VM Direct Access to External GPU

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac Feature Suggestions' started by Hanterdro, Jul 26, 2017.


What kind of card would you use in guest OS if PCI passthrough were available in Parallels?

  1. GPU (Graphics card)

  2. non-GPU PCIe card

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. EricV4

    EricV4 Junior Member

    Is it possible to passthrough an *internal* GPU in a Mac Pro with dedicated PCIe slots?
  2. Dmitry@Parallels

    Dmitry@Parallels Parallels Team

    Hi @EricV4, no, unfortunately, this is not possible on a Mac.
  3. ChristopherH22

    ChristopherH22 Bit poster

    Not to be argumentative, but I think that your statements are inaccurate.
    These requests:
    These requests should be viable on a Mac Pro.
    Modern Intel CPUs all support VT-d, and I believe they are enabled on the current Mac Pro. Parallels could therefore utilize VT-d to pass a PCIe slot through to the VM. I am currently doing this on my home Windows desktop using Hyper-V.

    I am not sure if the M1's virtualization extensions are only the equivalent of VT-x or include the functionality of VT-d. Whether or not the future Apple Silicon Mac Pro can do PCIe passthrough to a VM and Parallels supports this will probably be the purchasing decision for me. I would absolutely love to run a Windows ARM VM with exclusive access to a gaming GPU. (Doesn't need to have support in Windows.)

    If I can't do that, I'll probably continue to do Windows desktops and Apple laptops because I don't want a separate desktop for gaming.
    EricV4 likes this.
  4. BryanK4

    BryanK4 Bit poster

    I need to run a medical diagnostic AI windows application that uses nVidia CUDA 2 drivers for acceleration. No graphics, just data and processing. Can't use AMD. Platform is a 10 core i9 Intel iMac 5K. Before I drop $1500 on a Thunderbolt 3 eGPU suitable nVidia card, I need to know if the CUDA calls will be routed to the nVidia over Thunderbolt 3. I have to run a Mac only image display system (OsiriX). Otherwise I will have to run and communicate with a separate Windows box, which entirely defeats the purpose of running Parallels.
  5. TheRealSonicFan

    TheRealSonicFan Bit poster

    Could NVIDIA 30 series card be passed through directly to Windows VM so that even though macOS does not support newer NVIDIA GPUs anymore, we still have Windows to run our GPU-intensive applications?
  6. RandyZ

    RandyZ Bit poster


    While Intel CPUs (as well as ARM CPUs like Apple's M1/M2 products) do have support for PCIe passthrough (allowing graphics cards/PCIe devices to be exposed directly to VMs), Apple has not built any support for this in the Darwin kernel (the underlying operating system kernel of macOS), making the utilization of PCIe passthrough impossible until Apple implements this feature into the kernel.

    Best regards,

    MatthewR20 likes this.

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