NAS newbie looking to create a plex / NAS setup

NAS newbie looking to create a plex / NAS setup

Message Body:
Hello,
I’m in the market to create a plex / NAS setup.
I have about 1TB of media I want to enjoy which currently lives in my dropbox.

I don’t have any experience with NAS or plex, but I’m quite savvy so I think I can set it all up, but I’m just not sure what I should be looking for.

My problems:
– Synology has so many options
– I’m not sure if there’s rumours of better Synology products coming out soon I should wait for (I’m not in a rush)
– I’m not sure how to make it work with my TV → I currently have Chromecast, PS4 and Nintendo Switch plugged into my TV. How can I play stuff from a NAS on my TV?

My requirements:
– 2TB space or more (’cause I have 1TB of data now)
– I am going to buy a 4K TV end this year. I’d like to stream 4K video from my NAS to my TV. If I should wait to see what Synology comes out with this year in relation to 4K streaming that’s no problem.
– I wish I can initially copy all my media directly from dropbox onto my NAS.
– It would be great if I could also stream to my macbook, is this possible?
– It would be great if I could also stream to my iPad, is this possible?

 


#2: RFC on Plex NAS I plan to buy

Message Body:
Hi,
I sent an email yesterday I believe, but I ended up spending the whole day reading on this blog and watching your videos. Please disregard my pre-mature email yesterday.

I know better what I want now, but I’d like to know your opinion.
I also want to ask: do you have special Amazon purchase URLS for amazon.co.jp? Because I live in Japan, and I’d love to support you.

These are the Plex NAS’s I’m thinking of:
– QNAP TS-251D (2GB ram) – ¥61,995
– QNAP TS-251+ (2GB ram) – ¥57,543
– QNAP TS-453BT3 [thunderbolt] (8GB ram) – ¥155,321
– QNAP TVS-472XT [thunderbolt] (4GB ram) – ¥209,731
– Asustor AS5202T [nimbustor] (2GB ram) – ¥42,625

My wishes:

1. A PLEX server only
I just want a Plex server, so I think QNAP or Asustor Nimbustor – Synology doesn’t seem appealing.

2. SSD
Since I only want about 2TB of storage for the next 5 years, and I believe SSD is so much faster at read speeds than HHD.
A. “Seagate IronWolf 110 SSD 1920GB — 2.5′ SATA 3D TLC ZA1920NM10011” is what I’m thinking of getting, a single SSD drive for my 2-bay NAS.
B. Even if I can get exponentially more space with a regular HDD, I’d still prefer the speed boost from SSD, but do you have any opinion on this?
C. Even though it’s a 2-bay, can I just buy this one SSD and use it with only one drive?
D. Can I use SSD for any of the NAS I’m thinking of?

3. USB-C
It’s so handy if I could directly plug my Macbook Pro into the NAS via USB-C to transfer files.
I don’t have any regular USB cables anymore, everything is USB-C in my house…
A. I believe only QNAP TS-453BT3 has USB-C ports.

4. HDMI output
The ability to plug the NAS directly into TV with HDMI output is appealing. I think this will be the best way to browse the content for me.
A. I currently only have a chromecast, Nintendo Switch and PS4 in my TV, so I think without apple TV or amazon fire, I cannot browse the files other than directly plugging the NAS with HDMI into the TV, right?
B. Will I be able to get the PLEX browsing experience if I plug the NAS into my TV with HDMI?

5. 4K streaming (maybe 60fps)
I want to be able to enjoy 4K content without problems. If possible at 60fps, that’d be even better, but not a deal breaker. I plan to buy a 4K TV end this year when PS5 launches.
A. QNAP TS-251+ can only output up to 1080p with HDMI, so I believe that’s a hard pass for me.

6. 5Gbit Ethernet – this allows for even faster access I think, and my home router supports 5Gbit Ethernet as well. I just wonder, if I’m browsing my NAS from outside my house, does 5Gbit Ethernet help at all?
A. I believe only the QNAP TS-251D can have 5Gbit Ethernet, but I need to buy my own PCIe adaptor. Maybe I should not worry about 5Gbit Ethernet… What is the real benefit anyway?

■ VERDICT

▼ Pass on:
– No 4K HDMI output on QNAP TS-251+ (2GB ram) == pass
– QNAP TVS-472XT seems less powerful than QNAP TS-453BT3 and is more expensive == so pass

Doubting between these…
★ Cheaper:
– QNAP TS-251D (2GB ram) – ¥61,995
– Asustor AS5202T [nimbustor] (2GB ram) – ¥42,625

★ has USB-C but 3 times the price:
– QNAP TS-453BT3 [thunderbolt] (8GB ram) – ¥155,321
→ Maybe I can just go for a cheaper model and buy a USB-C to regular USB cable…

Remaining questions:
– Do I need to think about the different CPU chips in all of these?
– Should I upgrade RAM? Which RAM should I buy on amazon if should upgrade it?
– The sound level seems to range between 15~21 db, is this loud?
– Which one would you recommend?

 


I boiled it down until 2 NAS choices

Third email here, after some more research, I think I boiled it down to one of these two:
– TBS-453DX (8GB ram) – ¥83,235
– TS-251D (2GB ram) – ¥61,995

https://www.qnap.com/en-us/product/compare?products=tbs-453dx,ts-251d&ref=product_overview

I want to rock the SSD’s especially because the NAS will be in my one-room apartment, and I really don’t want any noise.

So I’ll go for 1~2 SSD drives, but which is the better NAS for my use case?

The TS-251D is newer, but designed for regular HDDs, the TBS-453DX is already one year + old, but is designed for SSDs especially!

Any advice? : )


 

The new TS-251D is the newest, but not really the fastest. Qnap 453DX is twice as fast and also features SSD cache slots and HDMI2.0.  Recommended RAM for Plex would be around 4GB, but can be upgraded to 8GB if you want to install numerous apps or use it for virtualization. Also, 10GbE is a very nice feature to have since wifi is becoming faster than Gigabit Ethernet. SSD cache will be handy if you access the same content often. It also improves data transfer speeds.

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