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Virtualization Build (on the cheap)

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January 9, 2012 7:39:42 PM

I plan on building the following system for virtualization. I'll will be used in my home lab - not much required except the ability to boot off the mobo and contain 1 SSD & 1 SATA drive. Take a look and let me know if this is sufficient. Thanks in advance for the advice.

Case - COOLER MASTER Elite 360 RC-360-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mini Tower Computer Case

Power Supply - CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 (CMPSU-430CXV2) 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

Motherboard - ASUS E35M1-M PRO Fusion AMD E-350 APU (1.6GHz, Dual-Core) AMD Hudson M1 Micro ATX Motherboard/CPU Combo

a b B Homebuilt system
January 9, 2012 7:53:40 PM

well... how many virtural machines are we talking about? This would probably be fine for 1-2 instances (depending on the workload). Just be sure that the CPU and mobo both support virturalization.
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January 9, 2012 8:07:28 PM

Virtualization? What will you be doing with that fusion processor?

Looks like a nice little build though.

Although, I bet you could get away with a smaller PSU (since your whole system uses barely nothing).

Something like this:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

SeaSonic SS-300ES Bronze 300W ATX12V V2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
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January 9, 2012 9:04:31 PM

Maybe 3-4 VMs. I won't be running 24/7, mostly for testing and studying. I'll have to verify the processor, though.
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January 10, 2012 2:23:13 AM

I can't confirm whether the ASUS E35M1-M PRO combo supports virtualization. I checked the ASUS & VMware sites and found nothing. There is a blog or two about these systems running VMware 4.0. I'd like to see it documented before making the purhase.
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January 10, 2012 12:39:53 PM

http://uk.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_CPU_on_Board/E35M1M...

Download the motherboard manual, on page 2-17 the BIOS states it supports "SVM mode": Enables or disables CPU virtuliazationn. Configuration options (disabled)(enabled).

It supports virtualization, but you will be limited by the number of CPU cores by fusion (2).

So you should be good to go if you would like it.
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January 11, 2012 12:31:03 AM

So, I've been kicking this list around all day. Wondering what else I could use this for. The answer is not much. If I ever wanted to break-down this system and maybe convert to a gaming system, I would have to buy better parts again and/or get more power. I decided to create another build. This one is a little more expensive but should provide enough power/expansion to do whatever I need in the next 6 months, maybe into 2013. So here it is.

Case - MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Storage HD - Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Storage SSD - OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

PSU - CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 24GB (6 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model

MoBo - ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU - Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
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January 11, 2012 1:53:59 PM

Very nice build. Looks like it could be a monster gaming machine with a decent GPU. With that setup you should be able to run at least 7 VMs with 3GB each.

What OS do you plan on using? You will need at least windows 7 pro 64bit to support more than 16GB of RAM.
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January 12, 2012 4:08:44 PM

They'll run either ESX4, ESXi4, & ESXi5 while I'm testing VCP cert.
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January 12, 2012 4:28:15 PM

I think the only thing I would change is your PSU. Since you i'm guessing your looking for stability - a good PSU can bring you a long way.

Seasonic is one of the best PSU makers currently (this one is modular):

SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold and is virtually silent to boot:

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

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January 14, 2012 7:52:24 AM

Thanks. I'll add that to the build. Is there better RAM for this build than G.SKILL Ripjaws Series?
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January 16, 2012 12:32:02 PM

Hmm, im not sure? G. Skill has been a favaourite of quite a few people's builds lately. Corsair also makes good quality ram that usually doesnt have compatibility problems.
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January 21, 2012 8:51:05 PM

I made a couple changes moving to AMD to recoup some $$$. Here's the new build:

Case - COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
HD - Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Mobo - ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
NIC - Intel EXPI9301CTBLK 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI-Express Network Adapter
PSU - SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold ((SS-650KM Active PFC F3)) 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD ...
RAM - G.SKILL Sniper Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9Q-16GBSR1
CPU - AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8GHz Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDT55TFBGRBOX
SSD - OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

I not exactly sure about the RAM but it is dual-channel and matches the board spec. This build ends up being about $200-300 less than the other build. I may swap out G Skill for the Corsair for this build. I'll have to do some more research.
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