2 gamers, 1 box?

travm

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Feb 26, 2016
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SO needs a new system.
Looking at moving her GPU into my machine and using VM's with hw passthrough to avoid building another box. Less clutter, etc. Also much cheaper to have 1 honking system than 2 mid-range.
how-to's on this seem far and few between, and focus mostly on different software configs, and are not very thorough.

What software?

Looking at unraid, but its website so full of buzzwords and online documentation is extremely lacking.
 

travm

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More research suggests unraid is not the correct software.
Possibly this is just a bad idea.
 

defaultluser

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You're going to spend way more time/money on this than you would ever spend maintaining two separate systems, There are so may gotchas getting consumer hardware to to work n a VM with hardware passthrough.

Unless you already bought Xeons plus Quadro, it's a waste of time
 

pendragon1

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LTT did several vm based gaming videos. start with one of those to see what it entails. ^^^ that is probably pretty bang on.
this:
 

Grimlakin

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Yea the issue is going to be finding an affordable hypervizor that will work with the hardware you have. Not to mention other needed items... like a USB port card so your GF can have her headset, keyboard, mouse, streaming camera, and other assorted hardware in there. You'll likely want a good threadripper system to do it right an a minimum of 16 cores 32 threads. Oh and some good solid memory.,. maybe on the order of 48 or 64 gig. Once all of that is in place you can then look to hardware compatibility with your other devices.
1. What can be shared by your hypervisor. At a minimum....
a. Storage pool. Probably a couple of large SSD's in a raid 0, or if you're feeling spicy raid 10, (4 disks with redundancy and speed but only 2 disks of capacity.) You'll need a ok raid controller so you're not stuck with trying to shorehorn software drivers into your hypervizor.
b. Network.. If you have enterprise grade NIC's it shouldn't be an issue. 1 nic can probably suffice as you're not going to have redundant networking built in.

2. Now things you will need assigned to your VM's.
a. USB ports. Plan on a minimimum of 4 high speed ports.
b. Video Cards. (included video output from said card.

The issue isn't CAN consumer hardware do this... it's going to be finding actual driver support for said hardware in a hypervisor that will let you do this.

If you want to shell out for like an MX 100 or better you can do it off of one card but then you will need to look into thin clients and that's a pain in the arse and quickly becomes not worth it.

LTT did a video getting 6 workstations on a single setup... it's not easy.
 

travm

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Think I'll give KVM a shot when I get my new drive. Not expecting it to work.
 

MahoganySoapbox

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Unraid has lots of documentation and support. From their own site, docs, youtubers, forums, and Reddit. If it looked more daunting than KVM & other hypervisors then you’re trying to run a marathon without training. Running a powerful machine that can support two virtual machines plus some host duties is going to disadvantage both systems against the performance of two mid range boxes. Your thought that it would be cheaper and easier is a common misconception.

There is absolutely no “it just works” plug & play solution for your request. You would need the same ram as two midrange systems but, broadly speaking, only have access to 90% of it. Your OS drives would likely not be available to the VM’s as bare metal (a safe assumption unless your board topology is perfect). The processor cores would all, or at least core 0 would, be handling requests from the hypervisor and hindering performance compared to bare metal. Oh, and I’m not even going to broach the issue of USB pass through yet.

Here’s the thing with virtualization...

Everyone who does it has heard of these concerns before and said “Fuck It”, before making their first VM. Then they learned how to make their next VM better, and the next, and so on. It won’t be as responsive and fast as bare metal, but it’s worth trying.
 
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TType85

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I have had multiple PC's running as VM's with graphics cards passed through using Unraid and a Threadripper 1950x in the past. It really wasn't too difficult and they ran fine. Not quite bare metal speeds but close.

Right now I am running my primary machine as a VM on unraid with a 3900x/64GB Ram; 6 cores, a GTX 1070, 32GB of ram and a 512GB NVME passed through to the VM along with one of my boards USB controllers. It runs fine for everything I do.

It is not cheaper or easier than maintaining 2 systems but it is a fun thing to play around with. The problem comes when there is an issue and the SO's system goes down along with yours or if you want to upgrade the HW and the SO wants to be on their 'machine'.
 

travm

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I have had multiple PC's running as VM's with graphics cards passed through using Unraid and a Threadripper 1950x in the past. It really wasn't too difficult and they ran fine. Not quite bare metal speeds but close.

Right now I am running my primary machine as a VM on unraid with a 3900x/64GB Ram; 6 cores, a GTX 1070, 32GB of ram and a 512GB NVME passed through to the VM along with one of my boards USB controllers. It runs fine for everything I do.

It is not cheaper or easier than maintaining 2 systems but it is a fun thing to play around with. The problem comes when there is an issue and the SO's system goes down along with yours or if you want to upgrade the HW and the SO wants to be on their 'machine'.
What I was hoping was that a ryzen 3800 or 3900 might be enough, its a drop in to my current mobo, and if upgrade ram to 32GB I can eliminate a box, while possibly still affording to upgrade my GPU.

I think however I'll treat it as a fun experiment, and not start out as a "this will replace a machine". That way, if its not fun, and the experiment sucks, Its just swapping some cables and everything is as it was.

Currently SO is on an FX 8320e, which badly needs replaced. Just working options really.
 

bman212121

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Lots have tried it, it's not something I would call production ready. The issue is when you just want a working computer this isn't a solution for that. From the many times I've tried it, yes unraid it by far the easiest and most likely way to succeed. But it costs money if you want to run it long term. So take that money and just but another board and spring for another CPU. You probably already have the rest of the components to build two complete systems anyway.
 
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danswartz

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Lots have tried it, it's not something I would call production ready. The issue is when you just want a working computer this isn't a solution for that. From the many times I've tried it, yes unraid it by far the easiest and most likely way to succeed. But it costs money if you want to run it long term. So take that money and just but another board and spring for another CPU. You probably already have the rest of the components to build two complete systems anyway.

Not to mention everytime something f*cks up, she'll be pissed as hell and ask "Why can't I just have something that works????"
 

TheSlySyl

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I just let my SO have my hand-me-downs.
It's a great excuse to upgrade yourself more often. ;)
Also I like having two boxes to mess with, usually I get hers running as absolutely *stable* as possible and I do all the fun overclocking and tweaking with mine.

She's currently running an R7 1700, GTX 1070 and 32GB of with a 1TB NVME drive. She only has 1080p monitors and its more than enough for us to co-op Monster Hunter: World, Borderlands 3, Divinity 2, etc.

If you wonder why I gave her 32GB of ram, its because she usually has over 1000 tabs open at a time on chrome.
That's not an exaggeration.
It gives me anxiety just looking at her browser.
 

danswartz

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I just let my SO have my hand-me-downs.
It's a great excuse to upgrade yourself more often. ;)
Also I like having two boxes to mess with, usually I get hers running as absolutely *stable* as possible and I do all the fun overclocking and tweaking with mine.

I love the term WAF. Wife Acceptance Factor. She doesn't care about the funky, fun sh*t I do. She just 'wants it to work!'.
 
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