PLEX Hardware Acceleration - Hardware upgrade?

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Hello everyone,


due to moving to a different area my plex server was out of duty for quite a while. After updating the software (unraid OS, CA and Plex etc) i was wondering why plex stutters during playback of mkv blueray container. I read through some guides and found articles about activating Intel Hardware GPU to get the hardware acceleration going from PLEX.

After some failed attempts and deeper digging i found out that my CPU supports HA from PLEX but since i have a Spermicro Board  the Matrox Graphicard is used from the os with no way to adress the GPU of the Processor. I m looking for a low Cost upgrade of my Server. Maybe jost a new motherboard? Even though i dont have the remote control Feature of the board anymore. that would be fine.


I use Plex to stream only one movie at a time with 1080p 2D and if possible 7.1 true hd audio. I have a Xbox One and a Fire TV Stick 4k Ultra HD as a streaming client.


It would be great if you could show me a cost effective way to get plex going with hardwareacceleration.


My options would be:

1. bypass the matrox card,

2. switch the motherboard while keeping CPU/RAM if possible

3. .add a non expensive low power graphiccard to my setup (Server not in the living room no noise problems with fans)

4. something i havent thought of yet


My current hardwareconfig:


Casis: Norco RPC-4020

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220T

MB: Supermicro X9SCM-F


Harddrive: 12 HDDs on 2x Supermicro SAT2 MV8

Edited by Roadini
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  • Roadini changed the title to PLEX Hardware Acceleration - Hardware upgrade?

I would assume that these devices (XBox and Fire) are on the same LAN as your Unraid server?  They should likely play Direct Stream (where the playback device decodes them) rather than Plex transcoding the video.  You can see if this is what is taking place by going to Settings > Dashboard while playing an offending file on the XBox/Fire (see screenshot).


I would check the settings on all of the devices (and server) if it is transcoding.  The Fire Stick 4K should handle just about any 1080p format (including h.265), the XBox One, being a bit older likely doesn't support some of the newer/higher end encodings.


If it ends up that you must hardware encode, I feel the best bang for the buck is adding a nVidia Quadro P400 card.  The prices of all cards have gone up the past year, but the Quadro P400 hasn't gone crazy stupid in price compared to many enthusiast GPUs.

Plex screen.JPG

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On 6/17/2021 at 5:16 PM, Roadini said:

It would be great if you could show me a cost effective way to get plex going with hardwareacceleration.

As ConnerVT has mentioned above, if your clients are on the same network, then you don't need PLEX to decode your streams assuming your clients are fully capable of playing the content.

At least the Fire Stick should be capable of easily playing most of the encoded content.

You might want to look into upgrading to some other cheap media players that when flashed with Coreelec, would easily and efficiently decode your streams on the client's side:


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