This is not Plex on your GPU

NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang announces the Quadro RTX GPU

I hadn’t really thought Plex Media Server could massively benefit from a GPU, to be fair its not really a thing you put in a headless server? But after reading about it, I gave it a try by borrowing a Nvida Quatro PCI-express card and after some small issues getting the propitery drivers working gave it a try.

I thrown together a shell script to log the CPU and GPU heat to a text file called heat.txt

while true; do date >> heat.txt ;
 nvidia-smi -q -d temperature |
 grep 'GPU Current Temp' >> heat.txt; sensors |
 grep -e 'CPU Temperature' -e 'CPU Fan Speed' 
-e 'MB Temperature' >> heat.txt; sleep 10; 

I know theres a better way but it was quick and dirty.

From the short tests I did, it seemed the CPU kicked into high gear for a minute or two before it hands off to, what I thought was the GPU. However… During a stream encode of 4k h.264 content to 1080p h.264, while directly streaming at the same time. I got these results.

Thu 20 Dec 20:23:51 GMT 2018;
> GPU Temperature: 33.0°C
> CPU Fan: 1650 RPM
> CPU Temperature: +71.0°C
> MB Temperature: +34.0°C
Thu 20 Dec 20:24:01 GMT 2018;
> GPU Temperature: 33.0°C
> CPU Fan:: 1599 RPM
> CPU Temperature: +68.0°C
> MB Temperature: +34.0°C
Thu 20 Dec 20:24:11 GMT 2018;
> GPU Temperature: 33.0°C
> CPU Fan: 1261 RPM
> CPU Temperature: +59.0°C
> MB Temperature: +34.0°C
Thu 20 Dec 20:24:21 GMT 2018;
> GPU Temperature: 33.0°C
> CPU Fan: 1167 RPM
> CPU Temperature: +54.0°C
> MB Temperature: +34.0°C

A while later once the transcoding stops

Thu 20 Dec 20:37:40 GMT 2018;
> GPU Temperature: 33.0°C
> CPU Fan: 725 RPM
> CPU Temperature: +37.0°C
> MB Temperature: +35.0°C
Thu 20 Dec 20:37:50 GMT 2018;
> GPU Temperature: 33.0°C
> CPU Fan: 724 RPM
> CPU Temperature: +37.0°C
> MB Temperature: +35.0°C
Thu 20 Dec 20:38:00 GMT 2018;
> GPU Temperature: 33.0°C
> CPU Fan: 725 RPM
> CPU Temperature: +37.0°C
> MB Temperature: +35.0°C

As you can see with proper testing it was clear the GPU isn’t being used for transcoding (unless the CPU magically is doing something else, but looking at Htop, its clearly Plex transcoding). This was confirmed when doing more research on the issue.

Seems the problem I got is the AMD processor and if I was to swich it to a Intel one it should work with the Nvidia GPU?

So this brings me to the idea of maybe changing parts of my server.

Si pointed me at PC part picker which is alright but I don’t really understand why some Linux operating systems are not listed under operating systems? I listed most of my parts here and to be fair changing the CPU, motherboard, case and of course getting my own GPU might be a good idea?

Android on your laptop

Android on x86

Iris Todorovic showed me her netbook and I was interested in the fact it had Android on it along side Ubuntu. It was Android Donut (or 1.6) so a very early version of Android, plus it was a Intel ATOM CPU. So I got thinking surely someones ported Android to a x86 / AMD64 processor architecture and made it work on a standard PC?

And I wasn’t wrong…

This is a project to port Android open source project to x86 platform, formerly known as “patch hosting for android x86 support“. The original plan is to host different patches for android x86 support from open source community. A few months after we created the project, we found out that we could do much more than just hosting patches. So we decide to create our code base to provide support on different x86 platforms, and set up a git server to host it.

Excellent, I’ll be giving it a try…

Tiger Team a review

Tiger Team hopes people turn there security around

Ok I take it all back, I was wrong. Tiger team is great. I thought it would be all style and no substance or really boring. But actually its very short (less that 20mins a episode) cut together into a reasonable paced documentatry. Its split into 5 pieces including part 4 the heist (yes 2 members of the camera crew do follow them into the heist) and part 5 the debrief. Its actually all good stuff and you get a good balance of social enginnering and computer exploits. For example they use a USB trojan and some social engineering on a receptionist to gain access to the internal network. Theres some technical material details but not enough to bore most people and maybe not enough to really be used for copycats. For example they don't say which software there using or how they pick locks. There's alot more analysis on the show in the Schneier blog post about the series. I wonder what some of these people would say about the real hustle?

The first episode was good but the second one really good because you could really see that it was a real challenge and they almost got caught too, which adds to the suspense. I really don't hope they don't cancel this series before it plays out. More photos here and because its not available in the UK, links to the torrents.

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