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Windows 7: Does i7 make virtual pc's any faster?

24 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
Does i7 make virtual pc's any faster?

Hi all!

I'm interested in buying a laptop, one of the main uses will be running vmware with potentially server 2008 and/or a couple of W7 workstations. I was wondering if vmware or hyper-v utilize an i7 to its full potential or will I not really notice any difference if I opt for an i5 instead.

Any information regarding this would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Feb 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate

Depends on how may resources you give the virtual machine, i imagine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

I know you can allocate RAM and HD space, but cpu usage? I guess if I were to be running server 08 or something in the background while it was installing something and I wanted to go do something else on another VM would hyperthreading then become useful or does only physical cores matter?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Feb 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate

I'm not 100% sure if vmware supports hyper-threading, i don't what version you are using. However vmware ESX server 2.1 does. I'm sure as long you aren't running cpu intensive tasks on both side, you'll be fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

Basically what I'm running is, I think, vmplayer. All it is used for is simulating servers and workstations of various OS's within the laptop. I'm not sure if that is CPU intensive or not or if it comes down to RAM or HDD speed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate

Well since it wont utilize hyper-threading, you'll be fine with an i5. More RAM can help you out. HDD speed wont really do anything, unless its an SSD. Im sure you'll be fine performance wise.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #7

Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

But most laptops i5 processors are actually dual core, I haven't seen any that are quad core, and are hyper-threaded, so does that mean I should go for i7?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate

No i5's have HT, only i7's. Unless your gonna be doing Mobile Gaming, Media Conversion, or something extremely CPU intensive you wont really need an i7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #9

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
Normally Processor power isn't the biggest bottleneck in Virtual Machine resource consumption -- It's REAL RAM on the host machine.

Virtual Machines EAT RAM for breakfast -- your Host should have at least 4 GB - preferably 8 GB -
RAM is cheap enough -- 4GB modules are available now so even what was originally a 1GB Netbook can have 4GB RAM in it (only one slot available in the Netbook).

Of course processor power will play a part if you are running CPU intensive tasks but IMO most VM's are usually used for running some older legacy apps or hardware such as unsupported scanners etc.

You can of course run things like Photoshop in a Virtual machine but running these types of apps only makes sense if your HOST is a LINUX machine or a MACBOOK / APPLE.

I'm running quite successfully a W2003 SERVER vm from a tiny Acer aspire netbook . Works fine -- I've 4 GB on the host machine and give the virtual server 2GB RAM. The netbook has decent HDMI output so can power a nice size TV /Monitor when required to do so and using USB external drives with a USB multiport device gives me currently up to 6 TB online storage.

The W2003 server also works as my Music / Radio server -- runs the Logitech Squeezeserver app for playing your own music / Internet radio over Wifi connections. I've about 1 TB's worth of music -- mainly in FLAC (lossless compression) online.

On this VM I'm running Office 2010 and have a large format printer (up to A2 Poster size) which doesn't work on W7
as well as a scanner and some other apps such as using an old HP Plotting device.

I leave the netbook connected ----- tiny power consumption compared to a "standard" type workstation and I can remotely connect to it without even having to logon to the host --I'm running it under vmware rel 8 which allows vm's to run "server like" in the background so you can do this easily.

Even using EXCEL 2010 on the vm is fine.

Even serious gaming shouldn't require a mega powerful CPU -- you probably can't do serious gaming on the VM and on the host dedicated Video / GPU's take much of the load off the processor anyway. (I'm not a gamer so I don't need this type of machine anyway).

Fast I/O also helps -- my netbook has an SSD for the HOST OS and the OS part of the 2003 server VM.

I defined the virtual disk for the VM for installing the Virtual OS plus a few applications (Office etc) This are on the SSD while the USB disks are networked from the Host.

All my data is not stored on the VM but on the USB drives.

If the netbook gets broken / packs up I can get another one for about a THIRD of the price of one of those silly Ipads or Tablets -- and it does a LOT More.

Actually to all you "server types" out there -- I really believe that ALL servers should be done via VM's anyway these days -- there's loads of "Corporate" type software out there for running TINY OS'es on the Host and allowing all the resources to go to the VM's such as VMWARE's ESxi. - However this is a different topic.

I DO have a very nice 16 GB workstation but haven't actually seen the need to use it any more these days.

It's amazing if you set it up right what a small Netbook can do. No trouble connecting or using the VM via a normal laptop or a work machine either.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2012   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10

JUst as a FWIW, I'm running a Vista VM, and a Win7 VM at teh same time, under VBox, both with 1 GB RAM - the host is Win 7 running on a i3 370 with 8GB.
I could easily run another one or two VM's if I needed to, so long as none were using processor-intensive routines :)

It's a very pleasant change from a couple of weeks ago, when I only had 4GB, and was running into problems with disk-swapping all the time, if I had a few apps open.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Does i7 make virtual pc's any faster?

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