Is Using ESXi Or Hyper-V For Virtualized Gaming Possible?


Limp Gawd
May 21, 2007
I'm looking at building a new box for a bunch of VMs and would love to have it be able to do gaming as well. I'm wondering if either ESXi or Hyper-V for a Windows 8.1 VM and then used that for gaming? I've read about PCI pass through as well as Intel GVT and I was wondering if those were applicable here. The box will only be accessed by me via one monitor or maybe two monitors.

I'll be having the following VMs running probably at all times and am willing to buy a cheaper video card for them if needed. Or could I use a CPU that has a GPU?

2 x Windows 8.1
1 x Free BSD (probably for Pfsense)
1 x Ubuntu
1 x Cent
2 x Windows 2012 RS
1 x Something for ZFS

I'll be using either a Xeon e3-v3, e5-v3, Haswell-E, or Skylake processor. The idea is to run the VMs off of an Intel 750 SSD. I'll also have at least 32GB of ram. For the video card I was thinking of an Nvidia 970 / 980 unless one of the workstation cards is required for what I want?


Apr 7, 2015
I've been gaming on esxi 5.5 with a desktop build with an i7 950 and now I'm on a dual xeon server with esxi 6 and can say it runs great. The only problem with what your looking at is the nvidia cards, it looks like they nerfed being able to passthrough the cards. I'm using an r9 270x with a triple monitor setup (though it can't run any high end gaming on all three). It was a bit of a pain and research to get it going because with 2gb's vram I needed to manual edit the vm's setup file with a "pcihole" iirc, not hard but unlike everything else that you can do through the gui you'll need to do a little reserch. As far as hyper-v I tried it first and found that even though it does have remote-fx for video acceleration it's nowhere near the same as passing through the card, I don't know how much of gpu it can utilize but it only give the vm something like 384(I don't remember)mb of vram and it's not direct acces to the hardware.


Supreme [H]ardness
Oct 23, 2004
+1 for KVM with GPU Passthrough.

Agreed. KVM is basically the best for this as a home user. It works with a wide range of hardware and is easy to set up if you're familiar with *NIX configuration. It's also completely free and won't lock you into any vendor-based setups.


Limp Gawd
Oct 8, 2008
However you cannot get the NVIDIA drivers installed without running into the Code 43 as your are running non-quadro cards. When you run in Code 43 mode, you do not get GPU acceleration.