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Advice for build optimized for Virtual Machines

Last response: in Systems
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November 12, 2010 8:55:21 PM

Hi,

I'm getting ready to build a new system. I'd like to optimize for Virtual Machines and was planning on using Xen/Debian with Windows as a guest (along with others, Ubuntu etc).

I'm planning on getting the ASUS 890FX M4A89TD with AMD Phenom II X6 1090T.

Thoughts on this combo? Suggestions for graphics card? I'm not going to be running games but would like to stream video through Windows. Memory, case, PSU?

If anyone has any experience with Xen and IOMMU and is willing to share, that would be appreciate to.

November 13, 2010 8:20:17 AM

Not the place for Linux questions :) 

The only reason to use an 890FX board would be for gaming. It has no integrated graphics and it's main point is the ability to run multiple GPUs.

890GX would be more appropriate, or 880G. If you really need a discrete GPU for some reason then an 870 board would be fine.

You can stream video on the 880G IGP just fine... but if you are concerned about HD content or such you could look to a 4550 or 4650.... I point to older cards so you'll have fewer driver issues.
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November 14, 2010 7:53:45 AM

A little glitch in the thread tracker forces me to post again ;) 
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Anonymous
November 14, 2010 9:21:10 AM

Cpu:AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Thuban 3.2GHz 6 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDT90ZFBGRBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard:ASUS Crosshair IV Formula AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory:Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Desktop Memory Model 996829
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gpu:XFX HD-687A-ZNBC Radeon HD 6870 Black Edition 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD:SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Psu:XFX P1-650X-CAG9 650W ATX12V 2.2 / ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 14, 2010 1:49:19 PM

I don't even think your'e reading what the use is.
you post the same thing everytime.

the above build is crap for you're uses.
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November 15, 2010 1:03:14 PM

Proximon said:
Not the place for Linux questions :) 

The only reason to use an 890FX board would be for gaming. It has no integrated graphics and it's main point is the ability to run multiple GPUs.

890GX would be more appropriate, or 880G. If you really need a discrete GPU for some reason then an 870 board would be fine.

You can stream video on the 880G IGP just fine... but if you are concerned about HD content or such you could look to a 4550 or 4650.... I point to older cards so you'll have fewer driver issues.


Hi Proximon,

The reason I'm interested in the 890FX is for its IOMMU support. http://developer.amd.com/documentation/articles/pages/8...

Since I'd like this computer to be used for as long as possible, I felt like I should spend the extra money for this feature now. (Also like the RAID 5 support though I'm not sure that justifies the cost)

Thanks for the tips on the 4550 and the 4650. Any brand you'd recommend?
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Best solution

November 15, 2010 7:08:16 PM

I didn't know about that. It's very interesting. Based on the way modern hardware can be configured on-the-fly I would have thought it not so much an issue now, but my programming days are long gone.

I like Sapphire for out-of-box quality, and XFX for support.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



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November 16, 2010 1:37:20 PM

Thanks Proximon, I think that GPU will do nicely. I was reading your guide on selecting parts. You mention that latency is more important than frequency. Should I spend the extra money to go from latency 9 to latency 7? For this build I'd like to have lots of RAM to make available to the different VMs. Though I can always add memory piecemeal.

Also, any ideas on a case and PSU? Thanks
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November 16, 2010 10:24:47 PM

I don't have any numbers on that sort of thing, but I would think there is a lot of heavy swapping in and out of memory with VMs? If so you might see some small benefit. Just don't spend too much more, because it won't be a huge gain.
The only usage for which I really stress low latency RAM is professional rendering and such. Very large and long memory intensive tasks where time is money and deadlines are serious. In those scenarios the 5% gain those programs could get might mean hours tacked onto the end of your week.

And really if you needed that much boost a good SSD would be a better investment.

If you aren't overclocking and not running big GPUs you can get just about any case that you like.

Sonata III is a case/PSU combo that would serve you well on a budget:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A step up from that would be something like this:
LIAN LI PC-60FNW
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seasonic S12II 520
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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November 16, 2010 11:37:31 PM

Thanks Proximon, I appreciate the tips.
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November 16, 2010 11:40:12 PM

Best answer selected by griztown.
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