When building or buying a PC, it can be extremely difficult to figure out what arrangement of components works best within your budget for your needs. However, one component that often gets overlooked is the motherboard, the bedrock for everything else that often determines which other components you can even use.
Things get even trickier when you need to purchase non-standard components for specialized tasks like heavy-duty workstations or servers. That is why we put together a list of the 6 best dual CPU motherboards, highlighting what each one does best and providing a helpful buyer’s guide as well as FAQ.
Best Dual CPU Motherboards: The Reviews
1. ASUS Z10PA-D8(ASMB8-IKVM) Dual LGA2011-v3 CPU Server Motherboard
ASUS is one of the premier motherboard manufacturers with its founding over 3 decades ago focused on making products for high-end processing. That said, the ASUS Z10PA-D8 is a bit outdated compared to the newest models, but is still great for someone looking for solid parallel processing.
For starters, the ASUS Z10PA-D8 boasts 6 different PCI-E slots, three of which are GEN3 and two of which can operate at x16– though this depends on the slot management. You also do not need to worry about storage as this motherboard supports 10 different SATA3 connections with one able to operate at M.2.
Still, for a dual CPU motherboard that uses the LGA 2011 v3 socket, the C612 chipset offers a nice range of options for different configurations. That said, one of the biggest issues of the ASUS Z10PA-D8 is how close the CPU sockets sit to one another which can cause heat issues without the space to use more robust water coolers.
While not the most powerful motherboard on our list, the ASUS Z10PA-D8 still offers 8 different memory slots with a maximum capacity of 512 GB. That said, this dual CPU motherboard’s age shows itself a bit in only being able to handle RAM with 2400 MHz.
2. ASRock Dual CPU Motherboard EP2C612 WS Supports Socket LGA 2011 R3 Intel Xeon
ASRock is another Taiwanese company that started making high-end motherboards with a particular focus on industrial computing. This makes the ASRock Rack Motherboard EP2C612 WS a perfect candidate for server banks, though it is not the most up to date entry on our list.
In many respects, the LGA 2011 v3 socket makes this model better for a contemporary workstation or smaller scale server, but the C612 chipset is reliable as ever. Much like other dual CPU motherboards of this era, this option can support a maximum of 512 GB of memory, capped at 2400 MHz.
However, the ASRock Rack Motherboard EP2C612 WS supersede some of its contemporaries with 7 PCI-E slots, 3 of which run at x16 no matter the other slot usage. Another quality that makes this dual CPU motherboard solid for smaller-scale servers is its storage availability with 10 SATA3 ports, one of which can be run in M.2.
Outside of the fact that the ASRock Rack Motherboard EP2C612 WS runs the previous generation’s socket, there is not much to dislike about it. That said, this dual CPU motherboard lacks some of the more niche options in terms of RAID software compatibility, though it still allows for 0, 1, 5, and 10 configurations.
3. ASUS WS C621E Motherboard for Two-way XEON CPU
ASUS makes another appearance on our list, but this time the company focused on high-end motherboards fully delivers with the most up to date model on our list. However, the ASUS WS C621E Sage will not work as well for all applications due to a focus on computing as opposed to storage.
On the plus side of things, the ASUS WS C621E Sage boasts an LGA 3647 socket which allows for the most advanced CPUs out of any Intel motherboard on our list. Even better, this dual CPU motherboard comes with a whopping 12 memory slots, allowing for a maximum of 768 GB of RAM– the second-most on our list.
To make sure you do not have to worry about peripherals, the ASUS WS C621E Sage comes with 7 different PCI-E slots of Gen3, three of which run at x16 regardless of the configuration. Of course, the C612 chipset makes another appearance, ensuring that you do not have to worry about maximum storage.
One thing that might dissuade you from the ASUS WS C621E Sage is how complicated it can be to set up, something that ASUS customer support cannot assist with. Still, this dual CPU motherboard comes with an integrated GPU with the ability to set up 4-way SLI or CrossFire-X if desired.
4. Supermicro H11DSI-NT Dual AMD EPYC 7000-series CPU Motherboard
Of the different manufacturers on our list, Supermicro is the only company that not only specializes in server systems but was founded to make them. The Super Micro Computer H11DSI-NT motherboard is also the only model on our list that works with AMD processors.
Specifically, this dual CPU motherboard comes with a CPU Socket P but goes one step further by also providing you 2 CPUs to go along with it. Even better, the Super Micro Computer H11DSI-NT comes with dual 7702 CPUs which offer an astounding 64 processing cores total– though this can lead to heating issues without a sufficient cooling system.
That said, this dual CPU motherboard is best suited for crunching data given its chipset arrangement with a sharp disparity in slots. Of course, if you need a dual CPU motherboard for parallel processing, you do not have to worry about memory as this entry comes with 16 slots that can handle a whopping 2048 GB.
However, you have to trade all of those RAM slots for a dearth of PCI-E slots which sits at a paltry 4 making this a poor option for rendering. Thankfully, the lack of PCI-E slots does not impact the Super Micro Computer H11DSI-NT’s storage capabilities as it can support 10 SATA3 connections.
5. Andifany X79 Dual CPU Motherboard LGA2011
Andifany has to be an exceedingly new company as it does not have any online presence and does not specialize in anything in particular. While this might make you suspicious given the context, you can still take a chance with this relative unknown to get some great value that is otherwise difficult to find with more prestigious brands.
The Andifany 411892 motherboard definitely skews more towards the professional-grade as opposed to the industrial-grade that the previous models do. For one, this dual CPU motherboard only comes with 4 memory slots that max out at 64 GB– of which you can only use DDR3 instead of the superior DDR4.
On top of that, the Andifany 411892 motherboard employs an X79 chipset which is outdated even amongst the entries on our list which already include some previous generations. On the other hand, this chipset seems perfect for a professional given its copious 8 USB ports, providing plenty of options for connecting peripherals.
Likewise, professionals who have to keep all of their work on them will likely appreciate the 7 storage slots this dual CPU motherboard provides with 4 PCI-E M.2 slots. It is also worth noting that many of the more powerful and robust dual CPU motherboards on our list have a larger form factor than the Andifany 411892 motherboard.
6. X99 Dual CPU Server Motherboard LGA2011-3
Settencas is another entry that comes from a relative unknown that likewise has little to no online presence, nor a specialization in anything. However, this dual CPU motherboard seems to take a cue in terms of offering a solid value while still making sure it does not fall too far below the obsolescence line.
While the chipset is still a bit outdated, the X99 chipset is still reasonable and allows for the LGA 2011 v3 socket to install decent Intel Xeon processors. On the other hand, this dual CPU motherboard seems more focused on professional workstations as opposed to industrial server rooms.
For example, the Settencas dual CPU motherboard comes with 8 USB ports which benefit a workstation’s need for more peripherals more than a server. On top of that, this dual CPU motherboard comes in the smallest form factor on our list which allows for the smallest tower to house the computer.
Thankfully, the Settencas dual CPU motherboard also provides plenty of storage options with 6 SATA3 slots and 2 dedicated M.2 slots. On the other hand, this comes due to a dearth of PCI-E slots at only 4– not to mention a cramped socket design that threatens higher core temperatures without the space to properly cool them.
Given the intent and purpose of a dual CPU motherboard, the socket is arguably the most important aspect for a couple of different reasons. The most basic thing to consider when selecting a motherboard socket is the brand of processor you use with Intel and AMD using far different architecture.
On top of that, even the same brands still use different architecture for different grades and generations of chips. It is worth noting that dual CPU motherboards often have a longer lifespan than consumer-grade motherboards as the rapid evolution of technology impacts all but the largest of industrial computing tasks less.
This consideration can be a bit tricky as memory is easily one of the more important specs for most computer applications, but you often do not need as much as a motherboard can provide. Even consumer-grade motherboards often allow you to install far more memory than you will ever actually use.
That said, dual CPU motherboards tend to work with extremely taxing software that can quickly occupy your memory and cause a slowdown or crash if you do not have enough. On the other hand, most of the dual CPU motherboards we examined allow for 500 GB of memory or more which only robust industrial purposes could hope to tax.
For most purposes, storage is an aspect where you need to meet a certain minimum requirement but do not necessarily need massive amounts of storage. On the other hand, if you need a dual CPU motherboard for help managing a database, you will want to make sure you have copious amounts of storage options.
It is worth noting that this is also one of the few considerations where you have multiple types of slots with the most common being SATA, M.2, and U.2. Keep in mind, many manufacturers also allow you to convert some of the storage slots into different types or apply adapters to get more storage or different storage slots.
Despite what it may seem, the PCI-E slots are often not the most important aspect to consider, especially not for what some people might expect. PCI-E slots might be most well-known as GPU slots, but they are used for a wide range of different peripheral cards with GPUs being one of the least important for dual CPU motherboards.
That said, if you need a dual CPU motherboard for video or CGI rendering, you will still want to make sure the entry has sufficient GPU capability. However, there is just as good of a chance that you will want to use the PCI-E slots for storage, wireless cards, or any number of other alternatives.
This is a bit of a cryptic spec on motherboards and most people will not notice that much of a difference from one to the next. Of course, most people do not use dual CPU motherboards in which case the chipset plays a much more significant role in terms of data transfer as well as pathing.
For the latter, the chipset often impacts which slots you can use in conjunction as well as any variable rates depending on the configuration. The same applies for pathing, though this tends to focus more on PCI-E pathways– but some dual CPU motherboard memory paths may change as well.
How Does a Dual CPU Motherboard Work?
A dual CPU motherboard works similarly to a single CPU motherboard, but it often has increased capacity for the motherboard transfer limits. For instance, CPU bus speed and cache tend to be higher for dual CPU motherboards which increases the speed at which the system crunches raw data.
This arrangement also allows dual CPU motherboards to better manage peripherals, storage, and allows for more memory. Keep in mind though, even dual CPU motherboards can rarely max out the specs of all the components, but they still compute multiple processes quicker.
Is A Dual CPU Motherboard Good for Gaming?
The short answer is that it does not really matter as the CPUs do little of the heavy lifting when it comes to gaming and only need to meet a minimum threshold. Ultimately, so long as the CPUs do not bottleneck the GPU and prevent it from performing at its peak capacity, you do not need to worry about it.
It is also worth noting that only the highest-end GPUs threaten to bottleneck due to even moderately recent CPUs with most games not even utilizing a full CPU’s multi-core structure. The only instance where a dual CPU motherboard should be used for gaming is if you also stream where the second CPU handles the streaming processes.
What to Look For
Given the common purpose of a dual CPU motherboard, memory is likely one of the more important factors to consider– though many boards offer more capacity than you are likely to use. Outside of memory, storage is another potential aspect, though this matters more for managing a database than computing.
The number of PCI-E slots might come into play depending on adapters or particular workstations, especially those that render. Finally, the chipset will often place limits on the best configurations available, limiting the pathways depending on how you set your system up.