unRAID server + PlexMediaServer 3 4K streams


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MoBO ASUSTeK Computer INC. P8Z68-V PRO , Version Rev 1.xx

CPU  Intel® Core™ i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40GHz
RAM: 16GB DDR3
GFX Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER

I am currently looking into upgrading my server abit.
First abit about what I want from the server and that is to be able to have maybe 2 or 3 4k direct streams, and if not maybe be able to handle 5-6 1080p transcoded from 4K files. I know there is a difference in 4K files and I'm hoping to get 1 or 2 remux streams from the server. Mostly it will be transcoded but I want that opportunity if it should come.

First off, I need to upgrade the GFX card, which gfx cards are good for PLex media Streams? (budget around 600$, but smaller is better). 
- Also, do I Need upgrade my cpu and ram? This is getting old and I can get some cheap LGA1151 CPUs type of i7-6700 or something similar.
- Will a SSD cache help?

I currently have WDC Red and Seagate IronWolf 8-12TB disks.
Will these be a bottleneck for direct streaming?

Is there any cheap MoBos with lots of SATA ports?
Maybe one with LGA1151 
But am open for others

I want the streams to come outside my network, what kind of bandwith am I looking at for a remux? I got 500/500mbit

 

Edited by SkyHead
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Direct streams are completely client dependent. Plex won't direct stream to a client that can't natively handle the stream.

Getting 3 direct streams is more a question of bandwidth than anything else, but assuming you can handle 3 direct streams inside your network, then you should be able to outside your network (assuming there is not bottleneck once you hit the wlan).

Transcoding 4k to anything requires lots of horsepower.  You might want to read up on transcoding.  Here's is Nvidia's support matrix. Here's one site's GPU recommendations.  The one I like the most is the epalmsoft matrix.

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4 hours ago, pkoci said:

Forget a dedicated GPU and get some modern intel with integrated gpu.


I like where your going with this,  in this image it says to transcode a 4K HEVC to 1080 10mbps it takes 17000 PassMark Score, and with a i7-12700K I get about 34000 PassMark score. So that gives two streams, which Is good for me.


However, when using QuickSync technology from integrated CPU and I am using an AppleTV on a remote location - will I be able to direct play so that I get all in original quality?
How will this affect the CPU?  Will it be easier for it to play the movie from Plex?

Will the i7-12700F not work?

Will I be able to also use my  Nvidia 1660 SUPER for additional power?
How about RAM - how effective is it in transcoding?

Will an cache disk still help?

cpu-plex.png

Edited by SkyHead
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47 minutes ago, SkyHead said:

I like where your going with this,  in this image it says to transcode a 4K HEVC to 1080 10mbps it takes 17000 PassMark Score, and with a i7-12700K I get about 34000 PassMark score. So that gives two streams, which Is good for me.


Do you realize this isn't a 1 + 1 = 2 scenario? The guide even specifically states "very roughly speaking".

 

Don't count on getting 2 4k transcodes from the i7-12700K, unless you've already gotten confirmation of it consistently being able to handle 2 streams from other users. Your best bet for 4K transcoding multiple streams is currently GPU based processing.  Here are several discussions on 4K transcoding in Plex.
 

47 minutes ago, SkyHead said:

Will I be able to also use my  Nvidia 1660 SUPER for additional power?


Not in combination with iGPU that I know of.
 

47 minutes ago, SkyHead said:

However, when using QuickSync technology from integrated CPU and I am using an AppleTV on a remote location - will I be able to direct play so that I get all in original quality?


That completely depends on the network between your server and the client (my money is on no, because every streaming services compresses their streams as much as possible).  Here are several discussions on remote streaming in Plex.
 

 

47 minutes ago, SkyHead said:

How will this affect the CPU?  Will it be easier for it to play the movie from Plex?


In theory it won't make a difference to your CPU.
 

 

47 minutes ago, SkyHead said:

How about RAM - how effective is it in transcoding?

Will an cache disk still help?


Yes, it can be effective in transcoding.  
Yes, it can help with transcoding.
The real answer is, it depends. Here's are some discussions on transcoding in Plex.

 

Edited by whipdancer
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A lot of good info provided by @whipdancer

 

Even better advice - Don't real time transcode 4K to 1080p.  It rarely is a 100% functional (or enjoyable) experience.  With you asking about several simultaneous streams suggests people other than you will be watching video.  This means you will have people asking for you to fix issues, or just end up not using what you built.

 

4K to 1080p is a lot of processing.  1080p to 1080p at a lower bandwidth is fairly easy for modern hardware.  Best bet is to have both 4K and 1080p copies on your server, and only serve 4K to devices inside your LAN that can play it directly (or transcode burning subtitles without changing bitrate or resolution).  This is what streaming services do - have several different copies of the same content, optimized for the capabilities of the device (and network path) requesting to play it.  I do similar on my system.  I have separate 4K and 1080p movie folders, and only make the 1080p folder available to non-home Plex users.  At home, the 4K media is available.  For TV shows, I only do 1080p.

 

If you are really set to go the transcoding path, you will need to drastically rethink your budget.  $600 for a GFX and a i7-6700 is not even close to the processing power needed.  Much better off taking that money and putting it towards more storage in your array.

  • Like 1
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7 hours ago, ConnerVT said:

4K to 1080p is a lot of processing.  1080p to 1080p at a lower bandwidth is fairly easy for modern hardware.  Best bet is to have both 4K and 1080p copies on your server, and only serve 4K to devices inside your LAN that can play it directly (or transcode burning subtitles without changing bitrate or resolution).  This is what streaming services do - have several different copies of the same content, optimized for the capabilities of the device (and network path) requesting to play it.  I do similar on my system.  I have separate 4K and 1080p movie folders, and only make the 1080p folder available to non-home Plex users.  At home, the 4K media is available.  For TV shows, I only do 1080p.


This is exactly what I do. I have a GPU capable of transcoding, but it's not of acceptable quality to me for 4K/UHD material.
 

Edited by whipdancer
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On 11/24/2022 at 2:47 AM, SkyHead said:

First abit about what I want from the server and that is to be able to have maybe 2 or 3 4k direct streams

In case If the clients are on the same network...

You can easily make all stationary clients 4k direct play capable and forget of the upgrading dilemmas.

Edited by Lolight
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On 11/24/2022 at 1:57 PM, ConnerVT said:

A lot of good info provided by @whipdancer

 

Even better advice - Don't real time transcode 4K to 1080p.  It rarely is a 100% functional (or enjoyable) experience.  With you asking about several simultaneous streams suggests people other than you will be watching video.  This means you will have people asking for you to fix issues, or just end up not using what you built.

 

4K to 1080p is a lot of processing.  1080p to 1080p at a lower bandwidth is fairly easy for modern hardware.  Best bet is to have both 4K and 1080p copies on your server, and only serve 4K to devices inside your LAN that can play it directly (or transcode burning subtitles without changing bitrate or resolution).  This is what streaming services do - have several different copies of the same content, optimized for the capabilities of the device (and network path) requesting to play it.  I do similar on my system.  I have separate 4K and 1080p movie folders, and only make the 1080p folder available to non-home Plex users.  At home, the 4K media is available.  For TV shows, I only do 1080p.

 

If you are really set to go the transcoding path, you will need to drastically rethink your budget.  $600 for a GFX and a i7-6700 is not even close to the processing power needed.  Much better off taking that money and putting it towards more storage in your array.

 


How do you manage your media with Sonarr\Radarr if you got them?

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1 hour ago, SkyHead said:

How do you manage your media with Sonarr\Radarr if you got them?

 

Sonarr I only use for 1080p TV shows.

 

For movies, I run 2 Radarr dockers - Radar and Radar4K.  I set a List in the Radar to mirror requests made in the Radar4K.

ARRs.JPG

Lists1.JPG

Lists2.JPG

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