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I am about to purchase DELL Inspiron 560s Desktop - S241203IN8. My purpose of buying this machine is to be able to install and learn VMware ESX 3.5 (Vmware Infrastructure).

Here is the two links, one gives you the configuration details of the hardware, and the other gives you the details about the Intel Processor inside the machine.

Dell Hardware link - Inspiron 560s Desktop

Intel link for processor specification

Only concern/doubt i have is wrt Intel VT-x availability. It says 'See SPEC Detais" under Advanced Technology catagory.

There are three types in this, and how can i be sure that the processor in that Dell configuration is having VT-x enabled.

Is there a way to check the "SPEC code" in Dell configuration ?

Can anyone please help me here.

Thanks in advance everyone, -Ashwin

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3 Answers

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It's not exactly built for ESX and it's not on the HCL but it should be fine, to find out if it's VT-X capable contact Dell first and ask then if it's 'Windows 7 Virtual XP mode compatible' (which is the same thing but is less likely to confuse them) - get their any response in writing.

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First, I am a very happy Dell customer and nothing more: My personal experience with Dell Sales is that they do not know processor specs at this level. I would not trust them, as I did once when I purchased the only Core 2 Quad Intel makes that doesn't support VT - and, yes, the sales guy said that it did. Buyer beware. –  jmsmcfrlnd Jan 18 '10 at 17:53
    
I agree, so long as you get it in writing you're covered. –  Chopper3 Jan 18 '10 at 18:07
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I use wikipedia to check processor specs.

See page here: List of Intel Core 2 Processors

Search for:Core 2 E7500 and you will find the processor.

However, there are 2 different processors, one with VT one without. You need the one with the part number ending in ML (See note above the table there).

I would do my best to try to cross reference whatever numbers you can find and/or some feature that Dell lists (perhaps a CPU speed or something).

It's a bit of a gamble.

On the bright side, if you have the time etc (and please confirm with Dell yourself) - they usually have a 21-day return for full refund policy, where they pay the shipping. I've done that in the past with no problems at all. So, you could get the machine and check the BIOS when you boot it - if no VT, then return it.

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See Jim B's answer below also: great information. Again, I have found the most important assurance is that you can return without having to pay shipping, etc. as Jim below said. –  jmsmcfrlnd Jan 18 '10 at 18:03
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the SPEC code warning means thhat there are motherboards that will not support VT even though the chip will. It would not in the least bit suprise me if dell's motherboard does not support VT. Dell is notrious for disabling parts they don't deem required by a desktop OS. (the disabling of core i7 turbo mode on the studio XPS line is the latest example that comes to mind). If you're set on dell make sure you can return it without paying a fee if it's not up to spec. Chopper suggestes getting their response in writing which might help but with dell is no guarantee of their compliance,

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wow, didn't know that about the xps's –  Chopper3 Jan 18 '10 at 18:13
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