Nvidia tests GPU passthrough for Windows VMs with consumer video cards

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Nvidia has released a beta driver that allows users to use a GeForce video card when starting a Windows 10 virtual machine. Previously, this GPU passthrough was only possible with, for example, Tesla and Quadro GPUs.

The GPU passthrough works with beta driver R465 and desktop Kepler cards or higher, Nvidia announces. Laptop GPUs require at least a Maxwell card. For now, the passthrough is only supported on Windows 10 virtual machines. Nvidia doesn’t say why it only works for this OS or if this will change in the future.

With the update, single-root input/output virtualization, or SR-IOV, remains unavailable for the GeForce cards. In addition, computers still need two GPUs; one for the host pc and one for the windows vm.

Nvidia says this feature could be useful for users who normally run Linux but want to play games through Windows. The feature can also be useful for game developers when they want to test Linux and Windows code on one machine, writes Nvidia. Previously, users with one GeForce card who wanted to run a Windows VM could only use a PC’s integrated GPU in that VM.

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