PC & Server Update 3

More notes from PC upgrade plans

PC & Server Update 3

Current setup - still running two servers, the original (server 1) one is running baremetal Ubuntu server with various services installed. Server 2 is running Proxmox KVM, with several VMs set up; currently pfSense, Plex and database server

Feb 2020 Plan:

Here is my plan from the previous post:

  • Decommision Server 1 (Ubuntu baremetal machine)
  • remove 4TB HDD from Server 1 and install into Server 2 (and possibly add additional 4TB drive to create a pair of mirrors)
  • attempt to reflow solder in faulty memory - heating RAM in oven
  • install MSI RX560 to [Server 2] host and passthrough to Plex LXC for hardware transcoding
  • add more RAM to Server 2, increasing to maximum supported for motherboard (32GB)
  • set up Samba (and NFS?) file shares so Windows and Linux builds can connect to /home and /media shares
  • Set up a single VM or several LXC containers to run nginx, Ghost, PHP, MariaDB
  • on gaming PC, replace BeQuiet watercooling loop with Noctua (or similar) air cooler - due to space limitations in case caused by full-length NVIDIA GTX 1060

So how did the plan turn out? It's been over 6 months since that post and I'm still running the two servers full time, it's hard to switch off a server that's been running so reliably for so long. Currently all the services running on the original server 1 are still there and haven't been migrated yet.

The attempt to reflow the eBay RAM didn't work so I just have 16GB of useless modules.

Trying to run the RX560 GPU with passthrough on the Proxmox server was also a fail - turns out the 'K' models of Intel CPU's support some virtualisation features, but not the whole set, VT-d for PCIe passthrough is not supported

The gaming PC is held together with tape and blocks of wood, but the BeQuiet cooling loop has been removed and it's running air cooled now with the GTX1060 installed.

Not on the list: the Proxmox server got a new home in a 4U rackmount case! The spare parts list continues to grow with an extra empty case and other miscellaneous bits

Current Kit:

Here's how the setup currently stands:

Server 1 (Ubuntu baremetal):

  • Gigabyte GA-H61N-D2V (1155) Mini-ITX
  • Celeron G1620 2.7GHz
  • 8GB DDR3 (2x4GB)
  • 1x Toshiba 120GB Q300 SSD (Boot)
  • 1x Toshiba X300 4TB HDD (Storage)
  • SilverStone SST-ST50F-PB 500w Modular PSU
  • Silverstone Sugo SG13B case

Server 2 (Proxmox VE):

  • Intel i5-4670K
  • ASUS Q87M-E Motherboard (1150) mATX
  • 24GB DDR3 (2x8GB CORSAIR CMZ8GX3M1A 1600C9 + 2x4GB)
  • HP 458491-001 453055-001 NC382T PCI-E Dual Port Gigabit Network
  • Kingston 120GB SSD A400 + Samsung 128GB 830 Series in ZFS Mirror
  • 2x 4TB Seagate IronWolf NAS HDD in ZFS Mirror
  • Corsair CS650M 650w Modular PSU
  • Logic Case SC-415A 4U rack mount case

PC (Pop!_OS):

  • Intel i5 6600
  • Noctua NH-D9L Dual Tower Intel/AMD CPU Cooler
  • ASUS Prime Z270-K Motherboard (LGA1151) ATX
  • 16GB (2x8GB) Corsair DDR4 Vengeance LPX 3200MHz
  • ASUS Turbo GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
  • Kingston 250GB KC2000 NVMe SSD
  • Corsair CS550M 550w Modular PSU
  • Wooden case


  • BT Openreach Huawei Echolife HG612 Modem
  • pfSense VM
  • D-link DGS-1210-10P Smart+ Managed Gigabit 65W POE
  • 2x Aruba IAP-205

Spare Parts:

  • HP DL380 G7 - 2x Xeon X5650, 144GB ECC Memory, 72GB RAID1 storage, no expansion
  • ASROCK Z87M (1150)
  • 1TB WD Blue HDD
  • MSI RX 560 AERO
  • Be quiet! 240mm Silent Loop Ultra
  • Intel i5-3330
  • Samsung 750 Evo 250GB
  • Coolermaster Silencio 352
  • 2x8GB CORSAIR CMZ8GX3M1A (faulty)

New New plan:

I was considering upgrading the PC to last generation Ryzen but when looking to purchase a new game through Steam I noticed that it was also available through Microsoft GamePass for PC, which led me down the road to looking at the new XBOX Series models. I think that an XBOX Series S + GamePass Ultimate looks actually not too ridiculous price-wise, especially when compared to the Ryzen swapout. There is no need for me to even look at a Series X for 4k gaming support as I don't have a TV to run it.

My napkin maths show the XBOX will be around £500 over 24months, this includes a rotating selection of games (Netflix style) and a controller - plus I can sell a lot of PC kit. Going down the Ryzen path was slightly more expensive and had no included games to play (or controller) - I also wanted to run VFIO passthrough so that the Ryzen could run double-duty as a server and gaming rig. (so probably working out about 50% gaming time, 50% fixing things)


Server 1 (Ubuntu baremetal):

Decommission as currently built:

  • migrate database(s) over to new Proxmox VM
  • migrate website(s) over to Proxmox VM

Rebuild as remote backup server:

  • sell Celeron G1620, replace with spare i5-3330
  • remove old memory and install 2x8GB CORSAIR CMZ8GX3M1A 1600C9
  • install Proxmox with Wireguard VM, Logitech Squeezeshare server, rClone
  • replace server at parents house and connect over Wireguard VPN for remote backup/management

Server 2 (Proxmox VE):

Decommision current build:

  • CPU/Mobo to sell
  • Memory to Server 1

Take parts from PC and rebuild as follows:

  • install Asus Prime 270k Mobo and i5 6600 CPU w/ Noctua CPU cooler
  • same HDD arrangement, 2x120GB SSD for boot, 2x4TB HDD for storage
  • same network card
  • add PC memory + extra purchased memory to bring to 48GB
  • replace fans with motherboard controlled Noctua 120mm fans
  • set up Samba (and NFS?) file shares so Windows and Linux builds can connect to /home and /media shares
  • Set up a single VM or several LXC containers to run nginx, Ghost, PHP, MariaDB, rClone, Moonlight, Pixelfed, Checkmk, https://nginxproxymanager.com/
  • MSI RX560 GPU installed and set up for VFIO passthrough
  • M.2 NVMe drive remains, passed-through to VM

PC (Pop!_OS):

Decommission as currently built

  • CPU/Mobo/Memory to Server 2
  • m.2 drive to be passed through on Server 2 and run Pop!_OS through server
  • sell GTX 1060