Why isn't there a VT-D ready program? - Tim Mangan - BrianMadden.com
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Why isn't there a VT-D ready program?

Written on Aug 18 2009
Filed under: ,
4,979 views, 4 comments

by Tim Mangan

So how come Intel, which has had several successful "Intel Inside" and "Core 2 Duo" programs, has nothing to help people figure out if the PC they are buying will support all of the new capabilities we want for virtualization?

Intel makes processors with two important virtualization capabilities, one known as VT-X and the other VT-D.  VT-X is needed if you want to run a type 1 hypervisor.  VT-D adds certain hardware virtualizations for disks and the like, it is less important,   The problem isn't with Intel themselves, it is with the manufacturers that make the PCs.  While you can look at the specs of what you want to buy, that doesn't help.  You can see the processor, check the Intel website and see what capabilities are in the CPU -- this Intel provides.  But the OEM that manufactures the PC has to add the appropriate chipsets and bios changes to support it.  Sometimes, the company buys the right CPU, but doesn't get everything working OK.  So the manufacturer disables the capability, either via hardware or in the Bios.  Oddly, even when they do support VT-D, the unit ships with the feature disabled in the Bios.  But some people have found that even when they find a Bios setting, turning on the Bios setting does not enable the capability - because the manufacturer turned it off in hardware or hidden in the Bios software (we believe this happens because they ran into a problem late in the hardware release cycle).

Sure, sure, it's not just Intel.  But who else could run a program that would work?  Intel, please fix this for us, at least for people buying PCs with your processors.  I know that I'm holding off buying until I can figure out exactly what I'm getting.


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Steve Greenberg wrote re: Why isn't there a VT-D ready program?
on Wed, Aug 19 2009 12:21 PM Link To This Comment

Good idea actually, perhaps they could also specify more detail like "Nehalem Ready' for example so you know for sure that the software will install and work right on the specific chip type...

Shawn Bass wrote re: Why isn't there a VT-D ready program?
on Wed, Aug 19 2009 4:22 PM Link To This Comment

Here Here!  I once twittered that Intel should block Sony from using their chips since they not only have VT disabled in the BIOS, but they don't even let you turn it on.  Bastages!  #sony #fail (oh wait hash tags don't work here do they LOL)


rahvintzu wrote re: Why isn't there a VT-D ready program?
on Wed, Aug 19 2009 5:48 PM Link To This Comment

I still can’t understand why a lot of OEMs have VT turned off in the bios by default.

I would love to know the logic for that one.

Tim you haven’t even begun on VPRO and what revision of VPRO is onboard. This is even a sticker situation as VPRO comes at different revision levels with different feature sets possible at each revision level. I’m unsure about other manufactures but normally the version you get is the version you keep for the lifetime of the system.

Tim Mangan wrote re: Why isn't there a VT-D ready program?
on Tue, Sep 15 2009 2:15 PM Link To This Comment

And check out this gem of a video from Intel.  It tries to explain, but leaves me with even more questions!


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