$900 Linux-VMware-Open Architecture Build. Voltan-Friendly

EDIT : Revised Intel Build http://pcpartpicker.com/p/NHKjbv

EDIT : Revised AMD Build http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Z8CbdC

F̶i̶r̶s̶t̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶l̶i̶n̶k̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶b̶u̶i̶l̶d̶ ̶h̶t̶t̶p̶:̶/̶/̶p̶c̶p̶a̶r̶t̶p̶i̶c̶k̶e̶r̶.̶c̶o̶m̶/̶p̶/̶h̶r̶t̶4̶J̶x̶

S̶e̶c̶o̶n̶d̶,̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶m̶o̶n̶e̶t̶a̶r̶y̶ ̶l̶i̶m̶i̶t̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶b̶e̶t̶w̶e̶e̶n̶ ̶$̶1̶0̶0̶0̶-̶$̶8̶0̶0̶ ̶b̶u̶t̶ ̶a̶ ̶s̶t̶r̶o̶n̶g̶ ̶p̶r̶e̶f̶e̶r̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶w̶a̶r̶d̶ ̶v̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶l̶o̶w̶ ̶$̶9̶0̶0̶.̶

Thirdly this computer build i want to predominately gear toward running a friendly linux distro such as ubuntu, linux mint or opensuse. And extremely important, the ability to make use of VT-x VT-D tech (although i think this is called something else for AMD?) so i can run windows in vmware and play games occasionally and run many virtual boxe for learning/ experiment how servers and the many things that follow from there work. Basically what was outlined in Voltan's Topic here https://teksyndicate.com/forum/linux/what-if-i-want-everything/157480.

If you guys have any suggestions on hardware changes/recommendations/criticisms i would be very interested to listen, even if they cause the price to rise as maybe i forgot something key toward what i attempted to gear it towards.


Everything below this point really isnt that important, just the reasons why i choose some of the things i did hardware wise.

My quick hardware rundown decisions: The reason i went with an amd processor, and particularly these new ones with lower energy consumption was because i heard that despite the power each core has, this one has eight and while it may not be the best for gaming, it really helps with the multitasking and virtual side when running client and servers boxes? Despite it being old architecture it apparently still kicks ass and has the benefit of being a fairly open technology in terms of that VT-X VT-D stuff? (This is a reason why i also chose an ati card, open source something or w/e?).

No specific reason behind the graphics card other than its ATI and as stated before they are somewhat open source so may prove beneficial to use in the long run? However i have had someone tell me having a good graphics card is important for running virtual machines so now i wonder if this card will be enough? :O

The case i choose based on Linus Tech Tip videos i have seen. He seems to regard this line with positivity and it sleek, simple yet modular design seems pretty adequate for my needs as i do infact want a full tower too. My second option would have been the THOR v2.




What exactly do you want to do with the system? If you want to do gaming, maybe you should contemplate using kvm or Xen instead of VMWare, and in my opinion, you should really go for a second GPU, so that you can bind a PCI slot to the Windows container. Otherwise it can get complicated. Also, check if the Asus mobo doesn't have issues with IOMMU, Asus mobos tend to have those.

I want to be able to run linux on the base machine and use visualization tools on top of it to teach myself the networking side of computers like centos, windows active directory, windows server ect because im studying to become something like a sys admin. . Now it would also be nice to game a little bit on it to but if i had to choose between the two i would be fine without the gaming.

I guess i must be confused about vmware and kvm as i thought they were the same thing? maybe i could just use kvm for gaming and vmware/kvm/xen or whichever is 'better' for the server side tinkering.

Here you are:


thats interesting, why the xeon processor? i know they are usually used for servers but why recommend it?

I will just add here that if you want to learn about Windows server to become a sysadmin in a Microsoft environment you could make things simpler for yourself by using Windows 8.1 Pro or Enterprise Edition. 

Both these versions include Hyper-V and it's really easy to setup and hosts Windows Server and Linux VM's no problem. You can then game on your main install and not worry about buying a second card to bind to a gaming VM.

I would also recommend a socket 1150 Xeon over anything else for a couple of reasons;

1) Core i7 like performance at near i5 prices

2) Much better single thread performance than an AMD FX chip, so no need to overclock for gaming.

3) Much easier to ensure you get a Mobo that properly supports VT-D etc. Since you won't be overclocking you can look at H97 boards etc as well as Z97.


EDIT: The main downside to this is your gaming partition is your base OS. If you mess it up you can't simply re-create from a snapshot of the gaming VM - this is the biggest advantage of Zoltans solution because everyone messes about with the OS on their gaming system. There are of course other ways to back it up properly :-)




Everytime i think i finally have it figured out i dont. I just came across this post and now im back thinking i should get the 8370e https://teksyndicate.com/forum/cpu/e3-1231-v3-vs-fx-8370e-programming-and-virtualization/186122


As long as no Voltans were hurt in the build ... it's good with me   lol

intel xeon e3-1231 v3 only supports up to ddr3 1600?

For most applications the difference between 1600 and most anything higher is pretty negligible. The only real difference between 1600 and something higher is when it's being used in conjunction with something like an APU or something of the like with decent built in graphics.

i noticed in the build for the intel 1231 that Zippy Parmesian recommended memory that is @ 2400 while the processor on the intel website says Memory Types DDR3-1333/1600 . Does this cause problems, why or why not?

It shouldn't cause problems, but the memory won't run at 2400. The motherboard should automatically clock it down to 1600 though.

But if you can only use up to 1600 I'd go for something cheaper with potentially better timings. Like these:


Their timing is wicked fast and they are a decent amount cheaper.

oh yes those look pretty good compared to the ones i was looking at, now to just find them in 4gb sticks so i can quad channel them. Actually thats probably why i never found those.

edit: damn yeah no luck, prob have to stick with these z series ripjaws http://pcpartpicker.com/p/YNQHJx

Quad channel only works on LGA-2011.  Only single and dual channel technologies are available on LGA-1150.

Also, that SSD is pretty crap.  Kingston's changed out the flash to asynchronous flash, which is much slower.

I edited your PcPartPicker: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/6xvJTW

cool thanks, i haven't even looked much into ssd's. While on the topic of storage maybe you can shed some light. I was thinking about getting 2x 1tb hdd's, any recommendations for that?

I think what im probably going to do is partition off 500gb from each drive to use as cold storage for my multimedia and documents and use the rest for applications, virtual machines and other storage. This is the product i had in mind. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236339 I think the price point is excellent. Then in the future maybe i can build/buy a NAS as those drives hold me over.

Hmm, i wonder how much of an inconvenience this will cause especially for linux stability? http://techreport.com/news/26911/errata-prompts-intel-to-disable-tsx-in-haswell-early-broadwell-cpus :(

But im assuming its nothing to worry about considering its a new technology and so isnt widely used?

I personaly think that you should not overlook AMD FX8350 here. Because a FX8350 is an awesome chip for virtualization.

There is a diffrence in both architectures that you should not overlook. I personaly dont see any good reason to grab a Xeon E3 over a FX8350 for virtualization. Especialy if you wanne run multiple vm´s at the same time. ☺


Multiple VM's, a development environment, these are the things the FX8k does really well. It easily outperforms the E3, and there s also the benefit of the proven virtualization platform, generally there's less problems with virtualization on AMD, in fact, there's none, unlike on Intel platforms, where there's a lot that can go wrong, from poor motherboard support to unsupporting chipsets to unsupporting BIOS to ....

If it's for gaming with PCI passthrough though or running single closed source appliances, the Intel is probably a better choice.

The failure was discovered during open source development, but almost nobody is targeting TSX at this time. It's not supported by AMD or ARM, so not a whole lot of people will be interested in investing in it. The benefits of TSX are also not objectively proven in real world applications.

Intel has a lot of bugs all the time, AMD usually also has a weaker run when a new architecture is released. Linux users and developers usually don't like very recently released hardware, because of those instabilities and bugs that haven't been addressed yet.  I for one don't like changing my systems at all, once I have everything the way I like it, I like to keep it like that. And because I mainly use Linux, I don't really have the problem that the performance drops over time and that I really need to upgrade lolz. I buy new hardware for capacity upgrades, not for performance upgrades.


Spent quite some time looking up linux hardware compatibility databases/topics and read a fair share on inconclusive/spotty problems, customer service reps and the motherboards i narrowed down are kinda lacking. I think im going to go back to what i originally started with, the fx 8370e.

Shouldnt be as hard/gamble on the amd side. :)