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

Note:

This feature is not available to instant clones.

NVIDIA GRID vGPU (shared GPU hardware acceleration)

Available with vSphere 6.0 and later, this feature allows a physical GPU (graphical processing unit) on an ESXi host to be shared among virtual machines. Use this feature if you require high-end, hardware-accelerated workstation graphics.

AMD Multiuser GPU using vDGA

Available with vSphere 6.0 and later, this feature allows multiple virtual machines to share an AMD GPU by making the GPU appear as multiple PCI passthrough devices. This feature offers flexible hardware-accelerated 3D profiles, ranging from lightweight 3D task workers to high-end workstation graphics power users.

Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration (vDGA)

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

Note:

Some Intel vDGA cards require a certain vSphere 6 version. See the VMware Hardware Compatibility List at http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php. Also, for Intel vDGA, the Intel integrated GPU is used rather than discrete GPUs, as is the case with other vendors.

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.

NVIDIA GRID vGPU and vDGA are now also supported in remote applications running on Microsoft RDS hosts.

Important:

For more information on the various choices and requirements for 3D rendering, see the VMware white paper about graphics acceleration and the NVIDIA GRID vGPU Deployment Guide for VMware Horizon 6.1.