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What hardware do I need for VMWare Workstation?

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March 14, 2010 5:32:30 PM

Hi all,

I'm building a new desktop to run VMWare Worksation 7 on Windows 7 Ultimate.

Are there any features that are needed to better support virtualization that influence which hardware I should buy? For example, are Xeons better for VmWare than i7s or i5s? 1156 or 1366? IO issues?

thanks!
Avi
March 15, 2010 10:57:23 AM

Thank you for you answer. However, why are Xeon better for virtualization? What additional features are supported?
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March 15, 2010 12:03:52 PM

Xeon is not better in the sense of functionality, these CPUs are simply more stable due to being more rigorously tested. Essentially, they're the same chip as their desktop counterparts. If you wanna run more than one physical CPU, Xeon with 2P server class motherboard is the way to go though.

A workstation for VMWare, you'll need:

- A lot of RAM: this depends on how many guest OSes you wanna run but I say at least 6GB for triple channel i7 and 8GB for dual channel i5 or i7
- Fast CPU, any i5 or i7 quad core will do fine, one with HT is better. or you can use i7 gen Xeon that supports 2P if you prefer.
- Fast IO for running snappy guest -> good SSD.
March 15, 2010 1:22:10 PM

Thanks, thuan, for your answer.

I'm very surprised to find out that Xeons are simply "better tested" i7s!

I'm afraid to go Xeon because it's an "orphan environment" - much less knowledge on the Internet and forums, motherboards and cases with server form factors, much less selection, much higher prices. Of course, for larger organization this makes prefect sense but I'm working by myself...

Tempting as it is, I also don't plan on using two processors - one with HT and 4 cores (e.g. i7) would do fine. I need a development machine, not a multi-user server. The machine would run VS, Office, Subversion, CI, SQL Server and Web Server, each on its own virtual machine, but this load is not too high.

What I wanted to check is whether I'm missing some important capability for virtualization found in Xeons and server motherboards and missing in desktops. From your answer I gather this is not the case, so I'd stick with the i7.
a b V Motherboard
March 16, 2010 2:54:40 AM

Yea in that case, perhaps the i7 930 on 1366 socket, with at least 6gb ram, average video card and a nice speedy SSD, rest is straight forward :) 
!