memyselfandhai

CPU/MB recommendations

Recommended Posts

My NAS is mainly going to serve as a Plex server while also spinning up a few docker containers. I thought about emulating the parts at closely as possible to a 918+/1019+ since I want to transcode 4k. Here are the options that I'm looking at and would really appreciate some feedback/recommendations...

 

1) Intel Gold 5400

- this seemed like the most reasonably priced Celeron processor. Would this be sufficient for transcoding 4k?

 

2) Intel Core i3-9100

- for $60 more, I'd get 2 more cores and more powerful graphics

 

3) Intel Core i7-4790k

- this is what's in my current system. I was thinking I could just build a new pc, and use my current system as a NAS

 

I'm thinking of going with the i3 because my current system (with the i7) runs perfectly fine for what I do, and the i3 will be able to transcode 4k while still being power efficient.

 

Any recommendations for the motherboard? After reading through this thread, it seems like getting the SATA ports set up first is definitely the way to go, before building the volume/raid group. So I was thinking of going with a board with 6 SATA ports and getting an additional 4 through a card.

 

What do y'all think? I don't mind tinkering, but I would very much prefer to go with hardware that works well "out of the box" if possible. I would actually prefer to run an AMD processor, but again, I would think it's easier to buy an Intel since that's why Synology uses.

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

don't know if you plan to use Plex Hardware video decoding with a Plex Pass, but the i7 4790K is Haswell generation and doesn't support all of the "modern" integrated GPU decoding/encoding instructions; it can manage H264 but H.265/HEVC, for example, will be soft decoded, it will work but will rely on CPU horsepower instead of GPU, your nas will be less available for other tasks while decoding such videos and power consumption will rise higher. Well, you seem aware of those limitations, but I just wanted to confirm it might not be the most future proof choice. 

A 6 Sata Port motherboard is a good idea, with at least 3 pci-e slots for future extensions, one x16 for maximum compatibility and 2 others x4 or x1 should be enough. I won't go for ITX format motherboards, as they lack expansions slots and are very expensive, m-ATX is way cheaper and offer at least 3 pci-e slots. If size is not a problem, a full sized ATX is, of course, possible.


If you want more than 6 Sata drives,  without pci-e speed bottleneck at the cheapest price, you should go for a used Dell H200 Perc that you'll crossflash to LSI SAS 9211-8i (8 sata). If you don't mind slower bandwith, go for a 4 sata Syba PEX40064 (pci-e x1).

On another pci-e slot, you could also add a dual port ethernet card, like a cheap used HP NC360T, and aggregate them in Synology network options. It's useful only if there are more than one Nas user connected at the same time, you won't get double speed transfert to one computer.

If you plan to let your Nas plugged 24/7, you may take a look at used high/medium-range 7th/8th gen low power CPU, like the i5/i7-xxxxT, they will consume slightly the same than others at idle, but their maximum power consumption is 35W, instead of 88W for the i7 4790k. So they will need a lot less power at full power, plus H265/HEVC hardware decoding for Plex. Add a Platinum or even Titanium PSU which have better efficiency at low power, because your Nas will be around 50Watts most of the time and lower grade PSU are not very efficient at such low power.

After a stable Asrock Q1900 till a year ago, I shortly tested a J4105M, but I can say the setup in my sig is the best and cheapest I could get for Xpenology 6.2.2, no hassles, load bios default and that's it. The integrated network works just fine with 6.2.2, only disable it if you add a dual nic card or you'll get 3 lan ports. 
That's more than enough power for Plex with HW decoding, Windows 10 VM, many dockers containers, surveillance station and more... Alas, can't predict the future regarding DSM 7 :)

Edited by pmchan
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 6/10/2019 at 12:02 PM, pmchan said:

If you plan to let your Nas plugged 24/7, you may take a look at used high/medium-range 7th/8th gen low power CPU, like the i5/i7-xxxxT, they will consume slightly the same than others at idle, but their maximum power consumption is 35W, instead of 88W for the i7 4790k. So they will need a lot less power at full power, plus H265/HEVC hardware decoding for Plex. Add a Platinum or even Titanium PSU which have better efficiency at low power, because your Nas will be around 50Watts most of the time and lower grade PSU are not very efficient at such low power.

 

I'm also looking at what CPU to use for my built. Just a bit unsure about the intel T-series. (perhaps one day I want to use the CPU for another system).

 

Guy in youtube video below tested both T and normal processor and found almost no differences. And yes he using a desktop environment but my system would be idle most of the time and there is almost no difference at idle either.

 

"If you decide not to watch the video in it's entirety, the short answer is I saved 1 watt at most. Unless there is something I am missing in configuration, using a T-branded Intel CPU in a standard desktop environment gave no saving in power consumption either at idle or under load."

 

 

 

 

Edited by southernsun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to know. It's almost impossible to find a t-series processor for a reasonable price, and even used 7th & 8th gen i5/i7s are going for almost as much as new 9th generation CPUs. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, as I said there shouldn't be a lot of difference when idle, but regarding high load, it might depends on your motherboard's Bios ability to change TDP (thermal design power) options or not. On mine, I have some to limit maximum Watts consumptions during short time or continuous load. I haven't installed a "classic" Intel CPU like he did to compare, so I don't know if those options would appear too, but there were no mention of these settings in the motherboard's manual. I should take a picture of the bios the next time I reboot.

But, yes, his real life test is very interesting and "T" series are perhaps just bullshit, unless you can change TDP settings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are willing to buy a plex pass you can use hardware transcoding. hardware transcoding gives a much better over all experience, and while not perfect, it is still definately the way to go.

assuming you have a plexpass

-do not use a 9xxxx series CPU, they hw transcoding driver in xpenology will not support this CPU. The most recent series it supports is the 8xxx series. In my mind the perfect budget plex server CPU is the i3-8100 quad. for something with a bit more juice look for a i3-8350K (400Mhz faster.) ignore everything from there on up till you get to the 8700k. Why? because Xpenology does not support turbo boost. since your CPU will only ever run at its base frequency (or lower if power saving states are enabled) all these CPUs with middle range base frequency and good turbo frequency are basically a waste. The i3's are fine because they do not support turbo. The 8700K is fine becuase it have a high base frequency and 6 cores.

use the 918+ xpenology build, I set my serial number, but don't bother with setting the MAC values.

 

I just moved from a 4xxx haswell (like yours) to an i3-8100 to get a wider range of supported hardware transcoding.  It does make a difference, but its not like the haswell support isnt still helpful.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.