CPU for multiple Virtual PC's on Win 7 platform?

I typically run two Virtual PCs on my Windoze 7 computer and things get failrly slow at times. I am looking to run up to 4 Virtual PCs at a time, one would be doing video processing so it's a CPU hog, the others would be running network type services or when I do a litle programming, and other non-CPU hog activities. I don't play video games but if I were to, I wouldn't run the Virtual PCs if required.

So, I know I need a better CPU to handle what I am doing and I don't know which type of CPU would offer the best performance in a Virtual PC world. I'm not opposed to using WMWare Server however Virtual PC is all I really need. I actually am looking at VirtualBox but think I will test it on a spare laptop I have, just to check out it's interface and usability. I don't expect fast for this laptop.

So, my current machine is:
CPU: E8500 3.16GHz (running at stock speed)
RAM: 4GB DDR2-1066 (I can double that if need be but in the past it showed no benefit to my useage so I pulled it and saving it for the next electrical storm)
HD: Corsair 128GB SSD (P128) (w/56GB free)
OS: Win 7 Home Prem
Video: Radeon HD 4670

So, I'd like to understand which model/family of CPU would do better for running Virtual Machines under Windows 7 OS. I don't want to go buy an entire new computer, I can handle replacing the CPU, MB, and RAM (almost a new computer) but I don't want to drop money on an iCore i7, not unless they have it on sale for $200.00. I am a huge AMD fan, but this was my first Intel computer, so I'm not opposed to the AMD line of products.

Any suggestions would be appreciated,
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  1. well u r using a E8500 and that's a dual core processor, u need a Quad core processor. Q9550 or Q9650 from intel will do all jobs u mention above. & for that u don't need to change your mobo... so go for Quad.

    Intel Q9650

    Intel Q9550
  2. I think that sounds like a good plan and I like the Q9550 option myself.

    Now for argument sake, strickly speaking to the CPU... I understand the Q9550 is a quad core without hyperthreading. I'm just curious if the i7-920 with hyperthreading is a better choice. The i7-920 has a slower clock rate and a much smaller L2 cache, but it's on a 32nm die, has Speed Boost, direct memory interface, etc... I just haven't seen any comparisons of the two products with respects to VM use.

  3. ya sure i7 920 is best choice but for that u have to change your whole setup. that means ur mobo, ram etc.
  4. Phenom II X6 or I7 would be best because you have more cores/threads that way, but even a Core2Quad will help out a lot over your Core2Duo. I would also recommend more than 4Gb of ram, I'm not sure how much you lettings your VMs use, but I can't get by running more than 3 VM's on my machine with 4Gb ram and Vista.
  5. Thanks for the information provided
  6. I now have my E8500 OC'd at 3.72GHz with the CPU voltage bumpped up .02 volts for stability. I could get to 4.0GHz but I don't like the CPU voltage running at 1.3 volts. I'll look into more OC'ing info, maybe I can do a little fine tuning and get up to 4.2GHz just for fun.

    As for the RAM, I would need to install my other RAM I have on the side (all matching) to bump the RAM up to 8GB. I had a problem with the MB, it started eating RAM sticks, ASUS found a few bad regulators and fix it for free. The RAM was RMA'd, so I've been hesitant to add more RAM. It should work fine.

    I hadn't thought of the Phenom II X6, think I'll take a look at that. For some reason I was just looking at the i7.

    As for what I want to run... 4 VMs, two at 512MB and two at 1GB. Right now I can run three of the four on current RAM but it does slow the system down. I could technically run all four however system speed is terrible. With a full 8GB I could do much better. I really need the 512MB VMs since they are portable.

    Thanks for the comments and depending on what I can OC to, I just might go for a new system.
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