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Old 07-29-2007, 06:55 AM   #1
dr_dex
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Question Hardware capable of gaming (3D) virtualization


I am planning to buy a new desktop machine for my home office. As I am both a programmer and (occasional) gamer, I'd like to get a machine that is very good for gaming. But because I don't have a lot of space in my office, I have room for only one physical machine.

Is there a way to run both Windows (XP or Vista) and Ubuntu with some kind of virtualization technology at the same time (not dualboot)?

When I say "at the same time" I mean something that will enable me to switch between the virtual machines on the fly (hotkey combination) AND allow for near-native performance, so that I can play my new 3D-based (DX10/OpenGL) games on the windows virtual machine while having all my productivity applications running on the Ubuntu virtual machine at the same time (or vice versa).

As far as I have understood I would need a machine with a processor with hardware virtualization support (Intel VT-x or some AMD product) to do this. But when I have this hardware, will I be able to setup an environment like this, or is it impossible to use two virtual machines on the same hardware at the same time that utilize the hardware (sound/video) in this fashion?

So is virtualization possible for a wannabe gamer (and developer + photography geek)?

PS: I've been a long time user of Linux (since 1.2.13) and Windows, but in virtualization there seems to be somewhat too much use of buzzwords to get a good understanding the bigger picture.
 
Old 07-29-2007, 09:30 AM   #2
Crito
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Only the host OS will be able to use your graphic card natively. The VMs all emulate the same type of hardware regardless of what the host uses, which for QEMU is a Cirrus Logic 5446 video card.

Dual booting is still the only option for 3D gaming.
 
Old 07-29-2007, 01:36 PM   #3
Crito
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Here's a screenshot of Device Manager running under QEMU/KVM (with full hardware virtualization) showing how my nVidia 7025 appears to Windows: http://4crito.com/screenshots/july9_2007.png
 
Old 07-30-2007, 05:11 AM   #4
dr_dex
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Question What about Xen?

Xen3 is supposed to just use a very thin hypervisor, and drivers are supposed to work on a lower level than the hypervisor. I thought this would make it possible to use native drivers in the guest OSes?

Can anyone who uses Xen confirm or deny this?
 
  


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