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Plex CPU requirements for 4K Encoding/streaming/QNAP TS453A...

phybroptyxphybroptyx Posts: 1Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

I am looking to building a Plex Server that can handle serving up True 4K (2160p @ 80Mbps) content. I have been having trouble finding any concrete guidance on the requirements. I know that 4K content is still new and bleeding edge. But I have (somewhat of an) issue with the assumption that since a 1080p/10Mbps stream requires a CPU with a PassMark score of 2,000, then a 4K stream would need 4x that (16,000 PassMark). That doesn't indicate the jump from a 720p/4Mbps requirement of 1,500 to 1080p/10Mbps (having a bitrate 2.5x the 4Mbps of 720p).

I have also noticed that QNAP has one of its NAS devices, the QNAP TS-453A, including an Intel Celeron N3150 1.6GHz chip (1678 PassMark). This supposedly can transcode 4K content. Seems to be a low CPU benchmark to handle 4K...

Comments

  • Peter_WPeter_W Posts: 2,142Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja

    I would assume that that Qnap NAS does not do any transcode at all through software and its CPU. Most likely done through hardware and a chip specified for that purpose only. Plex is working towards being able to accomodate HW transcoding, but it is still early days for that.

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  • nigelpbnigelpb Posts: 782Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited April 2017

    If you have a good Internet connection before spending hundreds on hardware just for Plex you really should look at Plex Cloud . It has a limit of three simultaneous transcodes which should suit most domestic arrangements although probably not those who share their libraries with friends & relatives.

    The only cost on top of Plex Pass is $10/month for G Suite Business for unlimited Google Drive storage.
    Plex Cloud does an outstanding job of transcoding 4K. I uploaded a 65GB 60Mbps 4K UHD Blu-ray rip & this happily plays on all my devices (Roku 3, Roku Ultra, iPhone 6s Plus, Amazon Fire TV 4K, web app on my Retina MacBook Pro etc). It even plays nicely on the iPhone on 3G/4G cellular when away from WiFi.

    Anyone thinking of buying hardware for their own Plex Server should think again. provided you have a decent Internet connection Plex Cloud can provide a better Plex experience than local hardware & the cost saving is enormous. Plex Cloud really is a game changer.

  • That doesn't make any sense. I'm running an i7 with 12gigs of memory, solid state drive, a 760gtx and gigabit network throughout.

    It's currently incapable of streaming UHD movies (plex constantly hangs and tells me the server isn't powerful enough). You're telling me I can get a better experience off a shared cloud? There is no way I'll get a dedicated proc with 4 cores and 12 gigs of memory for anywhere near a reasonable price. That's without considering bandwidth.

    If you look up comparable specs for cloud hosting, that level of resources is very expensive.

    The only way they would manage to provide content more efficiently than my local server is by writing much more efficient code, GPU level transcoding, and then withhold it from public release.

  • nigelpbnigelpb Posts: 782Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited April 2017

    @sking@mail.greenriver.edu said:
    That doesn't make any sense. I'm running an i7 with 12gigs of memory, solid state drive, a 760gtx and gigabit network throughout.

    It's currently incapable of streaming UHD movies (plex constantly hangs and tells me the server isn't powerful enough). You're telling me I can get a better experience off a shared cloud?

    Yes. At least if my experience with admittedly limited testing is anything to go by transcoding with Plex Cloud is just amazing.

    You can easily test this out. Just get a free 14 day trial of G Suite for Business. You'll need to register a domain but GoDaddy have offers as low as $1. If you don't already have Plex Pass then that will cost you $4.99 for one month. Upload one of your UHD files to Google Drive & then connect it to Plex Cloud. It will only take a few minutes work to confirm what I say. As I said in my previous reply Plex Cloud really is a game changer.

  • DavidIrwinDavidIrwin Posts: 411Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @phybroptyx said:
    I have also noticed that QNAP has one of its NAS devices, the QNAP TS-453A, including an Intel Celeron N3150 1.6GHz chip (1678 PassMark). This supposedly can transcode 4K content. Seems to be a low CPU benchmark to handle 4K...

    I think your statement about 4K may be a slight mis-read of the capabilities of that QNAP device. Looking at the spec what it actually says is that it has 2 x HDMI, up to 4K 2160P 30Hz Ultra HD support which does not mean it can transcode, simply read the file and output directly to a display just like any computer with the files locally.

    Dave
    My opinions are my own. Not all advice will be accurate - I make mistakes!

    PMS 1.10.1.4561 (unRAID/Docker), PlexApp ß for iOS 4.22 (iPhone 7), Plex for Roku3 5.0.6, PMP on Windows 2.1.1

  • PhatboxPhatbox Posts: 100Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    So Plex cloud does the transcoding for you? I know they were looking at having Amazon handle the actual transcoding at one point. If that's the case.. what are the bandwidth limits? What are the processing limits? If I don't need to handle transcoding on this end, I'll just do raw rips of every movie, 15-20GB each.. no point in running them through handbrake right? Just keep them raw. Upload a couple hundred TB of data.

    3 simultaneous connections? No longer need a physical plex server on my end?

    Can you increase the number of connections?

    For $10 a month.. it's a decent price just to have a large movie collection backed up. I have physical copies of all my media still so I'm not worried about putting it out on the cloud.

  • nigelpbnigelpb Posts: 782Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @Phatbox I have no idea on any bandwidth limits not sure there are any. I have tested transcodes from 20Mbps 1080p downwards. AFAIK there is no way to increase the number of connections but that is there transcoded streams. You can have as many Direct Play streams as you like.

    Don't forget that you will need decent network upload speed to copy a couple hundred TB of data to Google Drive in a reasonable time although it is a one off so even if it does take six months you will never need to do it again.

  • lamaxx135lamaxx135 Posts: 2Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @nigelpb I looked into the G Suite for Business possibility, and the cost is indeed $10/month per user, but with a minimum of 5 users if one wants unlimited storage, otherwise for fewer than 5 users the storage is limited to 1TB per user - so in order to have unlimited storage the cost is $50/month, not $10 - unless there are alternate pricing plans that I am not aware of, and of which I would be delighted, as $10/month for unlimited storage would be a fantastic deal o:)

  • CoxeroniCoxeroni Posts: 619Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @lamaxx135 said:
    @nigelpb I looked into the G Suite for Business possibility, and the cost is indeed $10/month per user, but with a minimum of 5 users if one wants unlimited storage, otherwise for fewer than 5 users the storage is limited to 1TB per user - so in order to have unlimited storage the cost is $50/month, not $10 - unless there are alternate pricing plans that I am not aware of, and of which I would be delighted, as $10/month for unlimited storage would be a fantastic deal o:)

    This is not enforced. Up to now everybody that signed up as a single user paying 10$ has unlimited storage. Frankly speaking no one knows if this prevails in the future, but right now it just works fine.

  • lamaxx135lamaxx135 Posts: 2Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @Coxeroni Thanks for the info. That's very good news. I'll definitely give it a try.

  • ehren9ehren9 Posts: 23Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @phybroptyx said:
    I am looking to building a Plex Server that can handle serving up True 4K (2160p @ 80Mbps) content. I have been having trouble finding any concrete guidance on the requirements. I know that 4K content is still new and bleeding edge. But I have (somewhat of an) issue with the assumption that since a 1080p/10Mbps stream requires a CPU with a PassMark score of 2,000, then a 4K stream would need 4x that (16,000 PassMark). That doesn't indicate the jump from a 720p/4Mbps requirement of 1,500 to 1080p/10Mbps (having a bitrate 2.5x the 4Mbps of 720p).

    I have also noticed that QNAP has one of its NAS devices, the QNAP TS-453A, including an Intel Celeron N3150 1.6GHz chip (1678 PassMark). This supposedly can transcode 4K content. Seems to be a low CPU benchmark to handle 4K...

    Hi - I have a juddering and buffering problem with a QNAP TS-453B (4GB) and Plex directly connected via HDMI to 4K TV. I'm trying various Plex and Kodi apps and combinations to see if I simply need a beefier QNAP. I don't intend to stream more than 1 or 2 streams at a time ever and my main gaol is to have a fast, 4K HTPC / NAS.

    ~ ehren9

  • LangelarsLangelars Posts: 4Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Hi

    I also have the QNAP TS-453B but 8GB version.
    I am having problems transcoding 4K and 3D content from my NAS.
    It plays some but often just hangs wheen playing files larger than 10 GB
    I have tried through my LG OLED TV app, Apple TV 4K and via HDMI.

    Any other with same issues?

  • neechineechi Posts: 9Members ✭✭

    Same issue here with my 453A playing 4K content. Tried a 50gb file and it played but 2min in started buffering

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