When you create or edit a desktop pool of virtual machines, you can configure 3D graphics rendering for your desktops. You must configure 3D settings in ESXi hosts and in the golden image in vSphere Client.

Horizon 8 does not directly control settings for 3D rendering of an instant-clone pool as it does with full-clone virtual machines. You need to configure 3D settings in the ESXi hosts, and then in your golden image using the vSphere Client. Instant-clone virtual machines will inherit those settings from the golden image. Horizon Console will display some of the settings you configured, but you cannot edit or interact with those settings.

End users can take advantage of 3D applications for design, modeling, and multimedia, which typically require GPU hardware to perform well. For users that do not require physical GPU, a software option provides graphics enhancements that can support less demanding applications. Instant-clones support the following 3D graphics options:

NVIDIA GRID vGPU (shared GPU hardware acceleration)
This feature allows a physical GPU on an ESXi host to be shared among virtual machines. This feature offers flexible hardware-accelerated 3D profiles ranging from lightweight 3D task workers to high-end workstation graphics power users.
Soft 3D
Software-accelerated graphics allow you to run DirectX 9 and OpenGL 2.1 applications without requiring a physical GPU. For users that do not require a physical GPU, a software option provides graphics enhancements that can support less demanding applications, such as Windows AERO, Microsoft Office, and Google Earth.
Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration (vSGA)
This feature allows multiple virtual machines to share the physical GPUs on ESXi hosts and is suitable for mid-range 3D design, modeling, and multimedia applications.
Note: Instant-clones do not support Virtual Directed Graphics Acceleration (vDGA) or AMD MxGPU.

In some cases, if an application such as a video game or 3D benchmark forces the desktop to display in full screen resolution, the desktop session can be disconnected. Possible workarounds include setting the application to run in Windows mode or matching the Horizon 8 session desktop resolution to the default resolution expected by the application.

Note that this guide does not provide complete information for configuring virtual machines and ESXi hosts for vSGA or NVIDIA GRID vGPU. These tasks must be done with vSphere Client before you attempt to create desktop pools in Horizon Console. For instructions about these tasks, see the VMware white paper about graphics acceleration. For instructions about NVIDIA GRID vGPU, see the NVIDIA GRID vGPU Deployment Guide for VMware Horizon 6.1.

To disable 3D rendering in the vSphere Client, deselect Enable 3D Support for the golden image using the vSphere Client. See Configuring 3D Graphics in the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration guide.