Choose Me a Plex Server

I'm sick of reading articles and discussions and reddit threads about different options and what ones are best.

Please someone just link me to a computer they recommend I run as a Plex server.

All I care about:

  1. Hard drive slots so I can expand it up to multiple terrabytes
  2. Low power usage so I can keep it on without my bills doubling
  3. Powerful enough for two users at 1080p (4K is nice but not necessary for me)
  4. Cheap as possible, preferably under $400

I'm fine with it being second-hand, in fact I'd prefer to buy it from eBay from someone who's refurbished one.


  • +3 votes

    I would not get a computer if low power usage is a requirement.
    Any 4 bay Synology/QNAP NAS within your budget would be the way to go.


    Even a 2 bay Synology would be adequate for your needs.

  • +1 vote

    I built my own.

    I already had drives but add to it when necessary. My machine can easily transcode 3 streams but I never (rarely) do. Everyone direct plays.

    Ryzen 2200G
    8GB ram
    18TB storage and room for more

    I use it to run my printer server, pi-hole, sabnzbd, rclone, lftp. Essentially, most tasks have been passed off onto it.

    It never struggles for CPU power and goes well with the heat.

    I have upgraded/added a few things since buying: a PCI-E sata card (MB only has 4 sata connectors), extra 4gb ram, 3 additional fans (it's in my garage, so I want it to be cool in the summer).

    I think, all up, it has cost <$450 excluding drives.

    It costs about $5-7 per week to run from 4am to 11pm every day.

    • +1 vote

      I second this. 2200G is ideal budget new processor. $91 @ MSY currently.

      You don't even need 8GB of RAM. My Plex server has 4GB. It's all about the CPU passmark, Plex uses very little RAM.

      If you just want a complete second hand box, scour eBay for the best specc'd Dell Optiplex 9020 you can find. 4590 at a minimum.

      • +1 vote

        Correct on the ram front. I only got an extra stick because it was cheap and "why not?!".

        Second hand is good but the 2200g will likely be cheaper in power bills.

        It's a great CPU and does really well for the price


    Following as i'm wanting similar criteria how ever to also run 4k files or 1440p


      4k can be tricky and a downright PITA in some circumstances.

      Would recommend just using something like a Nvidia Shield and Kodi (either sharing the files over your network and or using the Plex addon) on your 4k screens.


    I'm running a second hand Mac mini, pumped it with RAM and is sweet.