Options for cheapest possible GPU passthrough?


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I'd like to set up GPU passthrough for a Windows 10 VM but would like to do this as cheaply (free...?) as possible!  The VM doesn't need a decent GPU as it will only be used in my garage to read workshop manuals (PDFs), look up things on a web browser or play music through Youtube Music.  It will be connected to an old 32" TV and I need to connect through HDMI (DVI, HDMI, etc all fine but analogue VGA looks terrible at 1920x1080 over a long cable).


My server has an Intel Xeon E3-1225 v2 (Ivy Lake) with integrated Intel P4000 graphics - there's no other GPU in the system, just the onboard one.  I have only one PCIe x16 slot (and 2 original PCI, if they're any use) but ideally I'd like to keep the PCIe slot free in case I add an HBA later.


Is it possible to passthrough the integrated GPU without adding a discrete GPU?  I have read the thread about this which says Ivy Lake isn't supported but it's quite old and I don't know if there have been any updates.  If not, can anyone recommend the cheapest GPU which will work - ideally without occupying the PCIe slot, but not the end of the world if it does.  Second hand is absolutely fine!  I can pick up the cheapest card from eBay, CEX or similar here in the UK such as this:


It's rubbish but perfectly adequate for my purposes, with DVI out, low power consumption, no fan and only costs the same as a pint.  However, it will use up the PCIe slot and I have no idea if it will work either with Windows 10 or as a passthrough with unRAID!  I don't want to spend a whole lot of time fiddling around, so a cheap GPU known to work would be ideal.


Many thanks in advance,


Edited by tj80
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Any suggestions?  What I don't want to do is end up buying an endless series of obsolete GPUs which don't work if, for example, there's a modern key feature they must support in order to work.  There are lots of guides on using high-end cards, but I can't find much on the lower end.


Since my original post I've tried passing through the integrated graphics without success.  I have managed to get it working (kind of) by passing through an old USB docking station which supports DisplayLink, then using VNC to configure the VM to display only on the "second" (DisplayLink) monitor.  Unfortunately for some reason it's very sluggish - far slower than when used on a bare metal machine natively, with mouse movement lagging and video playback very choppy even in a window.  Audio doesn't seem to work through the dock either for some reason, even though the VM sees the USB audio device and claims it's playing through it!  The dock works very well on a native Windows 10 laptop, so it's not a hardware issue.


So tantalizingly close to working... 


Many thanks,


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Many thanks, Squid, that's great.  I see many of those seem to have HDMI outputs too so that makes connectivity to the TV nice and easy.  Will pick one up and give it a shot.


The USB DisplayLink option which is (was) kinda working seems to be incredibly flaky - plugged a USB keyboard into the hub, selected to pass it through in unRAID and it just threw an error - now the VM won't even start!  :(  


Many thanks,


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  • 1 month later...

Apologies for the delay replying to this thread - I got hold of a 5450, then the whole coronavirus situation arrived and I haven't had a chance to try it until now!


Just to say "thanks", the card works fine passed through to a Windows 10 VM with no hassle (not even any drivers to install) - just what I was after.  For some reason UnRAID detects it as a Radeon Mobile 5430 rather than a Radeon 5450 - but whatever, still works!



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