Massive Home lab expansion

Ideas and Suggestions PLEASE
We bought a storage storage unit. There were hundreds thin clients (among other things) going back years in a storage unit. Nothing really recent. Newest things are 2018? Haven’t found any working ones with PCIE expansion yet.

I am keeping several thin clients from unit. Will only be using HP/Dell/Wyse/Lenovo/Fujitsu Siemens(?) quad cores, usb 3.0, 2015 or newer and has power supply. All different models and specs. Objective is to spend no money to accomplish this expansion

Will these work for what I have planned below? If not do I need to upgrade or is it just not doable. I can do some upgrades of memory and ssds to a limited extent with out spending any money.

Any ideas or suggestions are appreciated.
Planned uses and specs.
Thin Client #1 - mom

  • Media center LibreElec using Jellyfin or Kodi (replaces PI3B)
  • 4 core 2.4 GHz AMD with integrated graphics
  • 8GB Ram
  • 128 GB ssd
  • 14 TB External (already in place)
  • Usb media center remote with keyboard on back and air mouse (already in place)

Thin Client #2 Aunt Betty

  • Media center LibreElec using Jellyfin or Kodi (replaces PI3B)
  • 4 core 1.7 GHz Intel with integrated graphics
  • 4 GB Ram
  • 32 GB ssd
  • 6 TB External (already in place)
  • Usb media center remote with keyboard on back and air mouse (already in place)

Thin Client #3

  • Personal website, personal Next/Own Cloud, My business website/web presence,
  • 4 core 2.0 GHz AMD with integrated graphics
  • 16 GB Ram
  • 128 GB ssd
  • 4 TB External

Thin Client #4

  • Friends and Family Next/Own cloud - mainly file sharing and nonpublic group/private messaging and chat about 6-10 light users
  • 4 core 1.5 GHz AMD with integrated graphics
  • 8 GB Ram
  • 16 GB ssd
  • 2 TB External

Thin Client #5

  • Fedora Server testing services, docker and podman stuff
  • 4 core 1.5 GHz AMD with integrated graphics
  • 4 GB Ram
  • 16 GB ssd
  • 1 TB External

Thin Client 6 Testing

  • Distro testing and experimenting in general
  • 4 core 1.6 GHz Intel with integrated graphics
  • 4 GB Ram
  • 32 GB ssd
  • 2 TB External

Should I keep externals or just do NFS/SAMBA mounts to my main and backup NAS/Home server? I have gigabit networking. Was worried about speed or the lack there of mostly and additional network load.

Will this work or is it just a bad idea

Thinking about keeping and using some of the of dual core (1.7-1.2 GHz) with 1/2 GB ram and 2/4/8GB ssd. Put in 64G/128G usbs (loaded with music library) using internal usb headers. Dedicated stand alone music streamer player for my brother, sister and a couple cousins . Would this work or are they too under powered for that. Or can you think of any other uses?

Couldn’t think of anything useful or viable to do with single core or less that 1Gb ram units. They are run from 300MHz to 1000MHz with 128MB to 1GB ram and flash 256MB and up. There are Marvell, VIA , Transmeta , AMD Sempron, Turion, Geode, Intel Celeron and atom chips. Any ideas??? Or straight to recycle with the stripped psu’s and hundreds of pounds of copper wire?

Energy efficient
lo-power most of these idle from 2-9 watts and run 11-22 watts.
Upgrade-able ram and m.2 ssd’s some even have sata and PCIE expansion.
Can try out things with out jacking up my current setup
Basically free
Keep stuff out of landfill
Just having fun experimenting trying things with no worries

Thanks for reading
Have a great weekend

I would have loved to get a storage unit full of something other than animal waste and hoarded garbage. Great find. Those little “thin client” pcs have a lot of potential with multiple cores, expandable storage, Ethernet, and 8+ GB of RAM.

If a first gen Raspberry Pi can do it, I’m sure these could too. If you put a decent USB DAC on it it would be a welcome edition to someone’s stereo system or hifi.

Thanks. For my brother and sister I will do the USB DAC thing. Any recommendations for an inexpensive DAC? For my cousins they can plug it into something or stream in home to devices or buy a DAC. I will be setting them up for them in their homes except my sister which I will do remote.

Still have a couple hundred PSU’s to cut off cables and disassemble nothing bigger than 230 watts so far and not even SATA connectors. All ready got rid of the CRT monitors. There are a lot of boxes of stuff I have not investigated yet. This is the 1st time we have gotten tech stuff. Most of the time its just old furniture and household stuff and just misc junk.

That is what I thought. Some of the really old stuff no idea of what is viable or useful. Quad cores are very limited. There are a lot more of the dual cores (mostly amd) and ton load of the single cores. No idea what i can do with them.

OK— so this is going to sound un-intuitive and stupid and might require a leap of faith.

My top recommendation since 2018 for inexpensive but higher-quality Linux compatible USB DAC:

($9) The Apple USB-C to 3.5mm dongle. (Can be plugged into a USB-C to USB-A adapter if you need to.)

I’m not joking. It sounds like I’m joking but this is a stupid good DAC which punches well above its weight class for price and makes almost every other DAC on the budget-end look like e-waste. Feel free to research in disbelief. It is $9 at a store.

Edit for people who might not trust this oddball recommendation and want my old pre-2018 pick:

The Behringer UCA202/UCA222 ($30)

The 202 is probably my old go-to for Linux-compatible, inexpensive USB DACs. The 222 seems to be the newer model with slight hardware revisions.

Edit 2 for people who want to boom shake shake shake the room:

  • You will need to wire these into an amplifier to drive anything more powerful than some headphones.
  • I’m seriously not kidding about the Apple dongle.
  • The Apple dongle is also a USB microphone input. Swanky.

Thanks for the recommendation. Went ahead and ordered some of the apple ones. Already have several of the USB C to A adapters. They are cheap enough that I ordered some for the cousins and not just my siblings. In fact I am going to get one for myself. I haven’t before this because it was tough to spend $50-100 on something (good) that I will only use once or twice a month max. Plus I use headphones 99% of the time. You are not the only one who gives this recommendation. Several reddit recommends also.

Thank you for the suggestion

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I have been using the recommended apple audio dongle for the last couple of weeks. Awesome sound out put. It is great and zero effort just works. This will be my recommendation to people from this point onward for anyone who doesn’t need pro-level stuff.


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