Gaming on a NAS? You better believe it!


101 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts

It is recommended to use the --cpuset-cpus parameter in Docker to pin apps to specific CPU cores that your gaming VM is not running on.  Isolating the CPU is best as it eliminates potential context switching.

 

 

 

I have never heard of this before and really wanted to know if there was a way to isolate what cores a certain docker can use. For my case, SABNZDB likes to work really hard, and my Intel i5 just cannot keep up sometimes it seems. When SAB is unpacking certain things, it causes my Plex, which works fine and even under minimal transcoding, will start to stutter and skip until the file is unpacked. When I look in the unRAID dashboard, I see my CPU sitting at 100% until that file is unpacked. I don't care how long it takes to unpack certain files, so I would rather give SAB just one core (2 at most) and let it go. This would solve so many of my issues. I will be searching for how to do this tonight, so this nuisance issue with SAB will be solved.

 

Of course, if anybody has a different way they would do it, please let me know as well. I am certainly open to suggestions. If this goes on much longer, my wife might throw me out! (just kidding of course..... I hope)

 

BTW, unRAID 6 is starting to be the box I always dreamed of having.... One to rule them all! I am very thankful to the hard work that LT has been doing to roll out such a great product. I have even turned on several of the people I work with to your product, because they see what I am doing. I have converted a gamer this past weekend. I think he will be building a new system and buying unRAID in the coming weeks.

Here's the sticky thread link from our Docker forum:

 

http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=36257.0

Link to post
  • Replies 100
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

http://lime-technology.com/gaming-on-a-nas-you-better-believe-it/

I have a CyberPower UPS attached to unRAID that I could use to test the wattage difference with/without my 750Ti running/idle/etc. If I get some time, I could add some data to this thread.

 

 

On a different note, johnp, how the heck do I get 3D Mark to run on my VM? I get nothing but SystemInfo failures with both the Steam version and the standalone installer when trying to launch the application.

Link to post

I have a CyberPower UPS attached to unRAID that I could use to test the wattage difference with/without my 750Ti running/idle/etc. If I get some time, I could add some data to this thread.

 

 

On a different note, johnp, how the heck do I get 3D Mark to run on my VM? I get nothing but SystemInfo failures with both the Steam version and the standalone installer when trying to launch the application.

 

I had that happen at one point a while back.  I had to completely uninstall the SystemInfo app (using Add/Remove programs) and reinstall it.  That said, I've also had it "just work" with other installs.

Link to post

I think it's pretty clear that the extra energy cost will be lower than the cost of a dedicated system ... but nevertheless some of us like to be "green" as much as possible -- so that's not the only factor.

 

A low-energy UnRAID server can easily idle as low as ~ 25 watts [My Atom-based unit idles at 20w; an Avoton with a LOT more CPU "horsepower" idles around 25w].    I suspect a server set up with a higher-end CPU and a high-end gaming-oriented GPU (and perhaps even 2 or more GPUs) will likely idle at a minimum of 75w, and possibly even higher.

 

Using 75w, that's an extra 50w 24/7 = ~ 438kwh/year = ~ $65/yr at 15 cents/kwh    Clearly that doesn't pay for a dedicated gaming machine.    Note that 1kwh is 3413 BTU of thermal energy.  A typical A/C unit has an EER of about 13 (old units are lower; high-efficiency units a bit higher).  At 13, that kwh would require 262 watt hours, or about 0.262 kwh to cool.    So that extra 438kwh of energy use would also add 115kwh of energy use to your A/C bill => making the total annual cost about $83.

 

Not enough difference to be a big deal ... but it would, over a period of perhaps 4-5 years, pay for the extra hardware for a modest UnRAID server (excluding any disks -- which you need regardless).    Especially if the difference in idle consumption is > 50 watts.

 

 

 

Link to post

... prices here in Denmark of 1kWh @ 0.22£ or 0.34$

 

And with energy prices like that, the cost difference gets noticeable pretty quick.  That $83/year cost for a 50w difference in idle power jumps to $188/year.    Doesn't take long for that difference to pay for your low-power UnRAID setup !!

 

Link to post

Ordered a Kill A Watt last night and should be here next week.  I'm actually very curious now to test this for myself and see what we can do to make this even more power efficient.  My tests will also include comparing a two system setup (where a lower power NAS is left on 24/7 and a separate gaming rig is powered on for a few hours at a time) against a consolidated system that can do both (but where the gaming VM is only booted up for a few hours at a time).

Link to post

Yep ... once you get focused on energy consumption it can become a bit of an obsession -- "just how low can I go !!"

 

I'm not obsessed with it, but I certainly do like the 20w consumption of my little Atom-based server.    And that's with it ON 24/7 ... never in sleep mode.    My desktop, and my wife's desktop, both go to S3 mode when not in use ... so they're only using ~ 3 watts except when they're in use.    I can't image that I could build a consolidated system that would replace all of these without using FAR more power.

 

Link to post

I'm not as obsessed with low power vs heat and dealing with it. 

I have a number of machines that are running 24x7.  At least with unRAID the drives spin down.

My workstation laptop and work laptop are on 24x7x365 plus a few unRAID servers and a few administrative linux machines.

In my case I have to turn off the radiators in the apartment or I will be overwhelmed in the winter.

 

I can't consolidate too much as some linux machines are used with my job to access and monitor external connectivity as a customer.

 

Dockers just aren't the answer there and we use VMware at the job, so I stick with that.

 

Garycase got what I was talking about with heat.  Great explanation Gary.

 

I'm not disputing the value of combining the gaming with unRAID. I think it's a great movement and wise use of hardware/power.

I personally would love to combine my larger unRAID server with an XBMC machine and get rid of the XBMC machine I have. However that sits in S3 sleep 99% of the time, so I question the value of doing it.

 

If the AVS server cases become available again, that will motivate me to consolidate.

Link to post

If I understand this correctly, this 'Gaming on a NAS' concept is aimed at people who are running a NAS on their desktop, correct?

 

I'm assuming putting a gaming VM on my server in the basement and remotely connecting from a terminal on my network to game would not be feasible/practical/doable? How about, hypothetically speaking, on a 10GB network?

 

Daring to dream! :)

Link to post

If I understand this correctly, this 'Gaming on a NAS' concept is aimed at people who are running a NAS on their desktop, correct?

 

I'm assuming putting a gaming VM on my server in the basement and remotely connecting from a terminal on my network to game would not be feasible/practical/doable? How about, hypothetically speaking, on a 10GB network?

 

Daring to dream! :)

 

Right, you'd need to run a HDMI and USB from the basement to where you want the keyboard/mouse/screen to be.

Link to post

If I understand this correctly, this 'Gaming on a NAS' concept is aimed at people who are running a NAS on their desktop, correct?

 

I'm assuming putting a gaming VM on my server in the basement and remotely connecting from a terminal on my network to game would not be feasible/practical/doable? How about, hypothetically speaking, on a 10GB network?

 

Daring to dream! :)

 

Right, you'd need to run a HDMI and USB from the basement to where you want the keyboard/mouse/screen to be.

Which there are people on here that run that cable and game using that basement computer. I have heard of that happening more than once and actually contemplated doing it myself.

Link to post

... hypothetically speaking, on a 10GB network?

 

The network's not the issue -- the video connection is.  As mr-hexen noted, you'd need to run an HDMI cable to the monitor.  With the right cables, these can easily be run 100' or more, so it's just a matter of the topology of the cable run as to just how difficult it might be.    You also need a keyboard/mouse run, which is more problematic, as USB cables can't be that long ... but you can get Ethernet adapters for those.

 

Link to post

... hypothetically speaking, on a 10GB network?

 

The network's not the issue -- the video connection is.  As mr-hexen noted, you'd need to run an HDMI cable to the monitor.  With the right cables, these can easily be run 100' or more, so it's just a matter of the topology of the cable run as to just how difficult it might be.    You also need a keyboard/mouse run, which is more problematic, as USB cables can't be that long ... but you can get Ethernet adapters for those.

 

 

I mention network because instead of a super long hdmi and USB cable, I was envisioning a remote desktop connection over the network into the vm that had enough bandwidth to support the data stream that gaming would require.. That would be something that would appeal to me... Then you could access the gaming rig from any wired terminal in the house...

 

Again, this is just me dreaming... :-)

Link to post

I mention network because instead of a super long hdmi and USB cable, I was envisioning a remote desktop connection over the network into the vm that had enough bandwidth to support the data stream that gaming would require.. That would be something that would appeal to me... Then you could access the gaming rig from any wired terminal in the house...

 

Again, this is just me dreaming... :-)

 

Dream not! It's reality! Run a google search for Steam In-Home Streaming.

 

Works mighty well over gigabit ethernet for gaming!

Link to post

I mention network because instead of a super long hdmi and USB cable, I was envisioning a remote desktop connection over the network into the vm that had enough bandwidth to support the data stream that gaming would require.. That would be something that would appeal to me... Then you could access the gaming rig from any wired terminal in the house...

 

Again, this is just me dreaming... :-)

 

Dream not! It's reality! Run a google search for Steam In-Home Streaming.

 

Works mighty well over gigabit ethernet for gaming!

 

QFT!

 

I'll be working up a video on that in the next week or so.  Today's video will be on setting up a Windows 10 VM for scratch.  Sneak preview:  NO CD-KEY REQUIRED TO OBTAIN MEDIA OR INSTALL THE OS!  Great way to test out Windows before committing to a purchase!!

Link to post

I mention network because instead of a super long hdmi and USB cable, I was envisioning a remote desktop connection over the network into the vm that had enough bandwidth to support the data stream that gaming would require.. That would be something that would appeal to me... Then you could access the gaming rig from any wired terminal in the house...

 

Again, this is just me dreaming... :-)

 

Dream not! It's reality! Run a google search for Steam In-Home Streaming.

 

Works mighty well over gigabit ethernet for gaming!

 

Cool!!! Thanks so much for the info!

 

http://store.steampowered.com/streaming/

 

A VM running Steam IN-Home Streaming would be a really awesome example of the flexibility/usefulness of unRaid. From the page above, it sounds like it could be streamed to other devices (tablets???) as well (though I wonder how good it would be over a wireless connection)...

 

EDIT: jonp: Exciting! I can't wait to see the video!

Link to post

I mention network because instead of a super long hdmi and USB cable, I was envisioning a remote desktop connection over the network into the vm that had enough bandwidth to support the data stream that gaming would require.. That would be something that would appeal to me... Then you could access the gaming rig from any wired terminal in the house...

 

Again, this is just me dreaming... :-)

 

Dream not! It's reality! Run a google search for Steam In-Home Streaming.

 

Works mighty well over gigabit ethernet for gaming!

 

Cool!!! Thanks so much for the info!

 

http://store.steampowered.com/streaming/

 

A VM running Steam IN-Home Streaming would be a really awesome example of the flexibility/usefulness of unRaid. From the page above, it sounds like it could be streamed to other devices (tablets???) as well (though I wonder how good it would be over a wireless connection)...

 

I was just going to post about that.

 

plus add a link to steam link

http://store.steampowered.com/app/353380

 

I'm considering one myself.

Link to post

I mention network because instead of a super long hdmi and USB cable, I was envisioning a remote desktop connection over the network into the vm that had enough bandwidth to support the data stream that gaming would require.. That would be something that would appeal to me... Then you could access the gaming rig from any wired terminal in the house...

 

Again, this is just me dreaming... :-)

 

Dream not! It's reality! Run a google search for Steam In-Home Streaming.

 

Works mighty well over gigabit ethernet for gaming!

 

Cool!!! Thanks so much for the info!

 

http://store.steampowered.com/streaming/

 

A VM running Steam IN-Home Streaming would be a really awesome example of the flexibility/usefulness of unRaid. From the page above, it sounds like it could be streamed to other devices (tablets???) as well (though I wonder how good it would be over a wireless connection)...

 

EDIT: jonp: Exciting! I can't wait to see the video!

 

This is most definitely one of the use-cases we had in mind for virtual machines.  Just an FYI, I've been using a Windows 10 VM for Steam In-Home Streaming for a while now in my home environment.  I stream from my unRAID server in my office (which also doubles as a desktop PC).  That machine is connected to a powerline ethernet adapter (TrendNet) which then connects to my Asus wireless router on the main level of my house.  Then I use my 2011 Macbook Air with the steam client installed to stream games from my Windows VM.

 

The experience has improved much since the feature was first introduced and I only expect it to get better.  The only thing I will say is that there is a very slight delay (we're talking milliseconds here) for input (mouse/keyboard).  For most games, this isn't a big deal, but for online first person shooters, it can be a little annoying.  That said, moving to a wired connection or eliminating those powerline adapters may improve my situation.

 

And just an FYI, I don't expect a 10gbps network to necessarily change anything with this except maybe for visual quality.  The issue with the delay isn't bandwidth, but latency, which I don't believe 10gbps Ethernet is going to help.

 

Also, this is just Steam In-Home Streaming we're talking about.  There is another option as well if you use NVIDIA GameStream and/or Project Moonlight.  Longer term it appears that Razor is making a game streaming technology called Cortex that promises to deliver a very low-latency game streaming experience (and from any type of GPU, not just NVIDIA devices).  So game streaming tech is definitely something that is continuing to advance, and I think using it with a virtual machine on a NAS is a great use-case.

Link to post

I was just going to post about that.

 

plus add a link to steam link

http://store.steampowered.com/app/353380

 

I'm considering one myself.

 

Would love to hear how it goes! Keep us posted! :)

 

This is most definitely one of the use-cases we had in mind for virtual machines.  Just an FYI, I've been using a Windows 10 VM for Steam In-Home Streaming for a while now in my home environment.  I stream from my unRAID server in my office (which also doubles as a desktop PC).  That machine is connected to a powerline ethernet adapter (TrendNet) which then connects to my Asus wireless router on the main level of my house.  Then I use my 2011 Macbook Air with the steam client installed to stream games from my Windows VM.

 

The experience has improved much since the feature was first introduced and I only expect it to get better.  The only thing I will say is that there is a very slight delay (we're talking milliseconds here) for input (mouse/keyboard).  For most games, this isn't a big deal, but for online first person shooters, it can be a little annoying.  That said, moving to a wired connection or eliminating those powerline adapters may improve my situation.

 

And just an FYI, I don't expect a 10gbps network to necessarily change anything with this except maybe for visual quality.  The issue with the delay isn't bandwidth, but latency, which I don't believe 10gbps Ethernet is going to help.

 

Also, this is just Steam In-Home Streaming we're talking about.  There is another option as well if you use NVIDIA GameStream and/or Project Moonlight.  Longer term it appears that Razor is making a game streaming technology called Cortex that promises to deliver a very low-latency game streaming experience (and from any type of GPU, not just NVIDIA devices).  So game streaming tech is definitely something that is continuing to advance, and I think using it with a virtual machine on a NAS is a great use-case.

 

Thanks for the extra info!

 

I think I've finally found a way to justify to myself the hardware upgrade I've been wanting for the last while! ;)

Link to post

QFT!

 

I'll be working up a video on that in the next week or so.  Today's video will be on setting up a Windows 10 VM for scratch.  Sneak preview:  NO CD-KEY REQUIRED TO OBTAIN MEDIA OR INSTALL THE OS!  Great way to test out Windows before committing to a purchase!!

 

:o Please do post soon!!!

Link to post

QFT!

 

I'll be working up a video on that in the next week or so.  Today's video will be on setting up a Windows 10 VM for scratch.  Sneak preview:  NO CD-KEY REQUIRED TO OBTAIN MEDIA OR INSTALL THE OS!  Great way to test out Windows before committing to a purchase!!

 

:o Please do post soon!!!

Just did! 

Link to post

I'm in the definitely-not-a-gamer camp ... but this technology has got me interested in perhaps trying it anyway !!  :)

There's categories of "gamer" and they range from casual to hardcore.  I think everyone has the potential to be a casual gamer.  For someone like you Gary, I could see you being interested in simulation games or strategy games.  There are some really good ones out there if you want some recommendations.

 

Then you have games that will support new VR technology like Oculus Rift.  One in particular that I can't wait to try out is Star Citizen.  I don't care if you are a gamer or not, this with a VR headset will be freaking awesome!!

 

Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.