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

thanks for explaining it so well :slight_smile:

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Ok, complete newbie to the linux world and I cannot get the nfs to mount, getting the error message “mount.nfs: access denied by server while mounting my.local.ip.address:/mnt/user name/Movies”

I am using this guide to a “T” and am seemingly stuck on the 1 yard line here. Help!

Edit: Fixed it, needed to do a better job of reading and following directions. Thank you again for such a great walk-through!

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I keep hearing about complaints that some prebuilt QuickSync boxes don’t handle timeshifting Plex DVR content well. Hoping someone could help set me straight before purchasing.

Direct Play: 4k x265, 1080p x264 (~2 streams)
Transcoding: 1080p x264 (~3 streams max)

Would you recommend an HP 290 vs HP ProDesk 600 G4 Mini for these tasks?

In my experience, Plex DVR has always been a little bit of a mess, but I have not tried time shifting.

For the price, generally I would recommend the HP 290. The ProDesk 600 G4 Mini can be found with a beefier i5, but also at a much higher price. QuickSync capabilities will be identical for both systems and more than fulfill your playback needs.

found this thread as i’m looking to shift plex off of my gaming machine that currently sits on. i’m interested in the 290 but i too require the live tv and dvr functions. does anybody have any good testing with these features on this box? thanks in advance.

I’m using Live TV/DVR with the 290. It took a while to get it lined out but it seems to work fairly well. My only complaint is it falls apart when you try to watch live tv on two devices at the same time and I’m not sure if it’s the 290 or the HDhomerun that’s the issue there.

Thanks for the information. I found a good price on a HP ProDesk 600 G4 Mini with an i5. This weekend I plan to set up Plex on it and put my media on an Unraid NAS.

Will report back how it handles tv, timeshifting, DVRing, and all that.

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Anybody have any experience with Ubuntu 20.04?

Should be fine, most of the processing work with live TV is done on the tuner hardware. At least that has been my experience. What are you using for a tuner?

I’d like to add another hardware suggestion: Dell Optiplex 3060 micro. These are TINY, but come with an 8th gen i3 or i5 processor, low TDP, take UDIMM RAM and have space for either NVME or 2.5" SATA SSD (though NVME speeds are at PCIE2 speed). I picked one up on eBay for about $200. I’ve seen prices range from $150-300 (used). Might be a good option for people without a lot of space or as more of us bid up prices on the HP 290. Once I get mine set up next week I’ll report back on performance.

I agree, HP and Lenovo make similar systems. Too bad there’s no way to add PCIe devices.

Also, HP 290 are back in stock almost daily at this point.

Ok, I have been running my Plex server on an HP ProDesk 600 G4 Mini with an i5-8500t for about a week now, and it’s solid!

Installed on Ubuntu 20.04.

DVR is working great, often with two concurrent users. I am recording shows to the internal NVME to a DVR directory. The DVR directory is a source in my Plex TV library. I have a cron task scheduled every night to move all data from DVR over to a TV share from an Unraid machine. This TV share is also a source in the same Plex TV library. It works really well, watched status and collected meta data does not get disrupted from the directory change.


Wonderful guide! As a newbie to linux, this is pretty well put together! Much appreciated!

Attempting to go from a windows built in my gaming setup, to a dedicated plex box. I do not have a separate nas, just looking to stick the drives in a new case with the new pc, looking to setup unraid and use this guide. My plan is to go for that intel celeron G4900 listed as I don’t transcode a ton, so i don’t want to spend extra for a GPU yet.

Will that celeron be enough to power a plex server on unraid with docker with tautulli, sonarr, radarr, and ombi? Or will I need to upgrade the cpu to handle all of that?

Even if you do transcode a ton, the G4900 can handle it. It can do 20+ 1080p transcodes. The whole point is that a Nvidia GPU is not necessary!

If you want to run all of those services, my advice is to run them on your NAS, and keep Plex separate on the HP 290. Build something cheap like a basic [Guide] NAS Killer 4.0 - fast, quiet, power efficient, and flexible - starting at $125

I’m building a new plex server to make use of quicksync, and can either use a i7-6700k (with a ATX motherboard) or i5-9400 (with a m-ATX motherboard). The combo I don’t use for the plex server will be my desktop/gaming/office machine with a 1070 video card added.

I’ve got at most 4 users (4 max simulations) who watch via iOS, plex on windows machine, fire tablets, Xbox or Roku (with Roku and Xbox being used the most). No 4k content at all.

Will I notice a differerence at all between the 2 CPUs in terms of transcoding with quick sync on 1080P viewing?

Also, I was thinking of using Windows (as that’s what my 10+ year old Althon II based server is curently using) but it looks like Ubuntu might be worth a try?


Currently diving into this with an EliteDesk 800 G4;

I’d like to use this box for a few other minor uses - and am thinking about installing unraid on it - but its primary purpose would remain a plex server.

Out of interest, if I go down the unraid path - can I pass through the cpu hardware decoding, would I be losing anything by doing that?


Really glad I came across this post, super helpful.

Tell me if my current PLEX rebuild idea makes sense. I’m going to gut my supermicro SuperChassis 813MTQ-350CB which currently has an Xeon E3 V2 and reuse all internal bits except for the Motherboard, Ram and CPU. In its place put a Celeron G4930, ASRock B365M Pro4 motherboard and a 2x4GB kit of 2400 DDR4. I plan on only using a 1TB Crucial NVME for storage.

My thought is since the 1155 socket of the Xeon and the 1151 socket of the Celeron can use the same CPU cooler and the TDP of the celeron is lower than the Xeon there should by no issue reusing the cooler for this build. Thoughts?

Should be fine.