Dual Xeon E5-2670 CPU's

Hey yall,

I was gifted with a pair of E5-2670 xeon processors today and would like some advice on how to proceed.

Both myself and my girlfriend are engineers. I, electrical, and her, computer. We spend a fair amount of time working in solidworks and pcb software. Namely, Altium Designer. Additionally we use the adobe creative suite and development tools like android studio, visual studio, and basic texts editors.

Additionally, I "play" (more like get rekt) some PC games (CS:GO) on my asus G55 laptop and my girlfriend struggles on her outdated macbook pro to run protools.

I was getting ready to build a NAS for our place, based around the ASROCK C2750D4I.

So here is my question,

While we were not planning on upgrading our workstations, do I use this new xeons to build something the two of us can use? Perhaps a dual socket motherboard like the Asus Z9PE-D8 WS? Or use virtualization to run two separate instances of windows 10 for the two of us off the same workstation?

Or do I use one xeon for a NAS and sell the other or keep it as a spare?

Any advice is appreciated.



I would personally go the vitalization rout with 2 win 10 instance and do gaming off of it. I just feel that a NAS build would be a huge wast of potential considering these are 10 core cpu's and if you were just using a nas it would just be idle a whole lot of the time unless you were running a lot more futures. You could also use one for your vitalization system and the other could be a render farm for all of your adobe software.

A render farm would be very cool as well. Do people generally run a few mid sized towers? I know a server rack makes sense for a business but it doesn't for my apartment. Or do you mean run 1 physical system but with a pc and render farm together?

Also, I believe these are 8 core xeons.

Tower cases are perfectly fine it would make more sense in an apartment setting anyway and you could just do one duel cpu rig and have alot of things running on it but if you said that these are 8 core I'm going to assume that these are sandy bridge platform and you might want to do some research on vitalization with the sandy bridge platform because I'm not sure how well it was supported.

Great, thank you for the solid advice.

ill do some investigation into virtualization on Sandy Bridge.


I am now running my older (Westmere) 2 proc Xeon workstation with Windows 10 Pro. This has Hyper-V built in and runs VM's without a problem.

Under this config I can play games using the main install and have a VM running tasks in the background. If needed I can also access one of the VM's via RDP or SSH even whilst one of my kids is gaming.

Hyper-V allows you to reserve exclusive memory for the VM's and pass-through dedicated SSD/HDD's to the VM's. You can also set priortity on CPU access and assign multiple cores if needed. In short it works really well. The only downside is that the virtual graphics adaptors for Linux VM's are not nearly so fully featured as for Windows VM's.

If you only have Windows Home Edition you can use VirtualBox (completely free) or VMware Worekstation (feature limited free version or buy the full thing).

Your other option would be to install a hyper-visor on the bare metal and do all your work soley within a VM. Hyper-V, ESXi and Proxmox are all free to download and use. Proxmox and VMware ESXi will also allow you to pass-through a GPU to a VM for gaming or graphics software. Hyper-V will allow you to create VM's that can use RemoteFX to tap into a GPU - the adavantage of that is that multiiple VM's can share the same GPU at the same time for acceleration. The disadvantage is that whilst it works well for productivity software it is pretty lacklustre for gaming.


Tons of useful information here. this gets me really excited to build a system around VMs.

Time to order some hardware.


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