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awraynor

itGeeks Help Me Pick a NAS

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awraynor

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday upon us I need to narrow down my choices for a NAS

to replace my aging and unreliable WHS 2011 box.

 

At the moment I think the new TS-451+, TS-453 Mini or TS-453 Pro might be the best bang

for the buck for me. It's main purpose will be a storage target for VEEAM and a secondary

role as a Plex Media Server. VM machine isn't that important, but might be a plus. On the 

QNAP page they seem to have near identical specs:

 

https://www.qnap.com/i/useng/product/contrast.php?cp%5B%5D=149&cp%5B%5D=189&cp%5B%5D=196

 

 

I think 4-4 TB drives would give me storage a plenty for now and later.

 

Anyone of course can chime in and I could be convinced to go with Synology for the right reasons.

 

I've been saving my pennies and let the recommendations begin. 

 

 

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awraynor

Be bold!

Try a ASUSTOR:

http://www.asustor.com/

 

You know, I had looked at them and they looked comparable to Synology and QNAS. Given the lack

of chatter I thought I would stick with the devices most people talk about.

 

Are you using one or have other experiences with them?

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itGeeks

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday upon us I need to narrow down my choices for a NAS

to replace my aging and unreliable WHS 2011 box.

 

At the moment I think the new TS-451+, TS-453 Mini or TS-453 Pro might be the best bang

for the buck for me. It's main purpose will be a storage target for VEEAM and a secondary

role as a Plex Media Server. VM machine isn't that important, but might be a plus. On the 

QNAP page they seem to have near identical specs:

 

https://www.qnap.com/i/useng/product/contrast.php?cp%5B%5D=149&cp%5B%5D=189&cp%5B%5D=196

 

 

I think 4-4 TB drives would give me storage a plenty for now and later.

 

Anyone of course can chime in and I could be convinced to go with Synology for the right reasons.

 

I've been saving my pennies and let the recommendations begin. 

Sorry for the delay in getting to your post, I have 5 full plates of things I need to get done. Hold on to your hat because this is going to be a long post.

 

My biggest concern is you want to run "Plex Media Server" on these NAS devices, If we can just put that aside for the moment and look at everything else that these devices offer and how I would determine what to purchase.

 

First I would look at all the reviews of these devices and see what people are saying about Synology and QNAP, OK you did that check. So now you know the reviews are good on both Synology and QNAP I would then get a list of applications that I would like to run on these NAS devices excluding Plex for now then look at the packages offered by Synology and QNAP to make sure they offer what I want to use, Again Plex aside. If both QNAP and Synology offer the packages that you want or need then comes price, Decide whats the better bang for the buck.

 

I keep saying put Plex aside because that software is no joke and as good as it is it requires CPU horse power that none of these low priced NAS has, The sweet spot for the CPU for Plex is a Core i5 anything less is a big risk, Some have reported that the Celeron J1900 that all three of the QNAPS you listed does a good job with Plex for 1-3 streams with trans-coding but I have not had a chance to test it yet. So I dont want to put my neck on the line making recommendations if you want to run Plex on the NAS. Now if you ask me my opinion on what I like better over all then I say Synology for a NAS device because they have lots of packages and there UI feels modern on like the QNAP the UI feels very Windows 95 to me put that's just me, Others will disagree. pcdoc likes the QNAP UI over Synology so each his own.

 

My very short and simple answer would be to purchase a NAS of your liking, That includes the UI, Applications offered excluding Plex, and design of hardware. Stay with the Plus or Pro models of each company so your getting an Intel Proccesor weather that be Atom or Celeron and let the NAS do storage and run some of there packages that you need and that's it. Put the NAS out of sight in a closet or the basement and get an Intel or Gigabyte NUC Core i5 for Plex and put that in the living room connected to your TV, This is the best setup when it comes to Plex. I may add more later but for a sound solution and the best experience all around my recommendation will thrill you.

 

Just as a side not those Celeron J1900 processors that are in those 3 QNAPS is showing on paper to have enough horse power for one stream with trans-coding using Plex, Anything more is a risk so if you only need one stream at a time then by all means take the risk and see how it performs, Just make sure there is a good return policy for the NAS in case it does not work. As for Synology Atom based NAS don't even think about it, I have tried with my DS1815+ and it was a terrible experience, Nothing but delays and buffering.

Edited by itGeeks

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awraynor

Thanks for following up. My current 2011 box has an i7 and runs Plex without a problem. It of course is a first generation processor and produces

tons of heat and I'm sure uses a lot of power. Given 3 older PC's in that room a ton of heat is produced.  I'm looking to pick up a Dell mini PC

or 2 to help with that. 

 

For server I would likely only need a backup target and otherwise it appears Plex continues to be a stumbling block. Obviously an i5 NAS would be

quite pricey and overkill for 95% of what I do. QNAP in particular has so many models that when you do a direct comparison like I listed above

they all seem to have the same specs which further confuses me.

 

I'm going to go back to the Plex page and look at their recommended NAS page. I may be making a mistake, but it would seem that the recently

released models would be a better option. 

 

I would likely not run more than one Plex stream at a time and if I needed a second one I could start my Win10 machine as I replicate my Plex

libraries on 2 machines at home.

 

Thanks for your continued input. 

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itGeeks

Thanks for following up. My current 2011 box has an i7 and runs Plex without a problem. It of course is a first generation processor and produces

tons of heat and I'm sure uses a lot of power. Given 3 older PC's in that room a ton of heat is produced.  I'm looking to pick up a Dell mini PC

or 2 to help with that. 

 

For server I would likely only need a backup target and otherwise it appears Plex continues to be a stumbling block. Obviously an i5 NAS would be

quite pricey and overkill for 95% of what I do. QNAP in particular has so many models that when you do a direct comparison like I listed above

they all seem to have the same specs which further confuses me.

 

I'm going to go back to the Plex page and look at their recommended NAS page. I may be making a mistake, but it would seem that the recently

released models would be a better option. 

 

I would likely not run more than one Plex stream at a time and if I needed a second one I could start my Win10 machine as I replicate my Plex

libraries on 2 machines at home.

 

Thanks for your continued input. 

All the info you will need for specs is right here https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/201373793-Is-Plex-Media-Server-on-a-NAS-Right-for-Me-

 

Also this is a nice read peaple are talking about what your trying to do https://www.reddit.com/r/PleX/comments/2gi225/which_nas_for_plex_and_other_noob_questions/

 

Also you had asked me some time ago if all your media was in mp4 format then you should be OK? My response was basicly the mp4 is only part of it and there is more things to think about then just the container, See below for what I was trying to say. Your will also see this in the first link I gave you.

 

Your content is much more than just a file extension. Your media has some important properties:

  • File container (mkv, mp4, avi, etc.)
  • Video codec (H.264, divx, xvid, etc.)
  • Audio codec (DTS, AC-3, AAC, MP3, etc.)
  • Subtitle format (SRT, VOBSUB, PGS, etc.)

Simply put if all your going to do is direct-play to one device then I feel based on the specs the three QNAP's you posted with the  Celeron J1900 should be just fine for you, For this reason alone I would go with QNAP over Synology. Now on to the next problem, Looking at the QNAP package center I don't see a native app for "Plex Home Theater"

https://www.qnap.com/i/useng/app_center/index.php?middle_place=1&type_choose=Entertainment so in this case if your going to hookup the QNAP directly to the TV for playback your going to need to setup Windows in a VM on QNAP so you can install it. Using "Plex Home Theater" is the only way your guarantee direct-playback aka no trans-coding. If you setup a VM on QNAP make sure you max out the RAM, 8 GB is supported but many have installed 16GB without a problem.

Edited by itGeeks

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awraynor

No PHT for me. I simply use PMS on the server and use the Plex app on my FireTV, FireTV stick or mobile device

for playback. I'm likely to check any return policies and give it a try.

 

This news today, may or may not help. https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/214079318-Media-Optimizer-Overview

 

I keep two copies of my library. One on a Win10 Machine and the other on a server. Each machine has a folder rip copy

and an optimized mp4 copy. 90% or more of the time everything is viewed on the FireTV in the living room.

 

Sometimes it appears I should just buy one of the mini servers from Dell or Lenovo and run Win10 as a bulk storage?

It would lack some of the simplicity, but give me a more options. 

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schoondoggy

You know, I had looked at them and they looked comparable to Synology and QNAS. Given the lack

of chatter I thought I would stick with the devices most people talk about.

 

Are you using one or have other experiences with them?

I have not played with one. Once I clean out some other projects, I may pick up one to play with. Smallnetbuilder likes them and I cant remember seeing a bad review.

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itGeeks

Be bold!

Try a ASUSTOR:

http://www.asustor.com/

Ya Tony, Where is your Holiday Spirit? Take one for the team and try ASUSTOR :D

 

Kevin I keep forgetting about Asus because for some reason does not get a whole lot of press but if there NAS boxes are anything like there routers then they probably are very good indeed, However most of the NAS with the newer Celeron Processors have a much lower benchmark score and would not handle any Plex trans-coding. The choice is a tough one for Tony for sure.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Edited by itGeeks

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itGeeks

No PHT for me. I simply use PMS on the server and use the Plex app on my FireTV, FireTV stick or mobile device

for playback. I'm likely to check any return policies and give it a try.

 

This news today, may or may not help. https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/214079318-Media-Optimizer-Overview

 

I keep two copies of my library. One on a Win10 Machine and the other on a server. Each machine has a folder rip copy

and an optimized mp4 copy. 90% or more of the time everything is viewed on the FireTV in the living room.

 

Sometimes it appears I should just buy one of the mini servers from Dell or Lenovo and run Win10 as a bulk storage?

It would lack some of the simplicity, but give me a more options. 

Nice catch on the new "Plex Media Optimizer", well there you have it. If whatever NAS you purchase does not have enough power and your willing to make multiple copy's then problem solved. If you want any chance of allowing Plex to real-time trans-code on the NAS and not want to break the bank then the QNAP's with the Celeron J1900 is your best friend here. That model Celeron is going to be very hard to beat unless you step up the Core i series processor and in that case go strait to the Core i5, Its the sweet spot for Plex. As said before on paper the QNAP/Celeron J1900 should serve you well for at least one stream with Real-Time Trans-Coding. I think I have exhausted any other valuable info I can provide. Good luck with your Black Friday purchase and please keep us posted.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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