HW suggestions for Linux box for (VMs, HTPC, pfsense)

Good morning,

I am looking for HW suggestions for running a Linux box that hosts vms for all of the services I want to setup on my home network. I am a 20+ year veteran of Windows (it pays the bills), and I have played around with LInux off and on along the way.

Size: HTPC case, ITX/mini-ATX
CPU: I am thinking AMD FX series for the number of cores and cheap cpu/motherboards options
RAM: I have plenty of DDR3, but I can upgrade to DDR4 if warranted.
Host OS: Fedora
Guests: pfsense, Windows (possible dedicated game server) with IOMMU, Plex, home automation/PI

Thanks in advance!


I think pfsense should be in a separate box than this rig. What internet connection do you have?
I think Ryzen system may be a better long term choice for what you are wanting to do also. IOMMU is getting there which you have probably seen being on this forum.
What games are you mainly playing?
What is your overall budget?

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Seconding @sanfordvdev's seperate router suggestion. Will mean you can power down your stuff without losing your network if you need to.

The up-board² gets released for order this month. The base model should function well as a router. I need to test just how well it does, however. Depending on your needs it may not be enough. if it isn't, any old Core 2 system or better with a couple of cheap Intel NICs should work fine. You can find those things in dumpsters.


Internet is a 150mbps cable connection run through an Ubiquiti Edgerouter Lite. I don't "need" pfsense, but I would like to put another layer of protection, caching, and monitoring on the network.

I mostly play flying and racing sims. The IOMMU gaming server would be hosting maps and missions for niche games (DCS, IL2, etc). Nothing large scale. I am looking for a reasonably powerful sandbox to play around in.

I would like to keep the form factor small (an older ATX desktop or SFF is doable, but not ideal for my purposes). Budget is $2-300. I just blew my wad on a Ryzen upgrade to my main PC, and handed down my i5-2500k system to my kid.

So the gaming server is not actually going to be playing games on it is actually a game server? Someone correct me but you wont need IOMMU for this you can just setup a windows box vm and roll from there.
If all that stands true than I guess a cheap fx-8300 and board with your already owned ddr3 should suffice and get you by.


I will do some more research.