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

\040 is how the fstab likes it according to its man page. It just has to be different.

First of all, thank you so much for putting a guide up. This might be out of scope for this thread, and if so I’m happy to move it somewhere else, but there is a repeated warning about only using these servers as a dedicated transcode box, as additional load on the cpu (e.g. dockerized containers / *arr applications) can render chips like the g4900 useless for quicksync transcode.

I am trying to figure out if I can set up a nginx reverse proxy on this box to establish ssl without impacting transcode, or if that’s just overkill in general?

There’s no reason to use a reverse proxy with Plex.

Fair enough - the only reason I would have done that is so I can connect to plex.fqdn without specifying a port because I was trying to over-engineer things.

You can connect to https://app.plex.tv from anywhere and use your local Plex server as long as you’re logged in.

You don’t need to specify a port in the web address. Forward the single required port. and like @Mthrboard said, access via Plex TV.

Thanks again.

I should clarify that this was more of an experiment for myself instead of a standard use case for any sane person implementing this. I was just curious about how sensitive the quicksync was to other processes using cpu resources. Didn’t mean to confuse anyone.

We aren’t confused, don’t worry. A reverse proxy does not take any significant CPU resources, unlike NZB unpacking.

I’m looking into setting up a separate server that’ll be my NAS and run a couple other services, and I want to pair that with a dedicated transcode box (in the form of a NUC, due to the small form factor).

I’m currently deciding between a couple NUCs:

  • NUC7CJYH (Cheapest, has a Celeron J4005)
  • NUC7PJYH (Has a Pentium Silver J5005)
  • NUC8i3BEH (Most expensive, has an i3-8109U)

Would either of the cheaper options be good as a dedicated transcode box? It will not be doing anything other than running Plex server.
Or should I get the i3 NUC?

Are the HP 290 or ProDesk400 not small enough? You can set them right on top or beside the NAS.

NUC devices are extremely overpriced, and the “J” units are not currently compatible.

Ah, that’s a bummer.
I’d personally prefer the NUC’s small form factor, but I’m open to something else as well. The only issue I can see is that both of those are not readily available around where I live, but I’ll look around a bit more.

Thank you for your reply though!

Regarding the nvme recommandation over ssd, I’d like to get an nvme and install it in my unraid box instead of installing it in the plex transcode box. For the moment I’m running 1gbe but plan tu upgrade both to 10gb.

Is that a good idea?
I would also like to split in half the nvme and use half of it as a cache drive in unraid but havent found a way to do it.

Hi, thanks for the great guide.

I’m still curious how plex will work when I have both a GPU and and iGPU available. I only have a GTX970 which sucks, but can at least do some work still. It was mentioned that plex will prefer QuickSync or will fallback on the CPU when the GPU is limited - does that mean it will use Quicksync AND the GPU?

Plex will use the default display adapter of the host, and does not fail over when the hardware encode/decode is at capacity; it just starts failing. The fallback to software from hardware referred to in the Plex docs are for media codecs unsupported by the device.

Ubuntu 20.04 is the preferred OS, is Mint 20.1 equally good since it is based on Ubuntu 20.04. Any possible cons to using Mint?

Dunno, you can try it though and report back.

There are tesla m40’s going for a little more than $100 on ebay, they have uncapped transcoding sessions and have 2 nvenc chips maxwell architecture. Would that be the best bang for the buck for gpu transcoding nowadays?

I still say no, since you can get a HP ProDesk 400 G4 for $90.

Spend the last weeks reading this forum and fantastic article and wanted to ask a question. Hope thats ok. Based on all that information above, I am looking into getting a server to run a plex server, with some downloader and e.g. a time machine for backups.

  • complete silent server e.g. via passiv cooling but powerful enough
  • not to complicated to build together (I am quite a beginner that why I think barebone builds could be a nice solution to start with)
  • As cheap as possible: I am from Germany, the prices are converted to $

I am currently in front of the decision (HP290 would be first choice but not available over here) to get either

260$ Intel NUC Kit NUC8i3BEK2 Intel i3-8109U, Intel Iris Plus Grafik 655, 2x DDR4 SODIMM, 1x M.2, WLAN, BT
150$ Akasa Turing Fanless UCFF

$400 - ZOTAC ZBOX CI620 nano Barebone Intel Core-i3-8130U 2,20 GHz, 2X DDR4 SODIMM, 2.5" SATA…

What can you recommend? I am currently more in favor of B) as its easier to build but unfortunately, still quite expensive. Anything I overlooked or are there better alternatives? Thanks for sharing your view!

I highly recommend you build your own. Neither of the options you listed can hold any significant amount of storage.

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