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Nvidia finally switches on GeForce GPU Passthrough

Nvidia RTX 3090
(Image credit: Future)
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If you have a Nvidia GPU (opens in new tab), you'll now be able to use GeForce GPU Passthrough when running virtual machines (opens in new tab) on Windows.

While the feature has been used for a while now, the company didn't officially support the technology in the past but this has changed with the announcement that GeForce GPU Passthrough for Windows Virtual Machine (opens in new tab) is now in beta.

GeForce desktop graphics cards that are based on the Kepler, Maxwell or Pascal architectures or newer will be able to take advantage of GPU passthrough when running a virtual machine on Windows. Users that want to leverage GPU passthrough on a laptop (opens in new tab) though will need a GPU based on the Maxwell architecture or newer.

By using GPU passthrough, developers can use virtual machines to test software and even games on different operating systems (opens in new tab) while only using one machine. Linux (opens in new tab) users on the other hand will be able to play Windows-based games using a virtual machine with GPU passthrough enabled.

GeForce GPU Passthrough

In order to start using GeForce GPU Passthrough on your system, you'll need to ensure that you have the R465 driver (opens in new tab) installed.

While GPU passthrough could be a godsend for developers that want to test code in both Windows and Linux on one machine, there are some limitations.

For instance, Nvidia's GeForce GPU Passthrough technology only allows for one virtual machine to access the host machine's GPU. If you need to run multiple virtual machines using a single GPU, the company's GeForce graphics cards won't suffice. Instead you'll need to upgrade to either a Tesla (opens in new tab) or Quadro (opens in new tab) graphics card.

Now that Nvidia officially supports GPU passthrough, we'll likely see further enhancements and features that leverage the technology in the future.

Via Wccftech (opens in new tab)

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.