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CPU for virtual enviroment

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September 27, 2011 2:42:46 PM

Hello everyone,

I work for a PC repair business which simply does a lot of virus removals, hardware fixes, networking; etc. Unfortunately we always from across ten year old computers which are drastically slower then today's hardware and notice when doing virus removals that they can take tedious amounts of time, simply due to the software being brand new vs the old hardware. We are looking to basically build a machine which will run 3-4 virtual environments; each one doing it's own scans. We are looking at test bench chassis and have that figured out, but the big question is how far do we really need to go on the processor. I know i7 currently has the lead by far for multi-tasks such as this, and would only assume the i series is the route in which would be taken. The question is do we need an i7? Or will an i5 suffice? I personally have an i7-920 at home which is of course the old series, and it runs virtual machines like a charm. 4-5 of them, with 6GB of memory total. We plan on putting 12GB in the new machine we're building, simply because how cheap the memory has become.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated,
Thanks

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a b à CPUs
September 27, 2011 2:59:45 PM

im not really sure what you mean, sure a fast system will help but the fragmented disk you are working on + how cluttered it is will be the limiting factor :) 

i run an athlon 2 x3 4g ddr2 and i can run 2 virtual machines (1core each, 512-1g ram each) and play the sim3 + facebook + random flash games and minecraft without seeing a performance hit
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a b à CPUs
September 27, 2011 3:00:27 PM

personally i also have the i7-920 overclocked to 4.2ghz using 12gb of ram and a couple of ssd drives in it--this flies through the sort of things you want to do--but if you are doing it as a busines more speed means more money so i would go for the i7-2600k

wouldnt you be putting 16gb in as unlike your i7-920 the newer i7 is dual channel not triple so 12gb wouldnt benefit from dual channel
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September 27, 2011 3:05:12 PM

A fragmented disc will limit the hard drives performance however not to a screeching halt. We have hard drives which come through here that one scan can take a matter of 5 hours, which is what we want to stop. A cluttered hard drive is not really a factor either, what is on the hard drive is a factor in which is very minuscule unless its to the point of being less than 1GB free. If a hard drive is failing is when we found the hard disk itself to be a limiting factor, other then that the limited problem we run into is a hardware (processor/memory) on the computer the hard disk was originally in. Which is the reasoning behind taking the Hard drive out, and using it in a high performance machine. Each virtual machine will be doing their own scans, so they won't simply be idle which is the reasoning behind do we need an i7 or will the i5 suffice.

Mcnumpty: This is very true, I did not realize that the new i7's ran off of double channel and not triple channel. Memory is not an issue, we can definitely put in 16GB, as I said memory is dirt cheap. Thank you for pointing this out.
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a b à CPUs
September 27, 2011 3:16:39 PM

no problem--i said the 2600k rather than the 2500k as i believe your virtual machines benefit from hyperthreading otherwise the 2500k would be a good choice pricewise
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a b à CPUs
September 27, 2011 3:39:22 PM

I don't know how taxing these scans are on the hardware, but I do know even my Phenom X2 555 runs an Ubuntu virtual environment without breaking a sweat. I mostly perform my programming exercises on Ubuntu.
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a b à CPUs
September 27, 2011 3:41:26 PM

for business applications i would grab an i7 2600k, hrmm, here is an interesting question, what about dual cpu motherboards with 2 of those in there?
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September 27, 2011 5:54:01 PM

I think the dual-cpu would be a little overkill lol. But would be rather, intriguing
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a c 141 à CPUs
September 28, 2011 1:22:13 AM

I think you guys are nuts... scanning a hdd does not need a super powered box. Rememer - you aren't going to scan any faster than the HDD can send data and that is painfully slow from the cpu's perspective.

An AMD X6 1035T would be perfect and cheap too. I would avoid an eufi bios motherbd, the one i've seen will change drive assignments depending on howmany drives were plugged in or where they were plugged in. (ie - sata port 0 isnt always sata 0 or the first drive)
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