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    How to Build a Budget Home Server and WHY You Should!

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    How to Build a Budget Home Server and WHY You Should!

    Almost everybody watching this video, including PC flippers or even people on a really tight budget, can benefit from having a home server. This project doesn't have to be expensive at all. Trust me when I say that building a NAS or a centralized storage solution that you can access from anywhere in your house saves so much time when you're trying to transfer files from one computer to another. It also allows you to keep a big download like a Steam library on your NAS so you don't have to download it from the internet every time you want to benchmark a game on a new PC flip. You can also be the cool guy at home or even in your friend group that hosts the Plex server or the media server that has a bunch of movies and TV shows. It's actually a super satisfying position to be in. You can even use your server for gaming by hooking it up to a projector in your home theater. Additionally, you can set it up to be a virtualization playground, allowing you to dabble with other operating systems like Linux distros without risking your main system.

    Hardware Choices and Building Considerations

    When it comes to building a budget home server, you have several options. You can use any system you already have, such as an old desktop or laptop. In fact, using a laptop can be especially convenient as it already has a monitor, keyboard, and mouse built in. You just need to make sure it has a good battery backup to maintain uptime for services like Plex.

    For a dedicated home server build, you'll need specific hardware components. Here are some recommendations:

    1. Case: You can use a standard desktop case or opt for a 2U chassis like the Rosewill, which supports a micro ATX motherboard.
    2. Motherboard: Consider a budget micro ATX motherboard like the Gigabyte B460M DS3H.
    3. Power Supply: Choose a standard ATX power supply, such as the EVGA 650 GT.
    4. Processor: An Intel i3 10100F is a budget-friendly option with 4 cores and 8 threads.
    5. RAM: Opt for a budget RAM kit, like the G.Skill Ripjaws, or use any compatible RAM you have available.
    6. Storage: Use a smaller NVMe drive as your boot drive and a cheaper spinning hard drive for NAS storage.
    7. GPU: If gaming is a priority, consider a low-profile option like the GTX 1650. Otherwise, integrated graphics or a cheap GPU like the GT710 or GT1030 will suffice.
    8. Cooling: The Noctua NH-L9i low-profile CPU cooler provides efficient cooling in a smaller form factor.
    9. Fans: Upgrade the stock fans to quieter and better-performing options, such as Be Quiet! Pure Wings.

    Remember to do thorough research on compatibility and power supply requirements when building in a 2U case.

    Purpose and Benefits of a Home Server

    A budget home server serves multiple purposes and offers several benefits:

    1. Network Attached Storage (NAS): Share your hard drive or multiple drives in your computer across devices on your home network. This simplifies file transfer between computers and allows for easy storage and backup of files.

    2. Plex/Media Server: Host your own media server, like Plex, to organize and stream movies and TV shows. Provide your friends and family with a clean, streaming service-like experience.

    3. Gaming PC: Use your home server as a gaming PC, connecting it to a monitor or projector for an enjoyable gaming experience. It can handle light gaming on a 1080p 60Hz display.

    4. Virtualization Playground: Set up virtual machines on your home server using tools like Hyper-V in Windows 10 Pro. This allows you to test and experiment with different operating systems, like Linux, without impacting your main system.

    By building and maintaining your own home server, you gain control over your data, save time on file transfers, and have the flexibility to explore various applications and services.


    • Budget home server
    • NAS (Network Attached Storage)
    • Plex/ media server
    • Gaming PC
    • Virtualization
    • Linux distros
    • Micro ATX motherboard
    • Low profile GPU
    • Remote monitoring and management
    • Hyper-V
    • Uptime and battery backup


    1. Can I use an old desktop or laptop as a home server? Yes, you can repurpose an old desktop or laptop as a home server. Laptops offer the added advantage of built-in monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

    2. What are the benefits of a home server for gaming? Using a home server as a gaming PC allows you to connect it to a larger display, like a projector, for an immersive gaming experience. It also frees up your main PC for other tasks while still providing gaming capabilities.

    3. Can I stream media outside my home network with a Plex server? Yes, Plex allows you to set up your server for remote access, enabling you to stream media from anywhere with an internet connection.

    4. Do I need special hardware for a 2U case? Some 2U cases may require server-specific power supplies or have specific motherboard compatibility. It's important to do thorough research and ensure compatibility before purchasing components.

    5. Can a home server be used for virtualization and testing different operating systems? Absolutely! With tools like Hyper-V in Windows 10 Pro, you can set up virtual machines on your home server to experiment with different operating systems, such as Linux distros, without risking your main system.

    6. How can I ensure uptime for my home server? Using a laptop with a good battery backup is a great way to ensure uptime during power outages. Additionally, having your networking gear, like your router, on a battery backup solution will help maintain connectivity.

    Building a budget home server offers a multitude of benefits, from centralized storage and media streaming to gaming and experimentation with different operating systems. Whether you repurpose an old system or build a dedicated server, the possibilities are endless.

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