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ETHREAL1

A few questions

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So I’m thinking of doing a windows with Mac OS build, but I have a few questions

 

System specs;

intel i9-9900KS

Nvidia RTX 2080 ti

32GB undetermined Corsair RGB ram

2x 512GB NVME SSD

2x 8TB seagate Baracuda HDDs

1x 2TB Seagate SSHD

1x 1TB Seagate SSHD

1x 118GB intel Optain cache?

PCI-e USB card (for hot plug)

 

So here are my questions;

1. Can I have the windows VM use the RTX card with hardware access, and have the Mac OS VM use the iGPU in the 9900KS?
 

2. My MB has both USB 2 and 3.0-2, if they are separate controllers I have read that the USB 3.0-2 controller can be passed directly to a VM (in this case the windows VM) For USB hot plug support, and I would like to use a USB add in card for the Mac OS VM will this allow for hot plug on both VMs?

 

3. How would my storage config work? I would like to have the SSDs be VM specific as in one for one VM and one for the other VM, and used for no other purpose other than there requisite OS, I would also like to have the 1TB and 2TB SSHDs be accessible from both VMs but as separate drives, (one to be like a share of documents that both VMs can see, the other a scratch disk for things like video editing and encoding) would this work as specified?

 

4. How does intel optain work with unraid? I would like to have both of the 8TB HDDs (In raid 0) and the optain drive forwarded straight to the windows VM, this would be a mass game storage area.

 

5. I will have RGB ram in the system that I would like to control from the windows VM, is this possible? (Corsair iCue) (all MB RGB will be disabled)

 

6. I plan to use things like the Corsair commander pro for fan and RGB lighting control via a USB 2 port, I understand that I can forward specific USB devices to VMs even if the controller is assigned to unraid is this correct? (All MB RGB will be disabled)

 

7. How many cores/threads should be allocated to unraid in this case? Don’t plan to have anything other that the two VMs running witch will have there own cores, I’m thinking 5C-10T to the windows VM, 2C-4T for the Mac OS VM, and 1C-2T for unraid, Note that I plan to have an all core 5+GHz overclock present, are there any problems with this config?

This build will be full custom open loop water cooled.

Any help will be appreciated

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6 hours ago, ETHREAL1 said:

So I’m thinking of doing a windows with Mac OS build, but I have a few questions

 

System specs;

intel i9-9900KS

Nvidia RTX 2080 ti

32GB undetermined Corsair RGB ram

2x 512GB NVME SSD

2x 8TB seagate Baracuda HDDs

1x 2TB Seagate SSHD

1x 1TB Seagate SSHD

1x 118GB intel Optain cache?

PCI-e USB card (for hot plug)

 

1. Can I have the windows VM use the RTX card with hardware access, and have the Mac OS VM use the iGPU in the 9900KS?
Highly unlikely. Passing through iGPU is already an iffy affair to begin with. Making it work with MacOS is... I'm tempted to say impossible.

You are better off getting a dedicated GPU for the MacOS VM (you might want to google separately whether it would work with a Hackintosh and whether it would work with an Unraid VM).

 

2. My MB has both USB 2 and 3.0-2, if they are separate controllers I have read that the USB 3.0-2 controller can be passed directly to a VM (in this case the windows VM) For USB hot plug support, and I would like to use a USB add in card for the Mac OS VM will this allow for hot plug on both VMs?

Most now-ish chipsets have USB 2.0 and 3.1 on the same controller that is virtually impossible to be passed through. Usually the 3.0 controller is in its own IOMMU group so can be passed through. Note the "usually" since different motherboard, chipset and BIOS version can have very different IOMMU grouping so it's hard to tell for sure.

With regards to USB PCIe card, you might have to search on the forum. I vaguely remember a few of them don't like being passed through for whatever reasons.

You might also want to consider what I call "warm plug" for Unraid. There is an Unraid plugin that allows you to "plug" USB devices on non-passed-through controller to any VM via the GUI. So you are not hot-plugging but you also don't need to turn off the VM to plug (and replug). Hence my coiled term "warm plug".

 

3. How would my storage config work? I would like to have the SSDs be VM specific as in one for one VM and one for the other VM, and used for no other purpose other than there requisite OS, I would also like to have the 1TB and 2TB SSHDs be accessible from both VMs but as separate drives, (one to be like a share of documents that both VMs can see, the other a scratch disk for things like video editing and encoding) would this work as specified?

1xNVMe per VM would only work if they are in separate IOMMU groups (assuming you want best possible performance, which requires PCIe passthrough, which needs cooperating IOMMU groups). Often if they are not, ACS Override should help but again, no guarantee.

Share doc is easy, just unassigned device mount and smb share.

Scratch disk is not easy. To share the disk, it has to be done via network share, which is usually not good for scratch disk due to added latency. If you ata-device-pass-through then it can only be used by 1 VM at a time.

 

4. How does intel optain work with unraid? I would like to have both of the 8TB HDDs (In raid 0) and the optain drive forwarded straight to the windows VM, this would be a mass game storage area.

Don't do RAID-0. Mixing RAID with Unraid is asking for troubles.

Optain won't work in a VM the same way it would with barebone. You might as well consider it like a super-low-latency NVMe SSD.

 

5. I will have RGB ram in the system that I would like to control from the windows VM, is this possible? (Corsair iCue) (all MB RGB will be disabled)

Don't know. If connected through USB then probably yes. Any other way = highly unlikely.

 

6. I plan to use things like the Corsair commander pro for fan and RGB lighting control via a USB 2 port, I understand that I can forward specific USB devices to VMs even if the controller is assigned to unraid is this correct? (All MB RGB will be disabled)

Probably yes.

 

7. How many cores/threads should be allocated to unraid in this case? Don’t plan to have anything other that the two VMs running witch will have there own cores, I’m thinking 5C-10T to the windows VM, 2C-4T for the Mac OS VM, and 1C-2T for unraid, Note that I plan to have an all core 5+GHz overclock present, are there any problems with this config?

Your plan is fine, except for the overclocking. You should not be overclocking Unraid (beyond the automated Turbo Boost, which Unraid has a plugin for you to control). Stability on a virtualised environment trumps any speed gain you can get beyond Turbo Boost.

Particularly, RAID-0 is already bad enough. RAID-0 + Overclock = you might as well plan to lose data.

 

Last but not least, check out this topic and watch SpaceInvaderOne other guides on Unraid before committing.

 

 

Edited by testdasi

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1. Highly unlikely. Passing through iGPU is already an iffy affair to begin with. Making it work with MacOS is... I'm tempted to say impossible.

You are better off getting a dedicated GPU for the MacOS VM (you might want to google separately whether it would work with a Hackintosh and whether it would work with an Unraid VM).
 

interesting, I’ve been reading that as a fair chunk of the Mac machines use the same iGPU that is in the 9900KS that it should for the most part just work if it has direct hardware access, the concern being that unraid likes to take the first video device. Also my MB does not have room for a second DGPU, it only has 1 16x and one 4x via the PCH (yay intel CPUs only having like 21 lanes!)

 

2. Most now-ish chipsets have USB 2.0 and 3.1 on the same controller that is virtually impossible to be passed through. Usually the 3.0 controller is in its own IOMMU group so can be passed through. Note the "usually" since different motherboard, chipset and BIOS version can have very different IOMMU grouping so it's hard to tell for sure.

With regards to USB PCIe card, you might have to search on the forum. I vaguely remember a few of them don't like being passed through for whatever reasons.

You might also want to consider what I call "warm plug" for Unraid. There is an Unraid plugin that allows you to "plug" USB devices on non-passed-through controller to any VM via the GUI. So you are not hot-plugging but you also don't need to turn off the VM to plug (and replug). Hence my coiled term "warm plug".

 

that is what I am hoping, that the 3.0 is separated from the USB 2, with that said hot plug is a must for me, though if this “warm plug” could be controlled from within windows and Mac OS from taskbars NOT a web GUI I would be interested, but I doubt that it works this way.

 

3. 1xNVMe per VM would only work if they are in separate IOMMU groups (assuming you want best possible performance, which requires PCIe passthrough, which needs cooperating IOMMU groups). Often if they are not, ACS Override should help but again, no guarantee.

Share doc is easy, just unassigned device mount and smb share.

Scratch disk is not easy. To share the disk, it has to be done via network share, which is usually not good for scratch disk due to added latency. If you ata-device-pass-through then it can only be used by 1 VM at a time.

 

ok and yes that is what I am hoping, with that said how hard would it be to swap what VM has access to the scratch disk if I where to make it single VM?

 

4. Don't do RAID-0. Mixing RAID with Unraid is asking for troubles.

Optain won't work in a VM the same way it would with barebone. You might as well consider it like a super-low-latency NVMe SSD.

 

oh I was planing to do The raid via the windows disk management utility, not MB level, and with the disks passed direct to the VM I am thinking this would not be a problem.... with this slight clarification could I get at least raid to work? Also bummer about the optain not being an option.... but I suspected as much...

 

5. Don't know. If connected through USB then probably yes. Any other way = highly unlikely.

 

the RGB on the ram communicates via the ram slot.... so probably not then... bummer...

 

6. Cool

 

7. Your plan is fine, except for the overclocking. You should not be overclocking Unraid (beyond the automated Turbo Boost, which Unraid has a plugin for you to control). Stability on a virtualised environment trumps any speed gain you can get beyond Turbo Boost.

Particularly, RAID-0 is already bad enough. RAID-0 + Overclock = you might as well plan to lose data.

 

i was planning to do the OC MB level, and make sure it’s stable in windows before even messing with unraid, with that said the entire reason for me picking the 9900KS is that it’s pretty easy to get a stable 5.2GHz all core OC, also would only be messing with the boost clock not the base clock.

 

11 hours ago, testdasi said:

Last but not least, check out this topic and watch SpaceInvaderOne other guides on Unraid before committing.

And I will look into this

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1. You are thinking from the barebone perspective which can be very different from the VM perspective. So MacOS works with the IGPU, that's great. However, you still have to be able to pass through the IGPU to the VM (in the same way one would passthrough a dedicated GPU via PCIe) + "declare" to the MacOS VM that it is what it is. Those 2 things are usually fraught with difficulties. It could be done with some older gen Intel but I don't remember seeing any success stories with the latest gens. And it's not an Unraid thing. It's a VM thing i.e. any sort of virtualisation envi will have a hard time.

 

3. Not exactly "hard". You just need 4 VM templates (VM A+, A-, B+, B-, with + having config for the swap disk and - not having it) + the UserScript plugin. Then set up a script that shutdowns A+, starts A-, shutdowns B-, starts B+ (and another one vice versa). I do that all the time with my various VMs.

 

4. I just don't trust Windows "RAID" aka storage space implementation due to terrible past experience. You may want to rethink your storage layout with focus on using Unraid first, instead of using Windows first. I used to have a Windows-based arrangement too but have gradually moved to Unraid-based which I have found to be superior after the initial time investment in reading up on Unraid (and later watching SpaceInvaderOne videos <-- seriously, new users are spoiled, I used to have to go through pages of the Wiki instead of having someone almost hand-holding through the steps like the vids).

 

7. As long as it is not running 5.2 GHz all the time then I reckon it's less of an issue. It's almost like tweaking Precision Boost for AMD I guess.

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37 minutes ago, testdasi said:

Then set up a script

We’ll definitely have some more thinking to do now... but also have two more questions, what is the scripting language? And would it be capable to have it be so that if when it’s on and the power button is pressed it will tell the VMs to shutdown, then power off the entire system?

 

what I would like is so if one of the VMs wants to reboot for like an OS update it can but I also in some ways want them to act as one system, so I don’t know how this would operate in its entirety, but for windows if unraid can push a “virtual front panel power switch” it can be made to switch off, don’t know about the Mac OS though...

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7 hours ago, ETHREAL1 said:

We’ll definitely have some more thinking to do now... but also have two more questions, what is the scripting language? And would it be capable to have it be so that if when it’s on and the power button is pressed it will tell the VMs to shutdown, then power off the entire system?

 

what I would like is so if one of the VMs wants to reboot for like an OS update it can but I also in some ways want them to act as one system, so I don’t know how this would operate in its entirety, but for windows if unraid can push a “virtual front panel power switch” it can be made to switch off, don’t know about the Mac OS though...

Script = bash script. It's the Linux equivalent of Windows / DOS batch file.

The "virtual switch" is the GUI. I control my VMs via the GUI.

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6 hours ago, testdasi said:

The "virtual switch" is the GUI. I control my VMs via the GUI.

I get that that’s how you control them but can I make it so if I press the hardware front panel power switch it will press a virtual power switch on the VMs telling them to shutdown, or I guess as another way of putting it, can a script tell the VMs to shutdown safely, and can a script be activated from the MB hardware power button?

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Pressing the front panel power switch will trigger the Unraid shutdown sequence.   As part of that all running VMs are sent a shutdown signal, but if they do not complete that within the timeout period (which I think is 90 seconds) then they are forcibly stopped.

 

in terms of scripting languages two that are built into Unraid are bash (the Linux shell) and php (which is widely used within the GUI.

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19 hours ago, itimpi said:

VMs are sent a shutdown signal, but if they do not complete that within the timeout period (which I think is 90 seconds) then they are forcibly stopped.

OK that’s nice to know, do you know if Mac OS responds to this shutdown signal? And can the cut off time be altered?

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