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 Asus M4A88TD-M/USB3 based whitebox Working with ESXi 4.1 
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:09 pm
Posts: 7
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Post Asus M4A88TD-M/USB3 based whitebox Working with ESXi 4.1
First off I had all kinds of problems with hang ups on USB, e1000 network drivers and AHCI modules during install. I disabled AMD Cool & Quite and C1E (or E1C cannot remember) power management and disabled the onboard NIC, and set the SATA mode to AHCI.

After all that the install went clean and fast with the unmodified disk ESXi 4.1 directly from VMWare. I installed ESXi from CD to the HDD.

USB passthrough works perfect, and I installed a Windows Server 2008 r2 x64 enterprise VM, a Windows7 ultimate x64 VM and am getting ready to install an Ubuntu load.

Below are the specs I purchased from Newegg with part numbers

2 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
Item #: N82E16820231314
Memory Standard Return Policy $199.98

1 Thermaltake Black SECC Japanese steel LANBOX Lite VF6000BNS Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case
Item #: N82E16811133045
Standard Return Policy $69.99

1 ASUS M4A88TD-M/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813131654
Standard Return Policy
For Asus Tech Support, Please Call 502-995-0883 or http://helpdesk.asus.com/ $104.99

1 AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition Thuban 3.3GHz, 3.7GHz Turbo Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor HDE00ZFBGRBOX
Item #: N82E16819103913
CPU Replacement Only Return Policy $239.99

1 Intel EXPI9301CTBLK 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI-Express Network Adapter
Item #: N82E16833106033
Standard Return Policy $28.67

So I have a working Whitebox with 16 Gigs of ram, 6 core AMD processor, for under $600.00

I had two 1.5TB Drives, a power supply, SATA DVD drive hanging around.

This whitebox rocks ... I will post screenshots of the system as soon as I can


Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:23 pm
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:40 am
Posts: 7
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Post Re: Asus M4A88TD-M/USB3 based whitebox Working with ESXi 4.1
Do you guys think that the M4A88TD-V would work (USB+SATA) as well?

Seems to be the same chipset.
I really need the extra PCI slots...

Thanks
/Basse


Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:38 am
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:13 pm
Posts: 3880
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Post Re: Asus M4A88TD-M/USB3 based whitebox Working with ESXi 4.1
I would look through the specs to see if the SATA controller is the same. For the submitted specs the system includes Intel Pro 1000 NICs so the user didn't likely do anything with the onboard NIC.

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Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:37 pm
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:41 pm
Posts: 1
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Post Re: Asus M4A88TD-M/USB3 based whitebox Working with ESXi 4.1
Hi guys,

First I want to say thanks to dogcheese for taking the time to post his configuration.

I bought the same motherboard (M4A88TD-M), Phenom II 925, the same Intel 1000 CT nic, 1TB Seagate SATA 3.0 and a SATA DVD drive.

Everything worked out of the box. I just disabled the settings posted by dogcheese plus all audio, serial, parallel and LPT ports. My BIOS is 1071 or 1077, can't remember now but I did not downgraded the BIOS as it was mentioned in another thread. Also I used CD installation of ESXi 4.1 and installed it on a 2GB USB flash drive.

So that's it about my new cheap whitebox. :mrgreen:

@basee: I think M4A88TD-V will also work without any issues. You can check this review if you like: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/ha ... eview.html As far as I understand it's the same board with a different form factor and some additional slots.


Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:46 am
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Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:50 am
Posts: 52
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Post Re: Asus M4A88TD-M/USB3 based whitebox Working with ESXi 4.1
Thanks to member dogcheese for starting this thread. I've ordered the parts and will be building one this week. I'll try to follow-up with some pics and feedback.

Jake


Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:56 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:41 am
Posts: 6
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Post Re: Asus M4A88TD-M/USB3 based whitebox Working with ESXi 4.1
Thanks DogCheese... I'm going to follow in Jakesters path and start building the same machine.

Hey Jake... I'd like to be informed about your process as well since I'll be about a week behind you. I have collected all the information and ready to purchase the parts. I did notice that the Thermaltake lanbox is out of stock on newegg so what case are you going with?


Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:27 am
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Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:50 am
Posts: 52
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Post Re: Asus M4A88TD-M/USB3 based whitebox Working with ESXi 4.1
Toshi,

I ordered an almost identical Thermaltake ... the only difference I see is this one has clear windows on the sides: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811133044

I'll definitely follow-up with build comments and some pics in this thread, so if you haven't already, subscribe to this thread. I look forward to reading about your build experience too.

BTW, you can download the ASUS motherboard's User Manual from their website. It makes for a good read while you are waiting for the parts to arrive. All of the settings dogcheese had to change are in the BIOS config chapter. I wanted to get familiar with the process to save some time once the machine is up and running. There are some other interesting bits it the manual too.

Jake

Update: The Cooler Master V8 cpu cooler is too tall for this case. It will be in the way of the PSU.

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Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:27 am
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Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:50 am
Posts: 52
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Post Re: Asus M4A88TD-M/USB3 based whitebox Working with ESXi 4.1
Most of my parts arrived yesterday. I'm waiting on the PSU. Here are some pics:

Eventually the system will have 3 HDD; a boot/system disk and two datastore w/RAID-1. I have the 500G boot/system in the rack with the CD/DVD, the 1TB datastore drive mounted in the bottom of the case.
Image

Image

Intel NIC, 16G of RAM, CPU and cooler all installed:
Image

In the case. 1TB disk in mount with room for second HDD:
Image

Image

The lid is only laying on top, thus the little gap at the front:
Image

The PSU is due today, so hopefully I'll have all weekend to get ESXi and some VMs installed.


Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:00 am
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:40 am
Posts: 2
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Post Re: Asus M4A88TD-M/USB3 based whitebox Working with ESXi 4.1
I just order from the Eggs the same board and a 1090, I will keep you inform as soon I receive it.


Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:42 am
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Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:50 am
Posts: 52
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Post Re: Asus M4A88TD-M/USB3 based whitebox Working with ESXi 4.1
aqualab wrote:
I just order from the Eggs the same board and a 1090, I will keep you inform as soon I receive it.

Cool!

My machine is up and running as of an hour ago. Installing now, more later. :D


Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:42 pm
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