.  Mine runs Windows but mainly because I use Backblaze to do backups and they don't have a Linux client.  It also runs Plex server and does transcoding fine.  Can handle multiple streams fine as we've had the TV and the kids tablets all watching streams at the same time.

So the point is - if you want to do it yourself, any cheap modernish PC will do fine.  If you want storage and don't want to go a NAS route I'd recommend a case you can throw a few drives into (but that doesn't limit your choices much at all).


From a storage perspective I'm pretty brutal about what files I hang onto so I don't see myself needing more than 1tb for several years. It's taken me quite some time to fill up a 500gb drive and a lot of that was initial backups followed by a long period of only slowly adding new files.

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