Need some advice on a potential CPU purchase


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Hello fellow Unraiders. My server is currently running on old hardware. An i5 Ivy Bridge 3500k with 4 cores, 16 GB DDR3. I keep toying with the idea of upgrading my server to accommodate a proper gaming VM with passthrough so I can have a fully functioning desktop that I can game on using the same box. I don't have a gaming machine at the moment and I find myself missing it.

 

My server is currently used for file storage and quite a lot of docker containers for various services,. Sonarr, Radarr, piHole, Calibre, Crashplan Pro for offsite backup, and a few others, And of course, Plex. I'm currently using the QuickSync on my CPU for hardware transcoding. It's not exactly great quality wise on this old CPU, but all my files directplay on my AppleTV and I mainly watch at home so the quality dip isn't too much of a concern. However, I would like it to be better. I'd rather not spend the money on something like a P2000 because I just think it's too expensive to simply accommodate transcoding. I have a few users that connect to my server to stream content, but I've never had any problems with throttling of any kind or had any compaints from them.

 

So, Intel vs AMD. The newer Ryzen 3700x and 3900x chips are awesome, but no onboard GPU. Something like a i7 9700k seems like a better idea in my head because it has the possibility for hardware transcoding in the same chip, but I have a couple of questions:

 

1. Can I get away with passing 6 out of 8 cores to a VM leaving only 2 for Unraid and still have it run well?

2. Should I go for a Ryzen system instead and ignore the hardware decoding for Plex and let the extra CPU cores handle the transcoding load? How would it stack up to option 1?

 

I would appreciate any help and thoughts that anyone might have. Thanks!

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