So my old computer finally gave up after the CPU bracket broke and decided to send the cooler on a kamikaze down my case, so I figured I think it’s time to get something new.

I opted to keep myself on the side of AMD as usual, and picked up a Ryzen 5 3600 which is a pretty nice little processor for its value, pair that up Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4 3200 MHz and a ASUS TUF B450-PLUS GAMING (Socket AM4) DDR4 ATX Motherboard and i got a rather nice combination here.


I am sticking with my ASUS GTX1060 3GB card for now as a GPU upgrade isn’t too urgent as I am able to get the gaming performance I wanted already. This all came over on the 12th May and was built into my existing case, much to my disdain the Antec 900 is an ancient piece of crap, but I do have a case picked out which will be the Lan Cool II from Lian-Li.


Performance wise i have no major complaints here with most games, I only really play Path of Exile and Rocket League anyway’s recently, but still nice to have that CPU power for if I decide to play something new.


The only other parts I now needed to replace was the PSU and the SSD, well I didn’t need to upgrade my SSD as I was already using a 1tb SSD but felt that given I had the slot for an M.2 I would pick up an NVME which was the Sabrent Rocket NVMe 4.0, now there is one issue but that is more a future thing, my board only runs the PCI-E at Generation 3 not Gen 4.0 which would give be the full speed of the Rocket, but that’s not too much of an issue right now.


So overall I am rather pleased with this new build, once I upgrade my case and my PSU I should get some pictures of the finished build.

So recently i’ve been playing around with unRAID and it’s VM management, which is using the QEMU system with a OVMF which I custom compiled for myself replacing the logo’s, still not quite happy with how that looks yet tho.

The main issues I have ran into regarding this, was setting up the PCI Stub’s and various other IMMOU issues with are mostly related to an issue with the HP server I am using, most of this was rectified by using a patch https://github.com/AnnabellaRenee87/Unraid-HP-Proliant-Edition which fixes the main issues with the Proliant not allowing IMMOU groups to be passed thru to VM’s

The Elephant in the room?

Enter NVIDIA… well this was actually ALOT simpler than I expected, I’ve read enough online about issues with using GeForce cards on VM’s as a pass-thru that I was expecting issue’s… I was rather surprised actually, no hitches there what so ever, so lets move onto other things, USB… this wasn’t fun at all, I had so many issues passing thru my VIA Technologies VL805 USB 3.0 Host Controller that I ended up having to run several things off the on-board USB ports and use no pass-thru, the main issue I had experienced here was actually that when audio was playing on my USB mixer I would actually lock up the USB stack or something as my mouse and keyboard wouldn’t accept any input’s while the audio was playing… check unRAID forum’s people are talking about Message Signaled Interrupts (MSI), no this wasn’t the issue in my case as it was already enabled, it got to the point where I just couldn’t be bothered with this one anymore so I moved on.

So I’ve reached a point where I was happy enough to start playing around properly with this… now this is where things started getting interesting… I up-to this point was having 0 issues with the thing as a whole, I was pulling decent FPS in games like Rocket League, Minion Masters and even Elite Dangerous was running with acceptable frame rates, but all of a sudden for no reason at all everything starts to stutter, what have I done, nothing, I’ve not changed anything with the VM at all, throw a few more CPU cores at it maybe that will help… Nope didn’t do much at all to help me, So as of writing this I am back to full bare metal for now, I’ve learn’t quite a bit doing this to be honest with you, its been a fun experience and something I would honestly love to delve into again, the idea of running my home system off a VM on my server is still alluring from a logistics point of view, the server run’s 24/7 its not that much extra power/overhead to run the VM.

In Summary

While VM’s are looking good for running basic workstations and I have seen projects like LTT’s 7 Gamers, 1 CPU, which really do show off the power of this whole thing, my own hardware, mostly my server CPU and probably actually my server in general isn’t up-to this task, would I do it this experiment again.. Of course I would, its worth looking at and playing around.

unRAID has been a good choice for me in the whole playing around with VM’s and general server stuff, its easy to work with and setup and is only getting better!

The only downside is this is paid software but its highly worth it


As a free alternative to unRAID you could also look at Proxmox which I have heard good things about

So, recently I have been toying around more and more with Smart Home stuff mostly lights, plug sockets and Google Homes


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HassIO/Home Assistant

Home Assistant has been one thing I have looked at, overall i have not been too bothered about keeping it around, its been overall a decent experience but I found it was a little too overkill for the amount of devices I actually own.


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Google Home

Google Home has been something that has been something that has been a major part of the whole smart home setup for me for awhile now since I got one free from Spotify, and overall with this system i have found it to be very handy in my day to day usage, being the owner of a Pixel device and moving over to a Pixel 2 I could say the Google ecosystem is a major part of my day, then factor in a Chromecast and a couple of AndroidTV boxes and its pretty much a no brainer to why I am using this one.


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Tuya Smart Life

So I have a couple of Teckin smart plugs around the house which are pretty cool, being able to monitor the power usage of anything that is connected to the plug socket is rather cool, I had the Teckin smart bulbs which was their version 1 which was rather lacking in the white department, it was only able to produce a cool white which was a huge downer for in the living room so i had looked at other ones using the Smart Life system which was by Avatar, these ones for the price are really good your looking at about £19.53 as of writing this (Amazon.co.uk) – I would probably look at Phillips Hue in time, just the entry point to this system is way more expensive then I would like to spend


Links to products on Amazon

Teckin Smart Plugs – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07QN5XY89/

Avatar Bulbs – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PKMC87F/