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Building a plex server


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#1 renestrijbos

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 09:45 AM

Hi there,

I'm new to this so I hope I posted this right,

I want to integrate the plex system in my house, I have the following stuff:

Synology NAS with 4TB of storage (not suited for the plex server) DS 212j
Gigabit Ethernet
Samsung ue46es6800 with the possibility for a plex client
2 x iPad
2x iPhone

But there is a server missing, and I want to build that. It has to be low on energy use and capable of streaming 1080p to at least my tv. It will get the data from the NAS.
I was looking for the following hardware:

Intel i3 3220 or 3225, or the intel i5 3450 or 3450s
My concern about the processor is that I am not sure if it will do the transcoding of 1080p perfect.. And it still has to be as energy saving as possible

4 gb DDR 3 1333 MHz or something similar, does it matter if this is a Kingston value ram?

Small hdd like 500gb was thinking of a WD caviar green sata 600 64mb ? But I don't know of this is important at all? It will be for the energy usage

A micro itx motherboard with gigabit Ethernet, from around 50€. I have found lots of them

A small housing for everything

Oh and windows 7? Or windows 7 lite, or will Ubuntu or something similar do better? ( don't need to buy the software, have them already)

The goal is to keep it as cheap and low on energy as possible but still fast enough for a great media experience!

Hope you guys can help me with some choices

Thnx René

#2 Trudge

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 11:36 AM

Hi there,

I'm new to this so I hope I posted this right,

I want to integrate the plex system in my house, I have the following stuff:

Synology NAS with 4TB of storage (not suited for the plex server) DS 212j
Gigabit Ethernet
Samsung ue46es6800 with the possibility for a plex client
2 x iPad
2x iPhone

But there is a server missing, and I want to build that. It has to be low on energy use and capable of streaming 1080p to at least my tv. It will get the data from the NAS.
I was looking for the following hardware:

Intel i3 3220 or 3225, or the intel i5 3450 or 3450s
My concern about the processor is that I am not sure if it will do the transcoding of 1080p perfect.. And it still has to be as energy saving as possible

4 gb DDR 3 1333 MHz or something similar, does it matter if this is a Kingston value ram?

Small hdd like 500gb was thinking of a WD caviar green sata 600 64mb ? But I don't know of this is important at all? It will be for the energy usage

A micro itx motherboard with gigabit Ethernet, from around 50€. I have found lots of them

A small housing for everything

Oh and windows 7? Or windows 7 lite, or will Ubuntu or something similar do better? ( don't need to buy the software, have them already)

The goal is to keep it as cheap and low on energy as possible but still fast enough for a great media experience!

Hope you guys can help me with some choices

Thnx René

HI,

You want to stream 1080p to what clients and how many of them - would it be 1 at the time, or simultaneous?

If you want to use the Plex Channels then windows 7 will be better for you, Linux does not support flash, silverlight or webkit and several channels need those technologies to work. RAM does not matter, Plex uses very little, 4GB will make it very happy - if you plan to run other things on your server you may want to add more (RAM Is pretty cheap today - but you can always add it later as well) HDD does not matter either, though for low energy an SSD can not be beaten (though it is not a requirement for Plex). The Plex Server is all about CPU :)
Primary PMS: Ubuntu 13.10, i7-4771, 16GB Ram, Samsung 840 Pro 512GB
Media Storage: 2 x ReadyNas Pro Business 18TB mounted by NFS to Plex Server
Desktop Clients: 1 x Windows 7 27", 1 x 15.4 Retina MBP, 2 x17" MBP, 1 x 13" MB, 1 x13" MBA
Mobile Clients: 2 x iPhone 5s, 3 x iPhone 5, 3 x iPhone 4s, 3 x iPhone 4, 2 x iPad 3, 2 x iPad 2
Airplay & PlexConnect Targets: 4 x ATV3

#3 renestrijbos

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 01:59 PM

HI,

You want to stream 1080p to what clients and how many of them - would it be 1 at the time, or simultaneous?

If you want to use the Plex Channels then windows 7 will be better for you, Linux does not support flash, silverlight or webkit and several channels need those technologies to work. RAM does not matter, Plex uses very little, 4GB will make it very happy - if you plan to run other things on your server you may want to add more (RAM Is pretty cheap today - but you can always add it later as well) HDD does not matter either, though for low energy an SSD can not be beaten (though it is not a requirement for Plex). The Plex Server is all about CPU :)


Thnx for the answer! Really helpful, I will be streaming to one client the most of the time. But if it are 2 clients it will be to a iPhone or iPad at the same time. So not at the tv. The server will be dedicated so no other stuf:D
But if there is only one client watching at the time, what will be the best processor of those I wrote above?

And if I take a ssd, will 64 gb be enough?

Thnx again
René

#4 Trudge

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 04:49 PM

Thnx for the answer! Really helpful, I will be streaming to one client the most of the time. But if it are 2 clients it will be to a iPhone or iPad at the same time. So not at the tv. The server will be dedicated so no other stuf:D
But if there is only one client watching at the time, what will be the best processor of those I wrote above?

And if I take a ssd, will 64 gb be enough?

Thnx again
René

So, your TV is not going to be a problem, the samsung has broad format support so won't need any processing power for transcoding. The minimum processor needed for 1080p transcoding is a Core 2 Duo 2.4ghz, so if there is any chance you will have 2 1080p transcoding clients, then you'll be much more comfortable with the i5. (not sure how much more it would be where you are, but if you can find an i5 3470t it is faster and lower power)

HDD size will depend on how much you have in your library, my library (1100 movies, 9000 tv eps, 20000 songs) takes 14G to store the metadata for Plex + you will need space to store the transcoded files. 64gb *should* be enough.
Primary PMS: Ubuntu 13.10, i7-4771, 16GB Ram, Samsung 840 Pro 512GB
Media Storage: 2 x ReadyNas Pro Business 18TB mounted by NFS to Plex Server
Desktop Clients: 1 x Windows 7 27", 1 x 15.4 Retina MBP, 2 x17" MBP, 1 x 13" MB, 1 x13" MBA
Mobile Clients: 2 x iPhone 5s, 3 x iPhone 5, 3 x iPhone 4s, 3 x iPhone 4, 2 x iPad 3, 2 x iPad 2
Airplay & PlexConnect Targets: 4 x ATV3

#5 plexaddict

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:32 PM

So, your TV is not going to be a problem, the samsung has broad format support so won't need any processing power for transcoding. The minimum processor needed for 1080p transcoding is a Core 2 Duo 2.4ghz, so if there is any chance you will have 2 1080p transcoding clients, then you'll be much more comfortable with the i5. (not sure how much more it would be where you are, but if you can find an i5 3470t it is faster and lower power)

HDD size will depend on how much you have in your library, my library (1100 movies, 9000 tv eps, 20000 songs) takes 14G to store the metadata for Plex + you will need space to store the transcoded files. 64gb *should* be enough.



Holy cow my movies folder is 125 gigs with 41 files.

Back to the OP:

Your asking for a porsche boxster with hybrid efficiency

Go for the i5(the new ones you pointed out come with on board HD 4000 gpus which are designed for 1080 streaming) with a Black WD not the green. If you can find a good mobo with sata3 you will be pushing 6GB/s which is great.

I did not know you can get Win7 lite? lol Seriously though just disable aero and all that flashy stuff (Right click on the desktop choose Personalize>Scroll to the bottom>Select Windows 7 basic)

I would think hard about the SSD. If the drive goes bad you cannot recover the data since its all flash based atleast if a traditional spinning disk goes bad you can recover the data. You can buy the SSD for the OS but its not cost efficient that way. Im sure you can get away with a nice system for 450-500 american dollars

Why the push for efficiency? Will it be running at all times?

#6 Trudge

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:47 PM

Holy cow my movies folder is 125 gigs with 41 files.

Back to the OP:

Your asking for a porsche boxster for hybrid efficiency

Go for the i5(the new ones you pointed out come with on board HD 4000 gpus which are designed for 1080 streaming) with a Black WD not the green. If you can find a good mobo with sata3 you will be pushing 6GB/s which is great.

I did not know you can get Win7 lite? lol Seriously though just disable aero and all that flashy stuff (Right click on the desktop choose Personalize>Scroll to the bottom>Select Windows 7 basic)

Why the push for efficiency? Will it be running at all times?

1) My metadata directory is 14G, not my Media folders - the media in this case is already on a NAS.
2) The GPU is not used by the server at all, so it's type does not matter
3) It is entirely possible to buy a "boxter with hybrid efficiency", any T or S processor can make you a very power efficient server (or even a K series underclocked/underovolted) - even Porsche themselves are these days building hybrids.
Primary PMS: Ubuntu 13.10, i7-4771, 16GB Ram, Samsung 840 Pro 512GB
Media Storage: 2 x ReadyNas Pro Business 18TB mounted by NFS to Plex Server
Desktop Clients: 1 x Windows 7 27", 1 x 15.4 Retina MBP, 2 x17" MBP, 1 x 13" MB, 1 x13" MBA
Mobile Clients: 2 x iPhone 5s, 3 x iPhone 5, 3 x iPhone 4s, 3 x iPhone 4, 2 x iPad 3, 2 x iPad 2
Airplay & PlexConnect Targets: 4 x ATV3

#7 plexaddict

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 11:04 PM

1) My metadata directory is 14G, not my Media folders - the media in this case is already on a NAS.
2) The GPU is not used by the server at all, so it's type does not matter
3) It is entirely possible to buy a "boxter with hybrid efficiency", any T or S processor can make you a very power efficient server (or even a K series underclocked/underovolted) - even Porsche themselves are these days building hybrids.



1) I was thinking I read that wrong...But I also went back and read that he wanted a HDD for all of his media to be housed on the server itself
2) I got that
3) He mentioned i3 and i5 processors I suggested the i5 (thinking future)

I have a core 2 duo E8400 @ 3.0 Ghz that stutters on 1080 movies and I am thinking about getting a new CPU (Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 its 113 used on eBay and man am I thinking that over will be nice for my new credit card :)

#8 renestrijbos

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:01 AM

1) I was thinking I read that wrong...But I also went back and read that he wanted a HDD for all of his media to be housed on the server itself
2) I got that
3) He mentioned i3 and i5 processors I suggested the i5 (thinking future)

I have a core 2 duo E8400 @ 3.0 Ghz that stutters on 1080 movies and I am thinking about getting a new CPU (Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 its 113 used on eBay and man am I thinking that over will be nice for my new credit card :)



Great answers,

But indeed the data will be in the NAS. The server will be running 24/7 so that's why the efficiency is a issue..

But I think this will be the new setup:
Intel i5 3450s processor
As rock h61m-itx motherboard
4gb Kingston 1333mhz ddr3 memory
Kingston ssd 64gb hdd
And that in a spire power cube housing
That will be a total of 350€ is 450$


About windows 7 lite, that's not official, is a hack from some cool guys that makes sure that you only get the stuff u need. It makes the os even faster to work with. I installed it on my old laptop and it goes really fast, but u need to do your own driver support because the took that out.

The kind of processor u need for a Pms is clear for me now.. If you can afford a i7 than take one!! It is not in my budget haha I just bought a new laptop with a sick i7 processor so the Pms has to do with a bit less, budget cuts u guys will know that problem..

#9 plexaddict

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:11 AM

Nothing wrong with a 3rd gen core i5. My fesktop runs on a core2quad q6600 :-) I might try win7 lite... I know the os you are talking about ;-)




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