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First NAS/Plex Server, a couple questions

FreeKnight

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I'm considering grabbing either a Synology DS220+ or Asustor AS5202T to use as a NAS and plex server. Use is mostly going to be for Plex and as a network/remote drive. I've mostly got 1080p content, but will probably start using 4K at some point. I will store some records and documents (company tax, expenses, etc) there as well but I also have those backed up on dropbox and onedrive so it's not essential that the NAS is a 'failure proof' storage. NAS will be placed right beside my network hub under the stairs so size/noise isn't a factor.
I do have a couple questions for those of you who are wiser in the ways of NAS than I;

1) I have a spare WD black PCIe 512GB SSD (older gen), I've read that some NASs can use an M2 SSD for cacheing. With that in mind is it worth looking at a NAS that supports this for my use case? It seems like no smaller ones support it and there's a significant price bump to finding one that does, so I suspect 'no' but thought I'd ask.

2) Between the two models, assuming no major price difference, the AS5202T seems like it should be slightly better performance wise and supports a higher RAM capacity (if it's even worth upgrading?). Am I correct?

3) A NAS set up for plex still works as a normal network drive/ network storage on windows correct? It's not an 'either/or' situation?

Drives that will go in there will be 1x 10TB WD 5600 RPM and 1x 14TB Exos 7200 RPM drives.

Thanks for the input gents. I'll soon be HDD free in the main rig if this thing works (which means I'll probably swap from the O11 mini back to the Ncase, but that's just how these things go :LOL:)
 

Sagath

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1) No. Dont bother, its mostly for high I/O situations. You likely wont run in to limitations with your use case.

2) Probably? I cant comment on the ease of use of the Asustor brand and their OS, but Synology is great from my experience. Additional RAM is mostly useful if you're running docker programs, so if you expect to do that, then it might be good.

3) Correct. You can use it as an additional drive and map it to any PC's as you see fit.
 

crazyea

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1) If you have the SSD you should use it, even though it's mostly for high I/O as stated, I personally like it it for caching network file transfers. I can take some of the load off the spinners and decrease buffering in plex during transfers. Later you may decide to put a Bittorrent program or something like Sabnzbd/Sonarr/Radarr and these could make nice use of the ssd, especially in unpacking.

2) Here's a list of what the NAS's out there are capable of in terms of Plex: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...Ac4oOLPRtCkgUxU0jdj3tmMPc/edit#gid=1274624273. I personally like having a little more ram, and its usefull it plex if you want to transcode to ram.

3) Yes you can create shares and then map them as network drives if you like. Also with the two different sized drives, the smallest one will be the the size used if you run parity. If you run them as separate volumes then it's a non issue.
 

crazyea

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Depends. If its direct play then it should be a lot, limited by the spinner/network. If it's transcoding then maybe 1 or two at 1080p x264.

Obviously you need a client which could be a pc, shield, apple tv, console, or tv os.
 

Sagath

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Yeah, transcoding is intensive. Direct play clients are the best utilization, so really you need to make sure the client can use the stream properly, otherwise your NAS is gonna bog.

With DP clients, its probably high single digit streams on a celeron J chip. I've never had problems with half a dozen going, some being external even.
 

crazyea

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One on other thing plex usually only direct plays EAC3/DTS, others will be transcoded so that could also limit things a bit.
 

FreeKnight

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Thanks gents, I live alone, so it'll be running one stream. Generally running off a Shield TV pro as client, with the possible exception of my gym TV which has TCL's onboard Roku (and I can live without plex down there).

Also found out about the Asustor AS6602T which seems like a slightly newer, less gamer braded update to the 5202T. Also has an M2 slot so I'm going to see what I can find for prices on each. Since I'll get very little on the used market for the older gen 512 WD black ($50 maybe) I may as well use it if I can. At that price it's almost not worth the time dealing with Kijiji
 

crazyea

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if you have a shield tv pro, you could just get a normal enclosure and connect the drives straight to the shield tv and run a plex server on that. It will play anything. Also if you go the nas route you will have no problem playing even 4k with the shield tv pro.
 

FreeKnight

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if you have a shield tv pro, you could just get a normal enclosure and connect the drives straight to the shield tv and run a plex server on that. It will play anything. Also if you go the nas route you will have no problem playing even 4k with the shield tv pro.
I had considered that, but kind of wanted the NAS out of sight and out of mind so there's no noise, ugly nas boxes by the TV etc.

It would certainly be the cheaper route, but at least I can say this is for the business and claim it as an expense. Takes a little of the bite out of buying one.
 

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