Rpi3 + Plex Media Server + Bittorrent

Hello, I’m brand new user here. I have a Raspberry Pi 3 and I have chosen DietPi as the default Os (Sd card is samsung 64Gb evo+).

I want to have a plex media server on the raspberry connected to a NAS(readyNas Nv+). I have 3 clients(often simultaneous):

  • windows web browser
  • Samsung tv
  • MacOSX web browser

I have only tested 1 simultaneous stream with MacOSX, soon I’ll be doing real testing with the 3 simultaneous streams and see how well the Rpi3 performs. I’m afraid the samsung tv will require sometranscoding and I know this may be a problem for the Rpi3, I will test in the next few days. Now, I have bought heatsinks from ebay (on the mail) when I install them I plan on overclocking a little the cpu, so I have some questions:

1 - What would be a good/safe overclocking for my setup? or maybe I shouldn’t overclock at all?
2 - Should I overclock the sd card reader speeds ? The plexserver metadata is on the sd card, the files are on the NAS.
3 - It’s there some services/stuff I can disable to get better performance? I don’t need wifi nor bluetooth. I aready setted 16Mb to GPU.

I wish to install a bittorrent program, the Rpi will do nothing else (PMS + torrent). I need to configure a scheduler so that the torrents will download only on the middle of the night and the files would be directly downloaded on the NAS (so that I don’t stress the sd card). I need the lightest torrent software because I wish all the power and resources allocated to Plex Server.

4 - What torrent software you recommed me ?

Thanks for your input and guidance.

Hey drake,

I’m no pro myself, but here are my suggestions to your questions:

1 - What would be a good/safe overclocking for my setup? or maybe I shouldn’t overclock at all?

I’d say stress test the Raspberry Pi 3 first without any kind of overclocking to see if it will be able to handle the load. I’m not quite sure if you plan to go headless or not (no monitor attached to the video output) but you could watch how much load is on the processor by using the htop command either by using the terminal directly from the pi or an SSH connection through your network. If the load is sufficient by your standards and nothing lags, I wouldn’t overclock in order to give that extra protection and unneeded wear and tear on the pi.

If you are willing to overclock you system, it appears that there is currently no support on overclocking a pi 3 as of yet (meaning it could be risky). It seems like it is still possible to do based on this blog post if your up for the task: http://www.jackenhack.com/raspberry-pi-3-overclocking/.

2 - Should I overclock the sd card reader speeds ? The plexserver metadata is on the sd card, the files are on the NAS.

You could attempt to overclock the sd card bus speed, but you risk the chance of corrupting data on the sd card if the card is too slow to begin with. Take a look at the forum post here to read a little more about this: https://dietpi.com/forum/t/rpi-double-sdcard-io-read-write-speeds/279/1

3 - It’s there some services/stuff I can disable to get better performance? I don’t need wifi nor bluetooth. I aready setted 16Mb to GPU.

There should be some menus within the dietpi-config command that will allow you to disable a few peripherals (wifi, bluetooth, hdmi, picam). You might not obtain all that much performance turning these off, but it would help to cut back power consumption. If I remember correctly, most of these are disabled to begin with too. Background processes are pretty minimal from the start, so most of the processing power will be going between your plex media server and torrent client.

4 - What torrent software you recommed me ?

I haven’t tried any of the torrent clients myself (I still use utorrent on my windows machine for now) but I would say try each one found in the dietpi-software command. Depending on how you plan to run the torrent client, one might stand out to be the better pick. Dietpi is optimized for the following four clients:
Transmission https://dietpi.com/forum/t/dietpi-software-details-for-all-installation-options/22/1
Deluge http://dietpi.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5&start=10#p61
qBitTorrent https://dietpi.com/forum/t/dietpi-i2c-problem/66/1
rTorrent https://dietpi.com/forum/t/dietpi-software-details-for-all-installation-options/22/70

Hope this helps, and good luck with your build! Let us know how it turns out too.

The raspberry can stream wonderfully up to 3 clients without any lag as long as there is no hvec x265 on view… The samsung tv is able to see the hvec x265 without trouble, the computers aren’t able, it would seem the raspberry is unable to do the transcoding at all and I don’t manage to force direct play (except the samsung tv).

So I will do some more test and check how it plays.

Also I’m having some troubles with the plex media scanner who seems to stay hang up on some items.

I do much the same as you but on an Odroid XU4 as the server and clients are Odroid C2, Android phone/tablet and Windows & Linux PCs. I use Ebmy not Plex and it works very well on the whole. I use Deluge as a bittorrent client runs well on DietPi as does Transmission but I can’t comment on resource use.

The Pi3 doesn’t handle HEVC well playing directly above 720p resolution at least and although I haven’t tried transcoding on it it would seem unlikely it would do that adequately. But I haven’t tried overclocking it. The Odroid XU4 has enough power to transcode these files - for example playing 1080p HEVC on a Samsung Pro S tablet from the SD card doesn’t work but streaming from XU4/Emby does and looks pretty good.

I’m maybe waffling a bit but DietPi will run all the software you need to do what you want if the hardware is up to it - and maybe the Pi3 isn’t (I have one) - Odroid XU4 or C2 is maybe a better choice.


I installed OpenPHT on the client computers and now the server is just doing direct play while the clients are doing the heavy lifting for the transcoding. All videos work pretty well even the h265 hvec ones, so that overall I’m pretty happy with the result and I think that the Pi doesn’t need overclock or anything like that, the system is snappy enought for 3 simultaneus streams.

I will remain with Plex as I haven’t never tried Emby but Plex suits me pretty well, so I don’t see the need to move on.

Now I will check for the bittorrent, I will look the lighter one (ressource wise) that has a scheduler (very important, my bandwich is limited in the day). Deluge, Transmission, humm I will check the choices carefully before choosing.

Heck, try them both out. I’m pretty sure it is extremely easy to uninstall one or the other through the dietpi-software script. I’m glad to see the Plex server is treating you well.

qBittorrent doesn’t have any scheduler, I can’t use it. Trasmission the scheduler is very poor/limited. Deluge it’s the only one that has a decent scheduler so it’s the one I’ll use.

I will do a final recap.

I have installed Plex Media Server on the Raspberry Pi3, wifi and bluetooth are disabled. I also installed Deluge with the scheduler plug-in(downloads happen in the middle of the night). Samba is installed to map my Netgear ReadyNAS. Plex data is stored on the sd card (Samsung Evo+ 64gb) but the media files are on the NAS. Deluge downloads directy to the NAS.

On the clients I installed OpenPHT and defined that the transcoding would be done by the client. Currently the system is able to deliver 3 simultaneous streams without any hiccups, even the famous x265 videos stream without troubles.

Overall I’m very happy with the setup and I’m impressed by how well the raspberry performs (I was very sceptical about the overall performance).

Did you change any settings in Plex? I am trying to get it streaming on 1 device and I cant get more than 10s without a video stuttering… :cry:

If your running PMS on a RPi 3 or similar, disable transcoding and use the original stream. It cant handle transcoding.

If problems persists with original stream, its a bandwidth limitation issue on device, client and/or network. Or, inability to play original stream due to lack of hw support for codec.

So there is nothing else to change? In server settings or something? Do I keep it default?

On the PMS server, set the following (as per image): https://dietpi.com/forum/t/rpi3-plex-media-server-bittorrent/655/1

On the clients, streaming from PMS, I believe its select “default”, or, “original stream”.

That should disable transcoding.

I will give it a try, Thanks :wink:

In my Mac I installed the official media player application and it was shuttering and having troubles. I installed OpenPHT instead (unofficial plex media player) and I have no shuttering anymore. Also I’m using a second Raspberry with Rasplex installed and I setted Direct Stream for local and remote quality (look previous posts). My roomate is using Windows with OpenPHT also, no troubles. Also there is a samsung Tv that was shuttering until I setted local stream and remote stream to Original, since them no more shutter.

The key is that every single client must define Direct Stream (Original) on local and remote quality to ensure there is no transcoding. As long as there is no transcoding my raspberry is able to handle 3 simultaneus streams without hiccups.