Plex transcoding Gpu vs Cpu


JohnD

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Hi All, I’m looking for a recommendation on the best way to set up my hardware.

Currently running 6.9.0 beta 35 on a ryzen 3900x with a 1080ti and gt 710 installed.

The 1080 is passed to a win 10 Vm ( general use only, no gaming or editing) and my Plex docker is using software transcoding (gpu).

Everything seems to be working ok for maybe 3 streams ( 1 local) concurrently.

With the nvidia plugins available should I change the setup so the 1080 is passed to the Plex container for hardware transcoding or is the 12 core 3900x powerful enough to not benefit?

Looking to set it up right to provide more remote streams in the future.

Thanks in advance for your recommendations.

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1 hour ago, JohnD said:

With the nvidia plugins available should I change the setup so the 1080 is passed to the Plex container for hardware transcoding or is the 12 core 3900x powerful enough to not benefit?

CPU (software) based transcoding capabilities can be measured in terms of a passmark score.  The 3900X has a very healthy 32000+ passmark score so, in theory, it is capable of transcoding up to 15 1080p streams simultaneously if nothing else is happening on the server. It takes about 2000 passmarks per stream plus 2000 in reserve for unRAID overhead operations.  Software transcoding will give your CPU a heavy workout.

 

4K UHD transcodes require about 17000 passmarks per stream.  Transcoding 4K is something you want to avoid.

 

Hardware transcoding with a dedicated Nvidia GPU is not measured in passmarks, but, you need to be aware of the limitations on certain GPUs such as the GTX consumer series like the 1080TI.  Nvidia limits these to two simultaneous hardware transcodes even though the graphics engine is capable of many more.  The professional series like the very popular Quadro P2000 supports "Unlimited" transcodes and these have been tested with 15-20 1080p transcodes and multiple 4K transcodes.  YMMV.

 

The advantage to hardware transcoding is the CPU is lightly used as the GPU takes the load and the CPU can do other things.

 

The 710 is not capable of hardware transcoding so, if you want that, the 1080TI is your only option but it will be limited to two streams.  More hardware transcodes will mean a different GPU.

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3 hours ago, Hoopster said:

The advantage to hardware transcoding is the CPU is lightly used as the GPU takes the load and the CPU can do other things.

just to add to this (as a new owner of a P2000), whilst a GPU will indeed be able to transcode the video, the audio will always be transcoded via the CPU, which will still result in VERY low CPU usage, but something to bear in mind - not that thats really of much concern with a 3900x 🙂

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