Need Advice For Building My First VMware WorkStation

TavikWinterTavikWinter Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
Greetings everyone! I have some big decisions to make and could really use the expertise of this great forum! I'm currently attending WGU (Network Administration Track) and I'm wanting to build a VMware workstation to hone my virtual skills as well as my networking. I have waded through oceans of online documentation and debates as to what one needs to build a rock solid VM workstation and after reading for hours I'm now more confused than when I started lol! Let me give a little information about what I'm looking for and have to work with...I'm wanting a quality workstation (nothing mission critical), with reliability, scalability and best bang for the buck. I don't care if it is AMD or Intel based (I like both). My funding is $3,000. I would prefer not to exceed this amount and from what I have read I should be able to get a pretty nice VM workstation for the money. If need be I could go another $500 MAX. The initial amount of $3,000 is the goal however. Picking peripherals and such I have no problem with. I've built many computers from starter systems to gaming rigs I'd kill to own myself, but I've never tried to build with server components so I'm out of my comfort zone. I've been looking at various CPUs and Mobos on & So far these three processors have caught my eye.


I would really like the reader's opinion as to which one of these three is the best choice or maybe another processor I've overlooked...God knows there is a variety of them to choose from! I've also read that Supermicro, Intel & Asus make quality server grade motherboards. Again if I've over looked another reputable motherboard brand please let me know. I'm not sure how many virtual machines I'll be running at once, probably 3 to 4 but that is only a guess. I'll start small of course and grow. I would like to go ahead and try for 32 Gigs of ram. I'm sorry for this long post and hopefully I've given enough information if not just ask and I'll provide the needed answer. Thank you all in advance...this truly is the best and friendliest forum I have yet to discover.


  • gc8dc95gc8dc95 Member Posts: 206 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I guess I would start with looking at the supported hardware list for vmware and use that as a bit of guide to help you select. Especially if you are looking to use pass-through.

    Motherboard - supermicro is pretty popular for this type of setup
    Processor - Really an i7 or Xeon is going to do well, just make sure it supports the virtualization extensions needed
    Memory - The more the better, I would say minimum 32gb and have room for 64gb (ECC is a nice plus)
    Storage - a couple ssd's would do great, maybe even a RAID card if you wish
    Network - Depends on your goal, but I would have at least a 4 port intel gigabit card

    There are a lot of options and you can build one hell of a machine for your budget.
  • TavikWinterTavikWinter Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you gc8dc95 for your advice and I will start digging deeper into this new world. You are correct, the possibilities and combinations are mind boggling to me.
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