not2fast
Contributor
Contributor

Anyone have a cheap DIY AMD setup that works with the free ESXi 4?

I have done a fair amount of searching and have not come up with anything. I'm trying to get this up and running on my current hardware. My Quad Phenom 64 2600 BE edition will not install due to "No supported microcode level for this stepping of AMD Family 10h B2 Processer". My other box with Gigabyte GA-MA69VM-S2 motherbother and dualcore errors out on the nic card. I ordered an Intel nic from newegg to hopefully get past this, but really was hoping to run with a quad core processer. Am I close or am I better off with new hardware and going the Intell route?

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11 Replies
depping
Leadership
Leadership

I use this whitebox hcl as a reference usually:

http://www.vm-help.com/esx40i/esx40_whitebox_HCL.php

Duncan

VMware Communities User Moderator | VCP | VCDX

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not2fast
Contributor
Contributor

I reviewed that. No AMD support. Smiley Sad

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ceemour
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I use an asus m3n78 with phenom 9550, onboard nic is okay to use, not sure about the onboard sata, I use an hp e200 raid card

depping
Leadership
Leadership

of course there is AMD support, it just hasn't been reported yet for the Whitebox HCL.

Duncan

VMware Communities User Moderator | VCP | VCDX

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not2fast
Contributor
Contributor

Got it working. It worked out of the box with my ASUS M2NPV-VM MB and AMD Athlon 4200 X2.

Kind of sucks that this is the box is worked on, but I will be able to eval it like I need to.

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O123567
Contributor
Contributor

If you are in the UK look for an HP ML115 G5 on ebuyer, works perfectly and about 200 squid

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filbo
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

not2fast wrote:

I have done a fair amount of searching and have not come up with anything. I'm trying to get this up and running on my current hardware. My Quad Phenom 64 2600 BE edition will not install due to "No supported microcode level for this stepping of AMD Family 10h B2 Processer". My other box with Gigabyte GA-MA69VM-S2 motherbother and dualcore errors out on the nic card. I ordered an Intel nic from newegg to hopefully get past this, but really was hoping to run with a quad core processer. Am I close or am I better off with new hardware and going the Intell route?

Stepping B2 of that processor family had a bug which makes virtualization fail. You should be able to get past that obstacle by replacing only the CPU with a B3 or later stepping. B3 came out over a year ago so I would think you could buy any CPU the motherboard supports -- but I've heard tales of old CPUs lurking in channels. So your best bet for using the board might be this: research which chips it supports, then select one that never shipped in B2 stepping. AMD made this easy by renaming the most problematic models as xx50 instead of xx00.

Be careful about motherboard/CPU compatibility. Even if they use the same socket, there can be issues of supported clock rates, voltages etc. Consult the manufacturer's web site, or at least web search an enthusiast who's used the exact same motherboard+CPU combination you propose to try...

I would also strongly recommend that you disable all overclocking while you are ramping up. Don't start overclocking until you are confident the base install (including the VMs you want to run, at the load you expect them to have) is 100% OK. Otherwise you will end up blaming software for hardware failings. ESXi drives the hardware in ways that Windows and Linux may not. Even if the setup was stable under other OSes, you can't be sure that some corner of the CPU won't malfunction under a different load.

Since you are the overclocking type, you may want to check whether the Phenom II CPUs are supported on your motherboard (apparently requires BIOS updates, so you need manufacturer complicity). According to that wikipedia article they can be overclocked to insane levels; even without overclocking, they have larger caches that give up to 30% improvement over Phenom I (probably more like 10-15% for real world use). Looks like top-of-the-line Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition -- 3.2GHz Quad with unlocked clock multiplier -- can be had for under $300 ;-). But be real careful with motherboard compatibility on that...

None of this is officially supported, nor likely to be (I can't imagine we'd ever have written docs telling you to overclock, for instance). I can tell that you are not concerned about that -- just making sure it's clear for other readers.

>Bela<

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not2fast
Contributor
Contributor

Well now I am back and looking to upgrade to a quad core. My MB doesn't support AM2+ or AM3 so I will have to upgrade that also.

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DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

There are some budget servers from Dell. HP, IBM that you might want to check out. In the long run (short too) it may be be an inexpensive route.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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senseless
Contributor
Contributor

I would recommend the following:

SUPERMICRO SYS-5016I-MR 380$ on newegg

Intel Xeon X3430 205$ on newegg (forget AMD for servers unless you're going for a quad processor machine for the huge memory bandwidth)

Toss in a few drives and 8gb of your favorite DDR3 memory and you're ready to go.

The supermicro board mentioned has:

North Bridge

Intel 3400

Communications

First LAN

Intel 82574L

Second LAN

Intel 82574L

Max. LAN Speed

10/100/1000Mbps

Should work without an issue and have a decent ESXI server for 800$ or so.

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DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

I'm not a Dell person but you can get a Dell with those specs and an onsite warranty for that money.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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