Installing VMware vSphere ESXi 5.1 on Dell XPS 8500

This week I plan to setup a VMware vSphere ESXi 5.1 on Dell XPS 8500.

We recently purchased Dell XPS 8500 with core i7 and 8GB memory during Dell Deals. Dell XPS 8500 comes with

  • 2 extra sata ports available to add new hard drives.
  • One stand alone graphics card mounted on PCI Express x16 slot for HDMI.
  • It also comes with on-board graphics port on the motherboard.
  • 4 DIMM slots. 2 are already occupied by Dell with 2 X 4 GB. 2 more left to expand. I added 2 x 8GB.
  • 1 TB 7200 hard drive


On Newegg, we ordered the following

  • GSkill 2 X 8 GB memory
  • OCZ Vector 256 GB SSD hard drive

I plan to install VMware ESXi 5.1 on the new OCZ Vector hard drive and create 3 virtual machines.

Step 1. Download VMware ESXi 5.1 from VMware website.

Step 2. Burn the VMware ESXi 5.1 image iso to CD

Step 3. Unplug the 1 TB 7200 hard drive that came with Dell XPS 8500. I plan to connect it later as a backup hard drive.

Step 4. Mount the new OCZ Vectore 256 GB hard drive and connect it with the sata cable and power cable that was connecting 1 TB hard drive.

Step 5. Insert the 2 x 8GB RAM in to the empty RAM slots

Step 6. Power on Dell and F2 to enter Bios

This entry was posted in general. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Installing VMware vSphere ESXi 5.1 on Dell XPS 8500

  1. Mendy says:

    if you can please let me know if your Esxi lab on the Dell XPS 8500 installed successful with no problems

    • admin says:

      Yes, it was an easy install unlike previous ESXi 4.1 where it used to choke on every piece of hardware that it does not recognize. All I did was load the 5.1 CD and follow the prompts and was done in few minutes.

  2. gv says:

    I was considering the 8500 for a cheap esxi lab. Did you run into any issues with VTX w/EPT, VT-d, or performance? I was thinking of of using SATA drives in a RAID 5 (hardware) but if you had good performance with the SSD maybe not. Did you ever set up a VDI solution on it?

    • admin says:

      I haven’t tried VT-d yet. Basically with Dell 8500 your options are very limited by the number of SATA slots. With SSD drives its super fast and I didn’t feel the need for it. It all depends on how many VMs you want to run and the specifications of each VMs. My goal here is to create very good size VMs with 4GB RAM and 30GB ssd disk space and for 6 VMs.

      My Next would be an assembled one and will make sure it support enough slots for using VT-d.

  3. Bob says:

    Can the XPS 8500 allow nested VMs? My plan is to find a system where I can install VMware Workstation and instide that install ESXi. Then within the ESXi be able to create netsted VMs. I’ve had problems with other 64bit systems in allowing nested VMs eventhough I have VT enalbed in Bios. I think cPU needs EPT capability. Was wondering if anyone used XPS 8500 for this type of configuration.


    • admin says:

      I’m not sure why you would want to do nested VMs ? because of VMWare workstation limitations ? But I would recommend going straight to ESXi on the 8500, its amazingly fast and easy to manage and use.

      • Bob says:

        I’m planning on having one PC for personal use AND VMware lab. So I would need to install VMware Workstation and then nested ESXi/VMs inside to study and also use the PC for daily use. Can this be done? Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *