I got Parallels Desktop 12 a few days ago. Does it have GPU passthrough baked in? I read an article on it and how the devs worked with blizzard to make overwatch playable. I'm guessing it uses passthrough and I think its based on KVM.
Just curious. If anyone here uses it please let me know. :3
It definately won't be PCI-E passthrough. Most of the modern hyper-visors (VMware Workstation & Windows 10 Hyper-V) offer decent GPU emulation using some of the host GPU's own memory etc for some operating systems. The better the hosts GPU the better performance you will get in the VM, but it's nowhere the 1:1 performance you get from PCI-E passthrough. I've been able to play older windows games (DirectX 9) on a VMware Workstation VM hosted in GNU/Linux no problem. I'd expect Parallels Desktop to be very similar.
Gamers are not really the target market for this, its more so you can use 'Pro' creative software that can make use of GPU's.
Well theres passthrough of some sort as I was just playing Skyrim @ 60FPS 1080p.... Hmm. Maybe need some deeper research.
Do you have a BootCamp partition on the Mac Pro?
You could run some benchmarks in Windows native and again in Parallels to see the difference in performance. Wouldn't expect 1:1 performance but if there is some trickery going on it should be reasonable.
I'm personally intrigued as I use VMWare Fusion Pro v.8.5. The 3D driver in Windows is pretty poor and as I only have a 512Gb SSD with 70% used I don't have enough room for a bootcamp partition.
Lastly, what GPU are you using?
EDIT: I'm having a day off today so going to download a trial of Parallels 12 Pro and run some side by side tests against Fusion Pro. You have sparked my interest in this...
Unigine Heaven 4 as the benchmark as it is cross-platform. 1920x1080, Medium settings.
Parallels 12 Home - 403 (setup as 4 CPU, 2Gb VRAM)
Fusion 8.5 Pro - 370 (setup as 2 CPU, 1Gb VRAM)
OS X - 475
Driver on Parallels identifies as Parallels Display Adapter, so no PCIe passthrough on my 2015 MBP.
It's possible, but as far as I am aware the GPU visualization is all front-end. In your Windows VM you should see the GPU listed as a Parallels GPU with a Parallels driver. Intel VT-x (or SLAT) is always listed as a requirement by these types of hyper-visors but I don't think VT-d ever is.
I think we are just getting to the point where by the drivers/translation layer is that good and even more basic GPU's that powerful that it works well with most 3D applications and older game engines. The most recent game I've had running in a VM without proper passthrough is Lichdom Battlemage. I had to drop the settings to low, but it was just about playable - especially with a 980Ti in the host :-)