Top 7 Best CPU For Plex Server In 2022

A server is a particular type of computer program that acts as a medium between the users and other computer programs. Plex is also a powerful server and an incredibly popular media server to help the user watch their favorite TV series, shows, or other broadcasts on multiple devices. It’s not the only media server but undoubtedly, the best one in terms of the user-friendly server program. In short, it’s impressive to have so much to enjoy like free and legal media, podcasts, and server functionalities at one spot. Check out the best processors for programming in 2022.

However, just like the other servers, the Plex server needs a lot of processing power to multicast a video and stream it on multiple devices. You need to have the best CPU for Plex server in your system to fully utilize the true functionalities of this server. I suggest you read this post until the end and check the in-detailed reviews of seven products for a better idea. In addition, check the pros and cons of each product to help you decide which item is for you or which is not—read the article until the end.

At a Glance:

  1. Intel Core i5-11400
  2. AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
  3. AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
  4. Intel Core i7-11700K
  5. AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
  6. AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  7. AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X

Top 7 Best CPU For Plex Server In 2022

Budget Pick
Intel Core i5-11400
Intel Core i5-11400 (Image credit: Amazon)

Intel Core i5-11400

Best Budget CPU for Plex Server

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Intel | Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Multi-threading: Yes | Integrated graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 730 | Socket: LGA 1200 | Base clock: 2.6GHz | Boost clock: 4.4GHz | Rated TDP: 65W | Cache memory: 12MB Intel Smart Cache

PROS

Solid server performance

Memory overclocking

Unlocked multiplier

PCIe 4.0 support

Bundled cooler included

CONS

Low all-core base clock speed

Starting the list with the Intel Core i5-11400 which is a perfect combination of low price, adequate performance, and power-efficient working stability. If you don’t want to go for the Core i5-11400F due to the absence of built-in graphics support and locked multiplier, this must be your priority since it covers all those downsides. Furthermore, the tech enthusiasts who are looking for the best budget CPU for Plex server, this is a perfect option for you with the latest technologies and features. 

The chip is built on a 14nm manufacturing process to help in getting enough computing power, speeds, and impressive efficiency. If we look at the specifications sheet, there are 6 CPU cores and 12 threads along with multi-threading support to help in boosting the multi-tasking capabilities. The chip has a 2.6GHz base clock speed that can bump up to 4.4GHz boost clock speed. Such a huge overclocking headroom to tackle various loads and play games at the highest setting.

Additionally, the unlocked multiplier is enough to smoothly overclock the chip and reach an optimal performance level. The chip required only 65W rated TDP to stay cool, run smoothly, and perform well during overclocking sessions. There is a built-in Intel UHD Graphics 730 controller which is quite impressive in terms of improved graphics and visual quality output. Remember, this chip has an LGA 1200 socket so make sure to have a compatible motherboard to retain a proper connection. 

Final verdict:

The Intel Core i5-11400 is an inexpensive value pack in terms of both gaming and application uses and performance. It’s the best CPU for Plex server packed with the latest Intel technologies to provide enough performance. If I simplify my whole experience with this CPU, it’s a powerful combination of a low-voltage platform, an unlocked multiplier for overclocking, and effective hyper-threading. The included bundled cooler can help you save some bucks on a third-party cooling solution.

Best Pick
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

Best Ryzen CPU for Plex Server

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: AMD | Cores: 16 | Threads: 32 | Multi-threading: Yes | Integrated graphics: No | Socket: AM4 | Base clock: 3.4GHz | Boost clock: 4.9GHz | Rated TDP: 105W | Cache memory: L2 8MB, L3 64MB

PROS

16 cores and 32 threads

Jaw-dropping performance 

Power efficiency

PCIe 4.0 support

64MB L3 cache

CONS

Limited overclocking

No bundled cooler

The next product on the list is the AMD Ryzen 9 5950x which is the most-advanced computing solution in this post. If you want to take your gaming experience up to the next level or want to enjoy the true essence of the Plex server then this CPU is for you. It stands against the Intel Core i9-10980 XE Extreme Edition which is the closest rival in terms of performance. According to AMD, it’s 8% faster than Intel’s chip in terms of model formatting and 23% more efficient in rendering. 

If we consider its specifications for a while, it nearly falls into the category of the HEDT processors. There are 16 cores and 32 threads that are enough to get the most out of any games, software, and server. In addition, the hyper-threading support and a base clock of 4.9GHz that can go up to a 5.2GHz boost clock are enough to support the statement. No doubt, it’s the best Ryzen CPU for Plex server with 8MB L2 cache and a whopping 64MB L3 cache memory.

Some other specifications include PCIe 4.0 connectivity and DDR4 memory support with 3200MHz system memory speed. It seems that the brand has intelligently mixed the 7nm Zen 3 architecture with so many features to let it beat every competitor in the market. This time, you don’t have to worry about putting some heavy-duty load on the system since this chip can tackle that without stressing out in the process. However, the absence of the bundled cooler is bad news for the users. 

Final verdict:

The 16-core Ryzen 9 5950x is the best CPU for Plex server 4k and the perfect pick for content creators and gamers. It provides jaw-dropping performance and the fastest speeds during multi-threaded tasks and overclocking. No doubt, it’s a game-changer product for desktops and notebooks plus enough to fulfill the Plex server requirements 4k. However, many of the customers called it expensive plus the absence of the cooling solution is additionally not a good piece of news.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

Best Premium CPU for Plex Server

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: AMD | Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Multi-threading: Yes | Integrated graphics: No | Socket: AM4 | Base clock: 3.8GHz | Boost clock: 4.7GHz | Rated TDP: 105W | Cache memory: L2 4MB, L3 32MB

PROS

Best-value title winner

Power efficient

PCIe 4 support

AM4 socket compatible

Excellent single-core performance 

Excellent multithreading

CONS

No bundled cooler

No integrated graphics

The AMD Ryzen 7 5800x is a high-performance processor and a great upgrade to the Ryzen 5 5600x which is a budget-friendly option. But if we look at the performance benchmarks of the 5800x, it wins with noticeable points. In addition, the closest competitor in the Intel family is the Core i7-8700k and the 5800x gives you up to a 5% higher processing power with higher clock speeds. You can upgrade to this best premium CPU for Plex server to get incredible speeds in games, software, and servers. 

It’s powered by the 7nm Zen 3 core architecture which is known for its 19% boost in instruction per cycle or IPC rate than the previous-generation architecture. If we look at the specifications table, it features 8 cores and 16 threads along with multi-threading to boost the multi-tasking capabilities. In addition, it has a base clock speed of 3.8GHz that can go up to a 4.7GHz boost clock speed depending upon the load. It seems like it’s a cut-down version of the previous Ryzen 9 5950x.

Moreover, the cache is split into three levels where the L2 comes with a 4MB size and the L3 cache is 32MB in capacity. Overall, it’s a great value pick and is the best CPU for Plex server 4k. Not only that, you can pair this chip with all the latest AM4-compatible motherboards like 400- and 500-series to reach the maximum potential level. Other important specifications include PCIe 4.0 support and DDR4 memory support with 3200MHz memory speed. Sadly, the bundled cooler isn’t included in the box.

Final verdict:

The AMD Ryzen 7 5800x is for those who don’t want to invest in the 9 5950x but still want to enjoy a similar performance. No doubt, the 5950x is leading in performance but the 5800x is just behind with the best performance-to-price ratio. In short, the following processor is an impressive combination of value for money, adequate performance, excellent processing speeds, and more. In contrast, there is built-in graphics along with no bundled cooler in the box.

Staff Pick
Intel Core i7-11700K
Intel Core i7-11700K (Image credit: Amazon)

Intel Core i7-11700K

Best Intel CPU for Plex Server

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Intel | Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Multi-threading: Yes | Integrated graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 750 | Socket: LGA 1200 | Base clock: 3.6GHz | Boost clock: 5.0GHz | Rated TDP: 95W | Cache memory: 16MB Intel Smart Cache

PROS

Solid gaming performance

20-lanes PCIe 4.0 support

Unlocked for overclocking

Fastest iGPU

CONS

No bundled cooler

No Adaptive Boost Tech

Intel is a stronger competitor to AMD in the CPU market and scores prior in terms of providing high-quality competitive products but at a lesser price. Today, we have the Intel Core i7-11700k on the list which is the best-suiting product for gaming and productivity tasks with the best value for money. The closest competitor to this chip is the AMD Ryzen 7 5800x which both carry similar kinds of performance in gaming but the i7-11700k lags in terms of productivity tasks but is available at a lesser price.

The brand has manufactured the chip based on the 14nm++ process that offers 19% more enhanced IPC in most workloads. Further, the chip comes with 8 cores and 16 threads along with adequate multi-threading capabilities. You can get a 1.4GHz of overclocking headroom between a 3.6GHz boost clock speed and a 5.0GHz boost clock speed. With so much packed in one processor, you can confidently call it the best Intel CPU for Plex server and the perfect matching item for enthusiasts. 

Interestingly, if you pair it with a good-quality 500-series motherboard, you can take the clock speed way ahead than what is mentioned—we have noticed it at 7GHz during testing sessions. But you can pair it with the 400-series boards with its LGA 1200 socket to get the most out of it. Anyhow, other specifications of this masterpiece include the 20-lane PCIe 4.0 support, up to 128GB DDR4-3200 memory support, and integrated graphics support as well. Like the previous two chips, this also doesn’t come with a bundled cooler. 

Final verdict:

The Intel Core i7-11700k is best known for offering the best value for money and excellent performance as an eight-core processor. So, if you want something for productivity, gaming, programming, or the best CPU for Plex server, this must be your priority. Other than the absence of the bundled cooler in the box, there is no downside to purchasing this chip. Other than that, an impressive overclocking headroom further adds some vote to the side of performance and speed.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

Best Mid-Range CPU for Plex Server

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: AMD | Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Multi-threading: Yes | Integrated graphics: No | Socket: AM4 | Base clock: 3.7GHz | Boost clock: 4.6GHz | Rated TDP: 65W | Cache memory: L2 3MB, L3 32MB

PROS

Affordable

Decent overclocking 

PCIe 4.0 and DDR4 support

Bundled cooler included

Easy to cool

CONS

No integrated graphics

Not only the Intel manufactured affordable processors for the tech enthusiast but AMD also puts a lot of efforts for budget-conscious users. Today, we have the AMD Ryzen 5 5600x on our list which is an affordable chip with the best value for money. If you want the best mid-range CPU for Plex server, you can look at this masterpiece. It gives strong competition to Intel’s CPUs like the Core i9-10900k with its unbeatable single-core and multi-threaded performance and speeds.

The 7nm Zen 3 core architecture powers this chip and gives a 19% boost in the IPC as compared to the previous Zen 2 architecture. There are 6 cores packed inside the chip along with 12 threads and a powerful multi-threading technology. In addition, there is a 1.0GHz of overclocking headroom between the 3.7GHz base clock and a 4.7GHz boost clock speed. It’s lesser than the previous Intel Core i7-11700k but still enough to make an incredible and the best computer to run Plex server.

Like most of AMD’s latest processors, this 5 5600x comes with a three-level cache where level-2 has 3MB and level-3 features a 32MB cache. Most of the time, this cache capacity is more than enough to use for the servers, programming, and playing games. Some other important aspects include PCIe 4.0 support, DDR4-3200 memory support, and extreme power efficiency with a default TDP of only 65W. Happily, you won’t have to buy a third-party cooler rather use the included one.

Final verdict:

The AMD Ryzen 5 5600x is not as cheaper as the Ryzen 3 3300x but known for carrying the best value for the money. You can consider it standing at the midpoint in terms of price but quite excellent for performance. It offers an uncompromised gaming and content creation experience and is enough to build the best hardware for Plex server. In addition, it’s one of the most power-efficient processors in this post that saves your bucks with the included CPU cooler.

AMD Ryzen 5 3600
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

Best Overall CPU for Plex Server

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: AMD | Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Multi-threading: Yes | Integrated graphics: No | Socket: AM4 | Base clock: 3.6GHz | Boost clock: 4.2GHz | Rated TDP: 65W | Cache memory: L1 384KB, L2 3MB, L3 32MB

PROS

Affordable

PCIe 4.0 support

Low power consumption

Unlocked multiplier

Bundled cooler

CONS

Zen 2 architecture

No integrated graphics

I’m sure you would have chosen the AMD Ryzen 5 5600x which is a perfect mid-tier chip in terms of performance and value for money. But if it still feels a little pricier than you can choose this Ryzen 5 3600. It’s the best overall CPU for Plex server with an affordable price tag and all-rounders placement in the market. On the other hand, if we look at its gaming performance, it can deliver ultra-fast 100+ fps performance. It’s fast, versatile, and can handle modern games and productivity software. 

If we look at the specifications table, the CPU is powered by the 7nm Zen 3 core architecture along with several other technologies. In addition, there is a perfect combination of 6 cores and 12 threads with effective multi-threading to meet all the user needs. The cache memory is split into three levels where the L2 comes with 3MB and the L3 has a 32MB cache capacity. All of these specifications are pretty enough to give the system an adequate boost during gaming and Plex workflow. 

 Furthermore, there is a 0.8GHz of overclocking headroom between the 3.6GHz base clock and a 4.2GHz boost clock. Such a headroom isn’t as much as we have seen in some of the previous processors but still enough in the chip’s price segment. Overall, you can build the best hardware for the Plex server with this chip but if you want more, you can check its “X” version. But the 5 3600 is still standing toe-to-toe against the Intel Core i5-9600K, Intel Core i7-9700K, and even Intel Core i5-9400K.

Final verdict:

The AMD Ryzen 5 3600 is an affordable processor to spend less without compromising on the performance and speed. It’s a great enhancement over the brand’s Ryzen 3 32000G and 3400G addition but without the built-in graphics support. So, if you want to play games, you must make sure to pair a good-quality graphics card to get the most out of the processor and the system. You get a higher IPC rate along with a smooth overclocking performance to support the chip.

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X (Image credit: Amazon)

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X

Best CPU for Plex Server

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: AMD | Cores: 64 | Threads: 128 | Multi-threading: Yes | Integrated graphics: No | Socket: sTRX4 | Base clock: 2.9GHz | Boost clock: 4.3GHz | Rated TDP: 280W | Cache memory: L1 4MB, L2 32MB, L3 256MB

PROS

64 cores and 128 threads

Effective multi-tasking output

Great rendering performance

Overclocking capability

Quad-channel/ECC memory support

CONS

Ultra-premium pricing

Requires new motherboard

The last product on the list is the most powerful processor in the post since it’s from the HEDT category. It’s none other than the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990x. This processor comes with 64 cores and 128 threads along with multi-threading to reach an extreme level of performance during multi-tasking. If you’re a gamer or a mid-tier content creator and can work out with a lesser-capable chip, then don’t invest in it. 

In contrast, if you do extreme 3D rendering or video editing with VFX rendering, this is perfect for you. This is also the best CPU for Plex server for those who want to take the server-related things up to the extreme level. It gets power from the 7nm Zen core architecture along with a massive 288MB cache which is split into three levels. Moreover, you can enjoy quad-channel memory with this masterpiece. 

Final verdict:

The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990x is a high-end HEDT processor with a massive 64-core count and 128 threads with an excellent multi-threading combination. It’s the most excellent chip for the Plex server requirements 4k, extreme video editing with VPX rendering, and 3D modeling. I suggest going for this powerful CPU only when you need it and can consume its true capabilities, features, and specifications.

Quick Shopping Tips

Clock speeds

The clock speed is the overall performance speed of the processor that directly impacts the computer’s efficiency. Every chip comes with a base clock speed and boosts clock speed where both are measured in either MHz or GHz. The difference between both speeds is the overclocking headroom. If there are some processors in front of you, pick the one with more clock speeds and overclocking headroom.

Cores

A core in a CPU is like a path that can handle some instructions set and perform a particular operation. It means that if there are two processors in front of you, the one with the higher core count will perform better. If you’re looking for a CPU that doesn’t lag during the workflow, I suggest you go for one with at least 4-6 cores depending upon your usage. 

Threads and multi-threading

Most people get confused when differentiating between core and threads and their functionalities. Well, a core is a physical processing unit while the thread is a virtual CPU’s components to handle tasks as software. The least amount of threads must be more than the cores plus there must be multi-threading features so multiple threads can work together. 

Performance

Why are we purchasing a new chip to update the older processor? Obviously, to get more performance. In order to get the most out of the chip, make sure to buy one that is compatible with the rest of the computer elements like graphics cards, volatile memory, and more. Make sure that there won’t be bottlenecks when you will pair it into the system. 

Cache

The cache is the fastest memory in the entire computer which comes built-in with the chip. It stores the data being received from the volatile memory so the CPU doesn’t have to wait to get the instruction. In this way, we can reduce the overall latencies and get efficient performance. The least bracket is 8MB but if possible to get a higher amount, go for it. 

Socket

A socket is a circuit on the bottom side of the CPU that defines the compatibility between the motherboard and processor. Before purchasing the chip, make sure to check its socket and match it with the motherboard. AMD features an AM4 socket in all of its latest processors and Intel uses a unique formation with an LGA socket along with a particular pin count.

Conclusion:

The Plex server is a well-known media server that is used to access other computer programs and the stored TV series, shows, or other broadcasts. It’s one of the best servers globally but it needs a powerful system to do all the computing and calculations. Well, you can build one by choosing the best CPU for Plex server from this post. You can read about some affordable options like Intel Core i5-11400 up to the most powerful AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990x according to your needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What CPU is good for a server?

The AMD Ryzen 9 5950x is the best computer to run Plex server with 16 cores and 32 threads along with multi-threading. It’s a perfect processor to get the most out of the following media server and run all types of its functionalities without any lag with effective multi-tasking.

Do I need a good GPU for Plex server?

The short answer is yes. Since the Plex server is related to the media and it requires transcoding, you need to have a good quality graphics card in your system to play well. You can work out with a mid-tier GPU for 1080p transcoding but you need a high-quality card for 4k transcoding.

Is Plex CPU heavy?

The Plex is a powerful media server that needs a good-quality processor to let you utilize all the functionalities. It may take more time than what you expected during transcoding at 1080p or most importantly, 4k resolution. So, the Plex CPU must be capable of handling the load.

Mathew Robinson
Mathew Robinson is an IT professional who has worked for 5 years in gaming PC industry. He has completed his MSc from Australia in advanced manufacturing and has a good grip in his field. He currently works on websites related to computer components to provide valuable information to buyers.