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CPU for virtualization (VirtualBox)

For the use of virtual machines, which CPU would be more recommended?

  • Intel i9-13900

  • Ryzen 9 7950X

  • Other (comment, please)


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Ommadawn

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Hi all,

I am considering an upgrade of my computer for work purposes and I want a powerful home machine. The use will be for programming and use of several virtual machines (VirtualBox type, with Windows and GNU/Linux operating systems running).

For the use of virtual machines, which one would be more recommended? For example, an Intel i9-13900 or a Ryzen 9 7950X? I say this because the Intel efficient cores issue has me somewhat confused in a VirtualBox type virtual machine environment. When assigning cores to the machines? do you see only the P-cores or the E-cores as well?

Thanks!
 
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5950X, why? Cost efficient, don't need expensive AM5 board, DDR5 etc. And should cool better too.
 
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Hi all,

I am considering an upgrade of my computer for work purposes and I want a powerful home machine. The use will be for programming and use of several virtual machines (VirtualBox type, with Windows and GNU/Linux operating systems running).

For the use of virtual machines, which one would be more recommended? For example, an Intel i9-13900 or a Ryzen 9 7950X? I say this because the Intel efficient cores issue has me somewhat confused in a VirtualBox type virtual machine environment. When assigning cores to the machines? do you see only the P-cores or the E-cores as well?

Thanks!
Does VirtualBox support AVX-512 instructions for the host side? I cannot seem to find it on Google.
 
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5950X, why? Cost efficient, don't need expensive AM5 board, DDR5 etc. And should cool better too.

While I really like your logic, it still might be better to go with AM5, especially on a system used for professional applications where you want to be able to have an easy upgrade path without having to replace motherboard and memory later on nonetheless.
 
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Most people have an AMD system here so they probably recommend AMD.. :D
 
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While I really like your logic, it still might be better to go with AM5, especially on a system used for professional applications where you want to be able to have an easy upgrade path without having to replace motherboard and memory later on nonetheless.
Key thing being professional applications and for that you want stability. AM5 is still in its infancy.
 
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Key thing being professional applications and for that you want stability. AM5 is still in its infancy.

Based on that logic you would have to get a Workstation. Your original argumentation just was about pricing and cooling.
 

Ommadawn

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5950X, why? Cost efficient, don't need expensive AM5 board, DDR5 etc. And should cool better too.
I don't mind paying a bit more in the end. The performance between the 5000 and 7000 series in terms of single-core and multi-core is enough to consider the 7950X.

Does VirtualBox support AVX-512 instructions for the host side? I cannot seem to find it on Google.
I really don't know. But in the case that it does support it, what would be the choice, and would it have a big impact on performance?

While I really like your logic, it still might be better to go with AM5, especially on a system used for professional applications where you want to be able to have an easy upgrade path without having to replace motherboard and memory later on nonetheless.
Thanks for your help!

Based on that logic you would have to get a Workstation. Your original argumentation just was about pricing and cooling.
That's right. It's really for a home PC, not a professional one. In that case, I would have opted for a ThreadRipper with many cores.
 
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I think the 7950x is the better option of the two. I currently have it but cannot say many things about professional work and stability. (I have to wait for my new GPU so I'm just enjoying stuff.)

It's also pretty much the best time to get one.
 
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I really don't know. But in the case that it does support it, what would be the choice, and would it have a big impact on performance?
AVX-512 support can dramatically improve performance if you have a CPU that supports it. The only current CPUs that support it are the Ryzen 7000 series.

I could find that the guest machines are unable to access it, however some other virtualization programs (particularly PS3 emulation) can use it for the performance boost.

If it were me I would go for the 7950X, but I am a bit biased by dislike for Intel's business practices.
 
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I have a 12900K system and a 7950X system, I have run vmware workstation on both of them.
They both handle virtualization without any issues.

Having said that, i would probably choose the 7950X because it doesn't have the hybrid architecture.
Like i said, my 12900k handles virtualization fine, but i only ever run a single VM at a time (i have a dedicated esxi box for other virtual machines)
 

vvkvvkvvk

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Virtual machines are not emulation. If the hypervisor bares the AVX instructions, they'll work as is.

Any (even old) CPU will work, it just boils down what sort of program are you intending to run in the VM.
 

Ommadawn

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Virtual machines are not emulation. If the hypervisor bares the AVX instructions, they'll work as is.

Any (even old) CPU will work, it just boils down what sort of program are you intending to run in the VM.
I'm a teacher and I usually run several VirtualBox instances to explain how to interconnect different virtual machines (Windows and GNU/Linux using Samba, for example).
While I'm programming, I use to compile big amount of code, resize a huge amount of images, etc. So I need a powerful machine.
 
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Advanced Marketing Devices has affected this forum too much according to UserBenchMarkarkdark.com.

The "problem" with intel is it's socket policy in my opinion. Their latest desktop CPUs (LGA1700 being EOL) are really good pieces of hardware but - not only for cost reasons but also eco-friendliness (e-waste) - having a socket for just 2 generations and sometimes even having to get a new motherboard nonetheless, because the old chipset on the same socket might not support it, is - at least for me - the reason not to buy intel.
 

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Do those CPUs have VT-d? That might be important to you since you'll have multiple VMs running at once.
 

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Most people have an AMD system here so they probably recommend AMD.. :D
There was a time not too long ago where it was the other way around :D

I haven't tried to run a VM for a while, but had no problem with it on Intel, haven't tried with AMD.
 

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I supposed that for a hi-end processor nowadays :confused:
Good news, the spec sheet for the 13900K shows that it supports it. I'd go for this feature if I were you. Note that motherboard support is required as well.

 
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Either one will work, both CPUS have their respective virtualization tech (Intel VT-x or AMD-V)
I'm a little old school in that i'd rather have all the same types of cores for that, but honestly intel thread director would take care of that part of it.
 
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From W1zzard's own testing, the 7950x (and 5950x) were faster for VirtualBox:

virtualization.png


From here:

 

bug

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From W1zzard's own testing, the 7950x (and 5950x) were faster for VirtualBox:

View attachment 272338

From here:

I'm not sure how VirtualBox feels about E-cores. That may be a factor in deciding what to buy.
 

Ommadawn

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From W1zzard's own testing, the 7950x (and 5950x) were faster for VirtualBox:

View attachment 272338

From here:

Thanks for the review, it's useful.

I'm not sure how VirtualBox feels about E-cores. That may be a factor in deciding what to buy.
That's what it dizzy me... When you select a number of cores in VirtualBox, will they be e-core or p-core? Strange...
 

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That's what it dizzy me... When you select a number of cores in VirtualBox, will they be e-core or p-core? Strange...
Without further information, you can assume they'll be picked at random and you may be able to exert some control by disabling E-cores entirely or use process lasso to avoid them. Whether you want to do that or you'd be better served by a homogeneous architecture (i.e. Zen), I cannot say.

I'd read up a little about VirtualBox on Alder Lake first, who knows, maybe they play nicely together.
 
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vvkvvkvvk

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Do those CPUs have VT-d? That might be important to you since you'll have multiple VMs running at once.
Doesn't matter. You can create virtual machine even without VT-d but you won't be able to access PCI devices. If you don't know / understand what it is, you won't need it. I don't believe VirtualBox even supports it. Hyper-V, xen, ESXi, kvm et al do but you need to be more than hobbyist to use them.
Without further information, you can assume they'll be picked at random and you may be able to exert some control by disabling E-cores entirely or use process lasso to avoid them. Whether you want to do that or you'd be better served by a homogeneous architecture (i.e. Zen), I cannot say.

I'd read up a little about VirtualBox on Alder Lake first, who knows, maybe they play nicely together.
Should be up to the host OS. VirtualBox in essence is like running a game, but you get to choose how many cores it exposes to the process. It can be as simple as running solitare or heavy like modern AAA games. If it's heavy on the processor, the host will allocate more resources, so it would use P-core to run it or if it's light it'll just use the E-cores. Running multiple VMs just mean you run multiple heavy process simultaneously. It's up to the host system.

You guys assume virtual machines are something exotic or complex. In the end your browser window can be thought of a hypervisor running multiple VMs if you have multiple tabs.
 
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