VM - How effective for games?

  1. teckneeculler's Avatar
    Posts : 31
    W7
       #1

    VM - How effective for games?


    I've just built a new W10 Enterprise system with an Asus H370M-PLUS board, an 8th Gen Coffee Lake Core i5 9400 6 core cpu and 16Gb DDR4 ram.

    My intention is to install several VMs - W7, 8.1, XP - so I can run some fairly simple old games, like Zuma, Dungeon Siege etc.

    These games are in no way demanding - Zuma runs on very modest W7 platforms, and Dungeon Siege is an XP game.

    I've never tried a VM. How effective will my hardware be for that sort of use?
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  2. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 7,844
    Windows / Linux : Centos, Ubuntu, OpenSuse
       #2

    Hi there


    @teckneeculler

    Hi from the other end of the planet !!!!

    These days the virtualisation platforms are infinitely better than previously - however the main problem with standard VM software is that a lot of the hardware is offered by VM drivers providing the hardware rather than access the hardware itself directly via using the OS drivers natively.

    For most (in fact almost everything) this is perfectly OK but for "Extreme" forms of gaming you'd really need to be able to use the power of any specialized graphics or GPU.

    (For Old games on W7/W8.1/XP the easy Virtualisation platforms like VBOX / VMWARE player --both free would be fine of course - I find VMWARE far easier than VBOX but each to their own --why not try both - you can create a VM for one and convert it for use in the other platform without having to re-install the Guest OS again).

    For extreme gaming where you need passthru :

    To do that you need a Virtualisation system that allows you to "Pass thru" the graphics card to the VM-- which then of course raises the problem that only 1 VM will be able to use this concurrently.

    On a Linux Host it's actually quite feasable to pass a GPU thru to a Windows VM

    Read this first --this guy likes playing Windows games and by using a UBUNTU host running its Hypervisor KVM he got it working satisfactorily.

    GPU passthrough: gaming on Windows on Linux

    A similar thing might be possible using a Windows HOST with its HYPERVISOR : HYPER-V .
    Post a message to Kari as he's the acknowleged expert on HYPER-V around here -- note though HYPER-V needs Windows PRO or above it doesn't run on Windows Home.

    I've more experience with Linux so I know the KVM HYPERVISOR works just fine although its much more fiddley --especially if you are only a beginner in Linux to set it up ---- whatever people do say about Windows it's generally easy to install and configure things !!!. Of course Linux is FREE so that's the other side of the coin.

    For bog standard VM's using software like VMWare or VBOX is probably far the best way - but as I said above you don't get passthru to things like the GPU which you'll want for gaming.

    If you want a really lean host - again it's a bit complex and can be quite fussy as to hardware you could try ESXi but you'll need an external computer such as a laptop to connect to any of the VM's as Esxi (free version) doesn't have a local Console for accessing any of the VM's.

    I'd have a go with UBUNTU and KVM like the link says - follow the instructions.

    BTW when installing UBUNTU you can do the whole thing to an external SSD while testing so if you hose up you don't wreck your main machine. UBUNTU (as any other Linux distro) will boot completely from an external device and with SSD connected to SATA-->USB3.USB3.1 device performance can be excellent.

    Before doing any of this stuff do backup existing system first -- Macrium free or similar is avialble and should always be used regularly in any case.

    Warning : Some of this stuff is quite addictive !!!!!!! watch how much time you do on it -- and if you get stuck just stop for a while, have a beer or two then have another go !!

    BTW you've got W10 Enterprise -- so why not create a W10 PRO VM for your gaming and keep the Enterprise system for work related stuff.

    Note finally that Windows VM's do need a key / license -- if you've got old W7/W8/W8.1 keys they can be used to create a W10 machine.

    Here's an XP machine running on a Linux Host with KVM . This machine still runs things like Minidisc recorders and a Vinyl record cutting application !!! so there's zillions of things you can use VM's for long after support for the appropriate hardware has ended !!!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cheers
    jimbo
    Last edited by jimbo45; 11 Aug 2019 at 02:32. Reason: added image of XP VM
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  3. teckneeculler's Avatar
    Posts : 31
    W7
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Jimbo45, much thanks. Exactly what I needed to know.
    I wasn't aware there were so many options - I'll need to experiment and see what works best for my fairly simple needs.
    I must have played 1000s of games over the years I've been computing, but I still keep coming back to just a few.
    Zuma and Zuma's Revenge are probably my favorites - both my wife and I invariably end up 'Zuming' when we need a break.
    So my VMs won't be asked to do much.
    Hey, I just google-mapped Hafnarfiordur, looks like a great place to live. Away from the over-populated craziness of much of the world Loved the scenery in Walter Mitty, especially the skateboarding scene. I see Ben Stiller tried to buy a house near Reykjavik.
    Your English is excellent, are you Iceland-born? Maybe you are - people who grow up using English are often very bad at using it properly.

    Cheers
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 7,844
    Windows / Linux : Centos, Ubuntu, OpenSuse
       #4

    teckneeculler said: View Post
    Jimbo45, much thanks. Exactly what I needed to know.
    I wasn't aware there were so many options - I'll need to experiment and see what works best for my fairly simple needs.
    I must have played 1000s of games over the years I've been computing, but I still keep coming back to just a few.
    Zuma and Zuma's Revenge are probably my favorites - both my wife and I invariably end up 'Zuming' when we need a break.
    So my VMs won't be asked to do much.
    Hey, I just google-mapped Hafnarfiordur, looks like a great place to live. Away from the over-populated craziness of much of the world Loved the scenery in Walter Mitty, especially the skateboarding scene. I see Ben Stiller tried to buy a house near Reykjavik.
    Your English is excellent, are you Iceland-born? Maybe you are - people who grow up using English are often very bad at using it properly.

    Cheers
    @teckneeculler


    Hi there
    Born and bred but work on a lot of free lance contracts all over Europe --did also Bsc in England (Manchester) and Phd in Imperial college (London). Iceland is EEA and in the schengen area so no "Brexit problems " with that either. (Within schengen no Visa / passport needed - just any sort of photo ID --e.g drivers license -- that's if they even bother to check).

    Am about 20 KM from the city centre (Reykjavik) small town --lovely and quiet -- my biggest nightmares are the hideous rush hours on the Paris and London Metro systems --especially London which while bigger seems to have endless capacity for breaking down frequently.

    my favourite watering hole when English Premier league (Football) is on is : The English Pub Popular pub in Reykjavik, Iceland if you ever vist !!!

    Start with VMWare player --free and the easiest (IMO) -- if you have an old W7 system you can probably activate again over the phone if you need activation -- don't do it until you've got the VM config you need and it works --you get 30 days to activate Windows 7 systems so no pressure to do it quickly.

    You'll probably need at least 3 or 4 "goes" at this to get something that works and satisfactory. The good thing about VM's is that you can just deletre if they go wrong and start again without wrecking your system.

    HINT -- once you've activated a Windows VM -- if you copy it to another device and start it on first boot with VMWare you'll get a message "I Copied it / I moved it") click the I MOVED it button otherwise the system creates a new machine uuidd which Ms interprestes as a NEW machine and windows will ask to be activated again. The I MOVED it button preserves the uuid and hence won't ask for activation again.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. teckneeculler's Avatar
    Posts : 31
    W7
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Hi Jimbo, cheers for the update. I think I've got everything I need to get started, now.
    The Pub looks interesting, though I doubt I'll ever get to see it unless Ben Stiller offers to pick me up from NZ and bring me back, LOL.
    One thing I was curious about and couldn't find a sensible answer online, is how much is an Icelandic Kroner (if that's the right term) is worth? I was trying to work out what the 'Platter' was worth in $NZ.
    I mean, the price reads '2.800' ISK, which, to me, means 'two point eight oh oh' but that can't be right. So is it 28? or 280? Or 2800? Which would be about $NZ35 and seems uppish. I can buy a 500ml can of 8% alcohol German beer for about $NZ3.
    Curious
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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