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Re: [Xen-users] VGA Passthrough of AMD HD8670D IGP to HVM Win7 results in "Code 43"

On 07/11/2013 09:53 PM, Gustav Sorenson wrote:
Hello everyone,

thank you for your replies, Gordan and Casey.

What are XSA patches, and should I give them a try?

Xen Security Advisories. Probably no need to pursue them in a fully private environment, at least until you have everything working the way you want it.

In my setup, I won't have the need to run more than two displays at a
time, so I'd be happy if I was able to do with just the GPU integrated
in the APU plus one dedicated GPU. Also, I know that with the integrated
GPU, I won't be able to play newer games at maximum settings in high
resolutions, but that's fine for me.

It's not a question of performance, it's a question of primary passthrough still being problematic. If your BIOS lets you select the primary POST VGA card, it might be worth asking around among local contacts if anyone has an old PCI VGA card (e.g. I have an ancient PCI ATI Mach64 in one of my machines purely to drive the primary console). That would leave you the on-board GPU untainted by being dom0 primary free for passthrough.

Your assumption is correct: I'm using the xl toolstack, sorry for not
mentioning that earlier.

I got my VMs working with both xm and xl tool stacks with no notable changes to anything - I don't think this is an issue any more. I started with xm because that was what libvirt was using, but since then I ditched libvirt and virt-namager and now I just use text domU configs with xl. Much more visible, and future proof since xm is getting deprecated.

One thing worth noting is that my 4.2.2 packages only seem to include qemu-dm, so that's what I'm using.

I've read about the performance degradation issues with AMD. While it's
a pity that this issue exists, it would be one I would be able to
accept, reading that nVidia only seems to work better when using Quadro
cards which are out of my budget range.

Check the article I linked earlier - you can grab a GeForce card and modify it into a Quadro pretty painlessly:

GTS450 -> Quadro 2000
GTX470 -> Quadro 5000
GTX480 -> Quadro 6000
GTX580 -> Quadro 7000 (Note: Unsupported for VGA passthrough and thus non-applicable for this purpose.)

I'm still perfecting the process for GTX680/GTX690 -> Grid K2 modding. Grid cards are primarily designed for virtualization and reportedly work great, but I won't be able to confirm that until the required modding bits and pieces arrive in the post.

I haven't gotten around to writing up the details of the recipe for doing it yet, but I will as soon as I can find some time.

Since I haven't done any
hardware hacking before and therefore wouldn't feel confident voiding my
warranty, hacking a GeForce to get a cheaper Quadro isn't really an
option either.

Warranty? What warranty? GTX480 cards are all out of warranty by now, but they are essentially the same GPU as the GTX580 (better in some ways, at least once you modify them). Quadrified GTX480 is probably the best value option there is for this sort of thing.

However, I've run out of things I could try to get passthrough of the
integrated GPU to work, so I'd be very grateful for any further input.

I'm not sure I can help much with this specific scenario - I discarded the primary GPU passthrough option pre-emptively because initial research suggested it was problematic, required out-of-tree patches and generally had a lower success rate than secondary passthrough.


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