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Virtualbox - Linux (Host), Windows 7 x64 (Guest) - Gaming

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Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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November 21, 2011 7:30:03 AM

I recently purchased some new components to build my latest gaming machine. My plan was/is to dual boot the machine as I am a developer for a living and spend most of my time in OS X. But with what I do I can just as easily spend my development time in Linux. So my thought was to dual boot the machine and just swap over when I want to game. However, technology has come a long way since I last tried virtualization for gaming and I'm wondering if we've made enough progress for me to give it another shot?

Here are my system specs, what do you think?

Motherboard - ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z
Processor - Intel Core i7-2600K
Hard Drive - OCZ Vertex 3 – MAX IOPS Edition 240GB SATA III MLC SSD
Video Cards - 2x NVIDIA GTX 580 1.5GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0
Memory - 16GB G.Skill DDR3 PC3-17000 2133MHz RipjawsX Series (9-11-9-28)
Optical Drive - LG Black 12X BD-ROM Blue-Ray
Power Supply - Corsair Professional Series Gold 850AX

Some things I'm planning on playing..

Star Wars: The Old Republic
World of Warcraft
Skyrim
Battlefield 3
Starcraft II
Guild Wars 2

More about : virtualbox linux host windows x64 guest gaming

November 21, 2011 7:34:14 AM

Virtualization is not, IMO, suitable for playing modern games. Dual booting will give you a much better experience. Alternatively, use Windows as your main OS and run Linux in a VM; that's plenty fast enough for development work.
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November 21, 2011 7:51:54 AM

Both your virtualisation software and processor need to support VT-d which allows the gues to directly access PCI-E hardware.

With Virtualbox? Impossible.

You can play games like Diablo 1 in VirtualBox, for get anything that's not OpenGl.

Last time I tried, Jedi Academy was very laggy...
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November 21, 2011 10:11:34 PM

amdfangirl said:
Both your virtualisation software and processor need to support VT-d which allows the gues to directly access PCI-E hardware.

With Virtualbox? Impossible.

You can play games like Diablo 1 in VirtualBox, for get anything that's not OpenGl.

Last time I tried, Jedi Academy was very laggy...


What virtualization software does?
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November 22, 2011 1:20:49 AM

Nothing as of yet.
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November 22, 2011 10:29:53 AM

I thought Citrix supported it on some of it's paid offerings? We might yet see something included in Windows 8 for backwards compatability with VM's.
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November 22, 2011 9:50:52 PM

amdfangirl said:
Both your virtualisation software and processor need to support VT-d which allows the gues to directly access PCI-E hardware.


VT-d requires a supported chipset as well. As far as PCI-e passthrough, video cards generally do not even work with this technology. It is more meant for disk controllers and NICs.
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November 23, 2011 1:10:15 PM

Direct access to a dedicated RIAD / SAN controller and a database VM starts to make real sense. Couple that with a dedicated GigE card and you really are rocking. Question is, if you move to VM's to allow transparent movement of machine images between HW platforms where are the big advantages if you then tie it back to dedicated HW? Snapshots are really just a neat full system backup, you're image would need to point to replacement HW of very similar configuration... it's good but in a kind of counter intuative way to the original selling points of using VM's.
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December 2, 2011 10:57:09 PM

Best answer selected by Altonymous.
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