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PC for running virtual machines

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lollandster:
I have found that using virtual machines for everything not GPU intensive is the way to go. I am now debating whether upgrading the computer will make that experience better.

My current setup is AMD-2700X with 16GB RAM and Nvidia GTX1060 6GB running Windows 10 LTSC 2019 and VirtualBox.
Guest OS is mostly Windows 10 and Ubuntu and I usually have 1-2 VMs running at the same time.

The experience has been good so far when running Eclipse for programming and debugging MCUs, but it is sometimes slow especially with web-browsing and using VisualStudio Code.

I am thinking that a faster processor will help. I'm thinking AMD-3900X or Intel I9-9900. But maybe a server class processor like Xeon or Threadripper is more suitable? My budget is flexible, but if the gain is small then I'll stay on my current setup.

I'm also wondering if changing VM software can help. I like VirtualBox since it's so easy to install (no need to register or login anywhere). Some of the issues are with low fps so maybe a VM software with better graphics drivers is the way to go?

martin1454:
Currently the best bang for the buck is the AMD 3900X, and it beats the 9900K in most tests, so I would go for that - It should be fine for what you are doing, but use some money for a good SSD and 32-64gb ram at least

SilverSolder:
Agree about the virtual machine approach, it's the way the IT world is going (cloud) and it works for small business / lab / home too.

For running tons of VMs,  look for a machine with a lot of cores and a lot of RAM...  ideally, you want to be able to assign one, two, even more cores to each VM without stealing too much resources from other VMs. 

The clock speed is less important for this workload (within reason),  you need more of a "bulldozer" type computer that is very difficult to slow down, as opposed to a "sports car" that can go very fast as long as you don't have more than one passenger with you!

@martin1454, that AMD CPU looks extremely impressive,  that kind of horsepower would have required 2 sockets not that long ago.



Bicurico:
I bought a second hand IBM X3650M3 server. They cost 100-200 Euro and can be cheaply upgraded CPU and memory wise.
You can then have independent SSD for each virtual machine.
As an OS I use the free version of VMWare ESXi.
Such a server can be fully remote controlled including on/off and BIOS access.
The CPU can be 2x Xeon X5680 giving you 12 cores, 24 virtual ones with Hyperthreading.

The downside is the noise. You dont  want to be in the same room.

Regards
Vitor

nctnico:

--- Quote from: lollandster on July 31, 2019, 09:24:35 am ---I have found that using virtual machines for everything not GPU intensive is the way to go. I am now debating whether upgrading the computer will make that experience better.

My current setup is AMD-2700X with 16GB RAM and Nvidia GTX1060 6GB running Windows 10 LTSC 2019 and VirtualBox.
Guest OS is mostly Windows 10 and Ubuntu and I usually have 1-2 VMs running at the same time.

The experience has been good so far when running Eclipse for programming and debugging MCUs, but it is sometimes slow especially with web-browsing and using VisualStudio Code.

I am thinking that a faster processor will help. I'm thinking AMD-3900X or Intel I9-9900. But maybe a server class processor like Xeon or Threadripper is more suitable? My budget is flexible, but if the gain is small then I'll stay on my current setup.

I'm also wondering if changing VM software can help. I like VirtualBox since it's so easy to install (no need to register or login anywhere). Some of the issues are with low fps so maybe a VM software with better graphics drivers is the way to go?

--- End quote ---
Do you have an SSD? If not then upgrade to SSD first.

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