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Plex Upgrade?

Norrec
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I have a current Plex set up and I have a Nvidia Grid K1 Graphics card I can upgrade to, but I am not sure if it is worth it I am finding a lot of conflicting information. I do know if it's worth it to upgrade to I will need to get a new case, or Modify my current box.

 

Here is my current set up

 

Mortherboard:  SUPERMICRO MBD-X11SSH-LN4F-O Micro ATX Server Motherboard LGA 1151 Intel C236

Processor Intel® Pentium® CPU G4620
Video: NVIDIA Quadro P2000
OS: Windows Server 2012 R2 (going to be upgrading to 2019 next month sometime)
Ram: 16GB

Storage: 8 * 8tb WD Red's

OS HD: 256 Sata SSD

 

 

Would going to the Nvidia Grid K1 be worth it? Some sites I see its great some sites I see its awful, so I am just trying to get some opinions.

 

Thanks for any advice!

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For a Plex server, the GPU encoder is what is important. The P2000 uses the Pascal NVENC engine, which is a lot stronger than the one found on the older Kepler cards like the Grid K1. Feel free to try both since you do own both, but odds are you're gonna end up losing performance and having a higher power draw going with the Grid K1 over the P2000.

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Thanks for that!

Are there any upgrades you would recommend doing for better transcoding? It's not bad but I do have some issues when I have more than 4 people watching videos they transcode from 1080 to 720 for my remote users.

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10 minutes ago, RONOTHAN## said:

For a Plex server, the GPU encoder is what is important. The P2000 uses the Pascal NVENC engine, which is a lot stronger than the one found on the older Kepler cards like the Grid K1. Feel free to try both since you do own both, but odds are you're gonna end up losing performance and having a higher power draw going with the Grid K1 over the P2000.

+1 to this.. 

PC1: Intel i7-6950X | EVGA X99 FTW | EVGA RTX 2080 XC2 Ultra | SBZ | ATH-M40x | 760T | Sapphire Pro 14 | G815 | Dark Core | 
Drives: 970Evo+, 980, SN750EK | 850Pro | 6x1TB RAID0 | WD RED 4TB | WD Blk 2TB | WD Blue 4TB 
Displays: (2) ASUS VG278Q | (2) ASUS VG279Q | (1) Vizio 40" 4K HDR

Build Log: https://builds.gg/builds/raid-red-rtx-ws-14981

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40 minutes ago, Norrec said:

Thanks for that!

Are there any upgrades you would recommend doing for better transcoding? It's not bad but I do have some issues when I have more than 4 people watching videos they transcode from 1080 to 720 for my remote users.

You're probably running into the upper limit for how many plex streams that GPU can handle. I forget the exact number and am having a hard time finding one, but consumer GeForce cards and low end quadros are limited to something like 3 or 4 NVENC streams at a time (just found the number, that card is unlimited, so ignore the rest of this post that I had already written). You would most likely need a higher end quadro of the same generation, or what might be the most cost effective, just put 2 GPUs in the same system. You should be able to do load balancing with the GPUs.

 

That or there is a script on GitHub that supposedly unlocks the NVENC encoder on the P2000 so you can have many more transcodes at the same time. It might be a little janky, but it's at least worth a shot before you go and spend money on an official fix.

https://github.com/keylase/nvidia-patch

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On 1/27/2022 at 10:25 PM, RONOTHAN## said:

For a Plex server, the GPU encoder is what is important. The P2000 uses the Pascal NVENC engine, which is a lot stronger than the one found on the older Kepler cards like the Grid K1. Feel free to try both since you do own both, but odds are you're gonna end up losing performance and having a higher power draw going with the Grid K1 over the P2000.

Alright I'm super confused because my plex server doesn't have a video card or onboard graphics and it works perfectly. So why would someone want to add a GPU to a plex server? It seems like a waste of a GPU

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4 minutes ago, airborne spoon said:

Alright I'm super confused because my plex server doesn't have a video card or onboard graphics and it works perfectly. So why would someone want to add a GPU to a plex server? It seems like a waste of a GPU

You can use the GPU to transcode streams, I have a lot of people who watch and my cpu cant handle all the transcoding itself

 

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Just now, airborne spoon said:

Alright I'm super confused because my plex server doesn't have a video card or onboard graphics and it works perfectly. So why would someone want to add a GPU to a plex server? It seems like a waste of a GPU

If you have the CPU horsepower to do H.264 encoding, you don't need to worry about a GPU. However, a GPU is much more efficient at h.264 encoding than a CPU is, so while a stream may be using 30-40% CPU for a single stream, the GPU would maybe be hitting 5% while drawing less power. 

 

Personally, I don't have a GPU in my plex server, half because I don't want to pay for Plex Pass and half because the spare GPUs I have can't fit in my enclosure, but since I only run 1-2 streams at a time and have 12 cores, I don't need a GPU. However, if you're doing 4+ transcodes at once like OP is doing, a GPU is a much more cost efficient way of getting much better performance.

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38 minutes ago, airborne spoon said:

Alright I'm super confused because my plex server doesn't have a video card or onboard graphics and it works perfectly. So why would someone want to add a GPU to a plex server? It seems like a waste of a GPU

As others said, depends on the content.

 

I for example stream 4k HDR movies. But bc all my devices can play it natively, and I usually just watch movies on my LAN, I could get by with a very low power CPU.

 

If you need to transcode down, 4k/1080p to 720p, then even my i7-8700k struggles a lot when doing 4k>720p.

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