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Home Hyper-V host build advice


oj88
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With the bonuses out (yipeee!), I plan to build a desktop to run Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V to host the following VMs:

 

1. Windows Server 2012 R2 with Essentials role (to replace my physical WHS2011)

2. Plex Media Server

3. Misc. stuff, PRTG network monitoring, iSpy, etc.

 

Based on availability, I have narrowed down my choices to the following:

 

CPU: i7 4790 (non-K)

Board: Gigabyte H97

Memory: 2x 8GB Crucial Ballistix 1600

NIC: HP 331T (Quad 1GB copper)

SATA Controller: IBM ServeRaid M1015 (flashed)

 

Except for the bottom two items, the others I have yet to purchase.

 

Question: Seeing that the H97 chipset doesn't officially support Windows Server 2012 R2 (or any server OS for that matter), will,this be a deal-breaker? And even if I do not have to use the onboard NIC and SATA controller, will other motherboard functions be crippled in Windows Server?

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I'd spare the i7 and go with an i5 in order to beef up the RAM to all the board can hold, probably 32GB.

 

Not a bad idea. If the box is pretty much going to be dedicated to VMs more RAM is probably a good idea.

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Jmwills and ikon: Thanks about the RAM advice. I will only have 16GB to kick-off the project. I can always fill up the remaining slots to 32GB anytime or as I go along adding VMs. One reason I beefed up the CPU at the onset is because Plex can be very demanding when it transcode at 1080p. At least that's what happens with the current setup (in my sig)... Plex would max out all four cores when streaming high-quality movies. Occassionally, it would stutter when two or more people are watching full-HD flicks.

 

Poppapete: I already have an HP 331T quad 1GB NIC. It's a server-class NIC so I don't think I'll have any problems with it.

 

But back to the question: All things considered, the H97 chipset, will it be an issue with Server 2012? Also, I don't want to put in a PCIe video card. Will Server 2012 have any trouble driving the onboard Intel video to its full specifications?

 

Thanks!

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-snip-

 

But back to the question: All things considered, the H97 chipset, will it be an issue with Server 2012? Also, I don't want to put in a PCIe video card. Will Server 2012 have any trouble driving the onboard Intel video to its full specifications?

 

Thanks!

 

I can only guess but I would expect some issues -- especially with the NIC's.  I built a home Hyper-V server with a Z77 and my major issue was with NIC's that required some "messing" around to get them to work properly.  

 

Check out http://homeservershow.com/a-server-build-with-a-ga-z77x-ud5h-in-a-lian-li-pc-k9wx.html

 

and my whole series with that Z77 http://homeservershow.com/tag/ga-z77x

 

So you're likely taking a chance but you may consider the cost savings worth the extra effort.  YMMV.

 

Full disclosure: that Z77 was the fastest thing in the house and after 2+ years as a server I re-purposed it to be my main desktop and Hyper-V & Video Editing testing setup and am using my HP's as Hyper-V Servers.  My Old desktop I've re-purposed to be my 2011 server. 

Edited by Joe_Miner
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I can only guess but I would expect some issues -- especially with the NIC's.  I built a home Hyper-V server with a Z77 and my major issue was with NIC's that required some "messing" around to get them to work properly.  

 

Check out http://homeservershow.com/a-server-build-with-a-ga-z77x-ud5h-in-a-lian-li-pc-k9wx.html

 

and my whole series with that Z77 http://homeservershow.com/tag/ga-z77x

 

So you're likely taking a chance but you may consider the cost savings worth the extra effort.  YMMV.

 

Full disclosure: that Z77 was the fastest thing in the house and after 2+ years as a server I re-purposed it to be my main desktop and Hyper-V & Video Editing testing setup and am using my HP's as Hyper-V Servers.  My Old desktop I've re-purposed to be my 2011 server. 

So he is going to be using a HP 331T then just disable the onboard nic and you should be in a much better spot.

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