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EDIT: I have an Intel DX79TO board tested working with VT-d passthrough to VMware ESXi5. I've used multiple Core i7 38xx processors, and they have all worked so far.

I know that there were rumors floating around late last year that C1 stepping processors with the X79 chipset had broken support for VT-d. There are a few specifications available that list VT-d as being supported on this hardware, but there are also accounts that it doesn't work, and I don't want to waste a lot of money on bleeding-edge hardware that is supposed to have this feature but doesn't.

Has anyone had/does anyone have a link to someone who has had firsthand experience with VT-d working on X79/Core i7 38xx or 39xx hardware?


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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It appears that most of the i7 processors have VT-d enabled on them. You can get a full list from the Intel Ark here. The list will always be current as it uses a search for VTD=true. Just check that your motherboard has that capability. There's so many processors with it that its hard to narrow it down to "which work and which don't".

Wikipedia does say the following on LGA 2011 sockets:

All models support: MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, AVX, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST), Intel 64, XD bit (an NX bit implementation), TXT, Intel VT-x, Intel VT-d, Turbo Boost, AES-NI, Smart Cache, Hyper-threading, except the C1 stepping models, which lack VT-d.

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Awesome! However, it's the motherboard bit (the X79 chipset specifically) that I'm most concerned about, since there were mutterings of it not supporting VT-D. I've dug a bit, but all I've found are conflicting and less-than-authoritative statements on whether or not it works. – Zac B Mar 12 '12 at 21:04
I can firsthand say that I've seen X79 boards with VT-d options in the BIOS. – Shinrai Mar 12 '12 at 21:09
@ZacB I added a bit that may help. – Simon Sheehan Mar 12 '12 at 21:21

I've verified that VT-D works (I can pass through devices to ESXi 5) on an Intel motherboard with the X79 chipset. The motherboard is a DX79TO. Might be useful for anyone else looking for definitive data on this.

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