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Looking for a Desktop PC to run virtual machines. You’re at the right place. Here, I will provide you with a list of the best Desktop pc for virtualization.
Whether you want to create a lab for pentesting or want to test software on different Operating systems, or you just want to try out different Linux distros, doing it on a virtual machine will be far simpler than doing it on a physical machine.
To run virtual machines efficiently, the main physical machine will require a significant amount of resources (CPU, RAM, Storage). So, it’s really important to choose a Desktop PC that can run virtual machines smoothly and can be upgraded as the need arises.
Update (April 2023): Added HP Victus Gaming Desktop to the list.
Here’s a summary of the best Desktop PC for Virtualization:
|PC for Virtualization||Link to Product|
|Lenovo ThinkStation P340||See details at Amazon|
|Dell XPS 8940 Desktop||See details at Amazon|
|HP Victus Gaming Desktop||See details at Amazon|
|Lenovo ThinkCentre M75s Gen 2||See details at Amazon|
|Acer Aspire Desktop||See details at Amazon|
Things to keep in Mind
1. The specification of the Desktop PC may vary depending on region, model and vendor. Make sure to check the specs thoroughly before purchasing.
2. Although you can purchase any high-spec Gaming PC to run virtual machines, it will cost you a fortune with the graphics card (which is usually not necessary for virtual machines). Most Desktop PCs for virtualization mentioned here doesn’t ship with a discrete graphics card, however, you can add one yourself if you like.
Best Desktop for Virtualization
|Processor||Intel Core i9-10900 (10 Core/20 Threads)|
|Memory||32 GB RAM (Upgradable to 128 GB)|
|Storage||512 GB SSD|
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||14.8 x 6.7 x 12.4 in|
The first Desktop PC for virtualization on this list is the Lenovo ThinkStation P340. It is bundled with an Intel Core i9-10900 processor that has 10 cores/20 threads and a max turbo frequency of 5.20 GHz.
The model I am mentioning here ships with 32GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage. However, you can upgrade the RAM to a maximum of 128 GB and storage to 2 TB SSD (in one slot).
Thinkstation P340 ships with an integrated Intel UHD 630 Graphics that support 4k resolution at 60Hz refresh rate.
If you want a powerful desktop pc for virtualization that has plenty of room for expansion, then Lenovo Thinkstation P340 will be the optimum choice.
Key Features of Lenovo ThinkStation P340:
- Deca-Core Intel Core i9-10900 Processor.
- RAM is expandable up to 128 GB.
- Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630.
- Plenty of Room for further expansion.
- Tower Form Factor.
|Processor||Intel Core i7-11700 (8 Cores/16 Threads)|
|Storage||512GB SSD + 1TB HDD|
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||14.4 x 6.7 x 12.1 in|
Dell XPS 8940 Desktop is equipped with an Intel Core i7-11700 processor that has 8 cores/16 threads and a max turbo frequency of 4.90 GHz.
The model mentioned here ships with 32 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD + 1TB of 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive storage. Although having 32 GB RAM is enough, you can still expand it to a maximum of 128 GB.
As for the graphics, XPS 8940 has integrated Intel UHD 750 Graphics that support multiple 4k monitor support. Moreover, this system has built-in WiFi 6 and Bluetooth support. Also, with this particular order, you’ll get a wired keyboard and mouse combo.
Just like the previously mentioned Desktop pc for virtualization, this one also has a tower form factor and has lots of room for expansion.
Key Features of Dell XPS 8940 Desktop:
- Intel Core i7 11th generation processor.
- RAM is expandable up to 128 GB.
- Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 750.
- WiFi 6 and Bluetooth included.
- Wired keyboard and mouse combo. (Depending on the vendor)
- Tower Form Factor with lots of room for expansion.
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 7 5700G (8 Core / 16 Threads)|
|Memory||32 GB RAM|
|Storage||2 TB SSD|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||13.27 x 11.71 x 6.10 inches|
HP Victus is a gaming desktop that ships with an AMD Ryzen 7 5700G processor. The processor has 8 cores / 16 Threads and has a max boost clock of up to 4.6GHz.
This desktop is available in various configurations, the one I am mentioning here is equipped with 32 GB RAM and 2 TB SSD storage.
Since it’s a gaming desktop, Victus ships with an 8 GB GDDR6 AMD Radeon RX 6600XT Graphics Card. As for network connectivity, the model mentioned here has Realtek WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 combo chipset.
If you want a desktop PC for virtualization that can also be used for other purposes like gaming, editing etc. then you can go for this HP Victus Desktop.
Key Features of HP Victus Gaming Desktop:
- Octa-core AMD Ryzen 7 5700G Processor.
- Realtek WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 Included.
- 8GB AMD Radeon RX 6600XT Graphics.
- Gaming Desktop for Virtualization.
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 5650G (6 Cores/12 Threads)|
|Storage||1 TB SSD|
|Dimensions||11.9 x 10.63 x 3.9 in|
Lenovo ThinkCentre M75s is bundled with an AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 5650G Processor that has 6 cores/12 threads and a max boost clock of up to 4.4 GHz.
The one I am mentioning here is configured with 32 GB RAM and 1 TB SSD storage. However, the seller (Oemgenuine) ships the PC in various RAM and storage variants. You can pick the one that is suitable for your needs.
It comes with integrated AMD Radeon Graphics along with in-built WiFi and Bluetooth support. And unlike other Desktop PCs mentioned in this list, ThinkCentre M75s has a small form factor.
If you want an AMD CPU based desktop pc for running virtual machines, and that too, at an affordable price, then Lenovo M75s will be a great choice.
Key Features of Lenovo ThinkCentre M75s:
- AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 5650G Processor.
- In-built WiFi and Bluetooth.
- Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics.
- Small Form Factor.
|Processor||Intel Core i5-12400 (6 Cores/12 Threads)|
|Memory||12 GB RAM|
|Storage||512 GB SSD|
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||13.4 x 6.4 x 13.8 in|
The last one on the list is the Acer Aspire Desktop which is equipped with an Intel Core i5-12400 processor. It has 6 cores, 12 threads and a max turbo frequency of 4.40 GHz.
The model mentioned here ships with 12 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD. I highly recommend upgrading the RAM for an optimal virtualization experience.
Acer Aspire desktop has integrated Intel UHD 730 Graphics along with inbuilt Bluetooth 5.2 and WiFi 6 support powered by the Intel Wireless AX201 chipset.
The desktop has a tower form factor and ships with Windows 11 pre-installed. Overall, it is not only a good pc for virtualization but also day-to-day general usage. If you are on a tight budget, then Acer Aspire can be a lifesaver.
Key Features of Acer Aspire Desktop:
- 12th Generation Intel Core i5 Processor.
- Inbuilt WiFi-6 and Bluetooth 5.2.
- Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 730.
- Tower form factor.
- Budget Desktop PC for Virtualization.
Desktop for Virtualization Buying Guide
What to look for when buying a Desktop PC for Virtualization?
The above-mentioned Desktop PCs are not the only PCs that are good for running virtual machines. There are countless options out there. If the above-mentioned Desktop PCs are not available for you to purchase, then the following criteria will help you to choose a good pc for virtualization.
The first and foremost is the processor. All the latest processors support hardware virtualization. VT-x, VT-d in Intel CPUs and AMD-V, AMD-Vi in AMD CPUs.
However, one thing to keep in mind is the number of cores. The more cores the better.
On the low side, it is recommended to have at least a Hexa-core (6 cores) CPU for a good virtualization experience.
If you plan to build your own desktop PC for virtualization, then my best CPU for virtualization post will help you choose a good Processor.
A significant amount of RAM is required to run virtual machines. The exact memory required for virtualization will depend on your particular use case. However, having a minimum of 16 GB RAM will be a good starting point.
32 GB RAM is recommended for a smooth virtualization experience. Make sure to check if there’s room for expansion before purchasing a Desktop PC for virtualization. That way you can upgrade the RAM as the need arises.
For storage, it is recommended to have a Solid State Drive (SSD) on your desktop for better performance.
Since SSDs are faster and more power-efficient than traditional Hard drives, they will prove useful when running multiple virtual machines that may require a significant amount of read/write operations.
Also, the virtual machine files can be large. The actual storage space required will depend on the number of virtual machines and the amount of storage you’re allocating to those virtual machines. Anyway, it is recommended to purchase a Desktop with at least 512 GB SSD storage.
Graphics cards will significantly increase the price of the desktop. Having a Graphics card is not necessary unless you are specifically working on a project that requires a GPU pass-through.
Most of the desktops mentioned in this article ship with an integrated graphics card which will be enough for most users.
Frequently Asked Questions on PC for Virtualization:
A PC for virtualization is a computer system optimized to efficiently run multiple virtual machines (VMs) simultaneously. It includes hardware components, such as a higher amount of RAM and a powerful processor with support for virtualization technologies like Intel VT-x or AMD-V.
While you can run virtual machines on regular PCs, a specialized PC for virtualization offers better performance and stability. These systems have features like hardware virtualization support, enhanced memory management, and higher core counts enabling smoother multitasking and improved VM performance.
For virtualization, it’s recommended to use fast and reliable storage options. Solid State Drives (SSDs) offer significant speed improvements over traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) in terms of VM boot times and overall performance. You can also consider using NVMe SSDs for even better performance.
In most cases, a dedicated GPU is not necessary for standard virtualization tasks. The majority of virtualization software leverages the CPU for processing, and a basic integrated GPU can handle the display requirements of virtual machines. However, if you plan to use the PC for graphics-intensive applications a dedicated GPU might be beneficial.
There are several virtualization software options available, each with its strengths and use cases. Some popular choices include VMware Workstation, Oracle VirtualBox, QEMU and Microsoft Hyper-V. The best one for you will depend on your specific needs and compatibility with your PC’s operating system.
This concludes the best desktop pc for virtualization list. Depending on your use case and budget, you can purchase any desktop PC.