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321 posts

Ultimate Geek

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#271705 23-May-2020 13:01
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Hello all,

 

I currently run (24/7) an old PC as my Plex home media server:

 

  • OS: Ubuntu 20.04 LTS x86_64
  • CPU: Pentium E5200 (2) @ 2.500GHz
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Swapfile: 4GB
  • Internal 60GB SSD
  • Internal Seagate Barracuda 4TB HDD x2

Looking at upgrading (& downsizing) to this:

 

A few queries i need advice on please:

 

     

  1. First and foremost will it do the job?
  2. What 2.5" HDD do i look for? Preferably around the 500GB-1TB region.
  3. Can i take my existing internal HDD's listed above and run them as external HDD's via USB3?
  4. Does anyone have experience with a similar setup?
  5. Have i missed anything?

 

Any help would be much appreciated.

 

Thank you

 

 





Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu 20.04 - MX Linux 19


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1933 posts

Uber Geek

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  #2490049 23-May-2020 13:04
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Why are you changing?

 

What are you expecting to be different?




CPU: Intel 3770k| RAM: F3-2400C10D-16GTX G.Skill Trident X |MB:  Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H-WB | GFX: GV-N660OC-2GD gv-n660oc-2gd GeForce GTX 660 | Monitor: Qnix 27" 2560x1440

 

 




321 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2490051 23-May-2020 13:13
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mentalinc: Why are you changing? What are you expecting to be different?

 

Boost in overall performance really. I have a separate laptop for general use but 99% of the time i use the server as my go-to.





Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu 20.04 - MX Linux 19


 
 
 
 


849 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2490060 23-May-2020 14:03
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You don't mention how many streams you might be serving at once or how much transcoding you'll be doing.

 

Even so, the best guess short answer is: Yes it'll handle it fine

 

I used to run Plex on an AMD Athlon 64 3200. It could handle a few streams happily enough but really only one transcoding stream.

 

Edit: Let me address the questions better:

 

  • First and foremost will it do the job?
    Yep should be fine

  • What 2.5" HDD do i look for? Preferably around the 500GB-1TB region.
    If you're going to run it 24x7 get a HDD thats designed for NAS or video surveillance applications

  • Can i take my existing internal HDD's listed above and run them as external HDD's via USB3?
    Yep - just need an external case

  • Does anyone have experience with a similar setup?
    How similar? I run my Plex server on an Ubuntu VM (currently 18.04 but will upgrade when 20.04.1 is out....or maybe before). Host is a AMD Ryzen 1600, VM has 4 logical cores and 1 GB of RAM. I map a 3TB 3.5" HDD to the VM directly for the media. Will possibly move to a docker container in the future.

  • Have i missed anything?
    Sounds like you're lacking some confidence somewhere and I cant quite see where. You seem to have the main bases covered. Plex doesn't really need powerful hardware - it can run on NAS devices! Amount of storage is dependent on how much media you own though I'd advise this: You can never have too much storage so go larger over smaller.



321 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2490064 23-May-2020 14:11
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nzkc:

 

You don't mention how many streams you might be serving at once or how much transcoding you'll be doing.

 

Even so, the best guess short answer is: Yes it'll handle it fine

 

I used to run Plex on an AMD Athlon 64 3200. It could handle a few streams happily enough but really only one transcoding stream.

 

 

Yes sorry.

 

Most streams I've had at once is 3-4, no issues. As for transcoding, the only issues i had at the beginning were the clients were not set to receive original quality. Once that setting was changed its been fine, still get the odd one needing transcoding but again no issues.

 

I'm guessing the NUC will be a big step up in performance from what i currently have.





Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu 20.04 - MX Linux 19


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  #2490065 23-May-2020 14:21
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The biggest improvement will be the ability to handle hevc natively



321 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2490067 23-May-2020 14:25
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nzkc:

 

  • What 2.5" HDD do i look for? Preferably around the 500GB-1TB region.
    If you're going to run it 24x7 get a HDD thats designed for NAS or video surveillance applications

  • Can i take my existing internal HDD's listed above and run them as external HDD's via USB3?
    Yep - just need an external case

  • Does anyone have experience with a similar setup?
    How similar? I run my Plex server on an Ubuntu VM (currently 18.04 but will upgrade when 20.04.1 is out....or maybe before). Host is a AMD Ryzen 1600, VM has 4 logical cores and 1 GB of RAM. I map a 3TB 3.5" HDD to the VM directly for the media. Will possibly move to a docker container in the future.

  • Have i missed anything?
    Sounds like you're lacking some confidence somewhere and I cant quite see where. You seem to have the main bases covered. Plex doesn't really need powerful hardware - it can run on NAS devices! Amount of storage is dependent on how much media you own though I'd advise this: You can never have too much storage so go larger over smaller.

 

Thank you

 

I suppose all I'm after is some reassurance that I'm making the right decision before spending the $$$.

 

Been running the server for idk 1-2yrs (Linux for longer) and over time have increased the ram, added another 4TB HDD. Plex runs in docker, same with Radarr/Sonarr/Jackett etc. Just wanted to make sure the NUC will do it easily, that the jump in HW will be worth it, have a lower power consumption and that my existing HDD's can be utilized.





Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu 20.04 - MX Linux 19




321 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2490068 23-May-2020 14:27
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gehenna: The biggest improvement will be the ability to handle hevc natively

 

This is one area my current setup chokes on, wont even entertain it. Ive since changed my Radarr settings to exclude HEVC content.





Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu 20.04 - MX Linux 19


 
 
 
 


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  #2490076 23-May-2020 15:22
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The NUC will do the job. Do you need the small form factor or would a small tower work ok for you?

You'd be able to save some money, avoid external hard drives and get a more powerful setup.



321 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2490077 23-May-2020 15:33
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Handle9: The NUC will do the job. Do you need the small form factor or would a small tower work ok for you?

You'd be able to save some money, avoid external hard drives and get a more powerful setup.

 

TBH i haven't looked into SFF, really like what I'm hearing about the NUC. Doesn't mean i wouldn't rule it out though. Whats out there?





Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu 20.04 - MX Linux 19


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  #2490078 23-May-2020 15:43
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I was meaning a standard tower instead of a NUC. The nucs are great if you want a small desktop but for a media server I don't think they are a great solution because of the external hard drive problem.

I run a Ryzen 2600 as an unraid server with Plex in a docker. Having a tower gives me space for internal hard drives and native sata support instead of external HDD cases. YMMV but I'd do something like that.



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Ultimate Geek

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  #2490079 23-May-2020 15:49
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Handle9: I was meaning a standard tower instead of a NUC. The nucs are great if you want a small desktop but for a media server I don't think they are a great solution because of the external hard drive problem.

I run a Ryzen 2600 as an unraid server with Plex in a docker. Having a tower gives me space for internal hard drives and native sata support instead of external HDD cases. YMMV but I'd do something like that.

 

I would have thought with USB3 it wouldn't be a problem.





Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu 20.04 - MX Linux 19


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  #2490080 23-May-2020 15:54
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DamageInc:

Handle9: I was meaning a standard tower instead of a NUC. The nucs are great if you want a small desktop but for a media server I don't think they are a great solution because of the external hard drive problem.

I run a Ryzen 2600 as an unraid server with Plex in a docker. Having a tower gives me space for internal hard drives and native sata support instead of external HDD cases. YMMV but I'd do something like that.


I would have thought with USB3 it wouldn't be a problem.


Performance will be ok but then I can't see the point of using a NUC. You've got external hard drives, each with their own wall warts, inevitably one of them will get knocked or unplugged by accident etc.

It just seems to defeat the purpose of a NUC. You're not really saving a lot of space but get the crappy thermal performance. Just my 2c.

718 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2490114 23-May-2020 16:48
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NUC should be fine for Plex, the CPU has Intel Quick Sync so should handle transcoding multiple streams comfortably. I'd avoid external drives, and instead consider a basic 2 or 4 bay NAS.


718 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2490117 23-May-2020 16:50
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If you can get one cheap, the HP 290 is popular as a Plex server. Once again it has Quick Sync so you don't need a lot of CPU power.


315 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2490505 24-May-2020 15:05
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Why not just get a Synology NAS? Everything runs in docker now anyway so shouldn’t be any issues with your setup + it’s a tidy compact all in one... no hanging USB cables and those oversized AC adapters off the back.

Eg - https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/NASSYN09184/Synology-DiskStation-DS918-4-Bay-NAS-Server-Quad-C

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