Only Asrock supports it, with their customer supportMy mainboard is an Asrock B75 Pro3-M. I contacted Asrock support. One of the engineers replied to me; what the reply read was essentially, all "normal bios" on Asrock motherboards require a GPU to boot, but he would find a way for me. After a few days later, yesterday, I received a modified bios from him. I flashed it on my mainboard and it booted without a GPU!
Meanwhile, I have also contacted all major mainboard manufacturers, MSI, Gigabyte, Asus, asking if they have any models that support booting without a GPU. Their replies were all the same:
"A GPU is required to boot, we do not have any model that can boot without a GPU."
Personally I think Asrock's support (reply) was the most humane and friendly. And their mainboards are also very stable and feature-packed. I will choose Asrock again next time, if I am to choose one from similar mainboards from various manufacturers.
What about OS?Now the mainboard booted without a GPU, what about the OS? This, too, was what I did not expect.
Windows = YES (BIOS) and NO (UEFI)Well, I found that Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 (even if it is a Server Core version) cannot boot in UEFI mode without a GPU. Of course I could not see what was wrong because there was no graphics output, but I knew it because when the OS recognises my onboard Ethernet, its light turns green and when I booted to UEFI mode Windows without a GPU, it did not turn green.
Luckily all Windows 7, 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 booted successfully without any GPU when they were installed in the traditional BIOS mode. As far as I know what you get from UEFI mode are
- Boot disk can be 3TB or larger
- Secure Boot
,not any performance enhancements. Well I do not need any of the UEFI advantages, so I am OK with the BIOS mode Windows.