I've finally published my notes: HowTo: Xen 4.1.3 Windows 8 HVM domU with Intel HD4000 VGA Passthrough on Debian Wheezy
A month has passed since I got the new hardware and I have some novelties to share!
First I got XEN VGA Passthrough working and surprisingly it turned out to be quite easy to setup and I'm pretty happy with the results. I managed to passthrough the i7-3770 HD4000 integrated GPU, USB 2.0 Controller, HD Audio and secondary Ethernet to a Windows 8 Preview domU HVM on a Debian Wheezy dom0 using the xm toolstack. In the domU assigned USB controller I've connected an additional keyboard and mice.
As I only have the integrated GPU and no discrete graphics card I have to SSH from my laptop or use Putty from within Windows to control the dom0.
Now for the observations and quirks on Xen PCI Passthrough:
- During Windows 8 installation some artefacts appear but these didn't prevent or difficulted the installation process.
- Un-plugging and plugging the USB keyboard and mice didn't affect stability expect on one occasion where graphical artefacts appeared in Windows though I suspect this could be from the DQ77MK USB 2.0 "fast charge" ports. I have on my TODO list to passthrough another controller to double-check.
- Windows 8 Preview complained twice about crashed video drivers but its stability wasn't affected and the OS automatically reloaded the driver. One of these situations occurred after I kicked the power connector where I have ~8 power cords connected (this was one of the 2 situations were visual artefacts appeared in Windows outside of the installation process).
- Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory performance was crap having scored ~59 FPS in 5 timedemo runs. I have to further research the poor performance though I have a few suspects, however it could turn out to be something with the OS so I'll need to install Windows 8 on bare metal (brrr...) to compare.
- I really need to run some benchmarks using common tool such as 3DMark and Phoronix Test Tool and compare the VM performance with bare metal.
- My Windows 7 install media is corrupted so Windows 8 Preview ISO was used
- Sound works perfectly.
- The second Ethernet is running like a champ.
- Boot speed is reasonnable especially taking account that the VM is stored in a 9 years-old HDD.
- Came across some Windows repair boot menus. Either I'm too trigger happy to kill the domU when I see "lengthily" boots or shutdown (from both domU or using xm destroy) or there really are some issues. Will have to look into this in the future.
- I still have to passthrough another USB controller to test if USB pen and such are properly registered in the domU.
- The dom0 stability was never affected.
- Steam and its Source engine games work just fine having scored ~209FPS in Source stress test (dunno if this is good or bad has I don't have a bare metal comparison baseline).
- I've clocked more than 5h on Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike Source and Day of Defeat. No issues aside from being hooked on Team Fortress 2 -.-'
- I'm impressed with Team Fortress 2 graphics, smooth performance and gameplay.
There's still so much more to be explored but Team Fortress 2 is sucking my free time :(