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jowi

VM & Passthrough n00b questions...

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My UNRAID server is hiding in a utility closet, running headless, and is controlled over IPMI. I've been using it as storage, and for downloading (using sabnzbd/sickbeard etc).  I've been experimenting with VM's last couple of weeks, which is nice... the video's of Spaceinvader One are very helpfull. I am connecting to the VM (a windows 10 vm and a linux vm) using TeamViewer, from my Mac.

 

Now i've seen the phrase 'hardware passthrough' a lot... but i'm not really sure how this works? My server (Supermicro X9SCM-F) has an integrated Matrox G200 card, i understand that is too old to use, so i would need to add a modern graphics card to my server. If all is well I can 'passthrough' this graphics card to my Windows VM, so it can use it, but then what? How wil this be of any use if i'm still connecting to the VM over VNC or TeamViewer? How will this speed up graphics if i'm connecting to the machine over a network or even internet? 

 

Or are you people using the UNRAID machine has a 'hub' and physically connecting (multiple?) monitors to multiple videocards and keyboard(s) to it?

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Normally when users do hardware pass-through of a GPU they have a monitor directly attached to that GPU that they are using.

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I use a gaming VM with a GPU passed through for Nvidia gamestream.
Another GPU is being used by the Emby and Plex Dockers for accelerated performance while transcoding.
Remote desktop software like Teamviewer and Splashtop do Acceleration for the video feed on the GPU too.

Some do their video editing on a VM with a GPU doing the heavy lifting so things take minutes vs hours to encode.

Think of a VM as a way to pawn off the work you don't want your normal computer doing so your normal computer is free to do whatever while the server is chugging away at something else.

Some people want to put everything in one box so their NAS and desktop are all in one. They pass the GPU, keyboard and mouse and a USB controller and can use the server like a normal PC like that.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

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Posted (edited)

But basically, if you have the server in a remote area like me, there is not much use for passing through gpu/sound etc? Unless i attach some 80ft HDMI cable to the server and run it along the network cable to my workplace?

Edited by jowi

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1 hour ago, jowi said:

But basically, if you have the server in a remote area like me, there is not much use for passing through gpu/sound etc? Unless i attach some 80ft HDMI cable to the server and run it along the network cable to my workplace?

That is true in most cases.   You do not even necessarily need a GPU or sound card in the server as both of these can be emulated for a VM being accessed remotely.

 

An exception might be if a VM was doing something like a video conversion and the software being used was capable of using the GPU to speed up the conversion.   In such a case having a GPU passed through could be beneficial even though you were not using a directly attached monitor.

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Posted (edited)

I've updated my cpu yesterday (2.6GHz dualcore i3 to a 3.3GHz xeon quadcore) and now also IOMMU is enabled. I can now see that the internal Matrox G200EW card on the Supermicro X9SCM is now available as an option in the (Windows) VM settings. If i select it, the VM does start, but in Windows itself the graphics card is a basic Microsoft generic one, and the resolution is fixed at 640x480. 

 

How do i properly setup this videocard? If possible at all? It is pretty ancient...

Edited by jowi

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