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Sub 1000$ Lab PC

Last response: in Systems
March 8, 2011 4:08:52 AM

Hello there,

First of all, this is a great forum with so many experts! I stumbled upon it while looking for some Hardware Specs.

I am planing to get a new PC for a VMware Lab purpose. Below is the info about it:

Approximate Purchase Date: This week
Budget Range: Less than 1000 USD
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Making a VMware vSphere Lab (vCenter Server and 2x or 3x ESXi servers over Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 ? as the master OS and VMware Workstation. Or over ESXi itself as the master OS (no need for VMware Workstation or Windows).
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: None
Country of Origin: Saudi Arabia
Parts Preferences: Intel CPU
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Quiet PC, good Power Supply, good case, 2x Additional Network Cards (PCI?).

I need:

An Intel CPU with many cores and hyperthreading support
A Good Motherboard
16 GB RAM (4 x 4 GB)
Fast storage (no preferences)
2x Additional NICs

I do not need:

Gaming graphic card
Special sound card

I am grateful for any advice on this!
Many thanks!

More about : 1000 lab

March 8, 2011 4:30:03 AM


For the CPU I'd look at the new Sandybridge ones, but if you need lots of cores a Xeon might be needed.

March 8, 2011 6:13:48 AM

Martin9630 said:

For the CPU I'd look at the new Sandybridge ones, but if you need lots of cores a Xeon might be needed.


Hey Martin,

Will the new Sandybridge meet the sub-1000 USD requirement?

What about an i7 with 4 cores (8 with Hyperthreading)?
Wnad what about the other specs?

Thank you.
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March 8, 2011 1:04:53 PM

how urgent you need that computer?? not sure but sandy bridge must be fixed in months or couple of weeks if its not already... it performs a lot better...
with 1000 for budget id say stick with four cores and 8 threads... intel's hexa core cpus are kind of out of your budget... especially those xenons
March 13, 2011 8:58:25 PM

Ok guys, thanks for you replies.

Again, gaming is not the goal of this PC, the only concern is to build a lab based on VMware Workstation and Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008.

I am a bit confused right now.. I have 3 options:

LGA 1156 - Intel Core i7-8xx - Lynnfield
With a Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3 board (Supports 2 Channel DDR3 with 4 DIMM slots)
This was my original choice, but as I was researching, I found out about the below combinations.

LGA 1366 - Intel Core i7-9xx - Bloomfield
With a Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD5 board (Supports 3 Channel DDR3 with 6 DIMM slots)
More expensive than the Core i7-8xx. My concern: I need 16GB of memory, so will I be able to install 4x4GB memory slots here and keep the 3 channel support? What will happen if I do that? Will I have 3x slots running on 3 channels and 1 slot running on 1 channel? Is it better if I go with 3 or 6 slots and not 4?

What will I gain in performance if I go with this combination of CPU+MOBO than the Core i7-8xx + GA-P55A-UD3? Is it significant? Again, gaming is not the goal of this PC, my only concern is to build a lab.

LGA 1155 - Intel Core i7-2xxx - Sandybridge
With a Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 board (Supports 2 Channel DDR3 with 4 DIMM slots)
The price of this PC is very similar to the Core i7-9xx above. My only concern is the defected Intel Sandybridge CPUs. I am currently residing in Saudi Arabia, and surprisingly I found Sandybridge, but I am doubtful that it might be one of the defected units.

Thanks once again! :) 
March 16, 2011 8:56:40 PM

Anyone please?