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While I have learned that you must use two different video cards to utilize Xen's VGA Passthrough, I am curious if you can do this with different video cards from the same manufacturer. Specifically, I would like to utilize the following setup:

  • xubuntu
  • Radeon 4870
  • Radeon 7870

My goal is to have triple monitors on the Linux host OS (7870 allows this via mini-DisplayPort). Then, I want to be able to launch a VM of Windows that has direct access to a single video card for gaming (probably on the 4870).

A bonus would be to have the host system utilize 2 displays on the 4870 and 1 on the 7870, so that the 7870 could be used for the gaming VM (w/ that monitor switching to the VM). I think I'm reaching a bit far with this bonus though. Any working configuration that allows triple monitors with a gaming Windows VM (even if it uses the 4870) would be great!

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You can use any number of cards from any number of manufacturers.

Dom0 won't care because while it will know that there are devices there, you'll be passing kernel boot parameters to tell it to ignore looking for and binding drivers to the cards so it will just leave them alone for the domUs to deal with.

Each domU will only know about the card assigned to it so they in turn won't care that you have multiple video cards from either the same manufacturer or different ones. As long as the domU's OS has drivers for the card(s) assigned to it, it'll be able to use it fully.

My Xen server setup has a cheap Nvidia card for the Xen host and a Radeon 7750 driving multiple monitors dedicated to one of the guests. Works like a charm.

Note: there are still some issues with rebooting domUs that have assigned VGA adapters. The video card may not be reset during the reboot process and may fail to initialize properly following the reboot. I haven't found a solution for this yet so you may want to do some searches on FLR (Function Level Resets) with Xen VGA passthrough.



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