Want to build a server for vm's. Budget Epyc options?

I want to put together a new server to run virtual desktops for testing.
Will be doing blender modeling, rendering, game development, play testing. Considering using VDI to share a GPU or install 2x GPU’s and passthrough to VM’s.

Is there a good budget Epyc montherboard/cpu combination that would work for me? I have been dual booting on a 12700k, so at least that level of performance for 2-3 VM’s.

Multiple PCIe 4.0 x16 slots to handle multiple GPU’s and either another x8 slot for a 10GBe nic, or built-in 10GBe.

IPMI would be a plus.

Wendel talked about finding good used Epyc boards on Ebay but I am not familiar enough with Epyc to know what to look for.

I would appreciate some suggestions on what to look for on Ebay or where to look for more information.

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EPYC is not your only option here, you could also go for a ThreadRipper system and save a bit here as it would also provide you all the PCIe lanes you need to do what you’re looking for.

That said, I am currently running the SuperMicro H12SSL-i for my development and testing rig which supports Milan, however if you want to save a bit you could go for an older generation platform such as the H11SSL-i which only supports up to an EPYC Rome generation CPU which you can get pretty cheap these days used on various online markets.

The one thing to be aware of is that the EPYC CPU (And Threadripper Pro) can be mated to a brand of motherboard, it’s common to see much cheaper CPUs on eBay for example that are Dell specific as they have been hard fused to only operate in Dell brand servers.


Trying EPYC on the cheap isn’t really cheap, but for starters, this board, the Asrock Rack EPYC3451D4U-2L2T2O8R. Read the specs on connectivity, there’s a lot! mind, the price is steep (approx 2k USD on Newegg several weeks ago), but it already has an EPYC CPU onboard, only RAM, PSU and storage needed for a working system.

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Thanks for the info. I was not aware of the ‘mating’ aspect of these cpus. That is good to know.

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Thanks. I will check it out.

When browsing eBay look for CPUs that are described as “not locked”. If it has a vendor name (such as Dell or Lenovo) - skip.

I just bought a used EPYC 7302P for 250$, and a new H12SSL-i for 500$. I’d advise against H11 motherboards - there seem to be a lot more gotchas and issues with them, from looking at various threads and comments. Unless you have the time and patience to figure it out.