Working ESXi on Ryzen

realtomatoes

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Oct 3, 2016
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gents,

a user on reddit just managed to boot up ESXi on ryzen. says all he did was disable SMT on bios. appreciate if ryzen owners could confirm that?
thread here.
 

alex1002

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Apr 9, 2013
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This is a good thread .I'm so amazed ryzen wouldn't boot esxi

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
 

Patrick

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You can get a lot of stuff working on Ryzen that does not normally work by disabling SMT and other features (depending on the bug).

But - then you are at an 8C / 8T CPU and you are losing significant performance.

There are a lot of reviewers disabling SMT and other features BTW and not disclosing that they are doing so to get things to "work."

You do also need a supported NIC (or an image with drivers) and etc as many of the lower-end boards are using Realtek NICs.

Other features you will want are IPMI because, at some point, you will likely see a crash even with SMT off and need to reboot. I have been working on this and running at load for a few weeks now. It is still not 100% stable by any means with SMT off.

If you really want ESXi and Zen, may be good to wait a bit.

Remember - we have had 6 of these in the data center now with 23 different organizations on them testing software since their release. That does not include two systems I have and one for William.
 
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Ch33rios

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Nov 29, 2016
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You can get a lot of stuff working on Ryzen that does not normally work by disabling SMT and other features (depending on the bug).

But - then you are at an 8C / 8T CPU and you are losing significant performance.

There are a lot of reviewers disabling SMT and other features BTW and not disclosing that they are doing so to get things to "work."

You do also need a supported NIC (or an image with drivers) and etc as many of the lower-end boards are using Realtek NICs.

Other features you will want are IPMI because, at some point, you will likely see a crash even with SMT off and need to reboot. I have been working on this and running at load for a few weeks now. It is still not 100% stable by any means with SMT off.

If you really want ESXi and Zen, may be good to wait a bit.

Remember - we have had 6 of these in the data center now with 23 different organizations on them testing software since their release. That does not include two systems I have and one for William.
Im so glad I stumbled on this site months ago. Great to see some true robust testing of the Ryzen platform going on.

I personally am sort of frothing at the mouth to get a fully working Ryzen virtualization setup going but as you said, its a waiting game at the moment. Really hope the little quirks are worked out, though!
 

Patrick

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@browned ESXi 6.5u1 should fix the issue. I am not spending more time on it in the meantime.
 

ntruhan

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Feb 10, 2017
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Sorry to revive an old post. Now that 6.5u1 has been released for some time, has anyone re-tested Ryzen on ESXi with SMT enabled again to see if it is a viable ESXi home server?
 
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browned

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Oct 5, 2016
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I did a very limited test of installing and starting 6.5u1 on a Ryzen 1700x without any issues. I had it installed and running for about 20 mins. Motherboard is a Asrock Fatal1ty X370 Gaming K4, plenty of virtual settings in the bios for pass through.
 

ntruhan

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Feb 10, 2017
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Why would anyone want Ryzen now that EPYC is out?
As of now cost, availability and TDP. Supposedly the lower-end EPYC is supposed to be about $500 which is close to price of Ryzen 1800X, but they are unavailable for us mere mortals to buy and only available for 2P servers. The lowest single socket is the 16 core close to $750 along with a single socket IPMI-enabled server motherboard for it as well. Plus TDP of an 1800X is about 95W, but TDP of new EPYC is close to 150W, although both of those are better then the AMD 9590FX i am replacing @ 220W.
 

KioskAdmin

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As of now cost, availability and TDP. Supposedly the lower-end EPYC is supposed to be about $500 which is close to price of Ryzen 1800X, but they are unavailable for us mere mortals to buy and only available for 2P servers. The lowest single socket is the 16 core close to $750 along with a single socket IPMI-enabled server motherboard for it as well. Plus TDP of an 1800X is about 95W, but TDP of new EPYC is close to 150W, although both of those are better then the AMD 9590FX i am replacing @ 220W.
Huh? This site had the EPYC 7251 review Dual AMD EPYC 7251 Linux Benchmarks Least Expensive 2P EPYC

You can run 7251 in 1P
TDP of the 7251 is 120 which is fine for all off the PCIe and extra RAM capacity
Ryzen only supports 64GB which is less than a modern Atom

We just ordered a test system with the 7281 so they're available now.
 

Patrick

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Confirmed. We have run 7601, 7281, 7251 and by the end of the day hopefully 7301 and 7351 all in single socket systems and in dual socket systems with only one CPU.
 

TLN

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Huh? This site had the EPYC 7251 review Dual AMD EPYC 7251 Linux Benchmarks Least Expensive 2P EPYC

You can run 7251 in 1P
TDP of the 7251 is 120 which is fine for all off the PCIe and extra RAM capacity
Ryzen only supports 64GB which is less than a modern Atom

We just ordered a test system with the 7281 so they're available now.
I'm wondering:
1. If there's a guide for benchmarks? I.e. If details about software and etc, in case I wanna compare other system to that.
2. If there's a combined spreadsheet for all the benchmarks that you did. I realize, it might be white spots (i.e. no reason to test low-powerful cpu with high-end test) but anyways
 

ntruhan

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The way they announced it, although I thought quite odd, I was under the assumption the 1P processors were for single socket and 2P processors only worked in dual-socket, I figured due to infinity fabric interconnects, but that was just assumption with no actual proof.

As for ordering. I checked both Amazon and Newegg and while I see a couple SP3 socket motherboards, I still don't see any EPYC processors in availability to purchase. i don't need to spend a large amount on a server when I already have the case and drives. Just need MB, Processor and RAM. I originally set a budget of about $1k. But may have to stretch that to 1,500 with RAM, still have to keep within the Wife Acceptance Factor.
 

Patrick

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@TLN most of the public stuff using the legacy Linux-Bench scripts you can run on a ubuntu machine easily. They should also be compared against our legacy data set we have been producing for years.

@ntruhan AMD EPYC 7251 Processor PS7251BFV8SAF 8Cores 16Threads... | Acmemicro as an example (still charging an early mover premium.)

They are coming out. If that article did not hint at in enough, the 7281 or 7351P may be better options if you can spend a bit more. $250 more for 80-100% more performance from the same system is hard to beat.