Hello all--after many months (if not years) of reading through this forum I've finally pulled the trigger on a particular project and wanted to share with the community.
Before this upgrade, I relied on a Synology NAS DS412+ running plex as my primary media server. However, the little guy couldn't quite handle processing all the HD home videos I recorded of my kids. So an upgrade was in order. At the same time, my 10 year personal computer was due for an upgrade as well. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and build a small ESXi server to run (1) a plex VM and (2) a "physicalized" windows 10 machine which I'd use as my daily driver. [This concept of a "physicalized" VM was brought to my attention by Don Fountain of thehomeseverblog.com (http://thehomeserverblog.com/esxi-lab-specs/]
The idea is pretty simple, there's a server racked in my basement that can handle both a plex VM, my personal "physicalized" VM, and potentially more VMs/"physicalized" VMs down the road. The "physicalized" VM's audio/video/mouse and keyboard signals are sent to an office where a monitor/kb/mouse sit. The ESXi server specs are as follows:
ESXi 6.5 (running on a USB flash drive)
NORCO Rackmount Components RPC-431
INTEL XEON E5-2630LV4
Supermicro ATX X10SRI-F-O Motherboard
Crucial 32GB Kit DDR4-2133 ECC
EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G3 Power Supply
Intel 512GB SSD (basic data store)
Once the ESXi server was up and running, I setup PCIe passthrough of the following ESXi server devices to the Windows 10 VM that was to be "physicalized."
MyDigitalSSD NVMe SSD 120GB on a Lycom DT-120 M.2 PCIe to PCIe 3.0 Adapter
AMD Radeon R7 GPU
and one of the Supermicro Motherboard's USB 3.0 ports for KB/M
Once that was setup, the next issue to address was getting the video (3440x1440 to a Dell U3417W), audio, and USB signals up to my office from the ESXi server (in basement) to 3 floor above where the office is located. For this, I research a lot of devices and ended up going with the Comprehensive HDBaseT 2.0 Extender with USB (CHE-HDBT300U). This device totally blew me away. Luckily I had Cat6a Ethernet put in the walls of the house when it was built 3 years ago, so the cable seemed sufficient. This little device is PoE powered (to the receiver), passes 4k video, SPDIF audio, usb 2.0, and a 10/100 LAN signal (enough for local voip phone) over +100ft on a single Cat6a line---and it does it flawlessly! There's zero lag regarding video/audio/mouse/keyboard--as if the machine was right next to the monitor. Very impressed with it.
Anyway, that's all I've got. Thanks to the community for many ideas I cam across when setting up my home theater and network.