When you create or edit a Windows 7 or later desktop pool, you can configure 3D graphics rendering for your desktops. Desktops can take advantage of Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration (vSGA), a vSphere feature that uses physical graphics cards installed on the ESXi hosts and manages the graphics processing unit (GPU) resources amongst the desktops.

When you select the 3D Renderer hardware-based options, users can take advantage of 3D applications for design, modeling, and multimedia, which typically require GPU hardware to perform well. The 3D Renderer setting also offers a software option, which provides graphics enhancements that can support less demanding applications such as Windows AERO, Microsoft Office 2010, and Google Earth.

To enable hardware or software 3D graphics rendering, your pool deployment must meet the following requirements:

The desktops must be Windows 7 or later

The pool must use the PCoIP as the default display protocol

Users must not be allowed to choose their own protocol

To support hardware-based 3D rendering, a pool must meet these additional requirements:

The desktops must run on ESXi 5.1 or later hosts and be managed by vCenter Server 5.1 or later software

GPU graphics cards and the associated vSphere Installation Bundles (VIBs) must be installed on the ESXi hosts. For a list of supported GPU hardware, see the VMware Hardware Compatibility List at http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php.

Windows 7 desktops must be virtual hardware version 8 or later. Windows 8 desktops must be virtual hardware version 9 or later.

To support software 3D rendering, a pool must meet these additional requirements:

The desktops must run on ESXi 5.0 or later hosts and be managed by vCenter Server 5.0 or later software

The desktops must be virtual hardware version 8 or later

You must power off and on existing virtual machines for the 3D Renderer setting to take effect. Restarting a virtual machine does not cause the setting to take effect.

You select options to determine the way View manages 3D rendering. For details, see 3D Rendering Options.

When you enable the 3D Renderer setting, you can configure the amount of VRAM that is assigned to the desktops in the pool by moving the slider in the Configure VRAM for 3D guests dialog box. The minimum VRAM size is 64MB. For virtual hardware version 9 virtual machines, the default VRAM size is 96MB, and you can configure a maximum size of 512MB. For virtual hardware version 8 virtual machines, the default VRAM size is 64MB, and you can configure a maximum size of 128MB.

The VRAM settings that you configure in View Administrator take precedence over the VRAM settings that can be configured for the virtual machines in vSphere Client or vSphere Web Client, unless you select the Manage using vSphere Client option.

When you enable the 3D Renderer setting, you can configure the Max number of monitors setting for one or two monitors. You cannot select more than two monitors. Also, the Max resolution of any one monitor setting is set to 1920x1200 pixels.