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Re: [Xen-users] Re: Motherboard capable of VT-d

To: Mike Lovell <mike@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Xen-users] Re: Motherboard capable of VT-d
From: Andrew Lyon <andrew.lyon@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2009 11:00:12 +0000
Cc: Christian Tramnitz <chris.ace@xxxxxxx>, xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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On Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 4:18 AM, Mike Lovell <mike@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Do you or anyone else on the list know how support for VT-d is on Supermicro
> boards? I have seen the options listed in the motherboard manuals for some
> of their boards but haven't actually tried myself. I have actually been
> contemplating buying a Supermicro C2SMB-Q. Thanks if your or anyone else has
> some info.
> Mike Lovell
> mike@xxxxxxxxxxxx

My main workstation is a Supermicro 743TQ-865B-SQ chassis with X7DWA-N
Motherboard fitted with 2 x Xeon E5420's, running Xen 3.3.1 with
Gentoo Linux, its a good combination of chassis and board for Xen as
it has plenty of ram, pci and pcie slots, and 8 drive bays, I run
several windows hvm's and a couple of pv as well, current uptime 79
days, VT-d works ok but there are some problems to bear in mind:

if a hvm with pci passthrough device crashes or is xm destroyed, the
entire machine locks up

if a windows hvm has multiple cpu's it will occasionally crash with
bsod 101 (secondary processor timer interrypt) when dom0 is under
load, this problem is fixed in Xen unstable but gplpv drivers dont
currently work with that and I need the performance boost they give.

So if you need gplpv drivers and pci passthrough you can have
stability or multiple cpu's, but not both, yet, I've been too busy to
work on this problem until yesterday but I've now emailed James about
it so with luck the gplpv drivers will work with unstable soon, once
they do I will try passthrough again and report back my results.


> Christian Tramnitz wrote:
>> I had a case open with Gigabyte some time ago asking for vt-d support on
>> X38 and they told me that vt-d support is not planned for any of their
>> boards, so I'd suggest to stay away from them.
>> Asus might be even worse, allowing you to enable vt-d in the BIOS but then
>> telling you it's unsupported when it doesn't work.
>> If you really need vt-d I'd suggest to go with Intel boards for now...
>> Best regards,
>>   Christian
>> Andreas Dahlen schrieb:
>>> Hi!
>>> I've got a motherboard (Gigabyte GA-G33-DS3R) where the Ethernet port has
>>> been broken.
>>> I'll buy a new motherboard, but wants to keep all my other equipment
>>> (CPU,
>>> Memory, TV-cards etc).
>>> The requirements/wishes on the new motherboard are 2 Ethernet ports and 2
>>> PCI slots. It would also be good if it would support VT-d.
>>> I've found two boards that would fulfill my requirements; Gigabyte
>>> GA-X48-DS5, Gigabyte GA-X48-DS4
>>> According to the VTdHowTo (http://wiki.xensource.com/xenwiki/VTdHowTo)
>>> X48
>>> chipset supports VT-d. But not all manufactures have enabled it.
>>> Does anyone know if VT-d is enabled for the motherboards above (or any
>>> other
>>> motherboard that would support my requirements)?
>>> /Andreas
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