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RDS Graphics Performance in Windows Server 2016

With increasing internet speeds and more organisation moving their entire operating environment to the cloud, the demand to deliver solutions for graphics intensive applications on a remote desktop has never been higher.


Microsoft has made some significant improvements and enhancements in this area. Firstly, using RemoteFX, RDS 2016 offers support for OpenGL 4.4 and OpenCL 1.1, required by modern graphics and 3D applications. Previously, RemoteFx only supported DirectX 11.1 and OpenGL 1.1

RemoteFX GPU video memory limit has also been extended from 256B to 1024MB. Depending on the amount of system memory assigned, this can present up to a total of 2GB of video memory (1GB dedicated and 1GB shared). RemoteFX also supports Windows Server 2016, which means that SPLA licenses can be used to deliver virtual desktop solutions to graphics intensive applications, while using the Windows Desktop Experience to present a Windows 10 environment.

RemoteFX also has increased supported resolution, which can now handle up to 4k, previously the maximum supported resolution was 2560 x 1600.

Direct Device Assignment (DDA)

Direct Device Assignment has been introduced into Windows Server 2016. This allows you to pass through the physical GPU (driver) on the host machine into the guest VM. DDA can be used for scenarios where you need to go beyond the capabilities of RemoteFX. It allows you to install the video graphics drive within the VM and utilise the manufactures GPU technology. With modern cards offering several GPUs, and the ability to install multiple cards on a physical server, you can easily get several power or design users operating a hosted desktop with their own dedicated GPU.

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