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1clue
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:01 am    Post subject: Good motherboard for virtualization - Recommendations? Reply with quote

Hi,

Time to look for another computer.

I'm lusting after the form factor of the Mac mini with the i7 in it, only faster and more ports. Hah. I know it won't happen.

I want to piece it together, basically I think I can handle the rest of the hardware but need help with motherboard and CPU. Here's what I'm after:

  1. 32g RAM capability or better.
  2. Fast, fast, fast.
  3. At least 4 USB3 ports, more is better.
  4. I can stick a triple or quad monitor video card in it, with dual-link DVI out on all ports.
  5. A high performance ethernet port, prefer 2.
  6. It has to be pretty quiet. It's going into a home office so it can't be like a jet engine.


Here's stuff I'd like, but not strictly required:

  1. Ability to put in a good RAID card.
  2. LOTS of USB ports. Probably have to be a card.
  3. It would be good if there were two distinct USB buses so pegging one device doesn't block others.
  4. Ability to have 6 sata3 drives from the motherboard.


I don't know what the deal is, but the past few years I've been stuffing drives in like crazy, and I can never get enough RAM or enough speed. Can't get enough desktop space either.

I'm going to have a bunch of KVM images on this, and it will be a workstation.

Thanks.
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jostrn
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you need IOMMU? Some older AMD chipsets don't support this.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking yes. I'm all for the idea of AMD and better hardware for less money, but I might stick with Intel processors this time.

Last box, I got something that was mostly workstation and had some hardware for virtualization. Turned out, the virtualization part was buggy and that's what I wound up wanting to use it for.

This time I want something that's rock solid for virtualization and by-the-way makes a good workstation too.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, this setup looks attractive to me but I think it's a bit old on the motherboard hardware.

http://www.rootwyrm.com/2011/09/better-than-ever-its-the-babydragon-ii/

I'd like more USB3 and I don't want anything at all to be SATA2.

I don't mind a bunch of UBS2s as long as there are at least 4 usb3s and preferably more.
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energyman76b
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

some 990 based Gigabyte board.
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666threesixes666
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ive had gigabyte fires.... http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007625%2050001315%20600138080&IsNodeId=1&name=AM3%2b

ASUS is the 1, i am so happy with my m4n72-e... SOLID... the crazy expensive ones, over 120 are generally good. though id opt for no video card onboard.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd opt for no onboard video too, for that matter no onboard sound would be fine as well. I intend to buy a quad-head video card anyway, and I have a USB headset that has its own sound card, or maybe I'll just stick a speaker set into the USB, I know they exist. Or I have a pretty decent one sitting around come to think of it.

I've never really understood why higher-end boards come with video and sound onboard. Nobody ever uses it, they buy what they like and add it, or they use it as server hardware and never add anything.

My last attempt was desktop hardware, an Asus P6T. In the years I've had it, there have been zero bios updates to fix their broken virtualization code.

This time I'd like to start with server hardware that's good for virtualization, probably Intel, and add the stuff to make it a desktop.
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energyman76b
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

video/sound is already in the chipset. So why not spend the additional 10c to make it availlable?

And I am not going to tell my ASUS horror stories....
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1clue
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that, have known it since the 90's, but I guess I'm wondering why they have it in the chipset. Not really wondering, since I know, just raging against the establishment.

Seems like everyone has a favorite motherboard manufacturer, and somebody else has horror stories about whatever it is.

Maybe I'm just having a bad day?
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roarkh
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're looking for a true server class board you might want to take a look at Supermicro's offerings, I have two servers at work based on the X9DRH-7F (http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/C600/X9DRH-7F.cfm). I use them entirely for virtualization. They support up to 512gb of RAM and have an 8 port SAS/SATA hardware RAID card built in but you can find cheaper versions without those features.

I for one like my servers to have embedded video as fans on video cards fail taking out servers and there is really no need in most cases for a separate card when doing virtualization. An added bonus with some newer server boards is the integrated IPMI KVM switch which allows you to remotely view your server's screen, independent of any operating system running on it. I'm not sure if that is possible with an add-on video card or not.

If I were going to build a server without a server-class motherboard these days my motherboard maker of choice would be ASRock. But as has already been said, it does not matter what board you pick, someone will have a horror story about it.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm interested in real server hardware if I can afford it, but why is it that all the server hardware has only a couple sata3 ports?

My biggest problem with my existing sata2-based i7(not server hardware) is disk transfer speed. I've got an ssd in there and will certainly have one in the new box too, but I also want a RAID1 hdd array at sata3 speeds. Or maybe 5 or 6, not sure yet.

Also given the way things are going, I want a really healthy number of USB3 ports that can actually deliver good transfer rates.

This is going to be a desktop for me even though it might be server hardware.

Cooling: I wonder how effective it would be to mount the box vertically, inlets at the bottom and outlets at the top?
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