If you're setting up separate partitions for individual operating systems another option is to set up multiboot with GRUB. This has the advantage of allowing the guest OS to interface with the hardware directly for increased performance and compatibility, and frees you from the idiosyncrasies and individual limitations of the host type 1 Hypervisor.
For example, VMware ESXi does not support windows 8 prior to ESXi 5.0 Patch 4, and would require the installation of a type 2 Hypervisor such as Qemu within a guest OS for ARM-based processor emulation (eg. for Raspberry Pi development). Xen on the other hand can be quite difficult to configure and driver support can be dependant on distribution compatibility.
Furthermore, your type 1 hypervisor may or may not be compatible with laptop power management technologies and drastically affect battery life.
Another option you may consider is to set up a stripped down version of Linux with KVM installed and Intel VT-x (for your Core i7) hardware assisted virtualisation support as a Host OS. Whilst this is not technically a type 1 hypervisor implementation it may offer you the functionality you seek. I would definitely recommend storing your disk images as files, and not partitions if you go down this route - much easier to back up, manage and upgrade/decommission.
This discussion has quite a bit more useful information should you wish to research the topic further.
You may also consider running your prospective type 1 within a type 2 hypervisor such as VMware Workstation, VirtualBox or Qemu to 'try before you buy' and check out interface etc. although it will be difficult to determine performance and compatiblity.