Is it feasible for me to switch?

On my gaming machine I run Wandows pls 10, which performance wise does actually do better in games I play than 7. However the idea of running Windows 10 in VM with passthough is intriguing to say the least. I'm not exactly new to linux per se, but my adventures with it have been purely debian based...mostly of a Ubuntu flavor/spinoff. I would be far less effective in something like Arch or Fedora I'm afraid. So to get to the point of this topic.

Could I virtualize, with passthrough without too much pain? Is there anything about my hardware which would prevent this from working? Can it be easily done in [insert any DE + Ubuntu here]?

i7 7700k
GA-Z170-Gaming 3
24GB DDR4 @ 2400
Nvidia GTX 1070

I realize I will take a performance hit doing so but I dont care too much about that.

Also, on a side note, I've only ever used VirtualBox, and VMware on occasion.

I can't speak to whether or not the motherboard will support it. I can tell you that there won't be any problems for lack of memory or CPU horsepower. When I had this working as a proof of concept a while back, it was on an FX-6300 with 16GB of memory.

On the software side, when I had this running it was in Ubuntu Gnome, I believe it was 16.04, or 15.10. It wasn't the greatest setup in the world as I only had a non-gaming Radeon HD 6xxx to passthrough to Windows, but it was fast enough to play Skyrim. I didn't have all of the pretties cranked, but that was mainly a failing in the specs of the video card I gave to Windows. With the graphics settings at a happy medium, it was quite playable.

There has been a lot of elitism about using Debian or Arch "because Ubuntu lags behind in kernel updates." But the truth of the matter is that this functionality has been around for a while now. You don't need kernel 4.9.9 to make this work. There may be performance benefits and/or bug fixes to be had though, and that's worth considering.

Is it feasible for you to switch? Maybe. If possible, don't put all of your eggs in one basket. Image your system with your favorite cloning tool, put as much effort into a gaming VM as you are comfortable with, if it doesn't work out, re-image your system.

You don't need 4.9, but having 4.4 or later will make it A LOT easier. Performance benefits are negligible across kernels, the difference is in the ease of setting it up and how reliable it is.

Absolutely, you can without much pain. You shouldn't have too much difficulty, but there are a few tricks that need to be done to make your 1070 drivers work in the VM. Nvidia intentionally disables them if they detect they're running in a VM on a non-quadro card.

Now, if you want to learn more about passthrough, have a look at these two articles I wrote:

That should help you get started!

I did it, no problems. This is Ubuntu Studio (xfce) 16.04. And much older hardware.

One GPU — you going to be okay with only the onboard graphics for linux?

yep. it's a one-line fix, though : )

The performance "hit" is not what you think it will be.

Valid point, maybe I'm a bit more angry at Nvidia than I would admit.

I got a 1% performance hit on average. Once in a while I get a lockup, but that's only when I'm doing CPU intensive things on the host.

totally not being dismissive of your anger. : )

in my case, it's a FX-4300 so I made a big point of "use the host OR the vm, NOT both at once!!" when my son took it home. the host is not unusable so long as you stick to basic tasks. He did manage to crash the VM once by trying to run a screen recorder while gaming (and he crashed it real good, thank goodness i made the restore script!).

gaddamcorpratebigbusinessprofitdrivenpatriarchy Wow, that really does help!

Yeah, that's why I'm happy to have an i7. I allocate 4 cores to the VM and that's enough for all the games I want to play. I can still play music and watch youtube or something on the host, but when I go to recompile the kernel or something, that's where the problem comes in.

So to understand this correctly. I would have to use the onboard kabylake whatever to boot linux.

This means I can no longer span my triple monitor setup?

So, the way you do the passthrough setup is that you dedicate the GPU to the VM. You don't use it on the host (linux) and whenever the VM is not on, the GPU is 100% inactive.

That doesn't mean you can't get a second GPU and use that for Linux, but usually people choose to use the onboard GPU for their Linux host.

You may be able to use your triple monitor config, but it depends on the ports available.

You passthrough one GPU, be it a dGPU or iGPU, so whenever you start the VM one of your monitors are disconnected from the host to display the VM output.
Example setup: normally dual monitor setup on linux, but when you start the VM one monitor is dedicated to Windows, and one to linux.
Or with one monitor: DVI feed to the monitor for the linux host, and when you start the VM you need to switch to for example HDMI to display the Windows machine.
You're dedicating /hardware/ to the VM.

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Well, that sucks. I wanted to have all three monitors dedicated to both simultaneously, like VirtualBox's seamless mode.

I guess the only answer is another 1070 and 6 monitors.