Always on pc for smart home, data storage, personal cloud...

g0rnex

New Member
Apr 9, 2021
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I need a computer as central processing unit for my smart home. I notice while starting this journey I really lack pc building knowledge.

I want to run home assistant on a computer that can meanwhile also be used as a media center to watch netflix.. , play simple games, my own cloud storage with automatic backup, maybe even mine cryptocurrencies when there is excess power from the solar panels. I think a normal computer with low power usage will be best for this. Or is a NAS better? I don't have much experience with PC building. No experience with servers or NAS's.

I'd like to keep my learning curve low so that's also why i'm thinking about a low power use computer instead of a server or NAS.
Do I need any special hardware? for backups between drive and cloud storage?
Can anyone advice me a build + guide that I can start from or tweak a little?
 

g0rnex

New Member
Apr 9, 2021
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Just found this vid: This looks a lot like I want to build. Video still relevant these days?
 

MBastian

Active Member
Jul 17, 2016
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Düsseldorf, Germany
Considering the GPU shortage: A build with a Ryzen 5 APU, like a 4350G or 4650G would be quite fitting. Performance is good and they need very low power at idle. Either buy and upgrade a Office PC or do a self build with an "upgrade kit". Maybe you can find a single CPU for a reasonable price.

Edit: I see that the non Pro Ryzen 4300 and 4600 are available. All you loose is the ECC support.
 
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MBastian

Active Member
Jul 17, 2016
135
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Düsseldorf, Germany
Regarding the vid. I did not watch it but it is really dated. If you want to dabble with virtualization Proxmox or unraid might be a good idea.
Linus tends to go overboard alot. If you do not need a huge multi-dozend-terrabyte storage array, don't build one. It's a waste of money and time.

Btw. AMD APU graphics passthrough to a VM might not be possible at the moment.

My own 4650G NAS build is doing double duty as a kodi media center with some retro gaming plugins. Works like a charm. I haven't got the time to try out the Kodi Steam addon but I do not see why it should not work. I also run VMs (libvirt) on it but only for complex stuff like an eqemulator server or kubespray cluster. The rest is either native or via docker.
 
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g0rnex

New Member
Apr 9, 2021
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1
Regarding the vid. I did not watch it but it is really dated. If you want to dabble with virtualization Proxmox or unraid might be a good idea.
Linus tends to go overboard alot. If you do not need a huge multi-dozend-terrabyte storage array, don't build one. It's a waste of money and time.

Btw. AMD APU graphics passthrough to a VM might not be possible at the moment.

My own 4650G NAS build is doing double duty as a kodi media center with some retro gaming plugins. Works like a charm. I haven't got the time to try out the Kodi Steam addon but I do not see why it should not work. I also run VMs (libvirt) on it but only for complex stuff like an eqemulator server or kubespray cluster. The rest is either native or via docker.
I'm thinking to start small with about 4TB of storage. But might look for a case that can fit more easily. I'll look into Proxmox or unraid. Heard freenas is a bit more complex. I guess I can use the internal graphics for the media center (playing downloaded movies) and the graphics card for my work station/ gaming pc.
 

J--

Active Member
Aug 13, 2016
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Linus published that video when he was really new to virtualization. Like REALLY new. He was a Windows boys from head to toe and doubt he touched a *NIX system before that. I would never recommend a system that "required* you to boot off a cheap USB drive (is that still a requirement?).

I'm guessing Unraid paid him some money to push their stuff, and it paid itself back for sure. Still not a good product IMHO.

edit: looks like the USB drive is still a requirement. :rolleyes: