To answer the question posed by my last post: no. A server cannot be my main workstation. Or, at least, that server can’t be my main workstation. The one I’m still using — 3900X with 64GB of DDR4-3200 — is running perfectly, but most importantly, it’s running fast. From a first-hand usage perspective, the Ryzen wrecks the Xeon up and down the stack … but given that the Xeon was launched almost 10 years ago, and the Ryzen has been around for less than 5, I suppose that’s to be expected. 

With that said, my homelab server’s CPU is identical to the one in my workstation, so … maybe I’m running a server as my primary workstation. Only difference is that the workstation has 64GB of non-ECC RAM. 

The E5-2690v2 is now running TrueNAS Scale and sits quietly in a corner, absorbing data backups from various other machines around the house. It’s chock-full of Noctua fans that run completely silently in spite of the SuperMicro mainboard’s efforts to ramp them up. Seriously, if I leave the default fan settings in the BMC, the fans all cycle between minimum and maximum speed every few seconds, which is obnoxious. Only happens with Noctua fans, likely because they run at reasonably low RPMs. Overall I’m pretty happy with TrueNAS Scale on that box, but I’m pretty sure I don’t use even 25% of its functionality.

I think I can switch my parents’ file server to TrueNAS Scale, on that note. It’s a server in name only, really: it’s a mini-ITX Sandy Bridge machine with 16GB of DDR3, a 250GB SSD boot volume, and a pair of mirrored 1TB HDDs. The hardware runs Proxmox VE which, in turn, runs Pi-Hole and a Windows 10 VM that hosts a singular file share. Why bother with Windows 10, though, when TrueNAS Scale is purpose-built for storing files? And, with the k3s functionality built into Scale, I can chuck Pi-Hole on there with minimal resource impact.