GPU Requirements for RemoteFX on Windows Server 2012 R2

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Hi everyone! I’m Derrick Isoka, a program manager on the RemoteFX team responsible for the virtual GPU component. We’ve received a lot of feedback and questions regarding the cards we recommend for the RemoteFX virtual graphics processing unit (vGPU). In this blog post we’ll share our recommendations to help you understand the options available to you, and most importantly to help you make a decision on the cards that you can consider as you deploy a VDI solution with RemoteFX vGPU.

RemoteFX GPU Requirements

Use of RemoteFX with GPU acceleration on Windows Server 2012 R2 requires a compatible graphics card. Most likely, the servers hosting the RemoteFX workloads will be located in a datacenter and as such, we recommend using passively cooled, server class graphics cards. However, it’s also acceptable to use a workstation card for testing on small deployments depending on your needs. At a minimum, the requirements for graphics cards to be used with RemoteFX are:

• DirectX 11.0 or later

• WDDM 1.2 driver or later

Support in Windows Server 2012 R2 is provided for DX 11.0, DirectCompute, and C++ AMP. Most of the latest graphics cards will support OpenGL 4.0 and OpenCL 1.1 or later, but these APIs are currently unsupported by RemoteFX in Windows Server 2012 R2.

RemoteFX-Compatible GPUs

The following list is not meant to be exhaustive but representative of the mainstream cards from NVIDIA and AMD.







1. Grid K1

2. Grid K2

AMD FirePro series

1. AMD FirePro™ S10000

2. AMD FirePro™ S9000

3. AMD FirePro™ S7000



1. Quadro K6000

2. Quadro K5000

AMD FirePro series

1. AMD FirePro™ V9800P

2. ATI FirePro™ V9800



AMD FirePro series

1. ATI FirePro™ V8800

2. ATI FirePro™ V7800

3. AMD FirePro™ V7800P

4. ATI FirePro™ V5800



1. Best: These are server class cards, designed and certified for VDI workloads by hardware vendors like NVIDIA and AMD. They target the best application performance, experience, and virtual machine densities. Some of the cards are particularly recommended for designer and engineering workloads (such as Autodesk Inventor or AutoCad).

2. Better: These are workstation class cards that provide acceptable performance and densities. They are especially capable cards for knowledge worker workloads (such as Microsoft Office or Internet Explorer).

3. Good: These are lower-end cards that provide acceptable densities knowledge worker workloads.

Notes on Performance and Scale

In addition to a GPU’s total memory and power consumption, the performance and scale of a VDI system is determined by a variety of additional factors such as storage speed, system memory speed, amount of system memory, number of CPU cores, NUMA implementation, and CPU clock frequency.

We're completing some tests for a select set of the cards mentioned in this post, and will be sharing those results in a separate blog post.

In conclusion, deploying a VDI solution requires assembling a lot of components. We hope this blog post helps in reducing the complexity and provides guidance in selecting the right GPU component to address the appropriate experience for your end users.

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  • Derrick,

    The Dell Server R720 has options for the NVIDIA Quadro K2000 and K4000. Can you tell me if these cards will work?

  • Boon - those GPUs will work however you won't get good performance at scale with them.

  • Derrick

    Great post.  

    I work for a Dell reseller and we are wanting to do a POC for AutoCAD on 2012r2 hyper V VDI using the vGPU in the vms and GRID K2 cards in the compute hosts.  Would you suggest using Win7 as the desktop OSE considering you mentioned the throttling you have put into 8 and 8.1?  Have you done any tests with AutoCAD with K2 cards and 2012r2 VDI?  Also what benchmarking tools do you use to test remotefx graphics?  

  • Q:  Is the Nvidia GTX 750 Ti  a suitable graphics care for RemoteFX/RDP in this environment?   Could get GTX780 but if 750 is $150, and 780 is $750...

    Load/purpose: 3-4 RDP-connected developers (Win7,Win8) using WinPhone8 development SDK, and emulating WinPhone8 in VS2012.   Initial goal: performance,  Eventual goal: pass touch to emulator.

    OS: Server 2012 R2 Standard (running on SSD) HyperV, All RDP services installed except gateway.

    System board: Intel S2600CP, Bios: Se5C600.86B  Onboard Matrox G200e graphics

    Mem: 64GB

    CPU: dual Intel E5-2620 @ 2Ghz


  • Derrick,

    We currently have multiple RDS host servers in clustered environment and I have some questions.

    1) Is there any benefit to this environment if we add high end GPU that are designed for graphics purposes?

    2) If it is of benefit can RemoteFX vGPUs be allocated to sessions or are they all shared?

    3) Are there specific GPUs that are best for RDS host environment.

    4) If no to all above I guess we need to move to VDI?



  • Patrick - You should be OK with Win 8. The throttling should not affect AutoCAD and won't be noticeable (unless you need over 60fps). We do test the K2 card and would recommend it for lower scale deployments (20-30).

    Michael - The GTX is a capable card for the number of VMs you're targeting. I assume you're running these in a VDI deployment and not RDS?

    Pete - Your suspicion is correct. We don't support acceleration for sessions hosts.

  • Can you tell me if I still need a GPU even if all I want to do is USB redirection?

  • Hi Derrick

    How many virtual machines support 1 single card?

    Por example nvidia grid k1 o k2

    Or the nvidia quadro?


  • Derrick,

    I am currently running a number of windows 8 vm's in an 2012 RDS environment with remoteFX. I have added a windows 8.1 vm and set a remoteFX adapter; however, it will not operate in the windows 8.1 vm. Do I need to do something different with windows 8.1 to use remoteFX?



  • I am attempting to test RemoteFX using an Nvidia Quadro 6000 GPU (6000, not K6000).  Is this GPU acceptable for small-scale testing with Windows Server 2012 Datacenter and Hper-V, using an HP DL380 Gen8 server with dual 2GHz processors and 32GB of RAM?

  • Hi Derrick,

    You answered to Pete earlier: "Your suspicion is correct. We don't support acceleration for sessions hosts."

    Please help me understand; RDP sessions would *not* benefit from graphical quality/performance boost by using one of these GPUs?  Only VMs would benefit? Only through the use of vGPU under Hyper-V?  Do I understand correctly?

    I have a small architecture firm, with 10 architects, and I thought I would setup a RDS server to run AutoCAD for those guys with a slightly better GPU.  I would not gain anything that way?

    Thanks for the details.

  • Phillippe - that's correct. Only VMs benefit from hardware acceleration. At the moment there is no hardware acceleration for RDSH.

  • Is there a known issue between Windows Essentials and RemoteFX? For me, it seems Essentials keeps disabling the RDV GRAPHICS SERVICE account every time I restart the machine. I have not been able to get RemoteFX working. Any help is appreciated!

  • Hi Derrick

    My environment is 10 users connected to Hp  proliant ml350p gen8 with GPU nvidia k4000we are using this single sever as hypervisor using windows 2012 r2 hyperv with remotefx and VDI with VM for each user

    We can only have good performance with 2vms running simultaneously with multimedia and if we try to start any additional VM it wont work  

    Do you think GPU nvidia K1 will do the job and is it compatible with Proliant ml350p  gen 8 ???

    Looking forward for your advise

  • Hello Derrick

    In my last post i meant if  GPU " Nvidia grid K1 " will solve the problem ?


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GPU Requirements for RemoteFX on Windows Server 2012 R2