does all workstation class hardware support ESXi equally well?

I posted a similar themed question about MacOSX in the diy workstation area but this is a little different... if i'm planning on buying a motherboard based around the Intel 5520 - that is the workstation chipset for LGA 1366 Nehalem/Westmere, because I want to use some used Xeons and lots of DDR3 RAM.

I am seeing multiple motherboards that potentially do what I want - ie from Supermicro, Tyan, and Intel. Possibly full workstation units as well such as things from Dell and HP, which I *assume* also use an Intel 5520 although I didn't check specifically. (i'm not sure what else it could be though)

Should I be able to buy just about anything in this class (as opposed to I assume consumer boards maybe not be as well supported) and have ESXi run well on it? Or should I favor certain makers over others or investigate each piece to make sure it has certain compatible hardware?


Well-Known Member
Jan 6, 2016
Check the VMware compatibility list, very generally all enterprise equipment mostly supports ESX especially 5.x versions but some older equipment and certain bios levels certianly does not support latest releases. Best to internet search on specific interested hardware for experience if not on approved list.

Note that HP/Dell rackmount often have better support than others, keep an eye out for open compute systems as they were often targeted to Linux OS only and ESXi support may be less than desired.
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Active Member
Mar 15, 2016
Also I would seriously consider 56xx (westmere) series CPUs if you are sure about the 1366 platform. Unless you really have a good reason they are all cheap and the 56xx added some instructions and power savings that are worthwhile.