Motherboard + processor recommendation


xabi

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Hi there:

 

I'm building a PLEX Unraid server for the very first time, but I have some doubts. Could you please help me with a recommendation regarding Mother Board + processor + SATA card?

 

These are my needs:

 

- Micro-ATX form factor (mandatory)

- Plex hardware en/decoder (intel quick sync?)

- Maybe in the future I will add a graphics card.

- 5 Hard disks (1 for parity + 4 data)

 

Doubts:

Do you recommend a SATA card instead of using the motherboard SATA ports and why? If so what card do you recommend me?

Can I use a SSD for caching and docker images at the same time or should I add two SSDs (one for caching and one for docker images, etc)?

I'm thinking on a Intel i7-9700 cause quick sync and running some docker images, is it OK or a AMD Ryzen will do the trick better?

If Intel, what generation 9 or 10? (Remember the quick sync)

What about a i5 10500 or 10600 vs i7-9700? Any problem regarding unraid/quick sync?

What do you recommend a SATA SSD for caching or use a M2?

 

Thanks in advance and sorry for my damn English (I'm Spanish).

 

Edited by xabi
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5 hours ago, xabi said:

Do you recommend a SATA card instead of using the motherboard SATA ports and why?

Not necessary unless you run out of SATA ports on the motherboard.  The motherboard SATA ports on most modern motherboards are perfectly fine and additional ports on an HBA are not "better" than motherboard SATA ports.  If you do end up with a PCIe SATA card for expansion, look for something LSI chipset based and avoid Marvell chipsets.

 

5 hours ago, xabi said:

Can I use a SSD for caching and docker images at the same time or should I add two SSDs (one for caching and one for docker images, etc)?

You can use an SSD for both share write caching and hosting the appdata (docker containers) share, VMs, etc. it does not have to be single use.  Of course, the size of the SSD is more of a determining factor than its uses.

 

5 hours ago, xabi said:

If Intel, what generation 9 or 10? (Remember the quick sync)

Any recent Intel CPU generation (Kaby Lake or above recommended for 4K/HEVC) ) with QuickSync will be fine.  Here's a handy chart that shows each generation's capabilities:

 

image.thumb.png.96ba6b8b9cc87471f0fd1696c2f90b3e.png

 

5 hours ago, xabi said:

is it OK or a AMD Ryzen will do the trick better?

AMD Ryzen are great processors and a much better bang for the buck than equivalent Intel CPUs, however, if QuickSync/Integrated GPU is a primary want/need, the AMD options right now are very limited in this regard and are not supported officially by Plex for hardware transcoding on Linux.  You would need a discrete PCIe Nvidia GPU for that with AMD.

 

Turn on signatures in your profile (click your forum user name --> Account Settings --> Signatures) as many people post their server specs in their signatures.  My main server is similar to what you are looking for, but, possibly overkill for you.

 

Motherboard:  ASRock Rack E3C246D4U Micro-ATX with IPMI and 8 SATA ports

CPU: Intel Xeon E-2288G (i9-9900K equivalent) with 8 cores/16 threads and UHD P630 iGPU with QuickSync

RAM: 64GB ECC

1 8TB parity

4 8TB data drives

1 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD for caching one share and appdata

1 1TB SATA SSD as an unassigned device for hosting VMs and for downloads and HandBrake transcodes

1 500GB SATA SSD as an unassigned device not currently used for anything

1 Optical drive for MakeMKV rips of optical media

1 Dell H310 (LSI 9211-8i) in IT mode with 8 SATA ports for further future array expansion

 

unRAID is really not picky when it comes to hardware and virtually all modern hardware will work fine.  Just pick something that meets your needs.  One thing to keep in mind is that if you go with 10th generation Intel CPUs and chipsets, you will likely need to run the 6.9.0 RC version of unRAID for NIC and other hardware driver support as the older lInux kernel in the 6.8.3 version lacks driver support for some newer hardware.

Edited by Hoopster
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19 minutes ago, Hoopster said:

unRAID is really not picky when it comes to hardware and virtually all modern hardware will work fine.  Just pick something that meets your needs.  One thing to keep in mind is that if you go with 10th generation Intel CPUs and chipsets, you will likely need to run the 6.9.0 RC version of unRAID for NIC and other hardware driver support as the older lInux kernel in the 6.8.3 version lacks driver support for some newer hardware.

Thank you!

 

This is what I picked:

 

- ASUS ROG Strix B460-G Gaming

- Intel Core i5-10600 3.3 GHz

- Corsair CMK32GX4M2F4000C19 Vengeance LPX 32 GB

- Kingston A2000 (SA2000M8/500G) SSD NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 500 GB (Cache)

 

What do you think?

 

xabi

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8 minutes ago, xabi said:

This is what I picked:

 

- ASUS ROG Strix B460-G Gaming

- Intel Core i5-10600 3.3 GHz

- Corsair CMK32GX4M2F4000C19 Vengeance LPX 32 GB

- Kingston A2000 (SA2000M8/500G) SSD NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 500 GB (Cache)

 

What do you think?

If it meets your needs, that will work great as an unRAID/Plex server.  Nothing out of the ordinary in that setup.

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On 12/30/2020 at 11:54 AM, xabi said:

Do you recommend a SATA card instead of using the motherboard SATA ports and why?

Yes, because it saves energy and the performance is not limited to the bridge controller of the adapter. As an example ASMedia has a low energy consumption, but also a low performance which is sufficient for 2 HDDs. LSI has a huge performance, but drains more power than the entire board incl the CPU in idle.

 

My suggestions:

- Fujitsu D3644-B (ECC, 6x SATA)

- Gigabyte C246M-WU4 (ECC, 8x SATA, two M.2)

- Asus WS C246M Pro (ECC, 8x SATA, two M.2)

- Gigabyte W480M Vision V (8x SATA, two M.2, 2.5G LAN, but sadly no ECC RAM with i3, only with Xeon)

 

Note: i5/i7/i9 does never support ECC RAM.

  • Like 1
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On 12/30/2020 at 11:54 AM, xabi said:

Hi there:

 

I'm building a PLEX Unraid server for the very first time, but I have some doubts. Could you please help me with a recommendation regarding Mother Board + processor + SATA card?

 

These are my needs:

 

- Micro-ATX form factor (mandatory)

- Plex hardware en/decoder (intel quick sync?)

- Maybe in the future I will add a graphics card.

- 5 Hard disks (1 for parity + 4 data)

 

Doubts:

Do you recommend a SATA card instead of using the motherboard SATA ports and why? If so what card do you recommend me?

Can I use a SSD for caching and docker images at the same time or should I add two SSDs (one for caching and one for docker images, etc)?

I'm thinking on a Intel i7-9700 cause quick sync and running some docker images, is it OK or a AMD Ryzen will do the trick better?

If Intel, what generation 9 or 10? (Remember the quick sync)

What about a i5 10500 or 10600 vs i7-9700? Any problem regarding unraid/quick sync?

What do you recommend a SATA SSD for caching or use a M2?

 

Thanks in advance and sorry for my damn English (I'm Spanish).

 

See my Hardware at the signature ;-)

My Server is only for Plex, HW-transcoding over iGPU included but has also a lot of power for future things like VMs.

 

With Intel 10th generation, you need unraid 6.9 or an additional PCIe-NIC

because the newer revisions of the Intel i219V are not supported by unraid 6.8.3

 

Regarding the ASRock B365M Pro4:

.) µATX

.) The B365-Chipset has 20 PCIe-Lanes (B460 has only 16)

.) supported revision of i219V

.) can handle 6x SATA + 2x PCIe 3.0 x4 SSDs simultaneously!

 

Edited by Zonediver
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On 12/30/2020 at 11:54 AM, xabi said:

What about a i5 10500 or 10600 vs i7-9700?

All overpowered for your use case. A G5400 or i3 is all you need. Later you can still buy a Xeon if you need more power.

 

On 12/30/2020 at 11:54 AM, xabi said:

Maybe in the future I will add a graphics card.

For what?

 

On 12/30/2020 at 11:54 AM, xabi said:

Can I use a SSD for caching and docker images at the same time

Yes

 

On 12/30/2020 at 11:54 AM, xabi said:

or a AMD Ryzen will do the trick better

No, because the AMD iGPU isn't supported by Plex.

 

On 12/30/2020 at 11:54 AM, xabi said:

What do you recommend a SATA SSD for caching or use a M2?

M.2 is nice for VMs or 10G LAN, but even 10G LAN can be covered with RAM Caching (what I'm doing). Nevertheless I would buy a board with two M.2 slots to be flexible regarding upgrades. Note: not all boards allow using all m.2 and sata slots at the same time. An RTFM moment ;)

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