1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

VirtualBox 4.0 OpenGL Gaming Performance

Gaming

Published on 13 December 2010 10:20 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Gaming
8 Comments

Put out earlier this morning on Phoronix were Linux virtualization benchmarks comparing the native performance of a high-end Intel Core i7 system to that of the de facto standard Linux KVM virtualization method as well as Oracle VM VirtualBox 3.2.12 and Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0 Beta 2. These tests focused largely upon the disk and CPU performance within Ubuntu Linux virtual machines, since that's often where enterprise users are most concerned with virtualization performance. For desktop users, there's also the matter of 2D/3D acceleration support within virtual machines.

VirtualBox does provide support for OpenGL acceleration in guests as well as 2D/video acceleration. For Microsoft Windows guests, there's also Direct3D acceleration support. The VirtualBox graphics acceleration requires an accelerated GPU driver to be installed on the host (obviously) and then also the guest operating system to have the Oracle VM VirtualBox "Guest Additions" to be installed. Contained within this VirtualBox guest software for Windows/Solaris/Linux operating systems is a graphics driver that allows passing the OpenGL/Direct3D to the host system.

The VirtualBox 2D/3D acceleration though isn't quite as nice as VMware's implementation, which is based upon Gallium3D. VMware guests have not only Direct3D/OpenGL acceleration on the graphics processor, but any Gallium3D state tracker could be utilized such as OpenVG and OpenGL ES. The VMware implementation with Gallium3D is also more efficient (not to mention that VMware also owns the Tungsten Graphics developers responsible for Mesa / Gallium3D). There's also a Gallium3D driver for Xen virtualization, but sadly there's no such 2D/3D support for QEMU/KVM.

Without accelerated GPU support for QEMU/KVM, we hadn't ran any 3D virtualization tests in the article from this morning. However, for your pleasure, below are two OpenGL gaming tests from the same system. There's the performance of the host compared to VirtualBox 4.0 Beta 2 with this Intel Core i7 970 CPU + NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 system.

VirtualBox 4.0 OpenGL Gaming Performance


While VirtualBox has guest 3D acceleration, its implementation is significantly slower than running OpenGL on the host with the proprietary NVIDIA Linux driver. At least though it's a fairly playable experience (above 30 FPS average), but it's with a lightweight, ioquake3-powered game.

VirtualBox 4.0 OpenGL Gaming Performance


The World of Padman performance was about the same too. While the virtualized gaming performance lags behind, there's at least some level of support and it's enough to power a composited desktop.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Intel Launches The Core i7 5960X, Mighty Powerful Haswell-E CPUs
  2. AMD Radeon R9 290: Gallium3D vs. Catalyst Drivers
  3. AMD Radeon R9 290 Open-Source Driver Works, But Has A Ways To Go
  4. Trying The Configurable 45 Watt TDP With AMD's A10-7800 / A6-7400K
Latest Linux Articles
  1. The Fastest NVIDIA GPUs For Open-Source Nouveau With Steam Linux Gaming
  2. Testing For The Latest Linux Kernel Power Regression
  3. The Most Energy Efficient Radeon GPU For AMD Linux Gaming
  4. 20-Way Radeon Comparison With Open-Source Graphics For Steam On Linux Gaming
Latest Linux News
  1. Imagination Launches A MIPS Development Board
  2. Getting Involved With The New Raspberry Pi Graphics Driver
  3. A New AMD Catalyst Linux Driver Unofficially Surfaces
  4. LibreOffice Ported To 64-bit ARM (AArch64)
  5. Enlightenment E19 RC3 Shows Off The New Wayland Compositor
  6. Metro Redux Is Going To Require OpenGL 4.x On Linux
  7. Jailhouse v0.1 Released As A Basic Hypervisor For Linux
  8. Google's Chromebook "Samus" Now Supported By Coreboot
  9. Chrome 38 Now In Beta With Exciting Advancements
  10. Ubuntu's Utopic Unicorn 14.10 Beta 1 Released
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Catalyst 14.201.1008
  2. Btrfs Gets Talked Up, Googler Encourages You To Try Btrfs
  3. It's Now Possible To Play Netflix Natively On Linux Without Wine Plug-Ins
  4. Users defect to Linux as OpenBSD removes Lynx from base system
  5. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  6. Canonical Joined The Khronos Group To Help Mir/Wayland Drivers
  7. Radeon HD5670 and Ubuntu 14.04
  8. AMD Releases UVD Video Decode Support For R600 GPUs