AMD for VMs


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Hi,

I intend to build a server which eventually will have a 2-in-1 PC with two of the RTX 2070 or 2060 Supers. Initially was settled on Intel i7 9700k on an Asus PRIME Z390-A ATX LGA1151 Motherboard. Recently I've had a reclining to AMD due to the core/thread count specifically the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X on a MSI MPG X570 GAMING PLUS ATX AM4 Motherboard. Will this work? Your thoughts and recommendations are very much welcome. Primary intended purpose of this server is rendering and 3D design works in two VMs. Gaming  and other stuff like media streaming is just a plus.

 

PS: A recommendation on a good PC case will be helpful😊

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One thing I don't like about the X570 platform is the low PCIe slot count. When you get into VMs, you'll find that you'll have much better performance when passing through hardware. If your motherboard has multiple USB controllers on board, thats a good start. If not, adding discrete USB adapters is the way to go. You can pass through mouse and keyboard directly, of course, but once you start looking at, say, USB audio devices, you really need to attach these to a hardware devices that are passed through to the VM.

 

Worst case, for your two VMs, you'll need 2 GPUs and 2 PCIe USB adapters. Thats 4 slots, without even thinking about any other cards you might need like, for example HBAs if your storage expands in the future.

 

I think you're right to go for AMD, but do have a look at threadripper if budget allows. There should be good value on 2nd generation. I always buy high-end but behind the curve, so maximising performance, but not at bleeding edge prices by looking towards previous gen. tech.

 

Whatever way you go, do verify that your motherboard has excellent support for IOMMU. By that, I mean discuss with other users on here if your intended motherboard breaks out devices well. This is important for VMs and hardware passthrough. When passing through a hardware device, you must pass through all devices in the same IOMMU group. It's therefore important that your devices break into the smallest possible groups.

 

In terms of cases, it depends on the form factor you're after. I've just moved from a ThermalTake Core X9 monster to a rackmount server case. If I was looking for a tower today, I'd go for a Fractal Design 7 XL - amazing case with great flexibility and space for loads of hard drives (if you can find the caddies).

 

On the other thread, I mentioned my blog which you might find useful in your research.

 

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