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Question on Virtualization

post #1 of 15
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I have absolutely no knowledge of how this works but I have heard of it. Was curious if anyone had some good sites for learning the basics. My main thoughts or question is with bulldozer right around the corner I would LOVE to have my home server and gaming/daily use computing to be done all on one machine. I'm pretty sure this is possible but just don't know how to go about it. Does a gamer really need 8 cores? No. Would a 2 core gaming rig and 6 core home server/video encoding be awesome in one machine? Yes.
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post #2 of 15
The idea of gaming in a virtualized environment has been a longtime dream of many since virtualization started to hit big in the past few years. So far DirectX support in even the bare metal of VMs is always "experimental" or "they're working on it".

You probably don't need virtualization for playing a game video encoding at once. If you have enough memory, cores and fast hard drives Windows 7 can probably do it albeit you may still have slow downs. Maybe if you put the encoding on low priority and it was encoding to a different hard drive than what your games were using. The hardware forum would probably know more.

You'd be better off with your main desktop PC for gaming and stuff like that and a second physical box for video encoding/file server/etc. using VMs.

Not exactly what you're describing but I actually used my sig rig to run a rather resource intensive (lots of memory and hard drive activity) virtualbox WHS VM while playing the game Assassin's Creed. It worked for a while and then froze up the game for several minutes but eventually recovered. Conclusion: not a good idea.
 
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post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by subassy View Post
Not exactly what you're describing but I actually used my sig rig to run a rather resource intensive (lots of memory and hard drive activity) virtualbox WHS VM while playing the game Assassin's Creed. It worked for a while and then froze up the game for several minutes but eventually recovered. Conclusion: not a good idea.
Where do you store your VM's? I have a separate SSD for holding my VM's. Haven't noticed any issues even when I have 4 virtual operating systems booting at the same time. I don't think RAM is a problem since you can usually limit the amount of RAM available to the virtual machine.
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post #4 of 15
I'm running all those HDDs each with 200gig+ binary blob VHD files. And I was copy a bunch of data over the network to the VM. I guess I found the i7/5870's upper limit. It was more the fault of my possibly faulty HDDs than anything else. Keeping mind the game was actually on a different drive than the VHD files. I don't know I saturated something... I never noticed we have such similar specs for CPU/memory, heh. I'm not going SSD for a long while yet.
 
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post #5 of 15
    
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post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by subassy View Post
I'm running all those HDDs each with 200gig+ binary blob VHD files. And I was copy a bunch of data over the network to the VM. I guess I found the i7/5870's upper limit. It was more the fault of my possibly faulty HDDs than anything else. Keeping mind the game was actually on a different drive than the VHD files. I don't know I saturated something... I never noticed we have such similar specs for CPU/memory, heh. I'm not going SSD for a long while yet.
sounds like a disk i/o problem not finding the limits of your cpu/gpu.

OP - better than a 6 core encoding machine and a 2 core gaming machine in one box is having 2 boxes, each with a quad (or thereabouts). You'll likely get better performance and spend less money, and you also get better reliability.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skrumzy View Post
I have absolutely no knowledge of how this works but I have heard of it. Was curious if anyone had some good sites for learning the basics. My main thoughts or question is with bulldozer right around the corner I would LOVE to have my home server and gaming/daily use computing to be done all on one machine. I'm pretty sure this is possible but just don't know how to go about it. Does a gamer really need 8 cores? No. Would a 2 core gaming rig and 6 core home server/video encoding be awesome in one machine? Yes.

A home server and a gaming rig in the same machine is not the best use of hardware.

Home servers should be secure, always on, and low idle power.... ideals that are not compatible with a gaming rig.

You want the home server always on so it should be the primary/host OS. However, you can't virtualize a gaming system. If you make your gaming system the host, then you might have downtime and data loss via malware or whatever else.
Edited by DuckieHo - 4/7/11 at 6:18am
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Once again...
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post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
A home server and a gaming rig in the same machine is not the best use of hardware.

Home servers should be secure, always on, and low idle power.... ideals that are not compatible with a gaming rig.

You want the home server always on so it should be the primary/host OS. However, you can't virtualize a gaming system. If you make your gaming system the host, then you might have downtime and data loss via malware or whatever else.
Well I would like it to always be on but I'm not concerned if something causes an unscheduled restart or shutdown(I'm not running a business here heh). I have a pretty good track record so far about viruses and malware, but yea that could happen. With PC gaming going the way it is instead of having a dedicated gaming rig I would really like to investigate incorporating both. Power as of now is really no concern. I was thinking about the a windows 7 os being the host and vm'ing WHS as it was stated earlier in the thread that trying to do it the other way was not going to happen. Is it possible to have the windows os + games on an SSD and then the WHS on a raid array of mechanical hard drives? I really do have some reading to do as to how this works but I'm trying to get a rough picture painted first. Thanks
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post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trueg50 View Post
I skimmed through it because I just got off my 13 hour shift however I will read it more in detail when I wake up. Thank you for posting a source to get some info on this!
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post #10 of 15
Question, why would you want to bother with WHS? If you're fine using the same machine for both purposes, Windows 7 + Homegroup would probably work just as well. Virtualized WHS is just a bad idea. Someone already tried it on AVS Forums (in the humongous Guide to Building a Media Server thread) and even with direct disk access, it still had awful performance. Greatest bottleneck with virtualization is really I/O (particularly disk).
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