Weapons Grade Media Serving

AVBeginner

Active Member
My current home ‘media serving’ system is old and at the budget end of the spectrum. I want to overhaul it and avoid buffering issues I have today.

Current Setup
Synology DS214 Play with Plex Server
Cat-6 wired Ethernet and WIFI-6 APs
Roku StreamingStick+ (WiFi) with Plex app
Amazon Fire Stick (Ethernet) with Plex app

I’d like to continue to use Plex and the wired Ethernet network. Also looking for server hardware which is powerful enough to run ROON audio streaming software in addition to Plex and with enough capacity to hold a couple of Terabytes of movie/music media (though that could be on a separate SSD if needed).

I think I need a new server and clients and from what I’ve read I probably need to swerve a NAS drive (not really powerful enough).

Any recommendations for a weapons-grade system which will handle anything I throw at it?
 

Prism

Standard Member
If you get decent file speeds from the Synology, which I'm guessing you do, a micro pc might be a good option - small footprint and low power consumption. Keep the Synology running for your file storage, and pass all the heavy lifting like Plex and ROON over to the PC.

I used to have a Dell OptiPlex running Plex, MinimServer and file shares. Ran 24/7 for 2 years and never skipped a beat. I ended upgrading to an HP MicroServer as I started to run out of HDD capacity, and there was only 1 drive bay in the Dell.
 

ArcticWolf710

Active Member
My current home ‘media serving’ system is old and at the budget end of the spectrum. I want to overhaul it and avoid buffering issues I have today.

Current Setup
Synology DS214 Play with Plex Server
Cat-6 wired Ethernet and WIFI-6 APs
Roku StreamingStick+ (WiFi) with Plex app
Amazon Fire Stick (Ethernet) with Plex app

I’d like to continue to use Plex and the wired Ethernet network. Also looking for server hardware which is powerful enough to run ROON audio streaming software in addition to Plex and with enough capacity to hold a couple of Terabytes of movie/music media (though that could be on a separate SSD if needed).

I think I need a new server and clients and from what I’ve read I probably need to swerve a NAS drive (not really powerful enough).

Any recommendations for a weapons-grade system which will handle anything I throw at it?

How much were you planning to spend, (give or take) ;)?
 

Prism

Standard Member
If you truly have no budget, then a proper server would be the way to go, with tons of processing power and multiple drive bays. The choice then would be whether to go for something that is small and power efficient, or something big and power hungry.

Having said that, if all you plan on doing is running Plex and ROON, this is a very expensive and over the top option - like purchasing a nuclear weapon to cook your baked beans.

Maybe the HP MicroServer would be a good option. Still fairly compact, 4 SATA bays and decent performance. I have an older Gen8 model and it's brilliant. Currently runs Plex, MinimServer, a virtual machine, CCTV recording software, and file storage.
 

AVBeginner

Active Member
And what would the end clients be? (Ie on the receiving end of the lightening quick stream from the server)?
 

Prism

Standard Member
Can't really go wrong with the Nvidia Shield Pro. One of the better if not best streaming boxes out there.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
I like the HP microserver, great device and option for some pretty decent CPU.

With your plex devices are you re-encoding for or your devices can playback files at files resolution ? In which case all plex is doing is file serving.

Had a quick look at Roon and it appears people are running it on Atom so again not a big issue.

Storage wise, you said money no object so all flash storage.

Might as well throw in 10gb network while you are at it.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Yup, i’ve one array using SSD and a GB of cache. It is fast, but i only use it for the OS drives. For data, i use 2 x 8 drive arrays in RAID6. Performance wise, the dual NIC 1GB interfaces of the server are the bottleneck. 10GB stuff is coming down in price, but still expensive i think.

You could use a proper server and buy one from a surplus place? Get some heavy duty servers, oodles of RAM and CPU power for not much money.
 

mtenga

Distinguished Member
Had a quick look at Roon and it appears people are running it on Atom so again not a big issue.
They might be running it, but that’s not say it will run well. It depends upon the size of your collection and type of material. For example, playback of multi channel DSD will require some grunt.

Roon aside I just run a fanless MSI Cubi which has a Celeron and 8gb of memory at little cost. I run Plex for my own clips but mostly SMB for movies and DLNA for music. Numerous 5Gb silent drives added to it, via hubs, all backed up elsewhere. I’m thinking of moving to an I3 Nuc just because I like Nucs and use one as my main PC.

Amazon product
 

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