Best storage connection (external or internal) for Plex server?

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by Snowy2012, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Snowy2012

    Snowy2012 n00bie

    Nov 18, 2012

    Not sure if this is in the right place but here goes :

    I have just aquired a Lenovo TS140 server with the following spec :

    Quad core Intel Xeon E3 v3 E3-1226V3 - 3.3 GHz
    16Gb DDR3
    128gb SSD Samsung EVO 850
    1.5tb HDD & 500gb HDD

    It's sole use will be as a Plex Server and it will be running Windows 10.

    Plex clients include 2 Amazon Fire TV's and some mobile devices.

    All streams are 1080p and may or may not neet transcoding.

    Max 2 simultaneous streams but usually just 1.

    So... I want to equip this with 3 3.5" spinners to store movies (the SSD will be opsys only).

    My options are to install the HDD's inside the TS140 itself OR to use an enclosure I have and connect it via either USB-3 or eSata - The enclosure is the Raidsonic Icy Box IB-3640SU3 (link here : )

    My question is, is it best to use the HDD's in the external box or to put them inside the TS140?

    Will I gain any extra real world performance (considering the useage) by having them as internal drives ?

    Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. Budwise

    Budwise [H]ard|Gawd

    Dec 7, 2004
    If the box will fit 3X 3.5" drives then why add complexity? 3.5" drives aren't exactly taxing the SATA or USB3 interface so performance won't be different. USB does have a CPU overhead though so if you're transcoding and using USB3 you could run into issues but who knows for sure.
  3. Snowy2012

    Snowy2012 n00bie

    Nov 18, 2012
    Good point about the USB CPU overhead Budwise. Cheers.
  4. BlueFireIce

    BlueFireIce [H]ardness Supreme

    May 29, 2008
    Let me ask a question of you...If you have room inside the case, why use an external case and slower connection?
  5. fmatthew5876

    fmatthew5876 n00bie

    Jul 7, 2016
    Why are you looking to go external? In terms of speed and reliability, it doesn't get better than directly using the internal SATA ports on the motherboard or a SATA/SAS pci-express card.

    I would go internal. Adding external connections is just adding complexity (i.e more points of failure) to your system. You have to spend more money on the enclosure and now you have yet another box taking up space.

    Usb can be flaky. Maybe things are better nowadays with usb3.0, but I've always seen from time to time usb drives drop out and disconnect and other random failures. I never use usb storage for anything except temporary one-off data copies.

    For e-sata, the enclosure would have to be using SATA port multipliers internally to route multiple drives over a single SATA connection. This technology has never been very good in my experience, but the last time I tried it was many years ago. Maybe its better now?

    For external drives, I wouldn't go with anything other than direct SAS connection or failing that a separate networked computer with drive access over the networked filesystem.

    Is your reason for considering external is because you want hotswap drive bays? If so there are better options there. If you have 3 5.25" front drive bays, you could buy a 5 in 3 drive adapter like the SuperMicro CSE-M35TQB. Or you could just buy a new case which has built-in hotswap bays.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017