Macos – How to know if a computer supports hardware-assisted virtualization before I purchase the computer


I'm an iPhone programmer who is no longer in possession of a personal Mac computer on which to use XCode. I have two Windows desktops, and I would like to run OS X in VMWare rather than purchase Apple's expensive hardware.

However, neither of my machines supports hardware-assisted virtualization, which is required to virtualize OS X. I went shopping online for a computer today, since I've been planning to purchase a laptop anyway, but sites like Best Buy don't appear to give any indication of whether or not a product supports this. Is there any other site out there or some trick to figuring this out other than buying the machine and running Microsoft's nifty little detection tool?

Best Answer

You want to know of the processor in the machine has hardware virtualization, what Intel calls "VT-x" in their literature.

Most of the time, the description of a computer will tell you what model processor it has. That's pretty much all you'll need to know. e.g. Here in Canada, Best Buy is advertising a Samsung laptop for $598. The ad says it has an Intel T6600 CPU.

The first google hit for "Intel T6600" sends me to a page at Scroll down to the "Advanced Technologies" portion of the page. There I find the note "Intel Virtualization Technology -> No".

So, I can scratch that laptop off my list. You'll need to keep looking for a machine that has VT-x.

For AMD, there is an analogous technology, called AMD-V. I have no idea if OSX will run on an AMD processor... but I expect it does not. Anyway, there's a good overview of the whole topic on Wikipedia.