New PC Build for VM work

staggerleestaggerlee Member Posts: 90 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi all,

Back to doing some study and want a load of lab time, so im looking at build a good box that should last me (Server 8 is just around the corner and SQL 2012 is nearly here already!)


Hoping to build a good VM machine that can run 2-6 virtual machines..


Build ive come up with is:


Pro: Intel Core i7 2700K 3.50GHz
Mobo: Asus Sabertooth X58 Socket 1366 8 Channel HD Audio ATX Motherboard
Mem: Corsair Vengeance 24GB DDR3 1600Mhz CL9 1.5V Non-ECC Unbuffered
HDD 1: OCZ 120GB Agility 3 SSD - SATA-III
HDD 2: OCZ 120GB Agility 3 SSD - SATA-III
HDD 3: Seagate 500GB Hybrid SSD/HDD SATA-II
Power: Corsair 750W HX Modular PSU
Case: Fractal Design Define R3
CPU-Cooler: Be quiet DARK ROCK PRO
GPU: Asus GTX 560Ti 1GB GDDR5




I have just noticed the OCZ 1TB PCI-E card that i could replace the SSD and hybrid with.. But guess any kind of separation of load if a good thing?


Any advice would be great :)


S

Comments

  • SteveLordSteveLord Member Posts: 1,717
    Wow.....where to start? Glad you came here first.


    -2700k cpu is not worth the $50 over the 2600k
    -Motherboard you chose is for a 1366 cpu, you picked a 1155 socket cpu
    -16GB of memory is plenty and cheaper.
    -SSDs are overkill. You can run VMs that perform fine on HDDs
    -I'd go with Corsairs H series coolers for silence and performance
    -Video card overkill. I run multiple VMs on an old 9800GT.

    Conclusion: Way overkill in specs and cost.
    WGU B.S.IT - 9/1/2015 >>> ???
  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    staggerlee wrote: »
    I have just noticed the OCZ 1TB PCI-E card that i could replace the SSD and hybrid with.. But guess any kind of separation of load if a good thing?
    For SSDs you don't really have to worry about this. For 2-6 VMs, 1TB is overkill, though. If you are just labbing and use linked clones (available in VMware Workstation and Sun VirtualBox) a single 120GB will suffice. You can always add another later on if you find the space too limiting.
    MentholMoose
    MCSA 2003, LFCS, LFCE (expired), VCP6-DCV
  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I have to agree with everyone thus far.

    A single 120GB is plenty for lab VMs. I am hoping to get one today for close to $1/GB, also for the purpose of labbing. I run 4-6 VMs as it is on a 1GB 7,200RPM drive and it's just fine. I'm getting the SSD to build a hyper-V lab and then lab with it's VMs. It will go a bit faster than the drive, so it's worth it to me, but far from necessary.

    Any six-core or eight-thread CPU should be enough, and 16GB of RAM should be enough. Unless you are building a RemoteFX lab, pretty much any graphics card will do. My recommendations are:
    <$200-300 for CPU + motherboard - Phenom 2 X6 1055T or Core i7 950
    <$200 for RAM - 16GB of the cheapest RAM of the optimal frequency
    <$200 for storage - 120GB SSD + a small HDD if you really need it
    <$150 for case & PSU -- 450-550W of something you trust

    That puts you at $850 tops, which is really overkill, but if you're like me and you value your time and don't like waiting for progress bars and VM reboots, then it's worth it. But over $1,000 is simply not worth it.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
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    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • estamandestamand Member Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Be carefull in your CPU choice. From what i've read online the i7 2600 support VT-x and VT-d but the 2600K series does NOT support VT-d.

    Can anyone confirm this?
  • SteveLordSteveLord Member Posts: 1,717
    estamand wrote: »
    Be carefull in your CPU choice. From what i've read online the i7 2600 support VT-x and VT-d but the 2600K series does NOT support VT-d.

    Can anyone confirm this?

    Correct and good point. I am always thinking with an overclocking/gaming head. 2600 would be the better choice.
    WGU B.S.IT - 9/1/2015 >>> ???
  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Unless UK CPU prices are very different (now that I see OP is from the UK), I think looking at the 2600 or 2600K is the wrong approach. For less than either, you can get an 8-core Opteron. For around the same price o just a bit more, you can get a 12-core Opteron. Either Opteron will better meet the need described by OP, unless OP truly doesn't use more than six VMs. In that case, the need is met by a cheaper six-core or four-core-with-HT processor.

    If OP is looking for a high-powered gaming desktop with spare power for desktop virtualization, that is another story. I guess I was under the impression it was to be a dedicated lab PC, but that could be wrong.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • SteveLordSteveLord Member Posts: 1,717
    ptilsen wrote: »
    Unless UK CPU prices are very different (now that I see OP is from the UK), I think looking at the 2600 or 2600K is the wrong approach. For less than either, you can get an 8-core Opteron. For around the same price o just a bit more, you can get a 12-core Opteron. Either Opteron will better meet the need described by OP, unless OP truly doesn't use more than six VMs. In that case, the need is met by a cheaper six-core or four-core-with-HT processor.

    If OP is looking for a high-powered gaming desktop with spare power for desktop virtualization, that is another story. I guess I was under the impression it was to be a dedicated lab PC, but that could be wrong.

    Indeed there are more options on the AMD side with regards to cores and costs.
    WGU B.S.IT - 9/1/2015 >>> ???
  • staggerleestaggerlee Member Posts: 90 ■■□□□□□□□□
    hi all, thanks for the replies.

    My concern about space is due to the lab work im planning on doing which includes lots of large datbases (not massive 20gb or so).

    Does anyone have an example of the deduping of clones? if say windows server 2008 r2 is 20gb how much space does the second clone use?

    For cpu, ive seen the support for VT-X and VT-D issue. From what i could find on the vmware site, You have to have VT-X to support running 64bit systems though without you can still install virtual 32bit. As for VT-D i think its something to do with secluding the actual IO of virtual machines for security etc. But im not sure that i would have to have that on the CPU to work? Or what it really does. Please correct me if im wrong!

    The only other concern i can think of is what the mobo should have on it, all im really looking for is a few sata III 6gb ports and usb 3! (i admit this is not the best to work out space)
  • staggerleestaggerlee Member Posts: 90 ■■□□□□□□□□
    i play games very rarely. but would like the option, I was thinking of trying Skyrim so would like a pretty decent gaming machine and play starcraft

    from my brief reading on the subject, i just saw a lot of negatitivy towards to AMD, price wise the latest and greatest AMD (FX-8 8150 or so ebuyer says) is cheaper than a i7 2600. Opteron arent even sold on ebuyer!?

    I looked on a few cpu comparison sites and again Intel scores a hella lot higher than AMD, given that i thought running multi vms would be a cpu hog, i went with a Intel build.

    Does anyone have some unbiased reading material on the new AMD?

    thanks
  • SteveLordSteveLord Member Posts: 1,717
    Intel spanks AMD is practically everything. Their latest FX line is a disgrace to the original Athlon FX line of cpus and still can't takeover Intel's Sandy Bridge line. Look around if you want, but I already summed it up for you. ;)Here's a quick shot of CPUs with Skyrim.

    In terms of cost, AMD is slowly losing ground on that front too for the most part.
    WGU B.S.IT - 9/1/2015 >>> ???
  • Version4Version4 Member Posts: 58 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Here is a good price on a top performing SATA II hdd for your build, you will be hard pressed to find a better deal today when comparing $ per GB:

    Newegg.com - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    You can check the performance of it here, it places among the middle of high end and does very well for a spinning drive, however it will not compare to the Agility 3 you have picked out:

    PassMark Software - Hard Drive Benchmark Charts

    That drive should do you well for VHD/temp storage and it is what I am upgrading to on my lab machine.
  • SteveLordSteveLord Member Posts: 1,717
    Version4 wrote: »
    Here is a good price on a top performing SATA II hdd for your build, you will be hard pressed to find a better deal today when comparing $ per GB:

    Newegg.com - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    You can check the performance of it here, it places among the middle of high end and does very well for a spinning drive, however it will not compare to the Agility 3 you have picked out:

    PassMark Software - Hard Drive Benchmark Charts

    That drive should do you well for VHD/temp storage and it is what I am upgrading to on my lab machine.

    Good recommendation. These Samsungs and WD Blacks are the most popular out there. And this is at near pre-disaster pricing!
    WGU B.S.IT - 9/1/2015 >>> ???
  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    The Core i7 series is definitely superior in few-threaded and single-threaded applications, like gaming. If you're running 6-12 VMs that are barely utilized (since they are in a lab), high thread performance is not that helpful. More cores are better, even if the individual cores are only 40-75% of the speed of a processor with fewer cores.

    I'm not disputing that Intel is making a more powerful product right now. But AMD is making a cheaper product with far more logical cores per dollar. That means a lot when you're looking at a lot of under-utilized threads.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • onesaintonesaint Member Posts: 801
    estamand wrote: »
    Be carefull in your CPU choice. From what i've read online the i7 2600 support VT-x and VT-d but the 2600K series does NOT support VT-d.

    Can anyone confirm this?

    Food for thought, here is the Intel comparison chart with filters for VT-x and VT-d.

    ARK: Advanced Search


    ptilsen wrote: »
    The Core i7 series is definitely superior in few-threaded and single-threaded applications, like gaming. If you're running 6-12 VMs that are barely utilized (since they are in a lab), high thread performance is not that helpful. More cores are better, even if the individual cores are only 40-75% of the speed of a processor with fewer cores.

    I'm not disputing that Intel is making a more powerful product right now. But AMD is making a cheaper product with far more logical cores per dollar. That means a lot when you're looking at a lot of under-utilized threads.

    I'd be curious to see how older 4 core dual Xeons hold up against newer AMDs as far as running multiple VMs go. If cores are the name of the game, why not go with slightly older dual Xeon quad cores?

    Here's an interesting tidbit on the Xeon E5606 (2.13Ghz) vs. all the newer CPUs:
    PassMark - Intel Xeon W3530 @ 2.80GHz - Price performance comparison

    Dual E5606s will set you back 500.00 or so and net 8 cores (no VT-d though).
    Work in progress: picking up Postgres, elastisearch, redis, Cloudera, & AWS.
    Next up: eventually the RHCE and to start blogging again.

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  • MentholMooseMentholMoose Senior Member Member Posts: 1,524 ■■■■■■■■□□
    For virtualization you need to care about more than just the CPU. If you buy a bunch of fast servers with 48 cores and 1TB RAM and hook them all up to a slow, low-end SAN, the SAN will run out of performance way before the servers and you quite possibly wasted a lot of money. The same goes for desktop virtualization, except at a smaller scale. For a basic lab machine, given a choice between a pair of quad-core Xeons for $500 and single quad-core Phenom for $90, I would take the Phenom and put the remaining $410 into faster storage (an SSD or two) and extra RAM. With a fixed budget that $410 would go a very long way toward making the machine better for labs, even with the inferior CPU and half as many cores.

    When I did the the MCITP: SA, EA, and EDA7 in 2009, I used a desktop with Q9600 CPU and 8GB RAM. I found that I was pretty much only ever limited by the disks (four 7200 RPM SATA disks in RAID 10 on an LSI RAID controller). I've since bought a decent laptop (mobile i5, 8GB RAM, SSD storage) and I'm sure it would be fine for those certs. I use it extensively for labbing for other certs (e.g. MCSA) and work-related things. I max out the CPU sometimes, but it's not bad considering it's only a dual-core CPU (with hyper-threading).
    MentholMoose
    MCSA 2003, LFCS, LFCE (expired), VCP6-DCV
  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Dual CPU systems tend to have a big premium over single CPU systems. A single 8-core or 12-core Opteron can be had for near-consumer-desktop prices. Even a last-gen dual-CPU system will cost more.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
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