Question Is a Xeon E5-2660 V1 good choice for Virtualization?

Apr 27, 2019
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I'm looking into Virtualization and I want to build a new server to run 2-3 VMs at once with pretty good performance. I would run unRAID as the base system, Windows for light gaming (my current gaming setup is a C2Q Q9400, 5GB RAM, Radeon HD7770, I hope, I can get at least this performance on my Windows VM), macOS for Xcode and maybe Ubuntu for other Linux projects.

At the beginning, I chose the i5-2400 what I can get for around 20 bucks, a motherboard with at least 2 PCIe slots for between 30-60 bucks.

I have found good deals on older Xeon CPUs like LGa1366 ones.
Then, I was told that I could buy a Ryzen 3 1200 + MB + 16GB of RAM for around 200 bucks.
Now, I have found a deal for a Xeon E5-2660 V1, an ASUS P9X79, 16GB of RAM and a Noctua NH-DL9 cooler for 200.

How would it affect the performance on the VMs if I choose the much more expensive Xeon than the older i5? Does the Xeon worth its money?
I know, the Xeon has 4 more cores but its single-core performance is worse than the i5's.
 
Last edited:

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
VMs are more sensitive to RAM than CPU in most cases. The Xeon has twice the physical CPU resources of the i5 plus hyper threading. But 16GB is probably not enough RAM for a base host plus 3 VMs (worst case). 3 VMs would be the limit for the i5, the Xeon could easily run 8 with enough RAM.
 
Apr 27, 2019
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VMs are more sensitive to RAM than CPU in most cases. The Xeon has twice the physical CPU resources of the i5 plus hyper threading. But 16GB is probably not enough RAM for a base host plus 3 VMs (worst case). 3 VMs would be the limit for the i5, the Xeon could easily run 8 with enough RAM.
So the Xeon can handle more VMs but if I don't wan to run more than 3, how could it affect the performance in the existing VMs as I would like to use them with GPU Passthrough and use them as a normal operating system?
 
Apr 27, 2019
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It would depend on the software running in each VM. Can they use more than 2 cores? If so, then you can allocate 4 vCPU to a VM. GPU passthrough will only work for one VM.
Oh aleight. Depends on the apps. On Windows, I will run Assetto Corsa but I hope, I can get better performance in the VM with a Xeon than a normal C2Q Q9400 machine.
If I have multiple GPUs and multiple PCIe slots, GPU Passthrough on unRAID should work fine with more GPUs, isn’t it? I saw it in Linus’ 2 gamer 1 CPU video that it’s possible.
 

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