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ITX Ryzen PLEX Server & Transcoding Monster (2018)

by Whitea42


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

Nov. 16, 2018

CPU Clock Rate

3.6 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.544 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8.008 GHz


This build is to upgrade my PLEX Media Server (PMS) from my macmini to something capable of multi-streaming, support on-the-fly transcoding of my OTA quad-tuner, and be able to rip any new movies to my library simultaneously. The build will reside in a dedicated media closet adjacent to the primary TV, so form factor wasn't (initially) a concern. However, this build has transformed several times over the course of a month. I originally planned to use a mid-tower and a Full-Size or ATX board with a multi-HDD array, but as time went on, I realized it would have been far more than i want or need. For this build, I planned to stay under the $1k USD (on new purchases) from the beginning and shopped around to get there. You may notice, I have several items marked as $0.00, that would otherwise cost another couple hundred dollars, like Windows and Microsoft Office, etc. So here goes...

Power Supply Notes: After building a couple theoretical Ryzen 7 setups through PCPartPicker, I found that my power consumption would be very low as I didn't plan to run a high-power Graphics Card. I stumbled across a brand new last year's model Corsair Gold 550W Semi-Modular PSU for $61.

Case Notes: I liked the "SG13B" ITX Case because it can fit a full-size power supply (which I already had). After a quick search online to see what a finished build looks like in an SG13, I was hooked. It's well under $50, fits a nearly full-size GPU (up to 10.5” long Graphics card if installing a 3.5” drive) and its small enough that I can tell my wife it’s a NAS without too many questions.

Motherboard: My local big-box (with a "Micro" name) had a huge pile of Motherboards on sale/clearance/open-box and with my eye on an 8-core Ryzen CPU, I found the 1800X (checked its passmark score) and got a $30 discount on an already marked down Motherboard. SOLD!

Drives: I wanted to take advantage of the M.2 slot for quick boot times and fast transcoding, so I picked up an Inland Pro 256GB M.2 NVMe (PCIe x2) SSD for much less than some name brands. It comes with a warranty and I'll be backing everything up to my NAS so I'm not worried about longevity right now. That paired with a shucked WD White Label 8TB drive and I'm set.

UPDATE: I'm finding that the read/write speeds of the 8TB drive are a larger bottleneck in my day-to-day usage then i had expected. Since it's still cost prohibitive to use SSDs for my local library, I'm considering shucking two 4-5TB portable 2.5" HDDs and run them in RAID 0 (striped). I'll post my findings once I've solved the issue for my rig.

Comments Sorted by:

Jessiahsmallwood 5 Builds 2 points 3 months ago

This a sweet rig and i want one

Whitea42 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 3 months ago

Thanks. When it comes to transcoding, I keep all of my movies as raw MKV files, and this thing never hesitates. It feels like a near instant start regardless of the number of other people streaming in the house. Overall, I'm really happy with the build.

Jessiahsmallwood 5 Builds 2 points 3 months ago

Its a sweet system

Ryzin 1 point 2 months ago

is there any thermal problems using the l9a on a 95W cpu (1800x)

Whitea42 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

I haven't had any issues with the Noctua L9A on the Ryzen 1800X. Keep in mind, this is not a gaming machine and I haven't pushed it to 100% as it's just a Plex Server. Also, I just changed out the case to a CoolerMaster Elite 130 to fit another 3.5" HDD or two, so thermals are even lower now.

juggalojcox 1 point 1 month ago

What OS are you running for your PMS if you don't mind me asking

Whitea42 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

I’m running Windows 10 Pro. I know there may be better options out there, but this is also my personal workshop computer for whatever project I’m working on at the time. This Christmas, it doubled as a HDD to SSD cloner/imaging machine for my family’s PCs.