New virtualization server build

Hello folks!
I am putting together a computer that will be used to virtualization and home lab.
Now, for me AMD platform offers more cheaper cores and overall better value.
Also, a used server that could be cheap could be a candidate. But I am more keen to build it myself.
Proxmox or XCP-NG - still debating.
So, main question?
Ryzen? Used Intel?
6 cores for now and upgrade later or get 8 cores from the start?
What platform is best for my goal?

Well like everything it depends !

Currently I run Proxmox on a Lenovo M900 i7 with 64GB of RAM, the box was 200£ plus the RAM. I initially wanted something cheap to set up a homelab. However, I suddenly ended up with VMs core to my network.

The main reason I went with Proxmox was that it seemed easier to just get started with no prior knowledge, however, I will say I am still struggling to migrate over my vmware vms.

From my experience you might want to budget for two boxes, so that you can have two nodes, then you can set up a cluster, replication or backup etc.

I would go cheap and spend the money on processor and RAM, double check how much RAM can be addressed as that caught me out. Intel seems to max out at 64GB otherwise you’ll need a Xeon for 64GB+, it might change with generations however.

The good thing with these desktop machines is that they are usually quiet, these used servers can be potluck as to how loud they are.

Oh yeah and consider a 4 port NIC it will make life easier, can be bought for cheap on ebay. Then a managed switch may come in handy down the line if you don’t already have one.


If you are getting started with virtualization then in my personal opinion is to use xcp-ng. That said though, if you go Ryzen I know it’s still being developed but, pretty stable from what I have seen on xcp-ng. Do you have a Freenas box or some sort of storage box setup at all? You could save some money and setup a iscsi connection to your VM host of choice so you don’t have to buy extra drives for your new build.


Lots of used servers on eBay, some nice 20 core things with 128gb of ram.

You can go cheaper with older stuff and get 12 cores and a bunch of ram if you are lucky.

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Just keep in mind as I learned that some of the older hardware is going to use more power as it wont be as efficient as the newer hardware is. Also if you get into rack-mounted servers they are going to be loud so be prepared for that depending on where you are putting them.

I am considering a thread ripper for a server/home lab, mostly because I can. I have not been back to the AMD camp in a very long time (too many board level failures).

How many disks you have inside the Lenovo workstation?

The Lenovo m900 sff is closer to a desktop rather than a workstation, it has one 3.5" hdd, it’s also possible to slip in another SSD on the sata cable for the DVD. The tower model looks like it will take more if it’s needed.

My first effort on virtualization without reading documentation and without previous experience, was WAY easier with XCP-NG and most of the things worked right away, something i didn’t had with Proxmox. In fact i never managed to setup a Win10 VM because of the messed up booting options and thingys.

Never had any issues with a Win7 vm working on proxmox, once you know which options to select for the hardware.