Help with Hardware please

I have ordered and just got tracking code for my new HL15, can I ask u experts for some help choosing hardware please.
Will be running Unraid and Plex, Jellyfin servers.
What would be the best Motherboard/Memory/GPU/CPU combo, happy to spend a decent sum have been looking at ROG stuff and an i9.
Thx in advance Jon

For that?

Get a z690/790 board with a lot of pcie lanes and a 12100/13100/14100 Intel

I got ASRock z690 extreme and a 12100. 8 users use my jellyfin.

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I agree with @gh0stee on this one. You will want anything that can boat a large number of PCI lanes and slots. I try to find workstation motherboards or straight up server boards if I can since they come with the expansion I like when buying.

If you focus on looking at consumer boards, often times they have a very limited selection of x16/x8 PCI slots because they are designed to go into computers that maybe only one slot may ever get used.


Thanks for the advice will look at server boards then

You don’t need a server board. I use a consumer board, you have options for both.

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Be aware with consumer boards/cpu, just because you may find some mobo designs with multiple pcie slots, fundamentally modern consumer intel only have 20 direct pcie lanes, and amd I think is 24.

Consumer boards that have more than a single x16 slot and a direct m.2 slot are then running all other pcie slots via a chipset and/or might have the option to split the x16 slot across two x8 slots.

Having said all that, for what your use case sounds like, consumer level is absolutely all you need, but if you the decide you want to shove multiple hba’s into your system for example down the track, that’s when a server level board/cpu is helpful with the increase in direct pcie lanes.

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  • 1 x PCIe 5.0 x16 Slot (PCIE1), supports x16 mode*
  • 1 x PCIe 4.0 x16 Slot (PCIE2), supports x4 mode*
  • 1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 Slot (PCIE4), supports x4 mode*
  • 1 x PCIe 3.0 x1 Slot (PCIE3)*
  • 8 x SATA3 6.0 Gb/s Connectors*

What is your PCIe setup? You have a GPU in PCIE1? What HBA do you have and in which slot? Or are you just using the mobo SATA? Other cards in the other two slots like a 10G NIC?

To help make my earlier post make sense to the above referenced ASRock board (and any z690/z790 and 12/13/14 Gen Intel CPU for that matter). Only PCIE1 has dedicated 16 lanes to the CPU, the other 3 slots all share the same 4 PCIE lanes via the chipset.

This is more than adequate for runnings a media server based computer, but just wanted to make sure it’s understood that having lots of ‘slots’ isn’t the same as lots of ‘lanes’. Those two elements were getting a little mixed up in the earlier posts.

Hi! No GPU, Lsi in slot 1 and 10gbe nic in slot 3

I use reverse data to sas cables, set E I believe

@gh0stee Thanks. My unstated point was that most consumer motherboards don’t support a GPU and an HBA coexisting well. So, if someone expects to use both they need to be careful about PCIe electrical lanes, bifurcation and automatic reconfiguration of lanes across slots. I don’t use Plex, but to many it seems to imply transcoding with a GPU, although that may be less necessary if a CPU with QSV is installed. Since OP will almost certainly have an HBA, as long as he also isn’t planning a GPU, I agree that most any consumer ATX board should be fine.

Intel QuickSync is well supported and does a great job transcoding in Plex - or the less “icky” Jellyfin.

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Unraid as the OS makes me think that any old consumer board & cpu will work, intel preferred for quicksync transcoding.

You may want to consider using Houston at some point, in which case I’d highly recommend getting a 45Drives supported mobo & hba (List below) and jamming as much ECC RAM in there as possible. Just recently learned that ZFS can utilize the ECC bits.

Nothing you run is going to be too CPU intensive (until you start using local AI services in NextCloud & Frigate), so cores > clockspeed.

For Mobo’s - don’t end up like me with a 20 PCIe lane CPU and 28 lanes of stuff to plug in. Also make sure it supports PCIe Bifurcation if you want to use an NVMe riser to add some fast storage or caching drives.

Don’t make my mistakes and wind up shopping for a new motherboard while getting your OS setup.

Houston Supported Motherboards:

  • X11SPL-F
  • X11DPL-i
  • H11SSL-i
  • X11SSH-CTF
  • X11SSM-F
  • X11SPi-TF
  • EPC621D8A
  • X12SPL-F
  • X12DPi-N6
  • H12SSL-i
  • X11SPH-nCTF
  • X11SPH-nCTPF
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