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K1ngJony

Newbie Unraid Build - Where to start?

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Hey there!

 

I've recently decided to upgrade my Plex server from my Dell Optiplex 7010 + Netgear ReadyNAS 2000. So I would love some advice from the community here as to what parts are recommended for my situation. I have had a look at other forum posts planning new builds but few, if any, are specific to what I would like to have setup. I already moved my drives from the RedyNAS to an old pc I had lying around and is now running Unraid just because I was running out of space with the raid system running on the NAS.

 

So I am currently running Plex, SABnzbd, Radarr, Sonarr, Tautulli, Ombi, and Home Assistant all in Windows 10 on the Optiplex. I also have Organizr + Nginx running on a RasPi. I would like to move all these programs and have them running on Unraid. I also would like the ability to setup a Minecraft server too. I was tossing up whether this should be a combined server/gaming build (for MS Flight Sim 2020) as I don't already have a gaming pc and was thinking I could save some money through that, but I think it might be best to keep them separate for the purpose of dedicated resources, but I may like to run a VM or two later on.

 

With Plex, most of the streaming is done locally but I do have at least three external streams that often transcode and sometimes two simultaneously. So I want to be able to support that transcoding better, because the stream has a tendency to buffer currently, and also support for more external streams later on. I was thinking of getting a Quadro P2000 to use for HW transcoding but I feel that maybe it's overkill right now. So I'm leaning more towards an Intel CPU with an iGPU for the transcoding. Unless I do AMD with the P2000 straight up?

 

I don't really have a budget as I'm willing to save up for this build so that I have good future expandability, but something under AU$2000 (US$1500) would be nice.

The only parts I already have is really just the HDDs (1xWD40EFRX, 2xWD30EFRX, 1xWD1002FBYS) and ideally I want to have space for at least 8 HDDs + 1 or 2 SSDs for cache pool. I intend to run the preclear add-on as that seems to be highly recommended for any Unraid server.

 

So, where should do you think I start with this build? What CPU, MOBO and RAM are good options for me?

Sorry for the wall of text, I just wanted to give as much info as possible to begin with. Let me know if I left any vital info out though.

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On 8/1/2020 at 3:33 AM, K1ngJony said:

I have had a look at other forum posts planning new builds but few, if any, are specific to what I would like to have setup.

 

There's nothing here that's so crazy that it would need it's own specific build... you want to do the same as everyone else, basically.  And it sounds like you already know what you want. 

 

Intel with iGPU is probably easiest.. you just need to figure out if you want to go with server grade hardware or consumer grade hardware.

 

Server ... Xeon E-whatever, Consumer, i5/i7/i9-whatever.  At least 32GB RAM I'd suggest, and if it's in the budget then 64GB would be good to start with. An SSD cache drive or two, and any extra hard drives you want to start out with and you're done.

 

You can get some build ideas from these guys...

 

 

 

 

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Ok. Thanks for those links to other topics. Definitely a little more helpful than what I had found previously.

 

14 hours ago, Energen said:

you just need to figure out if you want to go with server grade hardware or consumer grade hardware.

Is there a large benefit to going with server grade hardware? I guess speed and efficiency? 

I currently don't have anywhere to put a server rack, although I would like to do that sometime in the future when I inevitably expand my build.

 

Speaker of having a server rack, is that something you recommend I plan for now when doing a new build? (e.g. an ATX motherboard for PCIe SATA expandability, rather than an mATX or ITX now and then upgrading later.) I guess it would save me money in the long run as I can just transfer everything over to an RU case if I have an ATX.

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The only thing I meant by server/consumer hardware was the difference in processor families.  Xeon vs Core, and what each offers you in terms of features and cost.

 

I personally am probably going to get a Xeon E-2246G when I get around to upgrading my server.  Why? Has good enough benchmarks (to me), is an upgrade to my current Pentium, and is priced around what I want to pay for a CPU.  It fits with my "server hardware" build for a motherboard with IPMI.  But it's only a 6 core CPU, which is more than I currently have, but not as "cool" as one with 8-10-12 cores, and it has iGPU which I may not even need/use, and has 80W TDP (I'm mindful of a power hog system).

 

If I compare my choice with a modern consumer i9-10900k clearly I can see that i9 outperforms at nearly 2x the cost and has more cores https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-Xeon-E-2246G-vs-Intel-i9-10900K/3523vs3730

 

I'm not sure if I'm choosing to go the correct route with my hardware choices, and that's why I haven't bought anything yet.  A more modern "server" grade CPU will easily run into the $1000's so by comparison maybe a recent Core CPU would be better.

 

Don't be confused by the word "server".. you don't need a "server rack" for anything.  Any ATX/mATX board will fit into whatever case you are using.  Most mid/full size tower cases will accommodate multiple gpu's and pci cards so I wouldn't be too concerned about that until you actually ran out of space.

 

If you wanted to use a server rack for something then you can.  If you have a place to put one.  There's all kinds of sizes and styles.  I didn't find anything that really suited what I wanted so I ended up building an IKEA Lack Rack (a mod of Ikea Lack end tables) so there's always other options if you have the desire to go that route.

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Ok awesome! Thanks so much for all your input.

I now have a much clearer idea of what type of build I'm going to go with and the main parts I need.

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