I've been looking around everywhere and can't find what I'm looking for.
Ideally it would be a small compact PC like Intel NUCs with a built in mobile CPU (i3/i5) and at least 2 Intel NICs.
The few that I found have Realtek which I'd rather not use for pfSense.
Is there anything else...
for starting out with virtualization, scaling to 12 cores/24 threads is a bit excessive. perhaps you should save the $100 and use it for drives. 8 cores/16 threads should be plenty. remember, cpu usage is probably not as important as compared to RAM and disk IO for virtualization.
Which would be better for a ESXi home lab setup:
4 250GB WD Scorpio black drives (already own)
- OR -
2 500GB WD Caviar black drives (will need to purchase)
This home lab computer would be used for primarily learning more about microsoft server products, exchange, system center, etc...