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ESX 5.1 workstation build for ML VM build.

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Hi - been working on getting an upgrade together for my current workstation. Not having a huge budget and needing as much bang for buck I want to keep as much as possible and replace as little as possible (red goes, green stays):


Asus P5Q Pro Intel P45 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 LGA775 'Yorkfield' 2.83GHz 12MB-cache (1333FSB) Processor

OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) PC2-8500C5 1066MHz Dual Channel Platinum Series DDR2

NVidia GeForce 8800 GTX

Samsung 830 128 GB SSD

Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB 10000RPM SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM

2 - Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB

2 - Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA-II

Lian-Li PC-B25B Aluminium Midi-Tower - Black (No PSU)

Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme CPU Cooler (Socket AM2/LGA775)

Samsung SH-S223F/BEBE 22x DVDąRW SATA Dual Layer ReWriter (Black) - OEM

Noctua NF-S12 800RPM 120mm Silent Case Fan - 3 Pin

Hiper 630W HPU-4M630 SLi Certified PSU


The new hardware that I am so far gravitating towards is as follows:

Supermicro X9SRA

Intel Xeon Processor E5-2620

2 x Kingston ValueRAM - ECC Memory - 16 GB - DIMM

AMD FirePro V4900 Professional Graphics

Supermicro SNK-P0050AP4 - Cooler

I would use a number of VM's for development purposes (using RHEL, Windows Server for work) and then ML as my everyday machine (photo editing with Aperture, web surfing, a little video editing).


With little experience on the VMware ESX side any feedback would be most appreciated; specifically around how to get sound the ALC889 working in ML - would it be possible to do iopath/passthrough with sound ?


I have seen evidence of the V4900 GPU working being passed through to VM from ESX here:


and working in ML here:



Finally wireless; I am currently using a Linksys WMP300N - would passthrough be possible here. I suspect not from what I have read plus only two passthroughs are allowed per VM. Otherwise I would be going with this a WUMC710.


Advice would be most appreciated.

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As exciting as it might be (or was in my case...), it is way easier to just have native OSX & not bother with virtualizing it


Any specific reason you want/need to have ESXi in the way? - especially that you are aiming for only 16 GB

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Thanks sebus.. I was aiming at actually 2 x 16 GB with a view to getting some more if needed and breaking the cost as well. But as you say it really needed ?


I would probably be keeping a native OS X partition as it is any way and having a dual boot (via boot bios option).


But the only real reason are is that I can and secondly to learn some more about this virtualisation technology...


The downsides I can see with such a setup is not being able to put the whole system in to standby (sleep) but tell me what other pains did you encounter ?

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