When you enable vSGA, ESXi host uses hardware 3D rendering, provided that GPU resources are available on the ESXi hosts.

To enable vSGA, install GPU graphics cards and the associated vSphere Installation Bundles (VIBs) on the ESXi hosts. For a list of supported GPU hardware, see the VMware Hardware Compatibility List.


  1. In vCenter Server hardware graphics configuration, select the Host Graphics tab, and in Edit Host Graphics Settings, select Shared.
    ESXi host uses the GPU hardware for vSGA mode.
  2. In the vSphere Client, configure the golden image 3D Render field with these two options.
    • Select Hardware. Select this option if you only want to use vSGA hardware 3D render. Potential constraints when selecting this option are that when all GPU resources on an ESXi host are reserved, Horizon 8 cannot create another virtual machine for the next user, and the user will receive an error message. You must manage the allocation of GPU resources and the use of vMotion to ensure that resources are available for your desktops. vMotion is supported for vSGA-enabled hosts, but only across those hosts with GPU hardware. When you configure hardware-based 3D rendering, you can examine the GPU resources that are allocated to each virtual machine on an ESXi host. For details, see Examining GPU Resources on an ESXi Host.
    • Select Automatic. If you select this option, vSGA-enabled virtual machines can switch dynamically between software and hardware 3D rendering. Automatic uses hardware acceleration if there is a capable and available hardware GPU in the ESXi host. If a hardware GPU is not available, the virtual machine uses software 3D rendering for any 3D tasks. This option ensures that some type of 3D rendering takes place even when GPU resources are completely reserved.
  3. Configure Number of displays, Total video memory, and 3D memory for the instant-clones to inherit from the golden image.
  4. Take a snapshot of the golden image.
  5. In Horizon Console, when you create an instant-clone pool, select this golden image and snapshot.


Horizon 8 automatically displays Manage Using vSphere Client in the 3D Render field. Instant-clones inherit the settings configured in the vSphere Client for the golden image.