Drive Speed for a NAS?

CoastalOR

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Jan 19, 2015
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Oregon, USA
I'm thinking of getting a diskless Synology DS416play NAS to act primarily (for now) as a Plex server for my movies.

Here are the drives I'm considering:
WD Red NAS Hard Disk Drive - 5400 RPM
WD Red Pro NAS Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM

Will the 5400 RPM perform adequately or do I need the 7200 RPM (cost vs performance)?

Thanks for your recommendations.
 

ColdCase

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Feb 10, 2008
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Your bottleneck will be the network and/or the Synology's CPU. Either drive will work just fine. I often will go with the Red Pro in my servers just for the additional years of warranty, however. 5 vs 3 years I think the last time I was shopping. But affordable NAS boxes are so slow that I usually just put a pair of Red NAS drives in and mirror them.
 

CoastalOR

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Jan 19, 2015
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Oregon, USA
Your bottleneck will be the network and/or the Synology's CPU. Either drive will work just fine. I often will go with the Red Pro in my servers just for the additional years of warranty, however. 5 vs 3 years I think the last time I was shopping. But affordable NAS boxes are so slow that I usually just put a pair of Red NAS drives in and mirror them.
Thanks for the confirmation that the 5400 RPM Red NAS drives will work.
 

HDFan

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Jun 30, 2007
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I'm thinking of getting a diskless Synology DS416play NAS to act primarily (for now) as a Plex server for my movies.
If Plex is going to be your primary use of the NAS You might want to consider the Western Digital MyCloud Pro Pr2100 and Pr4100:

https://www.amazon.com/Diskless-Clo...ie=UTF8&qid=1489706115&sr=1-1&keywords=pr4100

When they were introduced Plex sent out an email saying:

My Cloud Pro Series are transcoding and storage powerhouses

The (compensated) Amazon review is very impressive:

I ripped a handful of movies off my Blu Ray disks to MKV format, dropped them on the PR4100, setup Plex (SO EASY) and was streaming movies to test. I tested on an Apple TV with Plex, an iPhone 6s Plus, an iPad Pro, and a MacBook AT THE SAME TIME with four different movies, all transcoding and playing in real time at 1080p.

The Sinology is powered by a 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron N3060 Dual-Core while the PR4100 is powered by a 1.6 GHz Intel Pentium N3710 Quad-Core. One cpu website compared the cpus and called it a draw in terms of performance. Another rated the N3710 138% faster in quad-core. Guess it depends how Plex does multitasking and threading.

This may be is the best performing NAS for Plex.

As for disks I am not a fan of Western Digital as I have had a lot of failures. WD has been one of the worst performing drives on the BackBlaze disk failure reports. Here's the latest one:

https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-drive-benchmark-stats-2016/

I think they are no longer using them. Not sure of the reason.
 

ColdCase

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Feb 10, 2008
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There are a lot of issues documented here with trying to apply blackblaze info. It can be useful, but not for the typical consumer.
 

CoastalOR

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Jan 19, 2015
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Oregon, USA

AFEPPL

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I have two Synology devices, I'm running WD Reds in both without issues.
I dont bother using PLEX, i just rip films from my BRs and drop them into iTunes to watch over ATV.
 
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CoastalOR

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Original poster
Jan 19, 2015
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I have two Synology devices, I'm running WD Reds in both without issues.
I dont bother using PLEX, i just rip films from my BRs and drop them into iTunes to watch over ATV.
You have a good suggestion, but I do not have a ATV at this time, though I'm seriously thinking about getting the new ATV when it is released.

Right now I rip my Blu-rays (MakeMKV & HandBrake) to a external 6TB HD connected to a Mac mini with the Plex Server running on it. I then run the the Plex app on my Samsung Smart TV to watch the movies.
 

HDFan

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I dont bother using PLEX, i just rip films from my BRs and drop them into iTunes to watch over ATV.
I rip my Blu-Rays to .m2ts in order to preserve the DTS-MA soundtrack. As far as I know iTunes doesn't support either .m2ts or .MKV.

Am I missing something?
 

ColdCase

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Feb 10, 2008
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The soundtrack may be more of a limitation of the ATV. iTunes probably does not do DTS-MA, which is a tightly licensed format. Too bad the DTS-MA developers chose to go that route as we could have more options by now.
 

phrehdd

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Oct 25, 2008
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While it is true that some NAS offerings will do some heavy load work on media files to play through Plex and other choices, perhaps you might consider a good media streamer instead -

Some Blu Ray players will handle various file formats via your network.
Some media streamers do excellent work such as the NVidia Shield TV (awesome device plus great for gamers)
Some media players such as DUNE players do a fine job and can engage 3rd party Plex like cataloguing.
Some folks who want full HD audio might use a Mac Mini with either Windows or Linux installed (OSX/MacOS wont do HD audio like DTS-Master).
and of course some folks make their own HTPC type devices dedicated with Plex or Kodi (XBMC) etc.

Candidly, I don't find taxing the NAS drive's CPU is a great idea given the heat and challenges with multi-access at a given time being choked or at least reduced speed.
 
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AFEPPL

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I rip my Blu-Rays to .m2ts in order to preserve the DTS-MA soundtrack. As far as I know iTunes doesn't support either .m2ts or .MKV.

Am I missing something?
No, i dont believe iTunes does support them but i get DTS sound without the need for either of those formats.
 

phrehdd

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Oct 25, 2008
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I rip my Blu-Rays to .m2ts in order to preserve the DTS-MA soundtrack. As far as I know iTunes doesn't support either .m2ts or .MKV.

Am I missing something?
Not only does iTunes not support those formats but will never be able to play HD Audio. You might install Plex or Kodi (XBMC) on your Mac but it wont play the HD audio (it will however play a lesser quality from that stream). This is an Apple by_design_issue meaning they refuse to support the HD audio found on Blu Ray discs.

I too have mostly .m2ts and .MKV (as well as single .vob for dvd level movies of yore). I use these devices to play those files from NAS : Mac Mini with Linux install and Kodi and an Oppo 103 Blu Ray player. Both give me full quality goodness. I used to also have a Dune Media player that also worked very well (I gifted it to someone who thought it was the greatest thing since sliced butter and its very good not super great).
 

HDFan

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Jun 30, 2007
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Not only does iTunes not support those formats but will never be able to play HD Audio.
This is an Apple by_design_issue meaning they refuse to support the HD audio found on Blu Ray discs.

Is it iTunes "will never be able to play HD Audio" due to some technical issue, or is it they simply refuse to? I've always assumed the latter, which leaves hope that it could happen.

Supposedly the ATV4 InFuse app supports DTS-MA via it's passthrough setting when using a Plex share. However I can never get the app to work so I can't verify it.

Plex on the ATV4 gives LPCM 24 bit 48 kHz for a DTS-MA. If I play the same video on my Oppo's using the same Plex server as a network share it shows as DTS-MA.
 

purpletalon55

macrumors member
Apr 1, 2017
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5
I just wanted to post that Seagate Ironwolf nas drives are also a great option 3 year warranty and they also are 5900rpm so slightly faster than the western digital reds and they are reliable drives. I have 4 in my synology DS1515.

But reds should be just fine.
 
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