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Best GPU for Plex Transcoding 2023

Best GPU for Plex Transcoding
While plex streaming, one of the primary features you need to look upon is accelerating the hardware. It can support any media file and play at the back inside Plex, irrespective of any movie or web series. The video’s length, resolution, and scale determine the power that your CPU requires for transcoding. So, when you use a graphics card, you tend to shorten the pressure on the CPU for running your video. Also, the GPU is equally responsible for increasing the video transcoding speed and not using massive power from the CPU. There is a shallow effect on the video playback on the device as the CPU-intensive transcoding activities usually offload to the dedicated hardware. You would indeed need a strong GPU for plex streaming; for example, NVIDIA’S graphics card performs much better than the AMD graphics card.

What is transcoding plex? 

There are built-in transcoders that Plex media services provide for ease of their users to convert any incompatible media format to a compatible format while streaming into a client’s device. As of now, there are two transcoders in Plex Media Server- One is Plex transcoder, and the other one is Plex Universal Transcoder. Both the transcoders are based on FFMPEG. Plex decided to stop with the development of Plex Transcoder and develop a replacement Plex Universal Transcoder that is more powerful, smarter, and faster.

When do you need transcoding? 

  • The video format is not compatible enough with the client’s device. The design might be codec, bitrate, container, or resolution.
  • The video’s bitrate must be higher than the required client’s app.
  • There are instances where we need to burn the video’s subtitles for using subtitles, which requires a transcoding process.
  • While using Plex Server content remotely, the Plex would convert the video first into a low-quality file to avoid buffering. This is generally done as the network speed does not support full quality.

Setting Plex Transcoding

The Plex Transcoding process gets automatically enabled when required, but you need to add some transcoder’s settings before playing it in advance. You can check your computer or NAS and see if it meets Plex Media Server’s requirements. If you do not have Plex Media, you can download it from the Plex Media Server’s downloads page and install it following the on-screen wizard, and finish the server setup when required.
Also, Read: Cheap Ready Graphics Card
Now go to settings and hit transcoder, and now you can specify transcoder quality and maximum simultaneous video transcode. So, there are four options for Transcoder quality
  • Automatic- Plex Media Server chooses one of the three options, and this one is the most recommended one among users.
  • High-Speed Encoding- The transcoding speed would be faster, but with poor streaming quality.
  • High-quality encoding- The rate would be high-quality, but the transcoding would be slow.
  • Hurt the CPU- High quality with slow transcoding and heavy CPU usage.
The maximum number of transcoding sessions determines the ultimate simultaneous video transcode. If you want additional transcoding settings, you can click on SHOW ADVANCED- there, you will find a segment transcoder timeout, temporary transcoder directory, transcoder default duration, transcoder default throttle buffer, and background transcoding x264 present. Plex Transcoding is a thought and CPU-intensive process and might require 100% CPU utilization, giving buffering and stuttering problems. So, you initially need to have a good set of transcoder quality, background transcoding x264 preset, and a maximum number of simultaneous transcode sessions, especially when the Plex Server is running on a non-dedicated computer.

Best and Cheap GPU for Plex Transcoding

1. PNY VCQP2200-SB NVIDIA Quadro P2200

  • 1280 CUDA Cores
  • 5GB GDDR5x graphics RAM
  • 5K resolution with 30-bit color
The PNY VCQP2200-SB is perfect for 3D Designing and FHD Video Editing. Also, it is highly used for medical imaging systems like ultrasound machines and all. It is highly compatible with NVIDIA CUDA, news, and Mosaic Technology, making it easier to manage for display, and you can get the most out of your Quadro P2200. Also, you can work with 3D models and HD video. It is compatible with various software programs driving up to 4 displays at 5K resolution with 30-bit color. Features:
  • It has excellent and powerful graphics performance and display capability that helps to work on large models.
  • It provides precise detailing and clarity.
  • It supports 30-bit color support that enhances color accuracy.
  • Improved 3D designing
  • Great GPU memory
  • Powerful graphics
  • Great compute performance
  • No cons yet

2. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1660 Twin 6 GB

  • 6 GB Memory
  • 14 Gbps memory
  • 1,408 Cuda Cores
The Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 Twin 6 GB has terrific Plex transcoding and can transcode five 4K (68 MBit) streaming simulations to 1080p (8Mbit) and 32 720p stream simulations to 480p. The Zotac is quite expensive and has a powerful GPU that works for others as well, but the performance of Zotac GeForce matches the performance of GTX 1660 Ti. Features:
  • This comes with a 1,408 Cuda Core count.
  • It has 88 TMUs.
  • 105 W power during 4K Plex Transcoding.
  • Extremely quiet while running
  • Power-efficient
  • The temperature of the cards is moderate
  • Lacks backplate
  • No idle fan-stop
Also,Read: Low Profile Graphics Card

3. NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition

  • Maximum Overclocking
  • 11 GB of GDDR6 memory
  • 352-bit memory bus width
It provides you the advantage of hyper-realistic graphics with maximum overclocking and features dual-axial 13-blade fans delivering ultra-cool and quiet performance. It is excellent for gaming and provides real-time ray-tracing technologies. Also, it comes with technologies for cutting-edge, hyper-realistic graphics, and many more. Features:
  • Dual-axial 13-blade coupled with vapor chamber.
  • Cool and quiet performance.
  • GPU provides the best technology
  • Memory Clock Speed is 14000 MHz
  • Temperature issue

4. Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti OC

  • 7 Gbps memory clock
  • Boost clock of 1,442 MHz
  • Supports H.265
The Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti OC is highly durable and low-budget, which perfectly runs Plex Transcoding. So, it is best to transcode 3 4K streams to 1080p. Also, it is a great option for 1080p to 720p transcoding, as it easily transcodes 14 1080p stream simulations to 720p. Features:
  • The GPU consumes less than 75W every time.
  • Runs coolly and is quiet.
  • Has 768 CUDA Cores
  • 32 ROPs
  • 48 TMUs
  • The price is a bit high
Also, Read: Graphics Card For Gaming Laptop

5. ASUS TUF Gaming NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Graphics Card

  • PCIe 4.0
  • 10 GB GDDR6X
  • HDMI 2.1
  • DisplayPort 1.4a ports
The graphics card has dual ball fan bearings, military-grade certification, and GPU Tweak II software for the best gaming experience. Also, it has got Ampere SM that brings 2X the FP32 and improves the power efficiency making a stable experience. Features:
  • Latest Ampere SM Architecture.
  • Delivers 2X than that of the 1st gen.
  • Digital Algorithms like DLSS.
  • GPU Tweak II software
  • Fine-tune game settings
  • The latest edition graphics card provides a great gaming experience
  • No cons yet

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do you need a GPU for Plex Transcoding? 

You do not need one necessarily. Plex is capable of running on its own without one. But if you need your server to do the task, you need to install one.

2. Can Plex transcode with GPU?

It is a challenging task if it has multiple servers, but still, it can do the job perfectly.

3. Does a graphics card improve Plex?

Yes, indeed, it improves the performance of Plex, and more of all, it would be great and smooth to work with a graphics card.

4. What GPU does Plex use?

There is a list of GPUs that Plex uses; you can check the list above to choose the best suitable one for you.

5. Does Plex need a good GPU?

When you add a GPU, it helps the hardware accelerate the performance for transcoding for heavy tasks and transmitting a stream of 4K.

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