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Recommendations for VT/OS-X/Linux build

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March 17, 2010 3:46:07 AM

I'm looking to pick up some parts tomorrow (digging up some last minute recommendations before shopping) to build a new machines (possibly with a few pieces I already have).

There are four particularly important factors that are an absolute must, and other features that are nested within them that can be anywhere from important to conveniant.

when I list anything relevant to compatibility, i'm speaking in a terms of association to it's unmodified compatibility- I am aware that there are methods of adjusting hardware/bios to sync for compatibility and am familiar with the process; however, due to the importance of stability and the important factors to me- I would prefer to keep modifications to a minimal.

My "desired" machine can...

Run linux natively (probably ubuntu 9.10), and as a Virtual host to guest OS Win7 & OS X (snow leo 10.62 pref, but undecided with instability issues) with Workstation 7

Run Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.62 (this is essential, I want a dual booting machine that will run this OS with as little modification as possible. Natively functioning internet would be a huge plus).

The smaller the board the better, I move around a lot, and I do mean a lot. A laptop is not even in consideration, I will be building my own case (with built in LCD), however- i'd rather a better value board than a smaller one.

These features are a plus
Decent graphic chipset
HDMI output
DDR2 memory (saves me money)



I do not need a superbox. I do not game, I mostly do programming and developing, and need a stable machine that I can transition platforms on to run programs natively/develop/compile/test. I don't intend to tri-box the VM stuff, so dual core is fine (as far is running smooth).

I really want the best for my money for what I "need", already several powersupplies (450W and under) that will suit, fans, accessories, and a couple SATA drives, so ALL I really need is a good board/processor.

Currently have the HP a6234x (which has the LGA 775 socket w/ asus P5P LE)

This board is great, unfortunately the processor is not VT/x enabled, as well as it's proprietary restrictions confine me to limited options. Even that the case- a suitable processor upgrade could be sufficient to change my "new machine" to nothing more than a CPU upgrade.

Any recommendations would be fantastic, and thank all of you


March 17, 2010 4:10:51 AM

Here is a question ...

If you were to purchase an APPLE branded PC, to run snowlep on ... What would those system hardware specifications be ??

I also see the word "workstation" ... All that implies an INTEL socket 1366 and believe this ... you aren't gonna find a 1366 mobo that takes DDR2.

Your sw reqs might not be as demanding as I presume, but I have looked into ALLPLE/FCP systems and they are 1366.

Regardless, you are probably going to want a PLAIN JANE intel mobo, without all the 'future ports" kludged onto it. For the sake of dependable stability, go with a standard P55/ICH10 or an X58/ICH10 setup ... an INTEL branded board should be very conservatively "timed".

= Al = Just speculating, since nobody more knowledgable has responded, as yet.

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March 17, 2010 5:10:32 AM

And that speculation is exactly what i'm looking for, just need a helping hand on crossing down the list to the right board/processor. The ram/video is irrelevant really- as I can always upgrade and tackle that when it comes.

You make a good point with the modern ports, considering the frequent inconsistency with OSX (and even linux occassionally) i'd rather dumb down the board for dependability and compatibility.

so Plain Jane is good, optimization and customization are a plus too, conservatively "timed" is fine, as long as that can be "adjusted" in the future (should it become desired).

So let me shorten and specify my desired findings.

Hardware stable/compatible - Ubuntu 9.10 / SnowLeo 10.62 / Win7
full Virtualization capability (preferably hosting through linux)
decent (for what i'm doing) but not overkill processor.
extra features on a board great but no big (HDMI, good chipset, firewire, etc)
Smaller is better.
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March 17, 2010 5:16:13 AM

curious, why the 1366 board requirement for VM workstation 7.0 ? 1156 disable VT-x? Or do you just particularly recommend it?
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March 17, 2010 7:18:19 AM

While I would GUESS that a socket 1156 Core i7-860 with a standard P55/ICH10 would almost surely do ya. ... I could only "certify" a socket 1366 Core i7-930, with any true certainty ... This only because I *know* that an APPLE PRO system uses that setup and that should suffice for any sort of "dependent virtualization" you might want to try ... and I do mean "just about any OS or emulation" that can be run on an INTEL platform.

For all I know (AND I DO NOT), Everything you might want to do could be accomplished with an Athlon-II X2 or a Core2 Duo (both on the "lame" side).

Just simply that the 1366 chips are not "lobotomized" (intentionally crippled) in any way and, thus, provide the full suite of hardware enhancements and software extentions (i.e. extended instruction sets, hyperthreading, etc.).

So, (stupidly) ... "Since the 1366 can do just about anything that can be done ... then ... it should do what YOU want it to ... and ... more specifically ... Since APPLE is using the 1366 for its PRO "workstation" for FCP (for instance), then it should be a no-brainer that SnowCat will port over very easily.

Do YOU think I could run FCP (properly) on an INTEL build ??? That would be really good news to me. (*Now* look who's asking).

= Al =
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