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PC Components for a Media Server/NAS


Established Member

I hope I have this in the right Forum section! Please move if I don't.

Anyway, I am looking for some networking advice as I am building a Media Server to stream all my media content from. The parts I have so far include:

Old Antec ATX case
Riotoro 500W PSU
Intel i5 4590s
Corsair H55 AIO Cooler
Corsair 16GB DDR3 @ 1600Mhz
120GB Corsair m.2 (O/S and to be used as a Cache system)
500GB Samsung EVO SSD
1 x 4TB WD Red NAS hard drive and 2 x 4TB Seagate desktop hard drives
MSI 1050ti GPU (for hardware transcoding on my Firesticks)
ASUS XG-C100C 10G Network Adapter Card (PCIe x4)

Need a motherboard with PCi x16 and PCi 3.0 x8 (may upgrade to a 2-port 10g card later on)

Budget is around £150-£200.

Looking at z97 motherboards with at least 1x PCIe x16 slot and 1x PCIe x4/x8 slot. I already own a i5 Haswell CPU to keep costs down. Can't see me getting a decent newer i5 CPU for the budget.

Any ideas gals and guys!


Distinguished Member
For the budget you are considering, you could buy a MicroServer and all you'd need to do is add the discs and install an operating system. Of course, if you want to build your own, then knock yourself out, but an off the shelf microserver might save you a load if integration hassles. Just a thought.


Established Member
Hi Mick. Funny you say that! I actually have a Microserver Gen8 (Intel G1810T, 8GB ECC DDR3 RAM with an Asus XG-C100C 10G PXCIe card) already. I use it as a file-server as I work from home. However, when using Kodi, Emby or Plex, it was getting bottlenecks. Assumed this was to do with when video is being transcoding and the CPU isn't able to handle it. Just my thoughts :). I store uncompressed BluRay rips (it's a purist thing!) and streaming them to a Roku, FireTV and 2 laptops.
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Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
Stick Kodi on your Firesticks and you won't need to transcode.

If you're storing them uncompressed as you're a purist, transcoding is reducing the quality.


Established Member
I already own a i5 Haswell CPU to keep costs down.

Do you know how well this processor will perform with hardware encoding? Plex recommends 5th Gen and above. I know there are quality issues with older processors, but don't know anyone using a Haswell for this.


Distinguished Member
Yes agree with Sloppy what's the point of storing them uncompressed only then to transcode.

Are you sure you are actually transcoding, if the client is Kodi then it won't be doing any transcoding as files get played natively.

How are you sharing the files? If it is just via a fileshare then something in between is not working properly? Any powerline adaptors? Is your NIC working correctly with other files?

Also don't forgot the cost of keeping an i5 on all the time. 100W a year 24/7 is over £100 ...


Established Member
Hi guys.

Thanks for the feedback and grateful for your expertise. Been away from here for a little while!

Since my original post, I have actually 'upgraded' the PC. I re-utllised another PC I had (I have a busy household!). The specs for this are:

Intel i5 7400
Gigabyte B250M motherboard
16GB 3200MHz DDR4 RAM,
Same m.2, hard drives and other hardware.

I totally agree with the 'why bother transcoding?!'. I really want to avoid transcoding altogether. The only reason I believe that transcoding is happening was because of my Fire sticks and Roku units working over WiFi as they have no Wired option. I actually use Emby Media Server now (I have Plex Server as well, but I prefer the UI in Emby) and play direct from there. I do have Kodi installed on the Firesticks and Roku units too, but I haven't played around with that just yet.
My main concern is the wireless aspect as I assumed the data throughput would be compressed therefore causing transcoding of the uncompressed source. I have a Netgear R6000 AC3200 router connected to a Netgear 10G switch (8 x Gigabit + 2 x 10G). The Firestick and Roku connect via 5GHz WiFi.

Ideally I would like to use my HP Microserver Gen8 but I feel the CPU and 8GB of ECC Ram is letting it down. I have tried before, but had severe buffering issues.

I must add I am still learning the media streaming side of things so any clarification would be great.

Thanks again for your advice so far though. Why I always come back to AVForums :)
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Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
If you're not transcoding the Microserver should be absolutely fine.

My Synology NAS streams full 4K Remuxes using 2GB RAM and a low power Atom processor. It's just serving files, it doesn't require processing power or memory. My newer NAS has 8GB RAM and the same processor, the only difference it makes is that the rebuild times when I swap a disk to expand the array are considerably faster, for streaming it makes no difference.
Kodi won't transcode, so if you get a lot of buffering then the cause is going to be your wireless connection, streaming over wifi can be very much hit or miss and the higher the bitrate of the files, the higher a rate of data needs to transfer. As you're streaming uncompressed blurays then that rate is quite high.

I stream 4K throughout the house but struggle to stream 1080p over wifi, I use a combination of ethernet and powerline adapters and now have no issues.
Powerline technology though is again very much hit and miss. It might work for you, it might not as it's entirely dependent upon your wiring in the house.
As you're using Firestcks and a Roku though, I'm not sure that helps as I think they only work over wifi.
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Established Member
Just as a thought, you know the Gen8 can take a low-profile gfx card; something a Radeon 54xx or 66xx series is adequate for video playback. I've stuck a quad-core Zeon in mine, and run a media server in one VM direct to the TV, playing back content direct from HD or pulled over from a Synology NAS.

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