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New home lab in the hood: Specifications! – Part 1


Four (4) days ago and after a lot of reading around on different options for a home lab equipment, I bought my new equipment for the lab and I would say that I am happy more than I was expected.

First of all I would say that I had some constraints that I had to think a lot about.
Number 1: I had to stay into the budget. Everyone knows that you can go really crazy with buying equipment and can go off the budget easily.
Number 2: I had to find a built that is completely silent as there was strong requirement from my girlfriend (for obvious reasons).
Number 3: I wanted to stay low on power consumption. This I wouldn’t say that was “into the huge plan” but I wanted to keep it low.
Number 4: I wanted to have a built that is expandable on RAM as I wouldn’t go with full in the beginning and also I wanted to keep compatibility for later.

My top recommendations from friends and colleagues were the NUC 7th generation, Supermicro E200-8D and a Custom build with AMD Ryzen 5 1600. Of course I had some crazy colleague and good friend that for some days he put me into buying Dell Poweredge servers . Of course this didn’t happened as the requirements from my girlfriends was waaaay to strict, even more strict than the budget ;).

NUC 7th Generation (i5 configuration):
Pros: Lab Mobility, Thunderbolt
Cons: RAM Limitation, Hard Disk Limitation as well and Network ports

Supermicro E200-8D:
Pros: Definitely the best build for home lab
Cons: Price!!! This is the only negative, it was above the budget.

Custom Build with AMD Ryzen 5 1600:
Pros: Into the budget, really good performance for home lab & many different configs that it can support, RAM can go up to 64GB (I believe is okay for a normal home lab with not crazy requirements)
Cons: Limitation of the 64GB RAM if you compare it with the Supermicro build.

So in the end my built was with AMD Ryzen 5 1600. In order to put all the built down and “roughly” the prices as you can find better deals on your local shops and countries is the following:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600 – Price: ~170 EUR
Motherboard: MSI A320M Bazooka – Price: ~62 EUR
RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport LT Red (2×16 GB) DDR4 2667 – Price: ~320 EUR (this was the only available DDR4 RAM on my online shops in Czech Republic) so you can find a little bit cheaper if you have possibilities
Hard Disk: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD – Price: ~150 EUR
Graphic Card: Sapphire R5 230 1GB (it was mandatory as the Ryzen didn’t had onboard GPU so the host it couldn’t be boot without) – Price: ~32 EUR
PSU: nJoy Ayrus 450W – Price: ~31 EUR
Case: Cooler Master Q300L (small not full tower and cheap) – Price: ~43 EUR

To summarize, of course it was not that cheap but it was 300-400 EUR (at least) cheaper than the Supermicro (with a basic built) and 200 EUR cheaper than the NUC 7th Gen (with full configuration and no room for expansion). In that built i still have the possibilities of adding NVMe, SSDs, additional NICs as it has free PCI-E slots and another 32GB RAM.

Thanks for reading! To be continued with the deployment….


4 thoughts on “New home lab in the hood: Specifications! – Part 1

  1. Hello,
    Can you give an update about the home lab with ryzen cpu?
    I want to assemble the same setup for nested virtuallization but i’m not sure if it realy works or not.

    1. Hello Armin, of course it works! Currently I am with 48GB of RAM and have a 4 node vSAN cluster created nested with all the infrastructure components as well. AD and VCSA

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