[SOLVED] Need a CPU suggestion

Jun 21, 2020
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I'm a Naive in this field. Need suggestions for best CPU for my PC. I just need a machine capable of running 3 or 4 VMs. Not a big heavy lifting as i will run them with bare minimum configs and this is not going to be running 24/7. I'm not a gamer as well. Please suggest. Thanks.
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
I was going to suggest a Gen10 Hp Microserver but the built in nic isn't natively compatible with ESXI afaik.

So:
Pentium Gold 5400 or 5420 ($60-65)
Intel nic motherbd. Newegg has an open box and a refurb for cheap. Feel free to look for others that suit you needs (sata ports, pcie slots...)
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813119119R?Item=N82E16813119119R
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813157952?Item=N82E16813157952&quicklink=true

Ram, 16gb kit sounds like it should do just fine:
I went with 32gb Crucial in mine: https://www.newegg.com/ballistix-16gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820164203?Item=N82E16820164203&quicklink=true
and my other go to is Corsair: https://www.newegg.com/corsair-16gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820233859?Item=N82E16820233859&quicklink=true

Drives are up to you...

FYI - if you plan to pass an entire drive thru to an app, you can only pass the whole controller (with all the drives attached to it) thru on esxi so you may need to pick up a secondary sata controller. You may not need that. I will be running a Nas on mine.
 
Reactions: Logesh111

popatim

Titan
Moderator
What will the VM's be doing?
You need to build for what those will be doing plus some for the hypervisor.
Will the VM's all be running at the same time?
Which Vm software will you be running?
 
Last edited:
Jun 21, 2020
4
0
10
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What will the VM's be doing?
You need to build for what those will be doing plus some for the hypervisor.
Will the VM's all be running at the same time?
Which Vm software will you be running?
Thank you for the response. Those VMs will not do any heavy lifting. It will be a bare minimum setup. Not more than 2 GB ram. Max 3 gb for Windows. I will be running max 4 VMs at the time but not all the time. 1 or 2 will be running parallel mostly. I'm planning to use VMware. This setup is just to mimic some of the enterprise setup for my learning purpose. Hence this machine as a whole will not do much heavy lifting other than some minimum research stuffs. it's a pentesting home lab setup for my learning.
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
I was going to suggest a Gen10 Hp Microserver but the built in nic isn't natively compatible with ESXI afaik.

So:
Pentium Gold 5400 or 5420 ($60-65)
Intel nic motherbd. Newegg has an open box and a refurb for cheap. Feel free to look for others that suit you needs (sata ports, pcie slots...)
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813119119R?Item=N82E16813119119R
https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16813157952?Item=N82E16813157952&quicklink=true

Ram, 16gb kit sounds like it should do just fine:
I went with 32gb Crucial in mine: https://www.newegg.com/ballistix-16gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820164203?Item=N82E16820164203&quicklink=true
and my other go to is Corsair: https://www.newegg.com/corsair-16gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820233859?Item=N82E16820233859&quicklink=true

Drives are up to you...

FYI - if you plan to pass an entire drive thru to an app, you can only pass the whole controller (with all the drives attached to it) thru on esxi so you may need to pick up a secondary sata controller. You may not need that. I will be running a Nas on mine.
 
Reactions: Logesh111

Math Geek

Champion
Ambassador
i would think a pentium would not be enough cores to handle the vm's at once. even 1 core each and you're out of cores pretty quick.

was overkill but i went with a 3700x and 32 gb ram for my system so i could do multiple vm's easily. i do similar stuff such as pen testing, tinkering with kali linux against vulnerable machines and so on. none of them are doing much more than sitting there waiting to be victimized but they do appreciate the resources so i can run firewalls and snort to work on blocking my attempts. plus i got extra to keep the normal system running as i tinker around.

i'd think a ryzen 5 3600 would be ample for the same tasks as well. that's still 6core/12 threads to spread around to the various vm's.
 
Reactions: Logesh111

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
What you want for ram, and what the pc needs for ram are 2 different things.

For the master, 8Gb. Minimum of 4Gb per VM. It's not so much the loads or 'heavy lifting', it's the combinations. You have OS, back and forth communications, apps etc.

You'll run into serious issues if trying to balance running multiple VMs and sharing threads. Figure a minimum of 1 thread per VM, preferably 2 threads. So you'd be looking at a 6c/12t, not a Pentium.

I'd suggest a Ryzen 2600/2700x, not the 3 series versions. With the 3's, Ryzen switched to preferred core status, which can impact high thread usage at constant rates.
 
Reactions: Logesh111
Jun 21, 2020
4
0
10
0
What you want for ram, and what the pc needs for ram are 2 different things.

For the master, 8Gb. Minimum of 4Gb per VM. It's not so much the loads or 'heavy lifting', it's the combinations. You have OS, back and forth communications, apps etc.

You'll run into serious issues if trying to balance running multiple VMs and sharing threads. Figure a minimum of 1 thread per VM, preferably 2 threads. So you'd be looking at a 6c/12t, not a Pentium.

I'd suggest a Ryzen 2600/2700x, not the 3 series versions. With the 3's, Ryzen switched to preferred core status, which can impact high thread usage at constant rates.
yeah Makes sense. Thank you Karadjgne
 

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