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 Post subject: Silent media + webhosting server capable 4k HEVC transcoding
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:28 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:23 am
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Hello,

I am looking to purchase a 24/7 on server that will stand in our guest room. I would prefer to not have to turn this off when we have guests, so I am trying to make it as quiet as possible.

The usage of the server would be:
Plex media server, where I would like to have 4k on the fly transcoding power
Host a web server
Store all my data (probably around 4 harddrives)

I am planning to install Debian 9 on it, and potentially also ZFS file system (if no one has a better secure solution)?

My question is really where to start, I read a lot about different CPUs but it seems almost impossible to be able to combine all the different pieces into something that fulfills my needs of power but at the same time is not sounding like an airplane landing.

Hope someone can help me out!


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 Post subject: Re: Silent media + webhosting server capable 4k HEVC transco
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:35 am 
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Welcome to SPCR.

Everything you want to do, except 4k transcoding, takes very little CPU horsepower and could be done with a low end CPU. Transcoding will take as much CPU as you want to throw at it....it really comes down to one thing: how much money do you want to throw at it vs how quickly do you want to complete a transcoding task?

Here's links to a couple of charts from Anandtech's Bench. The first is for Handbrake 4k HEVC. The second is Handbrake 4k H264. Using the HEVC data, if you bought an $86 G4620 Pentium (2 cores/4 threads), you'd get 8 frames/sec. A $180 i5 7400 (4C/4T) is ~16fps, the new $180 i5 8400 (6C/6T) gets you 26fps, and the new $360 i7 8700K gets ~34fps.

All of these can be made into a quiet system...just have to spend a little more effort and money to keep the higher end stuff quiet. Also, since the server PC is going to be in a guest room..you might as well run the LAN cable a little further and put the server in the guest room closet. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Silent media + webhosting server capable 4k HEVC transco
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:39 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 3041
Location: Guatemala
svarto wrote:
I am planning to install Debian 9 on it, and potentially also ZFS file system (if no one has a better secure solution)?
For pure media server, unraid is one of the best, have been one of the most used OS on AVSForums to have their Rips from their blu rays on demands for the network. Its a very mature OS, it allows around 30 drives max, 2 parity, 1 cache and i believe 24 data (there are different paid versions depending on your needs), unraid can run plex and do the trans coding for your devices, it even can do VMs. If you are interested, check the following video into how to setup and install unraid and plex media server, Tutorial: Install unRAID and Plex Media Server (Bootable USB)

Personally i find ZFS a little too much for a media server, specially if you are looking for quiet operation, RaidZ will use multiple drives for storing files, so playing them back will wake and use multiple drives, unraid you can make it so one file stays on one disk so you dont wake up the hole array. If i were to go with ZFS, i would probably build around FreeNas.

I would probably suggest you start with a good motherboard, with ECC support, so something like C236, to me Supermicro is one of the best on server hardware, but its bios fan control is very elemental and sensible to some fans, contrary to this, AsRock is very good in bios fan control, so i would suggest to check something like ASRock C236 WSI Mini ITX Server Motherboard there other models if you feel one suits your better. But even on mini itx it comes with 8 sata ports, enough for your current needs, and if you down the road you need more just add a LSI 9207-8i or 9211-8i. Be careful with the memory, it supports ECC but try to go with QVL List, as not all will run.

For CPU depends on how many parallel trasscoding and vms you want to implement, you can go with celeron/pentium or E3 1275v6 (be careful with Kaby lake cpus and the version of the bios as you need the latest to run kaby cpus). I would try the intel cooler first and see how it works out, if you wish quiet operation you can upgrade to something like Noctua NH-C14. But dont take this lightly, to transcode 4k x265 10bit to 720p x264 on the fly will require a lot of CPU, how much really depends on a lot of things, but PLEX forums should help you and so the unraid forums.

Case will depend on your needs, thinking on something not that big, maybe Fractal Design Define Mini will give you 6 hdd slots, or if you want 8 for the future the Define R5. Personally i always suggest have some flexibility, my server started with 8 drives, now im on 22 drives (100TB usable), and now im starting to build a second server (this one will be unraid), i was just waiting to see 4k take off, and the past month i seen multiple releases, so this is just the begging, im going to need a ton of storage over the next few years.

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 Post subject: Re: Silent media + webhosting server capable 4k HEVC transco
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:53 pm 
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Posts: 7
Internet says you need an i9/dual xeon/threadripper setup, because you probably need it to be realtime.

I've seen this video on linustechtips, he's got the big/powerful/noisy server in the next room with some thunderbolt gizmo that allows the monitor+io to be near him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NshXgis ... u.be&t=649

Check video card compatibility if you want linux and you'll have this connected directly to a TV or something else. I've been running linux desktops for more than 10 years, and you really need to make sure the video driver allows for actual power management (some only work when only one video output is plugged in, otherwise it's 100% power usage on the GPU), some don't do Vsync correctly so you end up with tearing, some like to lock-up the X server. Default fan speeds are different on the open source vs proprietary drivers as well. I know there are giant advances in recent years, so if you don't do a lot of 3d stuff and you don't have multiple video outputs, you'll likely be just fine, but you really need to check beforehand. Of course, if you're only streaming over the network, this doesn't matter at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Silent media + webhosting server capable 4k HEVC transco
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:23 am
Posts: 2
Thank you very much for all the advice, this is super useful and will definitely take a bit of time to sift through all the great advice here.

I have had a look through and trying to reconcile, in the I am starting to think about a setup like this:

CPU: Ryzen Threadripper 1920X
Motherboard: MSI X399 GAMING PRO CARBON AC
Memory: 2 x CRUCIAL 8.0GB (CT8G4WFS824A)
Case: FRACTAL DESIGN Arc Midi R2
Cooling: ??

From the Anandtech benchmark it looks like this should be powerful enough to transcode 4k on the fly, while at the same time having ECC memory to make sure that all the family photos and such don't get corrupted and are lost.

I have a spare old AMD GPU that I can plug in for initial install, and also an old SSD Samsung harddrive plus 2x HGST Deskstar 7200rpm for storage.

Would really appreciate your experienced thoughts here and maybe comments? What would be a good cooling solution to this that works very quietly? I can imagine that during full transcoding it can get a bit loud (which is fine, doubt I will have guests trying to sleep at that time!) but then during idling I hope to keep it quite.

I might be able to try to stick it in the closet :) Will have to see how to pull the cables there!


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 Post subject: Re: Silent media + webhosting server capable 4k HEVC transco
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:08 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Vancouver B.C
svarto wrote:
Plex media server, where I would like to have 4k on the fly transcoding power

For on the fly Plex 4K transcoding, x264 or x265? Plex has a page somewhere listing the CPU benchmark score recommended for transcodeing x264 videos of various bitrates. x265 videos will require more (no clue as to how much). I strongly suggest you ask that question in the Plex forum before deciding on a CPU.

Quote:
I am planning to install Debian 9 on it, and potentially also ZFS file system (if no one has a better secure solution)?

I have a couple of FreeNAS servers, the one for the important stuff use ECC on a Supermico mobo with Xeon CPU and RAIDZ2. The other one is an ASRock B250 mobo with a Pentium CPU and non-EEC RAM, it run stripe disks, i.e., JBOD. The ASRock has Plex Media Server and Zonemaster installed in a Lubuntu Bhyve VM and I use it for storing media and security cam image files.

Also if you want flexibility in changing you pool/array size you need to understand how drive pools works in ZFS before deciding to use it.

It's also recommended to have a UPS for auto-shutdown when using ZFS.

Quote:
CPU: Ryzen Threadripper 1920X
Motherboard: MSI X399 GAMING PRO CARBON AC

At that price point, I'd look at server parts and not gaming mobo, you're paying for a lot of stuff on the gaming mobo that you'll never use. You can get a premium server mobo from Supermicro for less.

Quote:
and also an old SSD Samsung harddrive plus 2x HGST Deskstar 7200rpm for storage.

For a 2 drive mirroring array ZFS maybe an overkill.

Quote:
I might be able to try to stick it in the closet :) Will have to see how to pull the cables there!

The Ryzn is a ?180W? part? Probably a bit warm for a closet ;-).


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 Post subject: Re: Silent media + webhosting server capable 4k HEVC transco
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 3041
Location: Guatemala
svarto wrote:
CPU: Ryzen Threadripper 1920X
Cooling: ??

Would really appreciate your experienced thoughts here and maybe comments? What would be a good cooling solution to this that works very quietly? I can imagine that during full transcoding it can get a bit loud (which is fine, doubt I will have guests trying to sleep at that time!) but then during idling I hope to keep it quite.
Well I would wait for black friday to see how the prices go, there was a rummor that 1950X would drop to $799, but who knows for sure.

Trying to aircool a threadripper is not that easy, not that many coolers take the advantage of a bigger area that threadripper cpus bring, the only that have released a set of cooler with a bigger area of contact are Noctua, Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3 is the most capable of them. Worth mentioning it will overlap with the first PCIe slot, probably wont matter much to you.

Check the following videos for more info,
Cooling AMD Threadripper - Air vs All in One Water
Threadripper Large vs. Small Coldplate A/B Test (Noctua NH-U14S)
Threadripper Cooler Comparison: Full Coverage Liquid vs. Air

You can still manage the PWM of the NF-A15 included on the NH-U14, it can be dropped to 300rpms or ramp up to 1500rpms, you can set it up how you want it to ramp up on MSI bios very easily, so you end up with a quiet setup.

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GameMiv3 >> AsRock H170 Pro4 | Intel Core i7-6700K | Prolimatech Genesis + 2x Thermalright TY-147A | Kingston HyperX FURY 64GB DDR4 2133 | MSI GTX1080 Gaming X | Acer Predator XB321HK 4K IPS Gsync | Samsung 850pro 1TB | WD RED 3TB | Silverstone FT05 + 2x Silverstone AP182 | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | SimMi


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