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plex server newbie

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So I have 8-10 external hard drives that are filled with movies and music varying from 100GB to 3TB and USB 2 and USB 3. However with recent streaming services, these hard drives have seen very little use and is just collecting dust. I was thinking about popping them all open and putting the drives in a rig and making a cheap plex server out of it. I have a brand new 4TB drive that I might be able to pop open and transfer some of the smaller drives over so it's less number of drives.

I did a quick search and lots of people were using old parts. And what is the difficulty of setting up a plex server? Any help is appreciated.

I don't think I need any transcoding, just streaming what I have to my other computers and maybe phones, but mostly computers.

What specs are recommended?
intel or amd?
do i need a gpu? if so how "good"?
how much ram?
itx or atx mobo?

I was thinking a case that could fit at least 5 hdds, I might also put FreeNAS on it

Do plex servers get hot? do i need better cooling or a simple hyper 212+ would work?
Edited by chinesethunda - 6/15/16 at 6:10am
   
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post #2 of 17
Plex is stupid simple to setup. Download and install the server client, configure your directories and you're pretty much done. If you are only streaming from within your local network no additional setup is required. If you pay for a Plex Pass, you will need to port forward on your router the port that you want Plex to use so you can stream it from outside your network. It will run on pretty much any hardware and a Hyper 212+ is more than enough.

Here are the requirements straight from the horses mouth and What kind of CPU do I need for my server?
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post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopamin3 View Post

Plex is stupid simple to setup. Download and install the server client, configure your directories and you're pretty much done. If you are only streaming from within your local network no additional setup is required. If you pay for a Plex Pass, you will need to port forward on your router the port that you want Plex to use so you can stream it from outside your network. It will run on pretty much any hardware and a Hyper 212+ is more than enough.

Here are the requirements straight from the horses mouth and What kind of CPU do I need for my server?

Just a quick Q (not to go too much off topic), but the Plex Android app requires a one off payment of Plex Plus subscription.

Does trial mode run out ever? I use the Plex app to stream FLAC from my PC to Chromecast connected to lounge hi-fi.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by 98uk View Post

Just a quick Q (not to go too much off topic), but the Plex Android app requires a one off payment of Plex Plus subscription.

Does trial mode run out ever? I use the Plex app to stream FLAC from my PC to Chromecast connected to lounge hi-fi.

No idea. I bought a lifetime Plex Pass for $75 a year or two ago pretty much straight away and never looked back. Now they doubled the price to $150
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopamin3 View Post

No idea. I bought a lifetime Plex Pass for $75 a year or two ago pretty much straight away and never looked back. Now they doubled the price to $150

If i only wanted to stream to my other computers and amazon fire sticks, i don't need to pay for the plex pass correct?
   
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post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesethunda View Post

If i only wanted to stream to my other computers and amazon fire sticks, i don't need to pay for the plex pass correct?

Correct, you don't need Plex Pass for that. But keep in mind that transcoding needs will vary depending on the type of media you have an the device you are using.
post #7 of 17
Another option is Emby. Like others said if the video needs to be transcoded you will need a more powerful CPU then if not.
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post #8 of 17
i freaking love my plex server. i used an old dell with a gen 1 core i3 and it works great. and its so easy to set up. i don't believe i do any transcoding with mine, just stream the source.

i'd hit up the local craigslist and see if any <5 year old dell towers are up there on the cheap. pop in the hard drives and go to work.
post #9 of 17
How many clients do you plan to serve at any given time?

For transcoding, Plex recommends:
Very roughly speaking, for a single full-transcode of a video, the following PassMark scores are a good guideline for a requirement:
1080p/10Mbps: 2000 PassMark
720p/4Mbps: 1500 PassMark

I've ran a few plex servers over recent years with varying CPU's -- G3220, i5-4590, E5-2603v3, E5-2450

The G3220 was setup for a friend with limited internet access and he only needed a maximum of two streams at once. The G3220 has a ~3185 passmark so it will easily support one 1080P transcode stream and a one direct.

The i5 was an itx home server build I did, it worked great for home use and sharing with a few friends.
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post #10 of 17
You don't need Plex Pass to stream outside of your network. The pass is only for things like more user accounts linked to the same server and other misc features that don't really matter.


Plex App for Android/Windows/Etc are a one time payment to gain access. Otherwise you can stream to your web browser for free from the time you download the app.


Really the only thing that matters when using plex outside of your network, is your ISP upload speed. As that is what is going to limit you on the quality you can stream.
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