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[Xen-users] Need some clarifications regarding VT-d requirements for PCI

To: xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Xen-users] Need some clarifications regarding VT-d requirements for PCI passthrough in Xen 4.1
From: Sandi Romih <the.romihs@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 14:29:51 +0200
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I am looking into building a workstation using Xen to host several operating systems.
Looking at the pci passthrough requirements of Xen4.1 on the VTdHowTo page, I am a little puzzled with the fact that only Intel Core2Duo (with VT-x), Core2Quad, i7 and Core i5 (vPro Brand) CPU's are supported while motherboards with the i55x0 chipset are supported (for example the Supermicro server mainboard: X8DT3-F).

The irony in all this it that above this list of supported CPU's and motherboards is the statement "Note that in addition to the motherboard chipset and BIOS also your CPU must have support for IOMMU IO virtualization (VT-d)!".
It is ironic because the i55x0 chipset only supports Intel 5500 and 5600 Xeon CPU's, which according to Intel, do NOT have VT-d support integrated.
To my knowledge, Core i7 CPU's can not be used (in a dual configuration) with i55x0 chipsets. In fact, if one looks at the specs of these 55x0 motherboards, one will only find support for 5500 and 5600 CPU's.
Is it possible that the i55x0 series of chipsets is listed here because it was used with a single i7 CPU?

I currently have the EVGA SR-2 motherboard (which is a dual Xeon 5500/5600 board with the i5520 chipset) on which I would like to build this multi OS workstation.
So I would be very grateful if someone could confirm whether Xeon 5600 CPU's and 5520 chipsets will work with pci passthrough in Xen4.1.



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