new project “vga/pci passthrough” – requirements

In my new project “vga/pci passthrough” aka “bye dualboot” I’ll set up a virtual machine using KVM or XEN containing Windows XP or 7 as guest OS under a debian based Linux as host.
Nothing extraordinary new until now, so I add PCI Passthrough for the graphics card, USB controller (keyboard/mouse) and maybe SATA/HDD.

This will hopefully result in a virtual machine on which playing windows games works like a charm and what is easyly managable (backup, copy, move).

There are two ways of realizing this:

  1. IOMMU (AMD)
  2. VT-D (Intel)

I choose Intel’s VT-D technology because they provide awesome VT-D µATX mainboards and I like small desktop setups. In the case space does not matter I would have chosen the AMD FX-8120 with an ATX board because it is awesome for virtualization and way cheaper than the Intel i7 processors in that category.
So this is my setup:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-2600
  • Mainboard: Intel DQ67SW
  • Graphics: Radeon HD 7950
  • RAM: 16GB Kingston ValueRAM DIMM
    (If you are interested in all of the hardware ask for it and I will tell you.)

Currently I’m sitting here waiting for the hardware to be shipped. So keep up, I’ll post my experiences and how-tos as soon as possible.