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I'm forever trying to shrink the amount of hardware that I have to support in our house and trying to reduce our power consumption, so when I found unraid I was pretty stoked. 




My final build supports

  • 3 KVM VMs with their own USB controllers and video cards
  • 2 VNC based VMs
  • 6 docker containers including duplicati, unifi and plex
  • photo and file storage


For hardware I'm using 
Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO-CF  ($175)
Intel i7-8700 ($315)
4 x Corsair Vengeances DDR4-2666 16GB Dimms ($450) 
4 x Seagate FireCuda 2TB ($400 total)
2 x Inland 1TB NVME x4 SSD ($270 total)
1 x GTX 1050 ($150)
1 x GTX 1060 ($200)
1 x 710 GT ($50)
1 x RocketU 1144D 4 host USB controller ($95)
1 x coolermaster LAN Box case ($100)
1 x Corsair Hydro H100i Pro ($120)
1 x Corsair RM850x powersupply ($120)
3 x Monoprice HDMI and USB KVM Extender ($450 total)
1 x Vantec 2.5 inch drive caddy ($50)


For a total cost of $2945 (oh god, I should not have added that all up)
Fortunately, majority of the gear I pulled out of systems that unraid replaced, so my actual new cost was $985


What this replaced

  • Shop computer capable of running Fusion360 and controlling a CNC
  • Other shop computer used for mostly streaming videos and occasionally slicing 3d printer STL files
  • Gaming computer for my daughter 
  • ESXi host running unifi and duplicati
  • NUC running plex


That brings my per machine cost to $490 if I had to claim it on insurance for new replacement or $165 based on new purchases.  This of course doesn't include all the VMs that I ran on the ESX host and now run on Unraid. 


The array is setup with a 1TB NVME storage pool for cache and 6 TB of usable spinning storage using the firecuda drives.

Each of the VMs with a video card is also attached to a single USB port and then to the USB/HDMI extender allowing me to use a single CAT5e cable to extend a 1080p/60hz desktop within 100feet of the server.  No more fans sucking in sawdust or CNC chips in the shop! The gaming rig (3 CPU, 1060GTX) benchmarks in 3dmark like an i5 with a 1050GTX which isn't bad at all. Duplicati sends everything important offsite and to an attached USB drive every night and once a week all of the media we own is copied to a USB drive.  


What's really cool though is that, under full load with everything pegged running benchmark utilities etc, I burn right around 650w of power at the UPS and only 180w at idle. 

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Nice build! One question: how good is the latency with the range extenders you are using? And is it possible to use a normal USB hub with these extenders?



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They are electrical extenders, so they don't do the KVM/IP conversion that introduces lag. The USB ports are fully normal USB 2.0 ports. I plug a hub into them and am on my way

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