We are trying to set up a monitoring station that will also have other VMs that can be used for testing and training on ESX. We bought a Rdeon 290x card to use as the driver for a 4 panel display. These are HP Z27i IPS and can do 2560x1440 each. The idea was to have a Win7 VM drive this video card and the 4 main displays. We have other VMs running Fedora and other OS's that we use for different troubleshooting and login jump stations. We have tried for a few days to get the video passthough to work but to noavail. We tried going to ESXi 6 but the results were no better. Has anyone had success doing something like this?
Hi there... maybe an obvious question but do you have VT-d enabled in your BIOS? Also, what does the PCI passthrough window show you? A screenshot would be splendid.
I think that only "HCL-approved" GPUs for passthrough are nVIDIA GRIDs - but nevertheless let's look at this issue.
Try checking out this thread as well: ESXi 5.5, Passthrough Video Card, Haswell Build
Thanks for the response. Yes on the obvious question, we have that bios option on. We chose the Radeon card because we found quite a few posts around the net saying the ATI chipset and this card specifically was working for many folks. For our intended purpose the "GRID" option is overkill. We also had tried the nvidia K600 (2 cards) and to no avail either (we did that way first). I attached a screenshot of the window I think you wanted? Let me know if this was the one?
Any more details then "it does not work"?
What exactly does not work?
Any details from the logfiles?
Please also attach the vmx-file
What does not work? Well we followed the setup ideas we found on several sites to get where we are now. The Win7 VM we created does seem to recognize the hardware (Radeon 290x) as available which makes us think the passthrough exists on the host. When we set the Display options on the VM configuration the physical screens do go blank so it would seem the VM seizes control, but nothing is ever displayed? I will see if I can attach the vmx file when I get back to the office during the day. I have two other techs working on this as well and they can possibly describe what else they have tried.
thanks for the answer - sorry for asking the obvious but I just wanted to be sure we are starting from the same baseline Anyways with everything you described we need to force the VM into accepting the passthrough with >2GB RAM. Have you checked out this thread? It is full of people posting their AMD Radeon passthrough experience Re: VMDirectPath and ATI Radeon
It seems to suggest:
1. To get VM working with passthrough and more than 2 Gigs of RAM, edit your vmx file and add at the end of it these 2 lines:
pciHole.start = “1200″
pciHole.end = “2200″
Try setting this value in the Configuration Parameters on the VM and make sure you have the latest VMware tools present. Then let's see if it helped at least a little bit.
One thing that comes to my mind - perhaps it would help for the system to have the Radeon drivers pre-staged somewhere so it can initiate the auto-installation? Just a blind shot though...
Ok, so you can see the GPU in the Windows 7 Device manager? Without any warnings?
The AMD drivers installed ok?
You will probably loose the vCenter console when using passthrough so you should access the vm with VNC (Not RDP) or some other console remote protocol.
Can you also post some screenshots from the display-configuration.
Btw, this is not supported from VMware in anyway but some people got it working with similar setup anyway