VMware and NVIDIA TryGRID Horizon Desktop Overview

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In this walkthrough we are going to show you an overview of the features of the VMware and NVIDIA TryGRID Horizon Desktop in the VMware TestDrive environment.

The TryGRID environment is a Horizon pool of non-persistent instant clone desktops, each running Windows 10 and configured with an L40-2Q GPU profile.  Several graphics processing unit (GPU) intense applications have been preinstalled in the virtual desktops so that you can experience the performance of NVIDIA vGPU on Horizon virtual desktops.


Before You Begin

Before you begin this walkthrough ensure you have the following: 

  • A valid account in the VMware TestDrive environment, sign up here if you do not yet have an account
  • TCP & UDP ports 80, 443, 8443; and if using PCoIP, both TCP & UDP 4172
  • Latest Horizon Client installed on your local client machine, available via direct download here

Getting Started

Let's get started, open up your favorite web browser and get sign into Workspace ONE using your TestDrive username and password.


You will first be brought to the Favorites section.  Click on the Apps section.

From the Search Apps field type vGPU.

Select the star to the right of NVIDIA- VMWARE- vGPU- TEST DRIVE

Go back to the Favorites section where you will now see NVIDIA- VMWARE- vGPU- TEST DRIVE.

Move your cursor over it and click on the three dots that appear which will give you a list of options.

Click on Launch from Client (requires Horizon Client already installed on your local machine) or Launch from Browser to open the virtual desktop in a separate tab.

For best performance with vGPU desktops, it is highly recommended to use Horizon Client which uses Blast Extreme as the default protocol.

After successful launch, the Windows 10 desktop will appear.  Shortcuts for the applications used in this walkthrough can be found in the Windows Start Menu.

Section 1: Rich Web Experience

HTML 5 Water

To launch the first demo, load the Start Menu and then click "All Programs". Then click HTML5 Water.

This demo uses WebGL to demonstrate a water simulation. To interact with the demo, you can use the mouse to "draw" on the water to create water ripples. Click the mouse on the sphere to drag the sphere through the water. Moving the sphere out of and back into the water creates realistic interactions with the water surface. Clicking on the black background allows you to rotate the entire scene.


YouTube is the most popular video streaming website. Three hundred hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute and almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day. As more and more content is delivered via online streaming video, being able to smoothly watch streamed online video is an important part of the end user experience.

To test YouTube performance, open the Start Menu and click YouTube I am AI.

Playing back the video is smooth and flawless with the NVIDIA GRID vGPU.

Fluid Particles

Fluid Particles is one of the Google Chrome Experiments, which is an online showroom of web browser-based experiments, interactive programs, and artistic projects. To experience this demo, open the Start Menu and click HTML5 Fluid Particles, then hit the green Start button in the browser window.

Fluid Particles uses real-time particle-based 3D fluid simulation and rendering using WebGL which is capable only with a GPU in the system. Play around with particles and their liquid-like motion, move your mouse through them, occasionally click or hold down the mouse button.

Section 2: Office Productivity

Microsoft Office

The most widely used office productivity applications suite today is Microsoft Office. With the take a tour option in the Start Menu, you can learn the tricks on how to use these productivity applications effectively. Open the Start Menu and click PowerPoint take a tour.

You’ll notice that the GPU-accelerated VM will be able to handle any large data set or presentations.

Adobe Acrobat Reader

PDF 3D allows users to embed 3D models within a PDF document. The model is contained within its own viewing environment, allowing the recipient to fully manipulate the 3D object. To experience this demo, open the Start Menu and click Adobe 3D Acrobat.

The example showcased here focuses on embedded medical data, allowing medical offices to transfer detailed 3D medical data simply and easily. Clicking within the model viewport allows you to fluidly spin and manipulate the 3D model. Other advanced 3D features that can be shown include the ability to change the model shading method, adjust lighting style, and create a 3D slice plane to cut into the 3D model.

Google Earth

Click the Google Earth shortcut.

To demonstrate the high performance you can expect using a GPU-accelerated VM, use the Search field to look at a well-known landmark like the Eiffel Tower in Paris. You can see the responsiveness as Google Earth quickly delivers us a bird’s eye view of this famous tower complete with 3D trees and buildings. We can navigate within the viewport by clicking and dragging. We can also use the navigation controls on the right-hand side of the viewport to look around, rotate, move and zoom the viewport window.

Section 3: Design and Engineering

Esri ArcGIS Pro

ArcGIS Pro is the premier professional desktop GIS application from Esri. With ArcGIS Pro, you can visualize, edit, and analyze your geographic data in both 2D and 3D. The model available for NVIDIA & VMware Test Drive users is a city tour of Philadelphia. Let's open the Start Menu and click ArcGIS Pro Philadelphia to open this demo.

By clicking on any of the buildings, you can get information about the building. Options available for demos are zooming in and out and moving across the map by the middle mouse button or mouse wheel. Different bookmarks can be accessed by clicking on the bookmarks option in the toolbar.

Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS eDrawings

Dassault’s eDrawings is a model viewer for the popular SOLIDWORKS CAD application. Opening the Start Menu and clicking on eDrawings Racecar will launch the viewer and display the SOLIDWORKS model of a high-tech concept car.

The rotate button from the top row will help the user to rotate the car quickly. Clicking and dragging within the viewport will now allow you to rotate the model within the viewport. When rotating the model’s shadow, the reflection is visible on the floor beneath the car.

Siemens Teamcenter

Teamcenter is a viewer for Siemens PLM application. Opening the Start Menu and clicking on Teamcenter Bicycle will launch the viewer and load a Siemens PLM model of a bicycle.

This model can be manipulated in the viewport. The left mouse button rotates the model, while the middle mouse button pans the object, and the mouse wheel can be used to zoom in or out of the model.

Siemens NX 10

Siemens NX 10 software is an integrated product design, engineering, and manufacturing solution that helps you deliver better products faster and more efficiently. To experience this software, open the Start Menu and click Siemens NX 10 Engine.

A model of an engine is available which can be used to demonstrate the performance of a GPU. By holding down the mouse wheel and rotating the mouse, you can see the smooth performance of the VM.

Autodesk AutoCAD

AutoCAD is the world’s leading CAD software. Used to create everything from skyscrapers to ballpoint pens, it’s a mainstay application of designers and engineers the world over. Open the Start Menu and click AutoCAD Stadium to launch AutoCAD and load the soccer stadium model.

The model is displayed using the Conceptual View style. This view style allows for advanced visual features such as object transparency as shown on the Stadium model. To rotate a model in the viewport, hold down the shift key on your keyboard while pressing the middle mouse button. To pan, just hold the middle mouse button down, and use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.

Section 4: Ultimate 3D Graphics

NVIDIA FaceWorks Digital Ira

Digital Ira is an NVIDIA demo application developed using the FaceWorks library. Designed to create the most realistic real-time facial animation, FaceWorks supports advanced GPU-accelerated features like High Quality Skin Shaders, including skin subsurface scattering and deep scattering (light transmission through thin membranes).

Open the Start Menu and click NVIDIA FaceWorks to experience this demo. As Digital Ira is a complex demo, it is normal for it to take a while to completely load.

Ira’s head can be rotated by clicking and moving the mouse within the viewport. Additionally, many options can be changed by clicking on the ">" icon in the upper left- hand corner of the viewport.


NVIDIA released a demo called Dawn to demonstrate the power and programmability of NVIDIA® GeForce® FX. "A New Dawn" is designed to showcase the graphical possibilities on the latest generation of GPUs. Open the Start Menu and click NVIDIA A New Dawn.

Dawn is now seen in her home among the trees, and over 4 million polygons are used to model her environment. Her head features 40,000 individually tessellated strands of hair. You can move within the viewport by clicking and dragging to rotate or use the middle mouse button to pan. Clicking on the ">" icon in the upper left-hand corner of the viewport exposes the many options which can be change.

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