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Re: [Xen-users] Primary VGA Passthrough Status

I can confirm that a HDMI HD audio device does show up on the bus both before and after the modification, but I never tried using it and none of my Nvidia cards have HDMI ports so I am not sure how it works.


On 10/09/2013 06:20 PM, David Erickson wrote:
Just found it claims to be supported on the spec list of the 2000 cards,
but I am curious if everything still works normally on the converted


On Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 9:36 AM, David Erickson <halcyon1981@xxxxxxxxx
<mailto:halcyon1981@xxxxxxxxx>> wrote:

    Thanks Gordan-
    I took a look, none of the 2000s seem to have native HDMI out.  This
    is actually an important point to me, when you flash from GeForce ->
    Quadro (or are using a native Quadro like the 2k), is there also a
    functioning pass through HDMI audio device?  And in the case of the
    Quadro 2000, would I be able to get video and audio out of the
    displayport and convert it to HDMI?

    On Wed, Oct 9, 2013 at 1:54 AM, Gordan Bobic <gordan@xxxxxxxxxx
    <mailto:gordan@xxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:

        If you are after a low end card, you might as well just
        buy a genuine Quadro 2000. It's single-slot, powered from
        the slot (no auxiliary power required), should be ample
        for a HTPC, and will "just work". And they are cheap
        enough on ebay that it's not worth trying to cut a

        On Tue, 8 Oct 2013 17:49:35 -0700, David Erickson
        <halcyon1981@xxxxxxxxx <mailto:halcyon1981@xxxxxxxxx>> wrote:

            David or Gordon have you tried this on lower end cards like a GT
            640?  (Maybe there isn't a Quadro even close to flash it
            to).  These
            cards are major overkill for a non-gaming HTPC.


            On Tue, Oct 8, 2013 at 3:22 PM, David TECHER  wrote:

            Gordan is right.

            In the past patches maintenance for NVIDIA was a real pain.
            That's the
            reason why I stopped to maintain those patches in February,

            1) Soft-moding a GTX 480 to a Quadro 6000 aims at unlocking the
            expected feature on the card


            I tested on two GTX 480 cards and it works very well. Just a
            bios to
            edit/update. Check the checksum and updates straps bits

            2) Hard-moding a GTX 680 to a 1/2 GRID K2 works very well too. I
            tested it on a Gigabyte GV-N680OC-2GD...it works like a charm

            3) Hard-moding a GTX 670 to a 1/2 GRID K2 works very well too. I
            tested it on the MSI N670GTX-PM2D2GD5/OC...it works like a
            charm (just
            a few resistors to remove)


            This card has a similar PCB than Asus card provided/tested
            on the
            eevblog forum


               DE : David Erickson
              À : Gordan Bobic
              CC : "xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
            <mailto:xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> [7]"
              ENVOYÉ LE : Mardi 8 octobre 2013 20h56
              OBJET : Re: [Xen-users] Primary VGA Passthrough Status

            On Tue, Oct 8, 2013 at 9:43 AM, Gordan Bobic  wrote:
              On Tue, 8 Oct 2013 09:20:51 -0700, David Erickson  wrote:

               On Tue, Oct 8, 2013 at 5:42 AM, Gordan Bobic  wrote:
               On Tue, 8 Oct 2013 00:04:33 -0700, David Erickson  wrote:

                On Mon, Oct 7, 2013 at 11:29 PM, Gordan Bobic  wrote:

               On 10/07/2013 09:33 PM, David Erickson wrote:
                 Hi All-
                Is it possible yet to pass through a ATI or Nvidia GPU
            as the
                VGA card to a Win 7/8 VM, and have it fully functional there

                Why exactly do you need the card to be primary in domU?
            IME this
               doesn't gain you anything other than being able to see
            the BIOS
               screen and boot animation on the external monitor (which
            in itself
               isn't worth the extra effort).

               Primarily it is for htpc functionality like Blu-ray playback
               and Digital Cablecard based playback using devices like a
               Prime.  I believe the code that tests for playready (or
               compatibility always looks at the primary video card and
            finds it
               totally missing any of these features and refuses to play
               properly.  I need to verify that having a passed through
            card as
               primary actually solves these issues, but I think it is a
               hunch (unless anyone else has already tried this and
            proved it

               I never used it so cannot comment on it. David Techer
            maintains a
               patch set for Nvidia cards that include primary passthrough
               The one in particular you will need is the one that gives
            the VBIOS
               loading supprot in domU. Between that and a GTX480
            modified to a
               Quadro 6000 (VBIOS editing required) you _might_ just be able
               to get it to work. I never tried primary passthrough since
               passthrough has always worked for all of my requirements.

                  without crashing the guest or the host during
            operation or when
                resetting the guest?

                It works fine with Nvidia Quadro cards (real or modified
               provided your hardware works properly (e.g. no dodgy PCI
               as Nvidia NF200) bypassing the IOMMU). The latter is, it
            turns out,
               quite rare - an awful lot of hardware seems to have IOMMU
               broken to some extent.

               Is there something special in the bios/firmware that is
               converting these to Quadros?

               You have to modify the strap bits. This can be done with
            a BIOS
               on cards up to GTX480, or with some soldering on a GTX680
            (you will
               need good eyes, steady hands, high quality soldering
            paste and some
               pro grade soldering kit (hot air or oven - you might be
            able to
               get away with a really tiny soldering tip, but bear in
            mind that
               you will be looking at soldering both ends of a resistor
            that is
               long, without shorting it out). If you want the easy
            option, go
               for a GTX480 and BIOS mod it (or a GTX470 -> Quadro 5000 or a
               GTS450 (make sure you get a 1GB GDDR5 one) -> Quadro 2000
            I have
               used all of the above extensively without any issues).

              Thanks Gordon, I probably wasn't clear in my question, but
            when you
              convert it from a standard Geforce => Quadro, what is
            changing at the
              card level to make it more compatible with PCI Passthrough
            and Xen?

              GeForce drivers don't implement support for various quirks and
              side-effects of running in a VM. Quadro drivers do. You
            change the
              PCI ID of the card by modifying the straps. That makes the
            card get
              detected as a Quadro rather than a GeForce, and the Quadro
              deals with the quirkyness and side-effects of running in a
            VM (e.g.
              the fact that the physical BARs differ from the virtual BARs).

              The hardware between the GeForce and the Quadro is by and
              the same. The reason for the modification is to convince
            the Quadro
              driver the card really is a Quadro and that you paid an
            extra pile
              of cash for the privilege of running it in VGA passthrough.

               Is it some feature of the new firmware that is being
            flashed to the

              No, it's a hack to facilitate the use a driver that can handle
              in a VM.

               And do Geforce cards just absolutely not work at all prior to
              being converted to Quadros?

              GeForce cards absolutely do not work with VGA passthrough
              modifications; at least not without an additional,
            unsupported patch
              set which doesn't work for recent cards (4xx cards work,
            not sure
              about the more recent ones), recent drivers (more recent than
              and recent OS-es (more recent than XP).

              And unless your time really is worthless, getting a
            GeForce 4xx
              card and modifying it once with no other side effects is a
            lot less
              effort than maintaining your own build of Xen packages
            with the extra
              patches, even if they do work for your specific use-case.

            Thanks that made it very clear, and I totally agree on the
            time point.

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