Need help setting up VM with GPU passthrough

Emulation of old PCs, PC hardware, or PC peripherals.

Need help setting up VM with GPU passthrough

Postby Res1s7 » 2019-2-08 @ 15:50

Hi,

Just having got hold of Klingon Honor Guard which I can't get to work I was led back to a proper solution for these old games. Then I discovered it ...

It was like a revelation to me that this is even possible. I used to have a dedicated machine for Windows 98 games but lost it in a move and don't really have the space for another machine yet. So I read that it appears to be possible to setup QEMU (and other VM's ?) with Windows 98 as guest and have a passthrough direct to the GPU. I did try this a few years ago and could not get it to work, however I don't think I had discovered the "VT-d" setting in the bios for my Intel 4690k. My MB is an Asus Z-97P but I can't find any specific info about VT-d support, only way is to test it.

I already ordered a legit copy of Windows 98 from Ebay. So what do I need to do now ? I already tested running windows on the Intel HD Graphics GPU (the one in the CPU) and installed it's drivers and set it to the primary GPU. When I'm not using a VM, I was hoping I could set Windows to select the AMD GPU by default for all games but this only seems possible per application. AMD does not show "Switchable graphics" settings but I suspect that might appear once I update the AMD drivers as it has not detected the other GPU yet. But even with that AMD also can only set the default GPU per application. There is no default profile ! I wonder if there are any utils out there for that ? That would prevent me having to reboot every time I want to run the VM as I can't have Windows set to the Intel HD Grphics GPU for normal gaming.

So do I just install QEMU (or other VM ?), install 98 and then set a passthrough and go ? Or is this more complicated that that ? Is there anything else that needs to be installed/set in Windows ?

If Windows can't do it then I'll have to install a dual boot of Linux but I'm trying to avoid that at the moment due to lack of any free drive partitions.

Any help appreciated !
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Re: Need help setting up VM with GPU passthrough

Postby DosFreak » 2019-2-08 @ 16:32

There would be no sense in allowing Windows 98 to see those cards since there are no Windows 98 drivers for them.

What issue are you having with the game in Windows 10? Last time I tested it the game ran on Windows 7 64bit. It uses the unreal engine so I'd be suprised if it didn't work on Windows 10 out of the box or by updating the unreal engine video dlls, using glide wrappers or D3D wrappers.

https://www.moddb.com/games/star-trek/d ... river-pack

If you don't want to mess around with hacks and whatnot and you want to use emulation then pcem and qemu are your best bets. Vmware will work with this game for 98 in software mode, 2000+ for OGL and Glide (with a glide wrapper)
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Re: Need help setting up VM with GPU passthrough

Postby digger » 2019-2-08 @ 17:12

I don't know if Klingon Honor Guard supports Glide (3dfx), but if it does, this topic might be of interest to you: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=60950

Alternatively, have you tried running that game under Wine? You'd be surprised how well Wine on Linux supports older Windows games. It has better compatibility with many such games than modern versions of Windows, even.
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Re: Need help setting up VM with GPU passthrough

Postby ZellSF » 2019-2-10 @ 14:29

It sounds like you want to run a Windows 98 VM with GPU passthrough under a Windows 10 host.

1) GPU passthrough is really only a thing for PCI-e cards. Windows 98 doesn't really support PCI-e and/or PCI-e era graphic cards.

2) GPU passthrough is really only a thing for Linux hosts.

3) Even with GPU passthrough, virtualizing a title that you should be able to get running natively isn't a good idea.
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Re: Need help setting up VM with GPU passthrough

Postby digger » 2019-2-10 @ 17:18

ZellSF wrote:1) GPU passthrough is really only a thing for PCI-e cards. Windows 98 doesn't really support PCI-e and/or PCI-e era graphic cards.


The PCI-e limitation in GPU passthrough may be lifted once hypervisors start supporting GART, which currently wreaks havoc with IOMMUs. Of course, there is not a lot of commercial value in supporting GPU passthrough for AGP cards. but since PCI graphics cards don't use GART as far as I know, it may be possible to configure PCI passthrough for those. I haven't tried that yet.

As for PCIe support in Windows 98, there have apparently been some varying levels of success. See this topic for more info: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=44407

2) GPU passthrough is really only a thing for Linux hosts.


Heh, I was sceptical about that, but then I did some Googling and you're right. That's a pretty neat advantage that Linux currently has over Windows as a guest OS for (virtualized) gaming. :)

3) Even with GPU passthrough, virtualizing a title that you should be able to get running natively isn't a good idea.


True, although I've heard stories about modern Windows versions (7 and higher) not properly supporting all the effects and quality settings in older Direct3D games. I remember watching a YouTube video on that with detailed screenshots that showed jagged edges when running in Windows 10 and some missing effects and such. It discussed the problem of historic preservation of such games, since they currently can't be played at optimum quality on newer systems. The video discussed options such as virtualization and running the game in Linux under Wine. It's a shame I can't find it anymore, since it was quite informative.

Anyway, in such cases, running Windows XP in a VM and passing through a natively supported graphics card to it might indeed be the way to go. At least until someone figures out another way to run those games with optimal graphics on modern operating systems, whether Windows 10 or Linux.
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Re: Need help setting up VM with GPU passthrough

Postby Res1s7 » 2019-2-11 @ 11:18

Yes, I just sometimes get fed up with having to jump through hoops to get a game working which is why I started looking into a "plug and play" solution. Someone mentioned above about modern GPU's not having the drivers in Windows 98. This is true and something I'd overlooked. So I started looking into putting in a Windows 98 era GPU. Of course the AGP standard as it was then no longer exists. However I've started to find adapter cards that were developed around the time the AGP standard changed to allow older cards to work with the new standard. So I need to seek out a Windows 98 era GPU. If it can't be made to work with a VM passthrough (likely with Linux as you say) then I'm already started collecting the parts for a full retro gaming PC.
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Re: Need help setting up VM with GPU passthrough

Postby dr_st » 2019-2-11 @ 11:26

It looks like you're trying to set up a retro system just for one game?

Just to be sure - did you try the instructions below and did not succeed?
https://fdossena.com/?p=khg/index.frag
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Re: Need help setting up VM with GPU passthrough

Postby Res1s7 » 2019-2-11 @ 14:03

Have not got to that yet as other matters came up. Of course it's not for one game ! There are plenty of Windows 98 games that I own.
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Re: Need help setting up VM with GPU passthrough

Postby digger » 2019-2-13 @ 14:58

It does make me wonder how many games there are out there that work properly (or optimally) only on Win9x, and not with Wine, ReactOS or later Windows versions. Most Win9x games also run on Windows XP and higher, be it directly, in compatibility mode or with patches. Failing that, Wine has better compatibility with many such games than even recent Windows versions. Surely the list of remaining problematic games, for which none of these solutions or workarounds work, can't be that long? Hmmm, perhaps this subject deserves a topic of its own.
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