I am trying to build a computer to use as a test lab and home computer. The computer will be primarily running as a test lab with server 2008, 2012, windows 7, 8 etc. I would like to run multiple monitors if possible, but don't plan to play too many games with the machine.
here is 2 builds I am looking at, please critique and suggest alternatives. I have money burning a hole in my pocket.
The Intel core i5 box would cost an extra $25 and would be a quad core but an intel i5 vs. the AMD FX-8320 which is an 8 core. The other difference is the Intel box would be integrated graphics vs. the EVGA card in the AMD box.
I am looking to purchase this tomorrow, so advice would be great. The AMD solution comes in at $511 and the Intel @ $536. I would really like to have kept it under $500. I don't need any licenses.
This what I have come up with. Added the "k" version of the 3570 and the CPU cooler, and the Extreme 4 motherboard so you can overclock. Overclocking in a nutshell: Makes your CPU do calculations and process information faster. If you do not have the need to overclock, replace those with the Intel i5 3570 , ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP and don't get the CPU cooler. This will save you around $50. With this saved money, you could replace that RAM with this. Yes, it is the exact same RAM, but 2x 8GB modules instead of 2x 4GB. I would not recommend just buying a second set of dual channel RAM, because 4 modules of RAM can strain your CPU.
Thanks again for your advice. I had a hard stop at $1000 for everything and after the other things that I needed, I couldn't afford the core i5, so I went with the FX-8120 and got the entire system shipped for $999.36.
This included the FX-8120, 16GB of Corsair memory DDR1866, 1.5TB HDD (SATA 6, 64MB, 7200RPM) and the HD5450 1GB video card.
I also got a second hard disk drive so I can spin up another computer my buddy is letting me borrow that just needed a drive, a gigabit switch, a printer and 2 LED 23" ASUS monitors.
So I purchased an entire computer lab for right at $1000 shipped to my door.
I will be spinning up several Microsoft solutions on it. Exchange, Sharepoint, AD, SCCM and a few desktop computers.
Great. Since you went AMD, Next time you upgrade your CPU, I'd stay with AMD. Switching to an Intel processor would cost you the processor, a new motherboard, time taking it apart and putting it back together, and some time switching your Windows to the new motherboard. So when you do upgrade, I'd upgrade to Jaguar or Steamroller when they come out. Not to Piledriver, because it offers only a 15% increase in performance over Bulldozer.
I'm curious to see your configuration, I'm thinking of doing a dual boot (windows 7 and Windows Hyper-V server) with 4 VMs to run a sharepoint farm.
I ended up with an AMD 8120 processor running on an ASRock 970 motherboard with 2x8GB memory sticks. I am running Windows server 2012 on it. The disk configuration is an OCZ Agility III 64GB SSD for the OS and a 1.5TB SATA III Seagate for the VM's / ISO storage, etc.
I have been able to run 2 exchange servers, 2 DC's, and a windows 7 desktop without any noticeable performance issues. Please note that I have been VERY VERY stingy with the memory and Virtual processor assignments and I have not done any load testing, this was all configuration testing.
I don't remember the final build cost because I packaged it together with a bunch of other things from Newegg (dual 23" monitors, a new officejet printer, gigabit hub, and a few parts to get another box repaired) and that total was pennies under $1000, so I would say the box itself probably cost me somewhere between $600 and $700.