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How to Build an Affordable Plex Home Media Server with a Mini PC?

Intel i5 mini pc plex

The Intel i5 Mini PC is an ideal choice for running Plex

It offers powerful performance and compact design. This mini PC is powered by the latest Intel processor, ensuring smooth and efficient handling of all your media streaming needs. With its sleek, minimalist design, the Intel i5 Mini PC blends seamlessly into any entertainment setup.

Optimized for Plex, the Intel i5 Mini PC provides ample storage options to accommodate your extensive library of movies, TV shows, music, and photos. It supports 4K UHD streaming, delivering stunning picture quality for an immersive viewing experience. Robust connectivity options, including HDMI, multiple USB ports, and Wi-Fi, ensure seamless integration with your home theater system and peripherals.

Running Plex on the Intel i5-1240P Mini PC allows you to organize and access your media effortlessly. Enjoy smooth playback and high-quality streaming on your smart TV, smartphone, tablet, or any other device. The Intel i5 Mini PC with Plex enhances your media experience by providing intuitive content management and easy accessibility from anywhere.

i5-1240P Mini PC is a powerful and versatile solution for media enthusiasts. It offers superior performance, extensive storage, and seamless integration with Plex, making it the perfect device for an exceptional entertainment experience.

Maxtang MTN-AL50(i5-1240p) Mini PC for PLEX Review

After thorough research into various options, I ultimately chose the Maxtang MTN-AL50(i5-1240p) mini PC to create my Plex home media server. Compared to high-end solutions, I prefer a cost-effective yet powerful choice. This doesn’t mean I’m willing to compromise on quality; rather, I aim to achieve digitizing Blu-ray and DVD collections without breaking the budget, all while being able to effortlessly stream video content globally.

I understand that for some, investing thousands of dollars in a home media server might seem like the obvious choice. After all, enjoying HD videos and online entertainment is undoubtedly a delight. However, I believe not everyone needs such an expensive solution, especially those like me who want to complete tasks within a limited budget. I seek a balance: powerful performance at a reasonable price.

The Maxtang MTN-AL50(i5-1240p) mini PC boasts a range of satisfying features. Firstly, it comes with a fast Intel processor, 16GB of RAM, and an ultra-fast NVMe SSD. While it may not have a dedicated graphics card, which is one reason for its compact size, this isn’t a significant drawback for me. My purpose in buying it isn’t for heavy gaming but rather to create a stable, efficient home media center.

Additionally, I purchased an additional 2TB internal SSD and installed it in the PC. This allows me to store a vast collection of movies without relying on external hard drives. Not only does this enhance the server’s overall performance, but it also provides a more convenient and reliable user experience.

In conclusion, for those looking to build a powerful home media server within a limited budget, the Maxtang MTN-AL50(i5-1240p) mini PC is definitely worth considering. It may not be the most expensive option, but it is an economically viable and feature-rich choice that can meet our daily entertainment needs.

I’ve been running my Plex media server on this Maxtang mini PC for over three months now, and I’ve really put it through its paces. This computer comes pre-installed with Windows 11, which I particularly love because there’s no unnecessary software cluttering it up. This is something you often find with other companies like HP and Dell, but here, it’s a clean slate.

Some people choose to reformat the pre-installed Windows operating system and replace it with a lighter-weight OS like Ubuntu. I’ve considered this option myself, but for testing purposes, I’ve kept Windows 11 intact, and the Plex server has been running flawlessly. Over the past 12 weeks or so, I haven’t encountered any issues or had any real reason to do extra work.

mini PC for Plex
mini PC for Plex

However, if you’re inclined, you can certainly do so. The first step is to download and install the Plex media server, which is incredibly simple. Just visit plex.tv, select the option to download the server on your computer, ensure your media folders are well-organized, and place any digital content you want to stream within these folders. And you’re good to go!

Plex also offers an optional premium version with additional features, but the good news is that all essential streaming functionalities are fully available and unlocked in the free version. I’ve personally been using the free version of Plex for years and have actually paid a one-time fee to support the developers. I don’t really need the extra premium features, but what’s great about Plex software is that you can do all the important things without any cost.

Once Plex is installed on your server, just ensure it’s set to open on startup, and you’re all set. Of course, Plex isn’t just for movies or TV shows; you can also store your family photo albums and any music you’ve edited or downloaded here.

But what can this Maxtang AL50 box actually do? Well, to be honest, I don’t know where the upper limit is. My family and I use it frequently, and we often stream in full HD simultaneously on at least three different devices without any issues. It runs incredibly smoothly, which is one of the reasons I chose an Intel PC; I’ve heard their performance is slightly better when streaming to multiple devices. Whether you prefer Intel or AMD is a personal preference, but in my experience, this one performs very well.

But there are a few other things I really love about this particular computer. Firstly, it operates silently. As far as I know, there are no moving fans here, at least not any significant ones. So when this thing is on, it’s very, very quiet. It has plenty of exhaust vents on either side for cooling, and I haven’t noticed it getting particularly hot after running for a while, thanks to the components chosen here. This product consumes very little power compared to larger PCs, which means lower running costs, an important consideration when choosing a potential server that may be on all the time.

For us, we don’t need it to be on all the time because we usually only watch movies or stream TV shows at night, or if we’re away for a few days, we don’t need to use it at all. This brings me to another feature I love about this computer, which is remote power on. And when this computer is shut down, well, it’s actually off, not in a sleep mode. You can remotely turn it on by sending a small electrical signal to one of its LAN ports. Of course, you’ll need to be connected to the LAN port, but honestly, I would recommend using a media server anyway for the best connection. If that’s not an option, it also has Wi-Fi capability. However, this remote power on feature is incredibly helpful; I just downloaded a free app on my phone and can remotely open my computer by tapping the main button.

So this thing is very small in size, which is its main advantage

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