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Pentesting Hacking

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#1 Kilifili


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Posted 17 August 2014 - 04:59 AM

Hi guys, 
I'm new to the world of pentesting and want to setup my lab at home for practice. I'm thinking of following hardware and S/W config for my system. Please let me know your thoughths on this.
Intel i3/i5 (3.2 ghz)
8 gb DDR3 ram
250 GB HDD
Windows 7 64 bit)
Kindly let me know your thoughts on this.

#2 tekio


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Posted 17 August 2014 - 12:27 PM

With only one box, you'll want to run Virtual Box or another virtual solution. To learn security, you wan to learn as many operating systems as possible. Honestly, instead of an i3 -or- i5, I'd get a AMD 8core for the money. IMO, when investing in a new machine, I always get the biggest baddest CPU, then build around that. 


Don't get an i3. They are slow and under perform. For about $20 more than a 3.2Ghz i5, you could get this: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819113346


Or you could save $100, and put in another 8GB of RAM and get this:



Again, you'll need a graphics card too, as those AMD's are not an APU. Here's a decent AMD with a GPU:



That's only quad core (still WAY better than an i3 for running VM's), though. If you want to set up a lab with only one computer, you will want to be able to run at least two virtual machines and the guest o/s at once. So... you'll want as many cores and as much RAM as possible. The i5 will probably benchmark higher than a six core AMD. BUT the six core AMD would probably perform way better for running virtual machines. Most benchmarking software is tested for gaming performance. Also, the i3 will be pretty slow. It is a hyper threaded dual core. I'd consider a quad core AMD before an i3. Also the i3 has not crypto engine for AES, etc... like an i5. So if you ever want to start playing around cracking stuff, the i3 will be REALLY slow.


You'd need a graphics card too though. Honestly, I'd probably run Linux as my main o/s and then run Win7 in a Virtual machine. 8GB of RAM is fine, as is a 250GB HDD. I'd have the following running in a virtual machine:

 - Kali Linux

 - Win7 or Win8

 - FreeBSD

 - Windows Server 2008 (or newer)

 - OS X (look around and you can find preconfiguredVM's for OS X)


If you can get an AMD quad-core CPU with an integrated GPU and 16GB of RAM, that might me good as well. In an ideal world you'd just get an i7, but those are pretty pricey. About two years ago, I picked up an i7 2600K of ebay at a good price. To this day, it still rocks and has plenty speed for anything. I over clocked it to 3.8Ghz and love decompressing large archived files, just to watch how speedy fast it is.

Edited by tekio, 17 August 2014 - 12:33 PM.

#3 systems_glitch


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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:38 AM

AMD makes some sick multicore CPUs nowadays, going up to 16 cores on a single package. These are mostly for the server/virtualization market, which would probably suit you well. And, you can buy a motherboard that supports the 16-core packages, but buy a smaller CPU to save money initially.


I would definitely buy as much RAM as you can afford, especially if you will be virtualizing Windows hosts.

#4 Kilifili


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Posted 18 August 2014 - 05:32 PM

Thanks guys for all the suggestions. The ideal config for my needs at present would be :

8 GB / 16 GB DDR3 RAM
250 GB HDD 
Intel i5 4th gen with Intex Motherboard / Also let me know what you think about AMD Octa Core over i5.
Ubuntu or any other Linux as my primary OS. 

Any changes to this pls advise.

#5 systems_glitch


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Posted 19 August 2014 - 09:44 AM

I'd go with Intel i7 or one of the current AMD offerings over the i5 if you're doing a lot of virtualization. Right now it looks like AMD is your better choice cost vs. performance.

#6 TheFunk


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Posted 19 August 2014 - 08:50 PM

I'm going to echo everyone else and say, get the AMD 8 (or 16) core! With the money you save on the chip, you can buy a fancy AMD graphics card (make sure it's AMD) and experiment with GPU password cracking or mining Litecoin/Dogecoin/etc. In addition, the extra cores will really pay off when you want to make some virtual desktops with virtualbox. Oh and no less than 6GB of RAM if you plan to run three machines at a time (host and two guests).

Edit: For the record, the best AMD chips cost a fraction of the high end i7/Xeon chips and their performance is almost on par!

Edited by TheFunk, 19 August 2014 - 08:53 PM.

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