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VMware Workstation - Athlon, Phenom ?

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September 27, 2010 4:16:21 PM

I'm seeking advice - CPU, Motherboard, and Memory

I've got to build a system for business use that includes VMware Workstation and I'm uncertain as to which processor will best meet my needs. I used to build PC's when the AMD K6 (K-something) was a hot item and Netware 3 - not Microsoft - ruled the networking market. So suffice it to say it's been a while.

The system will be used for.....
I may dual-boot Windows 7 Enterprise and Fedora. Not sure yet. I need to run at least 2 instances of Windows 7 Enterprise with XP Mode and at least 1 instance of Windows Server 2008 R2.

Outside of VMware I'll run MS Office 2007/2010 apps, FireFox, IE when absolutely necessary, Solar Winds Engineers Toolset, and WireShark. I must have Outlook 2007 and SameTime (IM) open at all times. I have to "attend" online conferences (most stream video and audio) on almost a daily basis. I enjoy listening to music or Internet radio so I leave it open and running all day.

My son is into online gaming and he tells me that I need a Phenom II X6 but I wonder if something like the Athlon II X4 645 Propus 3.1GHz or an AMD Phenom X4 would meet my needs. I want to be somewhat "future-proof" but I don't want to buy the latest and greatest for the sole purpose of having the latest and greatest.

I've been using a Dell desktop with an Intel Pentium D 2.80GHz and 2GB of memory but it's 32-bit, won't do virtualization, and it runs really hot.

I've used Gigabyte motherboards for a long time and I've been pleased with them. But I'm open to consider other boards. (I've noticed Asus has lots of boards that appear to be good boards.)

Another question - I see L3 cache on some processors and not on others. What's the purpose of benefit of L3 cache?

I'll appreciate any advice or recommendations provided. CPU, motherboard, memory, combos, etc.

Thanks!

John
a b à CPUs
September 27, 2010 9:22:54 PM

Before we can even think about what to buy...there has to be a budget. After that we can work on a good config.
a c 134 à CPUs
September 27, 2010 10:30:32 PM

the general rule is 1 core per VM. So 3 minumum there. 2 for 'your' pc there. so 6 cores minimum (thee isn't a 5 core cpu) is what I'm looking at thou you might want to look into an 8 core opteron as i'm not sure how well win7Ent would run in a 1 core vm.
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a b à CPUs
September 28, 2010 1:55:09 AM

^I give 2 cores for my VM's. I only run about 1-2VM's at a time so I give 4 to my native and the 4 to be split between my two VM's.
October 5, 2010 1:30:06 AM

popatim said:
the general rule is 1 core per VM. So 3 minumum there. 2 for 'your' pc there. so 6 cores minimum (thee isn't a 5 core cpu) is what I'm looking at thou you might want to look into an 8 core opteron as i'm not sure how well win7Ent would run in a 1 core vm.


I'm hearing "go only with Intel" on another forum. Basis is that "programmers write for Intel and AMD might cause glitches." (I'm not a programmer so I don't know.)

I've used Intel and AMD and it just seems that you get a better return on AMD.

Thoughts anyone?

Thank for replies to date. I appreciate each of you for helping me out.

October 5, 2010 2:24:47 AM

Flying_J said:
I'm hearing "go only with Intel" on another forum. Basis is that "programmers write for Intel and AMD might cause glitches." (I'm not a programmer so I don't know.)

I've used Intel and AMD and it just seems that you get a better return on AMD.

Thoughts anyone?

Thank for replies to date. I appreciate each of you for helping me out.


Those people on the other forum don't know what they're talking about. Certain things may be better optimized for Intel architectures, but they won't run any more stably than they would on AMD systems.
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