DELL Poweredge vs Ryzen build


4 posts in this topic Last Reply

Recommended Posts



I’d like to set up an Unraid homeserver and stand between 2 options. Could need some advise.


What do I want to do with it?


  • NAS for local backups
  • Small surveillance system (3 cams)
  • Pihole
  • Sabnzbd
  • Plex Server (local streaming to 1 TV screen)
  • VM (Win) for the children to use with thin clients
    • very basic video editing of 2min clips from their stop motion tests
    • very optional, and probably an obvious show stopper for option "1": Gaming (Minecraft, maybe Fifa20 locally)
  • Given the NAS, Pihole and surveillance duties, it'd need to run 24/7
  • Noise doesn't play a role. Dry room in the basement.


1) DELL Poweredge R430

  • Can get it for 500 EUR
  • 2x E5-2620v3 2.40GHz
  • 32GB RAM
  • 2x 300GB + 4x 1TB

  • idea: get a stronger CPU later, if it makes sense



  • Left-over AMD Ryzen 2600x
  • Left-Over NVidia GT1030
  • Would need to purchase MoBo, storage (roughly as in "1", 6 devices), RAM (16GB), Case and PSU


I'm somehow intrigued to finally get a serious server and go with "1". And it seems like an almost turn-key solution (harware-wise..."almost").


But my brain tells me, I seem to be better off with "2" and build something with a X570 board with 6 SATAs and a big tower.

Any thoughts?


Thank you!


Link to post

I don't know how much insight I can offer, but I can say I am certainly in the same boat. Like... Almost exactly, down to the hardware. That said, I am leaning towards the PowerEdge route personally, but rather than going on some long explanation, I'll just give a brief reason (plus maybe bringing this back to the top will stir up some more valuable replies!):


I currently run an R410 with an MD1000 for my disks. I run my cache SSDs in the R410 and array (and unassigned) drives in the DAS. The R410 has been awesome, but the fact I can only install ONE PCIE card is a buzzkill. I use it for my HBA and that's it. Done. No more. No 10GBe, no USB cards, no PCIE SSD, and no video cards. You say you want to use this for VMs, including a gaming VM. I run a few VMs on my much older 410 (albeit no gaming) along with around a dozen dockers and it it runs just fine... Just don't ask Jellyfin to transcode more than a few streams at a time... I think the 430 can support, what, two PCIE slots I think? You might be good in that area (available slots), though making sure things are good with power draw through the slot and/or the chassis has the required power supply connector (if required on your GPU). That's basically it IMO. A traditional build system will likely have more slots available (depends on motherboard), but you can always get a new board, a bigger case, etc... With the server, you're stuck with the board you got (and the CPUs that go with it) and you're also stuck with the case (and the limitations within). 


I'm going to shoot for an R730 for the additional room, but if the PCIE slots won't be limiting you, then I would feel pretty comfortable going that route. On the other hand, if you think you might ever (well, within the life of the system...) want to have more than two expansion cards, then the AMD would probably be the way to go. Also, if you want more flexibility. 


...Of course you could always do both. A mid-range build for your Ryzen and the leftovers on an 11th gen poweredge for the NAS/Pihole/SAB/etc, leaving the VM duties to the Ryzen. I know I picked up two 410s for like $120 on ebay, so that might not be a too outlandish of an idea.


Link to post
On 11/2/2020 at 10:10 PM, Slarti123 said:



I’d like to set up an Unraid homeserver and stand between 2 options. Could need some advise.



I'm in the big box (tower) camp


I can see the appeal of a 'turnkey' solution but I consider the Dell to be an ineffecient, inflexible box of parts bundled with a stack of high millage drives that I wouldn't trust any data to. These servers were designed as compute/web servers, not as storage servers so have limited upgrade routes. The drives are fine home home lab, IT certificaiton practice etc. where reliability is less important (and recovery is actually learning).  A couple of 4TB drives is good to get started, Ideally 8TB+ so you have a large parity at the kick off.


The hardware itself is likely durable, but a pair of low clocked 6 core CPU's just adds complexity compared to a single more powerful single CPU . A single 8-12 core CPU would be preferable if you need the performance. Though Unraid and a stack of dockers works fine on a 4 core CPU. I only have more cores so I can assign them to the remote gaming VM's via Parsec so the kids can play games remotely on a low end laptop or NUC.


For any kind of media streaming you'll likely want a GPU unless you want to hammer the CPU's hard with transcodes. While you can pick up a single slot quadro, almost all other cards are 2 slot. The same goes for gaming / game streaming (Need a GTX class card to stream), even if it's a GTX750, GTX1050 and almost all of those are 2 slot cards.  The 'value' Dell bundle quickly becomes inflexible as your needs grow.


A more standard ATX style tower server from the used market or some parts added to make your own build would be a more flexible option.

If going with a self build, parts can also be flipped amongst other 'family' computers as they grow and want independance, or if you find you need more motherboard features, just flip the new board in and retain everything else.


Personally I bought a new single socket LGA2011 board with used CPU and memory.

I now have 10 SATA ports + 2 on a PCI-E x1 card, 3 GPU, 1 for transcoding and 2 for remote gaming VM's. I could add a 4th GPU or a HBA, 10GB etc. 


All in, the board, CPU, 32GB, case and PSU would cost little more than the Dell, If you go with the Ryzen then it would be even cheaper as you have some of the parts. For any VM / gaming etc. I would assume you need 2 GPU, so make sure the motherboard supports at least 2 of 16x PCI-E (physical) with 8x electical connections. The primary (boot) GPU can be a Nv 710 or similar from Ebay for a few Eur.


Gigabyte boards may let you pick which slot GPU is primary so worth checking the manuals and this may allow you to boot from a x1 or x4 electrical slot with a basic GPU and save the X16 for the 'gaming' GPU allowing you to buy a less featured board.


Good luck




This may not be the best solution for you, depending on your needs, b

Link to post

Thank you both for that amazing input, was the last trigger needed. I was able to get some nice parts to build the Ryzen route. Will do that first and get used to Unraid. Could easily be, that I keep an alert active for ebay and will shoot a 19" solution with XEON, when I see a good deal. Would then turn that into the home server and use the Ryzen as VM...

But for training and familiarity I will go first with what I know ;)

(we're having a PV module on the roof and I will take care of consumption in the next step, then).



Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.