Mini-ITX Board for Plex - What OS To Run?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by kolax, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. kolax macrumors G3

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    #1
    I'm looking at buying a Mini-ITX board with some storage to serve as a Plex Server and Client. I'm wondering what the best OS to put on it is.

    Linux would be the preferred option but I've never used Plex on Linux yet, so not sure if there are any drawbacks (e.g. it looks like transcoding is flakey on Debian). Making it a hackintosh is another option, and there's plenty Mini-ITX boards that'll play nice with OS X with minimal fuss. However I'd like the flexibility of Linux (I may want to make the board serve as a NAS at some point too).

    Has anyone else done something similar? What OS did you pick?
     
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #2
    Probably a better question for the Plex guys. Frankly I wouldn't run a home server from a hackintosh. Two reasons: 1. No guarantees on OS updates and 2. A hackintosh only really makes sense when you want a fast machine. For a media server you could get away with the base Mini.

    However from a plex standpoint I can't tell you the best OS.
     
  3. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

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    #3
    Plex Media Centre (client part) is only available for OS X and Windows, but there are unofficial Linux builds.

    I wouldn't run the hackintosh as a NAS, if I went down the OS X route I'd build a separate box, but Linux was my preference so I could have it all in one.

    I think the best option is to make a hackintosh and see how I get on!
     
  4. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #4
    Price out a hackintosh and then explain to me how it's a better deal than a base mini?
     
  5. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

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    #5
    ~£85 for board, ~£92 for i3 CPU with HD 4000, ~£50 for a case with PSU. I have plenty spare hard drives kicking around, and a couple of 2x2GB RAM modules.

    So I'm saving around 50% or so. Mac mini in the UK is £500. Decent enough DIY to serve as a Plex Media Centre around £230 since I have some spare components already.
     
  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #6
    And no warranty and no guarantee the OS will work on those parts for years to come. And the only reason it's cheaper is because you have some of the parts. If you actually factor those parts in then there is no actual savings vs DIY.
     
  7. charlien macrumors regular

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    #7
    If you want to convert files to m4v format from some other format I'd go hackintosh.
     
  8. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

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    #8
    Warranty comes with the parts. Hackintosh's been working fine for years, though I don't assume you know much about computers to know what to do.

    If you include the RAM and storage, I'm still saving £200+.
     
  9. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #9
    Considering I MAY have a hackintosh sitting in my office.....

    Yeah I know how to build one. However, if I was only saving 200, it wouldn't be worth building a Hackintosh. I'd rather have someone else deal with issues. IF I had a Hack sitting in my basement.... It would be a Mac Pro clone that saved me half the cost of a New Mac Pro because it would be running:

    i7-4770K overclocked to 4.3ghz
    Dual 250GB Samsung 840 EVO's
    Dual AMD 7870's (equivalent to D300's)
    16GB of RAM
    Seasonic X650 Gold Power Supply
    Bitfenix Phenom M case
    Dual HP ZR2740W monitors + 2 LG E2370W monitors

    Lux Mark Score of 3318
    Heaven in Extreme of 21.7FPS and score of 547 (Only uses 1 GPU)
    BlackMagic of 976.1MB/s Read and 861.9MB/s Write

    I mean that's IF I had built a Mac Pro Clone Hackintosh......

    Yeah I know nothing about what you are talking about.

    The problem is, if something takes a crap in a personally built computer you have to figure out what went wrong. Unless there is SIGNIFICANT savings, it isn't worth my time. IF I built the above Hack, it would save me over half the cost of a New Mac Pro and score equal if not better.... That's worth it.
     
  10. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

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    #10
    ASUS Chromebox - I may need to make more effort in researching the unofficial Plex client for Linux. Quite a nifty box and i3 model may be quite cheap too.
     
  11. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #11
    Why would you need to hack that? Chrome has an available Plex client.
     
  12. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #12
    I'm still not sure why you are on Apple boards asking about non-Mac computers to use with non-Mac software? If you want to know how to roll with Plex, go ask the Plex guys?!?!
     
  13. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

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    #13
    My understanding was that didn't play content natively, it needed transcoded first by the Plex server?
     
  14. Tilpots macrumors 601

    Tilpots

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    #14
    I see, you want to run the Plex Media Server but there's none available for Chrome OS, only the client side. Linux however is supported. Got it. I missed the server part.:eek:

    FWIW, NAS's are now supported as a Server and is Chromecast as a client, so you could go that route fairly cheaply...
     
  15. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #15
    Much of this depends on what you want to play.

    OSX does NOT support HD audio streams. If you have a MKV, M2TS or TS file that has as example - Master-DTS, it will only play it as DTS with Plex. Both Windows and Linux versions will support the full goodness of HD audio.

    The HD audio is not limited by Apple's hardware but by the OS with EFI. I have loaded both Win 7 and also Linux onto a Mac Mini and HD audio was played yet of course OSX would not.

    I would suggest Ubuntu for Linux and Win 7 if you go the Windows route. Also you may want to look at XBMC as opposed to Plex.
     
  16. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #16
    We are in the "AppleTV and Home Theater" forum.
     
  17. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #17
    Yes but his questions aren't remotely Apple related. If I go to a car forum and ask for help installing my car PC, am I going to get a lot if help? Some sure, but wouldn't I be better off asking a Car PC forum? He will get some help with Plex here for those who happen to know some about it, but if he wants to know about LiNUX installs of PLEX, wouldn't he be better off else where? Further he probably would have all his answers by now instead of still trying to figure it out weeks later. Am I right? My grandfather always said: You CAN pound a nail with a wrench, but it'd be quicker if you used a hammer! (Meaning: use the right tools for the job)
     
  18. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #18
    He clearly wants to use the Plex server with his AppleTV and hoped to benefit from other's experience doing the same. Not sure why this bothers you so much. Just don't read the thread if it does not interest you.
     
  19. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #19
    He hasn't said a thing about an AppleTV.....

    In fact his first comment was looking for a Mini-ITX board to act as a Server AND CLIENT.

    EDIT: The closest thing he has even said that partains to Mac boards is that he is considering building a hackintosh and using OSX as a Plex client. Again those aren't even discussions for this board either!
     
  20. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

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    #20
    I was looking at the Chromecast solution, but that too requires transcoded video rather than being able to play it natively. I'd like to be able to use a remote other than my phone too (handy for when friends are round).

    Currently looking at a NAS + ASUS Chromebox, with the Chromebox being the Plex Server and Client.


    Yeah that's a massive bummer that I hadn't really thought about to be honest. And I assume Apple's support for HD audio is still lacking in Mavericks. The hackintosh solution would allow HD audio though. But if the unofficial Plex client for Linux impresses me enough then I won't have to worry about that.
     
  21. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #21
    I'll ask again. Why do you care? Just don't read the thread if you are not interested.

    I sub'd the thread because I have some interest in Plex and I have learned from it. Just unsubscribe if you are not interested.
     
  22. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #22
    Maybe I shouldn't care, but I hate threads popping up that have no bearing on Mac/Apple which is what this website is about. The OP clearly has no interest in any of those, and would be much better served elsewhere. I'll throw the question back at you, why do you care if I care?
     
  23. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

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    #23
    Can we just keep on topic? This is the home theatre part of the forums, and this post may be of interest to other people in the forum.
     
  24. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #24
    Can we keep this on topic of the entire website?
     
  25. kolax thread starter macrumors G3

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    #25
    Hopefully now a request is put in the mods will come and clear up this thread of you since you are contributing nothing.
     

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