Can I use USB > VGA adapter instead of GPU? Budget Server

I’m not looking to upgrade anything in my current server build, but am wondering if I can leave the current GT 710 installed, then install a USB > VGA adapter, shutdown, and restart it without the GPU, and in its place, a PCIe SSD. That if I need video after initial boot, if the USB > VGA adapter would be enough, otherwise I don’t need video from it.

Would this work, or will my system have a fit if there’s no actual GPU installed?

EDIT: Info below here updated

MoBo is a ASRock B450M Pro4
CPU is a Ryzen 7 1800X (for now, I’m moving my 3800X over when Zen3 launches)

Top slot is a GT 710 GPU - would like to remove and put in Fusion ioScale 3.2TB PCIe SSD
Bottom slot is a LSI MegaRaid for a large RAID5 config.

Don’t feel like buying a new MoBo to get this all done. Trying to be cheap is all.

EDIT 2: Sorry, been a bit. Yes, 100% you can setup a sever with NO GPU. You do need it for the initial config. Once BIOS is set, your OS installed, and remote management established and the rest of our devices installed, you then need to remove the GPU, and you’re set.

You can use a old school AOC USB to VGA screen or similar device. However! you won’t be able to troubleshoot any boot issues. So keep a cheap GPU handy.

No, it won’t work. Unless your server has onboard graphics you need a GPU of sorts or the machine won’t boot.

Clearly you’re after installing that PCIe SSD (or NVMe SSD), you might get away with a PCIe splitter that splits the 16x slot into dual 8x slots. But the mainboard BIOS needs to support that, which I doubt. Even then, if you want to boot from the SSD, it needs support for that in the BIOS, which it’ll probably won’t have.

So, either you upgrade the hardware (larger mainboard, re-use the proc and RAM) if space and budget allows, or forego the M.2 SSD et all.

1 Like

Not always true. It depends on the motherboard.

Some motherboards will work fine, others will complain, and others will refuse to work.

The keyword you probably want to use is “headless” to see if your particular motherboard works without a GPU.

Linux and BSD are fine without a video card. Windows needs to have one, although a USB vga adapter might be enough.

Keyword to search “PCIe Bifurcation”

If it is BIOS, then the SSD would need a Optrom (see samsung 950 pro), or you would need to chainload Tianocore to then boot your OS.

If it is UEFI based, then there is a good chance that it has NVME boot support.

Basically depends on the motherboard.


@TheCakeIsNaOH Fair points, but this is clearly an older Mini-ITX board and I don’t see a reason the manufacturer would support a bifurcation and/or bootable PCIe option as the board doesn’t have provisions for that in the first place.

But that’s just me :stuck_out_tongue:

Source? I don’t see the motherboard model listed here or in @HopnDude’s bio.

Updated with additional information.

Looks like it is fine without a GPU, see here:

That one is not NVME, so I don’t think you can boot from it, regardless of motherboard.

-Boot drive is a SATA SSD
-Fusion ioScale PCIe SSD is for “Shared” VM’s so I can manage them over the network and fire off/create new ones at any time remotely
-LSI MegaRAID adapter is for large scale storage for family pictures, game files, and program storage, etc.

1 Like

Could also set up a serial port console from the onboard header.

Unlike usb-anything it’d be bulletproof once set up.

I wish I had mine hooked up and setup. My vm host is functioning but has dropped off the network, and I no longer have a host video card. :neutral_face: Meanwhile the vms work as expected and are reachable and doing their thing… next reboot I’m setting up a serial console.

This topic was automatically closed 273 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.