Build Advice I'm looking to build a setup for cybersecurity research , and development with some gaming

Aug 17, 2022
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Hello,
I would really appreciate nay help or advice on the below:
I am building a semi professional build with heavy focus on cybersecurity research & development . the build will be used mainly used for pentesting - software development task field.
The typical workload would be:
  • running multiple VMs and containers
  • handle RAM hungry electron applications (vscode, slack, etc )
  • Android emulators ( bluestacks, genymotion )
  • handle browser with hundreds of tabs open ( my current laptop handle 1500+)
  • Low noise levels
  • Good performance without tuning (overclocking, extravagant bios configs, water cooling :)
  • handle moderate machine learning and data analysis
  • not necesary , but I could play some games just for fun.
note: the new build needs to have space or mini tower for multiples HDD with ssd , and mostly Intel i7 or xeon if needed power , but I would like to build a new setup that uses their full capability without turn off the computer at least once per week.
inputs / outputs
  • bose quietcomfort 35
  • Logitech G29 driving force
Thank you for your help!
 
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Karadjgne

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VM's = ram.
Tabs = more ram.
Applications = even more ram.

The premise is huge ram amounts, at a decent speed and bandwidth, without need for tinkering.

Micro towers are not without limits, so HDD/SSD space is naturally limited by size of the case.

This is about as good as it gets imho, add in any extra storage as needs be, but it's not hard to find/use 8Tb/16Tb Hdds, or better yet create a small NAS setup if you really need both the security and size for storage.
PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i7-12700F 2.1 GHz 12-Core Processor ($312.96 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Scythe Fuma 2 Rev.B 39.44 CFM CPU Cooler ($65.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI MAG B660M MORTAR Micro ATX LGA1700 Motherboard ($208.85 @ MemoryC)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws S5 64 GB (2 x 32 GB) DDR5-5200 CL36 Memory ($349.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws S5 64 GB (2 x 32 GB) DDR5-5200 CL36 Memory ($349.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 980 Pro 2 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($239.59 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB VENTUS 2X Video Card ($369.48 @ B&H)
Case: Fractal Design Meshify C Mini MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($114.36 @ Walmart)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA P6 750 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($99.99 @ EVGA)
Total: $2111.19
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-08-21 18:34 EDT-0400
 
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Nighthawk117

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the new build needs to have space or mini tower for multiples HDD with ssd , and mostly Intel i7 or xeon if needed power
When you say multiple HDD's and SSD's, how many is multiple? Most cases can take 2 hard drives and 2 SATA SSD's plus however many PCI-E SSD's your board supports.

If you want lots of drives then a larger case and Z690 motherboard would be appropriate.

, but I would like to build a new setup that uses their full capability without turn off the computer at least once per week.
Are you saying you want to leave your computer on all the time?

I suppose my other question is, do you really need 128GB of RAM. I'm not familiar with what development you do, but the programs you mention shouldn't require anything near that. Without knowing how many VM's and what they are doing it's difficult to gauge how much RAM they would need.

Is there a specific need for 1500 browser tabs, is that in someway related to your cybersecurity research?
 
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Karadjgne

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Is there a specific need for 1500 browser tabs, is that in someway related to your cybersecurity research?
That's what I was figuring on. You'll want 8Gb for the base, then 8Gb-16Gb per VM just for running tabs, the 1500 being split up amongst multiple VMs. 100 tabs is enough to saturate the ram running a pc with 8Gb. It's not generally the tabs themselves but all the advertisements and thumbnail videos embedded. A minimum amount of ram for any VM is 4Gb, you can kill 1.5Gb of that just in a Windows environment, unless running Linux etc, but Linux would defeat the purpose of looking for cyber breaches in Windows. Anything requiring even close to 64Gb and might as well get the full 128Gb because it wouldn't take much in those tabs to tip it over the edge.

Whole purpose is to have a running VM that's not bogged by excessive tabs, so that if it does bog, it's caused by a breach or other data, so each VM needs to be provisioned with enough headroom not to be an issue.

I figured it as 8Gb + (6x 16Gb) or somewhere around 100Gb worth of tabs.
 

Nighthawk117

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That's what I was figuring on. You'll want 8Gb for the base, then 8Gb-16Gb per VM just for running tabs, the 1500 being split up amongst multiple VMs. 100 tabs is enough to saturate the ram running a pc with 8Gb. It's not generally the tabs themselves but all the advertisements and thumbnail videos embedded. A minimum amount of ram for any VM is 4Gb, you can kill 1.5Gb of that just in a Windows environment, unless running Linux etc, but Linux would defeat the purpose of looking for cyber breaches in Windows. Anything requiring even close to 64Gb and might as well get the full 128Gb because it wouldn't take much in those tabs to tip it over the edge.

Whole purpose is to have a running VM that's not bogged by excessive tabs, so that if it does bog, it's caused by a breach or other data, so each VM needs to be provisioned with enough headroom not to be an issue.

I figured it as 8Gb + (6x 16Gb) or somewhere around 100Gb worth of tabs.
Seems a fairly logical analysis, it's just a lot of money is being spent on RAM that's all. An alternative though would be DDR4, if the OP wanted to save some money.
 

Karadjgne

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DDR4 or DDR5 is currently a debatable thing. Price currently is cheaper for sure, but ram speeds are limited in DDR4 and at half the bandwidth of DDR5. While that has very little impact on games in general, I'm not entirely sure of the impact to the programs and/or tabs running. That's not a scenario I've seen before, that's a butt-load of tabs. There's no telling what web pages or demands on ram are going to be in the next few years, ppl have a nasty habit of developing stuff to use higher amounts, if they are there, even Microsoft does that, Windows using 1.5Gb even though it was only a few years ago that pc's were capping out at 4Gb limits.

This pc needs to last 3-5 years under questionable ram use circumstances, I'd not justify saving a few $$ to put limits on that use. To me, it'd be worth the investment 3 years from now.
 

Nighthawk117

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I wouldn't be able to say whether or not in the workloads in question the OP is likely to be bandwidth limited. It's never made much difference for my use case. I take your point though, if the PC needs to last several years then it's more gas in the tank should it be needed later on.
 
Aug 17, 2022
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When you say multiple HDD's and SSD's, how many is multiple? Most cases can take 2 hard drives and 2 SATA SSD's plus however many PCI-E SSD's your board supports.

If you want lots of drives then a larger case and Z690 motherboard would be appropriate.


Are you saying you want to leave your computer on all the time?

I suppose my other question is, do you really need 128GB of RAM. I'm not familiar with what development you do, but the programs you mention shouldn't require anything near that. Without knowing how many VM's and what they are doing it's difficult to gauge how much RAM they would need.

Is there a specific need for 1500 browser tabs, is that in someway related to your cybersecurity research?
I have 4 hdd drives that serves as a backup , and I dont need heavy development; however I do web / mobile development that needs to handle IDE + 2 - 3 open vmware machines, and visual studio , and google chrome tabs . 1.5k tabs are related to cybersecurity , and research , but I try to kill process without killing the tab , so doesn't consume ram in the long term. I was wondering if I need i7 or just some medium rig i5 12kf or equivalent. rarely play video games such as lol , dota2, tibia , non demanding games
 
Aug 17, 2022
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I wouldn't be able to say whether or not in the workloads in question the OP is likely to be bandwidth limited. It's never made much difference for my use case. I take your point though, if the PC needs to last several years then it's more gas in the tank should it be needed later on.
how come?
 

Nighthawk117

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I have 4 hdd drives that serves as a backup , and I dont need heavy development; however I do web / mobile development that needs to handle IDE + 2 - 3 open vmware machines, and visual studio , and google chrome tabs . 1.5k tabs are related to cybersecurity , and research , but I try to kill process without killing the tab , so doesn't consume ram in the long term. I was wondering if I need i7 or just some medium rig i5 12kf or equivalent
You will need a larger case than the one suggested above for 4 internal HDD's. From what you describe on the development side and VM's you'd probably be fine with an i5 12600K/KF but it doesn't hurt to get the i7 if you can afford it. You say your laptop runs 1,500 tabs, can I ask how much RAM that uses?
 
Aug 17, 2022
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You will need a larger case than the one suggested above for 4 internal HDD's. From what you describe on the development side and VM's you'd probably be fine with an i5 12600K/KF but it doesn't hurt to get the i7 if you can afford it. You say your laptop runs 1,500 tabs, can I ask how much RAM that uses?
I have i7-7700HQ + intel HD 360 + gtx 1050 ( 2gb) + 16gb ram . I can afford the i7 , but I like to consume 80-90% capability than staying on 30% - 40% of its full capability , but 1500 uses sometime 4GB and others 10-12GB
 
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Karadjgne

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I initially went with a 12400, that's still a lot of cpu power, but I'll admit I'm not sure exactly what uses the cpu will be under, someone more knowledgeable about VMs and cpu specifics would have to answer that. The 12400 and 12600k are natively very close in performance, so that upgrade is not good value imho, especially since there's no OC advantages without better cooling and a more expensive Z board.

The cheapest and safetest option is a toaster. That's a 4 slot hdd dock using usb-c link, safer because only 1 hdd at a time is actually in use. Hdds can be added, changed, removed as needed to safeguard integrity. Hdds can be kept internally for normal use, the dock hdds used as backups etc that can't touched.
 

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