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DavePlays

4 Gamers 1 CPU Success

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Posted · Original PosterOP

It's story time, folks!

 

I work for a non-profit child care center, where education is focused around computers. We run Minecraft servers, CodeAcademy, etc. The kids learn how to code, write mods, and are even working on a full-feature LEGO stop motion film. The place is called ArtsROC (artsroc.net). Our computers are pretty old and nasty, not to mention that having over 30 computers takes up a LOT of space. We wanted to start replacing systems, while trying to bring the amount of space for towers down. Being an LTT fan, I knew there was only one solution - virtualization. 

 

To start, we decided on doing a 4 gamers 1 cpu build. After some Amazon shenanigans, all the parts arrived. We decided on the following parts:

  • Core i7 7820X
  • MSI X299 Pro Gaming Carbon AC
  • Corsair H100i v2
  • 4x8GB DDR4 G.Skill Trident Z RGB @ 3000MHz
  • 5x Kingston A400 120GB SSDs
  • Corsair RMx 1000W
  • 2x GTX 1050
  • 2x GT 710
  • Corsair Crystal Series 570X (love this case)

The original plan was to basically copy the tutorial from LTT's "2 Gamers 1 CPU" build from a few years ago by using unRAID. The system POSTed fine, and all hardware was detected by unRAID.

After following the guide exactly (using Windows 7 Professional ISOs), we could only get 1 VM working. 

 

Frustrated, we scrapped unRAID and decided to install Windows 10 Pro and use some janky "multi keyboard/mouse" software instead... but it sucked. Then the weekend came and went.

 

This morning (monday), I was back at work and was determined to get this stupid thing working.... my job was on the line.

 

First, I tried Windows Multipoint Server 2012... a virtualization tool based on Windows Server 2012 designed for this exact type of use. Unfortunately, it refused to create VM templates. Scrapped that idea.

 

I went back to unRAID and tried using Windows 10 ISOs... this time, we couldn't get a single VM working... not to mention that the system kept auto restarting. It was clear that unRAID wasn't the way to go.

 

Finally, I installed Windows Server 2016 and enabled Multipoint Services. @LinusTech himself said "it doesn't look like this will work very well".

 

Capture.JPG.a97ffab7c64ffa6b8b3bff9d2f7b3421.JPG

 

But I had to try.

 

A couple hours later... IT WORKED. 4 VMs CREATED, INSTALLED NVIDIA DRIVERS, AND WE ARE GOOD TO GO!

 

I was surprised how scalable that Multipoint Services is. It could be relatively easy to expand it. We need to replace all our systems by the summer, so we're thinking of doing a 16 or 20 gamers, 1 tower build... TAKE THAT LINUS.

 

But for now, I am calm, and satisfied. It works, and I am beside myself. I have no experience in server management or IT, so I was kinda winging it this whole time. Bottom line: It works, and I still have my job.

 

Here are some pics for your enjoyment...

 

 

Hey Linus, if you wanna partner with ArtsROC and help roll out a 20 gamers 1 tower build, hit me up :) 

 

P_20180423_165512_vHDR_Auto.thumb.jpg.eefe5b47866e416d2af2cb8f2405c6b3.jpg

 

P_20180423_165528_vHDR_Auto.thumb.jpg.94370ded5c08a162ae8537363a720707.jpg


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16-20 gamers in one tower?... Hehe, am i the only one who wonder how his gona put 16-20 GPUs in a tower chassis? not to mention all those USB connectors that would be required? hehe

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, AbsoluteFool said:

16-20 gamers in one tower?... Hehe, am i the only one who wonder how his gona put 16-20 GPUs in a tower chassis? not to mention all those USB connectors that would be required? hehe

Multipoint detects individual keyboards and mice, so I can chain USB hubs. It also passes through single ports on a GPU.... so each GPU can run 4 VMs.


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define works? what games are they playing? 

 

running minecraft on a VM isn't that impressive sorry


i5 4690K @ 4.3Ghz | MSI PcMate Z97 | 32GB Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3-2400 C11 | EVGA GTX 970 SSC | 120GB Samsung 840 pro Boot | 500GB Samsung 850 EVO | 2x 2TB Seagate Barracuda HDD | Antec One Case | Antec 900W | Win10 Pro & High Sierra | Razer BlackWidow Ultimate | SteelSeries Rival 700 | Sony MDR-XB650BT

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nicely done.


Cpu : AMD Ryzen 3 1200 (3.8Ghz), Motherboard : Gigabyte AB350 Gaming 3 - RAM : 8GB DDR4 2933 Team (Vulkan) memory, GPU : MSI GTX 980 4GB Case : Antec P50, Storage : 120GB Samsung SSD, 3TB WD Blue, PSU : 530w Thermaltake SPS-530MPC, Cooling : Artic freezer Pro 7, OS : Windows 10. 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, AntiTrust said:

define works? what games are they playing? 

 

running minecraft on a VM isn't that impressive sorry

Minecraft, but we also tested Fortnite. These are 6-12 year olds and this is an educational environment. 


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I think the use case is actually quite smart.. I did think about making something like that myself and start something like "Kids LAN" (of course it would have been free.) But the need to dump alot of money in it stopped me kinda. So overall it's quite cool that he actually used this idea to get new computers for something like this. I respect that alot.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, AbsoluteFool said:

I think the use case is actually quite smart.. I did think about making something like that myself and start something like "Kids LAN" (of course it would have been free.) But the need to dump alot of money in it stopped me kinda. So overall it's quite cool that he actually used this idea to get new computers for something like this. I respect that alot.

Thanks :) The point was to make this easily expandable, as well as reducing maintenance. Kids can get clever and try to change passwords, etc. Since the VMs are all hosted under 1 Admin account, I can prevent them from uninstalling stuff, changing driver settings, etc. Not to mention we only have 1 computer to fix/maintain, instead of 4.


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Very cool! I am really happy something like this worked out. 


⬇ - PC specs down below - ⬇

 

Intel Ryzen 8 X5690

CPU: (x2) Xeon X5690 @ 4.03Ghz 12c/24t

Motherboard: EVGA Super Record 2

RAM: 48Gb (12x4gb) server ddr3

GPU: MSI GTX 1060 Gaming X 6GB

Case: Modded NZXT S340

Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 500Gb and a 2Tb HDD

PSU: XFX 750W PRO Black Edition

Display(s): 24" Acer G246HL

Cooling: Noctua NH-U12DXi4 and a Noctua NH-U9DXi4

Keyboard: Corsair Gaming K70 LUX RGB MX Browns

Mouse: Logitech G600

Headphones: Sennheiser HD558

Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster Audigy FX 5.1 Sound Card with 600 ohm Headphone Amp

Operating System: Windows 10 Pro

 

Join us on the x58 page it is awesome!

x58 Fan Page

 

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54 minutes ago, DavePlays said:

Minecraft, but we also tested Fortnite. These are 6-12 year olds and this is an educational environment. 

How can one GPU process two versions of a game? Or was this done with one gpu per system? I get that one gpu might be able to handle different outputs but not different tasks? 


Gaming HTPC:

R5 [email protected] - Cryorig C7 - Asus ROG B350-i - Asus GTX 1080 Strix - 16gb G.Skill Ripjaws V 3333mhz - Silverstone SX500-LG - 500gb 960 EVO - Fractal Design Node 202 - Samsung 60KS7090 - Logitech G502 - Thrustmaster T500RS - Noblechairs Icon


Desktop PC:
i7 2600k @stock - H100i GTX - Asus P8Z77-i Deluxe - Asus GTX 1050Ti Strix - 16gb HyperX Fury 1866mhz - EVGA 750G2 - 250gb 840 EVO - 6TB WD My Book Duo (Reds) - Enthoo Evolv ITX - Dell U3415W - Benq XL2411T - Qpad MK-85 Brown - Logitech MX518 - Blue Yeti Platinum - Noblechairs Icon 

 

Audio Gear:

Hifiman HE-400i - Kennerton Magister - Beyerdynamic DT880 250Ohm - AKG K7XX - Fostex TH-X00 - O2 Amp/DAC Combo - 
Klipsch RP280F - Klipsch RP160M - Klipsch RP440C - Yamaha RX-V479

 

Reviews and Stuff:

GTX 780 DCU2 // 8600GTS // Hifiman HE-400i // Kennerton Magister
Folding all the Proteins! // Boincerino

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58 minutes ago, DavePlays said:

Multipoint detects individual keyboards and mice, so I can chain USB hubs. It also passes through single ports on a GPU.... so each GPU can run 4 VMs.

Your not running vms here, there are just different users.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Electronics Wizardy said:

Your not running vms here, there are just different users.

No, they are VMs. The system is running Windows Server 2016 Multipoint Services and Hyper-V.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Electronics Wizardy said:

huh?

 

So your running multipoint in a vm? Why would you do that?

You clearly don't understand how it works. Multipoint services runs in the background like unRAID does. You can boot the system into console or station mode. In console mode, only the Admin can log in and configure multipoint and the server. In station mode, the VMs start and can be logged in to.


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Just now, DavePlays said:

You clearly don't understand how it works. Multipoint services runs in the background like unRAID does. You can boot the system into console or station mode. In console mode, only the Admin can log in and configure multipoint and the server. In station mode, the VMs start and can be logged in to.

Ive used multipoint.

 

The stations aren't vms. There just users on the system. There all running under the same kernel.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Electronics Wizardy said:

Ive used multipoint.

 

The stations aren't vms. There just users on the system. There all running under the same kernel.

In console mode, the VMs can be booted up and used in their own window. They are VMs. 


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3 minutes ago, DavePlays said:

In console mode, the VMs can be booted up and used in their own window. They are VMs. 

But why would use use vms here? Just use multipoint on the hardware. You can do all of this without vms.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Electronics Wizardy said:

But why would use use vms here? Just use multipoint on the hardware. You can do all of this without vms.

Why are we bickering about this? It works and that's all that matters. Keep in mind that I have NO experience with this type of stuff and I was just figuring it out myself.


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Really interesting and novel idea.

 

However, I question the actual value per system. I went on Amazon and did the math - you're looking at $2300 USD, plus applicable shipping and taxes. $2300 / 4 = $577 per "user". You could potentially build 4 just as good (or better) systems for that price.

 

I get that space is an issue, but there are plenty of easy ways to save on space:

1. ITX Cases/Motherboards (or mATX for less money)

2. Sticking computers under desks or under monitors

3. Using wall or desk mounting kits, etc

 

Not saying you did wrong here - I applaud the enthusiasm you display.

 

Did you do a cost/benefit analysis beforehand comparing the cost of building 4 individual PC's vs this 4-in-1 system?


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* Intel i7-4770K * ASRock Z97 Anniversary * 16GB RAM * 750w Seasonic Modular PSU *

* Crucial M4 128GB SSD (Primary) * Hitachi 500GB HDD (Secondary) *

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8 hours ago, DavePlays said:

Multipoint detects individual keyboards and mice, so I can chain USB hubs. It also passes through single ports on a GPU.... so each GPU can run 4 VMs.

May not be the most elegant solution, couldn't you run thunderbolt cards to eGPU stuff, and pass 1 thunderbolt port to each of the 16 VMs? 🤔

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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 hours ago, Dafydd said:

May not be the most elegant solution, couldn't you run thunderbolt cards to eGPU stuff, and pass 1 thunderbolt port to each of the 16 VMs? 🤔

Thunderbolr cards are next to impossible to buy, not to mention that no motherboard on earth has enough thunderbolt headers.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
8 hours ago, dalekphalm said:

Really interesting and novel idea.

 

However, I question the actual value per system. I went on Amazon and did the math - you're looking at $2300 USD, plus applicable shipping and taxes. $2300 / 4 = $577 per "user". You could potentially build 4 just as good (or better) systems for that price.

 

I get that space is an issue, but there are plenty of easy ways to save on space:

1. ITX Cases/Motherboards (or mATX for less money)

2. Sticking computers under desks or under monitors

3. Using wall or desk mounting kits, etc

 

Not saying you did wrong here - I applaud the enthusiasm you display.

 

Did you do a cost/benefit analysis beforehand comparing the cost of building 4 individual PC's vs this 4-in-1 system?

Yes. Since we are a non profit, we pay no tax. The systems that we buy are usually about $800, so we save there. 


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I mentioned this in another thread recently but Xorg can do this as well. You don't need Multipoint Services or a licence. (depending on game title..)

 

The advantage of doing this over using a VM system like unraid is you can push the hardware a lot harder because your not over-provisioning it. Meaning if you provision 2gigs of ram per VM that ram is lost to the host and other guests, even if it's unused in the system and free however... if you share the resource each user will use only what they use and each instance of the libraries loaded and the OS will only use a single instance in ram.

 

How many sessions could you spawn? idk how many GPU's can you fit in the system?

More info -> https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Multiseat

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i just remembered why your unraid was probably not working right. It is most likely nvidia (yup you read it right). Nvidia actively blocks using their consumer GPU's in VM's as they have another line of GPU's for that. There are work arounds for this but they never worked for me. Using AMD cards has always worked like a charm for me as they don't block anything. Thought i'd at least mention it.

 

i actually build a 4 gamers 1 cpu with unraid on an AMD FX8350 with 16GBmem, 2 7970's, RX460 and RX550 using unraid. works great :D so it is possible. even all ran on a 850watt PSU.

 

Nice to see you got it working though. Don't really know how multipoint services works as i've never used it. Good luck with ur next project, that will surely be a challenge.


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7 hours ago, DavePlays said:

Yes. Since we are a non profit, we pay no tax. The systems that we buy are usually about $800, so we save there. 

Just because you usually spend $800 on a system doesn't mean you couldn't buy one for $577 that is as good or better than 1/4th of your new setup, is all I'm saying :)

 

Anyway, glad you got it working.


For Sale (lots of stuff):

Spoiler

[FS] [CAD] Various things

 

 

* Intel i7-4770K * ASRock Z97 Anniversary * 16GB RAM * 750w Seasonic Modular PSU *

* Crucial M4 128GB SSD (Primary) * Hitachi 500GB HDD (Secondary) *

* Gigabyte HD 7950 WF3 * SATA Blu-Ray Writer * Logitech g710+ * Windows 10 Pro x64 *

 

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