Building Whitebox Home Lab Servers

By | March 15, 2017

Last year about this time I design to completely rebuild my home lab.  After ready about many home labs I decided to use the Wahl network Haswell Design.


I wanted the new 4th generation Haswell chip, which is the latest Tock release for Intel in the 22nm fabrication process. The Haswell chipset requires a motherboard with the LGA 1150 socket .

I was on a budget crunch at the time so to choose the Xeon E3-1220v3, it runs 4 cores and 4 threads. This CPU includes support for the entire range of advanced technologies – vPro, VT-x, VT-d, EPT, TET, etc.

  • Intel Xeon E3-1220V3 Haswell Processor


I have no desire to deviate from SuperMicro server boards, mainly due to the superb IPMI with remote KVM. These are requirements for
my home lab, mainly because I do not have room for an extra monitor with keyboard and mouse, and KVM equipment. I chose to go with the SuperMicroMBD-X10SLL-F-O.

  • Supermicro MBD-X10SLL-F-O


The processor maxes out at 32 GB of ECC Unregistered DIMMs (UDIMMs).
When I purchased memory prices had skyrocketed. Shop around for a great deal on 4 sticks of 8 GB memory (commonly just called 4×8) of ECC UDIMM at 1600 MHz.

I purchased the 32GB kit below

  • 32GB KIT OF 4 1600MHZ DDR3 ECC (lifetime warranty)

Other Components

I run diskless setup for my ESXi hosts. I use a small profile USB stick. Here’s a few of the other items necessary to complete the build

  • USB Stick  – 16 GB SanDisk Cruzer model SDCZ33-016G-B35
  • Case – Lian Li model PC-V351
  • Fans – 2x Scythe 120mm Slipstream model SY1225SL12L
  • Power – SeaSonic Platinum model SS-400FL2


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