Plex Transcoding – Xeon vs Intel core i3/i5/i7

I currently have a 2U Dell server with a 15 bay external enclosure. 21 drives, totaling ~47TB, are electricity intensive and dual Xeon E5645 processors struggle with Plex multiple transcodes. I am looking to build a NAS that can handle transcoding and will use less power. Initial budget is about $2000 and I can buy NAS and one LARGE drive and slowly fill the box to reach a final configuration. I’ve been looking at QNAP TS-1685-D1531-64G, but it is VERY pricey.

$2000 ~40 TB

Things would be easy if it was not about Plex. With a simple DS918+ or TS-453B, you could transcode even 4K videos using their own made DS Video or Video station app. But Plex does complicate things a bit. Xeon CPU is so powerful, that it can transcode almost any video file. But the problem hides deep inside. It does not feature transcoding engine which means that CPU will be working on its maximum to transcode the video. You need to look at Intel core i series to be able to cope with multiple streams.

TVS-1282-i3 – transcode many 720p and few 1080p

TVS-1282-i5 – transcode may 1080

TVS-1282-i7 – transcode 4K

These models will also consume less energy in comparison.

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