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Skrumpy

Gathering Data for Gaming VM Project

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Hey all,

 

I haven't really started my quest into VM yet, I'm still in the data collection phase, but I am interested in potentially doing something like what I've seen in the Linus Tech guys did a few years ago now (2 rigs 1 cpu) with my buddies. The only difference is that the Linus systems were all done over a local network. Is it even really feasible to do something like this over the Internet? It just sounds really cool (and a potential cost saver) to have a single upgradable hub for multiple gamers. I know I'm not providing a ton of info for what I'm looking to do exactly, but I am really just trying to see if I should even dedicate much more brainpower to this idea.

 

I know the hardware/software has improved greatly in that time, but I'm wondering what kind of base specs I'm looking to get into for doing something for 3-4 concurrent gamers (running the latest games)? Any ballpark wild guestimates as to price? Has anyone here ever really ventured into something similar with much success? If so, how has it turned out? It sounds like it would be a hella fun project, but obviously we wouldn't want to invest a ton of resources only to find out that it's all a pipe-dream with a ton of issues we never anticipated.

 

Thanks!

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In my case (Antech P182-SE) I have:

  • Asus X99 Deluxe (BIOS flashed properly to support my CPU)
  • 4x 8GB Hynix ECC DDR4 server RAM in QUAD ch
  • Xeon E5 2630-v4 ES
  • AMD R7 series GPU (unraid GPU - no integrated graphics on CPU)
  • Nvidia 1060 3GB (for Winblows 10 VM - Gaming/CAD/CFD/General)
  • PCIe 4x USB 3.0 hub (VM passthrough)
  • Corsair GS700 - works fine.
  • Cache drive - Samsung 960 EVO M.2 (want to double this up but might swap to 2x cheapo 512GB Sata SSD's - M.2 is literally 4x faster tho!)
  • Boot drive - 2GB Geek Squad USB 2.0 Flash drive (backed up to the array)

Array 6TB:

  • Parity - HGST 3TB 7200RPM refurbed Sata 3 (might upgrade to 2nd parity for redundancy)
  • Drive 1 - Seagate Pipeline 2TB 7200RPM Sata 3
  • Drive 2 - HGST 3TB 7200RPM refurbed Sata 3
  • Drive 3 - Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM Sata 3

In terms of gaming with GPU/CPU pass-through: Doesn't make a noticable difference. Can run Modern Warefare 1080p at 200+FPS. Arma 3 in 4K at 30-60FPS (playable), Asseto Corsa 4k @ 60FPS (with some setting dialed back), High scores in Benckmarks (1080p) and cinebench (thanks to 8 Hyperthreaded cores pass-through). 

CAD/Video Editing - The main reason for this build along with the NAS redundancy. Can run Adobe Premiere Pro CC without issues or stutters, transcodes 4K DJI/Gopro footage without a sweat in minutes. Can compute CFD(Computational Fluid Dynamics - think virtual wind tunnel) without much trouble in under an hr.

 

Other thoughts: Swapping the 1060 to a 1080ti when the price is right. Even though a 1070 could max out my 2.1GHz CPU, the 1080ti would technically transcode faster and with the extra CUDA, could complete CFD runs faster. I seriously can't tell the difference of windows being a VM on unRaid vs bare HW. 

  If your intending to build a multi-gamer/NAS box here are a few suggestions:

  • Fairly newer Xeon 2-6 CORES (not threads) per gamer
  • DDR4 (or better) quad channel (ECC recommended) 8GB MIN per gamer
  • Depends on the Xeon you choose, 2-3GHz and large L2/L3 cache can support up to 3x 1070's a Xeon of 3+GHz will support 3x 1080ti's (all in full PCIe 3.0 x16 mode)
  • For 3x Win 10 VM's look for mobo that has lots USB native, dual M.2, and 3x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots
  • 2x M.2 drives for the Cache/VM homes (this will keep the OS snappy). Can set up unRaid to use 2x M.2's as cache drives, they will be mirrored for redundancy. (something I should have done with my 7yr old SSD cache drive, RIP recent Windows 10 VM)
  • At least 3x Sata drives for your Parity/Array (These can be as little as you like, but parity must be => any one array drive).
  • PSU to support 125-150% of the HW you plan on stuffing into this monster!

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