I am trying to plan out a new office setup that is more in line with my current life needs and goals. I’m asking for advice on what you would recommend I do with the hardware I already have vs ideas I have in mind.
Desk setup: for daily web browsing, typing up paperwork, and email.
Home Lab/NAS: for NAS storage, docker usage, NVR security camera, and possibly Plex…
Windows 10/11: for needs I can’t use VM for, like exams for certifications, and Windows only applications.
Desk Setup: Windows 10
Full custom water-cooling
64GB DDR4 RAM
500GB M.2 SSD
NAS Server: unRaid
32GB DDR4 RAM
3 x 1TB M.2 SSD (ZFS Main Cache Pool)
1 x 500GB SATA SSD (ZFS NVR Cache Pool)
Apple Macbook Pro M1
Ideas on changing.:
AMD gaming desktop: I am thinking of just liquidating this build either as a complete system or in parts. this setup was a dream build during COVID with the intentions of getting into streaming gaming, but it ultimately just didn’t work for me. I just no longer enjoyed gaming when I combined it with streaming. It’s been more then 2 years since I have actually played a video game on it that needs this hardware. I just took a break from gaming for a while when I started my new career in IT. Most of the gaming I do now is mobile based gaming, because I travel occasionally for work, and it’s just been the route I’ve gone for gaming enjoyment for the past year.
NAS unRaid Server: I am thinking of taking some of the money from liquidating the AMD rig and building a newer intel setup with more cores and performance. maybe 13700/14700? Currently my unRaid server uses the intel 10100 and it has been working well for me for most of my needs, but since converting my cache drives to ZFS the CPU and RAM usage went way up. Then i recently starting getting into setting up Home Assistant and Frigate for NVR and such and my CPU usage sits around 40-45% daily on this server and my RAM is always around 80% usage… so i am pretty much at the limits of this system i think, because since adding the NVR service, my plex streams occasionally hiccup and pause on me when they never did in the past. I have always wanted to play with VMs on this build, but ive always had poor performance on them to the point i just had no interest in using them. So if i can increase the performance on the unRaid server and give me room to grow and play around i would benefit. Additionally, I have maxed out the motherboard and case space for expansion since it’s a mITX setup in a Node 804.
Laptop: Thinking of trading it in for a Ipad/Ipad Pro. Honestly, I bought this thinking I would use it more, but it sits more than its used, because the mobile games I play currently, none of them have a MacOS version for me to play them on the laptop. I have only gamed on it occasionally trying out Geforce Now, but honestly just been enjoying the mobile games I play more now.
Desktop PC: This one I am in debate. I am honestly thinking of turning my old intel 10100 setup into my desktop pc with Windows 10/11. This would give me really all I need for daily task I think and dually function as a bare metal pc for exam certification taking. If i did decide to get back into gaming on a PC, i was thinking i would just subscribe to Nvidia Geforce Now to play. I would just simplify everything and run it on simple air-cooled setup. I am also tossing around the idea of using an Ipad Pro extending it to the monitor with my USB-C docking station i have for my macbook pro… Friend of mine who plays the same mobile games i do from work, he uses his ipad pro this way and claims he can do everything he needs daily with it in extended screen mode for a desktop pc. If i did lean towards the Ipad route, i would still turn the old intel 10100 as a windows pc for occasional use for stuff i need it. There are a few applications i use for work that are just only available on windows currently.
Case/System Storage: I really want to get away from the huge Corsair 1000D case and the water-cooling setup. This setup has been nice when it works, but a pain and huge money sink since building it all. In 4 years of having this full water-cooling setup, I’ve had to move it twice and it was incredibly difficult to move due to its size and fragile glass. Its developed 3 random leaks over this time and one took out a GPU in the middle of covid, which was nearly impossible to purchase one and leaked on and shorted out my PSU.
I am wanting to build all of this in a small 12u/15u rackmounted server cabinet next to my desk to replace the location of 2 old file cabinets. I was thinking of using a 4U case for the unRaid server, 1U case for the simple Window 10 system. This would give me enough space for a managed switch/network project. Currently I have my entire security system POE cameras just plugged into a non-POE switch in the garage on the wall.