Been a lot of questions on this forum and on Asustor's own forums about Transcoding media. I have TRIED to answer everyone's questions the best I can. Hopefully this thread will answer some more questions before they get asked.
The unit of measure most software or hardware companies use to compare CPU's is something called a passmark. This is a series of tests performed on the CPU to give it a rating of the over-all efficiency of one CPU model or series against another.
According to Plex, the minimum specs to transcode a 1080p stream is in the 2000 passmark range. For 720p streams it's in the 1500 passmark range. Refer to here for the document: https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/201774043-What-kind-of-CPU-do-I-need-for-my-Server-computer-
This gives some VERY basic guidelines, but isn't carved in stone.
So, let's look at various Asustor NAS CPU's and compare them: (Asustor isn't forthcoming on any of the CPU's installed on any of these devices, so we have to rely on reviewers or taking them apart ourselves to get more info...)
AS-20x series: This NAS has
- CPU: Intel® ATOM™ 1.2GHz Dual-Core Processor
- Memory: 512MB DDR3
Memory in this case isn't as important as the CPU itself, so let's get an idea of what the passmark for this CPU is:
This is the CLOSEST CPU I could find in the list at CPUBenchMark to use to compare to. This CPU has an underwhelming 218??? As you can see from the link it's not that great...
AS-30x series might be a bit better, let's look:
- CPU: Intel® ATOM™ 1.6GHz Dual-Core Processor
- Memory: 1GB Memory DDR3
A little faster, so maybe we're getting into some decent numbers?
Scroll down a ways to find these CPU's... Again we're not 100% sure which one it is, so let's say for argument we take the BEST numbers... 635, so OK, it's almost 3 times better, but guess what... It's a far cry from where we need to be!
Next we're going to look at the venerable 60x series. (It's older than all but the littlest boys, so makes sense.)
- CPU: Intel® Atom™ 2.13 GHz Dual-Core Processor
- Memory: 1GB SO-DIMM DDR3 (Expandable. Max. 3GB)
WOW, so still can't find the CPU info on this bad boy, so I guess we're back to a guessing game again.
843? Well, we're STILL a long ways from getting decent 1080p transcoding so what gives here?!?1
We still have a few more to look at, so don't give up hope yet....
The new 500x series would fall in next, huh?
- CPU: Intel Celeron 2.41GHz Dual-Core (burst up to 2.58GHz) Processor
- Memory: 1GB SO-DIMM DDR3L (Expandable. Max 8GB)
Now this one we can find out a bit more about... From this review we find that the 500x series has a J1800 Celeron processor! (YEAH, ACTUAL specs!) Shall we find out how this one does?
So we look it up and get:
OK, the the same review from Smallnetbuilder said the 510x series is a J1900, so....
- CPU: Intel Celeron 2.0GHz Quad-Core (burst up to 2.41GHz) Processor
- Memory: 2GB SO-DIMM DDR3L (Expandable. Max 8GB)¹
This leads us to the actual passmark of:
1900 and some change... (Ok, not a lot of change, but it's getting up there...) Still not a full 1080p movie transcode, unless it's a low bitrate and you aren't doing something like subtitles...
Now, what about the BIG boy... The new 700x series NAS..
- CPU: Intel® Core i3 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor
- Memory: 2GB SO-DIMM DDR3 (Expandable. Max 16GB)
This thing is a speed demon, by the looks of it. (Compared to the others at least.) Reviews tell us this is an i3-4330 and it's in an 1150 socket. Things are looking good, right? and ACTUAL CPU in a socket. Not soldered onto the MB....
This almost is starting to look promising.... Let's get a Passmark on it, shall we?
HOLY MOTHER OF ___!!!
Passmark here of 5075! There's 1080p transcoding and then some. Forget about not doing subtitles, now! At least for a couple of users... You got some room to breath with this one...
Let's look at all this in a line now...
AS-20x series 218 passmarks
AS-30x series 350/635 passmarks (Not sure which CPU this has in it)
AS-60x series 843 passmarks
AS500x series 1046 passmarks
AS510x series 1916 passmarks
AS7000x series 5075 passmarks
So, if someone asks why their video is stuttering on their Asutor NAS, you can point them right here and give hard and firm numbers.