The software- and hardware-accelerated graphics features available with the PCoIP display protocol enable remote desktop users to run 3D applications ranging from Google Earth to CAD and other graphics-intensive applications.

Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration (vDGA)

Available with vSphere 5.5 and later, this feature dedicates a single physical GPU (graphical processing unit) on an ESXi host to a single virtual machine. Use this feature if you require high-end, hardware-accelerated workstation graphics.

Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration (vSGA)

Available with vSphere 5.1 and later, this feature allows multiple virtual machines to share the physical GPUs on ESXi hosts. You can use 3D applications for design, modeling, and multimedia.

Soft 3D

Software-accelerated graphics, available with vSphere 5.0 and later, allows you to run DirectX 9 and OpenGL 2.1 applications without requiring a physical GPU. Use this feature for less demanding 3D applications such as Windows Aero themes, Microsoft Office 2010, and Google Earth.

For these features, up to 2 monitors are supported, and the maximum screen resolution is 1920 x 1200. The guest operating system on the virtual machine desktops must be Windows 7 or later.


For more information on the various choices and requirements for 3D rendering, see the VMware white paper about graphics acceleration.