Product Documentation

GPU acceleration for Windows Desktop OS

Feb 05, 2016

With HDX 3D Pro you can deliver graphically intensive applications as part of hosted desktops or applications on Desktop OS machines, according to the requirements of your users. HDX 3D Pro supports both physical host computers, including desktop, blade, and rack workstations, and XenServer VMs with GPU Pass-Through.

The XenServer GPU Pass-Through feature enables you to create VMs with exclusive access to dedicated graphics processing hardware. You can install multiple GPUs on the hypervisor and assign VMs to each of these GPUs on a one-to-one basis.

What's new in this release

  • Support for Windows 8 Delivery Agent
  • Support for NVIDIA Kepler cards (k1 and k2) for GPU sharing
  • Support for vSphere and VMware ESX using Virtual Direct Graphics Acceleration (vDGA)
  • Lossless indicator to notify lossy or lossless frames

Key features

  • Adaptive H.264-based deep compression for optimal WAN and wireless performance. HDX 3D Pro uses CPU-based deep compression as the default compression technique for encoding. This provides optimal compression that dynamically adapts to network conditions.
  • The H.264-based deep compression codec no longer competes with graphics rendering for CUDA cores on the NVIDIA GPU. The deep compression codec runs on the CPU and provides superior bandwidth efficiency over prior HDX 3D Pro releases.
  • Lossless compression option for specialized use cases. HDX 3D Pro also offers a CPU-based lossless codec to support applications where pixel-perfect graphics are necessary, such as medical imaging. When using lossless compression:
    • The lossless indicator, a system tray icon, notifies the user if the screen displayed is a lossy frame or a lossless frame. This helps when the VisualQuality is set to BuildToLossless. The lossless indicator turns green when the frames sent are lossless.
    • The lossless switch enables the user to change to Always Lossless mode anytime within the session. To select or deselect Lossless anytime within a session, right-click the icon or use the shortcut ALT+SHIFT+1.

      For lossless compression: HDX 3D Pro uses the lossless codec for compression regardless of the codec selected through policy.

      For lossy compression: HDX 3D Pro uses the original codec, either the default or the one selected through policy.

      Note: Lossless switch settings are not retained for subsequent sessions. To use lossless codec for every connection, set the Visual quality policy to Always lossless.
  • Multiple monitor support. For Windows 7 and Windows 8 desktops, HDX 3D Pro supports user devices with up to four monitors. Users have the freedom to arrange their monitors in any configuration and can mix monitors with different resolutions and orientations. The number of monitors is limited by the capabilities of the host computer GPU, the user device, and the available bandwidth. HDX 3D Pro also provides limited support for dual-monitor access to Windows XP desktops.
  • High resolution monitor support. HDX 3D Pro supports all monitor resolutions and is only limited by the capabilities of the GPU on the host computer.
  • Dynamic resolution.You can resize the virtual desktop or application window to any resolution in this release. Note: The only supported method to change the resolution is by resizing the VDA session window. Changing resolution from within the VDA session (using Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Display > Screen Resolution) is not supported.
  • Support for NVIDIA Kepler architecture. HDX 3D Pro supports NVIDIA Kepler cards (k1 and k2) for GPU sharing.
  • Support for vSphere and VMware ESX using Virtual Direct Graphics Acceleration (vDGA).

    You can use HDX 3D Pro with vDGA for both RDS and VDI workloads.

    When HDX 3D Pro is used with Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration (vSGA), support is limited to one monitor. Using vSGA with large 3D models can result in performance issues due to its use of older technologies. For more information about issues, refer to VMware vSphere 5.1 - Citrix Known Issues.

HDX 3D Pro integration with XenDesktop

HDX 3D Pro integrates with your existing XenDesktop infrastructure. You can deliver graphical applications as part of hosted applications or desktops on Desktop OS machines.

As shown in the following figure:

  • The host computer must reside within the same Active Directory domain as your Delivery Controller.
  • When a user logs on to Citrix Receiver and accesses the virtual application or desktop, the controller authenticates the user and contacts the DA for HDX 3D Pro to broker a connection to the computer hosting the graphical application.

    The DA for HDX 3D Pro uses the appropriate hardware on the host to compress views of the complete desktop or just of the graphical application.

  • The desktop or application views and the user interactions with them are transmitted between the host computer and the user device through a direct HDX connection between Citrix Receiver and the DA for HDX 3D Pro.

Diagram showing integration of HDX 3D Pro with XenDesktop and related components