VMware ESXi 5 whitebox supported motherboard

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:


Form factoruATX
CPUAMD Fusion E-350 Dual-core onboard processor with passive cooler
MemoryCorsair XMS3 DDR3,1333-8GB KIT (2x4GB)
GraphicsOnboard integrated ATI Radeon HD 6310 GPU
Storage5 x SATA 6 Gb/s
LAN1 x Realtek 8111E , 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller
USB ports2 x USB ports, 12 x USB 2. ports
BIOS32 Mb flash ROM UEFI

Here are some screenshots from the vSphere Client:

VMware ESXi 5.0.0 DCUI


Summary page


Example of the processor load with 2 x MS Windows 2008 R2 VMs


Onboard processor




Onboard disk controllers


The Realtek onboard LAN adapter.


In VMware ESX|(i) 4.x the Realtek LAN adapter is not supported.

Power consumption

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 24x7.

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