Hi, I’m new here, if it isn’t already apparent.
My current rig is getting a bit old (4+ years), and I’m considering upgrading for a few reasons. Due to the age, and some issues/damage with my case, I’m only going need to replace the case, MOBO, CPU and RAM, I’ll probably get a new GPU while I’m at it.
So for my next rig I thought it’d be nice to have PCI pass-through (and, even better if I can get Looking Glass going). This will be my first time doing pass-through.
For this topic, I’d like some advice on hardware selection, particularly motherboards, with IOMMU groupings suitable for my use case in mind. I’d also like a bit of general feedback on the parts I’ve selected for my rig.
I’ve included some more (probably too much) information in the sections below. Thank you for you time
I basically plan on setting up the VM guest as a Windows version of a “Steam Machine”, “disabling” explorer.exe to reduce overheads, etc.
I have 2 1920x1080 monitors ATM and I don’t plan on upgrading to 1440p or to 4K any time soon.
I use a controller almost exclusively when gaming - so I want the host to retain control over the KB+M 99% of the time, and I’ll “pass” my KB+M when needed using a tool like Synergy. This is a strict requirement.
I’ll also (very rarely) need to use Windows for work/study based on the requirements of colleagues/classmates/etc, but that’s not really a focus.
On the host I will mainly be doing programming work, as well the usual/casual social hubbub. I will occasionally need to swap the GPU back to Linux to tinker with AI but that’s tolerable as long as it’s approximately as easy as normal dual-booting.
Note that I don’t necessarily need maximal specs for my research - for large scale experiments I should be able to use university resources.
Tentative Parts List (UPDATED x1)
Before considering passthrough, I was vaguely looking at these parts for the upgrade:
SFAIK this is roughly a next-gen match for my current/old rig performance wise (with a little bit of extra VRAM for deep learning). I’m always a little uncertain about how much more comfortable bumping up will make my life though.
I don’t have experience with AMD CPUs, but I figure Ryzen’s core/thread count is both more relevant than raw thread speed to my work, and gives more flexibility in splitting resources between host and guest.
I also don’t know if this is a big enough CPU for splitting between the host and guest, and was wondering how much higher I might have to go to achieve better gaming performance than I have now whilst also being able to run my browser tabs etc on the side comfortably?
Notably, I’d like a bit of confirmation on the motherboard choice. Particularly, whether or not the x370 will also work and if/why the x470 is worth the extra money.
Also, for the time being I plan on reusing my GTX 770 for the host in the new rig.
Why so Specific? (Feel free to skip this)
For anyone wondering if I really need pass-through: of course I don’t ‘need’ it. But it would (if working), alleviate a number of pet peeves of mine.
Additionally, I’m not worried about the difficulty of setting it up, or anything (read: everything) going wrong. Nothing would be new about that E.g. for the first year or two I was using Linux on this rig, switching TTY would hang the entire system due to the Nvidia drivers.
I’m one of those people who only seems to “dual boot” by using one OS exclusively for days on end.
I’m not a streamer but I like try (read: fail) to multitask a lot. E.g. I pause a lot to switch to internet searches/discord/whatever, and sometimes have a video or twitch going on a second monitor. So in that sense I guess I behave like a streamer, without needing as much raw power.
I’ve customised my Linux environment enough now (tiling window manager, hotkeys and workspaces for days, etc) that even when I’m “just” gaming on Windows, I’m constantly frustrated without it - This means that even if I have to reboot to swap the GPU around, being able to run Linux whilst I play Windows games, and not having to deal with tab-out glitchery will be a boon. (I might even be able to finally get through Mirror’s Edge!)
As for the controller: I have a disability and can’t use KB+M simultaneously. I can use one or the other, but prefer to use a controller. Accordingly, when games lock controller over my KB+M, it is pure inconvenience. This also adds to the pain of going without my custom hotkeys.