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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I didn't even put the total in the thread title to avoid being mocked...but perhaps some here like a REAL challenge.



Ok, here's the scoop: I bought a Synology 412+ NAS a few months ago and I generally love it. But it simply is not up to the task of transcoding my 1080 BD rips to my ipads/iphones. It seems to come DAMN close, but simply cannot pull it off...this all never minds the fact that Synology's DS software currently has NO DTS licensing and therefore ZERO DTS audio capabilities



Oh well, the fact is I never even considered this type of usage so I'm not going to hold it against the device- which, again, is perfect for my main task which was/is watching my movies on my netwrok via CAT 6 and popcorn hours.


Still, transcoding would be outstanding for the little one and wife. Please let me know if I can get it done with what follows.


First, according to the PLEX site and other outlets, it seems the min reqs for 1080 TCing is a dual core running at 2.4g or higher. Here, it seems I have many options:


1. More than a few desktops with this spec or better on c-list for under $100.


2. Ditto for the above on ebay.


3. I work at a major university and I KNOW I can land one for $75. I'm assuming a dual core running at 3.1G but I may be surprised with something superior- I'll know soon. EDIT: it's looking like the work option would be a Dual Core E8500, running @ 3.16 with VPro.


First, is the dual core 2.4 req true? Not looking to move mountains here, just a single 1080 stream.


If so, what else can I do to this thing CHEAP to help it along? I'm figuring any one I grab will have 4 gigs of RAM and that should be more than sufficient, correct? I can grab Windows 7 or 8 in 64bit form from work for $9...great, I know.



What else? Big time noob here so don't be afraid to set me straight. If I can pull JUST a single transcode, web browsing, and WPing off for $150 I'll consider the whole operation a massive victory.


I see 5, 8, and $1000 builds around here that seem to be used for little more than what I'm looking to do, so I think I'm either REALLY in the dark here as to why folks are not using 3-4 yr old CPUs for this, OR I'll be quickly educated...and VERY appreciative.



thanks pros!


James
 

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I can tell you outright I have an Intel Core 2 Duo e6550, a 2.3 dual core chip overclocked to 2.59, and it can't transcode anything. Not even audio alone. Trying to transcode video even at 480p is out of the question.


Ive seen posters report the newer Pentium chips can handle Plex transcoding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
^ thanks. Wow, even the 1.6ghz Atom in my 412+ can at least have a go at it...although I'm clueless as to how far it is away from actually pulling it off.


I really thought these dual cores at 3+ ghz would work...I wonder where/under what conditions Plex is saying they can.


James
 

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Assassin has a write up on Plex on his site. I don't think he tried to figure the bare minimum cpu possible, but he did say this
Quote:
Note: Transcoding from the Plex Server to a mobile device can be CPU intensive. Make sure your HTPC has enough CPU power to handle this. I am using an Intel G530 in my server with no issues at all when transcoding to multiple devices
http://assassinhtpcblog.com/plex/
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My thing is this:


as a novice, it seems to me that there's a veritable QUANTUM LEAP in going from a near top of the line Core 2 Duo to a something like an i3 (and rightfully so)...50 bucks in my case to a few hundred, it appears. This just sullies the value proposition to me. I simply do not want- nor need- a full (or half blown) desktop cpu, so I just cannot justify spending 4-$500 to simply transcode video when I already have an option that's doing 95% of what I need.


No disrespect to anyone spending that or more...horses for courses.


Are there obvious REAL cheap CPU options that I'm leaving out....perhaps AMD alternatives?


thanks again guys.


James
 

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Another option would be to use something like handbrake to transcode the media titles you want, and store the transcodes on the NAS, with whatever computers you have on hand. No additional h/w needed, except for another disk, eventually. Queue up a bunch of jobs before you go to bed, and let them run overnight.

 

I average about 2 international flights/month and having transcodes to load on my iPad makes the hours go faster.I have a 6 core AMD Phenom processor in my Plex server  that can transcode multiple streams in real time, but inevitably, when I start a movie I get interrupted by my wife or kids who are having problems with their playback  (i.e. bad media formats). I've started routinely making "fail safe transcodes" of anything my kids or wife are interested in.
 

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The haswell G3220 chip is interesting for $50ish on sale, but no quicksync. Sadly it looks like the cheapest option is the i3.
 
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