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Best processor for Virtualization?

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January 10, 2011 9:04:08 PM

I am a mobile apps developer and its useful to run a virtual machine. Is it safe to assume that a six core processor and 8gb RAM can make two vms and the host run at near full speed?
January 10, 2011 11:36:55 PM

"near full speed" is the catch - as long as you match settings to what your cpu is capable of and regard the lack of 3d support (for the most part)
i've had the best performance with virtualbox, but i like the wdm 3d driver that vmware provides for full aero support in vista and 7.

iether way my 7.8/7.9 wei rig will get about 6.6-7.1 when running the host (windows 7 64) and two or three vms:
windows 7, windows XP and a linux distro

allowing each os about 2gb and 1 or 2 processors each

this is all running the rig in my sig
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January 10, 2011 11:46:31 PM

Ok. I was just looking at pricing and it appears six core won't happen. So between an older core 2 duo with faster clock speed or a newer I5 dual core with lower clock speed what would be bettBetween the winner of that one and an older core 2 quad?
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January 10, 2011 11:57:29 PM

i'd say go with the quad as long as it supports vt - it made a big impact on processing performance, which i assume would be important if your constantly compiling and running. theres more processing power in this solution and you can spit up your proc amongst the vms they way you want to instead of sharing full time with the host.
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January 11, 2011 4:54:37 AM

I had a feeling you'd say that. Found this great core i5 dual core laptop for a good price. So you'd still go with a quad core 1.6Ghz vs a dual core 2Ghz?
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a b à CPUs
January 11, 2011 2:09:20 PM

It all depends on how many VM's you plan on running on the host server. If you're running just one VM on a host machine, a quad core host machine would be more than enough, with at least 4gb RAM. Of course this all varies depending on what your VM will be (OS) and what it will be doing. If your apps will be single threaded, i'd actually recommend fewer, faster cores.
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January 11, 2011 2:16:02 PM

Well here's my plan. I found a good cheap notebook with a Phenom II 2.10 Ghz quad core processor and 8GB RAM. I'm hoping to run only one VM and host and split cores evenly and keep most of the ram to the host but give at least 25% to the guest. Occasionally I may need two VMs up though. Think this is good or would a faster dual core be better?
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January 13, 2011 8:10:18 PM

i thought you were talking about desktop quad cores, the difference now is a lot less now that your talking about notebook hardware, where intel will give you the edge if you split the cores due to their faster architecture... you can go either way at those clock speeds - i'd say go for personal preference especially if the i5 has ht (though i don't think the notebook ones have. i'd still lean towards having more cores, theres less likely a chance the system will hang at times some cores are being used because theres obviously going to be more free cores

(sory it took so long to respond, toms email feature, among other features, is not working right now so i had to search for this thread)

let us know what solution came about for you and your satisfaction level with the new comp. it'd be interesting to know how it worked out for you
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a c 131 à CPUs
January 13, 2011 9:15:38 PM

My question for you is what OS's will you be running in those VMs and what exactly will you be doing with them? Would it be better to assign two virtual processors to each or better to assign a single faster one to each?

Either way though, avoid the core2's unless you do your research. Not all support virtualization. I'm pretty sure all the icores support it though. Any AMD processor from Athlon 64 onwards supports it.

You might not even need as much as what you are looking to spend, depending on what you intend to specifically do.

Also be make sure you can turn virtualization on the bios of the notebook as soon as you get it, otherwise you'll want to return it.
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January 25, 2011 12:20:34 AM

Hmmm looks like my last post didn't actually post. Okay well I decided to go with a Toshiba Satellite A665-S6094. Core i7 740QM processor, I think. Quad core. Awesome sound package which is a simple bonus lol. Came with 4GB ram but I replaced it all with a GSkill 8GB kit at PC10600 which is the fastest ram this machine can handle. I am pleased to announce that I am able to run my Ubuntu host and my Windows 7 guest, Windows XP guest AND Mac OS X Snow Leopard guest. Concurrently. All at the same time. Obviously there are some slow downs and I really don't need to run ALL at the same time. But this is perfect as an applications developer. Ubuntu works great for Android, Windows will be good if I decide to go Windows Phone 7 and when I decide to take the plunge into iPhone development I'm golden. I just set each VM to a seperate virtual desktop in Ubuntu and it is easy to switch. Definitely happy with this machine and processor/memory combo.
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January 30, 2011 1:51:08 AM

awesome, glad to hear you went with a current gen quad v the other option you mentioned a while ago (moreso glad you didn't go dual!)
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