Prebuilt ASRock DESKMINI A300 AMD: help me in configure it!

kustode

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
New User
Apr 4, 2020
9
0
Hi!
I'm opening this thread to ask kindly help in configuring a deskmini in my house.
I started thinking to Intel Nuc but I found Nuc are so expensive and I was looking for a cheaper solution. So i saw the AsRock A300 AMD and I think it can resolve my problems.

First of all my goal:
I need to run a series of virtual machines at the same time using VMWARE ESXI in order to always leave them active in my home and reachable from the outside (internet) .
Ideally I should run 9 VMWARE servers and a pfsense ova in front.
At the moment I have a laptop where I'm running them simultaneously without any problems. The laptop has this configuration:
Dell Precision 7530,
Processor Intel i7-8750H 2.20 GHz -
64 GB Ram -
OS: Win 10 .

I need to replicate this in a home lab so I'm thinking to a dekmini and I would like to switch to AMD (because it is less expensive) and therefore I was thinking about the ASROCK A300 AMD.

Ideally I'm thinking to this configuration:
- Case ASRock DESKMINI A300 AMD Ryzen
- Processor Ryzen 7 3700X --> or 3400G as suggested in another thread as I can use only xxxG CPU
- Sabrent Internal SSD 1TB M.2
- PHS-memory 32GB RAM

Do you think this type of configuration can be fine?

Some more info.
I'd like to have 64 GB of RAM, also because the same environment in my laptop runs at 64 GB. But since this module costs a lot I thought I would buy only one 32 GB for the moment and then, in case, add another. I had some difficulty finding a single 32 GB ram. I usually see in internet shops 2 Ram of 16. I found this one that seems to be specifically tested for the ASROCK A300 and a single module of 32GB

The SSD that I would like to put is at least 1 TB but I have no idea how to choose it. What do you recommend?

The CPU Ryzen 7 3700X I've seen is very powerful and I think the one I'm choosing is fine. BUT, talking in this site, I understood that I can only use CPU with suffix G and seems the last is the 3400G. I hope it is strong enough for my use-case

Can you help me in suggesting something/modifying something?
In case, I can also abandon the project and change completely the vendor (so, not anymore the AsRock): so please suggest me a good solution :-) I understand that I can only use processors that end with G and this thing seems to get me into trouble before I start!
Ideally I would spend 750/800 €
Really appreciate your help!!!!!

@LostEnergy @rokabeka @Jello I moved to a new post my question as suggested. Thanks
 

rokabeka

network packet manipulator
Jul 9, 2016
224
241
ok, so you really have 6 physical cores in your laptop. without knowing how much resources your virtual machines use I would say 3400g (4 cores) might be insufficient for you. how are your virtual machines configured? what is the maximum CPU usage use see on the laptop? what is the nature of the VMs, so how bad is it if they do not have enough CPU time?
 

kustode

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
New User
Apr 4, 2020
9
0
Thanks for your replies.

@rokabeka my VM usually are configured with memory among 8GB and 20GB, Number of Processors 4, number of cored per processor: 1
I can change their configuration, more or less.

@Frung the problem is that if I go to I9 9900 I will need a loooooot of money, as only the CPU costs 450/500 €!!
So, in any case, you suggest in case of Intel to take a "T" cpu. Just to know, what is the reason?

My idea in general is to spend no more then 750/800... For me is the same if AMD or Intel, but need to stay in that range :-)
Thanks!
 

ermac318

Master of Cramming
Mar 10, 2019
523
421
What about an Intel NUC? You can buy NUCs as a package for less and that would be better in terms of cores than the A300. Sadly until Renoir APUs come out (and assuming the AsRock board gets a BIOS upgrade to support them...) the core counts that you have as an option are limited.

People use NUCs all the time in home labs, you can even run ESXi on them. The most recent Comet Lake NUCs have 6 cores. Or go cheaper and buy two 4-core ones from previous generations.

EDIT: Also you can find stuff like this all over AliExpress, they are basically laptop parts in a UCFF form factor. If what you're looking for is core count and memory but not GPU, it's hard to go wrong with these. You can even find them with 9880H 8-core parts.
 
Last edited:

rfarmer

Shrink Way Wielder
Silver Supporter
Jul 7, 2017
1,760
1,712
@Frung the problem is that if I go to I9 9900 I will need a loooooot of money, as only the CPU costs 450/500 €!!
So, in any case, you suggest in case of Intel to take a "T" cpu. Just to know, what is the reason?
I am guessing he recommends the 9900T because it is a lower wattage chip and easier to cool with the DeskMini limited space. You could go with a 8700T which you can pick up on NewEgg for $270, 6 core/12 thread and integrated graphics. Would work perfect in a DeskMini 310.
 

Soul_Est

SFF Guru
Moderator
Silver Supporter
Feb 12, 2016
1,442
1,818
What about an Intel NUC? You can buy NUCs as a package for less and that would be better in terms of cores than the A300. Sadly until Renoir APUs come out (and assuming the AsRock board gets a BIOS upgrade to support them...) the core counts that you have as an option are limited.

People use NUCs all the time in home labs, you can even run ESXi on them. The most recent Comet Lake NUCs have 6 cores. Or go cheaper and buy two 4-core ones from previous generations.

EDIT: Also you can find stuff like this all over AliExpress, they are basically laptop parts in a UCFF form factor. If what you're looking for is core count and memory but not GPU, it's hard to go wrong with these. You can even find them with 9880H 8-core parts.
I started thinking to Intel Nuc but I found Nuc are so expensive and I was looking for a cheaper solution. So i saw the AsRock A300 AMD and I think it can resolve my problems.
 

ermac318

Master of Cramming
Mar 10, 2019
523
421
Yeah but you can't put bigger than a 3400G in the A300 so it's cheap but... well not as good. Those AliExpress mini PCs I think would be the best fit.
 

kustode

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
New User
Apr 4, 2020
9
0
Thanks, thanks thanks!
Your suggestions are really helpful.
So... can I ask here to try to put some complete configuration?
Basically I would like to use it to run virtual machines (9 VM at least) using ESXI: I will not use it for gaming or similar staff (I have another personal computer for it).
I have also no so much space in my house, so I cannot buy a normal pc case.. and also I will leave always power on the minipc ...

It seems it is better to avoid the A300 AMD as for its limitation...
Can you help me so in creating a good "minipc" avoiding to spend more than 750/800 €?
I don't like to buy from Aliexpress as I don't trust their support in case some piece is broken or in case of warranty. Prefer buying from Amazon, BPM or similar site that I can contact by phone in case of problem
Thanks guys!! Really appreciate your help!
 

kustode

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
New User
Apr 4, 2020
9
0
Ok so... let's build another minipc
I can think to --> CPU Intel Core I7 8700
I can still go throught DeskMini 310? Or better to change completely?

What other module I can add and what type?
I need Ram 32GB or 64
1 ssd TB M2

Any other hardware? The Motherboard is in the Deskmini 310 itself right?
Thanks!
 

rfarmer

Shrink Way Wielder
Silver Supporter
Jul 7, 2017
1,760
1,712
Ok so... let's build another minipc
I can think to --> CPU Intel Core I7 8700
I can still go throught DeskMini 310? Or better to change completely?

What other module I can add and what type?
I need Ram 32GB or 64
1 ssd TB M2

Any other hardware? The Motherboard is in the Deskmini 310 itself right?
Thanks!
Yes the motherboard and power supply are included with the deskmini. I thought the 310 would be a great idea for you until I recently tried to find somewhere they were in stock, I wasn't able to find one.

Edit: If you happen to be in the EU there are several available on ebay from the UK.
 
Last edited:

ermac318

Master of Cramming
Mar 10, 2019
523
421
May I suggest a used Optiplex 5070?
Check your regional Dell outlet store or ebay. Some might still have warranty on them, too.

I just want to reiterate here that what you are trying to build (tiny server for VMs) does not need to be a fancy ITX machine. Most of the DIY builds are that way because people want full-size graphics cards or other hardware irrelevant to business users. If you just want a PC with lots of CPU and RAM, those exist and you will find complete systems much cheaper than building it yourself if you look for them.
 

rokabeka

network packet manipulator
Jul 9, 2016
224
241
you need to know whether 32G RAM is enough. you have 64G in your notebook. do you have memory ballooning enabled now? (is the memory oversubscribed?) I wanted to suggest used components, e.g asrock ab350itx mobo with a ryzen 1700 but I am afraid that mobo supports only 32G officially, so if you need more memory than that then you need another solution.
 

kustode

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
New User
Apr 4, 2020
9
0
Thanks.
I had in the past 32 GB and I wasn't able to run so many VMs. After upgrading my laptop to 64GB I resolved the problem.
For this reason sure I will buy 64GB of RAM or... as it costs so much... I will probably buy a 32 GB module and then, in case, i will buy another module (need to have money :-) )
thanks @ermac318 I prefer to buy a new pc and not used... in the past I had several problems and I prefer to not go anymore in used items.

So...
What If I go through AS Rock 310 and so an Intel CPU?
- ASROCK 310
- CPU Intel Core I7 8700
- SSD 1TB M.2 --> what brand?
- memory 32GB RAM --> what brand?

Thanks!
 

kustode

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
New User
Apr 4, 2020
9
0
Thanks.
I had in the past 32 GB and I wasn't able to run so many VMs. After upgrading my laptop to 64GB I resolved the problem.
For this reason sure I will buy 64GB of RAM or... as it costs so much... I will probably buy a 32 GB module and then, in case, i will buy another module (need to have money :-) )
thanks @ermac318 I prefer to buy a new pc and not used... in the past I had several problems and I prefer to not go anymore in used items.

So...
What If I go through AS Rock 310 and so an Intel CPU?
- ASROCK 310
- CPU Intel Core I7 8700
- SSD 1TB M.2 --> what brand?
- memory 32GB RAM --> what brand?

Thanks!
Any feedback?