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New build advice - Lab in a box

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June 21, 2012 5:36:10 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: 2nd or 3rd week of July

Budget Range: approx. $800 - $1K

System Usage from Most to Least Important: VMWare / Hyper-V lab (switching back and forth) platform to host 3-5 guests, (varied - win7/8 and redhat)

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, speakers (existing KVM Swithcing to provide)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, microcenter.com, Amazon.com

Country: USA

Parts Preferences:
-Support for at least 32 GB of RAM
-Support for 4-6 SATA drives
-Medium size Case with some dust filtration capability and enough space for bloodless cabling, without being a skyscraper
-Leaning towards onboard video, but need DirectX 9 device and support for Win7 Areo/ WDDM 1

Overclocking: Not required

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: mild preference for 1280x1024

Additional Comments:
- Past builds have been Intel but open to AMD
- Memory/disk can be introduced in stages (don't need all 32+gb and 4-6 sata drives with initial buy)

More about : build advice lab box

June 21, 2012 6:57:29 PM

For VMs you probably don't need a 7850. You're probably fine with the onboard video (Intel HD Graphics 4000) built into the processor unless you need multiple monitor support. If you decide to drop the video card then you should also get a smaller power supply like this Antec Earthwatts 80plus Platinum 450w PSU

Also, for VMs you need a lot of cores, so get the i7-3770 because it has 8 logical cores while the i5 only has four. If you need VT-d then get the i7-3770 (without a "K" on the end) because it supports both VT-x and VT-d. The i7-3770K only supports VT-x, but is overclockable.

Consider the Asus Z77 Pro for your motherboard. It has a lot of built in features like wifi and Asus is a better brand than ASrock. If you're not going to overclock then consider the Asus H77 instead.

Also, if not overclocking then you can stick with the stock CPU cooler.

For RAM Samsung is very reliable and low voltage.


Take the money you saved and buy some more hard drives.
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June 22, 2012 2:37:18 AM

g-unit1111 said:
Here you go:

Case: Corsair Carbide 300R - $79.99
PSU: Seasonic S12 II 620W - $86.99
Motherboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme 4 - $139.99
CPU: 3.4GHz Intel Core i5-3570K - $229.99
Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo - $34.99
RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ripjaw X 1600Mhz 1.5V - $46.99
HD: 1TB Seagate Barracuda ST - $99.99
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 - $249.99

Total: $971.89


Thanks for the rapid, detailed answer. I have some homework to do, but that's part of the fun. Thanks again.
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June 22, 2012 2:40:44 AM

jsrudd said:
For VMs you probably don't need a 7850. You're probably fine with the onboard video (Intel HD Graphics 4000) built into the processor unless you need multiple monitor support. If you decide to drop the video card then you should also get a smaller power supply like this Antec Earthwatts 80plus Platinum 450w PSU

Also, for VMs you need a lot of cores, so get the i7-3770 because it has 8 logical cores while the i5 only has four. If you need VT-d then get the i7-3770 (without a "K" on the end) because it supports both VT-x and VT-d. The i7-3770K only supports VT-x, but is overclockable.

Consider the Asus Z77 Pro for your motherboard. It has a lot of built in features like wifi and Asus is a better brand than ASrock. If you're not going to overclock then consider the Asus H77 instead.

Also, if not overclocking then you can stick with the stock CPU cooler.

For RAM Samsung is very reliable and low voltage.


Take the money you saved and buy some more hard drives.


I think you're right about the video card, I will probably stick with on-board for now. Given the rate of change see in cards lately, if I do find I want one later my suspicion is that waiting will only increase bang for buck. Hadn't thought of the implication on the power supply also a good observation.

I appreciate your time and advice. Thanks.
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