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Opinion on best cheap server with VM capability


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I would like to start a new homeserver to replace my RPi4 4Gb (this little one will be converted to simple offsite backup server)

But main problem is my tight budget, so, used market is the only choice...


I can find HP Microservers G8 pretty cheap. Adding to it a Xeon E3-1260L, max out ram and adding a graphics card, I can stay in sub 400€ territory. (sometimes I can already find it with Xeon cpu and/or ram upgrade)


I can also make  a Gigabyte H97N based server basically by the same price...


(budget excludes HDD's)


Which one woul be the best one to go with?


Use is:


-Plex, Sonarr, Radarr, Torrent, etc

-Windows VM with GPU passthrough for photo editing (there are a couple software I cannot leave without... mainly CPU intesive)

-Linux VM



-Future Home Automation


Which one would be the best to go with?

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There is a lot of love around here for HPE MicroServer in general and specifically the Gen8. That said the Gen8 was introduced in 2013. In addition to what you have listed above, how much storage do you need? Is a small form factor important or do you have space for a bigger server? Is noise a concern? 


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Thank you for your reply!

Yes, form factor and noise are both very important since the server will stay in the living room, inside TV the furniture.


Storage, ~8Tb will be ok for a long time.

I have WD Red 8Tb on my raspberrypi and a 4Tb WD My Cloud (worst buy ever) as backup.

Space for 2~3 disks (like 8+4+4) and 1 or 2 SSD's (cache + Win10) should be more than enought for quite some time.

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I think I would consider building something to meet your needs.

If you want removeable drives there are several case/PSU combos around $100:


If you don't require swappable drives, you can drive the price down.

This may be a good time to challenge forum members to put configure a Microserver knock off in the $400-$450 range.

Post your configurations here!

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