When you take Windows 8 Release Preview home and launch it, you’ll see a rich and immersive experience accelerated by a DX11 desktop. Your VDI solution should focus on bringing all of that to you, all while tackling the challenges of distance and connecting from anywhere.
You’ll want a touch interface, smooth animations that give a tactile feel, and the richest set of applications and compatibility. You’ll want the ecosystem of software, hardware, and the Windows operating system to bring that together.
When RemoteFX v1 released in Windows 7 SP1 early last year, we introduced a set of technologies for a rich PC-like experience for VDI. It was the first place where we introduced and emphasized host-side remoting, a render-capture-encode pipeline, a highly efficient GPU-based encode, throttling based on client activity, and a DirectX-enabled virtual graphics processing unit (VGPU). All these ideas proliferate more in Windows 8 Release Preview, and the VGPU gets better.
The RemoteFX VGPU has invested in bringing the VGPU from DX9 to DX11, as well as in increasing the user experience through support for more monitors at higher resolutions. As hardware acceleration proliferates to more applications like the web browser, the VGPU will provide direct abilities to run applications at the higher levels of DirectX within Remote Desktop Virtualization Host (RD Virtualization Host). A DirectX11 experience is also available without a hardware GPU, through the software-emulated driver available in Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host) and RD Virtualization Host. While this will provide a good experience, the VGPU will bring a hardware accelerated experience to virtual desktops.
By using a VGPU, we are exposing the true acceleration of the physical GPU within virtual machines. Applications that leverage DirectX can operate with higher frame rates, behave as they would on a PC, and take advantage of the GPU. The VGPU desktop not only accelerates DirectX-based applications, but the desktop itself is on DirectX11, so it too will have all the responsiveness and smooth animations that you’d expect. We see this continued investment as bringing the richness of hardware acceleration to thin clients, as well as continuing the pathway for enabling GPU-backed experiences.
For more information about the current Nvidia GPUs that support RemoteFX and their drivers, please see Will's announcement here:
As a final note, customers often ask me what the monitor resolutions are and how the maximum number of monitors has changed. So I wanted to provide the following tables to answer those questions. In a future post, we will add more about how the memory reservations have changed in Windows 8 Release Preview and other key changes.
As always, we appreciate your feedback and enthusiasm.
Maximum monitor resolutions in virtual machines in Windows 8 Release Preview:
Number of monitors per virtual machine
Windows 7 SP1
Windows 8 Release Preview
1024 x 768
1280 x 1024
1600 x 1200
1920 x 1200
2560 x 1600
Monitor resolutions that can be in landscape and portrait modes: