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Building a mATX Budget ESXi Whitebox

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm currently trying to put together a server to run ESXi as a home lab. I'm looking for sort of budget items, as in non-ECC memory.
My main concern is that I'll have issues with the motherboard. I've found some good tips here on ATX motherboards, but I'm still not sure what I'm looking at will work best.

Tentative list of parts:
Mobo: ASRock Z77 PRO4-M - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007RS70YW/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
CPU: Intel E3-1230V2 - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0085MQUTU/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
RAM: 16GB non-ECC - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009M0TF3W/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
NIC: Intel EXPI9301CTBLK - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001CY0P7G/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
PSU: Corsair CX430M 430watt semi-modular - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ALYORA4/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
Case: Fractal Core 1000 - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0074V2UXI/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

I'm skimping a bit on the case. Does anyone have another mATX that they've had good experiences with?
As I said, my main concern is whether I'm going to run into trouble with that motherboard. I would definitely appreciate it if anyone had some pointers as far as that's concerned.

I do enough development and computer security (pentesting) stuff that I wanted a better solution for managing the multitudes of VMs that I burn through. I'm not going to be running a NAS on this and I don't necessarily plan on running a pfSense box or similar either. Mainly just lab stuff that I create and destroy. If anyone thinks this is overkill and has a better recommendation for a cheap, small build, I would be interested in hearing it.

Thanks!
post #2 of 5
I would get a Fractal Design Define Mini case
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A-Series A8-5600K MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 Zotac GeForce GTX 570 (ZT-50206-10M) Corsair Value Select 8GB(2x4GB) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Western Digital WD-Blue Lite-ON iHAS124-04 AMD Stock Heatsink + Fan Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-Bit 
OSPowerCase
OpenSUSE 12.3 XFX Pro 550W Core Edition NZXT Phantom 410 Special Edition Gunmetal 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
AMD Turion M x64 ATI Radeon Xpress 200M 1GB Generic 80GB 
Optical DriveOS
Phillips DVD +RW Linux Mint 15 Mate x32 
  hide details  
Reply
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A-Series A8-5600K MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 Zotac GeForce GTX 570 (ZT-50206-10M) Corsair Value Select 8GB(2x4GB) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Western Digital WD-Blue Lite-ON iHAS124-04 AMD Stock Heatsink + Fan Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-Bit 
OSPowerCase
OpenSUSE 12.3 XFX Pro 550W Core Edition NZXT Phantom 410 Special Edition Gunmetal 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
AMD Turion M x64 ATI Radeon Xpress 200M 1GB Generic 80GB 
Optical DriveOS
Phillips DVD +RW Linux Mint 15 Mate x32 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Yeah I'm considering that one. A local MicroCenter has a few in stock.

edit:
They have it cheaper than Newegg and I'm not gonna stray from the xATX form factor so I'll probably pick one up while I'm running errands today.
post #4 of 5
Yeah, usually microcenter is really good. try getting ur CPU there too
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A-Series A8-5600K MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 Zotac GeForce GTX 570 (ZT-50206-10M) Corsair Value Select 8GB(2x4GB) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Western Digital WD-Blue Lite-ON iHAS124-04 AMD Stock Heatsink + Fan Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-Bit 
OSPowerCase
OpenSUSE 12.3 XFX Pro 550W Core Edition NZXT Phantom 410 Special Edition Gunmetal 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
AMD Turion M x64 ATI Radeon Xpress 200M 1GB Generic 80GB 
Optical DriveOS
Phillips DVD +RW Linux Mint 15 Mate x32 
  hide details  
Reply
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD A-Series A8-5600K MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 Zotac GeForce GTX 570 (ZT-50206-10M) Corsair Value Select 8GB(2x4GB) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Western Digital WD-Blue Lite-ON iHAS124-04 AMD Stock Heatsink + Fan Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-Bit 
OSPowerCase
OpenSUSE 12.3 XFX Pro 550W Core Edition NZXT Phantom 410 Special Edition Gunmetal 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
AMD Turion M x64 ATI Radeon Xpress 200M 1GB Generic 80GB 
Optical DriveOS
Phillips DVD +RW Linux Mint 15 Mate x32 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
I got it $10 cheaper than Newegg. Not bad.

Now all that I need to worry about is the motherboard.
Anyone have any advice on the mATX motherboard to choose?

edit:
I'm leaning heavily towards the mobo from my original post.
The only thing I'm worried about now is graphics. It looks like the Xeon doesn't have onboard graphics. If I'm only running ESXi on this, how much of an issue will it be?

The two options are:
i7: http://microcenter.com/product/388576/Core_i7_3770_34GHz_LGA_1155_Processor
or
E3: http://microcenter.com/product/400271/Xeon_E3_1230V2_33GHz_LGA_1155_Boxed_Processor

If onboard graphics aren't really needed then I think the Xeon is the choice, but if they are then the i7 is the way to go. Anyone know how important the graphics is?

edit2:
**** it, the i7 and mobo I was looking at are absurdly on sale at Microcenter so I got that.
Edited by valarking - 3/21/13 at 2:36pm
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