Originally Posted by cdoublejj
dual socket 1366 quads. lab use and multi purpose use. some of those i3s are wicked little dual cores depending on the computations being done. in Nintendo wii emulation they can beat out older HEAVILY OCed quads if its the right i3.
You've got *more* than enough CPU power for ZFS. The only thing is RAM, as zfs likes to use about as much ram as it can get its hands on, however there is a plateau affect on it (as with all things), and you can tweak zfs and limit the amount of ram it can use for caching.
Hell, I used to run raidz2 (raid6 equivalent) on this core i3 with only 4GB of ram in a virtualbox vm on a windows 7 host, without hiccup (granted, the virtualbox vm was just a nas, and I did pass through the block device to virtualbox). But I noticed no issues what so ever. And now that this file server is on a dedicated machine, it runs even better.
One of the other cool things, is you can create what is called a "zvol", which is a ZFS backed block device and pass that to the VM (depending on configuration and hypervisor), getting the CoW filesystem with data integrity checks, compression, and any other ZFS features you have enabled.