carpler

HP N54L and XPEnology: questions before buying

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Hi to everyone!

I'm new here and I'm really excited about XPEnology and I hope that this project can help me for my new NAS.

 

My idea is to buy a HP N54L and install XPEnology but I have many doubts about it and I hope someone will help me to answer those questions before purchasing.

 

1) About the hardware

I see that several people use the N54L with XPEnology without serious problem, but I have 2 questions about it.

First: the CPU can or not transcode HD video when this microserver is used with XPEnology and an DLNA software? I can't find final words about this.

Second: some people replace the ram. This is crucial point in performance? More ram is better? And what about ECC ram? I read a lot about this type of memory and other software (FreeNas) where this seems to be essential...

 

2) About XPEnology installation

If I understand, there is 2 way to install XPEnology on a pc: using virtualization (ESXi) and directly on hardware (non ESXi), but still I don't understand which is better.

For me the point is: which can handle better the hardware?

I'm not sure that ESXi can interact correctly with the hardware (or not?), but I don't know if non ESXi installation can.

What about S.M.A.R.T. monitoring system, disk hibernation and so on?

 

3) Software updates

If I understand correctly, with non EXSi installation a USB pendrive is needed for booting system and a hard-drive must be used for DSM. This hard drive is formatted during installation and the disk space can be used for files storage. My doubts: there is a realistic possibility incase of updates that the stored files are lost? It is better to dedicate an hard disk only for DSM?

For ESXi installation there are similar problems?

 

4) Rebooting

Often in my house electricity fails but now I do not have the opportunity to purchase an UPS.

There is many problems (losing data) in rebooting the system?

 

I hoping someone can help me!

Many thanks!

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1 - It won't transcode 1080p. You need either a much more powerful CPU or a DS415play which has a dedicated hardware decoder.

 

2 - If all you want is a NAS then just go with bare metal install. No harm in trying both - what you got to lose?

 

3 - No - if DSM is corrupted just re-install it. You should have a backup anyway of the files are that important.

 

4 - Highly unlikely to experience data loss in domestic situations due to power loss.

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Thank you for your answer!

 

1 - It won't transcode 1080p. You need either a much more powerful CPU or a DS415play which has a dedicated hardware decoder.

 

I expected it to be so. I think that is not possible (and certainly not affordable) change the CPU in the N54L, but is not easy to find another hardware solution at the same price. Any suggestion?

 

EDIT

Is it possible to use a better GPU to allow XPEnology to transcode HD video via mediaserver (not via the HDMI output)?

 

And about ram? 4Gb is enough or is it better to increase?

 

2 - If all you want is a NAS then just go with bare metal install. No harm in trying both - what you got to lose?

 

Ok, so you reccomend the non ESXi installation. This solution implies a complete control of the hardware?

No chance to try now: I have not bought anything yet!

 

3 - No - if DSM is corrupted just re-install it. You should have a backup anyway of the files are that important.

 

Mmm, but reinstallation does not imply a loss of all data on the disk where the DSM is? It is not so easy to make a backup of all files if the disc is very large ...

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The NL40 (slower proc than N54) serves all my Plex transcoding needs, although the majority of my source files are 720p or less - it manages to transcode at 3-4x so I'm not too concerned. I've not seen any issues with the 1080p sources I have, but I might have been lucky - worst case I can manually transcode these if I really need them.

 

Generally however, as many will tell you here, the solution might be to look at the client side and see if they even need transcoding. Ideally they should not.

 

I have 8GB in both of my microservers which is probably overkill, but RAM was cheap when I filled them up.

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Thank you spammy for your reply.

About transcoding: yes, I think that is better to see the client side. My Samsung TV perhaps can do the job without problem, I must check.

 

So at this point for me these questions remain unanswered.

 

1) The CPU of the N54L can not transcode 1080p video. Can a dedicated GPU help?

 

2) About RAM: more memory helps or not? ECC is reccomended or with XPEnology doesn't matter?

 

3) Re-installtion and/or upgrading XPEnology is generally possible WITHOUT data loss?

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Thank you spammy for your reply.

About transcoding: yes, I think that is better to see the client side. My Samsung TV perhaps can do the job without problem, I must check.

 

So at this point for me these questions remain unanswered.

 

1) The CPU of the N54L can not transcode 1080p video. Can a dedicated GPU help?

No, DSM doesn't support this.

 

2) About RAM: more memory helps or not? ECC is reccomended or with XPEnology doesn't matter?

2GB is enough, more RAM will not be efficiently used. ECC or not ECC is not important for DSM.

3) Re-installtion and/or upgrading XPEnology is generally possible WITHOUT data loss?

So far it has been generally possible, but no guaranties for future updates. Synology is continuing work on hardware checks based protection.

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I have used Plex to transcode 15gig 1080p DTS videos to 720p on the fly. I use Plex a lot to stream to devices outside my lan and it works fine up to 720p. For streaming within your lan, most devices should be able to handle direct stream without need for transcoding. I don't know how well things would work if you want to have multiple streams running at the same time with transcoding. if that is the case you should consider a custom built i3 and above. N54 should be able to handle 3x direct play streams with no problem.

 

I have no idea how synology video station behaves as I use Plex.

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HP gen7 N54L 2gb ecc ram (the ram that the unit ships with). Anyway judging by what I have read on the plex forums, extra ram doesn't really help with transcoding, the process is cpu-dependant.

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So far it has been generally possible, but no guaranties for future updates. Synology is continuing work on hardware checks based protection.[/color]

Correct me if I'm wrong but the Synology OS is open source under mostly GPL right? That's also the reason they don't ship the units with their propetiary packages, you have to download them. This would mean that any checks they might try can be removed by removing it from the source. The only question that remains is how long do the xpenology devs (that do this for free, BIG THANKS BY THE WAY) are willing to support it.

Right?

I'm also not familiar with gnoboot or nanoboot side. What license are those?

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