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N54l, 16gb ram running ESXI 5.5 - need help re passthrough and general stuff


baldfox
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Hey guys. Wondering if someone can help me. I'm a bit new to this VMWare stuff.

In a nutshell I've managed to install esxi 5.5 via usb stick in an HP N54l with 16gb of ram and can set up a few virtual machines running windows (7 and 8) and Ubuntu. For the life of me I cannot get the virtual machines to pass through the graphics card (ati radeon 6450 in microserver). My aim was to get the microserver running whs or a server variant (poss win server 2012), and then openelec or xbmc outputting xbmc over hdmi. I'm just stumped now.

 

Anyone managed to do this ? I mean can't get gpu pass through on windows either. Looking for a tutorial online but coming up short.

 

Couple of points to add-

A) used generic 5.5 didn't use hp specific bundle

B) didn't mod the bios (yet)

C) have esxi on usb, vm's on the inc 250gb drive - not added the other drives yet.

 

Think I really need some esxi 101 pointers...

Can't passthrough usb either :(

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just modded the bios to latest version, but still stumped with graphics card passthrough. Any pointers?

 

 

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The NL54 does not support IOMMU for enabling PCI passthrough so that will not work.

You would be better off installing Windows 7 on it and and running the other VMs via workstation if you want to use this for both XBMC and virtual machine hosting.

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Some things are just better off on a physical box.  If you want XBMC on the cheap, I'd get a Raspberry Pi and run it from there.

 

GPU Passthrough is sketchy at best on most hypervisors, and in some cases, may require advanced features (e.g., UEFI BIOS which the N54L does not have) to get a reasonable implementation.  Heck, USB passthrough is still sketchy on multiple hypervisors.

 

I think you're limited both by the capabilities of the N54L, which is a good system, but not really designed for this task, and by the current state of hypervisors, which are great for running virtual servers and perhaps business desktop OS functions, but just aren't intended for tasks like gaming, home theater, or enterprise workstation functions.

 

You *might* be able to use RemoteFX on Hyper-V, but I doubt the Turion II N54L supports SLAT (second-level address translation) which would be required.  The article below may help; you'd actually need to run Server, then run the Hyper-V role on it (as far as I know, Hyper-V Server as a hypervisor won't work for this).  Even so, the box's limited CPU and GPU capability may result in subpar performance if you get it working --this is even more true if you're hoping for 720p/1080p performance.

 

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/16652.remotefx-vgpu-setup-and-configuration-guide-for-windows-server-2012.aspx

 

EDIT:  The Turion II Neo apparently does have SLAT support according to AMD.

 

http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-articles/Pages/GPU120AMDRVICPUsHyperVWin8.aspx

 

That said, I think you may go to a lot of effort only to have things not work out the way you'd like, especially when a Raspberry Pi or even a very modest desktop could run XBMC quite well and stream off the storage on your N54L.  I used a Core i3-3220 in my XBMC box mainly picked for Intel's HD4000 video so I didn't need a graphics card, but if you yanked that Radeon 6450, you could use something much lower end like a Pentium Dual-core or even a late model Core 2 Duo if 720p is enough for you.

Edited by LoneWolf
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the information . Even remotefx works , it only works for remote desktop session, right ? how does a VM output to the graphic card on host ?

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VMs do use the host GPU to display, but don't get your hopes too high: it's normally only a basic video capability -- you're not going to be doing high framerate gaming on it.

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