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Thread: VMware's Virtual GPU Driver Is Running Fast

  1. #1
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    Default VMware's Virtual GPU Driver Is Running Fast

    Phoronix: VMware's Virtual GPU Driver Is Running Fast

    For the past few years VMware has been improving the graphics acceleration support that is available via their virtualization platform. VMware -- through their 2008 acquisition of Tungsten Graphics -- has effectively re-written their graphics driver for their virtual "SVGA II" GPU to take advantage of the Gallium3D driver architecture, a new acceleration architecture, and many other improvements. This work has finally come together and is now working rather nicely.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=17048

  2. #2
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    Default VMware's Virtual GPU Driver Is Running SLOW

    VMware's Virtual GPU Driver Is Running SLOW. It might be faster than VirtualBox but still super slow. Given that it is only a proxy it should have been around 70-90% the performance of the real driver. I understand the enthusiasm with Gallium3D but the fact is that that arhitecture still has to deliver what it promished long ago.

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    Default

    Maybe you should also benchmark with a windows host. (and additionally, with a radeon host maybe)

    Also, without compositing!

  4. #4
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    Default Can someone go over how everything fits together?

    Does this work when you using a Linux VM inside any host operating system, or is there any other requirements (like a linux host?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by smitty3268 View Post
    Does this work when you using a Linux VM inside any host operating system, or is there any other requirements (like a linux host?)
    I have used vmware player on a windows 7 host (HD 6550M) to boot an archlinux vm with the vmwgfx driver and it was very good. I didn't do any benchmarks, but xonotic and unigine sanctuary gave quite good fps. But the mouse in first person shooters that "warp" the mouse didn't work correctly yet (that should work better with vmware workstation). Also, kwin OpenGL compositing worked great.
    From the article it seems that a linux host is doing well too. Maybe the next benchmarks will bring clarity on how well in comparison to a windows host (i.e. the graphics drivers on the windows host).

  6. #6
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    Default Proxy ...

    Quote Originally Posted by zoomblab View Post
    VMware's Virtual GPU Driver Is Running SLOW. It might be faster than VirtualBox but still super slow. Given that it is only a proxy it should have been around 70-90% the performance of the real driver.
    This is of course true to some extent (running accelerated indirect GL rendering on Nvidia's binary driver shows this). One should however consider the type of communication between host and guest and the drawbacks you get for nearly native performance.

    You can directly forward the device ioports and memory to the guest (so called passtrough). That should give you near native performance, but what happens when you move a VM to another host with another graphics card? when you try to restart a suspended VM after, say 10 years, and when you try to run multiple VMs simultaneously?

    You can also forward a GL command subset directly to the host, with something resembling an extended GLX protocol. Should also be pretty fast, but what happens when you try to run Direct3D drivers in the guest? Or run the guest on a host not supporting OpenGL but D3D? Or instantly migrate the VM to another physical host? If this is going to be supported, you will naturally see a performance penalty.

  7. #7
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    Default My Experience

    Hi there,

    Win 7/64 running on an AMD 5750 with Cat 12.02.

    Installed Ubuntu 12.04 in as a VMWare Workstation 8.01 guest.

    3D and 2D acceleration worked from the get-go. I had to install the VMWare tools in order to obtain auto-screen resizing.
    Performance under compiz is acceptable. Actions, such as dragging windows, appears to have a bit of latency, aside from that, the graphics performance is acceptable for productivity related tasks. In a comment above, someone mentioned mouse issues in 3D games. My feeling is that this may be the same symptom as the window-drag latency I am seeing.

    Is it good enough for games? Not really. Some of the OGL HumbleB games seemed to run well.
    Is it good enough for GL based CAD? Probably not.
    Do 3D demo programs run (glxgears)? Yes
    Can I play Eve Online under Wine on a VM? It opens, and runs, but not really due to performance issues (I'm ranked top 20)
    Do HD movies play? Yes, using XV. XV-Overlay flashes black occasionally, XV-Textured locks up on heavy seeking.
    In five days of usage, I have not experienced a graphics related crash.
    Overall performance is in-line with the article's benchmark results. Between 1/4th and 1/5th the speed of the host.

    My personal conclusion: I was thrilled that everything worked by default. I was thrilled that I could watch movies fullscreen. I was thrilled that I could run OGL cairo-dock without issue. I am optimistic that performance will improve in time. I am saddened that the workstation product is not OSS. I am saddened that OSS VMs do not yet (or can not?) take advantage of the footwork that VMWare Inc has undertaken. It's a good first step, I hope it improves in the near future.

    F
    Last edited by russofris; 02-10-2012 at 05:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by russofris View Post
    Actions, such as dragging windows, appears to have a bit of latency, aside from that, the graphics performance is acceptable for productivity related tasks. In a comment above, someone mentioned mouse issues in 3D games. My feeling is that this may be the same symptom as the window-drag latency I am seeing.
    Nope. Try starting a game in, say, openarena. The mouse should jump around completely useless.

    Quote Originally Posted by russofris View Post
    Is it good enough for games? Not really. Some of the OGL HumbleB games seemed to run well.
    Well, from the limited experience I have seen from openarena, xonotic (on high and ultra!!) and even ungine sanctuary (radeon driver cannot even run the shaders yet) I say it is at least very near. Why not try some actual games and give reasons why they don't run well enaugh?

    Quote Originally Posted by russofris View Post
    Is it good enough for GL based CAD? Probably not.
    Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by russofris View Post
    Can I play Eve Online under Wine on a VM? It opens, and runs, but not really due to performance issues (I'm ranked top 20)
    That might be due to the doubled indirection.
    I have tried warcraft 3 in wine and it was more "jerky" than the native games, but kind of playable. But who expects 32 bit windows game -> wine -> 32 bit mesa -> 64 bit linux -> vmwgfx -> windows to be fast? :P

    Quote Originally Posted by russofris View Post
    I am saddened that the workstation product is not OSS. I am saddened that OSS VMs do not yet (or can not?) take advantage of the footwork that VMWare Inc has undertaken. It's a good first step, I hope it improves in the near future.
    Yes!
    I personally hope that kvm/qemu picks it up and adds the 3d functionality to their existing vmware virtual driver.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisXY View Post
    Why not try some actual games and give reasons why they don't run well enaugh?
    Sorry to hear that your mouse issues are worse than mine. I didn't try additional games simply because I do not own/play more (with the exception of skyrim which I received as a gift)
    That might be due to the doubled indirection.
    I have tried warcraft 3 in wine and it was more "jerky" than the native games, but kind of playable. But who expects 32 bit windows game -> wine -> 32 bit mesa -> 64 bit linux -> vmwgfx -> windows to be fast? :P
    Indeed. At 1024x768 (windowed), it almost appeared playable. I am content with the knowledge that I could make it work in a pinch (to change skills and update market orders), but do not want to give anyone the impression that they can conduct their avatars as-usual inside a VM. Eve is one of those games where, in order to maintain a top 100 PvP slot, you set all graphics options to low, disable sound, and revert to a wired kybd/mouse to trim off a trivial amount of latency. Some of the Top-1K adversaries you encounter are good enough that those miniscule tweaks make a measurable difference in the results of combat.

    Side note, Ubuntu 12.04 firefox does not appear to have a spell checker by default.

  10. #10
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    Default Mouse problems and window movement lag

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisXY View Post
    Nope. Try starting a game in, say, openarena. The mouse should jump around completely useless.
    ChrisXY, you should be able to work around this by setting
    mouse.vusb.enable = "TRUE"
    in the .vmx file of your VM,
    and make sure the game isn't picking up the vmware USB mouse as a joystick.

    There should *not* be any differences in player vs workstation w respect to this AFAICT.

    For windows gaming, player / workstation is smarter and tries to detect when to switch to gaming mouse mode, linux guest support for that will hopefully be improved in the future.

    Window movement lagging behind the cursor is improved in workstation 8.0.2 / player 4.0.2 compared to 8.0.1 / 4.0.1. Also when running workstation on linux / X11 hosts, cursor position updates themselves can be a bit jerky when running a heavy 3D workload. This problem is mostly non-existing on windows / mac hosts and will be addressed in future workstation / player releases.

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