Intel i3-8100 with UHD630 - The Plex Transcoding Beast


mgutt

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Many people on Reddit ask my how good the 8th/9th/10th Gen Intel iGPU performs and most of them do not believe, when I say "better than a Quadro P2000". Next time I will link to this screenshots ;)

 

Settings

- Enabled Hardware Acceleration (requires Plex Pass)

- Transcoding to 8GB Ramdisk (4GB was not sufficient for more than 3x 4K streams, didn't tested 6GB)

- Enabled direct disk access for Plex Config

 

Results

 

Transcoding 4x 4K Streams without judder:

2139213883_2020-10-0711_13_10.thumb.png.7208907614121eeec1d33cc3ca5b5498.png

589000539_2020-10-0711_13_16.thumb.png.5a63212a80a0b94f0245d53577b0d1f6.png

 

If I transcode 5x 4K it judders from time to time in one stream (randomly):

1521252748_2020-10-0711_26_47.thumb.png.72f4bc39bbc194ae3f672429bd2d86e4.png

311444557_2020-10-0711_21_45.thumb.png.190ceae41a7e9e850725754e8f131290.png

 

For my next benchmark I will copy some 4K Movies to my SSD cache. Test results follow...

 

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Ok as expected, I was able to transcode even more.

 

Settings

- Enabled Hardware Acceleration (requires Plex Pass)

- Transcoding to 8GB Ramdisk (4GB was not sufficient for more than 3x 4K streams, didn't tested 6GB)

- Direct disk access for Plex Config

- Direct disk access to 4K Movies located on NVMe:

456820115_2020-10-0712_18_50.png.da95b5bf68524c68d351bfb1318c977a.png

 

Results

Transcoding 5x 4K Streams without judder:

1028660322_2020-10-0713_17_28.thumb.png.b5115ef6a7f3ce7fa6f05cface1d1d6b.png

1511020668_2020-10-0713_17_40.thumb.png.6d5a2558586c0d7d0714e5d5153a067d.png

 

I'm not sure if even 6x 4K would be possible. The only limitation seems to be I/O wait:

314999424_2020-10-0713_20_50.png.0a575d31af02509ead1ab070a4f54bf2.png

1941839776_2020-10-0713_21_04.png.0281b7e313eca184c68456d1e820a291.png

 

EDIT: Ok I think its not really an I/O wait, instead the iGPU reached its limit. This output is generated through the Intel GPU Tools:

 

5x 4K streams = 100% video core load

505369383_2020-10-0713_57_22.thumb.png.95a6cfbbf2029e672e34e8100313f1ec.png

 

4x 4K streams = 99% video core load

1956789932_2020-10-0713_57_52.thumb.png.5b9c032631b73c6b00f8f02aa1fd3f19.png

 

3x 4K streams = 74% video core load

765428551_2020-10-0713_58_15.thumb.png.6e3bc1261ab458afba358b499d9f86c1.png

 

2x 4K streams = 35% video core load

557667884_2020-10-0713_58_54.thumb.png.b056fa63a94a31112bd4058ab630c3d8.png

 

1x 4K stream = 24% video core load

1281985189_2020-10-0713_59_28.thumb.png.7ba0df33c8bd0897161af9f1985709cb.png

 

As you can see the Plex CPU dashboard isn't useful for hardware transcoding as it shows only the CPU load and not the video core load.

 

But hey, we were able to transcode 5x 4K streams parallel. Should be enough I think ;)

 

I think it would be possible to get even 6x 4K streams if the iGPU maximum frequency would be 1.150 Mhz as it is with the i3-8300. Or with the 1.200 Mhz of the i5-10600 and many 8th to 10th gen i7 CPUs.

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36 minutes ago, ChatNoir said:

Are you sure the iGPU load is visible in those charts ?

Did you mean the screenshot of the Unraid Dashboard? No, of course not. This was only to show the high CPU load and i/o wait. But you are right. This could be confusing. I removed it from my first post.

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  • 2 months later...

@mgutt I followed this guide to a T and I'm shocked at how well my Plex is running. Performance is already 100x better, and that's on a Celeron 4900 - so who knows what would happen if I upgraded to a better CPU. Most videos, even 4k rips, load within 1-2 seconds - and those are coming from an rclone remote. The cache trick especially helped the speed on an NVMe - but 8GB RAM transcoding has improved the experience for my other users as well. 

 

Thank you for this guide - it has transformed my Plex experience!

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4 hours ago, drogg said:

so who knows what would happen if I upgraded to a better CPU

I don't think that there is a huge difference between the UHD610 and UHD630 regarding the video processing unit. The iGPU 3D unit is not used while transcoding (as long HDR tone mapping isn't used).

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/11/2021 at 5:18 PM, DrUseless said:

Would you expect much better performance using a 9th or 10th, or is the 8th the "sweet spot"?

No, they all have the same iGPU. Some have a little bit more Mhz GPU frequency. Check Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Core_i3_microprocessors

 

I recommend 8th/9th as you don't need to use Unraid Beta and because the 10th gen does not support ECC RAM. And there are not as many boards available. As an example there is no W480 mITX board on the market, but multiple C246 mITX (if they aren't sold out ;) )

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