A Simple Mod Unlocks GPU Virtualization On NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Cards


At this point, any limit NVIDIA places on its products won't last very long. The hash rate limiter on the GeForce RTX 3060 was cracked on many occasions in different ways. The latest limitation to be cracked is the locked GPU virtualization on GeForce cards. The simple mod 'vgpu_unlock' has enabled GPU virtualization on consumer-level cards.

NVIDIA GeForce Cards Can Enable GPU Virtualization With A Simple Mod That Changes The Device ID To A Supported GPU

GPU virtualization is a way of distributing graphics processing power to multiple users, essentially allowing multiple users to use a single GPU. This feature is something that differentiates data center GPUs from consumer GPUs. This technology has many use cases including scientific research done by multiple people on a single GPU, but the most notable of all is GeForce NOW which uses GRID GPUs to power the virtual gaming experience.

Xbox Game Pass, GeForce Now, Stadia and More Now Playable via the Samsung TV Gaming Hub

Source: VMware

The silicon was never the issue with vGPU on consumer cards, it was the software that locked out the user. Previously, to use vGPU, users would have to pay a hefty price for an NVIDIA Tesla or Quadro card. vGPU also requires a lot of software to work well and validation with ISVs. NVIDIA's current vGPU software does not support consumer cards, but that could be subject to change as GPU passthrough, the software that allows a single VM to access a GPU, was added to GeForce cards via a driver update.

The mod to get vGPU working is quite simple. It replaces the device ID of an NVIDIA graphics card with a device ID of an officially supported GPU. This works on GP102, GP104, TU102, TU104, and GA102 GPUs for Linux and KVM VM software. It's hard to think of the use case for consumers needing GPU virtualization since this mod doesn't even function with Windows or VMware.

The code for this mod is available on GitHub and it was originally spotted out by Tom's Hardware. It's unfortunate it does not work on Windows because we could have potentially seen consumers do some crypto mining while gaming.