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I also built a Plex Server (but not as cool as the other thread)

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custom90gt

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
I am a plex subscriber so I've had hardware transcoding available for a bit. The problem for me is that I don't have an intel gpu in my desktop/plex server. I was hoping it would take advantage of my 1080ti but no luck there. I could put plex on my laptop, but I'm too lazy, lol.
 
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gsrcrxsi

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
Yeah I have a 7700k on my desktop. But don’t really want to move the server off it’s current hardware and fiddle with it.
 

wagex

Chapstick Eating Premium Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
yeah i definitely wouldnt be able to utilize it as mine is running in a vm and no way to pass through the gpu to the vm :(
 
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gsrcrxsi

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
Welp. Didn’t take long.

Picked up an E5-2680v2 on eBay.
10core/20thread 2.8GHz up to 3.6 turbo.

Also picked up a cheap mATX LGA2011 mb to go with it. The board is generic, but new, and the cheapest I could find that had LGA2011, mATX form factor, and could use regular DDR3 non-ECC memory. This way I can reuse everything else I already have and not rebuild the whole thing. The board was $125 shipped and chip was $180.

I don’t think the scythe mini ninja will still handle this heat load though. I have a Noctua NH-D9L, or an EVGA CLC240 AIO. I’ll probably use the AIO.
 
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gsrcrxsi

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
I ran PassMark on my Server as-is (E3-1231v3 @ stock) and got a score of 10,100. not bad.

I ran it on my i7-7700k @ 5.0GHz gaming machine for the hell of it. got a score of 13,800.

I'm anticipating a score of about 16-17,000 on the E5-2680v2 with 10 cores @ 2.8GHz. So a healthy bump in raw processing power. looking at the other available options for used E5's, i really couldn't have done much better for the price i paid. I looked at all the chips with a better PassMark score, and they are significantly more expensive. going to 2011-3 sockets incurs more expense in more expensive MBs that require expensive DDR4 ram. (i already have 16GB of DDR3-1600).

I compared the PM scores to their current prices on eBay

DEPZuw9.png

The E5-1680v2 is an interesting case. Even though it only has 8 cores, It apparently has an unlocked multiplier and can be overclocked significantly. Can reach scores over 20,000. BUT it’s still rather expensive at about $650, so I wouldn’t bother unless you need the speed in a single CPU. For the price, you could just buy 2x E5-2680v2s and associated dual CPU MB and have more power at hand.
 
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gsrcrxsi

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
I’m currently running the server on Windows 7 SP1 (x64, Ultimate). Is there any advantage to upgrading it to Windows 10 Pro? Or would that be a disadvantage?
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Just the normal security updates that comes with Win 10 since Win 7 is now EOL.
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I have Plex with hardware transcoding running on my QNAP TS-453A. Hardware transcoding of a high bitrate 1080p file now only uses about 15% CPU versus almost 100% before.

Quality-wise...I have discovered that there are certain transcode ratios that give fantastic quality (as good as the software transcode) and those that look like complete crap. So, if you want to go the hardware transcode, just play around with different "player" bit rates to find the sweet spot for DVDs and BluRays.

Oh - and for 4K TVs...OLED is sooooo totally worth it. I got a Samsung a few months ago and it is just fabulous.
 
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gsrcrxsi

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
Are you transcoding? Or direct playing? (Ie, if you play a 1080p file to a 1080p screen and the player hardware supports the codec, there is no transcoding happening, unless you force it by selecting a lower quality.

Everything I’ve read suggests that Plex only supports hardware transcoding on Intel brand Integrated GPUs. Which it looks like you have on your QNAP. However, it only supports H.264. Most blu-ray and DVD content is (or should be) encoded in H.264 so you’re fine there, but if you get into storing and playing back any 4K content, it will bring your Celeron to its knees since most 4K content will be encoded with H.265/HEVC and it will be forced to try to software encode it. You could even run into some blu-ray titles being H.265 since it’s becoming more popular (better quality, smaller files). Even these 1080p files would be forced into software transcoding and your celeron would struggle with even one stream.

In any case, my new 10-core setup will easily handle multiple streams of 1080p transcodes. And I’m interest to see how it will handle 4K content as well.
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Are you transcoding? Or direct playing? (Ie, if you play a 1080p file to a 1080p screen and the player hardware supports the codec, there is no transcoding happening, unless you force it by selecting a lower quality.

Everything I’ve read suggests that Plex only supports hardware transcoding on Intel brand Integrated GPUs. Which it looks like you have on your QNAP. However, it only supports H.264. Most blu-ray and DVD content is (or should be) encoded in H.264 so you’re fine there, but if you get into storing and playing back any 4K content, it will bring your Celeron to its knees since most 4K content will be encoded with H.265/HEVC and it will be forced to try to software encode it. You could even run into some blu-ray titles being H.265 since it’s becoming more popular (better quality, smaller files). Even these 1080p files would be forced into software transcoding and your celeron would struggle with even one stream.

In any case, my new 10-core setup will easily handle multiple streams of 1080p transcodes. And I’m interest to see how it will handle 4K content as well.

Yup - been doing this Plex thing for a while.

I convert all of my rips to H.264.

For everything I stream in-house, it is direct play. The only time transcoding comes into play is if watching on my phone (or my kids.)
 
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gsrcrxsi

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
Yeah I’ve been converting everything to H264 also.

My blu-ray rip 1080p handbrake settings:
H.264/MKV
RF-20
FPS: same as source
Encorer profile : slow
Encoder tune: film (unless anime, then Animation)
Audio: DTS-MA English track -> AC3, 640kbps, 5.1ch
Subtitle: keep only English track.
Results in a file 6-10GB with quality that looks identical (to me) to the original source

DVDs are pretty much the same except:
RF-18
AC3 passthrough (since its already in AC3, no need to re-encode it)
Results in a 1-2GB file

Most stuff supports AC3. And transcoding audio is light work for the CPU for the few devices that don’t.
 
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gsrcrxsi

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
well I got the new system built and it seems to be working well.

the new motherboard is super sketchy, but it works. there were a ton a drivers that i couldn't find (MB/CPU stuff) until i got to windows 10 and windows found everything from that point. the driver disc provided looked homemade and had a mix of chinese and english folder and file names :lol: no manual, just some typed up instructions, mainly telling you to be careful and not to return anything you might break by installing things incorrectly. but it came with an I/O sheild at least lol.

pics:

jzKVFYm.jpg
fhg3CRK.jpg
KAHGFuz.jpg

scored 15,000 on the passmark CPU score, which is a tad low from the average (16.2k), but maybe something about the board is holding it back. i do see that the ram is running at 11 timings instead of the 9 it's specd for, and I'm running it in dual channel mode instead of quad because i only have 2 sticks. i havent looked through the BIOS too much (it's prety basic, not a lot of settings)

overall it's great. ran some encodes through Handbrake, definitely runs faster than my 7700k.

with the 240mm AIO on it,
max temps during handbrake - 45C (85-90W)
max temps during prime95 - 50C (95-105W)
all 10c/20t running 3.1GHz when under load, Vcore ~1.000-1.050v
 
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gsrcrxsi

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
ive never run cinebench, let me download it and check.

i set the plex server to "prefer quality" in transcode settings
downloaded a couple 4k samples
played them back on my iPhone at 720p and 1080p

both scenarios use 70-90% CPU usage, but transcodes faster than real-time with no lag or stutter in playback.

i also tested a full BD rip of the movie "Up" encoded through Handbrake using the settings i posted previously
used identical settings on my 5GHz 7700k gaming computer, and the Plex server

Plex server - 61 minutes
7700k gaming - 70 minutes
 

custom90gt

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
ive never run cinebench, let me download it and check.

i set the plex server to "prefer quality" in transcode settings
downloaded a couple 4k samples
played them back on my iPhone at 720p and 1080p

both scenarios use 70-90% CPU usage, but transcodes faster than real-time with no lag or stutter in playback.

i also tested a full BD rip of the movie "Up" encoded through Handbrake using the settings i posted previously
used identical settings on my 5GHz 7700k gaming computer, and the Plex server

Plex server - 61 minutes
7700k gaming - 70 minutes

Nice, looks like a great setup. 4k is the toughest thing I did on my server. They say a passmark of 15k is what is recommended for 4k transcoding. I should have ran passmark on the 2696 to see what it would get.
 

custom90gt

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
yeah that's not bad at all. I think my 7800x gets around 1450 (don't recall if that was overclocked or not). The e5-2696 v3 got 2800 with the turbo unlock mod and 2400 stock.
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Yeah I’ve been converting everything to H264 also.

My blu-ray rip 1080p handbrake settings:
H.264/MKV
RF-20
FPS: same as source
Encorer profile : slow
Encoder tune: film (unless anime, then Animation)
Audio: DTS-MA English track -> AC3, 640kbps, 5.1ch
Subtitle: keep only English track.
Results in a file 6-10GB with quality that looks identical (to me) to the original source

DVDs are pretty much the same except:
RF-18
AC3 passthrough (since its already in AC3, no need to re-encode it)
Results in a 1-2GB file

Most stuff supports AC3. And transcoding audio is light work for the CPU for the few devices that don’t.

Sorry for the late comment, but...

I think I'll need to re-rip my whole library. My playback quality is not as good as DVD/BLU-RAY. I'm guessing I had a setting wrong as it looks more like 720. Fortunately I've only ripped maybe 25-30 titles so far. I'm going to try and plug in these values and compare to my current rips.