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Re: [Xen-users] Recommendations for Virtulization Hardware

On Thu, 2012-09-20 at 17:12 -0400, ShadesOfGrey wrote:
> I'm looking to build a new personal computer.  I want it to function as 
> a Linux desktop, provide network services for my home, and lastly, 
> occasional Windows gaming.  From what I've gathered, virtualization 
> using a Type 1 Hypervisor supporting PCI/VGA pass-through like KVM or 
> Xen would be an attractive solution for my needs.  For reference, 
> reading these threads on Ars Technica may be helpful to understand where 
> I'm coming from, 
> http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1175674 and 
> http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1181867. But 
> basically, I use Linux as my primary OS and would rather avoid dual 
> booting or building two boxes just to play Windows games when I want to 
> play Windows games.  I'm also intrigued by the concept of virtualization 
> and would like to experiment with it as a solution for my case.
> My problem is isolating which hardware to choose, specifically which 
> combination of CPU, motherboard and video card.  Previously I had been 
> relying on web searches to glean information from gaming and enthusiast 
> web sites and tech specs from motherboard manufacturers.  After what I 
> learned during my participation in the referenced threads at Ars 
> Technica, I find myself back at square one.  Instead of trying to guess 
> what hardware support KVM & Xen, and vice versa.  I'd like to know what 
> hardware KVM & Xen users are actually using to run KVM & Xen? 
> Particularly with consideration for 3D gaming and current generation 
> hardware, BTW.
> If there is need for further clarification, I'll answer any queries you 
> might have.

There have been a couple success reports of using AMD/ATI graphics cards
on Intel VT-d systems with KVM device assignment.  Nvidia cards have not
met with the same degree of success.  In both our cases, the graphics
device was assigned to a Windows guest as a secondary graphics head.
For me, Windows took over the assigned device as the primary graphics,
disabling the emulated graphics.  For my slow HD 5450, 3dMark seems to
get a similar score to what others see on bare metal.

Graphics device assignment on KVM is getting better, but should be
considered experimental at best.  Thanks,


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