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I'm about to buy a new PC that will run Windows 7.

My question:

Do certain CPUs offer certain advantages for Windows 7?

As a rule of thumb, more expensive CPUs yield better performance and more features; but I'd like to know the marginal benefit of each tier.

For example:

  • Do some CPUs support virtualization much better than others?
  • Past a certain threshold, will more expensive CPUs support Windows 7 better than others?
    • And if there is such a threshold, what is that threshold?

I'm also very interested in the AMD/Intel dichotomy; so if you could elaborate on that, that would be great.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted
  1. TR's Windows 7 system guide: Recommendations for building the right enthusiast's PCs
    Gives some configurations and suggestions
  2. A Slashdot thread: Windows 7 On Multicore — How Much Faster? to slide over;
    could be informative if you can handle some distraction.
  3. Lighter reading at InfoWorld: How Intel Nehalem processors and Windows 7 work together
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Thanks - That first link is exactly what I was looking for. – Jim G. Oct 22 '09 at 18:53

If you need to run a virtualized XP mode along with Windows 7, make sure you get Intel CPU with VT-x or AMD CPU with AMD-V.

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Windows 7 includes parallel processing enhancements that utilizes multi-core CPU's. Thus, you will gain solid performance improvements going from a Dual Core to a Quad core to a Core i7/i5 CPU.

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