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Beryllium

Unraid as Gaming/Transcoding PC

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Hey 

I am new to this stuff and recently found (was recommended) UnRaid. I was planning to build a Plex server (4-5 transcoding streams at once) and a separate Gaming tower. 

Now the question is if I could just combine these two systems and let Windows run as a VM? 

Are there major performance deficits. Or will my VM choke if Plex is transcoding too much? 

Any help would be appreciated. 

BR
Beryllium

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Will you be transcoding HD or 4k? Budget?

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Posted (edited)

Hey so budget would be around 2k and only 1080p und below. 

Does this even work? Like how will this behave? If I turn off my VM will everything still run at full power consumtion as unraid is running? Just thinking a bit also about power consumption. Or will the GPU idle, if there is no use for it. 

Edit:
Does it even make sense to move plex from the NAS to a VM? If not I would just build a normal Windows PC :)
I mean the synology NAS does struggle sometimes. 

Edited by Beryllium
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On 1/8/2019 at 8:26 AM, Beryllium said:

If I turn off my VM will everything still run at full power consumtion as unraid is running? Just thinking a bit also about power consumption. Or will the GPU idle, if there is no use for it. 

The system will still power everything but you will of course not have a power draw that's anywhere close to the hw being in use. Same with CPU and hard drives, if you're only using 10% of them then your power draw will reflect that.

 

On 1/8/2019 at 8:26 AM, Beryllium said:

Does it even make sense to move plex from the NAS to a VM? If not I would just build a normal Windows PC

I don't think so. I'd leave the VM for a gaming VM and have Plex running in Linux (in Docker). That way you can update/restore/shut off/etc your gaming machine without your entertainment going down. You'd also be able to isolate them from eachother, so if you wanted to play a game you had some dedicated cores for that.

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Really sorry for the late reply. I had to put this project on hold for a while. 
Ok good to know regarding the power drain. 

The more I think about it, the less it makes sense. I just wanted a stronger Server since the NAS is reaching its limits, but I just may buy a used old Xenon Server and setup unraid there without any windows VMs. Just running the docker containers I need.

Thanks for your help! 
 

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Just want to toss out there that I've had issues running Plex under Docker, had my library somehow get corrupted twice which forced rebuilding everything. No idea why. So keep a good backup of your Plex data directory just in case.

 

I run moved Plex under windows and haven't had one issue since (still keeping backups too). I also use Handbrake in the VM but set it's priority to Low so that Plex takes priority if I or my extended family watches anything.

 

With the VM approach, best practice is to create a separate drive for Plex. It makes it easy to back up just by copying the qcow2 file or using a utility like True Image.

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Thanks for the input. It seems running plex in a windows VM is more stable and also has more support. 
I really want to run an unraid server, as my NAS is reaching its limit. Still running my main PC in unraid as a vm seems not that recommended. Due to space issues having a second PC just as a server is difficult, but will try to use my old one maybe for PFsense and stuff. 

I really would like to learn to use VMs and docker :)

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I've been familiar and dabbling with UNRAID for several years but still consider myself new as I've been taking my time rolling out my current UNRAID system.  My use case is fairly similar to yours though I'm very green on the PLEX side of things and that's my next tackle. I built two new PC systems a couple of years ago, one for Gaming (race sims) and one for UNRAID primarily for NAS duty. With space issues as well, I recently looked at consolidating 2 boxes into 1.

 

System Hardware is Z170 Platform, i7-6700 CPU, 32GB RAM, 120GB SSD Cache Pool (2 drives), 4TB HDD Storage Array with Parity (2TB x2 + 4TB x1), 500GB NVME and 1TB HDD unassigned for Win10 VM (NVME) and Games Storage (HDD), GTX980 (passed through to Win10 VM), GTX760 (passed through to Mint VM) and 4 port USB PCIe card (isolated to Win10 VM). I'm currently running my Dockers on the NVME though I'm looking into upgrading the Cache Pool to 500GB and possibly moving them back to running on Cache.

 

Currently have a Win10 VM for Gaming, a Mint 19.1 VM for Daily Driving, and a PLEX Docker set up. Mint VM is accessed remotely through the Win10 VM with both running at once. I just started testing my PLEX Server as it was a previous Docker setup that was moved and I'm not convinced that I don't need to rebuild it yet.

 

I've gotten a lot good helpful information from Spaceinvader One's excellent YouTube Videos and great information in these forums.  Still a ways to go but I'm getting closer. Once I get this setup stable with PLEX, I'm hoping to run as is for a couple of years and I'm going to start planning the replacement system which I'm thinking will be about double this size in specs.

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On 2/11/2019 at 4:38 AM, Beryllium said:

Thanks for the input. It seems running plex in a windows VM is more stable and also has more support. 
I really want to run an unraid server, as my NAS is reaching its limit. Still running my main PC in unraid as a vm seems not that recommended. Due to space issues having a second PC just as a server is difficult, but will try to use my old one maybe for PFsense and stuff. 

I really would like to learn to use VMs and docker :)

 

I'd say that unraid is polished enough to run your main PC as a VM if you pass through your video card and a USB PCIe card to it - the later for plug-n-play functionality. The big sticky point here though is getting a MB that'll pass through both without issues. Definitely checkout the KVM section here.

 

I plan on consolidating four PC's into two unraid boxes with 2+ Win10 VM's on each, each with their own Quadro card and possibly a USB3 PCIe card on one to ingest four Logitech Brio's to NDI.

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On 2/28/2019 at 10:01 AM, jbartlett said:

 

I'd say that unraid is polished enough to run your main PC as a VM if you pass through your video card and a USB PCIe card to it - the later for plug-n-play functionality. The big sticky point here though is getting a MB that'll pass through both without issues. Definitely checkout the KVM section here.

 

I plan on consolidating four PC's into two unraid boxes with 2+ Win10 VM's on each, each with their own Quadro card and possibly a USB3 PCIe card on one to ingest four Logitech Brio's to NDI.

Hahaha I was just thinking its fine I don't need it and now I want to setup it more and more :) To be honest I will make it time dependant. I will have to check out the KVM section, as I would want to try and build a PC with the new Ryzen CPUs coming out. It will be interessting on how upgradeable the system can be. Maybe I will test unraid on my old system then and play with it until I am happy and then convert the main system to Unraid. 

On 2/25/2019 at 6:43 AM, PhantomXiii said:

I've been familiar and dabbling with UNRAID for several years but still consider myself new as I've been taking my time rolling out my current UNRAID system.  My use case is fairly similar to yours though I'm very green on the PLEX side of things and that's my next tackle. I built two new PC systems a couple of years ago, one for Gaming (race sims) and one for UNRAID primarily for NAS duty. With space issues as well, I recently looked at consolidating 2 boxes into 1.

 

System Hardware is Z170 Platform, i7-6700 CPU, 32GB RAM, 120GB SSD Cache Pool (2 drives), 4TB HDD Storage Array with Parity (2TB x2 + 4TB x1), 500GB NVME and 1TB HDD unassigned for Win10 VM (NVME) and Games Storage (HDD), GTX980 (passed through to Win10 VM), GTX760 (passed through to Mint VM) and 4 port USB PCIe card (isolated to Win10 VM). I'm currently running my Dockers on the NVME though I'm looking into upgrading the Cache Pool to 500GB and possibly moving them back to running on Cache.

 

Currently have a Win10 VM for Gaming, a Mint 19.1 VM for Daily Driving, and a PLEX Docker set up. Mint VM is accessed remotely through the Win10 VM with both running at once. I just started testing my PLEX Server as it was a previous Docker setup that was moved and I'm not convinced that I don't need to rebuild it yet.

 

I've gotten a lot good helpful information from Spaceinvader One's excellent YouTube Videos and great information in these forums.  Still a ways to go but I'm getting closer. Once I get this setup stable with PLEX, I'm hoping to run as is for a couple of years and I'm going to start planning the replacement system which I'm thinking will be about double this size in specs.

Ok interessting. How is the gaming performance while running Plex? Or while it is transcoding? 
 

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On 3/5/2019 at 12:20 AM, Beryllium said:

Ok interessting. How is the gaming performance while running Plex? Or while it is transcoding? 
 

Couldn't tell you... I'm not really rolling with PLEX just yet as i'm planning on rebuilding that Docker still.  I'm not convinced that my PLEX Docker is healthy and I just haven't had time to go through it yet. I'm a very limited PLEX user still so that's not going to help much with feedback either. I would say that I probably would limit or suspend PLEX while I was using the system for gaming, as I just don't think I have enough overhead on this setup to push both, but I may surprise myself.

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