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Help on an Ark Server Build. Recommendations/Advice?

Hi!!!

 

I am looking for some advice on whether or not this build would be good for hosting many instances of an Ark: Survival Evolved. I am planning on hosting 8 instances (2 cores and 8 GB per map). It is also recommended in some forums to have at least 3.0 GHz on the cores. If someone knows the answer to the exact GHz you need for it to run smoothly, please let me know. So I need to have at least 16 cores, and 64 GB of ram with some room to spare for operating system/general pc overhead. I also might later run a plex server on it as well. I have no real experience with servers and only really know a bit about gaming PCs. What Quadro/video card would be good for the encoding for streaming media?  Any advice would be great.

 

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It depends a little bit how many players you want to have per server. According to my experiences this setup should be pretty overkill though.

Did you consider using a hosting provider (i.e. g-portal)? I wanted to host some servers too and figured it would be cheaper to host there than build my own machine. Also consider the energy costs (especially nowadays, when power costs are exploding).

 

For Plex you don't need a fast graphics card, any card capable of H.265-encoding should work.

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2 hours ago, Big Weld said:

I also might later run a plex server on it as well.

You only need a lot of power for Plex if you doing transcoding. If all you content is in a format that your clients understand then, no transcoding is required. But I will say this, I have an i5 3570K system with 16 Gigs of ram and the CPU can easily handle 3 transcodes, most between 480p and 1080p content, most of the time it only has to do 2. 

 

2 hours ago, Big Weld said:

Quadro/video card would be good for the encoding for streaming media?

Nvidia cards and Intel iGPUs are the best for transcoding with Plex. Ive heard some of the recent AMD cards can do it as well, but only under windows. I my self run my Plex server under Ubuntu. 

I just want to sit back and watch the world burn. 

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I would consider 3-4 x 1TB SSD's in a RAID5 rather than 1 single SSD. distributing it will give better IOPS for multiple servers loading small files simultaneously, while giving some redundancy. 

 

For Plex doesnt need to be a Quadro, later generation cards are better for wider hardware codec support. Consider an RTX2060 or RTX3050 if you can find one for a good price. Keep in mind if you want to use hardware transcoding with any of the major players you need a premium pass to enable the feature. 

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19 hours ago, ColdFusion04 said:

It depends a little bit how many players you want to have per server. According to my experiences this setup should be pretty overkill though.

Did you consider using a hosting provider (i.e. g-portal)? I wanted to host some servers too and figured it would be cheaper to host there than build my own machine. Also consider the energy costs (especially nowadays, when power costs are exploding).

 

For Plex you don't need a fast graphics card, any card capable of H.265-encoding should work.

Not many per server but the issue is in the long run it will cost me more to have all those maps hosted vs a high upfront cost. I play with a pretty heavily modded server and that would make me need to go up slots on the server hosting to get more ram. If you look at G-portal, a 20 slot for a year is $179.57. so $179.57 * 8 = $1,436.56. In about a year and a half the machine would have payed for itself. Energy cost really isn't a major concern for me.

 

Thank you for the tip on the card needing H.265 encoding. I wasnt sure which encoding was best.

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Another company to consider for Ark server hosting is Linode. From what I've seen this would be more like configuring an actual server rather than buying a pre-configured setup, which may be cheaper for your use case.

 

 

As for transcode, most GPUs from the same generation have the same NVENC encoder baked in, so for example a RTX 2060 would perform the same as an RTX 2080 ti when it comes to plex transcoding. See this chart on the different revisions of NVENC and a feature set comparison across the generations and dies. Basically 10 series and newer is the way to go, I've seen a lot of people use old slim profile GTX 1060s for this.

 

Turing (RTX 2000 series) offer a decent upgrade in transcode performance over Pascal (GTX 1000 series) if you find a good card at a good price (the GTX 1650 Super has the newer Turing NVENC engine, so this would be a good target, just don't get and older GTX 1650 non-super, as these cards may have the older Volta engine). Ampere (RTX 3000) and Turing basically have the same NVENC engine, with only one minor tweak (Only NVDEC got support for AV1 decoding (with film grain)), so no need to get an RTX 3000 card here unless you find one for cheap.

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