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Bert
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Bert

Total newb to NAS and probably not an Emby specific question but I am looking to improve Emby performance since that's the main purpose. The menu's are slow to appear and operate on my clients. I don't have added memory or SSD cache in my 920+ and not sure I want or need both upgrades. Would one (or both) of these upgrade the performance? Which one should I try? TIA

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Are these clients only used on your LAN and this is where you would like it to be faster or is this an Internet based client (remote)?

If you go in and look at your libraries with advanced turn on is "Download images in advance" enabled?

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27 minutes ago, cayars said:

Are these clients only used on your LAN and this is where you would like it to be faster or is this an Internet based client (remote)?

If you go in and look at your libraries with advanced turn on is "Download images in advance" enabled?

Do you mind explaining a little more on that setting as I don't completely understand the help text. Is it when clients first open the app, it will request all images even before the client has gone into the library folder?

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What this is asking is do you want Emby Server to download images when it's scanning in new files or to just wait until the media is being looked at the first time.

If that is not enabled it will make the GUI seem slower at first because it's got to download the media, process it to the size needed, copied to the cache folder, handed off to the client.  Different apps/systems will need the image in different sizes so even after you have the image it can seem a tad slower until the different client/apps  all have the sizes they will need.

The above is mostly for the show/movie images.  Then there is the cast/people, studios,, program info/pictures that also go through somethings similar on first use.  So even a really fast server has some additional overhead on new systems as this info is built up.

I'm running my system on a 920+ at the moment right now and did upgrade memory and installed two 1 TB SSD chips used for read/write caching and I do think they make a difference. I also bonded the two 1 Gb Ethernet ports.

Part of your overall speed of the NAS itself is going to be determined by what software you have loaded and what is active using resources. 

Synology specs say this box can be upgraded to 8 GB memory but you can find a lot of online YouTube videos of people pushing way past this.  I've added a 16 GB chip and it worked without issue.  You likely don't need to add this much memory and it's mostly only useful if you run VMs on the NAS.  However a memory upgrade to 8 GB total is going to be beneficial.

A memory upgrade is pretty cheap. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B08MTFHKT7/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 is a 4 GB chip for $32 that will bring the system up to 8 GB and works well from my own testing.

A much more expensive upgrade is the two 1 TB SAMSUNG M.2 NVMe drives I added at $129/each. I configured these as RAID 1 using both READ/WRITE.  This helps to cache the Emby meta-data/cache as well as transcode information.  It speeds up writes as well so makes the system feel a bit faster.

The number and speed of the actual HDDs you installed as well as RAID type they are setup in DSM makes a difference as well. A NAS built using 7200 RPM drives is likely going to be faster than a NAS built using 5400 RPM drives.

I can tell you with the hardware/setup I just mentioned, mainly running only Emby on the box, my setup it's pretty fast loading screens in Emby.
I could remote in and take a quick look at your setup & get an idea of your speed watching using your own computer on the LAN.

Hope some of this might help,
Carlo

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vferg

Just my 2 cents, When I started my setup on a Synology about 4 years ago I also had this same issue to the point that it was basically unusable.  I ended up getting an SSD and just used it as a stand alone drive in the enclosure and used it to install every application on it including Emby.  I pointed Emby's cache location and all the others to it as well and its been pretty flawless ever since.  I was told it shouldn't be this way but it really did solve all my issues so that's all that mattered to me.  Just an FYI I have a 250gb one that it all sits on and I still have over 100gb left of space to use so it should be a pretty cheap upgrade if you choose to go that route and try it out.  I wish my older unit had an M.2 slot like the newer ones... at least then I wouldn't have wasted a drive slot which is my only complaint.

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I don't know if this applies to all Synology boxes or not but you can attach an external drive via eSATA or USB3 to the NAS.

These show up as External devices. Each drive can be setup as a shared folder.
At that point these drives are fully available to Emby to use.

I've got 8 bay StarTech cases that do nothing fancy (no disc combining or RAID) but provide 8 drives to Synology this way.
In Emby you can use these drives for Transcoding, Cache, Metadata, DVR, etv like this:
image.png.897598d73e3159481c2378616c6e9b32.png

You can name the USB/eSATA shares anything you want but I use numbers representing the bay they are located in.

So you could attach a 2.5 SSD via USB3 or eSATA to the NAS and use it this way without having to give up an internal drive bay.
These external drives can even use NTFS formatting and work just fine.  They can be read by both Windows and Synology with no problem depending on what box you plug it into.

Via DSM you can't create pools using these drives but can access each drive just fine.

There are probably two downsides to this as you have no type of RAID protection against a failed disc (backup) and some apps can't make use of this space such as Storage Manager, SAN Manager (iSCSI support) or VM Manager as they will only want to use or manage a storage pool. But by being able to move content from an internal pool to the external drives allows you to free up internal drive space for those apps. :)

You can even use the mount command to take the contents of an external drive and mount it to an internal pool if you want.

Edited by cayars
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Bert

Apologies for going MIA, currently baseball and football season for my kids plus work is slammed.  All good suggestions.  I use almost all the clients (Samsung, LG, Firesticks, Theater), currently at home only as I am moving over to the NAS slowly.  The menu's seemed a bit slow and Live TV takes 6-7 seconds to start up.  I guess I was looking for which would be most beneficial.  After reading the comments I think I'll get at least one SSD to throw in there.  Some of my issue may also because I am transferring files over and emby is doing it's work on them taxing the box.

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Bert
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It's not used for storage but the Synology OS will cache frequently used files on it and this can make a difference.

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Just personal but I wouldn't get the Western Digital WD Blue SN550 as that's a couple generations old. I'd look at the SN570 for a new purchase if you want WD.

Here are a few things to understand when using NVMe on Synology NASes.

Synology is sharing a PCIe lane on the board with the NVMe.  Depending on model this total bandwidth will be around 500MB/s, 2000MB/s or 4000MB/s.
Look at your model to what speeds it will top out at and use this info to help you decide the NVMe to purchase.

DS1621xs+
(MAX CPU Lanes 32)  PCIe 3.0 4X - 4000MB/s

DS1821+, DS1621+ 
(MAX CPU Lanes 16) PCIe 3.0 X2 - 2000MB/s

DS720+, DS420+, DS920+, DS1520+, DS918+, DS1019+ 
(MAX CPU Lanes 6) PCIe 2.0 1X – 500MB/s

Tom's Hardware has a good review page on NVMe that can be used on many Synology models here https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-ssds,3891.html
Make sure the NVMe you purchase is compatible with your NAS!

This info is from the article above but maybe easier to read this way:

1. Samsung 980 Pro (MZ-V8P1T0B)
Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3c
Sequential Reads/Writes: 7,000 MBps / 5,000 MBps
Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 1,200 TBW
250GB $89.99, 500GB $109.99, 1TB $176.80, 2TB $360.57

2. WD Black SN850
Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.4
Sequential Reads/Writes: 7,000 MBps / 5,300 MBps
Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 1,200 TBW
500GB $107.99, 1TB $193.13, 2TB $359.99

3. Crucial P5 Plus (CT1000P5PSSD8)
Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.4
Sequential Reads/Writes: Up to 6,600 MBps / 5,000 MBps
Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 1,200 TBW
250GB $51.99, 500GB $94.99, 1TB $159.99, 2TB $319.99

4. Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus (SB-RKT4P-2TB)
Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.4
Sequential Reads/Writes: 7,200 MBps / 6,900 MBps
Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years (with registration) / Up to 2,800 TBW
1TB $179.98, 2TB $359.99, 4TB $879.99

5. SK hynix Gold P31 (Gold P31 PCIe NVMe)
Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3
Sequential Reads/Writes: 3,500 MBps / 3,200 MBps
Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 1,200 TBW
500GB $69.99, 1 TB $129.99, 2TB $244.99

6. Samsung 970 EVO Plus
Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3
Sequential Reads/Writes: 3,500 MBps / 3,200 MBps
Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 1,200 TBW
500GB $59.99

7. Crucial P5 M.2 NVMe SSD (CT2000P5PSSD8)
Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3
Sequential Reads/Writes: 3,400 MBps / 3,000 MBps
Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 1,200 TBW
250GB 51.9, 500GB $69.99,1TB $99.99, 2TB $319.99

8. Patriot Viper VPR100
Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3
Sequential Reads/Writes: 3,300 MBps / 2,900 MBps
Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / 1600 TBW
$250GB $133.47, 500GB $74.99, 1TB $159.99

9. Sabrent Rocket Q
Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3
Sequential Reads/Writes: 3,300 MBps / 2,900 MBps
Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years (with registration) / Up to 1800 TBW
500GB $64.99, 1TB $119.98, 2TB $249.98, 4TB $599.98, 8TB $1299.99

10. Samsung 980 (MZ-V8V1T0B/AM)
Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.4
Sequential Reads/Writes: Up to 3,500 MBps / 3,000 MBps
Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 600 TBW
250GB $54.99, 500GB $69.99, 1TB $134.99

11. WD Blue SN550
Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.1 x4 / NVMe 1.3
Sequential Reads/Writes: 2,400 MBps / 1,750 MBps
Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 600 TBW
Old Gen: 250GB $44.99, 500GB $49.99, 1TB $94, 2TB $224.99

WD Blue SN570
New Gen: 250GB $53.99, 500GB $57.99

Commentary from me here:

I personally am using 2 of the #10 ranked NVMe at 1TB each in my Synology 920+.  I've had really good luck with Samsung SSD and NVMe in general so normally it's my go to brand.

Purely from a cost stand point for different sizes this would likely be my recommendation

250GB:: #3. Crucial P5 Plus (CT1000P5PSSD8) $51.99 or #11 WD Blue SN570 $53.99
500GB #10. Samsung 980 (MZ-V8V1T0B/AM) $69.99 or #11 WD Blue SN570 $57.99
1TB: #7. Crucial P5 M.2 NVMe SSD (CT2000P5PSSD8) $99.99 or #11. WD Blue SN550 (unless a SN570 is available) $94
2TB: #5. SK hynix Gold P31 (Gold P31 PCIe NVMe) $244.99, #9. Sabrent Rocket Q $249.98 or WD Blue SN550 (unless a SN570 is available) $224.99

The WD Blue SN550 has a lower Sequential Reads/Write speed compared to most others so factor that into cost.

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If you're not in a hurry and can wait a couple of weeks I'm going to do some testing again of various  setups using the 2 TB NVMe I have in the Synology 920+.
This test will use the conventional Synology setups which can include
  1TB read/write cache
  2 TB read only cache

I'm also going to retest mounting the NVMe(s) as storage volumes instead of cache using SSH and the command line as Synology DSM is built on Linux

Then I'm also going to try something a bit different and take a 2.5 Samsung Pro SATA drive and attach it to the Synology 920+ by SATA and by USB3.

For the last two configurations mentioned (being their own volume) I'll manually configure different Emby features to store content on the mounted volume.  This could include:
Cache Folder
Meta-Data
Transcoding
Conversions Path

Depending on how that goes I could possibly add in using Symbolic links to actually move the whole Emby Server folder to the NVMe/SDD volume.

I can already do all the above but what I'm trying to think of is how to test/measure performance for real-world Emby use to see how much each of these helps.

I have a few ideas for some tests but I'd like to hear other's feedback on what to test.  Some things could be subjective like how fast graphics load so while that will be observed it would be nice to be able to time this in some fashion (maybe using API).

With the different caching methods it would be interesting to see how each would do for transcoding. Would one method support more transcodes?
Another test might be to see how many DVR recordings can be done simultaneously maybe with one or two live viewing going on as well.

So if you have any ideas let me know.

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Mpmarvin999

I'm very curious to see what you come up with

6 hours ago, cayars said:

If you're not in a hurry and can wait a couple of weeks I'm going to do some testing again of various  setups using the 2 TB NVMe I have in the Synology 920+.
This test will use the conventional Synology setups which can include
  1TB read/write cache
  2 TB read only cache

I'm also going to retest mounting the NVMe(s) as storage volumes instead of cache using SSH and the command line as Synology DSM is built on Linux

Then I'm also going to try something a bit different and take a 2.5 Samsung Pro SATA drive and attach it to the Synology 920+ by SATA and by USB3.

For the last two configurations mentioned (being their own volume) I'll manually configure different Emby features to store content on the mounted volume.  This could include:
Cache Folder
Meta-Data
Transcoding
Conversions Path

Depending on how that goes I could possibly add in using Symbolic links to actually move the whole Emby Server folder to the NVMe/SDD volume.

I can already do all the above but what I'm trying to think of is how to test/measure performance for real-world Emby use to see how much each of these helps.

I have a few ideas for some tests but I'd like to hear other's feedback on what to test.  Some things could be subjective like how fast graphics load so while that will be observed it would be nice to be able to time this in some fashion (maybe using API).

With the different caching methods it would be interesting to see how each would do for transcoding. Would one method support more transcodes?
Another test might be to see how many DVR recordings can be done simultaneously maybe with one or two live viewing going on as well.

So if you have any ideas let me know.

 

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bjjones

I'm very interested as well, I'm sure that there will lots of great data from that as well as some things that might not be as effective as they would seem.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Bert

OK, so you have the 920+ just like I do. According to your comment, the max it does is 500 MB. So why would I need more than that?

Does two 1TB vs say two 500 GB make a huge difference (I wouldn't think it would)? 

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Technically over 500 Mb throughput on this NAS isn't going to perform better as you've hit the IO bus limit.
However, it may still be a better NVRM and faster in general.  Typically the higher the throughput the faster it is.
Not sure how much difference it will make in real-life.

A top of the line module like a Samsung Pro is going to be overkill and that I'm quite confident in as well as the extra money spent on it. :)

I have only tested with the two 1 TB m.2 cards in read/write RAID 1 mode against 35 TB volume on the 4 Internal drives.
So I can't really comment how much better it will be then two 512 GB m.2 configured the same.

Being that it can help with both read and write ops I wanted the largest cache I could get for reasonable money and 2 TB m.2 are just to expensive and would cost as much as the NAS itself. LOL

512 to 1 TB seems the sweat spot to me for money spent vs bang for the buck. If I were guessing I'd think 2 512 GB m.2 would work really well and maybe the 2 1TB cards would be maybe 5 to 10% better if that. Diminishing returns on bigger caches.  I'd say this is especially true if you're not adding lots of new content where the larger write cache could have benefit without removing the cache and meta data entries.  But even so that would be a lot of writing at one time!

512s should easily handle the typical Emby cache and metadata content (keeping them cached) while providing the cached writes of the transcode engine (really speeding this up) as well as recording/DVR.  That saves a lot IO which can cause some people issues when watching live tv and recording at the same time.

Strictly on the NAS with the 2 m.2 and not doing anything special or tricky I can be recording 4 NFL football games and play a couple of them back at the same time with no issues. These playbacks can even be from Chrome browser which requires transcoding. So that says a lot I think to me for what it does for the IO bottleneck that would have been there without the m.2s

Your mileage may vary but that's what I've found from personal experience.

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Tremas

@cayars - this is really good information, thank you for sharing. This summer, I just switched to a Synology DS1520+ from a windows based HTPC/server. Right now, I have all mechanical drives and about 6TB worth of media configured as SHR. If I understand correctly, Synology only officially supports the m.2 drives for cache. So I'm trying to decide if I would get better "bang for my buck" performance going with the DSM managed m.2 NVME cache, or setting up a new volume with SSD HDs and moving Emby/Emby cache folders to that faster volume manually. I'm sure either one would be an improvement, but I'm interested to see what results you get from your tests mentioned above.

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That is something I'm wanting to test but haven't gotten to it yet.  I've got a couple Samsung Pro 2.5 SSD that I was thinking of putting in a USB enclose. Plug that into the Synology and try using it for cache, meta-data, transcoding, DVR (maybe one at a time and combinations) to see what type of gains could be had.

To be a worthwhile test I really need to disable my m.2s tou take the caching I have out of the picture.  I've been trying to think of valid tests to use.

What I'm leaning toward is possibly a set of recording from a tuner, then 2 tuners, 3 tuners, then 1 playback, 2 playbacks, 3 playbacks, etc.
I could then document what the basic NAS can do on it's own, then with m.2 cache as I have configured and also with a USB SSD.

I think something like that is probably one of the better tests to do or some variation of it as DVR/Live TV is one of the more problematic things for most people because of the higher IO.
Having cache and metadata load faster is a plus but I think Live TV and DVR is where the real benefits are gained.

I'd love to hear feedback from others.

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Bert
On 10/20/2021 at 2:51 PM, cayars said:

That is something I'm wanting to test but haven't gotten to it yet.  I've got a couple Samsung Pro 2.5 SSD that I was thinking of putting in a USB enclose. Plug that into the Synology and try using it for cache, meta-data, transcoding, DVR (maybe one at a time and combinations) to see what type of gains could be had.

To be a worthwhile test I really need to disable my m.2s tou take the caching I have out of the picture.  I've been trying to think of valid tests to use.

What I'm leaning toward is possibly a set of recording from a tuner, then 2 tuners, 3 tuners, then 1 playback, 2 playbacks, 3 playbacks, etc.
I could then document what the basic NAS can do on it's own, then with m.2 cache as I have configured and also with a USB SSD.

I think something like that is probably one of the better tests to do or some variation of it as DVR/Live TV is one of the more problematic things for most people because of the higher IO.
Having cache and metadata load faster is a plus but I think Live TV and DVR is where the real benefits are gained.

I'd love to hear feedback from others.

Well I'd be happy to let you test on mine assuming there is remote access I could grant you (or if you want to visit Chicago) lol. It's a 920+ completely stock. Currently fighting the urge to add two TB Crucial Drives Best Buy has on sale. 

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It sounds like you're just about ready to start testing yourself. :)

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Bert

Broke down and bought the SSD. Anything special I need to do other than shut it down and pop them in? 

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You may need to format the drive as well.

Then once you have it installed and running try it out by moving the Emby transcoding folder over to it.

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Bert
12 hours ago, cayars said:

You may need to format the drive as well.

Then once you have it installed and running try it out by moving the Emby transcoding folder over to it.

Formatted, Cache set up.  No idea on how to move the Emby transcoding Folder over.  Could you point me in the right direction?  Edit: I know where to do it in Emby, just don't know what folder to navigate too.

Edited by Bert
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FrostByte
21 minutes ago, Bert said:

Formatted, Cache set up.  No idea on how to move the Emby transcoding Folder over.  Could you point me in the right direction?  Edit: I know where to do it in Emby, just don't know what folder to navigate too.

I don't think you can by default as Synology limits m2 drives to caching only because they are afraid they will overheat when used as normal drives as a NAS is meant to run 24/7.   However, you can SSH into your NAS and get around it.

I would wait to see what @cayars has to say since he's done it already, but I believe those are the instructions you will need to follow in order to see them as normal storage.

Edited by FrostByte
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