Upgrading/changing current Plex setup – advice needed


I am considering changing/upgrading my current storage and Plex server setup. I currently have a Windows PC that has 12 TB of storage (3 x 4 TB), it runs a Plex server, it is used for office work and occasional gaming. StableBit DrivePool is used to pool the drives and duplicate documents and photos across multiple drives. This don’t give me the speed advantage or fail safe of some RAID solutions but the speed I can live without and I have heard multiple horror stories of RAID rebuilds failing. When I have disk problems, I can replace the disk and copy all healthy files to the new disk and the rest I get from my cloud backup solution (Jotta Cloud). My plex server does a lot of transcoding as I don’t want subtitles burned into my movies and this runs very well on my Core i7 6700K and hardware transcoding is supported by my 980 GTX. So, all in all a great setup.

I am considering changing to a more modern setup to avoid having my PC running 24/7 and at the same time getting a simple way to access/sync files across multiple devices for my whole family. My first thought was buying a NAS with enough power to transcode movies, but these are expensive. Building my own is another option. It seems like a modern Core i3 should have enough power to support transcoding a couple of 1080p streams (or maybe even 4k) as well as running something like Seafile (I am thinking Unraid and Docker containers). I have seen people mentioning a setup using a cheaper NAS for file storage and personal cloud and an Intel NUC or HP 290 for running Plex using QuickSync for HW transcoding, but this will be more expensive than a homemade NAS, and I am unsure of the advantages for my use case. What do you guys and girls think? Any good advice for a setup that supports

  • Plex video transcoding 1-3 1080p streams (maybe 4k in the future)
  • File storage
  • Access/sync files across devices
  • Mounting the storage as a drive on Windows machines
  • Not too expensive
  • Not too power hungry

will be greatly appreciated :grinning:

If you are looking to build a NAS for your storage I recommend https://ebya.io/3BC0 using this Chassis. This is my next build for a backup NAS. The Down Side to this type of build is having to get a rack to up the equipment in.

I had server self-contained NASes and had a dedicated old I7 Dell latitude laptop to just run plex, but I moved over to a server build and got a rack cheap to store all my equipment. My current build is a little out of most consumer’s rang only because I was given the server. The closes thing to my server is https://ebya.io/3BC1. I am able to transcode 10 1080p streams with no issues and without a separate external Plex transcoder hardware.

Just my thoughts

@Marces_Williams @SeaGull

There is already a guide based on that chassis.

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@Marces_Williams I never thought of buying a used rack mounted server but it actually sounds like a viable idea. It seems like a power hungry solution though and the availability of those aren’t high in Denmark. I have found a Dell R720xd ($320) with specs:
Processor: E5-2650L med 8 cores/16 threads TDP 70W
Memory: 8 gb DDR3. (2x4gb)
Network: 2x 10gb SFP+ and 2x1gb
Power supply: 1x 750w platinium
Controller: Perc H710P 1gb

I can get a used small rack for about $80 so a total of around $400 for a rack mounted server actually seems like a nice deal - but I don’t have anything else to put in that rack :grinning:

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That’s the good thing about having a rack. You have an easily ready defined space for your equipment, and you get the bragging rights as a computer geek to your friends and family of saying you have a server rack now for your computer equipment.

That’s a deal for the PowerEdge R720XD. I would bump the memory in that too at least 32gigs. A good thing with that build the back plain is a SAS/SATA so you can run either with it but not both at the same time. I like SAS as it is more reliable than SATA. For my rig, I went with 12-3TB HDD’s only for the cost I found them on eBay for about 300$ for the 12 https://ebya.io/3BC9. I have it running Open media vault and I love it.

Ahh yes, the brag factor shouldn’t be underestimated :grinning:

I have just bought the PowerEdge R720XD but with a E5-2620 cpu - $225 (shipping included). I’ll have to play around with it to see how well it fits my needs and then upgrade it if it works for me or else sell it maybe go for a PC build instead.

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You are going to love that R720XD mine has ran flawlessly for 2months so far. Ihave added 10gig networking and will be adding Dell PERC H800 6Gb/s SAS SATA RAID Controller + 1GB Memory | VVGYD 0VVGYD 0RD7N for external expansion.