Lazyweb: Matching compatible mini-PCs with RAM / NVMe on hand?
I’ve recently upgraded a few laptops and have some NVMe drives and spare RAM on hand. Rather than letting them gather dust or try to sell them online, I’d like to match them with inexpensive mini PCs for use in my home lab.
Suggestions on the best way to backwards-match this?
I’ve tried Googling “mini PC DDR4 3200” (for example) but the results are meh and trying to find a good deal has been frustrating. Haven’t had any luck with pcpartpicker.com either.
I have on hand:
- 64GB (4 16GB sticks) of DDR4-2400 SODIMM RAM
- 16GB (2 8GB sticks) of DDR4-3200 SODIMM RAM
Finding RAM to fit systems is easy, but going the other way has been a pain. I’d really like to make use of these. (I have a fair amount of much older RAM that’s just gathered dust over the years and seems like a waste.)
Ideally I’d find something like an inexpensive ($300 or less ideally) NUC or an AMD-based mini PC that I can use as a Kubernetes node or to run test database services. These would run Ubuntu, Debian, or RHEL / a RHEL clone. A dual NIC system would be great.
The NVMe drives are less of a pain to match, but the variance in speeds for RAM makes it a bigger pain. I know you can usually get away with, say, putting DDR4-3200 DIMMs into a system that wants slower RAM, but the other way not so much.
Bonus points for specific systems (with links!) recommendations. I can go spelunking through product sheets (and have) but that’s producing limited returns.
(Also posted this to Ask Metafilter in hopes of getting good responses.)
Usually for memory usage, I recommend getting a similar ‘aged’ NUC or small system. If I remember correctly most Intel NUC’s aren’t dual NIC but there are a couple special ones which are built that way. I think some people have instead popped in a miniPCI network for the second nic (again depends on the system). I don’t have any personal recommendations.. my spare box is a 8-10 year old Dell (which does need replacing at some point.)
The ASRock DeskMini X300 (https://www.asrock.com/nettop/AMD/DeskMini%20X300%20Series/) can take 2 of those DIMMs and 2 NVMe drives (as well as another 2 SATA drives). You’ll need an AM4 APU as well, but should be doable in your $300 budget.