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Nvidia Hardware Transcoding Not Working

Burty101sBurty101s Members, Plex Pass Posts: 5 Plex Pass

Hi All,

First post here and I'm new to Plex so please go easy on me.
I have a HP Microserver Gen8, Specs Below:

Intel Xeon E3-1220L
16GB RAM
Nvidia GeForce GT 1030
250GB SSD for Windows Server 2016 Standard and Plex Media Server
4x 4TB WD Red's in RAID 10 (8TB Usable Space).

Plex and all it's metadata is stored on the SSD (NTFS).
All Library data is stored on the WD Red's (ReFS).

Most of my library are Blu-ray rips from my Blu-ray collection, Transcoded in HandBrake usually taking up 8GB-15GB and nothing really exceeding 10Mbps Original Quality.

Playback is smooth but the little Xeon is usually around 90-100% usage on one stream.
So I was hoping if I enabled Hardware Acceleration it would use the 1030 and thus allow more than one stream at a time.

Problem is, it never seems to touch the GPU, Xeon is still maxing out and I can see no GPU usage at all.
Is there a way to force Plex to see the GPU? I completely wiped and re-built my server last night (latest firmware's and Drivers across the board) And I've got Plex Pass so made sure I have the latest build of Plex installed as well.

Thanks in advanced.

Best Answer

  • Burty101sBurty101s Members, Plex Pass Posts: 5 Plex Pass
    Accepted Answer

    UPDATE:

    Success! I've got Hardware Acceleration working, I need to test with the HP Matrox GPU also enabled but currently I'm getting the below results:

    30~% CPU utilization and extremely little GPU utilization (2-24% depending on buffering)
    Compared to:
    100% CPU utilization and no GPU utilization

    Tested using a raw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 1080p Blu-ray rip and on multiple devices (Chrome Browser, Apple TV, Windows App and Android 8.0 (Sony Xperia XZ Premium)). It almost always transcodes the Audio which is expected.

    It appears to be completely down to Plex running as a Service, it simply doesn't Hardware Accelerate as a Service. Real shame, that would make it a proper "Server" so to speak but I can live with just disconnecting my RDP session.

    I now have a very low power Plex Server that's capable of (I think) 4K HDR movie playback (when they crack AACS 2.0 and I can start buying and ripping 4K Blu-ray's). Even if not, I can now at least handle 2 Streams rather than one!

    Note: I did not have to add any fake screens attached or anything, works without any screen being connected.

Answers

  • OttoKernerOttoKerner Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 30,880 Plex Ninja
    edited December 2017

    Are you running Plex as a system service?
    If so, only _en_coding on the GPU is available.

    Is a monitor connected to the graphics adapter?
    If not, GPU acceleration won't work. If you don't have a monitor, you can use a simulator plug.

    In general, this particular Xeon is a very weak affair. And it doesn't have a GPU integrated, like all Xeons. You'd be better off with a middle-class Core i5.

    Got help? Help others too - by reporting back with your results!
    Have you checked the Documentation before posting a question in the forums?
    Use the SEARCH function before starting a new thread!
    No PMs unless requested, please! Do not use 'verbose' logging
  • Burty101sBurty101s Members, Plex Pass Posts: 5 Plex Pass

    @OttoKerner said:
    Are you running Plex as a system service?
    If so, only _en_coding on the GPU is available.

    Ah ok, thanks. Yes it is running as a service.

    @OttoKerner said:
    Is a monitor connected to the graphics adapter?
    If not, GPU acceleration won't work. If you don't have a monitor, you can use a simulator plug.

    No monitor is plugged into the GPU, I'm using the built-in Matrox Adapter as the primary GPU so I can keep iLO working etc...
    Can I still use the Nvidia GPU then if it's the secondary adapter? It's installed and detected fine.

    @OttoKerner said:
    In general, this particular Xeon is a very weak affair. And it doesn't have a GPU integrated, like all Xeons. You'd be better off with a middle-class Core i5.

    I do plan to upgrade to the Xeon E3-1265L v2 but I haven't had the funds at the moment and to be honest, the little Duel Core plays one transcoded stream fine along with a direct stream.

    The reason for this CPU is because the server is on 24/7 and the little power it takes is quite attractive.

  • OttoKernerOttoKerner Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 30,880 Plex Ninja

    @Burty101s said:
    Ah ok, thanks. Yes it is running as a service.

    Then you'll can't have hardware assisted decoding.

    No monitor is plugged into the GPU, I'm using the built-in Matrox Adapter as the primary GPU so I can keep iLO working etc...
    Can I still use the Nvidia GPU then if it's the secondary adapter? It's installed and detected fine.

    This scenario is not well tested and there may be yet unknown issues around it. Connect a monitor or an emulator plug to the nVidia adapter and try again.

    Got help? Help others too - by reporting back with your results!
    Have you checked the Documentation before posting a question in the forums?
    Use the SEARCH function before starting a new thread!
    No PMs unless requested, please! Do not use 'verbose' logging
  • Burty101sBurty101s Members, Plex Pass Posts: 5 Plex Pass

    @OttoKerner said:
    Then you'll can't have hardware assisted decoding.

    That's a shame, Considering they call it Plex Media SERVER and it runs in the background anyway, I thought running it as a Service wouldn't cause any of it's functionality to stop working. The Server is not on a domain and the Service is running as the local Administrator account to make sure permissions are not an issue.

    @OttoKerner said:
    This scenario is not well tested and there may be yet unknown issues around it. Connect a monitor or an emulator plug to the nVidia adapter and try again.

    Thanks, I will be giving this a go tonight, What i'll do is change it so that the Nvidia Card is the only one enabled in the BIOS (So i'll lose iLO functionality but I can live with that since i'll have RDP Access) and use the Emulator Plug and see how I get on.

  • Burty101sBurty101s Members, Plex Pass Posts: 5 Plex Pass
    Accepted Answer

    UPDATE:

    Success! I've got Hardware Acceleration working, I need to test with the HP Matrox GPU also enabled but currently I'm getting the below results:

    30~% CPU utilization and extremely little GPU utilization (2-24% depending on buffering)
    Compared to:
    100% CPU utilization and no GPU utilization

    Tested using a raw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 1080p Blu-ray rip and on multiple devices (Chrome Browser, Apple TV, Windows App and Android 8.0 (Sony Xperia XZ Premium)). It almost always transcodes the Audio which is expected.

    It appears to be completely down to Plex running as a Service, it simply doesn't Hardware Accelerate as a Service. Real shame, that would make it a proper "Server" so to speak but I can live with just disconnecting my RDP session.

    I now have a very low power Plex Server that's capable of (I think) 4K HDR movie playback (when they crack AACS 2.0 and I can start buying and ripping 4K Blu-ray's). Even if not, I can now at least handle 2 Streams rather than one!

    Note: I did not have to add any fake screens attached or anything, works without any screen being connected.

  • Burty101sBurty101s Members, Plex Pass Posts: 5 Plex Pass

    LAST UPDATE:

    Success again! Even with the Matrox GPU enabled, It detects the Nvidia card and hardware accelerates fine. Even raw HEVC Blu-Ray Rips.
    Bad news, The little Xeon Duel Core cannot transcode Dolby Atmos properly and so the video buffers every 10 seconds.
    Looks like i'll be upgrading to the Xeon E3-1265L v2 anyway!

  • GoSpursGoGoSpursGo Members, Plex Pass Posts: 94 Plex Pass

    @Burty101s said:
    LAST UPDATE:

    Success again! Even with the Matrox GPU enabled, It detects the Nvidia card and hardware accelerates fine. Even raw HEVC Blu-Ray Rips.
    Bad news, The little Xeon Duel Core cannot transcode Dolby Atmos properly and so the video buffers every 10 seconds.
    Looks like i'll be upgrading to the Xeon E3-1265L v2 anyway!

    Please post an update after you upgrade your CPU. I'm wanting to build a similar setup to what you have going here and am curious if the updated CPU will solve the Atmos problem.

    Thanks in advance!

  • sparky002sparky002 Members, Plex Pass Posts: 1 Plex Pass
    edited March 14

    Have two gpu's in my system. An AMD RX480 hooked up to my monitor and a QUADRO P2000 as a encoder/decoder card. This works just fine for EMBY. It even lets me choose which GPU I want to use as hardware transcoding, although it recognized the QUADRO automatically as the dedicated transcode card. Why doesn't Plex let us choose the GPU to use as hardware transcoding or recgonize that I do have a capable GPU in my system? I don't want my P2000 hooked up to my monitor because I don't want to waste a couple percent running the display on the QUADRO card and other miscellaneous GPU processes and programs I have running on the computer.

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