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powerful PC for vitualisation

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by salv236, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. salv236

    salv236 Nibble Poster

    I am looking into buying a PC or building a system myself, this will be purely used for virtualisation connecting from my laptop via RDP to this machine to run vmware worktation.

    As this will be a high performance system it needs to be 64 BIT hardware & OS running either Window 7 professional or ultimate. As im not much of a hardware expert i would like to ask the following:

    Can anyone recommend what component models to get?
    Does the current motherboard architectures still support PCI components?
    are IDE hard drives still supported ?
    By default recommended memory is 8GB what can current motherboards go up to?

    Thanks for your assistance

    Best Regards

    Certifications: none
    WIP: MCSE XP/2K3
  2. Gav

    Gav Kilobyte Poster

    Does the current motherboard architectures still support PCI components?
    Some do, many now use PCI-Express or PCI-X exclusively.

    Are IDE hard drives still supported ?
    Yes, but I'd go for SATA at the very least.

    By default recommended memory is 8GB what can current motherboards go up to?
    Server boards can probably do 32-64GB with the right, expensive, modules.

    You've missed out the most important factor: what's your budget?
  3. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    I would get an i7 cpu or i5
    Gigabyte and asus do the best motherboards
    Its PCI-e now but PCI still works in it.
    Yes IDE is still supported
    MOst motherboards can go upto 16GB (some take more) now as its triple channel so you buy ram is triples instead of pairs i.e for 6GB you would have 3x2GB RAM

    You can get motherboards that take dual channel ram though.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  4. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

    What about x6? I'm thinking about getting one of those myself. The more ram, the better and maybe chuck in a SSD or 2
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
    Certifications: MCDST|FtOCC
    WIP: MCSA(70-270|70-290|70-291)
  5. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    I have no idea about AMDs but I have been told that virtualisation are better with Intel setups wether thats tru or not I don't know.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  6. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

    i7, 24 GB RAM, and SATA6 drives with SSD for boot or something :)
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0
  7. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    I recently built a PC with an AMD phenom x II 4 965, quad core at 3.40GHz to support my ML115 which runs on an AMD processor phenom quad core 2.4GHz. The PC/server are predominately for virtualisation runing VMware ESXi 4 and 4.1 and soon to add VMware workstation 7.

    The PC is made up of 8GB of Ram and runs Windows 7, 64bit without any glitches and serveral vm's.

    Yeah! for a cheaper alternative for labs and virtualisation AMD is solid and comes prepared for virtualisation and 64Bit operating systems. All the best:)
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  8. jiggy

    jiggy Nibble Poster

    Ive got an AMD x6 with 12 gigs of RAM and several large hard drives running hyper v. SBS 2011 is the main machine I have running as a guest but also use Win 2k3 for VPNing in so that I can reboot my SBS without disconnecting myself (SBS can be used for VPN connectivity as well). Also have a Win 7 and an XP box on there and am about to put Forefront TMG on it. It runs all those VMs really well (only single user environment) and I find the main bottle neck is the hard drives so would pay to get some fast drives.

    Most of the time the processor seems to be doing very little so my X6 does a fine job.

    Hope that helps.
    Certifications: MCSE
    WIP: ABC's
  9. spammeh

    spammeh Bit Poster

    I've found having a SSD for your most used VMs is probably one of the best upgrades next to having lots of ram of course :) I always hated booting up multiple VM's at the the same time as my mechnical drive would just churn away and also cause each one to slow down the boot times of the others. The purchased of SSD has sorted that though :D

    I'm thinking about getting about 8gb as some of these VM's aren't nippy enough when you allocate the bare minimum for them :(
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+
  10. Slipmatt

    Slipmatt Bit Poster

    More bang for your buck with those new Phenom x6's.
    Certifications: None
    WIP: CompTIA A+
  11. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

    What Slip said. Whilst the Intel chips still have an advantage in terms of out and out performance, you do pay extra for it. There are some very good value AMD chips at the moment that will be excellent for VM work and could be added to a cheap mobo with also cheap ram.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  12. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    Personally speaking why not go for a cheap server?

    I paid out £200 for my TS200's, added additional ram (I can get 24gb in the box for £315 from the US), additionally I find that actually playing with two servers and a SAN\NAS also allows me the benefit of playing with the likes of VM, DRS, HA etc.

    You have to ask yourself, is this supposed to be a PC for virtualisation or play? Most of the mainline PC boards out there will cost you a small fortune if you want it to support more than 16gb of ram, whereas getting a dedicated server which is designed with it won't actually cost you that much more than you would spend out on the equipment for a high end PC (as an FYI, my most recent PC mb cost me £280, that will take up to 32gb but that's just the MB alone, no case, CPU, PSU or ram, admittedly this is a highend gaming machine but my 24gb, Xeon based server was considerably cheaper).

    As far as disk performance goes, have a look at my blog post here for some information on benchmarking I have carried out on various NAS options (more to follow shortly).
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).

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