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  • 1.  Graphic acceleration ESXi

    Posted Sep 02, 2014 10:28 PM


    Sorry if I'm asking for something that can be found around here. I did look but I am confused and I need to know soon to be able to make any possible changes.

    If I RDP into my home media center, the applications I run work quite smooth. One uses DirectX 9. When I RDP to the same kind of setup but running it as a virtual machine on ESXi, the RDP doesn't seem to be as smooth. This is just one example but I have noticed that other VMs also seem to be more slow.

    Could this be due to the difference in graphics acceleration? The dedicated HTPC has a pretty powerfull graphic card. The ESXi server only a very simple onboard GPU (Aspeed AST2050 with 8MB VRAM)

    Will it help me to put in a Nvidia board, for example a Quatro 4000 or K1 or K2?

    Thanks for helping,


  • 2.  RE: Graphic acceleration ESXi

    Posted Sep 03, 2014 06:16 AM

    Hi eRJe,

    You are right, typically the VM running on ESX server is not graphics accelerated. ESXi 5.0 onwards, you do have an option to enable 3D acceleration in a VM but that's software rendering and not powered by a hardware GPU. You can enable that by "Enable 3D support" in VMs settings. Only Guest OS types Windows 7 and Windows 8 will allow you to click this checkbox.

    ESXi 5.1 or later supports hardware 3D acceleration. Quadro 4000, 5000, 6000 and GRID K1/K2 are supported. More info in my previous post:

    Can I share 1 Nvidia Quadro 6000 among multiple VMs?

    Hope it helps.

  • 3.  RE: Graphic acceleration ESXi

    Posted Sep 05, 2014 08:46 PM

    We have ESXi 5.5 and many of the older VM's with old OS's (winxp, win2k3) all have the "Enable 3D Support" turned on.  But there is a warning saying "Vmware recommends disabling 3D support for this guest OS".

    I'm I incurring some kind of penalty by having it turned on?

    I don't know why they all have Enable 3D support selected, but I was wondering if it's worth the effort to go thru them all to shutdown the vm to turn it off?

  • 4.  RE: Graphic acceleration ESXi

    Posted Sep 07, 2014 09:40 AM

    There are 2 aspects to 3D acceleration:

    1. GPU to provide 3D acceleration
    2. Driver (in Guest OS) to facilitate 3D rendering

    First point can be taken care of by having a hardware GPU installed on ESXi host, or using software 3D rendering. Second, is to have the SVGA 3D driver installed in the guest OS. This 3D driver gets installed in Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 (IIRC) guests. So if you have Enable 3D, these guests can utilize it via the 3D driver, others can't. Windows XP, 2003 have an SVGA driver which doesn't have 3D capabilties. I don't think there will be any side-effects as they wouldn't utilize 3D acceleration anyway, but at your convenience (downtime) you could disable this option to have a standard configuration.