Hardware advice for VMware desktop


I am not really sure where this question belongs, but I thought I would try here.

I am trying to build a daily use desktop computer that can also run a couple of test environments when needed. What I am trying to figure out is the hardware I should choose. I have a few questions

1. Are there any real advantages of using an LGA2011 vs LGA1155?
a. How much advantage is there to using an i7-3930K over a i7-3920?
b. What is better, the i7-3770K or the i7-3930K? Why?
2. Would I benefit from using a Ramdrive for disk caching? (Asus P9x79)
3. What would you recommend for drives? (see test environment below). I was planning to use one SSD for OS/applications and one SSD for VMware with mirrored cavier blacks for data storage.
4. Is there anything else I should consider?

The host system will probably be Windows 8 or maybe Windows 7. 64 bit. It depends on when I build it and if the OS matters to VMware/other software.

The test environments will be run through VMware Workstation (I do not have a choice here). I do not need lots of snapshots and will probably never run more than the host and one virtual environment at the same time. The virtual environments will be running ERP systems on Windows 2008 R2 server. The environment requires a minimum of 8GB of RAM, dual core or better processor and 138GB of disk space. IOPS matter, so it is best to use an SSD drive for this type of application.

For sake of argument, assume my other test environment is a Windows 8 box.


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  1. Best answer
    I am not a huge Intel or VMware fan, but I will try to give you a little direction.

    You did not mention memory, but you probably already know you need as much as you can afford. I would say 16GB is the minimum for serious VM usage.

    Of those two CPUs, you should go for the i7-3930K because it has six cores. I would disable hyperthreading to insure a VM gets a full REAL core and not a virtual one. Also, the i7-3930K has four memory channels, and you will need more memory bandwidth running VMs.
  2. Best answer selected by jwl2.
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