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Advice needed for potential UnRaid Build

I’ve been wanting to do a server build for Plex and to host a Minecraft server for the past 2 years and money never quite lined up. Well now it’s starting too but I still don’t wanna go too over the top.

 

My part list I am thinking of going with is this. https://pcpartpicker.com/user/catch2030/saved/89Cnt6
 

I have the case and cpu already. The motherboard and GPU price is from some used sales I have seen locally. The GPU would be for Plex transcoding (gonna use a gt 710 or whatever I find for cheap for initial setup) at mostly 1080p with some 4K here and there for our favorite movies. The SSD would be a cache drive as I do plan on backing up my fathers and my YouTube videos to the server down the road (when I’m able to splurge for a rack mount).

 

My main questions are:

Should I use a docker for Plex and the Minecraft server or run them in a Windows VM?

 

Is the cache drive something I would benefit from?

 

I have set up both a Plex server and Minecraft server on my personal rig but I want something I can leave on (my wife’s young cousins play on the Minecraft server) and not have to worry about my custom loop springing a leak.

 

Any other advice would be appreciated.

 

Thanks.

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Id probably get bigger hdds, like 12tb drives, then you have more space to expand.

 

How much plex transcoding, that cpu should be plenty.

 

For a gig network, the cache won't help much or at all.

 

Id use docker for minecraft and plex.

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8 minutes ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

Id probably get bigger hdds, like 12tb drives, then you have more space to expand.

 

How much plex transcoding, that cpu should be plenty.

 

For a gig network, the cache won't help much or at all.

 

Id use docker for minecraft and plex.

I can’t quite swing the 12TB without needing a divorce lawyer as well lol. I’m only going to be buying 3 of the 6TB to start with and adding more as funds allow.

 

Thanks for the reply!

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17 minutes ago, catch2030 said:

I can’t quite swing the 12TB without needing a divorce lawyer as well lol. I’m only going to be buying 3 of the 6TB to start with and adding more as funds allow.

 

Thanks for the reply!

How about the shucked external drives? You can get them for about 200usd on sale pretty often.

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7 minutes ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

How about the shucked external drives? You can get them for about 200usd on sale pretty often.

I could swing those but I like the idea of having drives that are made to be running near 24/7. I’ve had some bad luck with external drives in the past year as well which is the other reason I’ve been leaning towards a server build. I almost lost my entire original Xbox ISO collection, I had it all backed up to Mega however was able to redownload since my DVD drive on the Xbox is on its last legs for ripping discs.

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Just now, catch2030 said:

I could swing those but I like the idea of having drives that are made to be running near 24/7. I’ve had some bad luck with external drives in the past year as well which is the other reason I’ve been leaning towards a server build. I almost lost my entire original Xbox ISO collection, I had it all backed up to Mega however was able to redownload since my DVD drive on the Xbox is on its last legs for ripping discs.

Those drives are pretty solid, I have used many of them with no issues. And if they fail, you can use the parity disk or backups. The failure rate should be pretty similar to the nas drives you have selected.

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1 hour ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

Those drives are pretty solid, I have used many of them with no issues. And if they fail, you can use the parity disk or backups. The failure rate should be pretty similar to the nas drives you have selected.

I was looking and still think they are gonna be a tad out of the budget. However I do think I’m gonna grab some 8TB ones to shuck. I can get them for $20 less than the 6TB ones I picked.

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14 hours ago, catch2030 said:

My part list I am thinking of going with is this. https://pcpartpicker.com/user/catch2030/saved/89Cnt6
 

The GPU would be for Plex transcoding (gonna use a gt 710 or whatever I find for cheap for initial setup) at mostly 1080p with some 4K here and there for our favorite movies.

Decent looking build, but the GT710 is a very poor choice for 4K content if you want to use it for transcoding. It doesnt support H265, HEVC, VP9, etc....

 

I'd either look at getting a GTX1050Ti at the lowest, or consider going with an Intel 10 series i3 or i5. Bang for buck they have the best hardware transcoding ability. 

 

 

Quote

 

The SSD would be a cache drive as I do plan on backing up my fathers and my YouTube videos to the server down the road (when I’m able to splurge for a rack mount).

A SSD generally provides very little benefit, especially when you have new drives. It's a headache when the cache fills and theres no advantage in most cases. SSD is better utilized for VM's. 

 

Quote

My main questions are:

Should I use a docker for Plex and the Minecraft server or run them in a Windows VM?

 

Is the cache drive something I would benefit from?

 

As above, as an array cache your server wont benefit much from a cache drive. 

However, if you run Plex in a docker, then you might consider dedicating the SSD to Plex AppData & transcoding. You could also get 2 smaller SSD's and make a mirrored cache array for this (The latest UnRAID 6.9.0 supports multiple cache arrays also).

 

If you're running these in docker, you can also point Plex Transcoding to /dev/shm - which is a device path in UnRAID that exists on your memory. Transcoding data doesnt matter between reboots, so its a very fast and reliable place for transcoding to be. 

Spoiler

Desktop: Ryzen 7 2700x | Aorus X470 Gaming Ultra | EVGA RTX2080 Super | 32GB (4x8GB) Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 3200Mhz | Corsair H105 AIO, NZXT Sentry 3 | Corsair SP120's | 1TB Crucial P1 NVMe, 4TB WD Black | Phanteks Enthoo Pro | Corsair RM650v2 PSU | LG 32" 32GK850G Monitor | Ducky Shine 3 Keyboard, Logitech G502, MicroLab Solo 7C Speakers, Razer Goliathus Extended, X360 Controller | Windows 10 Pro | SteelSeries Siberia 350 Headphones

 

Spoiler

Server 1: Fractal Design Define R6 | Ryzen 3950x | ASRock X570 Taichi | EVGA GTX1070 FTW | 64GB (4x16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000Mhz | Corsair RM650v2 PSU | Fractal S36 Triple AIO | 10 x 8TB HGST Ultrastar He10 (WD Whitelabel) | 500GB Aorus Gen4 NVMe | 2 x 1TB Crucial P1 NVMe | LSI 9211-8i HBA

 

Server 2: Corsair 400R | IcyDock MB998SP & MB455SPF | Seasonic Focus Plus 650w PSU | 2 x Xeon X5650's | 48GB DDR3-ECC | Asus Z8NA-D6C Motherboard | AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 | LSI MegaRAID 9271-8i | RES2SV240 SAS Expander | Samsung 840Evo 120GB | 5 x 8TB Seagate Archives | 10 x 3TB WD Red

 

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22 hours ago, Jarsky said:

Decent looking build, but the GT710 is a very poor choice for 4K content if you want to use it for transcoding. It doesnt support H265, HEVC, VP9, etc....

I should have clarified that the GT 710 is just to use as a video adapter for UnRaid. I was still undecided about running Plex in a VM or not and know that you can’t pass the GPU to the VM you use for UnRaid. I got one free so that’s why I mentioned it. The 1060 6GB is what will reside in it permanently. Might end up being a 1070 if I upgrade my 1080 Ti and give it to my wife.

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1 hour ago, catch2030 said:

I should have clarified that the GT 710 is just to use as a video adapter for UnRaid. I was still undecided about running Plex in a VM or not and know that you can’t pass the GPU to the VM you use for UnRaid. I got one free so that’s why I mentioned it. The 1060 6GB is what will reside in it permanently. Might end up being a 1070 if I upgrade my 1080 Ti and give it to my wife.

Ah right, that makes sense. Personally I don't even have a GPU for my UnRAID. I just used my GTX1070 i have installed for initially setting it up, and for doing the occasional BIOS upgrade. But if you just run it completely headless then you dont need a GPU dedicated to UnRAID.

 

My UnRAID box, the only GPU is allocated to my Plex VM; but you could easily just allow access to Plex in Docker as well. 

Spoiler

Desktop: Ryzen 7 2700x | Aorus X470 Gaming Ultra | EVGA RTX2080 Super | 32GB (4x8GB) Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 3200Mhz | Corsair H105 AIO, NZXT Sentry 3 | Corsair SP120's | 1TB Crucial P1 NVMe, 4TB WD Black | Phanteks Enthoo Pro | Corsair RM650v2 PSU | LG 32" 32GK850G Monitor | Ducky Shine 3 Keyboard, Logitech G502, MicroLab Solo 7C Speakers, Razer Goliathus Extended, X360 Controller | Windows 10 Pro | SteelSeries Siberia 350 Headphones

 

Spoiler

Server 1: Fractal Design Define R6 | Ryzen 3950x | ASRock X570 Taichi | EVGA GTX1070 FTW | 64GB (4x16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000Mhz | Corsair RM650v2 PSU | Fractal S36 Triple AIO | 10 x 8TB HGST Ultrastar He10 (WD Whitelabel) | 500GB Aorus Gen4 NVMe | 2 x 1TB Crucial P1 NVMe | LSI 9211-8i HBA

 

Server 2: Corsair 400R | IcyDock MB998SP & MB455SPF | Seasonic Focus Plus 650w PSU | 2 x Xeon X5650's | 48GB DDR3-ECC | Asus Z8NA-D6C Motherboard | AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 | LSI MegaRAID 9271-8i | RES2SV240 SAS Expander | Samsung 840Evo 120GB | 5 x 8TB Seagate Archives | 10 x 3TB WD Red

 

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I know you have the Ryzen CPU already, but personally I would skip the GPU for transcoding and just use a Intel chip with integrated graphics. Also, if you don't already know you will need a Plex pass to utilize hardware transcoding with the GPU or CPU.

 

I'm running my Plex server from an Intel NUC with a Celeron J4005 and I can transcode about four 1080p streams simultaneously. Unless you're trying to be the neighborhood Netflix I imagine you wouldn't need that many simultaneous transcode streams very often. Remember, it's best to use direct play with your media anyways and on your local network you will have plenty of bandwidth. If you are trying to be the neighborhood Netflix, you might be limited by your upload speeds before any hardware limitations. Check into it.

 

The X factor for me is the Minecraft server. I have no idea if that would demand other requirements as I've never messed with it.

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