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939 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 106161 18-Jul-2012 23:24 Send private message

I loathe Steam and don't want it on my PC. However, I had a moment of weakness and bought a couple of games in the sale, pulling them down onto an old PC and then trying to work out how to play them offline, after transferring to my new PC. 
All you Steam fans are probably laughing by now...

Anyhoo, I've got VMWare Player on my new PC and am trying to find out the pros and cons of setting up Steam and the games on the VM. Has anyone done this? I'd appreciate any tips and tricks please.

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  Reply # 658096 18-Jul-2012 23:36 Send private message

Running it in a VM will simply steal resources from your games required to run the VM. I wouldn't do it. I can't see why you would want to.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 658104 19-Jul-2012 00:13 Send private message

Simple - I don't want to install Steam on my PC. With 16Gb RAM and resources to spare on my host computer I'm not concerned about resource usage. I'm more concerned with whether Steam itself causes any issues when its run on a virtual machine. Both host and VM are running Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, if that matters.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 658111 19-Jul-2012 01:42 Send private message

Change to the above - I'm putting the Steam games on a VM running Windows XP since the games I purchased run better on that. 

This gives a second important reason for going with a VM. Searching on the web doesn't give me much info as to whether this will work or not though. 

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  Reply # 658115 19-Jul-2012 02:22 Send private message

For an Intel system you need VT-d support from the mobo and CPU so you can pass through the real hardware (ie: graphics card) to the VM in exclusive mode for hardware accelerated rendering.

For AMD it's called IOMMU.

Unfortunately gaming under VMware/VirtualBox/Parallels will suffer a massive performance hit and the fps rates may not be bearable to most gamers.

Additionally don't think there is any vm software yet supporting DX10 or DX11, only upto DX9 so you are limited to old games.

Good luck with the experiment.


Side note: Consider reading the Value Staff handbook that leaked earlier this year... they are a really unique company.. maybe it will change your poor opinion of Steam/Valve and you may trust them enough to just install Steam on your PC.

http://dl.pcgamer.com/Valve_Handbook_LowRes.pdf

Watchmaker Wizard
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  Reply # 658350 19-Jul-2012 12:11 Send private message

Steam is a pain in the bum, but it runs fine in a VM as long as the game(s) in question aren't the latest super-modern things. I've got it playing Portal (ok, it's fairly old now) perfectly well under Linux in a Virtualbox VM on a moderately specced laptop.

It causes titles to take longer to start, it seems to update itself every few days for no obvious reason, it forces you to have a net connection for many games or it won't launch them, they charge us significantly more than overseas users pay and often essentially the same as physical-copy retail prices. Their backup system works fine, but the restore system doesn't and this has been broken for a LONG time.

I use it for a few titles because I'm forced to do so (e.g. Metro 2033), but I'm not happy about it.

At least it's better than EA's equivalent though.




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  Reply # 658352 19-Jul-2012 12:13 Send private message

I am not sure what issues people have with Steam, I use it and it's never really caused me any issues?

Unfortunately gaming under VMware/VirtualBox/Parallels will suffer a massive performance hit and the fps rates may not be bearable to most gamers.


This is what I meant in my original post. I am not sure if the graphics card properties can be passed through as almost every bit of virtualization we do is business orientated. 

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  Reply # 658357 19-Jul-2012 12:20 Send private message

Ragnor: ...

Side note: Consider reading the Value Staff handbook that leaked earlier this year... they are a really unique company.. maybe it will change your poor opinion of Steam/Value and you may trust them enough to just install Steam on your PC.

http://dl.pcgamer.com/Valve_Handbook_LowRes.pdf


Didn't read every word but, wow, talk about empowerment.  I guess it wouldn't be for everyone though and their recruiitment must be very rigorous.

Also love the definition of Australia in their glossary.





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  Reply # 658362 19-Jul-2012 12:30 Send private message

Ragnor: Side note: Consider reading the Value Staff handbook that leaked earlier this year... they are a really unique company.. maybe it will change your poor opinion of Steam/Value and you may trust them enough to just install Steam on your PC.

I don't trust Valve after looking at an age-restricted game, being asked to enter my date of birth, having it pre-filled, alongside a note claiming that it will not be stored.

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  Reply # 658370 19-Jul-2012 12:42

Behodar: I don't trust Valve after looking at an age-restricted game, being asked to enter my date of birth, having it pre-filled, alongside a note claiming that it will not be stored.


I think that's a response to people complaining that they have to fill it in -every- time.  It's presumbably stored as a cookie on your computer and not passed on to Valve.  Plus, nobody says you have to enter your ACTUAL date of birth.

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  Reply # 658479 19-Jul-2012 14:38 Send private message

It causes titles to take longer to start, it seems to update itself every few days for no obvious reason, it forces you to have a net connection for many games or it won't launch them, they charge us significantly more than overseas users pay and often essentially the same as physical-copy retail prices. Their backup system works fine, but the restore system doesn't and this has been broken for a LONG time.


Don't blame Valve/Steam for the prices, it's the publishers that dictate the pricing with some publishers more than others (Activision, 2KGames etc) screwing Australasia over more than others.

But this is the beauty of Steam, you can get around the regional pricing by having a US prepaid credit card and a VPN/transparent proxy OR by getting a North American friend to gift you said game.

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  Reply # 658480 19-Jul-2012 14:38 Send private message

I have friends I paypal, they buy and gift me.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 658606 19-Jul-2012 17:37 Send private message

Ragnor: For an Intel system you need VT-d support from the mobo and CPU so you can pass through the real hardware (ie: graphics card) to the VM in exclusive mode for hardware accelerated rendering.

For AMD it's called IOMMU.

Unfortunately gaming under VMware/VirtualBox/Parallels will suffer a massive performance hit and the fps rates may not be bearable to most gamers.

Additionally don't think there is any vm software yet supporting DX10 or DX11, only upto DX9 so you are limited to old games.

Good luck with the experiment.


Side note: Consider reading the Value Staff handbook that leaked earlier this year... they are a really unique company.. maybe it will change your poor opinion of Steam/Valve and you may trust them enough to just install Steam on your PC.

http://dl.pcgamer.com/Valve_Handbook_LowRes.pdf


Thank you Ragnor - this is great info to know. The games I bought are oldies (Civilization 3, 4, & 5 + DLC's) and all appear to be running just fine now on their VM. 

I won't be buying any other games from Steam so won't run into problems with newer games needing to be on a VM. FWIW, I have no issue with online verification/activation of games - as long as I don't need to install some blasted client and don't have to put up with said client running continuously in the background or connecting to the internet thereafter. I really don't care how ethical or trustworthy the company may be, I just don't want them on my computer. I like to control what goes on and not have something else forced on me just so I can install a game. 

I realise the world is going the Steam/Origin/whatever distribution route and that my stance makes me a dinosaur but, hey, its my right to be a stick-in-the-mud if I want to. Wink

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  Reply # 658633 19-Jul-2012 18:21 Send private message

As another alternative I have found some Steam games - Portal 1/2, Rage - can work quite acceptably using Linux/Wine. Of course there are games that just don't work for hardware reasons etc. On Linux (...) the Steam program can be sandboxed down. Still have Steam on Windows though.

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  Reply # 658653 19-Jul-2012 19:27 Send private message

Elpie: 
Thank you Ragnor - this is great info to know. The games I bought are oldies (Civilization 3, 4, & 5 + DLC's) and all appear to be running just fine now on their VM. 



You might find Civ 5 chugs a bit.. it's fairly heavily CPU intensive in big worlds etc.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 658802 20-Jul-2012 00:23 Send private message

Lias:
Elpie: 
Thank you Ragnor - this is great info to know. The games I bought are oldies (Civilization 3, 4, & 5 + DLC's) and all appear to be running just fine now on their VM. 



You might find Civ 5 chugs a bit.. it's fairly heavily CPU intensive in big worlds etc.


Heh, might be some time before I get to Civ 5. I've not ever played any of the series and am starting with 3. Expect to see me surface some time in 2020 ;) 

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