Q. I've been told that my 64-bit processor can't be used for virtualization and that I need to buy a newer processor to run desktop virtualization. Is this true?

A. A reader mailed me that his local PC shop told him his Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 couldn't be used for virtualization and that he'd have to buy a new processor. This is right and wrong.

Some processors have hardware-assisted virtualization capabilities (Intel VT and AMD-V) that some virtualization solutions, such as Hyper-V, require. Other virtualization solutions can take advantage of hardware-assisted virtualization but don't need it, such as Windows Virtual PC (with a recent update installed).

If you can run a virtualization solution that doesn't need hardware-assisted virtualization, most processors will be fine, including the T6600. Intel has a site that lists its processors and whether they support Intel VT. You can also run the Intel Processor Identification utility to see your processor's capabilities, as this screenshot shows.

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