I fail at servers, do you?

What i want the server to do:

  • backup all my film/YouTube/coding projects,
  • Edit those projects from my desk
  • hosting my website, forum, Ajax im/voice project.
  • Test my online game curation projects
  • Host a few instances of games servers:
  1. Minecraft
  2. Avorian
  3. L4D2

I’m thinking my budget for hardware is around 600ish bucks (before hard drives)

I know within the year (or whenever this plagues dies down), maybe 3 people might be pulling files from storage locally at “once,” for a small indie film/ project, and will be used by I and my roommates who also stream. Though in a year I can upgrade the server.

I also wouldn’t mind running Instances of NextCloud + OnlyOffice, plex, and ebooquity on maybe FreeNAS? I’ve never played with server software though from what i read, this is what I’ve been told should work?

I’m thinking something with at lest 32 GB’s ram and having all the cores would be nice. I’ve been told I might want to wait for the Ryzen 4600 to come out, but it would be nice to get all my data off all the hard drives and thumb sticks I’ve owned over the years back up.

I’ve been told the workstation below might not be strong enough to do what I need but i’ve been looking at it.

Also the only place i can put servers is in my garage and 3 months out of the year it spikes up to 120 here in Nevada… So tower server’s is where i’m looking at.

Thanks in advance for any replies!

I was recently (about a year ago) gifted an Dell R720.it has been a fun journey.

Just a few tips:

Enterprise hardware can be picked up cheap especially in the US not so much here in NZ
Support and compatibilities vary wildly between manufactures
The learning curve is step so if you go the enterprise route be ready to spend a load of time learning new things
I thought I knew the ins and outs of hardware untill I moved into the enterprise hardware market its a totally different beast
From what you’ve said your use case is I would be going with more ram tbh. Especially if your using zfs and ram is cheap enough now a days.
Good luck on your server journey and do loads of research

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Also if you use reddit r/homelab has allot of good references for building home servers allot helpful people there too.

I noticed that Wendell said on his last server build video that lots of the older servers aren’t worth the electricity it takes to run them, so maybe take a good look at how much it will use vs something newer?

Dad has us using Synology NAS (1618+) for file server and light services and another for local backup. They work real nice and dont use lots of power.

IDK about minecraft and those other ones, we dont use those, but we can run game servers on an old regular PC when we do those.

One thing old servers can be used for is backups. They don’t need to be on all the time, so you can WoL, do the business and then shut them off with a script.

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Thanks for setting out your budget, it helps when we have a frame of reference.

Ok so the Dell you have listed is overpriced, I would avoid it. Specifically it runs a 2011V1 processor which is now 10 years old. You can pick up parts like this for under $200.

I run a home workstation from that era, a thinkstation s30, and it is fine for my needs which are similar to yours, but ive had it for 2 years (i.e, purchased before ryzen was really a thing) and I wouldn’t buy it today. Moreover I only spent £350 on the board, CPU, ram and case. In the US you could get all that for less.

My advice to you is to buy a cheap ryzen b450 board ($100) and 32GB ram (<$100). You can get an 8 core ryzen 7 1800 CPU for around $150, which will outperform that dual Xeon build even with all your VMs and Nas usage. You will only have 3 concurrent users.

If you really want to push more enterprise loads you may want to split the file server off from the virtual machines and run separate hardware, that would be safer and means you can break the server without losing your project files.

Remember to plan for backups! Good luck


I just want to thank everyone for their replies.

@Airstripone, I can get a 3600x for 160ish right now on amazon it’s a 6 core 12 thread, Would that be better?

I remember reading something about how at the same core clock speeds i7’s every refresh would be able to do calculations 7% better because of better engineering and new technologies… If that’s true I presume it is the same for Ryzen?

I’m thinking i might turn my Crappy Lenovo Laptop that has a 1060 in it into the Plex server/File Backup for now, and see build a ryzen pc. I mean I’m already using it to edit files off of (though wireless as it’s NIC was DoA), from my desktop so Might as well boost it!


Lenovo refuses to help is there a way to stop the integrated graphics from taking 50% of my ram automatically?

I don’t have the options in the bios and Lenovo Stole 2 promised months of Service from me, and when i was able to call them out on it, they said i was out of their service to help me unless i gave them more money… =3=

I’m hoping there’s a way in linux to bypass the bios, please say their is?

For a freenas server running plex this would be a good CPU. If you also want multiple virtual machines you may want something with more cores. Just make sure your motherboard is a new one, not an older “refurb” as it may not boot the 3rd Gen chips.

I can’t help you on the laptop question… I suspect your “crappy” 1060 is better than any laptop ive even owned. I wouldn’t use a laptop as a file server though. If you want something cheap and cheerful then buy a $50 dell desktop PC off ebay or a raspberry Pi.

I’ve been working on something similar. For a home server running 24-7 having a low powered device was my first priority. The 10th gen intel NUC is a great option supporting up to 64GB of RAM and up to a 6 core 12 thread CPU. You can fit a 2.5 inch Seagate BarraCuda with up to 5TB of storage along with an M.2 boot drive.

My setup is just using the i5 variant and is being used for Plex, a Minecraft server, and Web Dev stuff.

I simply call it crappy, because i’ve had nothing but issues with it sense i’ve owned it. However why would you not recommend a Laptop for a server? It’s fairly low power usage, I’ve upgrade it to 24 GB’s of Ram so it has 16 after the iGPU steals it’s share. I don’t use it as I don’t leave my house anymore since I graduated from college in 2018. It has a Thunderbolt 3 port. 7700hq 4 core, 8 threads 2.80 ghz; 2 tb’s of storage + NVME, if I replace the wireless card I could install another hard drive.

Cyberpunk, how much of the cpu does minecraft use on your i5 for server hosting? I remember when I did it on a Athlon II x4 it would use about 40% - 60% of the cpu for 8 people in 2012.

How’s your lil nic handle under load with people watching/transcoding from the nic; playing on the server; if you have anyone outside visiting your web development pages possibly hosted on it?

I ask because the passmark of the i5 7260U is only twice that of a Athlon II x4 460 and the i5-8600K is 2.5 times (i don’t know which i5 you have). where the 10710U you listed is over 10000 or twice the 8600K or 30% stronger then my laptop 7700HQ, but my laptop can use it’s 1060 6gb gpu to transcode for plex.

I think I am fairly set on using the laptop for now for the plex/media backup server. it just has to work till I can start getting work again. basically till the vaccine is a thing. I think getting a cheapish mobo, a cpu, some ram, psu and a cardboard box is the goal if i want to run any videogame servers xD.

Though I was wondering about ram. I noticed their’s 128 kits and 64 GB ram Module for ram. Like corsair, kingston. I didn’t see any b450/b470 mobo’s that supported more than 64 though. However i’ve read that some gigabite motherboards support it? How bad is it to run things in single channel till you can afford another ram stick o3o? I know it works…

Also thank you, thank you :slight_smile:

Hi @mairufrost -

I’m going to go a level up from what you’re asking to help you understand what you should want rather that what you should buy. That will help you determine what to buy to fit the true need you’re facing.

You shouldn’t want to have one server providing multiple services. That’s bad practice and ancient practice.

In my opinion you don’t want a server, but rather a hypervisor host. A hypervisor host will allow you to create multiple virtual servers that run on the host.

Then you would “spin up” (create) a virtual server per service (ie backup server, webserver, “minecraft” server, and whatever else you want.) Plus, you can create snapshots where you can make changes to your virtual servers, and if you blow them up, you can revert back without having to use a backup.

So my advice is to get a host (server) with a good amount of RAM (honestly, 64GB would more than enough to start with) and a solid set of processors. I’m not a hardware guy, but I know there are other members here that are, and if you’re interested in going this route would be able to give you a good idea on a hypervisor host that would be sufficient for your needs.

Once you get the host, install OVirt and KVM and virtualize your environment. You have friends here who can help you get going on your virtual infrastructure.

Good Luck!


So far I’ve only tested the Minecraft server with up to 4 people at a time (only play with people I know). It does not seem to stress the CPU much. This 15 watt chip can turbo up to 4.2 GHz and is built on a 14 nm Lithography. The new i5 is also hyper-threaded.

I haven’t thoroughly tested the NUC with transcoding. I mostly use it locally at original quality. It does have Intel Quick Sync Video which is used for hardware accelerated conversions.

For web development I use the NUC to host locally and a third party to host publicly. My ISP only gives me 5 megabit up which would be slow as molasses.

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