While working at Citrix as a
Technical Relationship Manager and now at Anexinet as an Architect, I get asked
a lot of questions regarding which graphics should be used in their new XenDesktop 7.x environment. My answer is, it
depends! In this blog, I will give you a
brief description of each Graphics Mode and when it will benefit you in your
Desktop Composition Redirection (DCR): Allows the redirection of Desktop Composition
from VDA to client to enrich user experience.
Use Cases: Main office LAN or
remote home user on broadband due to high bandwidth requirement.
to enable graphics mode:
ICA\Desktop UI\ “Desktop Composition Redirection” = Enabled
H.264 Enhanced SuperCodec - Uses Deep Compression allowing for the delivery of
server rendered video in low bandwidth connections. The codec runs completely
on the server CPU and allows for a full Aero enabled desktop on any device.
Use Case – XenApp, WAN environments,
mobile end points. Any endpoint which does not support DCR. Especially if
accessing server rendered video or graphical content.
to enable H.264 Enhanced SuperCodec: ICA\Desktop
UI\ “Desktop Composition Redirection” = Disabled
Legacy Mode (XenDesktop 5.X Adaptive
Display) - This setting disables the
rich graphics experience and provides a fallback to the legacy graphics
experience. This can improve scalability.
Use Case – WAN environments where end
points cannot be updated to support H.264 and delivering Windows 7 or Server
2008 R2. If server scalability is more important than user experience with
Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2.
to enable Legacy Mode: ICA\Graphics\
“Legacy Graphics Mode” = Enabled.
to the graphics policies in Citrix eDocs for configuring legacy settings.
So now that I have explained what
each graphic delivery offers, below are the requirements for each.
Desktop Composition Redirection
(**Note** Only available for Desktop OS VDAs)
- DirectX 9 Support
- Pixel Shadder 2.0 supported in hardward
- 32 bits per pixel
- 1GB RAM
- 128mb of video memory on the graphics card or integrated
Since HDX queries the Windows
device to verify that it has the required GPU capabilities and automatically
reverts to server-side desktop composition if it does not.
Enhanced SuperCodec (**Note** For
both XenApp & XenDesktop 7.x for Server OS VDA's)
- Minimum Receiver Versions: Windows 3.4+, Mac 11.8+,
Linux 13+, HTML5 1.3+ Latest Receiver for iOS and Android.
- Increased CPU requirements on the VDA due to the H.264 processing.
There is no set recommendation, so test accordingly. Depending on the
intensity of the graphics, I have seen out on the field that 4CPU’s showed
- Increased CPU requirements on the user device as
well. This setting is not appropriate for Thin Clients since many have
Mode (XenDesktop 5.X Adaptive Display)
- Available on Windows
Server 2012 and above, but with limited benefits.
- Not compatible with Windows 8 and above due to changes in
- Cannot deliver Aero desktops.
- Disable mouse shadowing
Labels: Citrix, Desktop Composition Redirection, H.264, HDX, Legacy Graphics Mode, SuperCodec