The Under $800 VMware Quad-Core 32GB Home Lab

Updated 4/20/2016 The under $800 home lab is now under $700! Because I am a geek, and my needs change, and this is what I like to do I often check out new hardware, cost features etc.  One of the things I wish I did on my 8-core lab was go for a smaller form factor case.  Pricing, as always is subject to change.  I actually prefer to buy most of my hardware on Amazon because I seem to have an easier time returning items that are defective but I’ll link to NewEgg.  You may be able to find a part or two for a bit less somewhere else which is always good.

Here is a run down on the parts for this VMware home lab build which should be capable of booting nested 64-bit VMs or as a stand alone ESXi host running other VMs since it is cheap (you can get almost 2 of these for the price of my 8-core build).  

According to AMD, all Vishera series processors have the VT/RVI feature to allow you to boot 64-bit VMs in a nested hypervisor ( I’ll assume you will boot from USB, and that you have plenty of them from conferences past to keep my price under $800 :)

  • Case: $40 NZXT Source 210 S210-001 Black “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
  • CPU: $100 AMD FX-6300 Vishera 6-Core 3.5 GHz (4.1 GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W FD6300WMHKBOX Desktop Processor
  • MB: $75 ASRock 970 PRO3 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 970 6 x SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
  • RAM: $120 G.SKILL Ares Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-1333C9Q-32GAO
  • PS: $50 CORSAIR CX series CX500 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
  • SSD: $90 Intel 535 Series 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SSDSC2BW240H6R5
  • HDD: $107 WD Red 3TB NAS Hard Disk Drive - 5400 RPM Class SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD30EFRX
  • NIC: $105 Refurbished: HP NC364T 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI-Express Network Adapter
  • That is a grand total $687 US (as of 4/20/2016 pricing). Additionally there is currently $40 in mail in rebates ($20 each on the PSU and MB) so in the short term that is $647!

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