Advice on what processor/socket to base my quicksync box and NAS off of since I've got some free hardware handy

Hello all, I’m looking for some advice on whether to use hardware I’ve got handy to build a out a NK and Quicksync box or buy the parts from scratch. TL;DR at bottom.

I’m currently planning out the HP290 transcode box + NasKiller for Plex and I’d like to build one that’ll last me a long time without too much fiddling around and upgrading. I run Plex for my extended family off my normal desktop but my 8TB external drive is almost full and starting to give me some reliability problems and it can only handle a couple transcodes. I’m excited to get a proper setup going that’ll use Radarr and Sonarr and have some extra power available for whatever automation tools I’d like to add to it over the years.

I’ve got an old computer sitting unused (Acer Veriton X4640G-I5650Z Core i5-6500 3.2 GHz 8G Memory 1TB Hard Drive) with a 6th gen Skylake CPU that supports quicksync, passmark of 7252.

I thought about using the Veriton as my quicksync box but I’m leaning toward just going with the HP290 because it has an 8th gen Coffee Lake and there’s no M.2 slot in the Acer. Is it silly of me to think that way when the 6th gen I’ve got handy still has about double the passmark of the 8th gen in the HP290? Which one would perform the best over a 7-10 year period as a Quicksync box with maybe a hardware upgrade around year 5? Would I be best off by slapping the i5-6500 into the HP 290?


  1. What’s better to use for the quicksync box?

The HP290 with a 8th gen CPU and NVME SSD with a passmark of 3290
or a
Acer Veriton with a 6th gen CPU and SATA SSD with a passmark of 7252

It seems like the Acer’s 1151 socket won’t be able to accept the newer 1151-2 CPUs so I’m thinking the HP 290 is the winner here between the newer socket and the M.2 slot. Do you guys agree with that assessment or do those not really matter as much as having a better passmark score?

Conversely I guess I could slap the i5-6500 into the HP290 but I’m not sure if that’s actually a true upgrade or more of a sidegrade since I double the passmark but go down two generations of Quicysync. Thoughts on that would be very appreciated.

  1. If I go with the HP290 for my transcode box, is is worth using the mobo and/or CPU from the Acer as components for the NAS to save some cash? If I build the NAS I’ll pretty much just copy the Ultra-quiet “Plus” build. I care more about having something that’ll work well for as close to a decade as possible over saving $80 so if saving that $80 on the mobo and CPU compromises performance or future upgrades then it’s not worth it for sure.

Basically I’m trying to figure out if it makes any sense to use the components from the Acer for anything to increase the performance per dollar spent on this build but I do not want to compromise on the overall performance just to save a bit of money if the Acer components are inferior to what I’d just buy in a HP 290 and an NK ultra quiet plus build.

For those who read my wall of text I do sincerely appreciate it and wish you a great day!

The passmark score doesn’t matter the same way for Quicksync, it’s a different process. the HP 290 can run up to 21 simultaneous transcodes. Even though that i5-6500 supports Quicksync it’s 2 generations back.

That Acer is a pre-built? Not sure if the motherboard would move to another case. I don’t know if they like Dell and HP in that fashion in that it’s custom inside. But depending on if there are available PCI slots you could make it in to your NAS and add a DAS. Or conceivably use the processor in a NK build at the least.

RE: Swapping out the Coffee Lake cpu for a Skylake CPU…that’s a big no storm. Same socket but different pin assignments.

What I would personally do if I were in your situation is use that Skylake you have on hand…grab a cheap SSD for it and install Linux on it. Try it out and see if it meets your needs. If it doesn’t…get that HP 290 rig and then spend some money on a nvme m.2 or use the cheap ssd. Upgrading the ram is really probably a waste of money but I did it anyway since I knew I was going to be in there for the nvme. If you have a lot of people connecting the ram might not be a waste of money.

Another option (that might be a better use) would be to turn that Acer/i5-6500 into a NAS machine but in that respect I’m not sure what your needs are…if you plan to go all out running VMs and Dockers or just need a simple file share. You could buy whatever case you planned to buy for the nk build, find a board for the i5-6500… buy more ram or a fresh ram kit…whatever hard drives you figure on using and get some use out of that for a while. I doubt that Acer is a traditional form factor otherwise I would say use it.