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Improve Plex performance by improving hardware

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rodofrn

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Hello guys and gals, I put together my freenas box a while ago and since then I have been enjoying the use of PlexMediaServer, and started to give out invites to my family, it has grown a lot and now I have like 20 users (not active all the time) but sometimes there are 3-7 people streaming media from my server. Some of them say that sometimes the stream freezes or buffers and it recovers. I think that my hardware could be bottlenecking the decoding/conversion or whatever. Here are my specs and I was hoping you guys could tell me what hardware to buy in order to better the conversion/decoding/streaming situation. Plex is setup in a "pluginjail" jail. Any questions lmk, I will be on top of this post, so I will answer immediately. Thanks!

Motherboard: Supermicro Motherboard Micro ATX DDR3 1600 LGA 1150 Motherboards X10SLL-F-O
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-4370 CPU @ 3.80GHz cooled using an H80i I had laying around
Memory: Crucial 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3/DDR3L-1600MT/s (PC3-12800) DR x8 ECC UDIMM Server Memory CT2KIT102472BD160B/CT2CP102472BD160B
OS Installed in: 2x Sandisk Cruzer 16GB
HardDrives: 5 x WD Blue 3TB Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 5400 RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD30EZRZ
LAN: Ethernet cable connected to the motherboard's LAN port.
 

danb35

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I think that my hardware could be bottlenecking the decoding/conversion or whatever.
Could be--what do the reporting graphs in the GUI show? Are you max-ing CPU? Disk throughput? RAM?
 

rodofrn

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Apr 13, 2016
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@danb35 Is this what you want? How can I do disk throughput?
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anmnz

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sometimes there are 3-7 people streaming media from my server. Some of them say that sometimes the stream freezes or buffers and it recovers. I think that my hardware could be bottlenecking the decoding/conversion or whatever.
Are your users on your local network or over the Internet? If the latter have you checked whether your Internet connection could be the bottleneck?
 
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rodofrn

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@anmnz All the users are over the Internet, only 1 (mine) is on LAN. I mean, how can I check the its my internet bottlenecking?
 

anmnz

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@anmnz All the users are over the Internet, only 1 (mine) is on LAN. I mean, how can I check the its my internet bottlenecking?
I think you'd have to either: figure out (or just measure) how much bandwidth your users are using when they stream, and compare that to your available Internet upload speed.
Or: use whatever monitoring tools are built in to your router, or are available from your ISP.
 

danb35

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danb35

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So Friday night, you had sustained network throughput around 15 Mbits/sec. What's your upload bandwidth?
 

danb35

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Jailer

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With 3 people streaming.....that IS your problem.
 

Jailer

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Direct play streams, yes. 5-10 transcoded streams, no.
 

rodofrn

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Direct play streams, yes. 5-10 transcoded streams, no.
Now that you mention this, what the F*&@ is the difference, like I have trying to understand for the longest time and I cant. I am guessing direct streams are like you send the "raw" data to the Roku device running Plex in my mom's house for example, and the Roku "decodes" the "stream" and plays it? Opposite to transcoded where the "decoding" portion happens in my freenas server box? Can you guys please help me understand this better? Thanks man!
 

kdragon75

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Now that you mention this, what the F*&@ is the difference, like I have trying to understand for the longest time and I can't. I am guessing direct streams are like you send the "raw" data to the Roku device running Plex in my mom's house for example, and the Roku "decodes" the "stream" and plays it? Opposite to transcoded where the "decoding" portion happens in my freenas server box? Can you guys please help me understand this better? Thanks man!
Yep. that's it. Not every device can play every file. If you have a file that a device can't play, Plex will convert or transcode it on the fly. As for your lack of internet speed (bandwidth), you can set the transcode to a lower bitrate. Just keep in mind that will reduce the quality too.
 

rodofrn

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Apr 13, 2016
Messages
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Yep. that's it. Not every device can play every file. If you have a file that a device can't play, Plex will convert or transcode it on the fly. As for your lack of internet speed (bandwidth), you can set the transcode to a lower bitrate. Just keep in mind that will reduce the quality too.
Hmmm ok thanks man! So the best thing I could do to better my situation is to get more upload speed? and keep the same CPU, RAM, etc...?
 

kdragon75

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get more upload speed
If only it was that easy! I can get 200mb/s down but only 10mb/s upload around here. Comcast/Xfinity is a &*$#@!% joke. Also keep in mind this will only help until the CPU becomes the bottleneck.
 

rodofrn

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If only it was that easy! I can get 200mb/s down but only 10mb/s upload around here. Comcast/Xfinity is a &*$#@!% joke. Also keep in mind this will only help until the CPU becomes the bottleneck.
Ok, yeah I live in Miami and i think 10up is like the best. I will check tho. Thanks all for your help!
 
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