Question Setting up home server


Mar 7, 2017
So I am planning out a home server for a NAS, Plex, and game servers and I would like to keep it low power. I am planning on having my main OS windows 10 with VMs for everything, still working out the kinks, and my main question. What hardware should I be looking for, I know I will need a highcore cpu but what would be good that would last me a good while. Planning on fitting this into a itx case if possible as my room is limited. But I can settle for matx format.
Impossible to make generic recommendation. Things like NAS and plex are more heavly weighted to the the disk system where as a game server likely is memory or cpu related. It also greatly depends on what game you are running since they have very different requirements. It is hard to say for example if high core count is better than lower core count with a higher clock. Some things are single thread so extra cores don't matter. Your power usage is also going to be very dependent on what you plan on running. This like nas use almost no power where some games will use a lot of power.

The trade off is going to be size vs cooling most times. It will be more quiet to use a larger case where you can run more slower fans.


TrueNas would be better for what you want to do. I'm currently running one on an older AMD A8-7600 with 16GB of memory on some ASRock mini-itx motherboard. The OS is installed on a Samsung SSD 850 EVO mSATA 120GB with four 4TB WD RED 5400RPM disks in a raid-z1. The 120GB is just something spare I had on hand, I could of easily used a larger disk and run VM's on it.

The only thing really special is that I added an Intel 10Gbe adapter, but that's because I'm also experimenting with iSCSI and my ESXI system (different stuff).
Hardware encoding with PLEX doesn't look that good. You can see pretty bad macroblocking at lower bitrates, especially when viewing outside the house on your smartphone. I prefer CPU transcoding only for the cleanest stream. But that requires a 2000 passmark score for every 1080p transcode. I use a Ryzen 3900x in ECO mode, that I had laying around. It's awesome running a game server and plex.

Now you can buy Ryzen GE processors on ebay. These are your best best for an energy efficient home server. Ryzen 4700GE, 4750GE, 5650GE, and 5750GE are goo bets. The 5750GE is still hard to find until things age a little more. The 5650 and 4750 have the same passmark score, but the 5650 has a better single core core that'll matter for some game servers which may be single threaded. But it has 2 less actual cores that can be split into different tasks.
For local play you don't transcode. If you have clients that are older and don't have good codec support just replace those. You don't need much at all for this since its just a file server. audio is more frequently transcoded and uses about 300 passmark per.

If you want to setup stuff for a lot of remote streams then you need to make sure you have the cpu or gpu power plus the upload speed to handle what you need. intel igpu can do over a dozen 1080p transcodes. you can also store several copies. I've heard of people swearing by keeping their blu-ray HDR in raw format. Then keeping another copy for remote.