112 Responses

  1. Michael Miller
    Michael Miller at |

    Great review of your lab kit once more!

    I’ve been looking at new lab kit myself and have been considering E3-1200v3 vs E5-2600v2 processors. Obviously an E5 based machine is going to be more expensive than an E3 based one. However- the really big draw for me is the fact the E5 procs can use more than 32GB of RAM.

    Looking at some rough costs of 2* E3-1265Lv3 32GB X10SL7-F-0 servers vs 1* E5-2640v2 64GB X9SRH-7F server (same cases and roughly similar cooling components) it seems that the two E3 servers are more expensive.

    Do you consider 32GB to still be sufficient for a home lab? And within a year or three time? I’ve not considered the cost-benefit of a E3 now and replacing it (probably similar cost) with the “latest and greatest” equivalent in 2 years time. I guess it depends on one’s expected depreciation time frame.

    Who would have thought VCAP-DCD that scale-out vs scale-up questions would be relevant to one’s home lab 🙂

    (In fairness, I was looking at having this “lab” environment also run a couple of “production” VMs for home use concurrently, so the 32GB would not be dedicated to the LAB)

    Reply
  2. Josh (@maeltor)
    Josh (@maeltor) at |

    Gotta love artificially inflated price markets. The fire at the Hynix plant was almost exactly 3 months ago, and yet prices continue to rise. Wonder how long we’ll see this stair step price rise before we start to trudge our way back down again.

    Reply
  3. Is 32GB RAM for a VMware vSphere home lab sufficient these days? « TriathlonMike

    […] comment I wrote in response to the “The New Haswell Fueled ESXi 5.5 Home Lab Build” post is included […]

  4. Michael
    Michael at |

    Chris, thanks so much for your writeup! I am using an old white box that I built several years back that could use some updating.

    Could you expand on your point above about using UDIMM’s? I noticed that the SuperMicro board I was looking at has different memory limitations based on the type of DIMM used. Do you know why this is?

    Also, why do you recommend using unbuffered DIMM’s rather than the other types of DIMM’s? I can “get by” with 64GB, but if I could use RDIMM’s or LRDIMM’s to get more memory that would be better. Really would like to understand more about this choice.

    For your reference I am referring to this SuperMicro board: http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/C600/X9SRE-F.cfm

    I will probably try to pair it with this CPU (or a cheaper one in the same family):
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116932

    Reply
  5. Chris Conlan
    Chris Conlan at |

    Wow I didn’t know RAM went up so much. Luckily I just did my builds and 32GB was under like $250. I usually go with G.SKILL for all my memory.

    Only reason I went with Shuttle barebones is I didn’t feel like piecing together a bunch of stuff and they work. Next builds I’ll stick with Supermicro because I want the IPMI features, but I might just buy a Lantronix Spider KVM over IP adapter for now.

    Reply
  6. Would love to get this for the homelab :) | Virtual-J
  7. Anders
    Anders at |

    I am new to esxi (WAF-problems promted me to read up on virtualization), so this might be a dumb question: But when using the SuperMicro MBD-X10SL7-F-O and Intel Xeon E3-1230V3, do I really need to purchase EEC RAM at all? Can’t I go with the cheaper NON-EEC?

    Reply
  8. Updated home lab considerations #rsts11 | rsts11 – Robert Novak on system administration

    […] to write this post was Chris Wahl’s update on his home lab. He’s moving to Haswell, and building out a well-optimized lab. He’s an avid advocate of remote management, so definitely take a look at his board selection […]

  9. Building ESXi 5 Whitebox Home Lab Servers

    […] This is a rather old post focused on a Sandy Bridge design – you’re welcome to head over to my updated post that takes advantage of a Haswell design here. […]

  10. wtodd_h
    wtodd_h at |

    Chris, do you know where I can find what Supermicro Motherboards are listed on the vSphere HCL? I can only find the SM pre-built systems at VMware. Should I just cross reference the components to re-build my home lab?

    Reply
  11. R.S.
    R.S. at |

    What kind of power consumption would we be looking at for this build?

    Reply
  12. jasonth
    jasonth at |

    Looks like a fantastic hardware build for a lab. Can I ask how you aquire licensing for the software you plan on running? With the demise of technet, I’m scrambling to find a source for Microsoft licensing so I can continue to keep up with their evolutions of server software. Also, VMware software isn’t cheap so how do you run legit?

    I’m also not opposed to blowing it all away every three or four months when trials expire – that would keep me fresh, too.

    Reply
  13. Larry
    Larry at |

    Does ESXi 5.5 recognize the onboard RAID of the Supermicro board?

    Reply
    1. Chris Conlan
      Chris Conlan at |

      I believe it does. If you went with a consumer board it won’t work. That’s why I use my Synology NAS to host the VM’s.

      Reply
  14. Miguel
    Miguel at |

    I am new to virtualization, and I will risk throwing a dumb questions here, but anywhere I feel lucky to have found a web site like this filled with great information about the white box subject. I discovered the Babydragon’s setup a few months ago when looking for answers about a system that would allow me to start diving into the virtualization world to get certified in the future. I have noticed that with everything here focuses on VMware ESXi, but my question is: what about Hyper-V? Can I feel confident on setting Hyper-V on the white boxes too?

    Reply
    1. Chris Conlan
      Chris Conlan at |

      Hyper-V you get a little more play when it comes to components. You can either run Hyper-V as a whole or just install Server 2008 R2/Server 2012 and then do the Hyper-V role. I’ve had better lucky getting consumer grade stuff to work in Hyper-V over VMware.

      I prefer VMware so I built a whitebox with a Shuttle Haswell barebone, i7-4770S, 32GB DDR3 RAM, 256GB SSD (for caching), and a 32GB USB 3.0 drive. It was about like $600-700 for it.

      Reply
      1. Miguel
        Miguel at |

        I get what you’re saying as this was my initial though on building the whitebox (getting to practice VMWare). But there are implementing Hyper-V on my workplace and I though of getting to know Hyper-V first and then try VMWare latter on the same box. What I am trying to do is putting together a small home-lab that will let me use both “technologies”, in case I need to interchange between the two in a near future. I was also planning on using Hyper-V as the hypervisor. So, I can take from your reply that I can run Hyper-V on the white box?

      2. Mike
        Mike at |

        Chris, just following up on your post a while back. I am curious to find out what type of caching you have configured the 256GB SSD drive in your Shuttle i7 VMware ESXi whitebox? Do you have any spinning SATA drives or you connect to a NAS type of external storage box?

  15. TinkerTry IT @ home | Superguide: Home virtualization server enthusiasts’ colorful variety of ESXi whiteboxes

    […] by Chris Wahl on Dec 02 2013 wahlnetwork.com/2013/12/02/new-haswell-fueled-esxi-5-5-home-lab-build […]

  16. Mathias
    Mathias at |

    Now this comes in very handy as I am about to build a new homelab box. Is it possible to use the internal C226 chipset sata as JBOD in ESXi or are there no drivers available? I assume it’s a fake raid so anyhow there would be no raid possible but if it’s accessible as JBOD it might be a nice testbed for VSAN… Otherwise I might go ahead with an used PERC or Adaptec.

    I also have been using the Lian Li as a case for our Vmware Box but have considered to go for the Bitfenix Phenom M as it’s quite a tinkering when you have a fully packed machine with disks and controllers. Beside that I can fit 5 3,5″ drives without any adapters, etc. – so far just my 2 cents on the case 😉

    Great work!

    Reply
  17. Virtual Windows workstation run on a headless CentOS server running KVM with ... - Page 5

    […] Posted by StephD Compatibility issue with ESXi This guy at The New Haswell Fueled ESXi 5.5 Home Lab Build | Wahl Network proposes a solution : "Both boards use the Intel I210-AT LAN chipset, which is supported by […]

  18. david1975
    david1975 at |

    Hey Chris,
    I have built this baby following your blog , pretty awesome !
    Now I am facing an issue , I have added to the ESXI5.5 iso the intel drivers packages but still the second NIC of the motherboard is not recognised ……
    Any idea where the issue could come from ?
    thanks

    Reply
  19. david1975
    david1975 at |

    I think I found what the issue is . The X10SLL-F use Intel controller Intel I217-LM asides of the Intel AT210 .
    So far I have been unable to get the NIC that uses the Intel I217-LM working ….
    If someone has been successful please let me know !
    regards
    David

    Reply
  20. david1975
    david1975 at |

    Chris,
    You are the man ! It worked …
    I have one last question . I have a Netgear GS724T that I use for L2 switchng here .
    I am having big trouble to configure a trunk between my two physical esxi Nic and the Switch .
    The netgear documentation is very very poor and I am stuck since yesterday . really annoying .

    Do you know any source of documentation of website where I could have a look to ?
    thanks
    Have a nice week end .
    Da

    Reply
  21. syh08a
    syh08a at |

    Can you please take a picture of your mother board, I am having trouble connecting to the right pin outs…its very different from what I am use to and the online manual is not helping me much.

    Reply
  22. easonra
    easonra at |

    My X9SCM ram appears compatible (M391B1G73BH0-CK0) so it would just be a mobo/cpu swap with better pci options and nic chipset. I knew I should have bought more than the 32 gb ram at the time :(.

    Reply
  23. Polo Hurtado
    Polo Hurtado at |

    Hi Chris, on the subject of the Synology for hosting VMs–do you have a preference for iSCSI or NFS? I own the Synology 1812+, fully loaded with 4TB drives–spread over three volumes. I have a separate 2xSSD volume for highway speeds 😉

    I have some iSCSI datastores and some NFS, but other than passing the eyeball test, I haven’t benchmarked properly. If you have any thoughts, I surely appreciate them. Keep up the great work–love your posts!

    Reply
    1. Chris Conlan
      Chris Conlan at |

      I haven’t done testing yet either, but I’m running everything via NFS and I’m happy with the performance. I as well run the 1812+ with 2 120GB Samsung 840 for the cache.

      I did create two iSCSI luns, but haven’t done much with them yet.

      I put money my performance would be better if I would setup link aggregation, but since the 1812+ only has two NIC’s on it I can’t. I run a NFS share for files and their not apart of the vmdk itself. That’s why I was looking at the DS1813+ because it has 4 NIC’s.

      Reply
      1. Dave Davis
        Dave Davis at |

        I have the 1813+ and I love it! I have two nics setup in link aggregation for my vmware lab and the other two for my home stuff.

      2. Dave Davis
        Dave Davis at |

        Here is an image of my home so far…. 🙂
        http://www.flickr.com/photos/dave_davis/12511783024/

  24. Choque
    Choque at |

    I want to virtualize my unRAID server on an ESXi host. Is it possible to pass the SATA (or SAS ports when using the X10SL7-F-O) through to the VM? Or would I have to use RDM or something like the IBM ServerRAID M1015 PCI-E card cross-flashed to LSI-9210-8i to be able to pass-through the HDDs?

    Reply
  25. Jacob Kimbrough
    Jacob Kimbrough at |

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks so much for this article! Based on this write-up, I purchased the components you mentioned — the Xeon E3-1230v3, Supermicro X10SLL-F-O, 32G Kingston KVR16E11K4/32, SeaSonic 400W fanless power supply.

    I installed the CPU and RAM, connected the fan and PSU, and turned on the PSU. So far, so good – solid orange light. Then I shorted the power pins: the CPU fan spun for about half a second, then everything tripped. The orange LED4 light now only “pulses”/blinks – no matter what component is installed or not installed; if I turn on the PSU, it blinks.

    Another PSU produces the same behavior.

    RMA’d the board, got a replacement — SAME THING!

    Are there any tricks here? Is the PSU insufficient?

    Thanks for any insight!

    Jacob

    Reply
    1. david1975
      david1975 at |

      hello Jacob,
      Indeed really weird , especially if you have tried with another brand new PSU .
      I have built the same box 2 weeks ago and went for a more powerfull PSU (550w).
      I did not have any issue to build it except with the LAN drivers that I had to tweak a little bit .

      rgds

      Reply
  26. Stanthewizzard
    Stanthewizzard at |

    For a two cpu or 8 core what would you suggest ?
    Thanks

    Reply
  27. David Thompson
    David Thompson at |

    Chris, I built my first ESXi 5.5 lab based off of 1/3 of your equipment above and had a question about video?
    I want to use multiple displays and had a TRIPLEHEAD2GO Digital graphics adaptor that I attempted to use. It turns out that the on board video in the SUPERMICRO X10SLH-F doesn’t support the 3840×1024 video resolution required.
    Because I’m just beginning to dive into ESXi 5.5 virtual world I only purchased one complete unit you have listed. My plan is to run ESXi on a Windows 7 64 bit host with VMware Workstation 8 – 10 depending if version 10 gets the bugs out and allows me to use all options that you can run in your lab.
    How are you and others connecting multiple displaces from a single host? What video card would support 3840×1024 resolution in a lab environment like yours?

    Reply
  28. David Thompson
    David Thompson at |

    Sorry! Multiple Displays on a single host?

    Reply
  29. Jarett DeAngelis
    Jarett DeAngelis at |

    Hey, Chris — this is sort of parallel to this post, but I was wondering if you have any links to good guides on how to get NIC teaming working in ESXi, followed by connecting that teamed NIC to a FreeNAS device running iSCSI/NFS as its storage backend? I’ve been trying to collate various sources together without much luck. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. spali
      spali at |

      Depending of your requirements, but normally you wont use more than a single physical link per connection. So you can just use load balancing by NIC-load. This is much more flexible for the nic setup of a vSwitch. because most other functionality works better without nic bonding in my eyes. When you really have the requirement to use more bandwidth than a physical link can handle per connection, then I would do it inside the VM on FreeNAS itself. Don’t have any experience with that, because my FreeNAS VM is just using the vmxnet3 driver with 10G and the rest is distributed by NIC load over the physical links. But as Chris wrote, if it is really required, I would do it on the FreeNAS level. And I bet there must be some guides around.
      Can’t say much about NFS, but I use iSCSI in a similar setup (ESXi iSCSI (Freenas VM), and iSCSI works like a charm if you set it up as multi-nic. So one portgroup per iSCSI link which results in multiple storage paths. ESXi will automatically distribute the traffic across these links.

      Reply
  30. 3Fives » My ESXi Build
    3Fives » My ESXi Build at |

    […] Its not very intuitive. However, I based my build off the parts that Chris Wahl mentioned in his blog post about a Haswell fueled ESXi 5.5 Server.  I guess the biggest mistake I made was assuming that just because his post mentioned the […]

  31. jameski
    jameski at |

    Has anyone managed to passthrough the SATA controller from the MBD-X10SLH-F-O (C226) as I have recently followed this guide needing full passthrough but apparently the on board SATA controller won’t passthrough to ESXi 5.5. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  32. What Does Your Home Network Look Like (Part 3) | Misdventures in Sorting Information
  33. Gary
    Gary at |

    Chris thanks for taking the time to share your experience here and building a home lab. Would like to know if you considered the Supermicro X10SLM+-LN4F. 4 Intel i210AT.

    Reply
    1. spali
      spali at |

      The i210AT NICs of my X10SLH-F got recognized with the default 5.5 U1 iso. So don’t know if maybe VMware added the drivers there. But I didn’t try the older iso builds. I also thought about to use this board for my build, but because I had some i340-T4 around I decided to go with them and use the additional PCIE of the X10SLH-F for the card. This results in a total of 6 1Gbit NIC’s (2 onboard and 4 of the i340).

      Reply
  34. Home Lab for 2014
    Home Lab for 2014 at |

    […] and Realtek NICs on the Shuttle XPCs.  I also evaluated several LGA 1150 socket options like the SuperMicro X10SLH-F, but they are all limited to 32GB RAM.  For those interested in learning more about these kits […]

  35. My ESXi vSphere 5.5 Home Lab (Haswell) Build | spali.ch

    […] After some research, I decided to go with a build similar to the one described on the Wahl Network Blog. […]

  36. Diego Cogo
    Diego Cogo at |

    Hi Chris,

    First of all, great post, it helped me a lot! Thank you!
    I started with just one host as you mentioned with the following motherboard:
    SuperMicro MBD-X10SLH-F-O (C226)
    Everything is running perfectly but I’m struggling with the CPU fan sensor. Every few minutes it alarms because the fan runs below 800 RPMs.
    Have you experience this issue? Is there a way to fix this, besides running the fans in full speed?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. spali
      spali at |

      I had the same, with a Case fan at low RPM of 300. You need an IPMI tool to set the FAN thresholds. Don’t have the exact tools and commands available right now, but you should find enough resources by searching the inet 🙂

      Reply
    2. spali
      spali at |

      Just for the notes, I updated my blog post, how you can set the thresholds with ipmiutil with commands i used in my case. This should be easy adaptable to your needs:
      http://spali.ch/esxi-vsphere-5-5-home-lab-haswell-build/

      Reply
  37. David Thompson
    David Thompson at |

    Diego, I’ve created three boxes like in Chris’s lab and I don’t have any fan issues either. Try checking the three possibilities below.
    1. Did you put a good coat of thermal bond between the fan and CPU?
    2. Check to verify you have the fan plugged into the correct fan connector “A”. If you have it plugged into any other fan port #1-3 you might have this issue. Fan port “A” is in the same corner as the six SATA connectors on the motherboard.
    3. Could it be a bad fan?

    Reply
  38. Frank
    Frank at |

    Hi Chris, I have a spare PCI-E LSI RAID card that supports 4 hard drives. I was wondering if is better to use the LSI card for RAID 0 instead of the on board RAID?

    I ordered most stuff from your list, except that I added a water cooling system and different chassis.

    Thanks for the great post!

    Reply
  39. Hilko Lantinga
    Hilko Lantinga at |

    While your setup is perfect, there is a cheaper way to get nearly the same. The Intel C series (server) are equal to the Q series (desktop), and the Xeon e3 lv3 (server) are equal to the T series i5 and i7 with vPro (desktop). The only downside is that you won’t get ECC, which I don’t care for in a lab, as an upside you’ll get slightly higher turbo clocks. And while you don’t get IPMI (I don’t really like the IPMI of supermicro), the vPro’s have AMT for remote media and KVM.

    Reply
  40. Paul
    Paul at |

    Just ordered everything above. Cant wait to get it here and installed. Thanks for this build/post, it’s extremely helpful.

    Reply
  41. Dave
    Dave at |

    I built a new server based on the specs you provided here and the box works great. I am now looking to add an SATA/SAS HBA that is compatible for passthrough. Any recommendations? My goal is to passthrough a few drives to a freeNAS VM so that FreeNAS has direct access to the drives. I will be doing a software RAID with FreeNAS, not hard RAID. Thanks for any help!

    Reply
  42. Chris
    Chris at |

    I live near a dealer with a bunch of the Dell C1100s. It looks like I can pick those up with dual quads and 32Gb for less than half the price of bulding new. Am I going to be more productive with 2 or 3 physical hosts vs just 1 ? I was going to go external storage so I do not care about local raid ..
    I was going to pick 2 x L5620s

    Reply
  43. Mike
    Mike at |

    Hey Chris, in your experienced view what would be the choice of mobo/cpu bundle to consider for building a ESXi 5 and 6 beta, Are the SuperMicro boards and Xeon CPU’s you have used still capable? I just want to try and future proof my new build, I am intending to move from an old but capable Shuttle i7 2400 based white box with Direct/IO attached SATA/SSD to a FreeNAS VM all running on the same host.

    Reply
  44. Mike
    Mike at |

    Thanks Chris for your input. I was looking at the Supermicro Atom series http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Atom/

    In particular this one A1SAI-2750F Atom C2750 Mini-ITX Motherboard, ASRock also have a similar mobo but like you I am also an advocate for SuperMicro who have recently introduced newer boards in this range which I have yet to compare the specs. I know this particular mobo has everything except VT-D (DirectI/O). I am looking to hopefully build 3 hosts for learning about setting up a VSAN cluster which I am sure is going to be the key driver from VMware in ESXi6.

    What are your thoughts on this new low power architecture and its mini-ITX form factor is what is very appealing for home lab.

    Reply
  45. James
    James at |

    Chris,

    Anything you would change on the hardware specs based on your experience using over the past year and some of the current options available? Getting ready to build new box for testing.

    Great article!

    Thanks.

    Reply
  46. bigc00p
    bigc00p at |

    I’m having a terrible time getting this combo to work for my home lab. I used this blog post as my guide, here are my exact parts:

    SUPERMICRO MBD-X10SLH-F-O uATX Server Motherboard
    Intel Xeon E3-1231V3 Haswell 3.4GHz 8MB L3 Cache L
    Kingston 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered
    Kingston HyperX 3K SH103S3/120G 2.5″ 120GB SATA III

    Without writing out everything that has happened, I’ll keep this short. I have updated my bios to version 2.0 successfully. I have tried both installing esxi 5.5 from CD and USB, both of which cause the system to go into a shutdown state during it’s second boot up phase. First phase is the black screen with loading bar at top, second phase is the yellow screen with loading bar at bottom. Throughout all my testing, it has crashed at different parts, but as of right now it gets to “plog loaded successfully” and kind of hangs, then my system makes a click noise like it’s shutting down, monitor goes dark, but fans keep running. I can’t power it off from front power button, keyboard non-responsive, have to yank the power to get it to stop.

    I am currently running memtest just to be sure, it’s done one pass with default settings with no errors. Any suggestions? I can’t imagine everyone else here had these problems based on the comments. 🙁

    Reply
    1. Mathias K.
      Mathias K. at |

      Maybe a PSU problem somehow? Did you try installing some other OS like Linux? Maybe you can push Debian on it and run stress or prime95 (alternatively you could run it from Ultimate Boot CD or so). Prime95/stress will push your CPU to the limit and therefor consume quite a bit of power through your PSU.

      Reply
  47. Mario
    Mario at |

    Hi,
    I am a newcomer and will try to build this box before christmas.
    As I start from zero and have nothing I was wondering if your shopping list is 100%complete: Processor, Motherboard, Memory, USB stick, Case, Fan, Power??
    Of course I can find a screen and keyboard somewhere. But my decision is taken : Amazon or NewEgg tomorrow…

    Reply
  48. Mario
    Mario at |

    BTW
    Which Hard drive did you use apart the SSD ones?
    I did not find any mention of it in your article.
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  49. Rui
    Rui at |

    Hi Chris,

    can you tell me why the cpu replacement for the new e3-1231v3 ? what are the advantages for this new cpu?

    Best Regards
    RS

    Reply
  50. Pabs
    Pabs at |

    Hey Chris,

    Great post, thanks.

    Do you happen to have an electronic copy of the “Supermicro MBD-X10SLM-F-B Socket 1150” manual? Supermicro website is broken (ive contacted them).

    Cheers,
    Pabs

    Reply
  51. James
    James at |

    Hi, Really great posts on this topic (Haswell and Sandy Bridge). I’m assembling a similar system inspired by yours – just one node at the moment to test it out using a Supermicro X10SLM+-F. Everything seems to work fine, but I simply can’t get ESXi to work with the IPMI of that board for DPM purposes. Have you tried that? I suspect there is some incompatibility, which is unfortunate, but Googling hasn’t turned up anything.
    Cheers,
    James

    Reply
  52. VMware Homelab Build | vBrisket
    VMware Homelab Build | vBrisket at |

    […] my requirements.  Chris does a great job of detailing each piece of hardware, check it out here http://wahlnetwork.com/2013/12/02/new-haswell-fueled-esxi-5-5-home-lab-build/ and make sure to watch his YouTube videos linked to his website. Here is the hardware list with […]

  53. Daniel
    Daniel at |

    Thanks for the great post Chris!

    I wonder if there is anything you would change if you would build a new home lab today?

    Reply
  54. Anthony
    Anthony at |

    Great article. Just curious if you do all your hardware monitoring through IPMI? Does the health status page from VMware client show you any details? I’ve read that there is no CIM driver for supermicro motherboards, so I was wondering if VMware was able to read the health information.

    Reply
  55. Common Information Model (CIM) Data for Home Lab Server Hardware - Wahl Network

    […] Anthony submitted a great comment asking about Common Information Model (CIM) status reporting for home lab boxes – […]

  56. Jay
    Jay at |

    Have you attempted to create LAG (lacp connection hopefully) with the two onboard GB ports? Played with this at all?

    Reply
  57. Configuring Shared IPMI Ports on Supermicro Servers for the Home Lab - Wahl Network

    […] that they really liked the IPMI and remote KVM features of the Supermicro boards that I use for my ESXi hosts, but was running out of ports on the network switch used for home lab networking. After discussing […]

  58. Joe Barbone
    Joe Barbone at |

    Hi Chris, I’m not sure if this is still being checked or not, but I enjoyed your build sheet. I was checking the performance on the E3 series processors and they were both out performed by the i7-4790K. Would this provide better performance for a single ESXi 5.5 host? It is a little more expensive than the Xeon processors, but it looks like they will still work with the SuperMicro X10SLH-F-O board you specify above. Will that work or is there a benefit to sticking with the Xeon processor? I will most likely never need more than 32GB RAM for what I need. I’m running an i5-2400K now with 16GB RAM and rarely run into issues, my real issue now is storage and trying to get enough disks. I was going to purchase an ICY device that puts six (6) 2.5″ drives into the 5.25 bay, but I don’t have six SATA 3 connections on my current motherboard. I looked into getting a SATA 3 controller card, but then got concerned with the compatibility with ESXi 5.5 so I looked into the AMD FX-8350 32GB RAM, six SATA3 ports, etc. Nice setup, reasonably affordable, however, it will not run a MAC OS (which I’m interested in learning) so I decided to just stick with Intel. I think I’m overthinking things a bit, but I want to get the best components I can get for the money I’m willing to spend. What do you think? I suppose I can use VMware viewer for the MAC OS or try to install it on another piece of hardware and stick with getting the AMD system, but I’m an Intel guy and it’s very hard for me to pull the trigger on AMD. I also don’t want to spend $1000 on a NAS setup. All of my storage at this time is local to the ESXi box, I have one 2TB, one 1TB and 1 500GB drive all configured as their own datastore.

    Anyway, any help or push in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

    (I know I can get a dual Xeon, 32GB, six drive system online for like $400, but they are loud and hot, both of which I cannot deal with on a 24/7 basis)

    Thanks again for your insight!

    Joe

    Reply
  59. benoit
    benoit at |

    hi

    I am still with your old setup
    CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 “Sandy Bridge” – 3.2GHz, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 8MB (Amazon)
    Motherboard: Supermicro X9SCM-F – Intel C204, Dual GigE, IPMI w/Virtual Media, 2x SATA-3, 4x SATA-2

    i want to upgrade the memory to 32 g.
    do you think the one you propose for you new setup can work,

    32 GB (4×8) of Kingston Technology ValueRAM box KVR16E11K4/32

    i found this on http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=+KVR16E11K4%2F32+&N=-1&isNodeId=1

    Thanks
    Benoit

    Reply

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