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Discussion Starter #1
I hope people can give me some suggestions. I use Plex pretty extensively. I currently use my desktop computer as a Plex Media Server (PMS), and it works fine, but I have thought for some time it might be better to build a separate, hopefully cheap, computer to use solely as a PMS. I would ask for some advice about Mobo and CPU combinations.

The computer will not be actually connected to any video devices, so it needs minimal graphics. Onboard graphics from the Mobo would be sufficient. It will purely be used as a PMS sitting in my basement. The devices that are Plex clients are a Fire Stick 4K, and an Nvidia Shield, but I only ever use one at a time.

Ideally, I would like it to use the least power possible. I've been thinking of something with an efficient mobo not using much power when not sending images somewhere, and preferably for a CPU that can use just a heat sink and not extensive cooling. Currently all my media files are either from DVDs or BDs but not UHD, so it would be sending 480p or 1080p images. It would have to be able to do some very basic transcoding to do this and also to make sure the audio files could be sent in a way my receiver can use them. From what I've seen, a Passmark score of at least 2000 is needed for one stream at a time. If possible, I would like something which could do 4K in the future should I start collecting UHD discs.

Form factor is not very important. I've been looking at mini ITX just because I don't need something elaborate. I do need at least 8 GB of Ram (from what I understand from PLEX), and I would need either 3 SATA ports or some appropriate combination, for the OS and Plex to be on one drive, and two 12TB drives containing media files.

Any and all ideas appreciated, and I will look into them.

Your Obedient Servant
SMK
 

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Discussion Starter #3
For the mobo, cpu, and RAM I'd prefer to keep it under $300 but could go to $400. I have a useable power supply, but I know there are some combos especially including a case which have a power supply, but that could be an add on if necessary. I have the drives already, and I would then just need a case I could easily put all of this in.

Thanks.

Your Obedient Servant
SMK
 

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Moderator TSF, Hardware Team Moderator
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Here's a start

The 9th gen Core i3 has 4 cores and 4 threads, totalling 16 logical processors (16 threads), which are plenty for Plex's smooth operation, coupled with 16GB DDR4-2666 memory and UHD integrated graphics, 4K video processing should be a breeze. The thermal compound may or may not be needed, depending on where you get the cooler from. You'll need to confirm with the vendor IF the Hyper 212 Evo comes with a tube of thermal compound, because the included accessories may vary by region.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the work to put this together! I greatly appreciate it, and will probably go with this system.

Can you recommend a case which could hold these components and also hold a SSD and 2 HDDs? Thank you.

Your Obedient Servant
SMK
 
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