Proxmox/Plex ‘plus’

Hi All, I’m looking to build a proxmox host ‘plus’. The goal is that it would be relatively power efficient, a mirrored pool of drives for redundancy and if possible multiple NICs to enable bonded interfaces and possible future expensing to include clustering.

To that end I’m thinking of something like below, any thoughts?

PCPartPicker Part List

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-9600T 2.3 GHz 6-Core OEM/Tray Processor -
CPU Cooler ARCTIC Alpine 12 Passive Fanless CPU Cooler $13.99 @ Amazon
Motherboard ASRock Z390M-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard $347.20 @ Amazon
Memory PNY XLR8 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory $109.99 @ B&H
Storage Transcend MTS800 32 GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive $14.99 @ Amazon
Case Fractal Design Node 304 Mini ITX Tower Case $86.98 @ Newegg
Power Supply SeaSonic PRIME Fanless 450 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular Fanless ATX Power Supply $126.98 @ Newegg
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $715.13
Mail-in rebates -$15.00
Total $700.13
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-01-20 23:19 EST-0500

The storage here is purely for Proxmox, I have 2 4TB WD Red drives I’ll use in a ZFS mirror for this build

The main “issue” I see is that you have a mini itx board. So adding anything limits you to one device, gpu/nic/etc. if you’re planning on running a plex vm using QuickSync for transcodes isn’t the best from a blog post by ironicbadger aka alex k. Edit: according to his twitter post to the blog post (Passthrough Intel iGPU with GVT-g to a VM and use Quick Sync with Plex in docker on Proxmox) it’s not impossible but wasn’t what it could’ve been. Craft Computing has a plex/nvidia gpu video for plex transcodes. If it’s direct play and transcoding isn’t needed then there’s no issue. By adding a nic you don’t exactly have any benefit unless the services you plan to run are bandwidth intensive and then I’d think something like lacp would help out.

As for the cpu and ram, should be good to go. I’d suggest an intel dc s3500/s3700 ssd for the boot drive for proxmox since from what I’ve seen proxmox is write intensive and can kill even an EVO in about six months. The intel dc are rated for data center work, hence the dc in the name.

I’m assuming space is a concern and that’s why mini itx setup. If it’s not a huge deal maybe a (micro)atx motherboard and a nzxt/Corsair carbide. I’ve got an nzxt source 210 and it holds 8 drives natively like the node case.

thanks for your inputs here @adamsir2 !

I took a look into this and adjusted a bit, moved to a mATX build (now with 2 PCIE) and some expansion options. I will be using 2 Evo NVMes in a ZFS pool. I actually found a lot of conflicting info on NVMes with Proxmox here, so perhaps I’m signing up for a $300 hole in my pocket but…

Based on all of this I updated the build, thoughts on this:

PCPartPicker Part List

One thing I may change here is the NVMEs being OS and VM storage and just throw a very small SSD in for OS only (keeping NVMes for VMs)

You should really look into other NVMe options, you can get enterprise 2TB for a few dollars more…


that’s really interesting @JDM_WAAAT - thank you.

Does the adapter mean that they look the same as the direct attached NVMe drives from the motherboards perspective? Is there anything from a software standpoint I should be aware of with this route?

The adaptor is straight PCIe passthrough, so long as your software supports NVMe, you’ll be fine.

i would second the enterprise ssd. only because from i can tell, although conflicting, proxmox does a lot of writes to disk. apparently nvme vs sata ssd doesn’t matter, they die quick. like in months. But i can’t seem to find an update to date answer on this. If i were building this i would go with an intel dc s3500/3700 80-120ish gb ssd for the boot drive and then the 2tb enterprise ssd for vm storage. the boot drive would hold your iso files and then the vm store would be on another disk.

as for the hardware you listed, that’s very similar to what my current proxmox is. i5-9400, b365m tuf motherboard. worked like a charm.