XenServer Motherboard Recommendation

I’m sure this has been asked and answered by now, but I am on a mission to build a new virtual server using XenServer. I want to use an AMD Ryzen 7 1700, but I am not sure about the motherboard as everything I find is geared towards gaming.

I am leaning towards this mb as it has a good amount of reviews and features.

ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac AM4 AMD Promontory B350 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 HDMI Mini ITX AMD Motherboard

I plan on maxing it out with 32 gb of ram and a SAMSUNG 970 EVO M.2 2280 250GB PCIe Gen3. X4, NVMe SSD for booting.

Would you recommend this MB or do you have any suggestions for other MBs that are reliable and possibly better for vm’s? I plan to have the server running 24/7 without overclocking. Was not planning on getting any graphic cards as I can only pass through 1 GPU to one vm and I won’t be using this for gaming at all.


The first thing I would ask you is: do you have a specific rationale in using xenserver

the second is: are you aware of the poor IOMMU isolation and other problems with cheaper chipsets from both manufacturers? if so, do you have a specific rationale in using b350 instead of a server chipset, or at least a xX70 chipset?

@tkoham I have been looking for something open source for a lab environment. I was between xenserver and proxmox, but figured xenserver would be a better choice because from what I’m aware its used more in the enterprise environment.

I am aware of the poor IOMMU isolation, but couldn’t find anything better. I wanted to take advantage of the 8 cores for multiple vms and lower power draw.

From what Iv found on the web most of the problems have been hammered out, but I could be wrong.

Lab is totally fine for xen, the reason I ask is that we have a huge influx of people coming here looking for passthrough gaming tutorials, which xen, while technically usable for this, isn’t ideal.

What is your budget for the platform? you can get some pretty decent deals on older xeons at this point that would probably be better isolated and supported.

an old dell poweredge is the used market darling for stuff like this at the moment, you can grab full systems off of ebay for 500 or less

Yes, that is a very good option and might go that route. I was looking to get something new. My budget is ~$1,500. I’d like to keep it it around $1,200. I would like to get my hands on an i9, but i’m going to have to wait on that. Would you recommend intel (intel vt-x & vt-d) over amd (amd-v) for virtualization?

Not because of the technologies, just because of the platform support. 2011-3 and newer is gonna have perfect IOMMU and xen support in most cases, whereas threadripper and ryzen have quirks out of the box, and every bios update is a crapshoot as to whether it breaks something.

is there any chip set and motherboard combo you recommend?

are you gonna want a beefy gpu in that homelab? now much memory?

honestly you really aren’t gonna beat used rack servers for value on this application, but you can slap any old xeon in an x299 (or x99) taichi (or just get a 7820X) and call it a day if you want smooth sailing.