Creating a Xen Gaming System – Hardware Setup

The first rule of making a Xen gaming system:

Whenever possible, COPY A WORKING SETUP EXACTLY.

You will encounter quirks and roadblocks; so why not let someone else solve them for you?

That said, the barebones requirements for a Virtualization gaming setup are  VT, VT-d, and multiple video cards. Determining whether your system supports VT and VT-d is tricky. Not only do you need the right CPU, but your motherboard must have the correct PCH,  and your BIOS must correctly implement both features.

My hardware is as follows:

  • Asus Z87-DELUXE motherboard
  • Intel I7-4770 CPU (note: the I7-4770K supports VT, but not VT-d, so it will not work)
  • Radeon R9 270x graphics card (Gigabyte R9 GV-R927XOC-2GD)

Then, I have the following accessories:

  • 2 USB Keyboards (1 generic, 1 Razer DeathStalker)
  • 2 USB Mice (1 generic wireless, 1 Razer DeathAdder)
  • 1 XBox 360 Wireless Receiver + XBox 360 Controller (both are official)
  • 2 Dell Ultrasharp 2412m monitors
  • 1 TV with HDMI ports

I considered adding the following accessories to my system, but ultimately decided not to:

  • A USB add-in card
  • A USB switch
  • A spare sound card (either PCIE or USB)