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Does enabling hardware x86 virtualization (AMD-V or Intel VT-x) slow down my computer?

Obviously, it improves the performance if I'm running virtual machines, but what if I'm not running any VMs?

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No it will not. Most of the recent processors are coming with VT facility and its enabled by default.

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VT-x and VT-d are just extra instructions in your CPU. Not using them has the same exact impact as not using any other instructions--none ;) –  Marcin Nov 18 '10 at 14:19

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