VFIO: X470 Motherboards, StoreMI and Spinning Rust

I’ve been working on building a new PC for use as a VFIO gaming machine. Linux Host with windows guest. To this end I’ve decided to go with the 2700X. So when it comes to the X470 I know that most if not all Motherboards have sane IOMMU groups, but I was wondering about any that have other QoL improvements like a second SATA, NIC or USB controller in their own IOMMU group. Things that might save me a few dollars and or make my life easier.

Additionally I was wondering how StoreMI works if installed in a VM? Does it work at all? does it require the physical device be passed in? Or is it possible to just pass the partition in? I’m wondering because I was thinking of following Wendell’s advice and doing Duel Booting, so I’m not sure if I can use one partition for the host and one for the guest.

I was hoping to be able to use 1 NVME drive for both host and guest, less for slots then for a lack of physical connectors and PCIe Lanes.

All that aside, what is the optimal spinny disk size these days, and what are the good brands/models?

StoreMI is a driver from a third party company. It works at the base level, BELOW any VM.

  1. IOW you will build a machine.

  2. You will install a hypervisor, which is the software which allows virtual machines to load and run, and which passes them things like memory, cpus, graphics etc. It is at THIS LAYER that StoreMI will be working.

  3. You will then create virtual machines which are EMULATED computers. Emulated computers are generally slower than the real thing.

I am not a gamer so… given that, if I were going to game in windows and try to use VMs as well, I would flip the game on it’s head. Buy Windows Professional which comes with Hyper-V. Install Windows 10 on the bare metal, turn on Hyper-V. Then use that to run virtual machines with whatever OS you might like to use . Run your games on that Windows 10 Professional install on the bare metal. That gets the game closest to the video card and memory. The game will run as fast as possible and VMs will work well as well. Hyper-V is an awesome hypervisor which will work just fine for running VMs.

If you run Windows in a VM and try to game in there you will probably run into performance issues and it might well be a constant struggle to make your game play nice. The ONLY way I would do it this way is if I was an expert in Linux (I’m not) and just wanted the challenges of getting gaming in Linux happening smoothly.

Just my (non-gamers) opinion.