Question Best Value Chip/Mobo combo for running VM software?

Sep 8, 2022
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So I thought I had everything all wrapped up, figured out and ready to go for my first build. I did all sorts of research to make sure everything is going to work and planned out everything to a T. Asked lots of questions on here and had some amazing people help me out.

But now, near the end of all this, I realized I'm not going to run Windows. I'm going to run Linux (probably Zorin or Mint) instead. And I also had another very important realization that I'm probably going to need to run Virtual Machine on this computer for not only my own needs, but for class and work.

I know of VM's and did some research on the hardware requirements for them, and it seems as though the absolute bare min for them to even work is a 4 core processor, if not 6 or higher. And even at 4 cores, it still can be very slow they say.

I had already picked out the Intel i3 12100 and B660 Mobo as a great value priced option since I won't be using this computer for gaming, graphic rendering, or anything much other than personal computing. But did realize that for my IT classes and my own personal use, I am probably at some point going to be needing to run VM software. So I think I better slow my roll, and back up a little before I buy everything, only to find out in a few weeks or months down the road, I should have got something better and that can run VM ware. So I need to figure out a new chip and Mobo that has more cores that can handle running a VM.

So I guess I'm going to need to look for a processor that has at least 6 cores if not 8 now. And consequently a new Mobo. And after doing some initial searching/research, it looks like this AMD Ryzen 5 5600g with a B550 Mobo would be a similar setup to what I had before with the i312100 and B660 Mobo, just slightly better overall. Something in the middle, but priced very well for what you get. And on top of that, it says that with these AM4 B550 Mobo's, I can easily upgrade down the road to a much faster more powerful AMD Ryzen chip if I needed or wanted to. So that is a big plus. And this Ryzen chip and B550 Mobo's are about the same price, maybe just 10-20 more per piece. So no big deal. Still priced VERY well for what you get.

So just wondering if you think that is a good chip/mobo combo for the price to be able to run VM software at home? This chip is basically about the same price as the Intel i3 I was going to get and same goes for the B500 Mobo's. Or do you have some other recommendations?

And then follow up question. Every time I put one of these B550 A4 Mobo's in my Build on PC PART PICKER with the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G chip, it comes up with all these Warnings and compatibility issues:

Compatibility: Warning! These parts have potential issues or incompatibilities. See details below.

Potential Issues / Incompatibilities
A
Warning: The Asus ROG STRIX B550-A GAMING ATX AM4 Motherboard supports the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G 3.9 GHz 6-Core Processor with BIOS version 1401. If the motherboard is using an older BIOS version, upgrading the BIOS will be necessary to support the CPU.


B
Note: A USB 2.0 to USB 3.2 Gen 1 header adapter is required.

C
Note: A USB 3.2 Gen 1 to USB 3.2 Gen 2 header adapter is required.

D
Note: Fan compatibility checking is currently not supported.

E
Note: The Asus ROG STRIX B550-A GAMING ATX AM4 Motherboard has an additional 4-pin ATX power connector but the EVGA GD (2019) 500 W 80+ Gold Certified ATX Power Supply does not. This connector is used to supply additional 12V current to the motherboard. While the system will likely still run without it, higher current demands such as extreme overclocking or large video card current draws may require it.

F
Disclaimer: Some physical dimension constraints are currently not checked, such as CPU coolers and RAM clearance.

So I'm very confused as to what all this stuff means? I looked up what Mobo's go with the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G chip, and the B550 is one of them. Along with the B570, B450, plus a bunch more weird ones I've never heard of. It seems like most sites say the order from best to worst is the B570, B550, B450, etc. So just wondering if anyone can tell me why it's coming up with this warning and ALL these other compatibility issues? What do they all mean? Is this normal?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
The biggest requirement for VMs is RAM.
How many VMs will be running simultaneously? How big (GB) do they have to be ?
Desktop CPUs (both Intel and AMD) are dual channel memory controller CPUs. They are optimized for two DIMMs. Some motherboards may have 4 slots, but they are only dual channel. If you fill all 4 slots, the RAM will typically run at slower clock speeds.
What is the budget for this CPU/motherboard/RAM trio ?
 
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Sep 8, 2022
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The biggest requirement for VMs is RAM.
How many VMs will be running simultaneously? How big (GB) do they have to be ?
Desktop CPUs (both Intel and AMD) are dual channel memory controller CPUs. They are optimized for two DIMMs. Some motherboards may have 4 slots, but they are only dual channel. If you fill all 4 slots, the RAM will typically run at slower clock speeds.
What is the budget for this CPU/motherboard/RAM trio ?
So I was planning on running 32gb of DDR4 3600 Corsair (2x16) RAM in this build. It says 8 per VM is sufficient. So according to my research, that should be more than plenty.

The only thing I know I’ll be running for sure right now virtually is Windows 10, but maybe more later on. And only one VM at a time.

Budget for those 3 parts is around $400-450ish. But not set in stone. Not looking for the best overall. Just looking for the best value of good parts.

Also any idea about why PC PART PICKER is saying those boards have some issues with the AMD Ryzen 5 5600g chip?
 
Have you considered something like this?

https://www.amazon.com/Virtualization-Dell-PowerEdge-R710-Refurbished/dp/B00HDAO70E/ref=mp_s_a_1_32?crid=20EH6WUJ3QXAJ&keywords=windows+vm+server&pscroll=1&qid=1664158803&sprefix=windows+vm+server,aps,107&sr=8-32&wIndexMainSlot=27

We use a couple of systems similar to this and run about 4 vms on each one and replicate the machines to the other one. For the money they are hard to beat. Plus if they are like the ones we use, the drives are sata so you should be able to upgrade the space, and run at least raid 5 or maybe raid 6.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Have you considered something like this?

https://www.amazon.com/Virtualization-Dell-PowerEdge-R710-Refurbished/dp/B00HDAO70E/ref=mp_s_a_1_32?crid=20EH6WUJ3QXAJ&keywords=windows+vm+server&pscroll=1&qid=1664158803&sprefix=windows+vm+server,aps,107&sr=8-32&wIndexMainSlot=27

We use a couple of systems similar to this and run about 4 vms on each one and replicate the machines to the other one. For the money they are hard to beat. Plus if they are like the ones we use, the drives are sata so you should be able to upgrade the space, and run at least raid 5 or maybe raid 6.
I would NOT recommend a 2U server unless you have a basement or other out of the way area to put it. 2U servers are LOUD. They are not "bedroom friendly".
 
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I know of VM's and did some research on the hardware requirements for them, and it seems as though the absolute bare min for them to even work is a 4 core processor, if not 6 or higher. And even at 4 cores, it still can be very slow they say.
This is left over from years ago before CPUs had hardware virtualization, back then VM was emulation and extremely heavy on the CPU.
Now a VM is nothing more than any other software you run, it only uses the resources it really needs.
You don't need to give it an extra 4 cores, an extra 4-8Gb.
You should explain exactly what VM software you are going to run.
If this is for school then chances are you are only going to run simple things on both the host and the VM.
You could use the 12100 and if you just have linux open not running anything heavy, easily give an VM 4 cores or even 6 (4 real 2 HTT) , the VM will only use UP TO that much, only if you run something computationally heavy on it that can use that many cores will they fill up.
And the only reason to leave some cores out of the VM is in case the VM crashes in a way that leaves all cores at full load, that way your host stays responsive.

If on the other hand you will be running something heavy on linux that will already use up 4 cores at 100% and you need to also run something heavy on the VM that will also use up 4 cores at 100% then you would need a higher core count CPU than the 12100 for them to both to run at normal speeds.

Same goes for the mem, the Gb you give to the VM are not immediately removed from your host and the VM will only fill up as much as it actually uses.


(Also if you don't really need VM but only need to run some stuff on windows once in a while then dual booting is also an option)
 
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Have you considered something like this?

https://www.amazon.com/Virtualization-Dell-PowerEdge-R710-Refurbished/dp/B00HDAO70E/ref=mp_s_a_1_32?crid=20EH6WUJ3QXAJ&keywords=windows+vm+server&pscroll=1&qid=1664158803&sprefix=windows+vm+server,aps,107&sr=8-32&wIndexMainSlot=27

We use a couple of systems similar to this and run about 4 vms on each one and replicate the machines to the other one. For the money they are hard to beat. Plus if they are like the ones we use, the drives are sata so you should be able to upgrade the space, and run at least raid 5 or maybe raid 6.
I would NOT recommend a 2U server unless you have a basement or other out of the way area to put it. 2U servers are LOUD. They are not "bedroom friendly".
Yeah, I DEFINITELY do not want to be getting into anything like that at the moment. Just building a fairly simple home PC as my first build and don't need more complicated. I don't even know if I'll ever need a server, but definitely not now, haha.

I just need help figuring out a good chip/mobo combo that has 6-8 cores and can do well running Windows 10 on VM. And then some explaining about why I keep getting these compatibility warnings from PC PART PICKER about that chip and B550 mobos?

Thanks
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
Got a call from OP and now i'm here.

--

Requirement of running VM is rising the bar quite high, in terms of PC hardware specs. Plenty of RAM is one thing. Plenty of CPU cores is another, since VM is very taxing on hardware.

I just need help figuring out a good chip/mobo combo that has 6-8 cores and can do well running Windows 10 on VM.
Any idea what kind of virtualization software you're planning to run? Since that would tell us what the minimum and recommended hardware configuration would be.

For example, AWS Elemental Live has these (beefy) requirements,
link: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/elemental-live/latest/installguide/vm-req.html

And then some explaining about why I keep getting these compatibility warnings from PC PART PICKER about that chip and B550 mobos?
Can you link/list your pcpp build, so i can check what compatibility issues there are?

But the define of issues would be like so:

A
Warning: The Asus ROG STRIX B550-A GAMING ATX AM4 Motherboard supports the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G 3.9 GHz 6-Core Processor with BIOS version 1401. If the motherboard is using an older BIOS version, upgrading the BIOS will be necessary to support the CPU.
Ryzen 5 series needs latest BIOS to work. It is possible that your MoBo comes with earlier BIOS (relatively unlikely), and you need to update BIOS prior to using Ryzen 5 CPU. <- This (BIOS update) can be cheaply done in PC repair shop.

B
Note: A USB 2.0 to USB 3.2 Gen 1 header adapter is required.

C
Note: A USB 3.2 Gen 1 to USB 3.2 Gen 2 header adapter is required.
The PC case or other hardware you selected, either has or hasn't the required USB ports compared to MoBo. Hence why adapters are needed.

D
Note: Fan compatibility checking is currently not supported.
As it says on the tin.
Not all PC cases have their compatibility added to pcpp.

E
Note: The Asus ROG STRIX B550-A GAMING ATX AM4 Motherboard has an additional 4-pin ATX power connector but the EVGA GD (2019) 500 W 80+ Gold Certified ATX Power Supply does not. This connector is used to supply additional 12V current to the motherboard. While the system will likely still run without it, higher current demands such as extreme overclocking or large video card current draws may require it.
This is faulty error. EVGA GD 500W does have the additional 4-pin EPS (total of 8-pin) for CPU power.
PSU specs: https://www.evga.com/products/product.aspx?pn=100-GD-0500-V1

I also double checked it with Seasonic Focus Gold 550W semi-modular and pcpp presented the same error, despite PSU also having 4+4 pin EPS for CPU power.

So, disregard this error. Also, nowadays, i haven't seen any, proper PSU, that would only come with 4-pin EPS. They all come with 4+4 pin (8-pin) EPS cable. Maybe some cheapo, no-name PSU, that is only good for a doorstop, comes with 4-pin EPS.

F
Disclaimer: Some physical dimension constraints are currently not checked, such as CPU coolers and RAM clearance.
This should pop up when you don't add aftermarket CPU cooler to your listing. Now, 5600G comes with included AMD stock Wraith CPU cooler that won't interfere with RAM nor PC case clearance (unless your PC case is very small shoe-box).
 
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Any idea what kind of virtualization software you're planning to run? Since that would tell us what the minimum and recommended hardware configuration would be.
So for right now, all I'll need to run is Virtual Box, to run Windows 10 for class work. But in the future, no idea. I just see that some of the certs I'm going to end up working on and obtaining mention VM ware or Virtual Machines, so I'm assuming I'll need to run them. But since I'm going to run Windows 10 virtually from my Linux desktop, I will need to run Virtual Box or something like it for now. Then in the future, we'll see. If it's anything complicated or more than a normal home PC can operate, I'll cross that bridge when I get there and get other equipment if needed. I just want to run Windows 10 virtually for now.

An IT mentor I met recently told me that being able to setup and run a Virtual Machine as well as setting up Dual Boot would look good on my "list of skills" for starting out in IT. So I know I don't "need" to run VM, but I want to. Just to say I can. Same goes for Dual Booting. I'll probably end up just Dual Booting whenever I need to use Office for class though, as its quicker and will allow me to utilize all the hardware, as opposed to sharing it when running Virtual. But I just want to be able to setup and run Virtual Box (or something like it) as well, just to say I can.

Can you link/list your pcpp build, so i can check what compatibility issues there are?
PC PART PICKER Build List
I'm only getting these warnings and compatibility issues with this Mobo:
Potential Issues / Incompatibilities
A
Warning: The MSI MAG B550 TOMAHAWK ATX AM4 Motherboard supports the AMD Ryzen 5 5600G 3.9 GHz 6-Core Processor with BIOS version 7C91vA7. If the motherboard is using an older BIOS version, upgrading the BIOS will be necessary to support the CPU.

B
Note: Fan compatibility checking is currently not supported.

C
Disclaimer: Some physical dimension constraints are currently not checked, such as CPU coolers and RAM clearance.


And one last question, I've narrowed down my Mobo search for this chip/build to the


Ryzen 5 series needs latest BIOS to work. It is possible that your MoBo comes with earlier BIOS (relatively unlikely), and you need to update BIOS prior to using Ryzen 5 CPU. <- This (BIOS update) can be cheaply done in PC repair shop.
Ok, this is making sense now that you say it. I was wondering what it meant, but the more I read it, the more I was thinking, maybe this is just for older mobo's? Which mine won't be. It will be new, so I probably won't even have this issue. And if it does, I can update the BIOS or take it in to Micro Center and have them do it.
 

Aeacus

Champion
Ambassador
So for right now, all I'll need to run is Virtual Box, to run Windows 10 for class work. But in the future, no idea. I just see that some of the certs I'm going to end up working on and obtaining mention VM ware or Virtual Machines, so I'm assuming I'll need to run them. But since I'm going to run Windows 10 virtually from my Linux desktop, I will need to run Virtual Box or something like it for now. Then in the future, we'll see. If it's anything complicated or more than a normal home PC can operate, I'll cross that bridge when I get there and get other equipment if needed. I just want to run Windows 10 virtually for now.
Ryzen 5 5600G does have 6 cores but doesn't have hyperthreading and thus, has 6 threads as well.

Now, another option would be i5-10600 or i5-11600, which does have hyperthreading, with 6 cores and 12 threads. And since VM needs CPU cores, hyperthreading doubles it.

Currently, with Ryzen, you have ~$150 per CPU and per MoBo. With Intel, you'd be allocating more to better CPU, ~$200, while to remain on same expense level, as Ryzen, allocation to MoBo would be ~$100.

With Intel, you'd have:
  • better CPU (either i5-10600 or i5-11600)
  • double the CPU threads
  • far better selection regarding MoBos, either Intel 400-series** or 500-series (H470, Z490 or H510, B560, H570, Z590)
  • no latest BIOS scare (if using either i5-10600 with any 400 or 500-series MoBo, OR using i5-11600 with any 500-series MoBo)
  • same cost as Ryzen CPU-MoBo combo, IF you pick cheaper MoBo to balance it out
** - If you are going to use i5-11600, then 400-series MoBo needs latest BIOS.

Only downside of going Intel, would be further CPU upgrade, since best you could get, is Intel 11th gen CPU. Then again, Core i5 is solid mid-tier CPU and can last for years. E.g i'm running i5-6600K for 6 years now and i still doesn't have the need to upgrade it. :D

Here's how R5 5600G compares to i5-11600,
link: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-Ryzen-5-5600G-vs-Intel-Core-i5-11600/m1553183vsm1543284

Oh, with Intel CPUs, suffixes mean:
i5-10600/i5-11600 <- has iGPU and comes with CPU cooler.
i5-10600K/i5-11600K <- has iGPU. No CPU cooler, so you need to buy one.
i5-10600KF/i5-11600KF <- no iGPU or CPU cooler, so you need to buy GPU and CPU cooler.

So, going back to Intel is another thing to think about. Or if you're burnt out of thinking, you can go with your Ryzen 5 5600G. :)
(Personally, i'd go with better CPU up front, thus reducing or even eliminating the need to upgrade the CPU down the line.)
 
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