If you want a low power consumption whitebox motherboard to run some VMs that are not resource intensive the Asus E35M1-M PRO Zacate motherboard is an option. It has an AMD E-350 dual core 1,6 GHz processor with passive cooling, onboard graphics, max 8GB memory support, onboard LAN and 5x SATA 6 onboard. And it’s cheap.
I test the Asus E35M1-M PRO Zacate motherboard in my home lab, and it will run for VMware ESXi 5.0.0 build 469512. This motherboard can be used in a homebrew server.
Specifications Asus E35M1-M PRO Zacate motherboard:
|CPU||AMD Fusion E-350 Dual-core onboard processor with passive cooler|
|Memory||Corsair XMS3 DDR3,1333-8GB KIT (2x4GB)|
|Graphics||Onboard integrated ATI Radeon HD 6310 GPU|
|Storage||5 x SATA 6 Gb/s|
|LAN||1 x Realtek 8111E , 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller|
|USB ports||2 x USB ports
12 x USB 2. ports
|BIOS||32 Mb flash ROM UEFI|
|More information about the specifications||Asus website|
Here are some screenshots from the vSphere Client:
VMware ESXi 5.0.0 DCUI
Example of the processor load with 2 x MS Windows 2008 R2 VMs
Onboard disk controllers
The Realtek onboard LAN adapter.
In VMware ESX|(i) 4.x the Realtek LAN adapter is not supported.
The following configuration is used:
– Asus E35M1-M Pro
– Corsair XMS3 DDR3,1333-8GB KIT (2 x 4GB memory)
– OCZ Vertex Plus – 60GB – 2.5inch
– Be Quiet! Pure Power L7 300W
– Hypervisor VMware ESXi 5
Here are some test I did:
– Startup VMware ESXi 5 30 Watt
– Idle with two Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 VMs 25 Watt
– One Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 VM with 100% (using the cpubusy.vbs script) processor load 28 Watt
– Two Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 VM with 100% (using the cpubusy.vbs script) processor load between 30 and 32 Watt
To power consumption is not bad if you want to run a couple of VMs 24×7.
18 September 2011: added processor load and power consumption examples
27 thoughts on “VMware ESXi 5 whitebox supported motherboard”
Roger and Mikei — I had the PCPU no heartbeat error and the problem in my case was caused by a bad processor. As soon as I RMAd and replaced the processor, the problem went away and never came back (now 1 year later).
Realtek 8111GR does not work on EXSi 5.1. It is NOT compatible with Realtek 8111-8168