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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sandy Bridge Processor and Hyper V R2


Sandy Bridge? What a lovely name for a processor name?

It is a new second generation processor of Intel Core i3/i5/i7 which released by Intel. For cost effective and get the job done in the lab environment, Sandy Bridge may be my best options to extend my own data center (small home lab servers). Thanks to Jeff which bring this topic out. He talk more about it on this link.

Let walkthrough on some of the cool stuff on Sandy Bridge.

1. How to identify Sandy Bridge processor?

These processor model are 4 digits. Example:- i7-2600, i7-2600.

2. What’s the different between Core i3/i5/i7 on Sandy Bridge?

Core i7  came with feature of quad operating core, 8 MB of L3 cache memory, support Intel Hyper threading and Turbo Boost technologies.

Meanwhile, Core i5 has drop support of  Hyper threading, execute 4 thread at a time, include Turbo Boost technologies and 6MB of L3 cache.

Lastly, Core i3 has dual core design but has Intel Hyper-Threading features which OS sees as quad core processor, 3MB of L3 cache and no Turbo Boost technologies.

Based on here, i would prefer to get Core i7.

To know more about Sandy Bridge, please click here.

3. What’s new on Sandy Bridge and what it has to do with Hyper V R2?

Sandy Bridge included a new features called  Advanced Vector Extension (AVX) which suitable for suitable for floating point-intensive calculations in multimedia, scientific and financial applications, AVX instructions provide increased parallelism and throughput in floating point SIMB calculations. To know more, you can refer to here.

Since Sandy Bridge is quite new (release on 2011) and Hyper V 2008 R2 (release on 2009), you will encounter problem such as “Virtual machine could not be initialize/start error message”.


a) Apply Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 to add support for AVX (both parent and within virtual machine) and Sandy Bridge processor.


b) Apply hotfix from this KB 2517374 article: . This hotfix only add support for the AVX instruction on the parent partition but does not present AVX instruction within the virtual machine.

So the best options is Option 1: Apply SP1.

The next question is “Should i get Sandy Bridge Processor as one of my lab servers?”

In dilemma… “Virtual Lai”