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{Guide} Create a Gaming Virtual Machine - Page 11

post #101 of 824
1. The Quatro is probably going to suck to get working. (I'm an ATi person so this is hearsay) From what I've seen it's significantly harder to get nVidia adapters passed through. Some work as easy as ATi cards and some are probably going to be more effort than they're worth... Xen Wiki At the bottom of that they have a few links for nVidia cards that look promising. Nothing specific to the Quatro, but it's a starting point.

2. Your preference. I have the IGP dedicated to dom0 and I can't remember the last time I've had that monitor on. Mostly do stuff through putty or vnc, so it's not like you need one.

3. Short answer, no.

4. You can mix adapters. Don't expect to get multiple adapters working in a single VM. ATi is nice because they can be passed-through like any other PCI device. Once you figure out how to hide any PCI device from dom0 it's simple to get an ATi card passed through and working.

Go with whatever disto you're most comfortable with. It's probably going to take a couple installs to get it just right so don't worry if you screw something up along the way. I know it took me a while to get everything working right.
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post #102 of 824
@wTheOnew: Thanks for your quick reply!

Your answer to 3. is a little bummer. With one GPA this would mean that I have to run my VM (Win7) all the time, even when I'm using Linux (via VNC, for example). Or can I just close Windows and attach the GPA to dom0?

My CPU does not have a GPU.

As to 1.: I know that the faster Nvidia Quadro cards (Quadro 4000, for example) are tested for VGA passthrough. I was hoping they use the same or similar design and software for the Quadro 600. I will try to find some info on the Internet.
post #103 of 824
Got this working a few days ago. So far I have been doing all of my gamming (Mainly TF2s new MVM mode) on this.

As requested here are some benchmarks of the system.

Host System:
i7-3820@3.6GHz (8 threads)
16GB DDR3 2133 quad channel
2x Radeon 5850 1GB
Fedora 64bit with Xen 4.1

Gaming VM:
5 threads
4GB
1x Radeon 5850
Win7 64bit





HyperPI
4 threads (4 core processor) 1M digits
Average time 10.964
Best time 10.89
Worst time 11.031


HL2 ep2

playing first few minutes of game

Max graphics. 8xAA
@2560x1440
av 90
min 48 (at bridge)
max 190-ish

@1920x1080
av 105
min 70
max 300 (game limit)

3dmark 11 Performance
@defaults (720)
Score: P3863
Graphics: 3563
Physics: 7293
Combined: 3649

Graphics test 1: 18.75fps
G test 2: 18.14
G test 3: 22.41
G test 4: 9.52
Physics Test: 23.16
Combined: 16.98

3dmark 11 (8 threads) Performance
P3909
graphics 3558
physics 8804
combined 3508

I watched a Starcraft 2 player play on this system on the dell 27" @ 2560x1440, all max graphics settings and he could not discern a difference between the VM and native.

Will post some more game benches, Native Benches for comparison and benches of 2 VMs running the same game on this box when I get back from holiday.

enjoy
post #104 of 824
Quote:
Originally Posted by powerhouse View Post

@wTheOnew: Thanks for your quick reply!
Your answer to 3. is a little bummer. With one GPA this would mean that I have to run my VM (Win7) all the time, even when I'm using Linux (via VNC, for example). Or can I just close Windows and attach the GPA to dom0?
My CPU does not have a GPU.
As to 1.: I know that the faster Nvidia Quadro cards (Quadro 4000, for example) are tested for VGA passthrough. I was hoping they use the same or similar design and software for the Quadro 600. I will try to find some info on the Internet.

You don't need to be running the Win 7 VM all the time, but you wont be able to easily switch between the Win 7 DomU and the Linux Dom0 on the same GPU. I think it's possible to hot-passthrough devices, but it's no where near as easy as hiding them at boot time. Into the land of things I haven't done so I'm just going by what I've read along the way.
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post #105 of 824
@wTheOnew: thanks for the reply! I thought so.

I'm now considering getting a second graphic adapter, and I'm thinking about an AMD card.

I've been checking the AMD lineup and found a number of cards with high bit depth of 30 bit I believe (i.e. 10 bit per color channel). But I read about difficulties getting them working in that high-bit mode even under Windows. I was hoping to use a lower end AMD Radeon card for the dom0 (Linux) and try to pass through the Nvidia card to the domU Win7. I know that Nvidia can be tricky to pass through, and I've also read in forums that newer drivers may cause problems. Hope to get it working.

I'm also not so sure how Xen or Linux will take the two different cards and drivers altogether. But if I use the Nvidia exclusively for the Win7 domU - assuming I get it working - I don't see a reason why not.

Any experience with mixing Nvidia with AMD graphic adapters? I know it won't work under the same domU, but i need one for Linux dom0 and one (the Nvidia hopefully) for Win7 domU. The Nvidia has the advantage of being very easy on my PSU, only 30W, but it does a good job at photo editing.
Edited by powerhouse - 8/20/12 at 4:02pm
post #106 of 824
@Swiss: Congratulations, this looks like a great setup.

I'm very much interested in how you got it working, since I have similar hardware. Here my hardware specs:

i7 3930K with VT-d support (Sandybridge-E)
Asus Sabertooth X79 board with VT-d support enabled in BIOS
PNY Quadro 600 graphics adapter - with Nvidia chip (here we differ)
32GB Kingston 1600MHz RAM
120GB SSD
2x 2TB WD drives
3 or 4 other drives I still need to install

I'd much prefer to use Linux Mint 13 Mate as my Linux desktop - have been using LM for 5-6 years now. I had installed Fedora 16 and 17 but it gives me fits. It's rather hard for me to get used to it.

I have successfully installed LM13 Mate and the Xen hypervisor with / and /home on LVM using ext4, and have some 60GB spare on my SSD for the Win7 domU. Both the regular LM13 and the Xen hypervisor boot.

Boot time with the Xen hypervisor is substantially longer than just LM13. The latter takes about 20 seconds to get a full desktop, the Xen hypervisor takes 2 minutes to boot.

I am considering getting a second graphics adapter, perhaps an AMD Radeon like yours. However, I would much prefer to use the Nvidia for the domU since it I know it works well with Win7 in high bit depth mode (more than 8 bit per color channel). My screen supports 12 bit per channel and has a wide color gamut for photo editing, which is what I want to do under Windows.

If Adobe would issue Photoshop and Lightroom for Linux, I'd happily dump Windows. But as it is, I can either get a Mac or a Windows PC to do professional photo editing.

I don't need super graphics performance (for games), but I must have direct access to the graphics adapter in order to use my screen calibration hardware/software which uploads the color correction curve into my screen via the DVI link. I'll also need to pass through some USB ports, but I hope that this is the easiest part. The screen comes with 2 DVI connectors that I can select via buttons (I believe).

If Linux Mint doesn't work, I would grudgingly accept Fedora 17 in the hope I could get a second domU with Linux Mint working. But I'd rather use the dom0 as my Linux desktop, if possible, or alternatively have a small hypervisor installed and run 2 domU for Win and Linux.

Any suggestions or instructions on how to make it work are welcome.
post #107 of 824
@Swiss: With regard to your disk performance index under Windows, are you using LVM? If yes, are you running a regular hard drive (not a SSD)?

Just curious cause I thought LVM would improve disk performance and somewhere I even saw that it might be better than on native Windows 7 partitions.

While disk performance is not paramount for me, it could slow down my work flow for photo editing/RAW conversion, with typical file sizes of some 20 MB to several 100s of MB.
Edited by powerhouse - 8/20/12 at 4:03pm
post #108 of 824
Quote:
Originally Posted by powerhouse View Post

@wTheOnew: thanks for the reply! I thought so.
I'm now considering getting a second graphic adapter, and I'm thinking about an AMD card.
I've been checking the AMD lineup and found a number of cards with high bit depth of 30 bit I believe (i.e. 10 bit per color channel). But I read about difficulties getting them working in that high-bit mode even under Windows. I was hoping to use a lower end AMD Radeon card for the dom0 (Linux) and try to pass through the Nvidia card to the domU Win7. I know that Nvidia can be tricky to pass through, and I've also read in forums that newer drivers may cause problems. Hope to get it working.
I'm also not so sure how Xen or Linux will take the two different cards and drivers altogether. But if I use the Nvidia exclusively for the Win7 domU - assuming I get it working - I don't see a reason why not.
Any experience with mixing Nvidia with AMD graphic adapters? I know it won't work under the same domU, but i need one for Linux dom0 and one (the Nvidia hopefully) for Win7 domU. The Nvidia has the advantage of being very easy on my PSU, only 30W, but it does a good job at photo editing.

Once you've hidden the nVidia card with pciback from dom0 it'll be like it's not even there. No drivers will get loaded for it or anything. The Win7 domU will have direct control over it using Windows drivers. So it shouldn't be a problem.
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post #109 of 824
Thanks so much for this guide. I'm converting my desktop to a hypervisor to run a couple servers, and I'd like the option to play games on it without having to dual-boot (and consequently shut down the running servers). I'll report back with my results!
post #110 of 824
Wow! I've been looking for exactly this since I built my current desktop. I specifically looked for a CPU/Motherboard that both support VT-d, only to find out that the only VMWare product that supports VT-d is ESXi, and it is impossible to view a VM's screen using the ESXi host's monitor.

Just for clarification's sake, is the Fedora install the "host OS", or is it just installed so that it can be turned into some sort of Xen bare-metal hypervisor? I know next to nothing about Xen, other than the fact that my Linode runs on a Xen server. :/
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