Best Plex NAS: Top picks from Synology, QNAP, and more

Finest Plex NAS: Prime picks from Synology, QNAP, and extra

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When purchasing round for the very best NAS, when you’ve got Plex in thoughts as to what you may be utilizing your NAS for, there are a couple of further components to think about. To get pleasure from all of your favourite 4K content material, you may must have a succesful NAS enclosure, which implies a robust CPU. That is the place this assortment of enclosures comes into play, permitting you to take your media to the massive display with none buffering.

The very best Plex NAS at a look

  1. QNAP TVS-672XTFinest total: Intel CPU, 6 bays, 8GB RAM, 10Gb LAN.
  2. ASUSTOR NIMBUSTOR 4 (AS5304T)Finest runner-up: Intel CPU, 4 bays, 4GB RAM, 2.5Gb LAN.
  3. TerraMaster F2-221Finest inexpensive: Intel CPU, 2 bays, 2GB RAM, 1Gb LAN.
  4. QNAP TVS-872XT-i5Finest efficiency: Intel CPU, 8 bays, 16GB RAM, 10Gb LAN.
  5. Synology DiskStation DS220+Finest worth: Intel CPU, 2 bays, 2GB RAM, 1Gb LAN.
  6. QNAP TS-H886Finest capability: Intel CPU, 8 bays, 16GB RAM, 2.5Gb LAN.

How to decide on the very best NAS for Plex

Selecting the finest NAS for dwelling is one factor, however selecting the correct NAS for Plex is an entire completely different sport. It is easy to take a look at probably the most inexpensive enclosures obtainable and choose them for Plex, which might be enough for music and telephones. Nonetheless, for those who plan on transcoding and streaming 4K content material, you may want highly effective elements for Plex NAS compatibility.

Many distributors produce NAS enclosures which are nice for Plex (and a few transcoding); it is merely the case of selecting out the spotlight fashions. You may simply discover at the least one from the likes of Synology, QNAP, and ASUSTOR. If we have been to suggest one NAS so that you can purchase to have the very best Plex expertise, it will be the QNAP TVS-672XT. It is highly effective sufficient for Plex with loads of different options.

An excellent runner-up is the ASUSTOR NIMBUSTOR 4 (AS5304T), which additionally has some kick-ass networking for sport streamers and a novel design. And if you wish to avoid wasting cash or do not plan on storing too many media recordsdata, the Synology DiskStation DS220+ is a sound selection for an inexpensive Plex that homes an Intel CPU and helps for Plex Media Server.

All of it comes all the way down to what you propose on utilizing a Plex NAS media server for. If it is merely music and picture streaming, you may get away with vastly much less highly effective and extra inexpensive NAS enclosures. It is motion pictures and reveals the place transcoding could also be required, particularly for 4K content material, the place you may want further firepower except the NAS has HDMI output.

It is all concerning the processor. For Plex, you are going to need an Intel processor on the very least. Intel Atom, Celeron, and Core sequence processors are all completely different, too, with sure SKUs solely supporting 1080p transcoding. When you plan on primarily enjoying 4K content material which will require transcoding to recipient gadgets, an Intel Core processor is definitely the best way to go. Nonetheless, the enclosure can be significantly extra expensive.

Supply: QNAP

1. QNAP TVS-672XT

Finest NAS for Plex

Backside line: The QNAP TVS-672XT is the very best NAS for Plex in our assortment. It homes an Intel Core i3-8100T processor, which is right for the transcoding of 4K motion pictures, and there are eight drive bays for storing all of your favourite reveals, music, motion pictures, and images. The only 10Gb LAN port is sensible for high-speed networks. This NAS ticks all the fitting bins.

CPU: Intel Core i3-8100T | Drive bays: 6 | RAM: 8GB DDR4 (max 32GB) | Options: 1x 10Gb LAN, 2x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 2, HDMI

Execs:

  • Highly effective Intel Core i3 CPU
  • 6 drive bays (72TB capability)
  • 10Gb LAN
  • Upgradable DDR4 RAM
  • Wonderful QNAP OS

The QNAP TVS-672XT is the very best NAS for Plex, in my view. The stability between worth and performance is great, making it probably the most highly effective enclosure for this worth level by a rustic mile. That is primarily because of the spectacular Intel Core i3-8100T processor, which is way past the Intel Celeron CPUs discovered in additional inexpensive (and typically costlier) enclosures.

It isn’t the very best CPU you will discover in a NAS, however for those who plan on going for an Intel Core i5 or Core i7, you may be anticipated to pay for the luxurious. The built-in graphics and 4 bodily cores are greater than a match for 4K transcoding, which is required if you wish to stream a 4K film to a TV or different receiving system that does not help the file format.

The Intel Core CPU is joined by 8GB of DDR4 RAM, which may be upgraded to 32GB, additional cementing this NAS as a considerable funding for the longer term. The eight drive bays are greater than sufficient for storing all of your media with as much as 96TB of capability obtainable.

However the spotlight specs do not finish there. There’s a single 10Gb LAN port, probably dealing with community speeds upwards of 1000MB/s. Then you will have USB-A 3.1 Gen 2 ports and an extra single USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port, in addition to HDMI. The one disadvantage to this NAS is the worth, which might put some folks off.

Finest total


QNAP TVS-672XT

QNAP TVS-672XT

QNAP TVS-672XT comes with some severe efficiency. The only 10Gb LAN port, a succesful Intel Core i3 processor, HDMI out, and 6 bays make this top-of-the-line NAS for Plex.

ASUSTOR AS5304T

Supply: Wealthy Edmonds / Home windows Central

2. ASUSTOR NIMBUSTOR 4 (AS5304T)

Finest runner-up NAS for Plex

Backside line: The NIMBUSTOR 4 (AS5304T) is an excellent NAS from ASUSTOR, rocking a putting design that units it aside from the remainder of the enclosure lineup. Nevertheless, it is not all about appears to be like since this NAS has a succesful Intel CPU, loads of RAM, and quick networking.

CPU: Intel Celeron J4105 | Drive bays: 4 | RAM: 4GB DDR4 (max 8GB) | Options: 2x 2.5Gb LAN, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x HDMI 2.0a

Execs:

  • Highly effective Intel processor
  • 4 drive bays (64TB capability)
  • 2x 2.5Gb LAN with hyperlink aggregation
  • Upgradable DDR4 RAM
  • Wonderful ASUSTOR OS

Cons:

  • No 10Gb LAN
  • Bay locks really feel flimsy
  • No M.2 slots
  • Expensive

The ASUSTOR AS5304T is a superb NAS. It is nearly the very best NAS for Plex. You should use it for dwelling file storage, sport streaming, and even Plex. The reasonably beefy Intel Celeron J4105 CPU is a cracking processor and has sufficient efficiency to deal with even 4K film transcoding. It isn’t the very best round however is completely matched for media consumption.

There’s 4GB of DDR4 RAM that’s ample for many duties, together with Plex, however it’s upgradable for those who want to set up modules as much as 8GB in capability. ASUSTOR’s OS is pretty much as good as QNAP and Synology. There are many apps and third-party providers that may be hooked into this enclosure to develop its capabilities.

Rocking dual-2.5Gb LAN nearly eliminates any community bottlenecks, as long as your LAN infrastructure can sustain. That is particularly necessary for those who’re a streamer and are on the lookout for one thing that may deal with the bandwidth that comes with offloading recorded media.

There’s a draw back to this enclosure, and that is the worth, which places it above different four-bay enclosures, however you get a lot extra in your cash right here. It is not straightforward to seek out speedy LAN ports with out going far past your price range, regardless that distributors are working to deliver sooner ports to extra inexpensive NAS fashions.

Finest runner-up


ASUSTOR NIMBUSTOR 4 (AS5304T)

ASUSTOR NIMBUSTOR 4 (AS5304T)

Rocking a robust Intel Celeron processor, 4 drive bays, speedy 2.5Gb LAN ports, and upgradable DDR4 RAM, that is one glorious NAS enclosure.

TerraMaster F2-221

Supply: Wealthy Edmonds / Home windows Central

3. TerraMaster F2-221

Best possible inexpensive NAS to make use of with Plex

Backside line: Two is the magic quantity for the F2-221, not solely within the mannequin quantity but in addition with the specs. It has 2GB of RAM, two 1Gb LAN ports, and two USB 3.0 ports. Oh, and two drive bays. Your inexpensive entrance to the great world of NAS and Plex awaits you.

CPU: Intel Celeron J3355 | Drive bays: 2 | RAM: 2GB DDR4 (max 6GB) | Options: 2x 1Gb LAN, 2x USB 3.0

Execs:

  • Intel Celeron processor
  • 2 drive bays (28TB capability)
  • 2x 1Gb LAN
  • Upgradable DDR4 RAM
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • OS is okay
  • No 2.5Gb or 10Gb LAN

The TerraMaster F2-221 is a powerful NAS. It has however two drive bays so you will not be storing a lot on this enclosure for those who configure RAID (and you actually ought to). In order that leaves 16TB of capability, which may very well be elevated utilizing an exterior storage unit. But it surely’s the processor the place this little unit actually shines.

The Intel Celeron J3355 is sweet sufficient to deal with many of the issues it’s good to do with Plex. Stream to a number of gadgets? Examine. Transcode a couple of motion pictures that are not suitable? Examine. It is once you wish to attempt to get pleasure from 4K content material that requires transcoding is the place all of it begins to crumble. As long as all the pieces is in line, you can watch 4K motion pictures on this small enclosure.

That is aided by the truth that TerraMaster helps you to improve the 2GB RAM to 6GB. That is equally spectacular for such an inexpensive NAS enclosure. Add within the two 1Gb ports and two USB 3.0 ports, and you have got a wonderful starter enclosure for anybody who has but to personal a NAS or arrange and luxuriate in Plex Media Server.

Finest price range


TerraMaster F2-221

TerraMaster F2-221

The TerraMaster F2-221 has sufficient so that you can get began with Plex Media Server; simply do not go anticipating to fireplace up your favourite 4K film that requires some transcoding.

QNAP TVS-872XT-i5

Supply: QNAP

4. QNAP TVS-872XT-i5

Finest NAS for Plex with wonderful efficiency

Backside line: In order for you one thing a bit stronger than the remainder of our picks right here, there’s at all times the QNAP TVS-872XT-i5 with its Core i5 processor. This processor is a dream for these desirous to arrange and run a Plex Media Server. Need to stream 4K motion pictures to a number of gadgets? No drawback.

CPU: Intel Core i5-8400T | Drive bays: 8 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 (max 32GB) | Options: 1x 10Gb LAN, 2x 1Gb LAN, 2x Thunderbolt 3, 4x USB 3.2 Gen 2, 2x M.2 slots

Execs:

  • Highly effective Intel Core i5-8400T CPU
  • 8 drive bays (128TB+ capability)
  • 1x 10Gb LAN
  • Upgradable DDR4 RAM
  • Wonderful QNAP OS

There are NAS enclosures, after which there are NAS enclosures. The QNAP TVS-872XT-i5 is one thing else. Intel Celeron processors are nice, so too is an Intel Core i3, however how does an Intel Core i5 CPU sound? That is exactly what this enclosure may be configured with. We have highlighted the mannequin with an Intel Core i5-8400T processor.

This CPU is a monster for something you want to do with the NAS, however even for Plex, it is glorious for transcoding 4K content material to a number of gadgets. When you have a busy dwelling that likes to devour media, it is a nice enclosure to think about. It isn’t all concerning the CPU, although. The CPU can be bottlenecked if QNAP did not embody sufficient RAM.

Inside, the TVS-882BRT3 comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM put in, however you may simply improve it to a whopping 64GB if wanted. That is greater than what even the extra succesful desktop PCs have obtainable. Then there’s the very fact this factor comes with two Gigabit ports and one 10Gb port so you may hyperlink them up for elevated bandwidth for all of the streaming.

The eight drive bays can help you retailer as much as 128TB of knowledge, not considering RAID configurations for information redundancy. Nonetheless, you do get a couple of Thunderbolt 3 ports. When you can afford such an enclosure, you may be certain to have time since that is the very best NAS for Plex by way of efficiency.

Finest efficiency


QNAP TVS-872XT-i5

QNAP TVS-872XT-i5

This is likely one of the finest NAS enclosures round for Plex, due to the succesful Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors, and eight drive bays.

Synology DiskStation DS220+

Supply: Wealthy Edmonds / Home windows Central

5. Synology DiskStation DS220+

An important inexpensive and worth NAS for Plex choose

Backside line: My choose for the very best inexpensive Plex NAS Synology merely needs to be the DiskStation DS220+. The corporate not too long ago launched this enclosure with improved internals and a greater CPU. It is a incredible NAS enclosure for the worth and may even deal with some 4K transcoding, do you have to require it.

CPU: Intel Celeron J4025 | Drive bays: 2 | RAM: 2GB DDR4 (max 6GB) | Options: 2x 1Gb LAN, 2x USB 3.0, upgradable RAM

Execs:

  • Highly effective Intel processor
  • 2 drive bays (32TB capability)
  • 2x 1Gb LAN with hyperlink aggregation
  • Upgradable DDR4 RAM
  • Wonderful Synology OS

Cons:

  • No M.2 slots
  • Restricted capability with RAID
  • No 2.5Gb LAN

The Synology DiskStation DS220+ could also be significantly extra inexpensive than our high NAS picks for Plex, however do not let that idiot you into assuming it will not have the ability to deal with its personal. This succesful enclosure comes rocking an Intel Celeron J4025 processor, which is greater than sufficient to deal with 4K transcoding of films, as long as you solely have one stream operating.

It isn’t all concerning the CPU, nonetheless, which is why Synology included 2GB of DDR4 RAM, and you may improve that later if you end up hitting capability typically. The one disadvantage is two drive bays, which does prohibit simply how a lot you may retailer on the NAS. When you configure the drives to be in a RAID configuration (and we suggest you do), you may be left with as much as 16TB of space for storing.

Different highlights embody two 1Gb LAN ports that may be linked collectively to extend obtainable bandwidth to your router or swap. There are a couple of USB ports too that allow you to hook up exterior storage or equipment. The OS is likely one of the finest round from Synology, permitting you to get extra performed.

Putting in drives inside this enclosure can also be a breeze, due to the hot-swappable tool-less design of the bays. Merely extract, set up the drive, and re-insert, and also you’re good to go. This is not the very best NAS on the market for Plex, however it will not trigger a gap in your pockets.

Finest worth


Synology DS220+

Synology DiskStation DS220+ NAS

The DiskStation DS220+ is a well-positioned NAS with a beautiful worth and loads of efficiency. It solely has two drive bays and 1Gb LAN, however the upgradable RAM and glorious OS make up for these drawbacks.

QNAP TS-H886

Supply: QNAP

6. QNAP TS-H886

Prime choose for individuals who want a LOT of storage

Backside line: The QNAP TS-H886 is a superb NAS. It has a robust Intel Xeon D-1622 processor, 16GB of DDR4 RAM preinstalled, 4 12.5Gb ports, and two enlargement slots. This can be a NAS you need to take into account for those who want a succesful storage system to retailer loads of media with the aptitude of driving 4K transcoding.

CPU: Intel Xeon D-1622 | Drive bays: 8 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 (max 128GB) | Options: 4x 2.5Gb LAN, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 2x M.2 slots

Execs:

  • Highly effective Intel Xeon D-1622
  • 8 drive bays (112TB+ capability)
  • 4x 2.5Gb LAN
  • Upgradable DDR4 RAM
  • Wonderful QNAP OS

The QNAP TS-H886 is what you want for storing numerous motion pictures and reveals. We might have gone with a 12-bay NAS with a mediocre processor, however for those who plan to retailer greater than 100TB value of content material, likelihood is a few of it is going to be in 4K. It is acquired one spectacular CPU, making it simply the very best NAS for Plex for those who want energy.

That is the place the Intel Xeon D-1622 comes into play. It is highly effective sufficient to make mince work of 1080p transcoding and may actually have a bash at 4K, as long as you do not have a bunch of shoppers trying to take action concurrently. This beefy CPU is joined by 8GB of expandable RAM and eight drive bays in whole — six for HDDs and an extra two for SSDs.

For networking, QNAP determined to go along with 4 2.5Gb ports, so there’s a lot to play with right here, even for those who’ve but to improve your private home community to 2.5Gb/s. The addition of two M.2 slots lets you set up two SSDs to behave as caching and enhance efficiency additional.

Finest capability


QNAP TS-H886

QNAP TS-H886

The QNAP TS-H886 has all of it. Six HDD bays with an extra two for SSDs, two M.2 slots, upgradable RAM to 128GB, a robust Intel Xeon D-1622 CPU. You title it, this NAS has it.

What about all different NAS enclosures?

To say there are sufficient NAS enclosures to select from is an understatement. The selection obtainable is immense, however not a lot for Plex. When you do not just like the look of our high choose, there are many different shortlisted enclosures value contemplating for putting in and operating a Plex Media Server.

It is attainable to get equally powered enclosures from completely different distributors too. It would not should be Synology. You may simply choose NAS that can run Plex properly from ASUSTOR, QNAP, amongst others. If you wish to stream your favourite reveals, motion pictures, music, and a few images, most NAS enclosures with an Intel processor will probably be sufficient.

Whenever you enter the world of 4K content material and incompatibilities between the server and receiving {hardware} (be it your good TV, telephone, and many others.), transcoding is required. That is the place the processor issues most, and also you want an ideal one to maintain up with 4K. You can at all times go it alone and construct your personal FreeNAS Plex Media Server.

What’s Plex?

Plex is a web based media streaming service, very similar to Netflix or Amazon Prime. You may entry free and premium content material like different on-demand platforms, however Plex has a killer function set for those who personal media outright. Plex Media Server (or PMS for brief) is a chunk of software program that may be run in your PC to host music, motion pictures, TV reveals, images, and extra out of your media library.

One window into all of your private media. Regardless of the place you might be.

Gadgets can then hook up with this server and stream content material from wherever. The place you may take this expertise to the following stage is by including a network-attached storage (NAS) enclosure. It isn’t good to run your PC on a regular basis when a server with a far decrease energy draw can do the identical job after which some. That is the place our Plex NAS assortment comes into play.

By buying a NAS, a couple of exhausting drives, and putting in Plex Media Server, you may rapidly create your personal dwelling leisure system. We now have a complete Plex newbie’s information obtainable do you have to want to study extra concerning the media platform.

What makes NAS enclosure for Plex?

ASUSTOR LOCKERSTOR 4 AS6604T

Supply: Wealthy Edmonds / Home windows Central

An excellent NAS enclosure for Plex wants a couple of issues:

CPU

It is merely not viable to run Plex on an enclosure that does not have an Intel processor. It is attainable, simply not really useful. If you wish to stream music and images, even the lesser Intel CPUs will probably be greater than sufficient in inexpensive enclosures.

Whenever you get to film and present streaming and transcoding, that is the place the efficiency actually wants to extend to match demand. And that is only for a single receiving system. Contemplate your private home the place there may very well be a number of customers on completely different {hardware} desirous to entry content material saved on Plex. Because of this the most recent Intel Celeron processors are really useful because the naked minimal to get by for 4K.

To be protected, I might suggest an Intel Core i3 processor or larger. These CPUs have sufficient efficiency to deal with 4K transcoding and extra, permitting a number of customers to stream their favourite content material. It is best to arrange an enclosure with extra efficiency than required, very similar to the finest graphics card. It is higher to pay extra now than paying much more down the road for an earlier improve.

RAM

Media streaming is not heavy on RAM, however it’s a good suggestion to at all times have greater than you require simply in case a number of folks plan on streaming content material concurrently. 2GB is taken into account the baseline for a Plex NAS, whereas 4GB is normally sufficient for a busy dwelling, however having upgradable RAM places you in a wonderful place to develop it later.

It is value checking the utmost capability for RAM of an enclosure to see whether or not you may improve the RAM.

Drive bays

There have to be sufficient bays to deal with the variety of drives required. If you wish to retailer 4K content material, you may need one with at the least six bays. In any other case, you may end up operating out of area rapidly. Reveals and films in Full HD can get away with being saved on a NAS with 4 or extra bays.

Ports

HDMI is necessary since that may enable your TV to connect with the NAS straight. This negates the necessity to transcode something because the TV will merely be displaying the output from the server itself. When you can, select a NAS that has an HDMI port for those who plan on having the server situated close to the massive display.

For Ethernet, 1Gb ports are okay, as long as you may hyperlink them up and enhance bandwidth, although ideally, you may wish to have 2.5Gb or 10Gb ports. This additionally relies on your community infrastructure. Most routers from web service suppliers (ISP) can deal with solely 1Gb connections, so it’s possible you’ll must improve for those who plan on rising bandwidth.

Credit — The workforce that labored on this information

Author:

Wealthy Edmonds is a employees reviewer at Home windows Central, which implies he assessments out extra software program and {hardware} than he cares to recollect. Becoming a member of Cellular Nations in 2010, you may normally discover him inside a PC case tinkering round when not at a display combating with Grammarly to make use of British phrases. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.

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