Today I have been asked by one of my customers what motherboard chipset is used in VMware Virtual Hardware. The answer is clearly visible from the screenshot below ...
Motherboard chpset is Intel 440BX (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_440BX
). This chipset was released by Intel in April 1998. In the same year, VMware Inc. was founded.
The screenshot above was done in Windows 10 running as Guest OS in VM hardware version 13 but the same chipset is used for VM hardware version 14 so I would assume all VM hardware versions use the same chipset and difference among VM hardware versions are additional features like the maximum amount of RAM, number of NIC adapters, CPU features exposed from physical CPU to virtual CPU, etc.
On two pictures below you can see VM hardware difference between ESXi 3.5 and ESXi 4.0
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