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Is this adequate?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am using an old computer that I once used for games as a media server. I use Plex to stream movies and TV shows around the home and to my cousins. I just wondered if there is anything that would be worth upgrading?

My internet is BT Fibre Optic at 78 up / 14 down


Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600 CPU @ 3.40GHz
Manufacturer Intel
Speed 3.4 GHz
Number of Cores 4
CPU ID BFEBFBFF000206A7
Family 06
Model 2A
Stepping 7
Revision
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti
Manufacturer NVIDIA
Chipset GeForce GTX 550 Ti
Dedicated Memory 1024 MB
Total Memory 8.0 GB
Pixel Shader Version 5.0
Vertex Shader Version 5.0
Hardware T & L Yes
Vendor ID 10DE
Device ID 1244
Plug and Play ID VEN_10DE&DEV_1244&SUBSYS_089C196E&REV_A1
Driver Version 10.18.13.6175
Memory 8.0 GB
Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 (build 10586), 64-bit


Any suggestions or advise would be helpful.
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post #2 of 17
Could you give us more information? Like a full parts list? Fill in the blanks

CPU : i7 2600
Motherboard : _____________
RAM : 8GB
GPU : 550 Ti
Power supply : _____________
Storage : _____________
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post #3 of 17
I presume what you are asking is if the machine you have is adequate for the streaming capabilities to the clients over LAN, correct?

More importantly, what is the content you are hosting?
Are they video files in which the server has to transcode everything on the fly? What is the quality of the content being streamed? How many simultaneous connections will you run?
The CPU, as far as hardware, is probably the most important part of all of this. Your 2600k is a great start and should be solid. Plex generally doesn't use much RAM at all, so you are fine there as long as the server isn't doing much else.

The GPU isn't going to do anything for you on this task other than use power. The CPU does all of the work.

§


Edit: I just realized I misread part of what you posted.
When you say you will be streaming to your cousins, I misread that as they would be on the same LAN. You are referring to a WAN connection, correct? The internet speed you listed, is that a max bandwidth or a constant? The upload you listed is going to be your limit when streaming the content to others, especially if you are doing other activities at the house while trying to stream the media to them remotely.

Based on what I see, the internet would be my first choice for upgrade.
The 2600k, you listed at 4 cores, are you utilizing the other 4 threads for something else? Is this server you listed running as a VM?
Edited by shlunky - 2/2/16 at 5:48am
    
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post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
CPU : i7 2600
Motherboard : Foxconn H61MXL/H61MXL-K
RAM : 8GB
GPU : 550 Ti
Power supply : 405w (Not sure of the brand/model as I'm at work)
Storage : 2TB Seagate Barracuda Green Drive ST2000DL003-9VT166
Seagate Expansion Desk SCSI Disk Device (3000.58 GB)
Toshiba External 3TB
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shlunky View Post

I presume what you are asking is if the machine you have is adequate for the streaming capabilities to the clients over LAN, correct?

More importantly, what is the content you are hosting?
Are they video files in which the server has to transcode everything on the fly? What is the quality of the content being streamed? How many simultaneous connections will you run?
The CPU, as far as hardware, is probably the most important part of all of this. Your 2600k is a great start and should be solid. Plex generally doesn't use much RAM at all, so you are fine there as long as the server isn't doing much else.

The GPU isn't going to do anything for you on this task other than use power. The CPU does all of the work.

§


Edit: I just realized I misread part of what you posted.
When you say you will be streaming to your cousins, I misread that as they would be on the same LAN. You are referring to a WAN connection, correct? The internet speed you listed, is that a max bandwidth or a constant? The upload you listed is going to be your limit when streaming the content to others, especially if you are doing other activities at the house while trying to stream the media to them remotely.

Based on what I see, the internet would be my first choice for upgrade.
The 2600k, you listed at 4 cores, are you utilizing the other 4 threads for something else? Is this server you listed running as a VM?

I am indeed, they stream from Smart TVs at their house.

It is a pretty constant 14 tbh.

I am not too familiar with how the whole threads work independently on a processor...
The machine is only used for Plex as a media server.

It's not running as a virtual machine, just a standard Windows 10 PC with Plex Server installed.

The Media is 1080p movies around 2GB files...
Would the server be capable of handling 2 WAN stream and 1 LAN stream simultaneously?
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post #6 of 17
Ahhh, okay, that makes more sense.
The CPU is a 4c/8t CPU. That means it is a 4 core processor that is hyper-threaded which gives it another logical core for a total of 8 threads.
A general rule of thumb that I have come across with working with Plex, is that an average score of 2,000 - 2,500 (up to 4,000, if the server has to do everything for the client too) CPU Passmark is needed to stream 1080p content with Plex. So, with that, yes, your server should be able to handle 2 WAN and a single LAN connection just fine.

The bottleneck I foresee would be your upload speed. That will mostly depend on what you have going on at the time you are streaming the media. I am still testing the actual bandwidth needed for this very same thing myself, but I am blessed with a full gig fiber connection on both upload and download. biggrin.gif
My other suggestion, is make sure you have a backup for your media files. Not knowing your library, but I imagine you have a number of files that you do not want to lose. Creating a duplicate on a quality drive or set of drives is definitely a good way to start.

The best way to find out, is to test it. Try to schedule a time in which you know they will stream from the server and you join in. Look at the performance monitor and see what is going on and how the streams perform. My guess is that your CPU will be in the 80% range, provided your drives are able to read the data fast enough and your internet connection doesn't bog you down.

When you stated that you have a 3TB Toshiba external, may I ask how that is connected? eSata would be preferable, but USB3 would definitely be advised over USB2.

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post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
That is very helpful!

I did think that the CPU should be able to handle 3 concurrent streams...

Woah 1 gig up/down, that's the stuff I dream of! I don't think any companies offer that service in the UK at the moment; certainly not in my area. In fact the only company that offer fibre in my area is BT and that is the only speed they provide. Even the slightly faster Virgin that offer up to around 200mbps I believe, offer a stupid sub 10 upload speed mad.gif

The Toshiba and Seagate Externals are both USB 3. Would it be a good idea to Raid all of the drives together? Someone at work was suggesting it to me, but I thought I would seek the council of OC.net first biggrin.gif

Thanks for the help dude!
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post #8 of 17
Not a problem. I am happy to help!

I am lucky enough that my local municipal got fed up with Comcast some years ago and decided to have the local government owned power board install a fiber network. Now The offer a full 10gig up/down connection across their entire network to personal users for $299/mo. Or the 1gbps connection for $69.99/mo. I love my internet! thumb.gif

As far as RAID goes, you have to look at what it gains you before you decide whether or not it is something you should do. RAID is good for certain situations. While I do have my Plex storage in a RAID 6 on some NAS drives with a host spare, that doesn't mean that I am safe from failure. That is why I am in process of setting up a NAS at my brothers place so he and I can house offsite backups for each other. Remember this, Raid does not equal backup.

Before saying whether you should or shouldn't RAID your drives, you need to look at your data. How much do you have? Is the performance of it meeting/exceeding what you need? Do you have enough capacity to back up your data?

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post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
If we had that service in my area I would pounce on it! Virgin seem to be the fibre market leaders in the UK; even with sub 10 upload speeds...

That's a good idea having offsite backups around each others houses, that's something I need to think about!

I am currently at a stage where I have used around 5 of the 6TB that my drives offer, as I keep a good fraction of the internal drive empty as not to hinder the PCs performance.
I would imagine I will be pushing towards the 6TB by the end of March. Going forward I want to make sure I'm not just aimlessly expanding the drives without knowing the best way of growing the server!

Backup isn't even something I have thought about at the moment. What would be the cheapest solution to backing up the data?
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post #10 of 17
There aren't very many cheap ways to back up 6TB of data; I would recommend adding a few more disks and creating a raid 1 or 5.
This will help improve read speeds on your rotational media in addition to providing some redundancy in the event of a disk failure.
The only other way I can imagine is to buy a smaller disk and only back up high-value or irreplaceable content, but you add cost without any improvement in performance.
Ultra II
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Servolator
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2nd generation Intel Core i7-2820QM Stock HP Radeon(TM) HD 6850M Standard HP RAM 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 470 sieres Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner Standard 1-fan laptop setup Windows 7 Home Professional x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
17.3" diagonal Full HD HP 3D Ultra BrightView I... Backlit Keyboard with numeric keypad 130W Adaptable Power Brick HP Envy 17 3D Standard Case 
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Synaptics Touchpad Beats Audio HP 3D Active Shutter Glasses, HP TrueVision HD ... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q9550  XFX MB-N780-ISH9 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI... GIGABYTE GeForce 210 ADATA 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Western Digital Caviar Black Seagate Barracuda LG Black LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD ... Standard Fans 
OSPowerCase
Ubuntu Server 11.10 OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Antec Nine Hundred 
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Ultra II
(13 items)
 
 
Servolator
(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2nd generation Intel Core i7-2820QM Stock HP Radeon(TM) HD 6850M Standard HP RAM 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 470 sieres Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner Standard 1-fan laptop setup Windows 7 Home Professional x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
17.3" diagonal Full HD HP 3D Ultra BrightView I... Backlit Keyboard with numeric keypad 130W Adaptable Power Brick HP Envy 17 3D Standard Case 
MouseAudioOther
Synaptics Touchpad Beats Audio HP 3D Active Shutter Glasses, HP TrueVision HD ... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q9550  XFX MB-N780-ISH9 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI... GIGABYTE GeForce 210 ADATA 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Western Digital Caviar Black Seagate Barracuda LG Black LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD ... Standard Fans 
OSPowerCase
Ubuntu Server 11.10 OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Antec Nine Hundred 
  hide details  
Reply
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