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 MSI 785GM-E51 
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Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:43 am
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Post MSI 785GM-E51
MSI 785GM-E51 - Onboard NIC works
AMD 785G chipset (no IOMMU support)
AMD Phenom II X2 B53 unlocked to X4 B93
16GB G.Skill DDR3-1333 (4x4GB)
4x 250GB 7200RPM WD RE SATA drives
2x Intel Pro1000/GT
1GB USB stick
SD-to-IDE adapter
Antec TruePower430 power supply


Installed ESXi 4.1 to the 1GB USB stick via VMware Workstation. Used an Ubuntu VM to add this oem.tgz file to the Hypervisor1 partition.

Booted up and it recognized the onboard Realtek RTL8111DL immediately. Loaded a Win7 VM I had stored on my NAS (NFS share) from my older ESXi3.5 setup, and all network functionality is perfect.

Hard drives are recognized whether I have the BIOS set to IDE or AHCI.

It also recognizes my SD-to-IDE adapter, though apparently I need a 2GB card in order to create a datastore, so I'm waiting on one in the mail (tried using a 1GB, but it told me I had to have minimum 1.2GB to make a datastore). The SD card is going to get my IPCOP firewall VM as well as my FreeNAS VM.

The FreeNAS VM is then going to get physical RDM access to the 4x 250GB hard drives to run them either as a striped pair of ZFS mirrors or a ZFS RAIDZ1. That is then going to become an NFS share for the ESXi host to use as a datastore for my regular VMs to consolidate my separate NAS into this machine.

Best part.. power consumption. This thing draws 97w at the ESXi black/yellow console screen. This is according to my Kill-a-Watt. I've been told these aren't incredibly accurate, but I've never had an issue repeating results.. maybe they just aren't accurate from one to another. Either way.. my old dual Xeon 2.2GHz system sucked about 114w at idle, and my current NAS setup with a single 500GB Seagate LP drive in it draws 42w at idle. That's 156w compared to the 97w I'm using now, and I'm getting far more performance (CPU, RAM, hard drives) and redundancy. When I replace the 250GB drives with newer more efficient 2TB drives (once they come down to the $40-50 range), that should shave another 10+w off, and I imagine an 80+ Bronze PSU would shave off another handful.


Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:47 am
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