I have been experimenting with Unraid for the last few weeks with my i5-4670k. Specs are:
Intel Haswell i5-4670K.
ASRock Z87M Extreme 4
2x 4GB DDR3 Ram
128GB Samsung SATA SSD for Vdisks.
Unraid is great so far. I am using it to run Plex in an Ubuntu server VM along with some dockers and I love the way the array works. My setup works fairly ok with Plex and CPU transcoding but I would like to do some gaming. My CPU doesn't support VT-D so a discrete GPU is a no-go right now.
I'll probably get a PS5 early next year so the games I want to play on PC will be older (3+ years?), exclusives, or most importantly emulators. Mainly I want to use Dolphin to upscale Gamecube games. Wii games running at native or above would be awesome. If I can play Demon's Souls I can skip buying a PS5 (but not gonna happen I'm sure).
I got Dolphin with Twilight Princess running on a few systems today with varying results:
My current system - Ubuntu 20.04VM with 4 cores and 4GB ram allocated: Unplayable at native ~15 fps in menu cinematic and opening gameplay.
Old laptop - Acer R3-431T Intel Pentium 3556U / 1.7 GHz dual core, IGPU, and 4gb ram running Ubuntu 20.04: Basically unplayable at native. Solid 30fps gameplay at the start, but drops in heavy environments. Still a lot better than the Unraid VM somehow.... again only IGPU on this one.
2014 iMac i5-4690, AMD Radeon R9 M295X with 4GB of GDDR5, 24GB DDR3 ram: Great performance - solid 30fps at vanilla 4k or 1080p with filtering and anti-aliasing etc. Very happy with something that can match this. Worked great in macOS Big Sur and Ubuntu 20.04.
So first of all why does my Unraid VM perform so much worse than the shitty touchscreen convertible laptop? Is this the overhead of virtualisation? Is the VM not able to take advantage of the IGPU? Am I causing a performance drop by using VNC? If I had a CPU with VT-D would there be a performance jump even without a discrete GPU? Am I asking too many questions??????????
And then to upgrades. I could build a whole new system but obviously upgrading is much cheaper. I've narrowed it down to the i7-4790K and the Intel Xeon E3-1285L v4, two of the highest ranked CPUs on passmark for the LGA1150 socket. I can get either for under $250AUD (~$180USD). I have a 610GT that I can hopefully use when I get VT-D. I understand this card sucks but I want to see what kind of performance I get before I consider further upgrades. Will probably cop some cheap ram too.
So, more questions:
Will these CPUs and GPU work? As in can I pass them through to a Windows 10 or Linux VM and expect performance roughly comparable to running on bare metal?
Is it worth it to upgrade this system? I will likely need a new GPU but I can transfer that to a new system. If I upgrade the CPU and RAM I'm dropping probably ~$300USD which could go to a new system. Keep in mind if I do build a new system I'd be leaning Intel due to Quick Sync video (which I hear is a Big Deal for Plex) and Hackintosh capability (for now...).
Which CPU is better for gaming? For VMs? The Xeon is maybe $50AUD cheaper but that doesn't matter.
I would prefer to keep my gaming OS (probably Windows ) and Plex OS (probably Ubuntu server) as separate VMs. The benefit of running them both in Windows is I get to use one GPU for gaming and Plex transcodes. Am I missing out if I stick to CPU transcoding? Should I run the GT610 with the Plex OS and give my Windows VM a better card?
Bonus points: Can I use two Sata SSDs in Raid 0 with my mobo without a raid card? My research says yes but I am very, very stupid. Would it be a good idea to keep VMs on this?
Thanks so much for reading. I know I asked a lot so even if you know the answer to just one question please let me know!!!