VDI Gaming - Roadblocks

Category: Personal Projects
Published Date Written by Administrator

Card have come, card have been installed... Cards not working as expected.

2x Radeon HD 5450's 1x Nvidia Quadro 4000


In my efforts to add better comparability and support, I upgraded ESX from 5.1 to 5.5 then 6.0. Same for VMWare View as I now sit on version 6.1

Sadly VMWare dropped the Quadro 4000 cards for vSGA, thus my goal for that card is shot, next we look at the Radeon 5450s. Apparently these will work fine if I connect a monitor directly to the GPU and pass the GPU through to the VM.

Sadly I was hoping to keep the server in the basement and use ZeroClients with PCoIP to game with and these 2 5450's for that and the Quadro 4000 for shared workstation use (CADD etc..).

Neither option will work for how I want..

Whats next?

Well I ordered a second Quadro 4000, with the Nvidia VMWare Windows 7 drivers installed I can disable the VMWare 3D VGA driver and still connect with VMware View (not the case with the Radeon cards). So I will possibly use DirectPath I/O with the 2 Quadro 4000 cards to Dedicated VMs.

My options as it stands now are;

  • Move the VDI ESX host into the Office (Battery backup and ALL) and connect the game monitors and HIDs to it directly
  • Purchase 2 DVI over CAT6e adapters and a couple USB over Ethernet adapters, run a few cable drops from the Basement to the Office and use the systems that way ($$ than I wanna spend as I've spent enough already).
  • Use just the 2 Quadro 4000s as vDGA (1 card to 1 VM) and deal with the latency for now. (As I am getting horrible LAG between the ZeroClient and ESX Host). Troubleshooting as much as I ca.
  • Scrap it all together and eBay the 6 Video Cards I've amassed, 4 monitors, 2 keyboards, 2 mice etc.
  • Downgrade to ESX 5.1 to use the Quadro 4000 cards as vSGA and share them with Multiple VMs and call it a day.

For now, I plan to move the server upstairs and just test with a Keyboard/Mouse and monitor connected directly to the passthru hardware on the host. I have a new SSD and RAM upgrade coming so its gotta be dismantled anyway, perfect time to test.

Sadly I can state I was getting over 100FPS in Counter-strike (original) according to the game display, yet from the VM to the Zero Client it was capping out around 15FPS with about a 500ms lag in input response. As I test more and review more I will post details as I go.

For now here are the specs.

ESX 6.0

Horizon View 6.1

AMD FX-6100 (6 core 3.3GHz)

2x XFX Radeon HD 5450s (1GB)

2x Nvidia Quadro 4000 (2GB)

24GB G.Skill RipJaw RAM

1x Samsung EVO 840 120GB SSD

1x Samsung EVO 850 250GB SSD

1x Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD


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