hardware advice: Xeon E3-1230V2 on ASRock H77 board

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    • hardware advice: Xeon E3-1230V2 on ASRock H77 board

      Hi everybody,

      I'm new to the forum but have been playing around with OMV for some while now. I hope some of you could give me some advice on specific hardware which I may acquire.

      My goal is to fully replace my ageing 4-bay Synology DS414 NAS. The Synology does a fine job serving files and doing timemachine backups, but I've decided to upgrade to something more resilient and powerful which also has customisable software. Besides serving files and timemachine backups, it should run a torrent setup (Deluge, Sonarr, Radarr, Lidarr, Jacket) and Plex media server capable of transcoding 2 streams simultaneously.

      I tested OMV image on a Rock64 I had which lying around and realised OMV is probably the system for me. It does what I want it to do quite easily, also I'm already familiar enough with Linux and Debian. But the Rock64 didn't have the processing umph for Plex transcoding. Now I have a second test system running on an old Dell Latitude E6440 with Intel i5-4300M, which is working very well. But the external HDD case attached to the laptop is very loud, and probably a laptop isn't the best choice for a 24/7 NAS. So I'm scouting options for a more permanent solution.

      So now my request for advice. I have the option to buy a second-hand system with the below specs, so I may decide to go for this system rather than assemble one myself:
      • CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230V2
      • Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4
      • RAM: 32GB (4x 8gb Samsung)
      • SSD: Crucial M500 240gb
      • PSU: Corsair CX500M
      • Case: Antec P100 with 140mm fans
      • HDDs: not included, I already have a bunch of WD Red drives that will go in the NAS
      Do you see any objections or hardware compatibility issues with this? This seems more than powerful enough for my requirements and the price is reasonable, noise output is actually my only concern.

      Thanks for any advice you are willing to provide!
    • mdr wrote:

      But the Rock64 didn't have the processing umph for Plex transcoding

      If I were you I would first check how evolved software support is to make use of RK3328's VPU (video engine). Those ARM thingies are made for encoding/decoding video in a way more efficient way compared to run this stuff on CPU cores (wasting 5 to 50 times less energy for the same task). The 'only' problem is software support if it's not about Android.

      All the more recent ARM SoCs (except ancient crap like Raspberry Pi) support video transcoding HW accelerated even with recent video codecs. Software support is the issue.
    • If your choice of CPU is about "processing umph" for transcoding, there are ways to automatically convert video content into formats that are native to phones, tablets, etc. With automatically converted files, the Rock64 can easily spool content to your hand held devices. Maybe a bit more testing of the Rock64 is in order.
      ______________

      If you decide to go the Xeon route, you might as well set up a mobo that supports ECC ram.
      And, if your server is in a common area, you're right to be concerned about noise. If "quite" is a priority, you might want to look at a case that's advertised to be quiet (one example) and the same would apply to power supplies.
    • Thanks for the advice flmaxey

      flmaxey wrote:

      And, if your server is in a common area, you're right to be concerned about noise. If "quite" is a priority, you might want to look at a case that's advertised to be quiet (one example) and the same would apply to power supplies.
      Actually the case is an Antec P100 which is similar to the "silent" P110 you mentioned. Seller says its filled with 140mm fans and fancontroller so it should be quiet -- for a server at (whatever quiet means for a server with this amount of power, I have yet to go and see/hear). Obviously there will still be infinately more noise than a silent Rock64 ARM, so it's still a concern to me.

      At the moment, my HDD case is the loudest item. Its the Fantec QB-35US3-6G which has a fairly loud fan and the case lid itself also tends to start resonating. If I can get the Rock64 to work properly I could consider a new USB3 HDD case (hints appreciated ^^ ). But it appears that for similar cost I can get a full server that houses all the drives, so that has appeal as well... :/ with the possible downsides of increased power usage and/or noise.
    • tkaiser wrote:

      mdr wrote:

      But the Rock64 didn't have the processing umph for Plex transcoding
      If I were you I would first check how evolved software support is to make use of RK3328's VPU (video engine). Those ARM thingies are made for encoding/decoding video in a way more efficient way compared to run this stuff on CPU cores (wasting 5 to 50 times less energy for the same task). The 'only' problem is software support if it's not about Android.

      All the more recent ARM SoCs (except ancient crap like Raspberry Pi) support video transcoding HW accelerated even with recent video codecs. Software support is the issue.
      Good stuff, thanks tkaiser!

      I checked the hardware streaming guide at Plex here which says all modern Ubuntu should be supported. I've been running ayufan's OMV image on the Rock64 which is Debian, with Plex in a docker. I'm guessing I need to use the Plex plugin in stead of docker for hardware support, right? Do you know if that will work out of the box already, or does the ayufan OMV image need some tweaks for this? If you don't know I'll have to try, but thanks if you do.

      My usecase is that I mostly have 1080p movies and series with surround sound and external srt subtitles. These are served over the home network, maybe we'll also start using it outside the home someday but not right now. Viewing on iOS devices is a requirement, but the most important thing is casting from the iOS app to a Chromecast attached to the TV -- including subtitles. Especially the latter doesn't always work and seems to need transcoding about half of the time. I could use Handbrake to re-encode and burn-in all subtitles but that isn't preferred, it degrades quality and I like to be able to ensable/disable subtitles as desired.

      The music library will need to be streamed as well inside and outside the house, I could use Plex or Airsonic for that but I don't expect any issues there.

      I'll have to read up on this a hardware support for the Rock64 a bit more. I would really like to remain with the OMV images and not install an entire server from scratch, I'm handy enough but non sysadmin.
    • mdr wrote:

      does the ayufan OMV image need some tweaks for this?
      Sorry, don't know. But I've been in touch with him early last year a lot of times (to tweak settings of his Rock64 images) and he mentioned that basically decoding and encoding support is there so transcoding capabilities would be just a question of when and not if. Maybe Pine forum is a better place to ask for even if you want to stay with his OMV image (which is just like all the other ARM OMV images just an automated Debian build with OMV as add-on)
    • tkaiser wrote:

      mdr wrote:

      does the ayufan OMV image need some tweaks for this?
      Sorry, don't know. But I've been in touch with him early last year a lot of times (to tweak settings of his Rock64 images) and he mentioned that basically decoding and encoding support is there so transcoding capabilities would be just a question of when and not if. Maybe Pine forum is a better place to ask for even if you want to stay with his OMV image (which is just like all the other ARM OMV images just an automated Debian build with OMV as add-on)
      Thanks again, and compliments for all your support efforts here the forum.
      Having read your post here OMV4 on ARM boards (kind of a how-to) I'll give it a go with a clean Armbian install + OMV installation script.
    • Update: I've installed Armbian Debian Stretch with Plex via software installer. That works, at least for low quality files, but hardware encoding isn't enabeled. The Plex website says that only Ubuntu is suported (not Debian). But OMV requires Debian, not Ubuntu. Argh! Haven't figured this out yet...
    • flmaxey wrote:

      Have you tried the auto format converting docker?
      I ran the Plex docker form linuxserver.io on the x86 machine which doesn't require hardware support and works well.

      But the Plex website says hardware support is more complex through a docker (source):
      Can I use Hardware-Accelerated Streaming inside of Docker?
      At this time, we do not formally support hardware acceleration inside of a Docker container. Some users of Docker (on Linux only) have been able to accomplish this by adding platform-specific custom configurations that expose host hardware to the container.

      So I haven't tried Plex in a docker on the Rock64, not to introduce another layer of complexity. Apparently the hardware support is a tricky thing to get working.
    • A final update to this thread from the Pine forum, as reference for anybody reading the thread at a later point in time: "While there is hardware encoding, it hasn't been ported from android."

      So like tkaiser already noted above: "[Rock64]supports video transcoding HW accelerated, but software support is the issue."

      It seems as of today (Feb 2019) software support for hardware acceleration only works on Android, not Linux. The Rock64 is awesome as NAS but I'll have to rethink my Plex Media Server plans. Thanks all for your help!
    • tkaiser wrote:

      mdr wrote:

      It seems as of today (Feb 2019) software support for hardware acceleration only works on Android, not Linux
      It should work (part of their MPP framework) since otherwise such bug reports like this would not be possible. Relying on information from vendor communities can often be troublesome so maybe better ask again somewhere else?
      That last link is a great source, thanks! It seems there are some developments at Armbian, at least for Ubuntu desktop. I'll have to go figure out if this package can be made to work on Debian to run my planned OMV/Plex+HWsupport setup. Or alternatively get a second Rock64 board, so I can use one as a NAS and the other for Plex ;) This will all have to wait until after my vacation though, but thanks again for now.