HL15 as a media server?

Is anyone here using a full build HL15 as a media server (Plex/Jellyfin/Emby/etc)? I’m considering it because of all the storage available but I’m concerned that the Xeon 3204 isn’t going to be beefy enough.

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you can always upgrade to an appropriate (read: compatible) skylake xeon chip from ebay, or use hardware transcoding with an ebay quadro or something, GPUs are well suited to that task

(edit: or an old 1060, 2060 etc but they’re stream limited without a certain driver I think, jellyfin with intel arc and new enough linux kernel I think works too)


This largely depends on your transcoding needs. If it’s direct play, you’re MORE than fine. If however you need transcoding you have two realistic options.

  • Use the CPU provided and install a GPU, which shouldn’t be too difficult. Plenty of guides out there.
  • Plan for a CPU with QuickSync and build around that. This will give you the lowest power consumption.

If using the full build, it should be fine for streaming.
Plex recommendations for 1080p transcodes (10Mbps, H.264) file: 2000 PassMark score. The included Bronze 3204 is just shy of 5000 on PassMark. But if your transcoding 4K, I’d try an additional graphics card.

I am not aware of a Xeon Skylake-SP with quicksync built in.


Plop in a GPU and it should work fine.

I’ll be using the HL15 to HOLD all of my media for the server that runs Plex.

The HL15 hardware that comes pre-installed is pretty “storage first” in my opinion - GREAT for a NAS. I think it could handle a transcode or two but that’s about it. If you are looking to do more than that, you can toss a GPU inside the server and probably get way more milage out of it as a media server. A Nvidia Quadro P2000 series card is a pretty good choice and can be found for about $100 - $175 on Facebook Marketplace and Ebay. If you want to know more about the card, just look it up in the “Encode and Decode” Matrix from Nvidia.

You will also need to install a hypervisor (like Proxmox) that will work to host all of that. You would not really want to run that on 45Drive’s Houston on top of Rocky Linux.

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Your mileage may of course vary, but I find containerizing the whole ‘media stack’ (and things like Home Assistant) works fantastically well in 2023 and virtualization is largely dead for me.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Kubernetes. It can just mean Docker/Podman, and Traefik for getting traffic into the containers, including ACME-based integration to Lets Encrypt so you have proper TLS certificates and a podman.sock-based approach so Traefik is autoconfiguring using labels set in Compose.

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Yeah, you are not wrong at all. I do have my fair share of containers that I use. Personally I don’t like the idea of installing anything on top of what I use to store all my important data. That’s why all the things I run with Docker is done inside of a “Docker VM” inside of Proxmox. I also run a few things on Windows server and I like to have that virtualized. There is a time an place for every application.

I am also an LXC user so I toss a lot of things in those containers on Proxmox. To each their own.

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Similar approach here. VMware cluster for VM’s, a few running Portainer, and Storage boxes for storage.

But, I might toss Immich at least on the HL15, just for ease of use and not having to get crazy with persistent volumes. Maybe Minio as well to serve up S3 to various containers.

Got @geerlingguy 's docker ansible running inside a proxmox CT :slight_smile:

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I was thinking about running Docker directly inside of a container to give myself some more flexible hardware allocation, but ended up going the VM route just because I knew it would always work.

Docker inside an LXC container? Someone needs to stop Jeff, I think he’s gone mad with containerization!

Once you start you can’t stop!


Important when dealing with villainy to have some VMs even in your container native setup :wink:

I’ll be sure to give this a look! I just watched bits of a youtube video on Kasm earilier today, which seems similar.

Sorry to hijack but wondering the same thing.

I’m hoping to replace a Dell PowerEdge R520 which is running unRAID.

I have a T600 so transcoding won’t be an issue but wondering how the Xeon 3204 will go with a few virtual machines.

Performance is pretty meh with the dual E5-2470 v2’s in the Dell, mainly hoping the Xeon 3204 won’t be a step backward. I certainly don’t need threads, but the single core performance is pretty low.

EDIT: Did a quick search on replacement processors and the 4110/4114 is quite affordable here in Australia and seems to pack a punch!

If dual E5-2470v2’s are “meh” then maybe I’m missing something but it seems a single 4110/4 will be meh/2.

;Have you seen this? It should be all the CPUs compatible with the same LGA3647 socket

Price/performace for those CPUs is all over the map, and I’m not sure what is available in Australia, but You might want to look at the Xeon Gold 6126 or better.

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There is a guy selling 2x Nvidia Quadro P2000 on Facebook Marketplace right now for $140 from VA. Not a bad deal and could probs haggle a bit.

Is there a Xeon available which fits into the Supermicro X11 LGA socket which has quicksync? I’d like to save my pcie lanes for other things!

No Xeon Skylake-SP with quicksync. This motherboard (full build) will have more pcie lanes than a consumer board so load it up.