Computers & Electronics

Is this good as Plex server?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 7th, 2017 7:42 am
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[OP]
Member
Sep 22, 2012
230 posts
51 upvotes
Toronto

Is this good as Plex server?

I'm looking for a decent computer use primarily as a Plex server.
I used to have an Alienware desktop with local media but that computer is loud and keeps crashing.
I now use a new MacBook Pro with media stored on WD My Cloud. The computer is great but the media isn't 100% reliable.
I want a decent computer with big enough drives to store all my media (have like 2 TB of them).

Would this Dell work?
http://www.dell.com/en-ca/shop/desktops ... 0pro_s315e

(I know I will need to install a second drive).
11 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
25869 posts
2875 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
I think you’re better off with a NAS

If you want a computer, then buy used or refurb, this new Dell is more than adequate but you don’t need to spend that much.
[OP]
Member
Sep 22, 2012
230 posts
51 upvotes
Toronto
I was looking at NAS also but doesn't look like there is any cheap solution if I want both storage and transcoding.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Feb 6, 2003
10092 posts
422 upvotes
Vancouver
You don't need to spend that much to do Plex transcoding. Intel's older quad core processors are quite capable bc Intel has not been innovating much the last few years. Refurbished Dells go on sale every couple of weeks for 30-40% off. If you're a patient, you'll be able to get a basic one (i5-3470/4GB/500GB) for less than $250. Upgrade it on your own with 4GB of RAM and add a 4TB hard drive and the total will be around $400.
Jr. Member
Jul 28, 2014
139 posts
46 upvotes
Winnipeg, MB
I would go with this. The CPU is extremely powerful and can handle lots of transcoding streams for slightly more money.
https://www.dellrefurbished.ca/computer ... t3610.html

Hard Drive 256 GB (1x 256 GB)

Dont know if this is a hard drive or SSD. If this is a SSD, Plex will load images and splash screen fast.
This also may have support for RAID which will prevent data loss.
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
16662 posts
1789 upvotes
Montreal
What are your target devices? Android and PC playback clients can pretty much handle any format so no transcoding involved. In that case you can get by with a lower power cpu.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
25869 posts
2875 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
Cuddlebudy wrote:
Dec 5th, 2017 8:51 am
I was looking at NAS also but doesn't look like there is any cheap solution if I want both storage and transcoding.
Storage is the major cost. How much storage do you need? If you want to save some money, refurb hard drives and a decent NAS will run you around $650 for 12 terabytes of storage
Deal Addict
Jun 30, 2010
2493 posts
539 upvotes
Vaughan
Through Lenovo's friends and family EPP site, their Thinkcenter M710 SFF is on sale in 2 really good configs for Plex trans-coding use: http://lenovo.evyy.net/c/341376/225728/ ... Gatekeeper
Pass: FNDEPP

(These configs are based on you buying a 2nd 4GB RAM stick for dual channel use. Also, i3-7100 cpu is plenty as most of the transcoding work is done by the Intel HD Graphics 630 gpu)

$414.73 for:


Processor : Intel Core i3-7100 Processor ( 3M Cache , 3.9GHz )
Operating System : Windows 10 Home 64
Operating System Language : Windows 10 Home 64 English
Form Factor : Small Form Factor 85% Power 210W
Memory : 4GB DDR4 2400 UDIMM
Video Adapter : Integrated Graphic Card
First Hard Drive : 1TB Hard Drive, 7200 RPM, 3.5", SATA
Second Hard Drive Bracket : 2.5" Hard Drive Bracket for SFF
Networking : Integrated Gigabit Ethernet
Keyboard : USB Traditional Keyboard Black English
Pointing Device : USB Calliope Mouse Black
Rear Serial / Com2 Port : None
Additional I/O Ports : None
Speakers : Internal Speaker
Vertical Stand : Vertical Stand
Publications Pack : Publication English
Warranty : 1 Year On-site

$519.25 for:


Processor : Intel Core i3-7100 Processor ( 3M Cache , 3.9GHz )
Operating System : Windows 10 Home 64
Operating System Language : Windows 10 Home 64 English
Form Factor : Small Form Factor 85% Power 210W
Memory : 4GB DDR4 2400 UDIMM
Video Adapter : Integrated Graphic Card
First Hard Drive : 1TB Hard Drive, 7200 RPM, 3.5", SATA
M.2 Storage Card : 256 GB Solid State Drive M.2 NVMe
Second Hard Drive Bracket : 2.5" Hard Drive Bracket for SFF
Networking : Integrated Gigabit Ethernet
Keyboard : USB Traditional Keyboard Black English
Pointing Device : USB Calliope Mouse Black
Rear Serial / Com2 Port : None
Additional I/O Ports : None
Speakers : Internal Speaker
Vertical Stand : Vertical Stand
Publications Pack : Publication English
Warranty : 1 Year On-site
[OP]
Member
Sep 22, 2012
230 posts
51 upvotes
Toronto
Lenovo is tempting but I’m holding off for Boxing Day to see any great deals. Hoping for an i5.
Member
Nov 10, 2012
461 posts
165 upvotes
Calgary
I run my Plex server off of a Raspberry Pi. I only use it on my local network but it works very well.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Aug 17, 2003
5267 posts
135 upvotes
Mississauga
mr_raider wrote:
Dec 6th, 2017 4:42 pm
What are your target devices? Android and PC playback clients can pretty much handle any format so no transcoding involved. In that case you can get by with a lower power cpu.
Agreed. My plex server is built on salvaged hardware that people were tossing out.

-Toshiba Satellite U200
-1.5 TB External HDD to store movies/tv shows/music (extracted the HDD from an AIO pc that had some water damage and the previous owner tossed the whole thing)
-Installed Ubuntu as the base, then installed Plex, Logitech Media Server, and also a headless Spotify set up.
-LAN connection

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