Building new Server Rack (Plex QSV + NAS) - Would like input

Bit of a lurker, first time posting.

I have been using Plex on a home-built HTPC that served me well for many years and after a freak power outage it died and as much work as I have done to bring it back to life, something has possessed the box and I need to move on to something better. I have toyed with the idea of building a rack setup but have no experience with anything other than windows. After reading many posts and articles at (thank you so much for your dedication to helping us JDM_WAAAT) I have decided on a 2-box set up with plenty of room for growth. Could I do this much cheaper with prebuilt options? Sure. Do I want to? No. I’m not completely worried about the price but I will take a deal where I can find one. With that being said, below are the two builds I have planned out. The first is going to be a 2U Plex QSV build with the potential to run other services as I get comfortable with Ubuntu. The second will be a 4U NAS running Unraid.

I would love any insight, recommendations, and warnings with the parts list I provided. (Prices were approximate at the time I was researching parts)

Intel QSV HW Transcoder

Part Name Quantity Approx. Cost
Case Rosewill 2U Server Chassis RSV-Z2600U 1 $130.00
Case Fans Noctua NF-A8 PWM, Premium Quiet Fan 3 $16.00
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 120-GP-0850-X1 1 $175.00
Motherboard ASROCK B460M Steel Legend 1 $142.99
Processor Intel Core i7-10700F 1 $270.00
CPU Cooling Cryorig C7-47mm Tall, SFF Mini ITX CPU Heatsink 1 $68.00
Ram G.Skill RipJaws V Series 32GB (1 x 32GB) 1 $110.00
OS Hard Drive Sabrent Rocket Q 1TB NVMe PCIe M.2 1 $110.00

Unraid NAS

Part Item Name Number Needed Approx Cost
Case RSV-L4500 1 $175.00
Motherboard ASRock Z97 Extreme6 1 $170.00
Processor Intel Xeon E3-1276 V3 1 $130.00
Ram Crucial Ballistix 32GB 4x 8GB 1 $110.00
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 120-GP-0850-X1 1 $120.00
CPU Cooling Noctua NH-L12S 1 $54.95
Cache Drives Samsung Electronics 870 EVO 500GB 2 $70.00
unRaid USB SAMSUNG MUF-32AB/AM FIT Plus 32GB 1 $10.00
9 $909.95

Other Stuff

Part Item Name Number Needed Approx Cost
Rack 25U Open Frame Server Rack 1 $250.00
Rails iStarUSA TC-RAIL-26 2 $42.00
Rack Accessories Lancher 60-Pack M6 x 16mm Screws and Cage Nuts 1 $20.00
Rack Accessories 2U Server Rack Shelf 2 $33.00
Rack Accessories CyberPower CPS1215RMS Basic PDU 1 $55.00
Other Relper-Lineso 6 Pack 18 Inches SATA III 1 $9.00
Switch Already own
Router Already own
8 $484.00

looks pretty solid from what i have saw! but one peace of advice/suggestion if i may… i learned the hard way always buy Bigger than you think you need ! i bought a 2u case and a 27u rack thinking it would last me 2-3 years & less than 6 months latter its full and i am wanting a bigger rack & already got a 4u SM SC-846 also as it really dont take near as long as you think to ya need/Wanting more ! I have some of the same parts you got listed evga psu and noctua samsung fit X4 32 & 64gb (Running UnRaid & FreeNas )and a samsung evo all has ran 24/7 for a year ish and haven’t skipped a beat !

I agree completely about planning for more but at this moment, I am restricted in space to put the server rack. It’s already going to be a tight fit for the size that I am getting. Maybe in my next home, I will have more space but for now, this is as big as I can get.

I do appreciate the input on the build.

Also a bit of a lurker, but I had to post to ask… :slight_smile: Love the proper build your doing!

In your Intel QSV HW Transcoder you’ve specified a CPU that doesn’t have built in graphics (iGPU), i.e doesn’t have QSV. Is there a reason for this or is it just a typo?

Looking forward to follow the build!

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Good catch @yiveynod

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You are 100% right that it was a typo. I posted the same question on another site and they caught the same thing. My guess is I had copied the wrong description when I was planning out my build because when I check the link I had saved for the processor, it was not for the F version.

With that being said, I am now reconsidering the processor in the NAS for something with more cores to be able to run more dockers and such. Thoughts?

Can’t really input on the CPU choice since I’m going with a i5-11500 for mine, sort of depends on what services you’re thinking of using? Beefier CPU = need for better cooling too… :man_shrugging:

Im kind of in the same boat as I have been running a windows PC for years with my plex server and it recently has given me a ton of problems. Can I ask why you are building 2 separate boxes? I am really liking your first box and will probably do something very similar but am very new into all of this and want to make sure Im not missing an obvious reason for me to do 2 boxes.

Exactly, there is always a trade off. I am thinking of keeping it as is and if down the road I want to get more into other services (firewalls, security recordings, etc) I will have a 3rd box built to do that heavy lifting. As it stands for just a NAS, I think it will be fine.

From the research I’ve done, the advantage of having a dedicated plex box is for using quicksync and hardware transcoding. I plan on expanding the number of users on my server and allowing for future growth, I wanted to get a dedicated plex server to handle that load and then later down the road build any other servers I need to handle those. You can easily get away with a single system to handle plex, NAS, and any other duties you need. The thing I’ve learned the most is to plan for growth when financially able to.

Also, I am a nerd and want to build two computers. lol

[Guide] Hardware Transcoding: The JDM way! QuickSync and NVENC

Is what you’re looking for. I’m a fan of many cheap boxes personally

I would second this as well if you are limited on space and money or just want the simplicity of off-the-shelf options. I have always wanted to build a rack setup and am now in a place where I have enough room and money to do so. That is what I love about this website, there are multiple options to fit all needs.

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thanks for the help, Ill look at these!

sorry to hijack your thread. I really like your first setup on here and will probably pretty much copy it. If I want to do just that one box and have it run unraid for my storage, I can do both in one box, right? just making sure before I drop $1k!

Have you created a thread in #technology:buy-curious ? Outline what you want to do along with your budget, and we can help you with the build.

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I would imagine yes, it will just come down to what OS you are running and how you set up Dockers and such. I am by no means an expert yet and would recommend looking at the guide posted above about what to consider with Hardware transcoding.

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I will post over there as well, I completely overlooked that section, thanks.

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