Minisforum MS-01 as my Home Server?

As I have mentioned from my previous blog, I have been looking into ways to revive my media streaming setup here at home. As of this posting, I have bought a 6TB disk (hopefully to be delivered next week) to help mitigate the issues I am having with my existing NAS. My NAS has lots of media in it that I wish to be accessible via a Plex server, and since my NAS cannot really handle any kind of video transcoding I thought it would be good to have another small form factor PC to get the job done.

I have an Intel NUC (NUC515RYH) which served me well over the years since 2016. I even bought replacement fans when the stock fan starts humming louder than before which is for me a symptom of possible failure. But sadly, as much as I want to salvage this beloved unit, it stopped working - I can’t even turn it on. This is why I am looking for a replacement.

My initial impulse was to get a similar yet more updated device since I still have a disk and RAM module from the broken NUC. However, Intel discontinued their NUC line and I cannot find anything from Intel anymore, and so my second option is go for 3rd party implementations.

One of my friends have bought a Minisforum Mini PC for his wife and it has worked quite well for her. She even abandoned her laptop because she probably enjoyed the performance that the mini PC delivers. That friend of mine usually doesn’t like Mini PCs - at least I assumed so - because whenever I brought up using my Intel NUC and its use case at the time, he doesn’t seem to think that it’s any better than building a custom PC. Now that I knew he bought his wife a mini PC in a form of Minisforum - I thought that this could be a perfect machine for my use case.

Here comes Minisforum MS-01.

I initially planned to use this as a Plex Server - but given that its CPU (Intel i9-13900H) has 14 cores and Intel QuickSync support, it will be complete waste if I only install a Windows OS in here and run Plex server. I thought it would be a good entry into the world of home lab - and so now I have been thinking of installing VMs in it, one of which would run Plex Server. I still don’t know what other VMs I would run, but I am excited to go deep into this.

But considering that I just procured a disk for my NAS, I will need to wait a little bit before I could purchase this (assuming it hasn’t sold out yet). I will take one step at a time, although the MS-01 seems to be the perfect option for me.

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