CPU requirement for a game-capable Windows VM?


Apologies for a bad title, don't know how to exactly describe it in short.

I'm interested into moving my Desktop to Manjaro as well. I don't use it for much other than to play a few games, some of them with scummy anti-cheat engines, so Windows is pretty much a must. I want to pass through my GPU onto a Windows 10 VM and boot Manjaro as my main system with my CPUs integrated graphics. Never done this before, saw a video a little while ago which peaked my interest into doing this.

I have a crummy Ryzen 3 2200G, which hovers around 80 to 90 percent on all cores in games like Apex (which I'll use as the main example, as it's the most intensive thing on my list) on Windows 10. Not too far off of that are the less intensive games I play. My preferred DE is KDE. With two systems running, background applications for both, likely Firefox in the background as well, could I still run Apex at a reasonably similar performance? I can't really afford such a luxury upgrade for something I don't particularly use a lot.

As well, do I need to activate Windows 10 for a VM? My OEM key was just transferred into a digital license onto my Microsoft account, if it needs activation, would that work?

Cheers. :slight_smile:

Do you have a dedicated gpu on addition to that Apu? If you want to use passthrough you need separate gpus for both the host and the guest. I don't think it's possible to share one between them.

You can still use a windows vm for non gaming related tasks. Microsoft has VM isos with a free (as in free beer) licence on their website. I think it's limited to 90 days of usage bit you can keep rolling back snapshots and use it indefinitely if so enclined.

If you want to use your current licence instead you can probably get it transferred over to a VM but you'll have to give M$ a call to do that for you. see below post.

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I don't think you can with pre-installed OEM copies from the likes of ASUS, MSI, HP, Dell, Lenovo etc., they are locked the the specific hardware on the machine as the EFI capsule contains the activation code.

Even if you bought an OEM copy for a self-build or purchased from a local system builder the same would typically apply. Activating in a VM should fail, you'd have more joy with a retail license, especially if you have to contact MS about it. OEM licenses don't allow for transfer and are the responsibility of the system builder, not MS.

There was another topic about this recently and the general consensus is to dual boot. It's the most reliable way to avoid being banned from cheat protected games and also performance wise. The remainder of the games can be run via Lutris or Steam and Proton but always be careful to check what protections online multiplayer games use by doing internet searches first.


Yes I do have a separate GPU that I'm planning to pass through. Host will be on the APU, as I don't plan doing anything GPU-related on it.

All I am is worried about the performance of the CPU itself, as it's fairly weak. I'm wondering if it would take a huge performance hit or not, as it's already almost a bottleneck, barely keeping up with the GPU (GTX 1060 SC 6GB).

I initially bought an OEM key off of Ebay with the whole bs call to M$ to activate it. Yet for some reason it went from a key onto my account. so the call thing wont work again.

Wouldn't the hardware still be the same though? Wont the guest draw the same hardware info as host?

I really don't enjoy dual booting personally, tried to stick with it many times. I just don't use my desktop enough, besides gaming and a few minor things. Most of my tasks go to my laptop anyway, which is already running Manjaro (My idea for dual booting of sorts :grin:).

no, a virtual machine has a different hardware ID string since it also has it's own BIOS or EFI and LAN adaptor, storage controllers etc. The most likely only thing it would see would be your CPU if virtualisation is enabled.

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