Desktop Build for SQL Server Lab

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Quoting Glenn Berry, which I believe from the heart –

If you want to be more successful as a developer, database professional, or in any technically-oriented I.T. career, it is a very good idea to have some sort of home lab environment to use for experimentation and learning.

— Glenn Berry

I wanted good hardware for my SQL Server lab environment setup. Usually, depending on ones goals, needs, budget, available space, etc, there are many different ways to actually go about doing this.

In my case, I wanted hardware that could let me run 8-10 small configuration VMs, say, 8-16 gb ram, 4 CPU cores for each VM. At the same time, a high configuration VM, say 16 cores & 64 gb RAM. Also, I am a blogger, and often record/edit videos. So wanted additional components like a good GPU.

Below is the hardware I bought in May 2022 –

  1. Processor – AMD Ryzen 9 5950X – 16C/32T – 72MB Cache – 3.4 GHz Base – 128 GB Max M/r
  2. CPU Cooling Solution – CoolerMaster MasterAir MA624 Stealth CPU Cooler – Two 140mm & one 120mm Fans – 6 Heatpipes
  3. Motherboard (Chipset) – Msi MEG X570 Unify (Wi-Fi) – ATX – 3x Gen4 M.2 – Dual Memory Channel – 1 Type C US
  4. RAM (Memory) – 128 GB (4 x 32gb) – G.Skill Ripjaws 32 gb DDR4 3600MHz – F4-3600C18-32GVK
  5. GPU (Graphics Card) – GALAX GeForce GTX 1050Ti OC – 4GB
  6. Disks (SSDs) –
  7. Power Supply (SMPS) – Cooler Master MWE 1050 Gold V2 Power Supply, Fully Modular PSU, Ready for RTX Graphic Card (MPE-A501-AFCAG)
  8. Cabinet – Lian Li Chassis – Lancool 2 Mesh rgb
  9. Monitor – BenQ Gw280 27 Inch LED FHD – Eye Care – IPS Monitor – Ultra Slim Bezel, 60 Hz, 2Wx2 Spearks, Hdmi, Vga, Display Port
  10. Keyboard & Mouse – Dell KM117 – Keyboard & Mouse Combo – Wireless
  11. WebCam – Fingers 1080p Hi-Res – Wide Angle Lens
  12. HDMI Cables – 2

With Linux Mint installed on the above configured desktop, and with the power of inbuilt virtualization software KVM, I am able to easily drop/create virtual machines in my lab environment.

I hope this would be helpful to someone who is looking to build their own desktop with a similar configuration. If you like the article, do like and share.

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