Differences between VM Hardware Versions

Hey all!
I was asked by a client for a comparison chart, so I thought I’d put it up here as well:

Virtual Hardware Version




ESXi 5.5
Fusion 6.x
Workstation 10.x
Player 6.x

  • vSATA Disk Controller increases devices per channel
  • vGPU support for non-Intel VMs
  • Larger vDisk (62TB) maximum size


ESXi 5.1
Fusion 5.x
Workstation 9.x
Player 5.x

  • Support for Intel VT-x/EPT and AMD-V/RVI
  • Ability to reclaim space from thinly provisioned disks
  • vGPU Graphics for Intel GPUs
  • vCPU performance counters


ESXi 5.0
Fusion 4.x
Workstation 8.x
Player 4.x

  • 32-way SMP
  • 1TB RAM in a single VM
  • Basic software 3D support
  • USB 3.0
  • UEFI Bios


ESXi/ESX 4.x
Fusion 3.x
Fusion 2.x
Workstation 7.x
Workstation 6.5.x
Player 3.x
Server 2.x

  • VMXNet3
  • 8-way SMP
  • 256G RAM in a single VM
  • Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC)
  • Hot Plug support for devices

Note that VM Hardware version 10 VMs are controlled predominately through the vSphere Web Client.