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

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gsrcrxsi

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
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.

you were probably using the "fast1080p" setting. start with the "HQ1080p" setting and make the changes from there. just be prepared for the encoding to take a lot longer if the settings are going to output a significantly higher quality and larger file.

if your playback devices support x265, you can try using that encoder as well. its more efficient, smaller files, better quality.
 
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gsrcrxsi

Member
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Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
I almost pulled the trigger on an E7 Xeon.

there's a ES version of E7-4890v2 on ebay for $180. 15c/30t 2.8GHz. same price i paid for my E5 10c/20t chip.

BUT mb support for E7 chips seems to be elusive, and very expensive. Even though intel lists them as FCLGA2011 socket, they are actually "2011-1" and require the c602j chipset. and likely only available in minimum of a dual CPU configuration. too much hassle to get it to work. I was hoping that i could buy the chip, and toss it into my board, but i guess that isnt the case.

my first clue was that the CPU looks very different.

Intel-Xeon-Processor-E5-2680-v2.jpg
Intel-Xeon-Processor-E7-2890-v2-37.jpg

you can tell that the socket hold down mechanism must be different, the CPU IHS is "taller" (or longer, whichever you prefer) than that of the E7
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
@Blaylock: expect the Handbrake encoding to take a while.

For DVD: RIPs take about 15 minutes, encoding takes about 15 min on my "Little Folder" machine.

For BluRay: The encoding takes about as long as the movie length (typically get 20 to 30 fps on my "Little Folder" machine.

I run similar Handbrake settings to above...and the encoded version looks great on both 1080p and 4K TVs.
 
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gsrcrxsi

Member
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Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
yeah my new rig is getting about 35fps average encoding blu rays at my settings. so encoding takes about 70% movie length.
 
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gsrcrxsi

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
I think I'm going to go back and re-encode some of these titles. I'd like to bump to the "very slow" encoder speed. it will take much more time, but do a better job.

I was watching a Transformers title last night, and some dark/action scenes seemed really choppy. not sure whats causing that. all of my other titles seem to look great though.
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
When I get home, I'll pull out my standard handbrake encoding I use. It took me a few tries to get it where I like it.
 

custom90gt

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
I was looking into the E7 CPUs as well until I learned you needed to buy a specific motherboard for them (aka $$$$$$).
 
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gsrcrxsi

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
Yup. From what I gathered there are no retail/consumer motherboards for them. They are all proprietary and only sold to big companies with huge server farms (google, US govt, etc) where cost isn’t a factor. I couldn’t find any boards that supported them, new or used.

It’s a shame because there’s quite a bit of power packed into those chips and they are available cheap.
 
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gsrcrxsi

Member
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Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
ok, I'm pretty sure I figured out my stuttering problem.

as a background, I encoded all my blu-ray rips with H264 encoder level 4.0 high profile. I did this based on online guides, and I didnt really understand what this meant other than it was better for compatibility.
H.264 High profile level 4.0 basically has a bitrate cap at 25Mbps, whereas 4.1 is identical but with a 50Mbps cap.

HOWEVER, when you select this in Handbrake, it does nothing more than tag the content as being 4.0, it doesn't actually enforce the encode to be below this cap if you encode settings determine the bit rate to be higher (either you specify it, or the variable quality chooses it)

so looking at my problem title "Transformers Age of Extinction", I put it through a bit rate analysis tool and saw lots of area >30Mbps, most likely because this movie has a lot of dark scenes with high action.

So what i believe is happening
-plex app on fire tv sees the file as 4.0
-direct plays it, but enforces the bit rate cap of 25Mbps
-throws out frames, causing stutter.

I used another free tool called H264LevelEditor, which according to the author is just a quick and dirty hex editor that changes the level "label" on the file.

I successfully changed the level to 4.1, and boom! file plays seamless now. doesnt seem to work on M4V or MP4 files though, only MKV.

but I'm glad i dont have to re-rip and re-ecode all my movies now lol
 

Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
So would you say it's better to rip Blu-ray with the 4.1 profile to ensure the higher cap?
 

custom90gt

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Out of curiosity how come you're not encoding to h.265?
I really like the quality, and I really like the file size, lol...
 
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gsrcrxsi

Member
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Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
Compatibility.

Don’t want to transcode every time I want to play it back. And when it does transcode, h264 is much easier on the CPU than h265 is. I’m not THAT strapped for space yet.

I think I’ll only use h265 for any 4K content I might store in the future.
 

custom90gt

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Makes sense. I'd estimate that 90% of my 1080p stuff is in 264 and 100% of my 4k stuff is in 265
 
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gsrcrxsi

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
I’ll always prefer ripping my own media, and encoding from the full quality. But ripping your own 4K UHD blu rays doesn’t seem to be freely available yet. Requires an expensive drive, and expensive Russian software, and even then only works for select titles.
 
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OP
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gsrcrxsi

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
Well I tossed in 32GB of Registered ECC 1333 memory. I wanted to populate all 4 DIMMs to run Quad channel.

I bought registered ram simply because it was much cheaper than unbuffered ECC. I don’t know why registered Ram is so much cheaper
32GB (4x8) DDR3 Registered ECC is about $100-$125 used on eBay.
32GB (4x8) DDR3 Unbuffered ECC is about $300 used on eBay.

I was slightly worried after ordering it after reading that registered Ram is generally not as widely supported by MBs as unbuffered and the eBay seller even tried to warn me that they might not work and kept asking for the motherboard model. But when they showed up I tried them out and they work just fine. They are Samsung 1333MHz sticks and I can actually run them at 1600. When I booted up the system the BIOS setting stayed at 1600 from my regular 2x8 non-ECC sticks that were in there before. And the system booted up fine but I didn’t leave it. Maybe I’ll put them back to 1600 and check stability.

But now the bad news. The board apparently can’t run Quad channel memory, despite having 4 memory slots. CPUz reports the memory running in dual channel, with DIMMs 3,4,7,8 populated even tho only 4 DIMM slots lol.

The bios is even more confusing, listing 12 total DIMM slots with only 2 channel pairs populated.

Channel 0 DIMM 0
Channel 0 DIMM 1
Channel 0 DIMM 2
Channel 1 DIMM 0
Channel 1 DIMM 1 - present
Channel 1 DIMM 2 - present
Channel 2 DIMM 0
Channel 2 DIMM 1
Channel 2 DIMM 2
Channel 3 DIMM 0
Channel 3 DIMM 1 - present
Channel 3 DIMM 2 - present

Lol. Oh well. At least reports and benchmarks seem to show no performance hit using dual channel instead of Quad, and only ~1% performance using ECC reg vs non-ECC
 

custom90gt

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Well I tossed in 32GB of Registered ECC 1333 memory. I wanted to populate all 4 DIMMs to run Quad channel.

I bought registered ram simply because it was much cheaper than unbuffered ECC. I don’t know why registered Ram is so much cheaper
32GB (4x8) DDR3 Registered ECC is about $100-$125 used on eBay.
32GB (4x8) DDR3 Unbuffered ECC is about $300 used on eBay.

I was slightly worried after ordering it after reading that registered Ram is generally not as widely supported by MBs as unbuffered and the eBay seller even tried to warn me that they might not work and kept asking for the motherboard model. But when they showed up I tried them out and they work just fine. They are Samsung 1333MHz sticks and I can actually run them at 1600. When I booted up the system the BIOS setting stayed at 1600 from my regular 2x8 non-ECC sticks that were in there before. And the system booted up fine but I didn’t leave it. Maybe I’ll put them back to 1600 and check stability.

But now the bad news. The board apparently can’t run Quad channel memory, despite having 4 memory slots. CPUz reports the memory running in dual channel, with DIMMs 3,4,7,8 populated even tho only 4 DIMM slots lol.

The bios is even more confusing, listing 12 total DIMM slots with only 2 channel pairs populated.

Channel 0 DIMM 0
Channel 0 DIMM 1
Channel 0 DIMM 2
Channel 1 DIMM 0
Channel 1 DIMM 1 - present
Channel 1 DIMM 2 - present
Channel 2 DIMM 0
Channel 2 DIMM 1
Channel 2 DIMM 2
Channel 3 DIMM 0
Channel 3 DIMM 1 - present
Channel 3 DIMM 2 - present

Lol. Oh well. At least reports and benchmarks seem to show no performance hit using dual channel instead of Quad, and only ~1% performance using ECC reg vs non-ECC

Humm that's really weird, I was going to suggest trying different slots, but I see you only have 4 available. I wonder if it's the board itself? They don't have any bios updates or anything do they?
 
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gsrcrxsi

Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Location
Baltimore, MD
ok so i took the plunge and bought a used complete server on eBay. I'm planning to roll my NAS into this box. I havent decided on OS or NAS management yet.

Everyone always suggests FreeNAS, and it looks attractive, but I don't like that it's not expandable.
I want the flexibility to add drives to increase storage, and/or swap the disks out one by one to increase storage
I want to do all this WHILE STILL KEEPING PARITY. At the moment it doesnt appear that ZFS can do that.

Right now my synology can do that with it's SHR (Synology Hybrid Raid). I can run in a config similar to raid 5 or 6, AND able to swap in larger disks and increase space. I dont know why no other DIY option can do this.
I stumbled upon something called XPEnology, which is a boot loader that will make any computer look like a Synology device, and you can install the DSM OS to it and use it just as if it were a synology device.

Specs:
Supermicro 3U chassis: CSE-835TQ-R920B
-8x 3.5" hot swap bays
-2x 5.25" bays
Supermicro X9DRi-LN4F+
-onbaord 4x Intel Gigabit LAN
48GB (12x4GB) DDR3-REG
2x Intel Xeon E5-2650L (1.8GHz 8-core)
1x500GB WD 7200RPM drive (meh)
2x 1280W (really 1000w @110v) redundant/hot-swap PSU
3U rail kit

picked it up all for $600. hell of a deal, the case/MB/PSU combo is worth more and i really like the redundant PSUs and the 4x GbE LAN ports.

first order of business will be to update the BIOS to support my v2 Xeon. then swap in my E5-2680v2 along with a second E5-2680v2. and likely swap in some quieter fans.