Installing Client/Desktop Versions of Windows on Systems with AMD EPYC Processors

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drdepasquale

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Dec 1, 2022
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Windows Clients running on
AMD-EPYC-Logo.jpg

After reading many sites, forums, and comment sections throughout the internet I can see there is quite a bit of confusion regarding the AMD EPYC platform with Windows installations. I wrote this guide as an effort to provide the resources and information for anybody wanting to install a client/desktop version of Windows on an AMD EPYC system. Contrary to several claims, client/desktop versions of Windows can run on EPYC well as long as the right BIOS settings and drivers are used. This testing was performed on a second generation EPYC Rome platform, though the process for Naples and Milan is similar. The Supermicro H12DSi-NT6 and AMD EPYC 7402 were used in testing. Each Windows version tested is listed with the required steps in order to get everything working properly. AMD EPYC SoC drivers are not vendor specific and will work with any brand of motherboard. As prices continue to decline for older AMD EPYC chips on eBay, more and more workstations powered by the AMD EPYC platform will be built. Compatibility with other onboard devices such as Ethernet and VGA vary for each motherboard and therefore cannot be guaranteed.

Windows_XP_Logo_2001-2007.png
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition AMD EPYC 7001/7002/7003
Does not work, setup crashes with BSOD "IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL"


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Windows 7 Professional/Ultimate/Enterprise x64 AMD EPYC 7001/7002/7003
1. Integrate USB 3.0 and NVMe drivers into the Windows 7 Installation DVD. For EPYC 7001, use the regular AMD drivers. For EPYC 7002 or later custom community drivers must be used. Custom drivers are available here: [Solution] Win7/8.1 Drivers for USB 3.0/3.1 Controllers of new AMD Chipset Systems
ALTERNATE OPTION (No custom Installation DVD needed): Use a USB 2.0 PCIe card for setup and install the USB 3.0 drivers from within Windows 7
2. Create the ISO and burn the custom DVD
3. Enable Legacy Boot Mode in the BIOS, disable x2APIC and IOMMU
4. Boot off of the Windows Installation DVD to install Windows 7 as normal
5. Once in Windows, install the AMD EPYC SP3 drivers
6. Install drivers for any other devices such as Ethernet, sound, and dedicated graphics

There will be some unknown devices in the Device Manager. However, all parts of EPYC SoC will be in working order including the memory controller, PCI bus, SATA AHCI, USB 3.0 XHCI, and AMD PSP. The AMD SATA driver in not required to be installed because Windows 7 includes a Standard AHCI SATA controller. Memory is limited to 192 GB and CPU logical processors is limited 255.

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Windows 8.1 Pro/Enterprise x64 AMD EPYC 7001/7002/7003
1. Since Windows 8.1 has full support and compatibility for USB 3.0 and NVMe, use a regular Windows 8.1 installation DVD instead of a custom one (Both DVD and USB flash drive installation works for Windows 8.1)
2. Disable x2APIC and IOMMU in the BIOS
3 Boot off of the Windows Installation DVD or flash drive to install Windows 8.1
4. Once in Windows, install the AMD EPYC SP3 drivers
5. Install drivers for any other devices such as Ethernet, sound, and dedicated graphics

Windows 8.1 shares the same driver stack as Windows Server 2012 R2 which is fully supported with all AMD EPYC 7000 series processors. After installing the AMD SP3 drivers and additional drivers for extra PCI Express devices, there shouldn't be any unknown devices in the Device Manager. Memory is limited to 512 GB and CPU logical processors is limited 255.

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Windows 10 Pro/Pro for Workstations/Enterprise/Enterprise LTSC 2019 x64 or Later AMD EPYC 7001/7002/7003 (22H2 Tested)
1. Since Windows 10 has full support and compatibility for USB 3.0 and NVMe, use a regular Windows 10 installation DVD instead of a custom one (Both DVD and USB flash drive installation works for Windows 10)
2. Boot off of the Windows Installation DVD or flash drive to install Windows 10
3. Once in Windows, install the AMD EPYC SP3 drivers
4. Install drivers for any other devices such as Ethernet, sound, and dedicated graphics
5. If drivers installers require Windows Server, install the drivers using the Device Manager Instead

After installing the AMD SP3 drivers and additional drivers for extra PCI Express devices, there shouldn't be any unknown devices in the Device Manager. Memory is limited to 2 TB to 6 TB depending on the Windows Edition

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Windows 11 Pro/Pro for Workstations/Enterprise x64 or Later AMD EPYC 7002/7003 (Meeting System Requirements)
1. Install the TPM 2.0 module
2. Set the boot mode in the firmware to UEFI
3. Boot off the Windows 11 flash drive or installation DVD to install Windows 11
4. Once in Windows, install the AMD EPYC SP3 drivers
5. Install drivers for any other devices such as Ethernet, sound, and dedicated graphics
6. If drivers installers require Windows Server, install the drivers using the Device Manager Instead

After installing the AMD SP3 drivers and additional drivers for extra PCI Express devices, there shouldn't be any unknown devices in the Device Manager. Like Windows 7, using the AMD SATA AHCI driver results in better performance for SATA drives. Memory is limited to 2 TB to 6 TB depending on the Windows Edition.

This method requires a TPM 2.0 module, AMD Zen2 or later, and UEFI boot mode

Windows 11 Pro/Pro for Workstations/Enterprise x64 or Later
AMD EPYC 7001/7002/7003 (Unsupported Hardware Bypass)
1. Create an installation USB (or DVD) using Rufus, Make sure to select the bypass system requirements option
2. Boot off the Windows 11 flash drive or installation DVD to install Windows 11
3. Once in Windows, install the AMD EPYC SP3 drivers
4. Install drivers for any other devices such as Ethernet, sound, and dedicated graphics
5. If drivers installers require Windows Server, install the drivers using the Device Manager Instead

After installing the AMD SP3 drivers and additional drivers for extra PCI Express devices, there shouldn't be any unknown devices in the Device Manager. Memory is limited to 2 TB to 6 TB depending on the Windows Edition.

This method must be used under any of the following conditions: Absence of a TPM 2.0 module, AMD Zen1 CPU, and/or legacy boot mode

7001700270039004
XPDoes not workDoes not workDoes not workDoes not work
VistaDoes not workDoes not workDoes not workDoes not work
7Fully CompatibleMostly works, some drivers missingMostly works, some drivers missingMostly works, some drivers missing
8.1Fully CompatibleFully CompatibleFully CompatibleMostly works, some drivers missing
10Fully CompatibleFully CompatibleFully CompatibleFully Compatible(LTSC 2019 or later)
11Works with unsupported hardware bypassFully CompatibleFully CompatibleFully Compatible
 
Last edited:

slidermike

Active Member
May 7, 2023
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I have a question (new Epyc owner).
I am only seeing "AMD EPYC SP3 drivers" for windows server, not 10/11 OS installs.
What am I missing & do you happen to have any links?

Thank you both for the well written above and pre-emptively to the request for clarification about the SP3 drivers.
 

drdepasquale

Member
Dec 1, 2022
79
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I have a question (new Epyc owner).
I am only seeing "AMD EPYC SP3 drivers" for windows server, not 10/11 OS installs.
What am I missing & do you happen to have any links?

Thank you both for the well written above and pre-emptively to the request for clarification about the SP3 drivers.
These EPYC SP3 drivers will work with client versions of Windows 8.1, 10, and 11 even though those operating systems are not listed from the manufacturer. Drivers for onboard chips such as Ethernet and VGA will vary for each motherboard. EPYC SoC drivers are non-vendor specific, which means these drivers can be used with any motherboard using an EPYC SP3 SoC.

 
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Giuliano

New Member
Jan 10, 2024
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Buongiorno

Domanda =
sto allestendo un computer con due CPU AMD Epyc 9004 (Genoa 9654 96 core) e mi chiedo se "Winsows 11 pro o pro workstation" li supporta oppure se devo eseguire quanto detto da drdepasquale il 12 agosto 2023? sempre che questo sia fattibile....

Spero, con cortese urgenza, in una risposta e nel frattempo cordialmente saluto
 

drdepasquale

Member
Dec 1, 2022
79
34
18
Buongiorno

Domanda =
sto allestendo un computer con due CPU AMD Epyc 9004 (Genoa 9654 96 core) e mi chiedo se "Winsows 11 pro o pro workstation" li supporta oppure se devo eseguire quanto detto da drdepasquale il 12 agosto 2023? sempre che questo sia fattibile....

Spero, con cortese urgenza, in una risposta e nel frattempo cordialmente saluto
Windows 11 no longer uses processor groups so a 96 Core processor will only be treated as one. Eariler versions of Windows would treat a 96 Core processor as three processors. Since this limitation no longer exists the Pro SKU of Windows 11 is enough to work with this processor. If you need more memory support, use the Workstation SKU.
 
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Giuliano

New Member
Jan 10, 2024
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Windows 11 non utilizza più gruppi di processori, quindi un processore 96 Core verrà trattato solo come uno solo. Le versioni precedenti di Windows trattavano un processore 96 Core come tre processori. Poiché questa limitazione non esiste più, la SKU Pro di Windows 11 è sufficiente per funzionare con questo processore. Se hai bisogno di più supporto di memoria, utilizza lo SKU Workstation.
[/CITAZIONE]

Chiaro la fisicità dei processori 2 Epyc Genoa ma non mi è chiaro se e come vengono gestiti da windows i 192 core e se questi ultimi indipendentemente da windows verranno visti come. effettivamente 192 core e 384 thread da qualsiasi altro software installato specifico per modellazione e rendering 3D sfuttandone la piena e indiscussa potenza disponibile...
o windows ne potrebbe impedirne lo sfruttamento?

Grazie per ogni chiarimento in merito.

NB:
Domanda extra windows 11 pro o pro-workstation potrebbe essere eseguito a pieno da ssd esterno tramite porta usb ?
 

drdepasquale

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Dec 1, 2022
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The limitation of 64 threads per group is no longer present in newer versions of Windows. Windows will treat this setup as two physical processors each with 96 Cores/192 Threads. Prior to Windows 11/Server 2022, this particular configuration would appear as six processors. Most programs are only capable of utilizing 64 threads reguardless if the version of Windows being used has processor groups (10 and eariler) or not (11).