Help me before I have a nervous breakdown...

I have been extraordinarily lucky in getting ESXI to run on my current (old machine). I had no idea on ESXI when I installed it and taught myself everything I needed to know, including GPU passthrough. 

However, as that computer has reached an age where its due to be replaced, I am really struggling to find data that helps determine an ESXI friendly build that will work. I've seen the compatibility search on Vmware but find it next to useless in helping me. Maybe its how my brain works, maybe its just not intuitive. I've been doing this for two weeks and I'm about to go nuts.


Here is what I want to achieve in running my ESXI:

2 x nvme 2tb ssd's to run ESXI (datastore1 and datastore 2) - I did think about running them as RAID 0 to have 4TB to give me that extra performance. I know about the data risk, but I kinda have that if one of the drives fails anyway.

run pfsense (needs 4 port gigabit ethernet) - passthrough two NICS off that card to pfsense

run windows 10 pro using the onboard 10GBe and passthrough the 10GBe to windows

passthrough P2200 to Windows 10 Pro

passthrough the Thunderbolt 3 card to Windows 10 Pro

run Ubuntu and pass through one gigabit port off the 4 port ethernet card

Note I have achieved all of this today on my old machine except I am not using 10GBe, nor am I running nvme. I'm using Sata SSD's. But all the passthrough stuff I have achieved on ESXI 6.7 update 2.

(spin up various other VM's as needed)

Now, here is my new build. As the new CPU doesn't have integrated graphics, I've got to put in two GPU's if I am to passthrough the P2200 to windows (so the ESXI host has one).

My big question is - will my proposed build work? (note that whilst only 1 nvme SSD drive shows up on the wishlist, there is actually two).


I would be ever so grateful (and so would my mental health) if someone with wisdom can really help me with this. I know a lot of questions on this board go unanswered, and this may well be one of those. I hope its not. I hope this post engages you to want to help. I've given it my best shot. Let the chips fall where they may.....    thank you 🙂


2 Replies
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

The best thing would be to acquire a certified Server for VMware vpshere 6.7 from a provider such as Lenovo or Dell, so you would have the support of the hardware manufacturer and VMware in case of problems.

You must verify that all additional parts are certified by VMware attached link

VMware Compatibility Guide

good luck



Enrique Espinel
Senior Technical Consultant IBM, Lenovo and VMware.
VMware VSP-SV 2018, VTSP-SV 2018 VMware Technical Solutions Professional Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (VTSP-HCI 2018)
VMware Technical Solutions Professional (VTSP) 4 / 5.
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Many thanks for replying and showing interest. I would definitely not like to go down the road you suggest as those machines are sub-par performance and much more costly.

If I can get the build I have put together working, it will be a beast of a machine. So far, from research I've done, it looks like it may work. The two intel 10gbe NIC's are supported, but I'd love someone with more wisdom to take a look at the build and let me know what they think.

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