VirtualBox iGPU Passthrough

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VirtualBox iGPU Passthrough

Postby YuriSantos » 13. Jul 2019, 10:27

Hello everybody,

I'm planning buy a PC powered by Ryzen 2200g/2400g w/o a discrete graphics card because thats all i can afford right now.

So, I would like to know if it is possible run a Windows Guest with the onboard graphics (Radeon RX Vega 8/11) enabled in the VM. If its possible, then can I enable it in a straightforward manner similar to PCI passthrough for a discrete GPU?

The most closely related thread which I could found on internet its "VirtualBox iGPU Passthrough" in Unix StackExchange. But it has any answer, then I created this post. I really wish to try few games on this theoretical Windows guest, but I only intent buy a new PC with the specs described above if it is able to run the desired VM. Thanks in advance.

PS.: I didn't post Unix SE link because i'm not allowed to do it yet. This is my first topic, and I must be a member for 1 days and have 1 posts before I can post urls
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Re: VirtualBox iGPU Passthrough

Postby scottgus1 » 13. Jul 2019, 13:58

The Virtualbox manual PDF for version 6.0.8, latest as of this post, returns no results when searching for 'gpu' or 'igpu'. Section 9.5 speaks of PCI Passthrough:
When running on Linux hosts with a kernel version later than 2.6.31, experimental host PCI
devices passthrough is available.

There's a lot more in that section.

Note the bold, italicized, underlined word in that quote, and compare with your desired computer arrangement.

FWIW, forum rumors are that only one user has reported being able to make PCI passthrough work, and it didn't work well. I don't know who reported it or where the report is.

Also, keep in mind that if you were able to pass the on-board video controller into the guest, you would take it away from the host, then the host would not be able to physically display anything, including the Virtualbox guest. You would at least need a second video card to pass into the guest.

Your gaming will work a tremendously whole lot better if you either dual-boot, or set up the host OS for the games and have the Virtualbox guest for the other mundane stuff.
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Re: VirtualBox iGPU Passthrough

Postby scottgus1 » 13. Jul 2019, 14:11

The above said, try googling 'VirtualBox iGPU Passthrough site:forums.virtualbox.org'. I was able to find the report, and the forum guru Perryg's thoughts.
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Re: VirtualBox iGPU Passthrough

Postby socratis » 13. Jul 2019, 19:18

scottgus1 wrote:try googling 'VirtualBox iGPU Passthrough site:forums.virtualbox.org'
"iGPU passthrough"? How about just "GPU passthrough" (no "i")? Or "PCI passthrough" as it's mentioned in the manual? ;)

scottgus1 wrote:I don't know who reported it or where the report is.
But you did manage to find him Scott, it's indeed PerryG! :)
Besides the "classic post" where he sums up his experience, I had the chance to talk to him one-to-one, where he pretty much repeated the same thing; it's not worth it.

@YuriSantos
I would follow the advice of 'scottgus1'. Actually I do that as well. I have an ext. USB3 HD with Win10-64 installed on it to boot my MacBookPro when I need to play a game or two (haven't had the chance for over a year now). It's your best option. Plus you can stay focused solely on your game, without any distractions like email or browsing! ;)
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Re: VirtualBox iGPU Passthrough

Postby scottgus1 » 13. Jul 2019, 20:27

Yeah, I had a feeling the 'i' was superfluous too. But the OP mentioned it, so I wanted to show him how to find any info on it, if there was any to find. The first search result when I search that phrase is Perry's report, wanted to see if Yuri could find it.

Perry's summary of the lackluster results from PCI passthrough for GPU makes me wonder if it was put in because one big paying customer asked for it from the developers for their special case where they needed it. Or if passing non-GPU PCI devices was more the intent.
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Re: VirtualBox iGPU Passthrough

Postby socratis » 13. Jul 2019, 20:38

scottgus1 wrote:makes me wonder if it was put in because one big paying customer asked for it from the developers for their special case where they needed it

I have a simpler scenario; summer intern! :D

Since I haven't heard of anyone using it, and I haven't seen any movement in the source code, I'd say that it was a feature once implemented, but long forgotten/worked on...
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Re: VirtualBox iGPU Passthrough

Postby YuriSantos » 16. Jul 2019, 21:00

First of all, thanks for all those replies. TRULY.

@scottgus1
I wasn't able to find the post googling it but thanks to @socratis who replied with the post url I read it.

Anyway, the computer arragement(Linux 4.18) is intented to have just the iGPU, but you said then the host would not be able to physically display anything so all my initial goes south. I also do not intent to keep a dual boot, I'd it once and didnt like it much. I guess I'll still buy a new the PC and follow @socratis idea: buy a ext. USB3 HD and install windows on it.

Thanks you again guys
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Re: VirtualBox iGPU Passthrough

Postby scottgus1 » 13. Aug 2019, 20:33

Raising this post just to mention I found out what 'iGPU' was: it's the integrated GPU coming built-in on the motherboard or in the CPU, as opposed to the add-on GPU cards people usually think of when they are adding a video card.
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