The wonderful video by Jay back in 2020 on building a low watt Proxmox server was extremely helpful to me in building my own homelab last year.
I am ready to build another, but I was looking for a more modern replacement motherboard for the Supermicro M11SDV-8C-LN4F. I used it, and it works great, but I am wondering if there are better options now that will provide more bang for the buck. This price on this motherboard hasn’t really come down that much.
I like the 4 NIC’s but I would compromise and get a motherboard with fewer NICs if I can expand more with PCI cards.
I use the SATADOM for the Proxmox boot, but this is a but outdated now too.
I really like the case and using NVME drives for the main storage and then just backing up stuff to a NAS and I would like to do that again as well. My goal is to run a mix of up to 10 solid VM’s (like Windows Server OS’s) and maybe a few lighter weight containers.
What would be a great motherboard/CPU combo to replace this motherboard in 2024?
Welcome to the forum!
Can you post a list what you are going to run on your server (your workload) and what are some of the hardware you want to attach to it?
I personally like using low-powered SBCs to run “mandatory” stuff (homeprod) and I have a ThinkPenguin 4-bay NAS as a flash-only hypervisor. Having multiple NICs isn’t really my thing, as I don’t do a lot of data traffic (even when VMs or containers run from another hosts’ storage), so I just get a motherboard with 2.5Gbps and managed switches (I’ve got a zyxel xgs1210-12 and mikrotik crs310-8g-2s-in).
If you need to run something heavier that requires transcoding hardware, like jellyfin, I’d get something like an odroid h3.
55W seems like a lot for me, most of my stuff are 5W, with the exception of my TP NAS. But it’s not that bad if that’s the only thing you run (I got like 5 SBCs around, but the advantage of this is that I can power them off individually to lower consumption).
If you’re looking for a replacement for an epyc motherboard, that’s going to be difficult. Most consumer boards don’t have a lot of PCI-E slots. You can go pretty cheap with a ryzen 5600 or 5700, or if you want the latest stuff, 7600, but you’ll only be able to slap 2 or 3 NVME SSDs and only have around 20 PCI-E lanes left at most.
Don’t really know much prosumer enterprise gear, but you can look at ASRock Rack stuff, they’re pretty similar to Supermicro boards.
I want to be able to run 4 to 6 Windows Server OS’es for various demos (Windows 2019 and newer with 8GB RAM and 4 CPU each), plus some additional Unix based VM’s with 2 to 4 GB RAM and 2 CPU’s each. I want some additional containers (LXC and Docker) for some lightweight stuff. I only want the internal storage with fast NVME or SSD for running the servers and enough NICs to spread out the load.
SBC’s are going to be too small and I already have Odroid’s and Pi’s that I want to get rid of. I want something that is rack mountable and run as many virtual machines as I can. The M11SDV-8C-LN4F was such a great solution that seems like it was just made for Proxmox. I was jus hoping there was something better out there now since it has been almost 4 years. Looking to spend up to about 3K on this solution. I’m not that concerned about price, but I want to make a smart decision about the motherboard.
Hmmm, there are not a whole lot of great options at low power though.
As far as VMs are concerned, there’s no avoiding a power hungry CPU (well, by my standards). I wish I could help, but I’m not up-to-date on high-end platforms and enterprise gear. I wish consumer gear had at least 36 PCI-E lanes (28-32 lanes for PCI-E devices and 8-12 for NVME).
Alright, not hijacking your thread anymore. But not sure anyone here will know much about that. People on the Level1Techs forum are more likely to know of good alternatives. And there’s a way bigger audience there.
If it was me, I would probably go with an AsRock Rack B650D4U-2L2T/BCM Micro-ATX board, as I think that will fit your case and give you TONS of connectivity, as well as an AMD Ryzen 9 7900 (65 watt TDP/integrated radeon graphics-not the X model and none of the 120 or 170 watt TDP units). If you pair it with moderate DDR5 memory, it should idle at or under 20 watts. The board is like $429 and the CPU is around $370. You could also opt for other 65 watt TDP Ryzen chips to keep your max power usage a bit lower. This board gives you 2 10gb NICs, 2 1gb NICs, plenty of PCIe5 connectivity, onboard IPMI, onboard NVMe slots, and more.
Thank you. This is a very solid recommendation.