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Full 3d Gaming in virtualization

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September 7, 2012 2:59:25 PM

I just bought the asrock extreme4 which supports vt-d , i bought a i7 3770 which supports vt-d , 16gb of ddr3 1600 ram, and lastly a gtx 680 2gb ddr2. What I hope to do is use this new vt-d to play two games simultaneously and efficiently at that( trying to get my gf into pc gaming but at the same time I would still like to haha) . I have googled this and there seems to be limited stuff on it. I plan to use vmware for this and the hardware I have should be capable of handling it ?

I have 2 keyboards , 2 monitors, and 2 mouses. Will vt-d work for what I am trying to do. Its been stated in another thread that the gpu wont know which display to power on . I was hoping the gtx 680 could power the virtual machines graphics for gaming and the host's graphics for gaming. If what that thread was saying is true then would I need sli for what I am trying to do?

This may be off topic but still applies since getting another gtx 680 is expensive.Can I plug in a non matching cheaper graphics card into one of my extra pcie slots and use vt-d just to pass it through to virtual machine. I mean I know you cant sli non matching gpus but does that apply if one is being dedicated to gpu and has its own drivers on vm , and the gtx 680 would just stay as the main gpu for my host. This may all be confusing but I hope you get the idea of what I am hoping to accomplish.

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a c 291 U Graphics card
September 7, 2012 3:13:09 PM
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September 7, 2012 3:16:13 PM

Well in regards to this thread I would like some advice doing it via vmware but thank you tho. I do not want to use any other software . I even looked into windows multipoint server but for gaming its useless.
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September 7, 2012 3:17:15 PM

When looking at it though that software does do what I want but I am not sure if it utilizes vt-d. I know vmware you can dedicate the device directly via their control panel which is why I like that idea better. Just this hardware specifics and do not have enough experience with vt-d makes it difficult to answer the scenerios I listed.
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a b U Graphics card
September 7, 2012 3:18:23 PM

instead of trying to make it work via VM - just save yourself the hassle and aggravation and build another pc that you Know will run whatever game you want your GF to play with you
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September 7, 2012 3:22:31 PM

dingo07 said:
instead of trying to make it work via VM - just save yourself the hassle and aggravation and build another pc that you Know will run whatever game you want your GF to play with you


Well I dont have enough space for another case even if it was m- atx and I would rather utilize the hardware. I just paid alot for these components and they all support virtualization specifically for this purpose.

Plus this is something fun to figure out if you like computers , not aggravating.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
September 7, 2012 3:28:36 PM

I have no experience with vmware, and if you want help with it, I think you posted in a wrong forum.
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September 7, 2012 3:31:53 PM

Well then forget I said anything about vmware or any virtualization program. Just the capabilities of vt-d is in question then. Do you think that technology will allow for a gpu to power a host and vm at the same time with equivalent computing power? If thats not the case can different gpus on the same mobo be used together so one is selected for virtual machine and the other for main operating system. Basically, any help or point in the right direction works.
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a c 115 U Graphics card
September 7, 2012 3:41:10 PM

bradyboyy88 said:
I just bought the asrock extreme4 which supports vt-d , i bought a i7 3770 which supports vt-d , 16gb of ddr3 1600 ram, and lastly a gtx 680 2gb ddr2. What I hope to do is use this new vt-d to play two games simultaneously and efficiently at that( trying to get my gf into pc gaming but at the same time I would still like to haha) . I have googled this and there seems to be limited stuff on it. I plan to use vmware for this and the hardware I have should be capable of handling it ?

I have 2 keyboards , 2 monitors, and 2 mouses. Will vt-d work for what I am trying to do. Its been stated in another thread that the gpu wont know which display to power on . I was hoping the gtx 680 could power the virtual machines graphics for gaming and the host's graphics for gaming. If what that thread was saying is true then would I need sli for what I am trying to do?

This may be off topic but still applies since getting another gtx 680 is expensive.Can I plug in a non matching cheaper graphics card into one of my extra pcie slots and use vt-d just to pass it through to virtual machine. I mean I know you cant sli non matching gpus but does that apply if one is being dedicated to gpu and has its own drivers on vm , and the gtx 680 would just stay as the main gpu for my host. This may all be confusing but I hope you get the idea of what I am hoping to accomplish.


VT-d is only really useful in a handful of virtualization programs such as VMWare's ESX server. Most of the programs that use VT-d are Type-1 hypervisors as Type-2 hypervisors can sometimes be faster by binary translation which reduces the role of VT-x and VT-d.

Please keep in mind that VT-d and VT-x are two different things. Neither are needed to run a 32 bit guest operating system, but VT-x is necessary to run 64 bit guest operating systems on Intel processors (AMD's alternative isn't necessary but generally improves performance).

VT-x provides hardware level guest process isolation. Each logical processor exposed to a guest operating system exists as its own thread and VT-x instructions are used to isolate and return from the thread so that privileged instructions can be executed securely without adversely affecting the host. Due to high overhead in initial implementations of VTx, binary translation of a paravirtualized kernel is sometimes faster than hardware isolation; although VT-x is still necessary for some paravirtualized guests.

VT-d provides hardware level memory isolation. VT-x and binary translation will prevent hardware isolated guest operating system processors from accessing host memory but if a guest operating system is granted full control of a hardware device attached to the host then the guest operating system could conceivably use the device's DMA access to manipulate host memory. Thus, VT-d allows for the memory controller on the CPU (VT-d was introduced after the memory controller was moved onto the CPU) to remap DMA requests from hardware attached to the guest operating systems.

Without VT-d, the hardware has to be exposed over VMCI/VMBus or via emulation. VMWare has done a lot of work in creating a virtual rendering stack that gets logically passed through to the host rather than emulated. Thus, no VT-d is needed and VT-d is not used in VMWare Workstation or VMWare Fusion, only ESX. So far, DirectX 9.0 and OpenGL 2.1 are well supported in Windows Vista, 7, and 8, as well as versions of Linux that use a 3.2+ kernel (Ubuntu 12.04, Fedora 17?)

VT-d doesn't involve powering a host and guest at the same time, which is why it's useless for desktop virtualization. It's only used for giving a guest full control of a physical device rather than full control of a virtual device.

EDIT: Virtualbox has guest hardware acceleration as well, but it's junk
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September 7, 2012 4:11:27 PM

Pinhedd thanks for that. I can tell you have alot of knowledge on this subject. I was under the assumption that vt-d and pci-passthrough allows the virtual machine direct access to whatever is in the pci slot hence increasing performance, but as you said vt-d is useless to me since I was going to use vmware workstation. Is there any virtualization method you could think of which would help achieve what I am trying to do and utilize all my system resources effectively to play demanding games on both vms?
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a b U Graphics card
September 7, 2012 4:21:34 PM

It looks like the software linked above will do what you want, but it's $50. Still cheaper than a new PC and you can download a trial of the software and try it out and if it works for what you want, then decide if you want to buy it.

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a c 115 U Graphics card
September 7, 2012 4:26:38 PM

bradyboyy88 said:
Pinhedd thanks for that. I can tell you have alot of knowledge on this subject. I was under the assumption that vt-d allows the virtual machine direct access to whatever is in the pci slot hence increasing performance, but as you said vt-d is useless to me since I was going to use vmware workstation. Is there any virtualization method you could think of which would help achieve what I am trying to do and utilize all my system resources effectively to play demanding games on both vms?


That's exactly what VT-d does but as a consequence of granting a guest full control over a low level device (usually a controller), the host loses control over that same low level device. It is attached directly without an emulation layer or passthrough interface (VMBus/VMCI). While this might be ideal for something like ESX which is a headless server that is actually controlled by a guest operating system which is itself virtualized, it's not ideal for a desktop environment in which devices may be shared between the host and the guest.

The only real exception that I can think of would be a desktop that has multiple GPUs, SATA ports, and Ethernet ports, and wants one or more of them to be assigned directly to a guest rather than controlled indirectly.

Storage and Ethernet overhead is pretty low which allows them to work either via emulation or VMBus without much difficulty. Similarly, USB device drivers run in userland anyway (not to be confused with the USB Controller drivers which are very kernelly) which allows the VMM to simply unload the device drivers and load a VMBus/VMCI driver in its place which passes the connection through to the guest.

Thus, VT-d is still kinda niche and won't really impact performance much. It simply allows for more logical partitioning. I use VMWare Workstation on a daily basis and many games will run just fine on the guest operating system using VMWare's virtual rendering stack. You can attach your second keyboard and mouse to the guest operating system directly via the USB pass through (VMWare Workstation prevents the direct attachment of human-interface devices by default to prevent the host from losing control, but this can be disabled in the settings). The display will have to be attached to the host, but the guest can be granted access to both screens, you may be able to tile them somehow, I haven't tried.

What game is it that you want to play in tandem? It might just be better to sandbox them on Windows.
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September 7, 2012 4:38:07 PM

Seriously thanks to everyone thats been helping. That software listed above is very useful but it doesnt give much control to the user from what I have been reading on it.

Pinhedd I want to play bf3 possibly while my gf plays skyrim for instance ( not sure what settings will be possible given they are both demanding). Well since you stated that the host will not be able to use the low level device if given permission to vm, is it possible with pci passthrough to have a non matching gpu just dedicated to vm. I have a gtx 280 just sitting around I could just plug into my extra pci e slot and with vt-d and pci passthrough dedicate it to the guest vm? If you say no to that then can I just get another gtx 680 and dedicate it to the vm? Not all my parts are in hence I cant really test anything yet.
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September 7, 2012 4:42:04 PM

I am sorry if I am being redundant. I am still learning the full capabilities of virtualization hence alot of things you have stated I have just been googling to understand. I am a quick learner but not fast enough to make up for the knowledge that I am sure most of you have . I have used vmware for a couple years but only to try out new operating systems and such.
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a c 115 U Graphics card
September 7, 2012 7:04:03 PM

That might be possible but only with ESX server. I do not know how well real time applications fare on ESX server as I haven't tried it. A lot of DirectX 9 games work just fine on VMWare Workstation, but nothing like BF3 or Skyrim. There's a free version of ESX server which you can try, it's a pain in the ass to setup but it could be a good point to start learning.
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September 7, 2012 7:31:04 PM

Well I see you have crossfire 7970s . have you ever tried to pci passthough to have one 7970 dedicated to vm and one dedicated to a 7970? I am curious to see if that is possible . I will definately look into esx server just because I wouldnt mind learning more about it. If you want to try that let me know the results. If not its all good .
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a b U Graphics card
September 7, 2012 7:49:32 PM

Well, I currently run my desktop as an ESXi server with a 7970 given to a windows VM for gaming
plays skyrim, Metro 2033, and BF3 just fine

Some issues:
1) You cannot completely disable the VMware VGA adapter
2) You have to install VMware guest additions to get a WDDM driver for the VMware VGA device
3) You cannot install AMD Vision Center (only manually installing the driver via computer management)
4) You have top remember to set the pciHole.being and pciHole.end if you plan to use more than 2GB of memory for the VM

The easiest way to get a keyboard and mouse into the gaming VM is to passthrough an entire USB controller (I did this with the 3.o ports as ESXi doesn't have drivers for them anyways)

for a at length discussion, check here:
http://communities.vmware.com/thread/297072?start=0&tst...

I would recommend reading the thread in its entirety

Once you mark the device as a passthrough device, VMware no longer sees the device, also, only one VM can use the device at a time if you try to start another VM that uses it, it will fail to load up and give you an error about it

I have an NVidia card (low end $30 card) for the host machine to see some output if I need it, though ESXi doesn't really have all that much in terms of a built in console, it is easier to manager with the vSphere client, also, it isn't that hard to setup tbh
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September 7, 2012 9:40:18 PM

I honestly have no experience with ESX. I would be going from a windows 7 host to windows 7 guest as well so I can dedicate the devices. It seems like that forum people were have better luck with amd passthrough then again I didnt read everything but will come monday. Did you have any problems setting up your configuration? Is there any other hardware I should add to optimize what you did. For instance, add a dedicated network card to passthrough to my virtual machine and keep onboard enabled for my host. Also, do you think there will be any problems passing through my dedicated titanium fx sound card?
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a b U Graphics card
September 7, 2012 11:23:50 PM

bradyboyy88 said:
I honestly have no experience with ESX. I would be going from a windows 7 host to windows 7 guest as well so I can dedicate the devices. It seems like that forum people were have better luck with amd passthrough then again I didnt read everything but will come monday. Did you have any problems setting up your configuration? Is there any other hardware I should add to optimize what you did. For instance, add a dedicated network card to passthrough to my virtual machine and keep onboard enabled for my host. Also, do you think there will be any problems passing through my dedicated titanium fx sound card?


The only issues setting up the configuration I had was the "correct" time to add the GPU to the VM, it seems that after you install the OS and install the VMware Guest Additions is the best time to do so (fewest issues arise)

As for additional hardware, You might want to pick up an intel NIC as they tend to work better with ESXi anyways (better in general IMO) but you shouldn't need to pass-through a NIC to a VM, the virtual switch setup that ESXi has works very well and provides a lot of configuration options if you need it and if you don't just works seamlessly

as for the audio card, I have no idea if it will work or not, considering it is not that complex of a card (in terms of initialization and driver development) compared to a GPU it might work. I would try to see if anyone had managed to get into a VM. Another note on audio, even with my USB 3.0 given to the VM, I sometimes notice some small breaks every once in a while on my USB headset that is not present in a native setup
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September 8, 2012 2:31:17 AM

Well maybe I should pick up a nic as long as its better than my onboard(doubt ill even notice the difference). Well it seems that both you and pinnhed keep bringing up ESXi to try out. What is so beneficial of doing this. I have no experience with servers or their OS so is there something I could start putting my hardware to use that I am not seeing. Have you been able to try configuring your nvidia card to being the passthrough to the vm? I am going to do gtx 680 sli just because it will be better for doing 2 things of skyrim at once (one for me and one for my gf).

Seriously you all have been so helpful with this. Also, after reading even more from that forum thread you posted it gets pretty advanced. I have never really tinkered with vms to the extent these people have so I guess I better start learning alot more so I dont have to ask so many questions and when I do ask questions I actually understand the answers haha.
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a c 115 U Graphics card
September 8, 2012 3:17:35 AM

bradyboyy88 said:
Well maybe I should pick up a nic as long as its better than my onboard(doubt ill even notice the difference). Well it seems that both you and pinnhed keep bringing up ESXi to try out. What is so beneficial of doing this. I have no experience with servers or their OS so is there something I could start putting my hardware to use that I am not seeing. Have you been able to try configuring your nvidia card to being the passthrough to the vm? I am going to do gtx 680 sli just because it will be better for doing 2 things of skyrim at once (one for me and one for my gf).

Seriously you all have been so helpful with this. Also, after reading even more from that forum thread you posted it gets pretty advanced. I have never really tinkered with vms to the extent these people have so I guess I better start learning alot more so I dont have to ask so many questions and when I do ask questions I actually understand the answers haha.


Virtualization is pretty complex. It actually goes back all the way to the early IBM mainframes but was never really tried on Intel processors until about a decade ago.
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a b U Graphics card
September 8, 2012 11:14:47 AM

bradyboyy88 said:
Well maybe I should pick up a nic as long as its better than my onboard(doubt ill even notice the difference). Well it seems that both you and pinnhed keep bringing up ESXi to try out. What is so beneficial of doing this. I have no experience with servers or their OS so is there something I could start putting my hardware to use that I am not seeing. Have you been able to try configuring your nvidia card to being the passthrough to the vm? I am going to do gtx 680 sli just because it will be better for doing 2 things of skyrim at once (one for me and one for my gf).

Seriously you all have been so helpful with this. Also, after reading even more from that forum thread you posted it gets pretty advanced. I have never really tinkered with vms to the extent these people have so I guess I better start learning alot more so I dont have to ask so many questions and when I do ask questions I actually understand the answers haha.


Honestly, stay away from NVidia at the moment if this is something you really want to do as the way that their card initializes, it does not readily passthrough to a VM. Even on the Xen (different software, same kind of idea) side of things there are a LOT more patches that have to be used in order to get an NVidia card working and on ESXi you cannot get it working

I think I should also mention to get the setup working you need to have another computer (windows) handy in order to get it configured and the VM initially installed. Once you have a windows guest installed you and a GPU passthroughed to the VM you should be able to install the vSphere client to manage it

Pinhedd said:
Virtualization is pretty complex. It actually goes back all the way to the early IBM mainframes but was never really tried on Intel processors until about a decade ago.


All in all, passing a graphics card is even more complex do to the nature of how x86 initializes everything and this is something that hasn't been easily done until just a few months ago.

I find that AMD is easier to get this working as all of their cpus have VT-d and any motherboard with the 890FX or any 9xx chipset works. Intel and the motherboard manufacturers for them are a lot more picky, ie the i5-2500k does not have VT-d but the i5-2500 does, also some Z68 boards support it and others don't as the only chipset that is supposed to support it is the H67
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September 8, 2012 3:06:24 PM

Yea well I figured since extreme4 mobo has vt-d and so does 3770 , I would be set. So before I even consider selling my gtx 680 to get 2 7970s there is something you could help me with. I am not sure how emulation truly works and pinhedd you stated that even without passthrough your able to play 3d games very well in a virtual machine. So if I had gtx 680 sli and didnt use passthrough and just use the virtual graphics card do you think the computer could play skyrim and bf3 at the same time (on on vm and other on host)? Does raw gpu power of sli gtx 680 make up for not being able to passthrough or is virtual graphics card mainly cpu intensive hence upgrading to 3930k would benefit? If you still think there is gonna be a decent amount of lag and fps spikes then I would consider sellin gmy gtx 680 (which I already have a buyer and no loss) and buy 2x 7970. I am worried about the heat tho generated by the 7970s because my room heats up uncomfortably fast and atleast kepler gpu doesnt generate much.
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a b U Graphics card
September 8, 2012 4:55:14 PM

bradyboyy88 said:
Yea well I figured since extreme4 mobo has vt-d and so does 3770 , I would be set. So before I even consider selling my gtx 680 to get 2 7970s there is something you could help me with. I am not sure how emulation truly works and pinhedd you stated that even without passthrough your able to play 3d games very well in a virtual machine. So if I had gtx 680 sli and didnt use passthrough and just use the virtual graphics card do you think the computer could play skyrim and bf3 at the same time (on on vm and other on host)? Does raw gpu power of sli gtx 680 make up for not being able to passthrough or is virtual graphics card mainly cpu intensive hence upgrading to 3930k would benefit? If you still think there is gonna be a decent amount of lag and fps spikes then I would consider sellin gmy gtx 680 (which I already have a buyer and no loss) and buy 2x 7970. I am worried about the heat tho generated by the 7970s because my room heats up uncomfortably fast and atleast kepler gpu doesnt generate much.


Only low end 3d games would work in the VM without pasthrough since the adapters are software driven (not hardware) and tend to fail at any game that is even remotely stressful (ie BF3 or Skyrim). Also, I'm pretty sure (correct me if I am wrong) that the virtual adapters for the VM's will not use the GPU but rather the CPU to render everything.
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September 8, 2012 5:43:02 PM

thats weird nvidia gpus wont passthrough
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a c 115 U Graphics card
September 8, 2012 6:18:35 PM

mindless728 said:
Only low end 3d games would work in the VM without pasthrough since the adapters are software driven (not hardware) and tend to fail at any game that is even remotely stressful (ie BF3 or Skyrim). Also, I'm pretty sure (correct me if I am wrong) that the virtual adapters for the VM's will not use the GPU but rather the CPU to render everything.


VMWare Workstation guests have been able to use hardware accelerated DirectX 9 and OpenGL 2.1 for a while now which means that 3D games using those APIs run acceptably well in supported versions of Linux and Windows. Windows 7 and 8 virtualize very well, as well as newer versions of Linux.
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September 8, 2012 6:20:49 PM

pinhedd does that mean the vm will use the gpu as and not just cpu? So would sli gtx 680 makea difference in gaming in a vm?
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a b U Graphics card
September 8, 2012 6:42:12 PM

Pinhedd said:
VMWare Workstation guests have been able to use hardware accelerated DirectX 9 and OpenGL 2.1 for a while now which means that 3D games using those APIs run acceptably well in supported versions of Linux and Windows. Windows 7 and 8 virtualize very well, as well as newer versions of Linux.


hmmm, will have to play around with that, though I have a feeling it won't be the best anyways (a LOT of overhead)
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a c 115 U Graphics card
September 8, 2012 6:44:27 PM

mindless728 said:
hmmm, will have to play around with that, though I have a feeling it won't be the best anyways (a LOT of overhead)


I haven't really examined the overhead but it seems a lot lower than I would expect. It requires a significant amount of paravirtualization though. I might try poking around in ESX and see if I can have some fun with my second GPU.
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a b U Graphics card
September 8, 2012 6:54:56 PM

Pinhedd said:
I haven't really examined the overhead but it seems a lot lower than I would expect. It requires a significant amount of paravirtualization though. I might try poking around in ESX and see if I can have some fun with my second GPU.


It is kind of fun, I have been complementing buying a new system with 3 x 7970 and take it to lan's so 3 people can play at once. Nothing like being able to have people play video games on teh same machine (different VM's)
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September 8, 2012 7:12:46 PM

it must be nice to have gone with 2 graphics cards which passthrough very easily. I got this gtx 680 for a great price and yet I cant even use it for virtualization... There has got to be a patch or something which can correct this but everything online always seems to lead to someone beating their head against the wall haha.
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a b U Graphics card
September 8, 2012 7:37:09 PM

bradyboyy88 said:
it must be nice to have gone with 2 graphics cards which passthrough very easily. I got this gtx 680 for a great price and yet I cant even use it for virtualization... There has got to be a patch or something which can correct this but everything online always seems to lead to someone beating their head against the wall haha.


There are patches to get it working, just not under ESXi. With XEN you might be able to get it working (don't know what the status is with the GTX6xx cards), though it requires a heavy amount of patching (usually to source code) then compilation of the kernel as well as the xen tools (usually)

really, for ESXi you don't need to have access to the console unless under certain conditions (ie *** went HORRIBLY wrong)
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September 8, 2012 7:55:17 PM

Just so I understand correctly I cant use vmware for pci passthrough. I need to learn more about ESXi(or some other server virtualization software) and vSphere in order to actually accomplish what I am trying to do regardless of gpu type:. If I can get away with using the nvidia gpu then that would be better. I find myself goolging more and more as i get into this project and half of the stuff I am reading I have no idea what it is. I have my masters in financial mathematics and actuarial science but maybe I should have taken more comp sci classes :( 
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a c 115 U Graphics card
September 8, 2012 8:09:49 PM

bradyboyy88 said:
Just so I understand correctly I cant use vmware for pci passthrough. I need to learn more about ESXi(or some other server virtualization software) and vSphere in order to actually accomplish what I am trying to do regardless of gpu type:. If I can get away with using the nvidia gpu then that would be better. I find myself goolging more and more as i get into this project and half of the stuff I am reading I have no idea what it is. I have my masters in financial mathematics and actuarial science but maybe I should have taken more comp sci classes :( 


lol you won't learn any of this in a comp sci class. This is all engineering and IT.

VMWare is a company that produces a lot of virtualization software, among them ESX (now vSphere), ESXi (free version of vSphere), VMWare Workstation, VMWare Player (free version of Workstation) and VMWare Fusion.

Workstation, Player and Fusion are desktop virtualization platforms. Workstation and Player are used for Windows and Linux, Fusion is used for OSX, they are mostly the same product and are based on the same codebase and release schedule. They are Type-2 hypervisors which means that they run on top of the operating system as an application or service.

ESXi/vSphere are Type-1 hypervisors, which means that they run directly on the metal. Thus, all operating systems including the one used to control and monitor a Type-1 hypervisor are virtualized.

Guests in a Type-1 environment are often far more isolated than guests in a Type-2 environment. This requires less modification to the underlying operating system which is sometimes desirable.

There's no technical reason why PCI passthrough can't be implemented for VMWare Workstation / Fusion / Player guests, they just haven't done so yet. Some host operating systems might not be too happy about VMWare Workstation trying to pry resources away from the Kernel but this is not an insurmountable obstacle.
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September 8, 2012 8:31:54 PM

Pinhedd said:
lol you won't learn any of this in a comp sci class. This is all engineering and IT.

VMWare is a company that produces a lot of virtualization software, among them ESX (now vSphere), ESXi (free version of vSphere), VMWare Workstation, VMWare Player (free version of Workstation) and VMWare Fusion.

Workstation, Player and Fusion are desktop virtualization platforms. Workstation and Player are used for Windows and Linux, Fusion is used for OSX, they are mostly the same product and are based on the same codebase and release schedule. They are Type-2 hypervisors which means that they run on top of the operating system as an application or service.

ESXi/vSphere are Type-1 hypervisors, which means that they run directly on the metal. Thus, all operating systems including the one used to control and monitor a Type-1 hypervisor are virtualized.

Guests in a Type-1 environment are often far more isolated than guests in a Type-2 environment. This requires less modification to the underlying operating system which is sometimes desirable.

There's no technical reason why PCI passthrough can't be implemented for VMWare Workstation / Fusion / Player guests, they just haven't done so yet. Some host operating systems might not be too happy about VMWare Workstation trying to pry resources away from the Kernel but this is not an insurmountable obstacle.



Wow that was very helpful. Let me ask you this because I think you guys have pretty much explained so much to me and have answered everything. If you were in my situation with the hardware I already bought and no returns (gtx 680 and possible sli , 3770 , 16gb , extreme4 mobo , x-fi sound card) and wanted to accomplish what I want( allowing me and my gf to play high demanding games at same time on this pc), what would you do? Would you just use that software softxpand or is there any clever way to get away with this on virtual machines configured by yourself. I have beat a dead horse and try to find out as much about each aspect of what I thought I could do but cant. Now its your turn to tell me what you would do in this situation.
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a c 115 U Graphics card
September 8, 2012 9:37:55 PM

bradyboyy88 said:
Wow that was very helpful. Let me ask you this because I think you guys have pretty much explained so much to me and have answered everything. If you were in my situation with the hardware I already bought and no returns (gtx 680 and possible sli , 3770 , 16gb , extreme4 mobo , x-fi sound card) and wanted to accomplish what I want( allowing me and my gf to play high demanding games at same time on this pc), what would you do? Would you just use that software softxpand or is there any clever way to get away with this on virtual machines configured by yourself. I have beat a dead horse and try to find out as much about each aspect of what I thought I could do but cant. Now its your turn to tell me what you would do in this situation.


Try Softxpand, see if that works. There's nothing stopping Windows from running two games at once aside from the multiple input devices.
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a b U Graphics card
September 8, 2012 11:08:15 PM

Pinhedd said:
Try Softxpand, see if that works. There's nothing stopping Windows from running two games at once aside from the multiple input devices.


+1. Take 10 mins to install a software designed to do what the OP wants to do that gives you a free trial and see if it works. It's what it's designed for rather than trying massive things with a super complicated ESX virtual server not designed to do what they want. I'm about ready to do install it just to see, all they want is their GF to play a game at the same time as them, not run some industrial VM solution.
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September 9, 2012 12:35:33 AM

Yea I will give it a try. I only wanted to go another route because I wanted to learn more about virtualization at the same time but either way pinhed and mindless have been extremely helpful . Same goes to you sunius for mentioning the software. Thanks
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a c 115 U Graphics card
September 9, 2012 12:54:11 AM

bradyboyy88 said:
Yea I will give it a try. I only wanted to go another route because I wanted to learn more about virtualization at the same time but either way pinhed and mindless have been extremely helpful . Same goes to you sunius for mentioning the software. Thanks


I still suggest that you try out virtualization. There are a number of good, free, platforms out there.
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a b U Graphics card
September 9, 2012 1:47:25 AM

bradyboyy88 said:
Yea I will give it a try. I only wanted to go another route because I wanted to learn more about virtualization at the same time but either way pinhed and mindless have been extremely helpful . Same goes to you sunius for mentioning the software. Thanks


You're welcome, I only commented because I have a working system with the software running on it
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September 9, 2012 4:02:55 PM

Honestly I will probably never in my life need to use this stuff but I find it fund tinkering with and learning about. There is one thing that doesnt seem to make sense to me though. With type 1 hypervisors the virtualization software doesnt need any operating system to run on and you stated it runs straight from the metal or hardware. How can the hardware operate without proper drivers installed first and whatnot. Type 1 just seems so confusing how it all works and what are the benefits of using type 1 besides type 2 then creating virtual machines. I still might give ESXi since its free
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a c 115 U Graphics card
September 9, 2012 5:50:31 PM

bradyboyy88 said:
Honestly I will probably never in my life need to use this stuff but I find it fund tinkering with and learning about. There is one thing that doesnt seem to make sense to me though. With type 1 hypervisors the virtualization software doesnt need any operating system to run on and you stated it runs straight from the metal or hardware. How can the hardware operate without proper drivers installed first and whatnot. Type 1 just seems so confusing how it all works and what are the benefits of using type 1 besides type 2 then creating virtual machines. I still might give ESXi since its free


Type-1 hypervisors are actually operating systems themselves. They're just not general purpose operating systems which run applications. They have only one purpose, and that's to run the virtual machines. Another Type-1 hypervisor is Microsoft's Hyper-V which ships with Windows Server and is available as a standalone product as well. If you're a post secondary student you can get Windows Server for free through the MSDNAA.
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September 9, 2012 6:09:41 PM

That makes more sense then.
I have a copy of windows server 2008. I tried to using it once in a vm for its remotefx capabilities. Turns out my laptops 3612qm didnt support hyper v so it didnt work as planned .
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a c 115 U Graphics card
September 9, 2012 6:15:45 PM

bradyboyy88 said:
That makes more sense then.
I have a copy of windows server 2008. I tried to using it once in a vm for its remotefx capabilities. Turns out my laptops 3612qm didnt support hyper v so it didnt work as planned .


That processor supports VT-x and VT-d, you may have to turn it on though.
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September 9, 2012 7:13:49 PM

Unfortunately it doesnt support vt-d . I thought it did to and I enabled virtualization in the bios but intels website says i7 3612qm only supports vt-x not vt-d :( 
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a c 115 U Graphics card
September 9, 2012 7:18:07 PM

bradyboyy88 said:
Unfortunately it doesnt support vt-d . I thought it did to and I enabled virtualization in the bios but intels website says i7 3612qm only supports vt-x not vt-d :( 


According to the Intel spec sheet it does support both

http://ark.intel.com/products/64901/Intel-Core-i7-3612Q...(6M-Cache-up-to-3_10-GHz)-BGA
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September 9, 2012 7:34:10 PM

Yea mine isnt soldered using the BGA slot. I have a rPGA socket type I put in myself for lenovo t430. I didnt realize that the soldered version had different specs than the non soldered.
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a c 115 U Graphics card
September 9, 2012 7:40:17 PM

ah, I see now. That's interesting.

It could be a mistake on Intel's part. VT-d is an MMU technology so the socket won't play a part. The chip is identical. I'd send their support an email and see if there's a mistake there somewhere.
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September 9, 2012 7:46:49 PM

So I wonder if it does support it and I just messed up setting the hyper v role .I mean I enabled virtualization on the my t430 bios but I didnt mess with the virtual machines bios settings, if thats even needed.
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