Core i3-6100 or i5-6400 for Windows VM?

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I'm looking at parts for my first NAS and I'm having a little trouble making a decision on which CPU I should use.


Originally, I was going to just build a NAS, using a 6th Gen Skylake Intel i3-6100, which has two core, four threads

However, after watching some of the stuff Linus Sebastian has been doing with UnRaid, I now want to also run a Windows 10 VM to use as an HTPC.


My concern is that, even though it does support Visualization, the i3 will not really be up to the task when it effectively cut in half into two single core hyperthreaded CPUs.


I'm wondering if it would be better to buy the entry level Core i5, the i5-6400, which has four physical core but no hyperthreading, for about another NZ$100 over the price of the i3? Even though it's clock speed is a GHz lower, with four physical cores, each system can have a dual core processor.


Thanks for reading and I look forward to any advice you have


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There's a very nominal performance difference between the two CPU's you mentioned [The i3-6100 scores 5768 on PassMark; the i5-6400 scores 6555 => only a 14% bump in performance].


Don't worry about hyperthreading -- the number of actual cores is far more important; but if you're going to move to an i5 I'd go with the 6600 or 6600k versions.


But you should also decide which motherboard you're going to use -- if you use a server-grade motherboard (Cxxx chipset) then you can use ECC memory ... which the i3 or a Xeon will support, but an i5 will not.


If you want to do some of the stuff you've seen in Linus' videos, you'll want as much horsepower as you can get => I'd be inclined to use a high-end E3 series Xeon (on a server grade board) or an i7 (if you want to use a consumer grade motherboard without ECC).    These will give you PassMark's in the 10,000 range.




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I'm going to be using an Asus H170M-Plus consumer motherboard in my system as I've heard that Asus MBs are reliable and have very good quality.


I will not being any of the really crazy stuff that Linus does, it's just that I had never really thought much about VMs before "Two Gamers, One CPU". I mean, I knew that VMs existed but thought that it was a server/data center thing.


I was just going to use a single 8GB DIMM of regular non-ECC DDR4 Memory, giving UnRaid 2GB and the VM 6GB, and see how it ran, possibly adding another 8GB module if it was needed.


I knew that there really wasn't going to be much, if any, performance gain over getting the i5 over the i3. The only real advantage of the i5 is that it has 4 physical cores. I was more in physical cores versus hyperthreaded.

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