Dilemma: Build a Proxmox Monster vs Multiple Humble Bare-Metal Builds?

First of all, great community here! There’s a fantastic balance between depth and approachability for people (like me) who are still getting educated. So thanks for that - no doubt that takes a lot of patience and love of the topic(s)!

TL;DR - Skip to bold text below

The title summarizes my question well. I just built an OpnSense box on a Dell 7020 with a i350 t4 v2 NIC, and it seems hilariously overkill. My original thought processes from what I learned from this community and others is, “bare metal is always better, especially for critical tasks like your router. You don’t want to take down your router to tinker with other systems”. I haven’t been able to get over 20% on the i5 when maxing out my gig fiber connection.

So I think “hmm, perhaps I could get my Home Assistant + NodeRed install off this old laptop and make better use of the 7020”. But then I had planned to put that on a future DIY NAS build.

Then for the NAS there’s the question of combining a home media server / torrent system on the same machine, but then I’ll need some decent graphics power, won’t I? And what about Blue Iris or whatever system I end up going with to receive and process a few PoE cams I’m looking to install?

At the same time, I’m doing more GPU intensive machine learning experimentation that I’d like to offload from my Macbook Pro since I do all my dev work for my day job on that machine, so I’ve been looking for an excuse to build a machine with NVidia so I can finally take advantage of Cuda.

So you can see the dilemma forming up - balancing a “separation of concerns” vs being downright wasteful with resources and missing opportunities for a natural synergy of various tasks on the same hardware.

My question comes down to this. What has your experience taught you about best practices for choosing what tasks share hardware and what should not?

And what might that look like for the following list:

  • PFSense/OpnSense Router (Supporting gigabit fiber)
  • HomeAssistant + NodeRed + MQTT
  • NAS that will also backup to the cloud
  • Home media server/torrents
  • NVR for 4-6 4k poe cams with BlueIris or equiv
  • System for off-loading long-running GPU intensive tasks

For me personally, money isn’t super tight, but definitely not looking to be wasteful. Space isn’t a huge issue short of lining up 30+ full size towers.

Thanks in advance!