Question Proxmox Build - Intel NUC vs 2U Custom Build

Kristi2k

Golden Member
Oct 25, 2003
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I currently have a HP Z820 Workstation with 128GB RAM and some SSD drives. CPU = Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2667 v2 @ 3.30GHz (2 Sockets). It runs great, but I am selling it as it uses too much power. About 111 watts to 200 watts depending on what it's doing.

My Goals:
  1. Save on my electrical bill (less watts the better)
  2. Have a small foot print (Z820 is a beast)
  3. Have the power I need
I'm looking at 1 of 2 options:
  1. Buy an Intel NUC NUC12WSHi5 and place on a shelf in my 18U rack
  2. Build a custom Micro ATX system and place it in a Rosewill 2U chassis to fit in my 18U rack
Intel NUC Build:
NUC12WSHi5 - $525
64GB RAM - $150
Seagate Firecuda 520 2TB - $180
1TB SSD (Own already)
SABRENT 512GB Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2242 - $70

Micro ATX Build:
ASRock B660M-HDV LGA 1700 Intel B660 SATA 6Gb/s DDR4 Micro ATX Motherboard - $89
Rosewill RSV-Z2700U 2U Server Chassis Rackmount Case - $155
Intel Core i5-12600 - Core i5 12th Gen Alder Lake 6-Core 3.3 GHz LGA 1700 65W Intel UHD Graphics 770 Desktop Processor - BX8071512600 - $230
be quiet! SHADOW ROCK LP - $86
be quiet! Pure Wings 2, 80mm Fan - $9
Seagate Firecuda 520 2TB - $180
6TB Mech. HDD - Own
500GB or 1TB SSD - Own
1TB or 2TB Mech/SSD for Emby? - Own
Antec Earthwatts Gold Pro Series EA650G Pro 650W Semi-Modular, 80 PLUS GOLD - $99
Crucial 64GB Kit (2 x 32GB) DDR4-3200 UDIMM - $165

I believe that the NUC will use around 45 watts~ but am not sure about the other build, I know it's dependent on work load but any guess as to how much power it'll use?

Here's what I do with Proxmox, at the moment:
  • 5 out of the 20 VMs run most of the time, the remainders are just for testing, learning, etc.
    • I run a lot of containers, Linux OS's and a couple of Windows OS's
    • The containers are small, mostly web servers, the most intensive ones are TrueNAS and Emby
I will have to put a couple hundred into either build after I make the sale on the tower. Thoughts? Advise?
 
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Tech Junky

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Jan 27, 2022
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Having went the NUC road before they're quite limited in what you can do. I went ATX and then mATX after that collapsing several devices into a single box. I thought about going with a server chassis but didn't because of constraints.

I would go with the server over NUC for being able to have options on the expansion side inside the case rather than having additional things hanging off the NUC to make it functional.
 

Tech Junky

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Jan 27, 2022
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Well, if you want to run multiple NIC ports you need to expand with USB dongles or if you want to add capacity you're going to end up with enclosures for drives. Maybe the NUC is a generic term I'm using here but, the box I was using as the size of a couple of hockey pucks stacked and that was it.

It fit an M2 and a 2.5" drives inside with some DDR3 RAM. Single outputs for network / keyboard / etc.

Now, if you're talking official Intel NUC then you're more like a Mini-ITX sized enclosure and have room for an additional PCIE card and more room to maneuver around and/or add to it.
 

Tech Junky

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Jan 27, 2022
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It's up to you. If you don't mind being confined to those specs and don't need bulk storage inside the case then sure. Since you mentioned lab though I suspect it's not the best fit. The CPU alone won't be as good for the VMs as a standard desktop CPU could be. There are ways around it's such as using a bare metal os that you boot the VMs from to conserve real resources for the VMs to use.
 

Kristi2k

Golden Member
Oct 25, 2003
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Proxmox is a baremetal VM system which is why it runs good even on my Lenovo M710Q.

When I say homelab, I am not doing anything over the top, basic things. The most intensive process I would be using it for is Emby streaming to the Roku once in awhile.

I am really trying to minimize the energy costs here which is where my real struggle is. I know that Linux does not yet support thread director which is what the CPU in the NUC 12th gen has for the P and E cores. I want a 2U but realize that I will probably not take advantage of it and feel that the extra energy usage will out weigh my use. I wish that there was a may to garner how much energy the specs that I listed would use at idle.
 

Tech Junky

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Jan 27, 2022
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If you load things in PCPartPicker.com you get an idea of the max and see where things stand. I think mine at full tilt might hit 400w with a 12700k. I haven't put a watt meter on it though. I think there's a Linux app though I could measure it with. I remember looking at the power draw when I was playing with mining. With dual GPUs it boosted the electric bill by $30/mo which wasn't profitable enough to keep bothering with mining.
 

Tech Junky

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Jan 27, 2022
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That's a good thing to know. I haven't played around with it at this point but, know the VMW comparable of esxi works bare metal. I equate it to running a Raid setup off the bios instead of in an OS or off a HW raid card. Making the storage OS agnostic and readable from windows or *nix.

The whole virtual situation is getting more accessible with these new CPU's with 16 threads and higher where in the past you could really only get away with a couple of VM's due to the lack of resources unless you were running multi CPU systems. Might be something I will play with at some point. I've done it before with VirtualBox when wanting to run Linux as a primary and a couple of apps that needed to be run in Windows.

In networking Linux is much more useful for tinkering with things w/o the cumbersome Windows constraints.
 

Kristi2k

Golden Member
Oct 25, 2003
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Thanks for the link to pcpartpicker.com- I like how to shows the available connections, power etc. Power seems a bit high on the estimate, considering consdering that the Xeon I want to replace idles at 120~ and this is saying 215 watts for the mITX.
 

Tech Junky

Golden Member
Jan 27, 2022
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It's showing the max power needed for the configuration to fit a PSU to the system. Basic workflows won't max the power draw though. It might be less than 100w when running basic tasks. It's not an exact science but, it's a good ballpark of what's needed with the parts you input.
 

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