Originally Posted by MKANET
The below system looks pretty close to what I want ($1999 from Dell); except it would still need to buy another 3TB disk; and, format as RAID1 for data storage. Not sure if the CPU included is the K
version (the same CPU that had an average PassMark performance 11288). I didn't see the CPU I wanted on the AssassinPC webpage. I'll contact them anyway, just in case they haven't updated their website yet.
If you're going to be running this headless and you're set on Windows then you might want to consider Win 8.1 Pro for the Remote Desktop hosting. There are other remote desktop solutions but that's the one that has worked best for me and so worth the price bump IMO. Other than that this machine will certainly suit your purposes, however there is quite a bit here that is mismatched overkill also. For example:
*32 GB RAM is about 4x what you should ever need
*256 GB SSD is is at least 2-3x what you should for need for a boot drive
*3 TB HD is nice but 7200 RPM adds nothing over 5400 when all you're doing is storing large video files
*Windows itself isn't even necessary. As long as you're running 3 hard drives or less you could get a free unRAID license (which also takes care of your RAID solution), run Plex server on that, and even boot off a USB thumb drive so you don't need the SSD either.
Those extras are all things you're paying for in that $1999 price tag that you don't need and that (aside from Windows perhaps) aren't going to make a bit of difference in how that machine performs as a Plex server.
I think you should stick to your original idea and if you're not comfortable building the appliance that you want then get Assassin or some other PC builder to do it. The machine you need shouldn't cost near this much even w/the convenience of someone else building it for you and taking the time to walk you through your options.
One last thing: if the Plex clients you have in mind include friends or family outside your home, check to make sure your internet upload speed isn't going to put serious limits on that. Because if you don't have fiber and you want clients to be able to stream it at least 720p then you might find yourself limited by bandwith to only 2-3 streams tops and then that i7 (or any i7) will be overkill also.