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.
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.
– 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:
UI\ “Desktop Composition Redirection” = Disabled
Legacy Mode (XenDesktop 5.X Adaptive
- This setting disables the
rich graphics experience and provides a fallback to the legacy graphics
experience. This can improve scalability.
– 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:
“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