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TS-677 Dedicated Plex Server - Hardware discussion

SystemSystem Posts: 283 Plex Employee
This discussion was created from comments split from: Installing Plex in a share OTHER THAN the system share?.
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  • bwebwe Posts: 35Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @kd6icz
    I'm buying the same rig -TS-677 and the GTX 1050.
    Wondering how you like it? I need the 1050 only because I need the HDMI port for running HD Station direct to my TV. I figured there was plenty of horse power to handle software transcoding to multiple players. The 677 seems to be one of the fastest qnap servers out there for the money... thoughts? I'm moving up from a TS251 - not even the + version...

  • kd6iczkd6icz Posts: 345Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @bwe said:
    @kd6icz
    I'm buying the same rig -TS-677 and the GTX 1050.
    Wondering how you like it? I need the 1050 only because I need the HDMI port for running HD Station direct to my TV. I figured there was plenty of horse power to handle software transcoding to multiple players. The 677 seems to be one of the fastest qnap servers out there for the money... thoughts? I'm moving up from a TS251 - not even the + version...

    I love it! It's my dedicated Plex DVR box installed at my parents house. I did try the whole graphics card thing and the one I chose didn't fit very well. I would recommend a low profile card. I know they have a list of cards to choose from but I don't see why any 1050 card wouldn't work? I just picked up a Gigabyte 1050 2GB low profile from Newegg for $135 for my desktop. I'm pretty sure it would work fine in the 677.

    As far as the Ryzen 5 1600 it has ample power to support multiple transcoding operations. I upgraded the RAM to 16GB Corsair DDR4-2666 LPX (low profile 4 sticks) and installed two ADATA mSATA M.2 drives (256GB x 2). The mSATA drives are in RAID0 and are dedicated for Plex transcoder cache.

    QNAP supplies nice heatsinks for the M.2 drives.

    Here are some internal pictures.



    Home built Supermicro X99 motherboard with Intel i7-6950x with all 10 cores locked at 4GHz! Each thread scoring 2500 passmark with 128GB 3300 DDR4 and 10Gbps Intel SFP+ NIC. Files stored on QNAP TS-1635 NAS with twelve 6TB WD Reds in RAID6!

  • bwebwe Posts: 35Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    nicely done! - is there any special configuration to make this work?:
    The mSATA drives are in RAID0 and are dedicated for Plex transcoder cache.

    Thanks for the feedback - can't wait to get this going...

  • kd6iczkd6icz Posts: 345Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @bwe said:
    nicely done! - is there any special configuration to make this work?:
    The mSATA drives are in RAID0 and are dedicated for Plex transcoder cache.

    Thanks for the feedback - can't wait to get this going...

    The way I set up every QNAP NAS I own is to just start by installing the drive where you want your system files to be stored. In my case I used the two 2.5" bays for my system files and put them in RAID1. I happen to reuse some 256GB Toshiba SSD's I used in my previous Windows Media Center server I built mid last year. The system drive holds the QTS OS as well as all of the Plex database files.

    Once you have the unit up and running install the rest of the drives (including the M.2's). Once all the drives are installed you have to manually direct Plex to use the M.2's for transcoder cache. The simplest way to do this is make a folder called Plex Cache on the M.2 volume and then pretend like you're going to create a media library on it in that folder. I then copy the location and paste it in the transcoder location storage box.

    Of course this is only if you want to use the M.2's.

    Home built Supermicro X99 motherboard with Intel i7-6950x with all 10 cores locked at 4GHz! Each thread scoring 2500 passmark with 128GB 3300 DDR4 and 10Gbps Intel SFP+ NIC. Files stored on QNAP TS-1635 NAS with twelve 6TB WD Reds in RAID6!

  • ChuckPAChuckPA Posts: 22,199Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Plex Team Member Plex Team Member

    @bwe @kd6icz

    Figured you'd prefer a dedicated HW thread of your own so split you out from the other discussion to here.

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  • mdibella@rochester.rr.commdibella@rochester.rr.com Posts: 18Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I just ordered this same setup. Of course I needed a second mortgage on my house HAHAHA. No, seriously, I think this will last a good long time. I am upgrading from a 251+ which I hope to leave attached to my network and use it as a backup.

    Question for kd6icz, you say to 'pretend' you're creating a media library on the m.2. Could you please be more specific? Do you mean to just create the entire file structure Plex uses, or just a single folder named Plex Cache?

  • ChuckPAChuckPA Posts: 22,199Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Plex Team Member Plex Team Member

    Only a second mortgage? You got away cheep! Second mortgage and my first born for the TVS-1282! :D

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  • snappasnappa Posts: 1Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @kd6icz said:

    @bwe said:
    nicely done! - is there any special configuration to make this work?:
    The mSATA drives are in RAID0 and are dedicated for Plex transcoder cache.

    Thanks for the feedback - can't wait to get this going...

    The way I set up every QNAP NAS I own is to just start by installing the drive where you want your system files to be stored. In my case I used the two 2.5" bays for my system files and put them in RAID1. I happen to reuse some 256GB Toshiba SSD's I used in my previous Windows Media Center server I built mid last year. The system drive holds the QTS OS as well as all of the Plex database files.

    Once you have the unit up and running install the rest of the drives (including the M.2's). Once all the drives are installed you have to manually direct Plex to use the M.2's for transcoder cache. The simplest way to do this is make a folder called Plex Cache on the M.2 volume and then pretend like you're going to create a media library on it in that folder. I then copy the location and paste it in the transcoder location storage box.

    Of course this is only if you want to use the M.2's.

    Hey so quick question, Do you not use the Qtier function in Qnap? I'm wondering about the pros & cons now of doing this.
    As of now I have my Qtier linked with my media storage on the QNAP.

  • kd6iczkd6icz Posts: 345Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @snappa said:
    Hey so quick question, Do you not use the Qtier function in Qnap? I'm wondering about the pros & cons now of doing this.
    As of now I have my Qtier linked with my media storage on the QNAP.

    I don’t think so? Not familiar with it if I do.

    Home built Supermicro X99 motherboard with Intel i7-6950x with all 10 cores locked at 4GHz! Each thread scoring 2500 passmark with 128GB 3300 DDR4 and 10Gbps Intel SFP+ NIC. Files stored on QNAP TS-1635 NAS with twelve 6TB WD Reds in RAID6!

  • mdibella@rochester.rr.commdibella@rochester.rr.com Posts: 18Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I've finished my setup and am moving my libraries to my new Plex server. I am stumped though. I added two M.2 drives thinking I'd use them for the Plex cache for the sake of speed...but I can't find where to set that location. The drives are in Raid 0 and I created a directory called 'Plex Cache' but I have no idea how to point Plex at that location. There is a setting for storing temporary work files, is that the one?

    I'm a little perplexed over the idea that hardware transcoding can make for a poorer picture in non-HD videos. Since I watch a lot of old TV shows ripped from DVD, they're mostly in 480p at best. So am I shooting myself in the foot by trying to use hardware transcoding (I added an NVIDIA 1050 to the setup). That being the case, why is there not a setting for 'Use hardware transcoding if available for HD' and another one for 'Use hardware transcoding if available for SD' . Then, we could turn one or both on or off at will.

  • MwC_TrexxMwC_Trexx Posts: 233Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited March 6

    @mdibella@rochester.rr.com said:
    I've finished my setup and am moving my libraries to my new Plex server. I am stumped though. I added two M.2 drives thinking I'd use them for the Plex cache for the sake of speed...but I can't find where to set that location. The drives are in Raid 0 and I created a directory called 'Plex Cache' but I have no idea how to point Plex at that location. There is a setting for storing temporary work files, is that the one?

    I'm a little perplexed over the idea that hardware transcoding can make for a poorer picture in non-HD videos. Since I watch a lot of old TV shows ripped from DVD, they're mostly in 480p at best. So am I shooting myself in the foot by trying to use hardware transcoding (I added an NVIDIA 1050 to the setup). That being the case, why is there not a setting for 'Use hardware transcoding if available for HD' and another one for 'Use hardware transcoding if available for SD' . Then, we could turn one or both on or off at will.

    Unless you are running Plex in a Win10 VM with GPU passthrough, you aren't able to leverage HW transcoding with the Nvidia card for Plex in native QTS at this time. That being said, with the Ryzen CPU you have plenty of power to handle your transcoding right now.

    Model: TS-877-1600
    QTier (SSD): [RAID-1] 2 x 525GB Crucial MX300 m.2's
    QTier (HDD): [RAID-5] 6 x 3TB HGST DeskStar NAS
    RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury 32GB 2 x 16GB DDR4-2666 PC4-21300 CL16
    GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC GAMING, ACX 2.0 (Single Fan), 6GB GDDR5
    UPS: CyberPower AVR1350
    Media Boxes: Nvidia ShieldTV Pro (4K), AppleTV 4, Roku Stick, FireStick Gen1

    Model: TVS-673 32GB Test Box

  • mdibella@rochester.rr.commdibella@rochester.rr.com Posts: 18Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Thanks for the answer. The video card is not a total waste since I plan on running a win VM for testing purposes.

    Do you have any idea how to point Plex at the m.2 drives for cacheing? I love Plex but the docs leave much to be desired.

    Thanks! MJ

  • moody_bluemoody_blue Posts: 3,221Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja
    edited March 7

    @mdibella@rochester.rr.com It's always easier to start from scratch. If HDDs are not populated yet remove them and install QTS. This will put QTS and packages in the m.2's. After QTS installation you can plug your HDD's and define remaining storage pools.

    QNAP TS-253A 4G QTS 4.3.4.0569 + PMS 1.13.1.5063 + QPython2 2.7.12.0 + PlexConnect 0.6

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  • mdibella@rochester.rr.commdibella@rochester.rr.com Posts: 18Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited March 7

    Well I did move my plex libraries to the drives but I can redo that. I thought QTS installed on the 677’s internal memory anyway, but I will remove the hard drines and reinstall QTS with just the M.2 drives in place. Thanks!

  • ChuckPAChuckPA Posts: 22,199Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Plex Team Member Plex Team Member

    @mdibella@rochester.rr.com

    QTS's critical firmware is installed to internal memory but the QTS applications which make it all work go into the first disk volume (e.g. CACHEDEV1_DATA).

    When I installed my M.2, I pulled all the drives out first, installed the M.2 SSDs, and installed QTS there first. After it was configured (enough to run ok), I then put the existing drives back in. If you don't recreate the whole volume, you're not wasting much. Bare QTS isn't that big.

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  • MwC_TrexxMwC_Trexx Posts: 233Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Depending on your SSD size though, the only warning I always give is not EVERYTHING can be repointed away from that 1st data volume where QTS lives, all APP packages install by default, etc. And IF you run out of space on it, bad things happen.

    So just be aware.

    That is why I like QTier quite a bit as QTS isn't that big and it is not like windows where you are loading/unloading things all the time so the benefit of SSD vs HDD is a little bit on startup but as huge.

    Do see a good use case for non-mirrored SSD though for the Plex transcoding cache where I don't care if the drive fails as I don't lose data and the performance definitely can benefit from the SSD.

    Model: TS-877-1600
    QTier (SSD): [RAID-1] 2 x 525GB Crucial MX300 m.2's
    QTier (HDD): [RAID-5] 6 x 3TB HGST DeskStar NAS
    RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury 32GB 2 x 16GB DDR4-2666 PC4-21300 CL16
    GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC GAMING, ACX 2.0 (Single Fan), 6GB GDDR5
    UPS: CyberPower AVR1350
    Media Boxes: Nvidia ShieldTV Pro (4K), AppleTV 4, Roku Stick, FireStick Gen1

    Model: TVS-673 32GB Test Box

  • mdibella@rochester.rr.commdibella@rochester.rr.com Posts: 18Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited March 8

    Thanks for all your help, guys. I ended up pulling out the hard drives and re-initializing the system, reinstalled QTS with just the m.2 drives in place. Then I added back the drives and created one large storage pool with everything in it. Everything is in Raid 0 for best performance because I have ample backup for my Plex libraries...a duplicate copy on my old QNAP, a copy on an external drive, and of course I have the original DVDs. Drive failure would not be a catastrophe. My only other use for this server is as a virtual box for testing purposes, and that data is transient too.

    For now I will let QTIER manage storage and see how that works out. If I add more SSD’s at some point I can put them into the pool too. QTIER looks pretty nifty, if it actually works...already added more system memory so for now I think I am good to go.

    I really appreciate all the help. As an aside... I am a 68 year old female geek...an oddity, I am sure. Back ‘in the day’ I used to build PC’s for fun and profit and my ‘real job’ was as a software developer. I am retired now but it was fun putting the old static protector wristband back on and exploring the insides of my new QNAP.

  • MwC_TrexxMwC_Trexx Posts: 233Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    DONT do RAID-0!! The performance benefit will be minimal and the amount of time wasted rebuilding a NAS is BIG. As your backups won’t cover in most cases app/system configuration etc.

    For QTier use raid-1 for SSD and Raid-5 at least for HDD. One glitch in either brings EVERYTHING down due to you never know which data blocks are on SSD vs HDD.

    Model: TS-877-1600
    QTier (SSD): [RAID-1] 2 x 525GB Crucial MX300 m.2's
    QTier (HDD): [RAID-5] 6 x 3TB HGST DeskStar NAS
    RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury 32GB 2 x 16GB DDR4-2666 PC4-21300 CL16
    GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC GAMING, ACX 2.0 (Single Fan), 6GB GDDR5
    UPS: CyberPower AVR1350
    Media Boxes: Nvidia ShieldTV Pro (4K), AppleTV 4, Roku Stick, FireStick Gen1

    Model: TVS-673 32GB Test Box

  • mdibella@rochester.rr.commdibella@rochester.rr.com Posts: 18Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited March 10

    Sigh. I think I am convinced. No, didn't have a hard drive failure but if I do, this is a lot of stuff to mess around with. So I suspect I am about to start over. Again. I've looked at web pages that describe how to migrate Plex and it says 'Log on with the console'. Yeah right. Might as well tell me to use my iphone. I haven't used Telnet in many years...by the time I figure it out again, I could probably just start over from the beginning. I think I may have to delete everything and start from my file backup disk. There is no option to migrate from Raid 0 to Raid 5.

    So. My system has two m.2 ssd and two 6 gig HDD. Are you saying I should create two storage pools? One with the SSDs and one with the HDD? And then hand them both over to QTIER? I had everything assigned to one storage pool...again, the documentation on this stuff leaves much to be desired and it's unclear to me how using multiple pools works with QTIER. I am content to do whatever makes QTIER happy and let it manage this mess.

    Oh...wait...If I am reading this correctly, I create 2 tiers and then add both tiers to a single storage pool. ??

    (and of course I still have four drive bays empty so I will likely be adding more sooner or later).

  • ChuckPAChuckPA Posts: 22,199Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja, Plex Team Member Plex Team Member

    You can cheat about Plex. :)

    1. Create a share and Enter Path Manually. You will find it under /share/CACHEDEV1_DATA/.qpkg/PlexMediaServer
    2. From there, you only want a ZIP (or tar.gz if you prefer) of the Library directory.

    Library contains everything PMS knows about your media.

    After you've completed your tasks:

    1. Create the share again
    2. With PMS stopped
    3. Remove the exiting contents of Library (you're going to replace it all anyway)
    4. Unzip the previous backup into it just like it came out
    5. Verify you see .qpkg/PlexMediaServer/Library/Plex Media Server in the resultant tree structure and you're good to go

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    Please search before posting

    Primary support: Linux, Synology, and QNAP

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    Useful links

     Installation and Basic Setup |  Media Preparation (How to name your media files)  |  Linux Permissions 

     Handling TV Specials | Handling Movie extras  |  Nas Compatibility

     Reporting Plex Server issues | Plex Media Server FAQ | Linux Tips

     

    Other useful guides: Local Subtitles | The Plex "dance" | Synology FAQ | PMS Release Announcements

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    No technical support via PM unless offered

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