CPU for Virtualization (ESXi 5, XenDesktop, etc)

Hi everyone, I'm building a home lab virtualization whitebox and was hoping for some advise on the CPU and RAM.
Trying to decide between the i5 2500 or the i7 2600 (both non-K). I will be running ESXi 5 as the hypervisor with 2+ virtual domain controllers to start( server 2008 r2), couple of client OS (7, xp), and definitely XenDesktop 5 on top of the vSphere. I'm getting the 16gb Corsair Vengence (1333 or 1600?), a couple of tb of caviar black, dual-nic msi z68 mobo, etc. I guess the safe bet is to get the i7 but of course I do want to keep the overall build under 900$ which I can manage with the i5. Any advise would be much appreciated!
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  1. For virtualizations the added threads on a I7 2600 will give you much needed performance. Rather take out an extra few dollars for it, you wont regret it.

    You wont see or feel any differance between 1600MHz and 1333MHz RAM.
  2. Don't worry about the CPU speed. With virtualisation, memory is king. My esxi cluster has three servers with each 2x 6core xeons at 2.4 and 96gb ram. CPU usage is minimal whereas I'm using about 70% of the available physical memory. Just as long as the CPU supports the virtualisation options then you'll be fine. An i7 is overkill - save the cash or spend the extra on memory
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