Build server advice


I am planning to take microsoft certification exams such as 70-640,70-643,70-646. I have read several threads here but they seem not fit for my needs.

So what i need in terms of performance is a server that would allow me to practice concepts such as Active Directory, Domain controllers, Hyper V and other Windows Server 2008 R2 services. The system should also able to handle graphical demands or gaming.

Since i would like to use just one server PC and use Hyper V to create 4-8 virtual machines alongside other client computers in hyper v mode.

The server does not need to be active 24/7.

What are the hardware requirements for such a server?


Budget: 400-500 dollars
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  1. The important thing here is the 4-8 virutal machines and the resources they will need. The infrastructure work (domain controller, Hyper V) is rather minimal...

    CPU - Quad core or higher. AMD fits in this space well for its core count, not core clock performance.

    MEM - Figure 1.5GB per for 8 VMs for a total of 12GB, then add 4GB for the OS... 16GB of memory will be fine. No need for 32GB unless you are wanting to give more memory to each VM.

    HD - While a 2TB hard drive has the space to host 8VMs, it will simply NOT keep up speed wise. Figure two or three VMs per hard drive (spindle) to keep performance acceptable. Maybe roll with three 250GB drives (3 VMs per disk with size around 80GB).

    To recap... An AM3+ motherboard, AMD quad / hex / octo core CPU, 16GB memory, one boot drive, three "VM" hard drives, case, optical and power supply. Not very likely to happen on a $500 budget. Where will you be buying from? Link?
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