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ESXi Processor Compatibility

Posted on 2012-03-12
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Last Modified: 2012-03-15
Hi,

I have two Acer Aspire 5552 laptops with an AMD Athlon II X2 P320 Processor.  I can install ESXi on these two laptops without issue.  I need to purchase a further two laptops to develop my test environement.  I'm looking at the two more Acer latops that have the following processor AMD Athlon II X2 P340 Processor.

My question is, what is the likely hood of ESXi 5 not working on a p340 processor?  It works on the AMD p320 processor?

thank you for your help
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Question by:cmatchett
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 37709670
The processors must be 64 bit and Support Intel-VT or AMD-V.

If you have ESXi running on the P320, I think it's highly likely it will run on the P340.

Only difference between the P320 and P340 is the Frequency and Clock Multiplier

See here

Comparison of P320 versus P340
http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/873/AMD_Athlon_II_Dual-Core_Mobile_P320_vs_AMD_Athlon_II_Dual-Core_Mobile_P340.html

P320
http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/K10/AMD-Athlon%20II%20Dual-Core%20Mobile%20P320%20-%20AMP320SGR22GM.html

P340
http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/K10/AMD-Athlon%20II%20Dual-Core%20Mobile%20P340%20-%20AMP340SGR22GM.html
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 37709715
According to VMware's HCL: http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php, they don't even have the "Athlon" model/series listed, just the AMD Opteron CPU 'series'. If you install it on a non-supported processor, you run the risk of having issues. Since this is for test env, if you did run into issues, it obviously isn't critical, production-wise.

That being said, if you were able to install it on the 320, chances are the 340 will work, as also suggested above. I would do a couple things tho - 1. call Acer support to see their take; 2. make sure you can return the equipment for a supported CPU if it doesn't work.

~coolsport00
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LVL 121
ID: 37709725
that's because the Athlon is not Server Processor, it's a Desktop Processor.
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 37709732
Assumed the HCL was 'all-encompassing'...is it not?
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LVL 121
ID: 37709736
We have ESXi 5.0 running on AMD N36L and AMD N40L, the only difference is clock speed.

These are neither Athlon or Opteron, but run ESXi 5.0 (not on the HCL either!), but are 64 bit lower power devices, that support AMD-V.
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LVL 121
ID: 37709741
OEM vendors which populate the HCL, would never certify desktop processors/laptops/workstations for VMware Enterprise products.
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 37709748
True - again, talking about $$$ IMO. For small environment...shouldn't matter, beit test or prod. Even if OEMs did, VMware prob wouldn't put it there...
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Author Comment

by:cmatchett
ID: 37710601
lots of good information, thanks.  What about Network Cards?  These laptops only have a single LAN Network card.  Do you think ESXi would detect an external LAN NIC, giving the laptops two LAN network interfaces?
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LVL 121
ID: 37710612
External LAN NIC - what USB - No.

Storage Controllers and Network Interfaces are *ALWAYS* the issue with non HCL hardware.
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 37710630
Agree with @hanccocka...check the HCL on NIC compatibility. That will be your main issue, if you have any.
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Author Comment

by:cmatchett
ID: 37710634
how about a PCMCIA card?
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LVL 121
ID: 37710645
NO!

Intel or Broadcom NICs are mostly supported.
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LVL 121
ID: 37710652
PCMCIA - very unlikely, as there is no PCMCIA support services in ESXi!
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