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I'm looking at building a new desktop workstation. I will be using VMWare Workstation to run virtual machines, probably only one or two at a time. I am currently deciding on CPU and the options I am considering either the i7 2600 or the i7 2600K. The 2600 supports VT-x and VT-d instructions but is not overclockable. The 2600K is overclockable (from 3.4GHz stock to 4.5 GHz easily) but lacks the support for VT-x and VT-d.

Which would be more useful for general development, and VMs specifically?

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migrated from serverfault.com Jan 10 '12 at 7:20

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4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The 2600k supports VT-x. See the YES in the VT-x row. It does appear to lack VT-d support. But that doesn't really matter for you since VT-d, is not supported under Vmware Workstation, or as far as I know any hypervisor other then Vmware ESXi, which is a type-1 hypervisor and not suitable for use on your desktop system.

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Well, most people do not really overclock their servers as they want a stable environment.

Also VT-X is what you want with a server, you will have less overhead, because your virtual machine will be able to access some instructions on the CPU directly, causing less overhead and thus improving performance.

Also some operating do not run without VT (Windows 2008). Some host systems explicitly require VT (latest ESX).

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This wont be for a server, just a desktop workstation for development. –  aj.esler Jan 10 '12 at 0:59
    
Then you still want to be able to test an array of different technologies and hopefully still want some stability no :p ? –  Lucas Kauffman Jan 10 '12 at 1:07
    
Your answer is mostly irrelevant. Since the both CPUs he is talking about support VT-x. –  Zoredache Jan 10 '12 at 1:12
    
Since he stated "The 2600K is overclockable (from 3.4GHz stock to 4.5 GHz easily) but lacks the support for VT-x and VT-d." I was going with that. –  Lucas Kauffman Jan 10 '12 at 8:40

VT-x and VT-d pro: Some OS'es require it to run/boot.

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Your answer is mostly irrelevant. Since the both CPUs he is talking about support VT-x. VT-d is not required to run/boot. It is a feature that allows directly mapping a IO device into a VM. –  Zoredache Jan 10 '12 at 1:13

Will you run a Windows based OS on your Box? You might want to try a Linux Distribution with the latest KVM Implementation like OpenSUSE (+Virtualization Repos) or Fedora (Bloody Edge and Development Platform). The Kernel based Virtual Machine (-KVM-) utilizes Hardware based Virtualization based upon VT-x (Intel Vanderpool) or VMX (ADM Pacifica). You can nearly virtualize any Platform you want. An Alternative to this would be using VirtualBox which seems to be also capable of utilizing Hardware Virtualization. HTH

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