Introducing Myself

Hello, all! I’ve been on and off the forums in the past but recently went down a rabbit hole on some of the newer builds. I’ve been tinkering with computers since the early 90s, but haven’t done a lot of building. Mostly just upgrading off-the-shelf systems as they lose relevance.

I got really intrigued with the NAS Killer 4.0. I’ve got a custom-built AMD Athlon II setup that I built almost a decade ago. I’ve been running that as a media server/NAS. Unfortunately, my situation has changed where I need to downsize some stuff and the NAS is one of those things. It’s running in a “mid-tower” that’s not really “mid” in my opinion.

I started thinking through the ultra-quiet “Plus” build, but ultimately decided to get a consumer processor instead of server. While my build is mostly file server focused, I want the ability to move into the realm of Hypervisor/KVM, mid-level gaming, and potentially even VR (though I know I’ll be a ways away from that for a while). The AMD Ryzen 5 I was looking at is a 6C/12T processorMy build was moving into the $900 range (AMD Ryzen 5 2600, Fractal Design Node 804 case, 32GB DDR4 RAM, etc).

However, I was taking a look at eBay and noticed this:
It’s a super tiny form factor desktop with a Ryzen 5 PRO 3400GE (similar to the 3600 but with integrated graphics and enterprise add-ons). The 3400GE does lose 2 cores/4 threads, but I save the (minimum) $50 I was going to spend on a bare bones GPU, plus replaced $200 I was going to spend on the CPU. I also get 32GB of RAM and 512 GB NVMe SSD storage, replacing another $250 $100 or so off my build. Finally, I get the jump on building a hardware transcoder, as I’ll already have the form factor and will just need to part out a few things.

I wasn’t really planning on going this route, and I know I’m giving up some capabilities (like the extra cores, potential OC ability, etc), but the M75q that I bought costs over $1,500 built out on Lenovo’s website. I’m still going to end up spending around $900 for the build, plus probably another $200-ish on finishing up the HW transcode build. But I just couldn’t pass up this option. Hopefully, it’ll work out in my favor in the near-term. I know I’ll eventually need to add at least a mid-level GPU if I want to run VR, and I may even need to upgrade the CPU (although I don’t think so). I look forward to posting up my completed build in a few weeks/month.