[ale] [OT] Monster PC < $500

Shane McKinley shane at hemc.coop
Tue Oct 28 13:35:09 EDT 2008

Do you really want to run production virtualization on a custom built
PC? If you do, maybe do a burnin test for at least a day or two.

I have always had good luck with Gigabyte boards.

Everyone knows that AMDs are reliable (for the most part).

Never tried OCZ memory, but the faster the memory seems like the more
probable you will have a compatibility issue, unless specifically stated
by motherboard manufacturer that they support the specific memory. 

I bought this case like 4 times and I love it:


Here is a 580W for $20:


Can't go wrong with the hard drive.

Overall, I would worry about being able to load ESX on this machine.

(Does Xen even do Windows yet?)

Where is your DVD-ROM?

-----Original Message-----
From: JK [mailto:jknapka at kneuro.net] 
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 1:24 PM
To: Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts
Subject: [ale] [OT] Monster PC < $500

[Marked OT because not directly Linux-relevant, although Linux will
certainly be run on this machine.]

Hi everyone,

I'm looking at putting together a machine to run some virtualized
servers (maybe under Xen, maybe VMWare, maybe something else; haven't
decided yet).  I've put together a parts list for a 2.3Ghz quad-core
Phenom/8GB RAM/250GB HD machine from newegg.com, totalling $465.  Does
that seem reasonable, or am I (a) paying too much for something, or
(b) lowballing something critical?  I'm especially concerned about
cooling; I've actually never built a machine before where heat
dissipation was at all an issue, and cheap stock fans have always worked
fine for me. I suspect that won't be the case with a CPU that draws
165W. (At least I won't have to run my heater as much this winter.)

I'd like to be able to run four virtual machines each equivalent to
perhaps a 500Mhz P3 with 1GB RAM or thereabouts.
Exact performance is negotiable.

Here's the list. I may invest in another HD for RAID, but for now I'm
trying to stay under $500:

Motherboard (this board has 4 DDR2 slots and accepts up to 16GB)

CPU     $120   AMD Phenom 9600 Agena 2.3GHz Socket AM2+ 95W Quad-Core 
Processor Model HD960ZWCGDBOX - Retail

RAM     $130   2 x OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 
1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P10664GK -
Retail ($65 per 2x2GB kit)

Fan     $ 40   COOLER MASTER GeminII S RR-CCH-PBU1-GP 120mm Sleeve CPU 
Cooler - Retail (or comparable)

Case    $ 35   Linkworld 3230-18 c2228u Black Steel ATX Mid Tower 
Computer Case 430W Power Supply - Retail (Is 430W sufficient for this
rig? The CPU draws 165W alone, but I think it's the most power-hungry

HD      $ 55   Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500AAKS 250GB 7200 RPM 
SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

Any opinions appreciated.

-- JK

I do not particularly want to go where the money is -
  it usually does not smell nice there. -- A. Stepanov
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