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Virtualization with gaming

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  • Virtualization
  • Business Computing
Last response: in Business Computing
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June 2, 2012 12:02:25 AM

Hi, I am building a ~$1,500 computer.

I'm probably going to run a dual CPU, I'm getting max Ram, but my main question is this -

If I run say 10 Virtual machines, how does the break down on the usage of the hardware work? Example, I'll be playing games like Diablo 3, Grand theft auto 4 (and 5 when its released) etc. So those games require 2GHz processor, 1GB Graphics card, etc.

So, would it automatically use up the 1GB of graphics and 2GHz of processing power? (the other virtual machines will probably use up only about 0.5GHz of power, 0.5GB of ram, and 0.25GB of graphics). I just want to make sure that if I ran 10 virtual machines, that it uses up the hardware as needed, and not divided exactly down the middle.

Thanks!

More about : virtualization gaming

June 2, 2012 12:08:50 AM

What program are you using for virtual machines? I know that when you create a virtual machine with VMware or virtual box you can allocate a certain amount of cores or gpu memory or just ram memory to it.
June 2, 2012 12:36:56 AM

salamakajakawaka said:
What program are you using for virtual machines? I know that when you create a virtual machine with VMware or virtual box you can allocate a certain amount of cores or gpu memory or just ram memory to it.


I'm going to use VMware. That sounds good though, thanks. So, should I go with a quad core - i5 3530k, or 6 core - i7-3930k? both run about 3.8k Turbo. I'm getting amazing cooling, so I hope to OC either at about 4GHz. I'm pretty sure I know, but is that 4GHz per core? or would the 4GHz be shared across the cores?
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June 14, 2012 4:57:13 PM

If you OC to 4Ghz, that would be 4GHz per core. So to make things easier, you would be giving those cores to the virtual machine. So if you have 8 cores and do something like this
4 cores for the HOST/Main Windows OS
2 cores for your Linux Server (count as 1 vCPU)
2 cores for your Windows Server 2003 instance (Count as 1 vCPU)

I would suggest using VMWare Workstation in Windows - and then setting up the guest operating systems from there. Since you are going to be gaming, this would probably give you the fewest headaches.
June 14, 2012 5:14:30 PM

Also, you may want to ensure that the processor has the proper extensions to help with virtualization. I'm assuming you mean 3570k since I can't find a 3530k... The 3570k supports Vt-x, but not Vt-d (The not unlocked 3570 supports both) and the 3930k supports both but only in the C2 stepping (other stepping no Vt-d)
June 14, 2012 5:28:19 PM

Good point slhpss. Thumbs up :) 
That's one of the most important things to consider as this is going to be a host.
June 14, 2012 5:48:32 PM

routanne said:
Hi, I am building a ~$1,500 computer.

I'm probably going to run a dual CPU, I'm getting max Ram, but my main question is this -

If I run say 10 Virtual machines, how does the break down on the usage of the hardware work? Example, I'll be playing games like Diablo 3, Grand theft auto 4 (and 5 when its released) etc. So those games require 2GHz processor, 1GB Graphics card, etc.

So, would it automatically use up the 1GB of graphics and 2GHz of processing power? (the other virtual machines will probably use up only about 0.5GHz of power, 0.5GB of ram, and 0.25GB of graphics). I just want to make sure that if I ran 10 virtual machines, that it uses up the hardware as needed, and not divided exactly down the middle.

Thanks!


Hi there,

First off, you're not going to be building a dual CPU computer for $1500 bucks. Those CPUs START at $1500 bucks. Go for a hex core X79 rig, you won't be disappointed. The X79 processors have both Vt-d and are overclockable, the LGA1155 processors are not.

Second, there's only one real desktop virtualization solution worth anything and that's VMWare Workstation. Virtualbox is very far behind.

Gaming on a virtual machine is possible, it's not terrific but with the right hardware and the right virtualization software it's not horrible. Graphics are limited to DirectX 9, OpenGL 2.1 and Shader Model 3.0 right now. Additionally, they will usually run at about 33%-50% of the speed that they would run on the host but this is still 5 times faster than they would run under Virtualbox.

VMWare Workstation exposes a virtual SVGA graphics card so any application that is expecting an AMD/NVidia GPU might not work. Additionally, the seamless virtual mouse can cause problems. There is a simple method of turning this off but the mouse will not be seamless at that point.

Thus, where possible I recommend gaming on the host. Don't worry about leaving the VMs running in the background, I do that all the time and usually forget about them.

Certain resources can be overcommitted (the sum of all resources given to guests is greater than the resources available on the host) such as the number of processors (Workstation is paravirtualized and as such does not support CPU reservation), and hard disk space. Since it's paravirtualized, an idle guest will not chew up any CPU time at all. Memory cannot currently be overcommitted so you should make sure that you have enough of it.
June 14, 2012 6:19:03 PM

Pinhedd said:
Hi there,

First off, you're not going to be building a dual CPU computer for $1500 bucks. Those CPUs START at $1500 bucks. Go for a hex core X79 rig, you won't be disappointed. The X79 processors have both Vt-d and are overclockable, the LGA1155 processors are not.

Second, there's only one real desktop virtualization solution worth anything and that's VMWare Workstation. Virtualbox is very far behind.

Gaming on a virtual machine is possible, it's not terrific but with the right hardware and the right virtualization software it's not horrible. Graphics are limited to DirectX 9, OpenGL 2.1 and Shader Model 3.0 right now. Additionally, they will usually run at about 33%-50% of the speed that they would run on the host but this is still 5 times faster than they would run under Virtualbox.

VMWare Workstation exposes a virtual SVGA graphics card so any application that is expecting an AMD/NVidia GPU might not work. Additionally, the seamless virtual mouse can cause problems. There is a simple method of turning this off but the mouse will not be seamless at that point.

Thus, where possible I recommend gaming on the host. Don't worry about leaving the VMs running in the background, I do that all the time and usually forget about them.

Certain resources can be overcommitted (the sum of all resources given to guests is greater than the resources available on the host) such as the number of processors (Workstation is paravirtualized and as such does not support CPU reservation), and hard disk space. Since it's paravirtualized, an idle guest will not chew up any CPU time at all. Memory cannot currently be overcommitted so you should make sure that you have enough of it.



Hence the VMWare workstation recommendation :) 
!