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post #1 of 5 Old 11-27-2019, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Server opinions

I have been using my desktop as a Plex server, and I am planning to move Plex to another device. I will be storing my media on a couple of large hard drives in USB enclosures (one 12 TB and one 8 TB). I am not interested in RAID. If either drive fails, I have the original media that I can copy again to the drives. So here are the options I am planning on. Which would people prefer/suggest:

First, I purchased a Raspberry PI 4b. I figure I would run Openmediavault on it and from what I've seen it is very easy to install Plex to use it as a Plex server. The two drives would store all my media and be connected to its USB 3 ports. Among the pluses to my mind are that it can be configured and run completely remotely from my desktop or a laptop. It uses very little power, and I can set OMV to turn on or off at specified times essentially having it only on during the day when I'd want to access it. Since it is only my wife and I watching on one TV, there is no problem with Plex serving multiple devices, so the processor doesn't need to be very powerful.

The other option just literally fell into my "lap" last week. The head of IT at my company decided my laptop was too old and got me a new one letting me keep the old one. It is a Lenovo Thinkpad running Windows 10 with an Intel i5 2600Mhz processor but with only 4 GB of RAM. This combination though worked very well at work, and again since I am only watching Plex on 1 TV, I don't think there will be an issue with these specs. I would again connect the two hard drives to the two USB ports the laptop has, though they are USB 2 not 3. The laptop uses more power, but I could work out having it start and stop at certain times like the Raspberry Pi.

I'm sure many readers will think neither of these choices is a good one, but please don't suggest others. These are the two I have and will pick from one of them.

Thanks for your input.

SMK
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-27-2019, 04:05 PM
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I use unraid but it’s not free and works greAt
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-27-2019, 06:40 PM
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Either one would most likely be fine, assuming that you can direct play everything on your client device and have no need of transcoding.

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post #4 of 5 Old 11-28-2019, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I haven't had an issue using Plex with my desktop and don't think it should be an issue with either of these. Looking up the Passmark score for the cpu in the laptop, it should do at least one transcode stream, and i don't need more than one. The reviews of the Raspberry Pi suggest it can do 4 at a time.

Thanks for the input.

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post #5 of 5 Old 11-29-2019, 11:01 AM
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For a couple of years I have been running a ODROID-XU4 as a media server. It's perhaps a little more powerful than the new Pi 4 and also less than $100 (fully outfitted). It works great and I couldn't be happier. Outside of NFS file serving it also runs Plex Media Server (music to Amazon dots - occasional video to Plex clients), MySQL Server (Kodi), print server and backups. I happen to run it headless via Ubuntu 18.04. I would look at the ODROID-N2 (versus the Pi 4) as it's more powerful at roughly the same price. It has plenty of support so that's not an issue. Regarding laptops I would avoid them if possible. From my experience they often throttle under virtually any load. I like remote access (headless) so having a display really isn't an advantage.

I continually update the OS (no real need outside of I enjoy playing around) and in the two years I have had one issue which was quickly resolved by the next update. I keep a mirror image backup of the OS that I can instantly restore should the need arise. Media wise I keep a copy offline and rsync when I feel the need - mount the drive/rsync/unmount.
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