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RE: [Xen-devel] philosophically about IGD pass-through (was: feature sug

To: "Joanna Rutkowska" <joanna@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Keir Fraser" <keir.fraser@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: RE: [Xen-devel] philosophically about IGD pass-through (was: feature suggestion: DMAR table emulation for Xen)
From: "James Harper" <james.harper@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 14 May 2010 21:58:39 +1000
Cc: "Kay, Allen M" <allen.m.kay@xxxxxxxxx>, "Cihula, Joseph" <joseph.cihula@xxxxxxxxx>, "Han, Weidong" <weidong.han@xxxxxxxxx>, xen-devel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Thread-topic: [Xen-devel] philosophically about IGD pass-through (was: feature suggestion: DMAR table emulation for Xen)
> > Yes, particularly necessary to get decent 3D performance (e.g.,
> > Aero). There are tricks to get security and performance (doing a mix
> > emulation and passthrough).
> >
> It's good to distinguish 3D acceleration for the *Window Manager* vs.
> acceleration for the *apps*. In Qubes we keep the Window Manager in
> Dom0, so, as long as the graphics driver is not broken, the Window
> Manager gets all the fancy 3D effects, just like on the native.
> The only(?) advantage you gain by using graphics passthorugh is for
> apps. But is it really worth it? How many 3D-capable apps business
> use today? Google Earth? Anything else? So, in order to support Google
> Earth, is it really worth to introduce potential VM escape attacks?

CAD? Nothing to do with Xen in my case but it's causing one of our
clients grief at the moment as they want to use Windows 7 but one CAD
app only works with XP and 'XP Mode'[1] under Windows 7 just emulates a
craptastic S3 video adapter with no acceleration at all. It looks like
the solution will be 2 PC's for a while...

In that same organisation, most workstations have a requirement to view
the 3D models at reasonable speeds.

I don't see CAD workstations as big users of xen as they are generally
single purpose, but it's probably a mistake to think that the only
business app with 3D visualisation requirements is Google Earth.


[1] for anyone who doesn't know, 'XP Mode' is a product that uses
Microsoft VirtualPC to run an instance of XP, licensed as part of the
Windows 7 license. Good for a lot of things, but not CAD.

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