Best processor to run virtual PCs

ndalmolin_13
ndalmolin_13 used Ask the Experts™
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Hello Experts,

I'm looking at getting a new laptop to setup some test labs using VMWare workstation.  I want to use 64-bit guest operating systems.  Which processor would be best for this situation?

Regards,
Nick
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Commented:
Depending on what you want to do you should look for an i5 or i7.

i5 is dual core and i7 is quad core. (well most of them!)

You need a processor that will do VT (Virtualization Technology) which some does and also make sure the laptop you buy has the function enabled or that you can actually enable it.  Some laptop comes with the function locked from the Bios for no reason.

look for a cpu like this one http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Core-i5-430M-Notebook-Processor.23750.0.html
It has Turbo boost and you probably want that!
If you are on a budget, look at AMD's new quad-core processors: I am running 7 virtual machines on a home-grown AMD Athlon II X4 620 w/8GB of RAM. It's pretty responsive. If you need a bit more horsepower, the Phenom II X4 are also interesting.
I would reccomend you Toshiba Qosimo laptops with new Intel® Core™ i7-720QM processor
Description of laptop is here http://laptops.toshiba.com/laptops/qosmio/X500/X505-Q850.
It's really like small server :)
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Commented:
myrotarycar, this is a laptop CPU?
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Here's the 'performance' guide for VMware Workstation
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/ws7_performance.pdf
Pg. 7 explicitly talks about CPU, but not necessarily the 'best model' CPU.

And here is the guide: http://www.vmware.com/pdf/ws7_manual.pdf
Specifically Pg. 23 talks about Sys Req's.

See if these help.

Regards,
~coolsport00
Sorry, I have no idea if either of those chips are currently being used for laptops!

Author

Commented:
Looks like the Intel i7 supports virtual technology.  

Commented:
Of course it does, so does the i5.  It depends how much your willing to spend really.  Quad core is not always the best option.  If you're going to use VM's alot, then yes if you're gonna run more than 2 at a time.
Speaking trully there are no such laptop that has same power as desktop with same configuration. Maybe it's better to use PC with intel xeon quad core.
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
@ndalmolin_13
Dell has few laptops with i5, i suggest you to check them
You dont need high end cpu like i7 to run VMs on laptop plus as you said its mainly for testing, so most important is to get one with the most physical ram
If you really have the $$$ then think no more, grab the dell xps series
Currently I'm using dell e6400 with 4GB ram, it's already good enuf to do testing but its also depends what kind of testing you want to run
Cheers!
Quad Core and bigger screen means lower battery time. Not to mention the heat the Quad core will produce. Unless you looking to run a vSphere or HyperV on your laptop, it is best to go for a 4GB ram and latest laptop CPU that fits your $$$$. I have seen proof of concept sessions where they have ran HyperV on 4 IBM laptops. Have to tell you it was still very very slow. Most other VMs like linix, Win 2003 server, Win XP, Win 7, etc run fine on most decent laptops.
I have older core2duo laptop and they run 3 win2008 server as VMs pretty fine. So anything newer will be better indeed.

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