Which Motherboard?!

shabbaranks

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Hey guys,

Looking to get an AM3 mobo which has the unlocking core capabilities and in the HCL for esx/esxi. I've been through the list and finding it a mission to choose which one for mid range cost (under £100). Has anyone got any suggestions? Heres what I've found so far - comments appreciated:

M4A785TD-V EVO
M4A78 Pro
M4A78-EM
Asus M4A89GTD PRO

Not that I am bias towards a board but the HCL seems to support ASUS more so than Gigabyte :)
 

oneman

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Odd, I could only find opteron and Xeon based motherboards on the HCL ?
 

oneman

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Nah, I was looking at the offical list on the VMWare website, not an unoffical 'this may break at any time' list. But then if you are not running a legit copy then it's not a problem that you can't call vmware for support.

Personally I had ESXi running on a ML110 G5 server via internal USB boot key (there is a USB header on the motherboard). Insight were selling the server with 2 core xeon, 1GB RAM, 250GB SATA drive and DVD/RW for £145. Sold all 600 of them in less then a week, I managed to nab 8 of them.
 

shabbaranks

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Ah yeah - its a whitebox Im looking to build. From the forum they seem to run pretty well providing you get the right combination.

And yeah whats that all about with the ML110/ML115 G5's? I was reading they "were" going for under or around the £100 mark - now they've shot up to £200 plus. Was bidding on one on ebay but it went to almost the retail amount.

If you have any spare I know someone who'll buy one off ya ;)
 

oneman

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Unfortunately sold all of mine. Don't know where insight got their stock from but it was a crazy price at the time. My mate has a couple of ML115, basically the same but with AMD CPU.

Nice thing is the fan is sensible and you can have the server next to you.
 

shabbaranks

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Im guessing he's not got any for sale? Im keen to setup a whitebox for esxi but to get raid 5 working you need a seperate card as it treats the mobo's with onboard raid facilities as software raid - gutted.

I might just go raid 0/1 but if I then get tempted to config raid 5 its a start again process - pain.

Just looking at the RAID feature on these boards as far as the ESX install goes it would consider them as a software RAID, so I would be no better off. Just out of interest what version esxi are you running and which RAID card? Thanks
 
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oneman

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Im guessing he's not got any for sale? Im keen to setup a whitebox for esxi but to get raid 5 working you need a seperate card as it treats the mobo's with onboard raid facilities as software raid - gutted.

I might just go raid 0/1 but if I then get tempted to config raid 5 its a start again process - pain.

Just looking at the RAID feature on these boards as far as the ESX install goes it would consider them as a software RAID, so I would be no better off. Just out of interest what version esxi are you running and which RAID card? Thanks

I have a ESX HCL approved RAID 5 controller for sale if you are interested. Dell PERC5i. Uses PCI-E and supports up to 8 SATA or SAS drives with the correct cables. Has 256MB cache and supports battery back up if you want to enable write-through caching. Very, very quick controller.

I actually bought a pair of them and one was used in the ML110 with ESXi, complete with 5x2TB drives. Did some performance test, recorded upto 700MB/s read and 300/s MB write when using RAID5. The other was for a friend who then decided that he didn't want it so aside from making sure it works, its been sitting in a box for the last 3 months.
 

techquest

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If you want a mid range MB you can trust then go for a
GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H. This MB is about one of the most stable I've found out there and the the thing is it will take all the AM3 processor range including the new ones. So if you buy a cheaper CPU initially you can always upgrade it later.

I've got 2 PC's of my own with them in and have built about 12 others and there has never been a single issue with any of them. They have a range of AMD CPU's running on them from Dual to Triple and Quad cores, in both AM2 and AM3 versions.
 

shabbaranks

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Thanks but this mobo isnt included on the HCL for esxi... The hunt continues
 

techquest

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If it helps I'm currently running ESX4i on a PC with a Gigabyte. It not listed as supported hardware on the reference list and yet it runs without a problem. List's are just a reference and not always complete or up to date.

GA-MA78GM-US2H - Onboard Video

CPU: AMD 5050e

RAM: 8GB DDR2 800MHz

SATA Mode: AHCI

DVD/CD: Samsung DVD-RW

Intel Pro 1000 MT - No support for onboard NIC

Seagate 7200.11 - Currently no support for raid.
 

shabbaranks

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Yeah fair point.... I see the onboard nic isnt supported. Decided to go for the Asus M4A89GTD PRO and purchase the am3 and hope Im able to unlock the locked cores. If it turns out its not available on that then fair enough but worth a shot. Future proof for a little while also which helps - wont be purchasing for another month or two so the price should drop a little... Thanks for your info though :)
 
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