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Using UnRaid for a 2VM Gaming setup


hrubak

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Hello guys,

 

I would like to ask you a few questions.

 

So I have always liked the idea of using 1 PC for multiple users.

Right now I am basically doing just that, with an application called Aster.

This application actually works really well. However, there are some limitations since what it can do is that, it can "split" the pc for 2 (or more) users, but it is not completely isolated (like UnRaid by the way I understand it so far).

 

So basically, in case of running Steam for instance, I have to use either program called Sandboxie (which conflicts with Anti-Cheat software like EasyAntiCheat and VAC also), or I have to use "SteamLite" which allows 2 instances of Steam to be running, but EasyAntiCheat will trigger itself after some time and shuts the game (Rust in this case) down after some time, now I have created some workarounds etc... over the 2 years that I have been using it, but I would like to get something more permament and "easier" to use (after a proper setup, since I know that UnRaid is not as easy as intalling Aster and clicking on "run"..).

 

So, my question is:

 

I am running this configuration

 

MSI Z97 Gaming 5

Intel Xeon E3 1230 v3 (without iGPU)

32GB RAM

AMD RX 470

Nvidia GTX 1050Ti

2x 120GB SSDs

3x 4TB HDD.

2 External soundcards

2 USB Hubs

1 PCIe Network card

 

In case I would want to setup UnRaid, 

How would it go with the CPU?

I know, that I can assign like 14GB of RAM (leaving some for UnRaid itself) to each VM, assign 1 SSD, 1 HDD and PassThrough the GPUs. Assign USB Hubs and SoundCards along with the network card (Motherboard card for 1VM and PCIe card for the 2nd VM).

 

But I would need to split the CPU cores leaving atleast one of them for the Unraid itself, right? Also, do I really need a spare GPU in the 1st PCIe slot? Because in that case I would have to get some 1x PCIe card like the Zotac GeForce GT 710 (1x PCIe).

 

Also, will UnRaid actually help in this case? The only thing I want to achieve is to have 2 completely isolated workstations to be able to play every possible thing without using Sandboxie or whatever additional app or the need for any workaround.

 

I hope that someone would be able to answer my question.

 

Thank you in advance :)

 

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3 hours ago, hrubak said:

The only thing I want to achieve is to have 2 completely isolated workstations to be able to play every possible thing without using Sandboxie or whatever additional app or the need for any workaround.

 

3 hours ago, hrubak said:

Also, will UnRaid actually help in this case?

Yes, I think it will. Many in the unRAID community have done something like this, including myself. Feel free to click on my signature link, I go over the configuration of my own system there. 

3 hours ago, hrubak said:

How would it go with the CPU?

The idea is the same as with the RAM, allocate some to the VM's and leave a cpu core, maybe two, to unRAID. Since you have eight threads what I would do is allocate two, or three, threads to each VM and leave cpu-core 0 and 1 to unRAID. 

 

3 hours ago, hrubak said:

I know, that I can assign like 14GB of RAM (leaving some for UnRaid itself) to each VM, assign 1 SSD, 1 HDD and PassThrough the GPUs. Assign USB Hubs and SoundCards along with the network card (Motherboard card for 1VM and PCIe card for the 2nd VM).

You could also have the VM's drives be image files, in which case you wouldn't have to assign an ssd and/or HD to each VM.  You could even setup your Steam library as a network share in Windows - not sure how VAC would like that though (I had some issues with ARK's anti-cheating software when I had it installed on a network drive share).  Here's a link where Jonp goes over how this is done in unRAID; and yes, you could run two instances of a game at the same time, one on each VM.

3 hours ago, hrubak said:

But I would need to split the CPU cores leaving atleast one of them for the Unraid itself, right? Also, do I really need a spare GPU in the 1st PCIe slot? Because in that case I would have to get some 1x PCIe card like the Zotac GeForce GT 710 (1x PCIe).

unRAID doesn't have to have it's own GPU, it could be run "headless" if you're prepared to do the maintenance from either a setup VM or from a remote system (such as a laptop or second desktop).  unRAID uses the primary GPU as its own, but a VM can take that away, from unRAID, and use it for a VM.  Now, if your GTX1050ti is your primary GPU you might get a black screen passing through video - which is an indication you might need to pass through the video card bios. 

How to dump your vbios   (I prefer this way)

How to get GPU working without dumping vbios   (other community members have liked this way)

 

 

I hope I've answered and clarified everything; if not ask away.

Have a good day.

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On 8/17/2018 at 10:31 PM, Jcloud said:

 

Yes, I think it will.....

 

Thank you for your reply. So basically, my primary GPU is RX 470, so there should be no issue with that and I have a spare laptop that I could use for remote Unraid management.

 

For the HDD allocation, I want to assign the ssd and HDD to each station, so I don't need to create the virtual disks (I will put my 4 TB drives to a NAS and buy 2x2TB drives for this "project".

 

Also with the CPU core allocation, if I have 8 threads with my xeon E3 1230 v3. I could allocate 3 threads to each VM and 2 threads for unraid. Will it be enough though? I am planning to upgrade to ryzen 2700 in the future, but for now, I am not sure how would the performance (and possible cpu bottleneck) would be.

 

So what I would do is:

 

Allocate core 1+HT (Hyper-thread) to Unraid.

Allocate core 2+HT to VM1

Allocate core 3+HT to VM2

Now, can I "split" Core 4 and allocate it to VM1 while allocating the HT part to VM2? Would that cause any issue?

 

Thank you for your response.

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, hrubak said:

Will it be enough though?

I bet it will be, that is until you get your Ryzen upgrade then it will seem like, "night and day." It's a good question, won't really know until you try.

 

3 hours ago, hrubak said:

Now, can I "split" Core 4 and allocate it to VM1 while allocating the HT part to VM2? Would that cause any issue?

There's a bit of extra latency (benchmark scores) when HT isn't paired with its core but other than that, none I'm aware of. 

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1 hour ago, Jcloud said:

I bet it will be, that is until you get your Ryzen upgrade then it will seem like, "night and day." It's a good question, won't really know until you try.

 

There's a bit of extra latency (benchmark scores) when HT isn't paired with its core but other than that, none I'm aware of. 

 

Okay, luckily I will be able to try the trial version and see how that goes, if it helps with the issue of Steam games and Anti-cheats, but the performance won't be good enough with my current CPU, then I will wait until I upgrade to Ryzen and buy the full version. 

 

Thank you very much guys :)

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On 8/17/2018 at 1:02 PM, hrubak said:

Hello guys,

 

I would like to ask you a few questions.

 

So I have always liked the idea of using 1 PC for multiple users.

Right now I am basically doing just that, with an application called Aster.

This application actually works really well. However, there are some limitations since what it can do is that, it can "split" the pc for 2 (or more) users, but it is not completely isolated (like UnRaid by the way I understand it so far).

 

So basically, in case of running Steam for instance, I have to use either program called Sandboxie (which conflicts with Anti-Cheat software like EasyAntiCheat and VAC also), or I have to use "SteamLite" which allows 2 instances of Steam to be running, but EasyAntiCheat will trigger itself after some time and shuts the game (Rust in this case) down after some time, now I have created some workarounds etc... over the 2 years that I have been using it, but I would like to get something more permament and "easier" to use (after a proper setup, since I know that UnRaid is not as easy as intalling Aster and clicking on "run"..).

 

So, my question is:

 

I am running this configuration

 

MSI Z97 Gaming 5

Intel Xeon E3 1230 v3 (without iGPU)

32GB RAM

AMD RX 470

Nvidia GTX 1050Ti

2x 120GB SSDs

3x 4TB HDD.

2 External soundcards

2 USB Hubs

1 PCIe Network card

 

In case I would want to setup UnRaid, 

How would it go with the CPU?

I know, that I can assign like 14GB of RAM (leaving some for UnRaid itself) to each VM, assign 1 SSD, 1 HDD and PassThrough the GPUs. Assign USB Hubs and SoundCards along with the network card (Motherboard card for 1VM and PCIe card for the 2nd VM).

 

But I would need to split the CPU cores leaving atleast one of them for the Unraid itself, right? Also, do I really need a spare GPU in the 1st PCIe slot? Because in that case I would have to get some 1x PCIe card like the Zotac GeForce GT 710 (1x PCIe).

 

Also, will UnRaid actually help in this case? The only thing I want to achieve is to have 2 completely isolated workstations to be able to play every possible thing without using Sandboxie or whatever additional app or the need for any workaround.

 

I hope that someone would be able to answer my question.

 

Thank you in advance :)

 

Linus from Linus tech tips has a video up doing just this may want to have a look might help with your decision

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20 hours ago, hrubak said:

 

Okay, luckily I will be able to try the trial version and see how that goes, if it helps with the issue of Steam games and Anti-cheats, but the performance won't be good enough with my current CPU, then I will wait until I upgrade to Ryzen and buy the full version. 

 

Thank you very much guys :)

 

Correct and since its just run from USB, you can easy test this without changing anything, besides boot priority... :)

 

I dont think you will ever take any other approach after you tested unraid!

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3 hours ago, nuhll said:

 

Correct and since its just run from USB, you can easy test this without changing anything, besides boot priority... :)

 

I dont think you will ever take any other approach after you tested unraid!

One more thing though, In case of "just testing" UnRaid, Can I create for example 40GB Virtual Disk on SSD 1 for VM1 and 40GB Virtual disk on SSD 2 

for VM2 ---> for OSes ;  along with let's say 200GB on HDD1 for VM1 and 200GB on HDD2 for VM2 -------> for games and apps? So I can just quickly test, whether it works,check the performance etc.... without actually needing to re-format my SSDs? As currently I have my SSD1 setup as system drive so I don't want to format that one. Both SSDs have give or take 60GB free space now so i could create a 40GB "virtual system drives" on both of them for each VM.

 

That would be my final question, I will be back home this weekend, so hopefully I will have enough time to play around with it.

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11 hours ago, hrubak said:

As currently I have my SSD1 setup as system drive so I don't want to format that one.

No unRAID isn't able to work with NTFS, so for image file method, the drives would need to be formatted.

Now there is a video, for doing a duel-boot setup, where the the Windows drive gets passed through to the VM -- I think that's what you might be looking for there.

Here's the link

 

As for games, in the case of Steam, you could make a user share and have both VM's pointed to the share. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sounds like you have had similar challenges:

 

I have finally committed to building a community gaming rig for my little tribe.  Most of the motivation is the pain I feel every time my brood brings their machines over for a gaming sesh.  I end up spending hours- troubleshooting, updating, and configuring- then barely get to play anything!  Drives me a little crazy- download 40GB of updates for everyone to be on the correct version- then figure out why XZY hardware/software isn't working.  I have run things like softxpand desktop to run 2 people on one machine but DRM doesn't like that setup very much.  I am on to a truly dedicated setup after watching several of the videos from the unraid community and linus. 

 

The plan:

Will run 6 machines if you include the host. 

1x Unraid- 2 CPU cores 4HT 2Gb RAM

1x Linux game server multi-host w/steamcache- 2 cores 4HT 8-12Gb RAM

4x windows 10 gamers- 2 cores 4HT each 12Gb RAM each

 

The hardware:

Corsair 740 Air case

Asrock Taichi X399

Threadripper 1920X

Corsair 64Gb 8x8Gb 2933Mhz

Evga CLC 280

Evga 1Kw gold PSU

4x Evga GTX 960 SSC 4Gb (had them already- probably upgrade to 2XXX series eventually)

2x Plextor 512Gb SSD

2x WD purple 3Tb

 

We aren't a finicky bunch- 1080p gaming with audio coming through our monitors is usually enough for us.  We play tons of different titles- old and new but usually avoid most of the AAA stuff until it's hit a steam sale.

Favorites:

7 days to die, dying light, TF2, No man's sky, Ark, borderlands games, L4D2, Warhammer Verminitde, Shadow warrior 2, far cry X, ect.....

 

Thoughts and advice appreciated- I have all my hardware except my CPU- somehow missed the awesome amazon sale that had the 1920x for just over 300!! Just looking for one under $400 to complete the build and try my luck with unraid.

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