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Down sizing my server



I'm designing a replacement for my current server.  Goals are modest. Less heat and power draw than my existing server. Roles are  file server with drivepool, emby for media with very light encoding needs.  Local backups are with Macroum Reflect. Off site backups with Spideroak.  OS will be win 10 Pro. 

My current rig is here:  

New build:

PCPartPicker part list: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/yhdVqk
Price breakdown by merchant: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/yhdVqk/by_merchant/

Memory: Crucial - 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory  ($63.17 @ Amazon) 
Case: Fractal Design - Node 304 Mini ITX Tower Case  ($106.72 @ Newegg) 
Power Supply: EVGA - B3 450W 80+ Bronze Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply  ($53.73 @ Amazon) 
Operating System: Microsoft - Windows 10 Pro OEM 64-bit  ($139.99 @ Other World Computing) 
Other: ASRock Motherboard & CPU Combo Motherboards J3455B-ITX  ($73.93 @ Newegg) 
Total: $437.54
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-01-16 10:30 EST-0500


LSI SAS 2 port HBA flashed to IT mode. 
Boot: PNY 120GB SSD
Data Pool: 4 x 2TB WD Red  
Backup Pool: 1x5TB Seagate (Shelled USB drive)

When this is built my old rig goes up for sale. 

My only thought is on the CPU. Could I go with a dual core Celeron for  about 80 bucks?  Will it handle a single encoding stream and not draw more power than the i3T? The Celeron will do fine as a file server. 

Edited by MetalGeek
Updated build for new cpu/mb option.
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Happy New Year!

the i3 has a passmark of about 5000

that will do a one or possibly 2 transcodes - depending on what you are transcoding

for comparison my qnap 853a with a n3150 (passmark 1600) can barely do a 1080p transcode - so you need a passmark of 2000+ to transcode on the fly a H264 1080p file - for HVEC and larger frame size you will need more power.

Emby does have support for intel quicksync - although its still experimental - but does work - which can help to lower the load - the i3 will be better for this as well

I pre transcode my video's so the clients can play them natively so the server does not work that hard - in that case a celeron would do fine as a file server

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Thanks for the input.   I was looking at a QNAP as well but I don't want to switch to another backup service and the 6 bay models are pricey.  If I re-use an old SSD and move to a  pentium processor in can get this rig under 350.00.  Not sure if the Passmark is high enough though.  Will research. 

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On 1/14/2018 at 3:54 PM, MetalGeek said:

Moved to the low power embedded solution.  It offers hardware transcoding with emby and plenty of power for basic needs.  It's this build or a synology ds418play.   

Just be careful.  A low power CPU is, well ,low powered.  You may have issues with transcoding still.  Or multiple streams.

You'd want to direct stream, as much as possible. 

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Good points but this CPU should be more than what I'll use it for.  khr2011 is showing stats for Emby and this CPU.  "I tried Emby with different videos on the same DS918+ and it transcodes 10bit 4k HEVC 60Mbps to 1080p h264 30Mbps perfectly with 25% processor usage"

It will mostly be a DLNA music server, file server and a backup end point with the occasional transcode of 1080p to our Ruko in the bedroom. .   The FireTV direct streams everything I have.  


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To be fair, unless you're really picky about quality, QuickSync hardware transcoding is the way forward with both Emby and Plex.  Unless you're looking at the transcoded video on a 22" computer monitor, or a 50" TV, I really doubt you'd notice the difference.  You won't notice on a mobile phone or tablet.

QNAP and Synology (with Intel chips) both support hardware transcoding.  I have a QNAP 453BMini here and I've had 4 1080p transcodes going off it using Plex, and it was only using 40% CPU.

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The problem I've had with Intel QuickSync, is that it chokes if you're using more than 1-2 streams that needs encoding.  

It may be better with newer systems, but my emby server is a SuperMicro X8DTU system, with dual X5660's.  So not only no Intel video, but more then plenty of CPU.  

(I was using my main server, which is a haswell based X10SAT with a Xeon E3-1245v3)

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