What is the whole experiance usign VM as workstation ?
So you first install esxi, then create win7 VM, enable automatic VM startup, configure graphics card passthrough, reboot system and after reboot you first see esxi console and when Win7 VM boots up you get W7 on your monitor ?
How about soud card, usb and other peripherals ? do they work in such setup ?
Best regards, Primoz
-What you described should theoritically work, but I wouldn't recommend it at all. I'd make sure you have a 2nd machine to manage the ESXi box through the vSphere client.
-If the graphics card has HDMI, the HDMI will work for Audio and Video.
-(See attached Pic) ESXi will not allow you to pass through all peripherals, only supported ones. On the m5a99x, the on board NIC, USB slots, and Sata Controller are able to be passed through. The other Gigabit ethernet controller's you see there are my added Intel/Broadcom Nics.
-If you only have 1 GPU installed, you will lose access to your ESXi local console once passthrough is enabled on it.
The way I have it (you need a 2nd box to open up the vSphere console for the virtual machine, until you attach a wireles mouse and keyboard usb reciever to the VM, you have to use the vSphere console as your mouse and keyboard):
1) Install ESXi.
2) Create new VM, install Windows 7, patch it and install all software. Make sure to give it no more than 2gb of ram.
3) Shutdown the VM, take a snapshot.
4) Enable passthrough for the GPU.
5) Reboot the ESXi box.
6) Add the PCI device(s) on the VM.
7) Add a reservation for the amount of ram allocated to it.
8) Power on the VM (Make sure a monitor is plugged in on the GPU).
9) Installed the drivers.
10) Reboot, and then shutdown again.
11) Change the Ram to above 2gb if desired, add the reservation for the amount of ram allocated.
12) Add a USB controller.
13) Edit the .vmx file to add the "pciHole.start = "1200"" and "pciHole.end = "2200"".
14) Plugin a wireless mouse and keyboard usb reciever.
15) Power on the VM and attach the usb reciever to it.
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But theoretically it should be possible to passtrough USB controller or maybe separate USB card so the mouse and keboard would work right afer Windows VM boots up ?
If i remeber corectlly you can passtrough 6 devices per VM when using esxi 5 or 5.1, so should be possible to use graphics card, sound card and USB Expansion Card.
Yes it should be possible. I haven't tried this because I am running ESXi off a 2gb USB stick and if I passthrough the USB, it might create a blackhole...
If you aren't in a hurry to build this, I can test the setup the way you want it on Thursday and let you know.
That would be great if you can do this.
What VMs do you run on your setup and how high is CPU utilization ? I can't decide between AMD FX-6100 and FX-8150, because of 30W lower TDP of the first cpu.
I have the following on 24/7:
Win08R2 - vCenter 1 CPU + 2gb ram
Win08R2 - View 1 CPU + 2gb ram
Win08R2 - Active Direcotory 1 CPU + 1gb ram
Win08R2 - SQL 1 CPU + 1gb ram
Win08R2 - Certificate Authority 1 CPU + 1gb ram
Linux - Virtual Firewall/Router 1 CPU + 256 ram
WIndows 7 HTPC w/Passthough 2 CPU + 6gb ram
3 View Windows 7 Desktops 2 CPU Each + 4gb ram each.
Using like... ~20gb ram out of 32gb, and only 3ghz out of 28ghz CPU power, but if I'm watching HD video on the HTPC VM, the CPU might go to like 10ghz...
Honestly the FX6100 is more than enough, but I'd pay the ~$70 more for the 8150 just in case you happen to find a good use for it, like having multiple VM's with graphics card's passed through to them and using CPU intensive programs.
Once you get into it, you can always find cool new uses for your whitebox. So just be safe and get the 8150.
Thank you very much for all the answers.
did you maybe manage to test setup with USB card pastrought ?
I did not have a chance yet, sorry. My "production" enviroment is running on it and I haven't found an approriate time to shut it down and test it yet. I'll keep you posted though.
This build just keeps getting better and better! So the motherboard has 6 - 6gb sata ports and 2 - 3gb sata ports. Turns out they are on 2 different Sata controllers. I have a dvd drive and an SSD attached to the 2 - 3gb sata ports and I passed it through to a Windows 7 VM with no problem and without changing a single configuration.
I will be ordering a: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816150028 tomorrow. I have read in different fourms that this card is seen by ESXi (although the raid does not work, but as a Sata card it does work). It can also be passed through, I will test it further and let you know.
Thanks for sharing. Really appreciate your efforts.
May I know your usage on your SSD and HDD? SSD for host OS and HDD for guest OS?
For processor. You go for 8150 over 8120, any big performance boost for 8150 over 8120? the difference should be just the clock speed?
For RAM. I see you go for performance RAM XMS3 over normal value RAM. If we use normal value RAM, would it becomes instable after a few months?
- It doesn't matter if you get the 8120 or 8150, the only difference is the clock speeds. I just wanted this to be future proof and at the time I bought it there was only a $30 or some difference. When I built my first whitebox with a Intel i7 2600k (unlocked), I was planning on overclocking it in the future if necessary. After a while I realized that ESXi does not display the changed clocked speed on the "Summary" tab of the vSphere client. But if you were to install Windows 7 in a VM and check the clock frequency of the CPU, you would see the overclocked speed (same thing occurs with the 8150). So if you but the 8120 and decide you need a bit more power per core, overclocking is always an option. Also, I'd make sure you configure your BIOS settings on the motherboard to make sure your ram and cpu are not over clocked or underclocked (my mobo by default overclocked the cpu and underclocked the ram for some strange reason).
- "Performance ram" doesn't really matter as long as you get atleast DDR3 1600. DDR3 1600 ram lets you take advantage of the FX8150's 37GB/s hypertransport bandwidth, I don't really think it's necessary to waste your money on higher clocked ram as the motherboard and processer cannot handle it. The motherboard and processor do support ECC unbuffered ram but I find it unnecessary just because of the cost difference... (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820239371 - $350 for 32gb, compared to desktop DDR3 1600 32gb ram which would end up being at most $150).
- I wouldn’t worry about the ram failing as long as you make sure to get ram from a reliable company, like Kingston, Corsair, Patriot (I have 4 4gb sticks in my i7 box which also runs 24/7), etc. I’d also make sure the ram has a heat sink on it or you have a cooler for it/good air flow in the car, because the dimms do get hot without a heat sink or proper cooling.
- I have ESXi 5.1 installed on a 4gb SanDisk flash drive. Through my testing I have learned that it doesn’t work on any flash drives, some it has a hard time installing on and being stable. I had these laying around from a couple years ago and they have been working perfectly for 2 years (for ESXi 5, 5 update 1, and now 5.1) (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820171398).
- I am doing some testing for storage and working on a architecture so I will have to get back to you on this within the week, sorry.
Thanks for the detailed reply.
Back to the topic, the issue in your OP thread has been solved thoroughly in ESXi hypervisor 5.1?
Yes, every single feature of ESXi works with 5.1. I can run a virtual ESXi box and then run Windows 2008 R2 within it with no problems (thats what my original problem was).
It's been already more than a year... Great info BTW.. Did you had the opportunity to check esxi5.5 on this build with FX8150?
I'm thinking on building an AMD system for nested ESXi (5.5) and just wondering if you had it going with the new code