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 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 though will need a GPU based on the Maxwell architecture or newer.
- We've put together a list of the best GPUs available
- These are the best laptops for programming on the market
- Also check out our roundup of the best workstations
By using GPU passthrough, developers can use virtual machines to test software and even games on different operating systems while only using one machine. Linux 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 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 or Quadro graphics card.
Now that Nvidia officially supports GPU passthrough, we'll likely see further enhancements and features that leverage the technology in the future.
- We've also highlighted the best mobile workstations
Are you a pro? Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up to the TechRadar Pro newsletter to get all the top news, opinion, features and guidance your business needs to succeed!
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.