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 ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe Mini-ITX, AMD Zacate, ESXi 4.1.0 348481 
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:23 am
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Post ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe Mini-ITX, AMD Zacate, ESXi 4.1.0 348481
ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe Mini-ITX, AMD Zacate, ESXi 4.1.0 348481

http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=9BmKhMwWCwqyl1lz

CPU is an Integrated Dual Core AMD Zacate
Chipset: AMD Hudson M1
Bios Ver: 701
Added PCI-E Intel Gigabit NIC (Intel EXPI9301CT)
Onboard NIC Disabled (RTL8111E), did not attempt install with oem.tgz
Edit: Second install tested using RealTek 8168 oem.tgz appears solid.
Sata controller set to AHCI
64bit - Yes. 64 bit guest install verified to work.
VT-x - Yes (AMD-V, enabled by default in bios as 'SVM Mode')
VT-D - No (IOMMU not found in bios)



This is an interesting little board. The Zacate is one of the AMD Fusion 'APU' combined cpu/gpu processors that are to compete with the Intel Atom low power chips.
The E350 is an 18W TDP proc and the overall power draw in this system is comparable with the SuperMicro Atom D510 board I have here.

I tested it with a pair of 2GB DDR3 sticks (takes regular dimms, not sodimms) and it's worth noting that this is a single channel board (no advantage to pairing them).

384M of system memory is reserved for the GPU and there doesn't appear to be a way to decrease this in the bios. Max memory in the system is 8GB.

The board has 5 internal sata 6gbs ports, no software raid, which appears to be supported. I did not test with sata3 disk, but the sata2 intel SSD seemed to work well enough.

The board is expensive for only two 1.6ghz cores, but considering this is passively cooled and extremely low power usage (and with no fans, silent . .with an SSD and solid state PSU, there are no moving parts) there is some value.

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Last edited by millisa on Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:56 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:10 am
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Post Re: ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe Mini-ITX, AMD Zacate, ESXi 4.1.0 348
Hi,

Very nice! With 2x4GB DDR3 modules (very inexpensive) and one Realtek PCIe NIC (now inexpensive too) is a good fanless ESXi server in a mini-ITX case (best than my Atom with SoDIMM modules!).

Where to purchase it?


Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:55 am
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Post Re: ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe Mini-ITX, AMD Zacate, ESXi 4.1.0 348
I picked mine up from newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=13-131-698 for $174.99.

The intel expi9301 is cheap too (it's why I use it) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106033 ~$29

I'd be surprised if the onboard RTL8111 couldn't be made to work with an oem.tgz, I just haven't gotten around to trying it. Info about the onboard nic from a linux install:

Ven/DevID: 10ec:8168

Code:
04:00.0 Ethernet controller [0200]: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller [10ec:8168] (rev 06)

Code:
04:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168B PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet controller (rev 06)
   Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. Device 8432
   Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 45
   I/O ports at e000 [size=256]
   Memory at d0004000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=4K]
   Memory at d0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=16K]
   Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 3
   Capabilities: [50] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
   Capabilities: [70] Express Endpoint, MSI 01
   Capabilities: [b0] MSI-X: Enable- Count=4 Masked-
   Capabilities: [d0] Vital Product Data
   Capabilities: [100] Advanced Error Reporting
   Capabilities: [140] Virtual Channel
   Capabilities: [160] Device Serial Number 01-00-00-00-68-4c-e0-00
   Kernel driver in use: r8169
   Kernel modules: r8169


Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:14 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:23 am
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Post Re: ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe Mini-ITX, AMD Zacate, ESXi 4.1.0 348
I just used varazir's mkesxiaiao_4.1.sh script, and the r8169-esx4.1.tgz file here: http://www.vm-help.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&p=7412#p7412 and built a new oem iso. This seemed to install with just the onboard Realtek nic just fine (I pulled the intel nic before attempting the install).

Interestingly even though I'm connected to the esxi install, it shows the link as 'down', but it does appear to be working. I'll try to do a guest install and put it under some network load to see what the stability is like (I had seen some reports of issues with the driver and the asus boards)

Image


Edit:

I have since setup a virtual on the box and the networking does work with that oem driver. However, it seems to be stuck at 100M (and still shows 'down' from the vsphere client and local console). I'm not sure what to make of that or if it's worth trying other drivers on the oem forum. Transfers to the guest hit 9.7MB/s (~77mbps). I doubt I'll try much more with it since I intend on leaving the intel gig card in the system long term.


Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:39 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:10 am
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Post Re: ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe Mini-ITX, AMD Zacate, ESXi 4.1.0 348
Hi Millisa,

Try the driver for 8168 and not the driver for 8169 if you are using a 8111 NIC.


Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:42 am
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Post Re: ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe Mini-ITX, AMD Zacate, ESXi 4.1.0 348
I'm not sure how I got onto the 8169 driver, thanks for catching it.

I rebuilt my iso with the 8168 driver from this thread: http://www.vm-help.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2187 and clean installed with the bare board (pcie slot empty).

Looks much nicer; gigabit, full duplex.
Image

I'll do a fresh guest install and do some big transfers to the guest just to verify stability.


Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:33 pm
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Post Re: ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe Mini-ITX, AMD Zacate, ESXi 4.1.0 348
Quote:
I'll do a fresh guest install and do some big transfers to the guest just to verify stability.


You can download a tool called iperf. It generated network activity between hosts and can generally stress the network more that trying to using a method like file copies.

_________________
Dave Mishchenko
VMware vExpert 2009-2013
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Now available - VMware ESXi: Planning, Implementation, and Security
Also available - vSphere Quick Start Guide


Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:52 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:23 am
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Post Re: ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe Mini-ITX, AMD Zacate, ESXi 4.1.0 348
Code:
[root@localhost ~]# iperf -c 192.168.176.x
------------------------------------------------------------
Client connecting to 192.168.176.x, TCP port 5001
TCP window size: 16.0 KByte (default)
------------------------------------------------------------
[  3] local 192.168.176.y port 53571 connected with 192.168.176.x port 5001
[ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth
[  3]  0.0-10.0 sec    687 MBytes    576 Mbits/sec

iperf (ver 2) it is then.

A dualtest got to 600mbit/s, a 1 minute long test stayed in the same 575-600mbit range. This is going through a cheap gig switch, so it could just as easily be limited there.

I'll leave iperf going for an hour, but initial results are promising.

Edit: (1 hour later).
Code:
[ ID] Interval       Transfer     Bandwidth
[  3]  0.0-3600.0 sec    238 GBytes    568 Mbits/sec


Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:45 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:10 am
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Post Re: ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe Mini-ITX, AMD Zacate, ESXi 4.1.0 348
Dave.Mishchenko wrote:
You can download a tool called iperf. It generated network activity between hosts and can generally stress the network more that trying to using a method like file copies.

Hi Dave,

Where is the binary of the iperf tool compiled for ESXi?


Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:14 am
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Post Re: ASUS E35M1-I Deluxe Mini-ITX, AMD Zacate, ESXi 4.1.0 348
I just run the Windows version within a VM.

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Dave Mishchenko
VMware vExpert 2009-2013
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Now available - VMware ESXi: Planning, Implementation, and Security
Also available - vSphere Quick Start Guide


Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:42 am
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