VMware multicore virtual CPU support lets you control the number of cores per virtual socket in a virtual machine. This capability lets operating systems with socket restrictions use more of the host CPU's cores, which increases overall performance.
Using multicore virtual CPUs can be useful when you run operating systems or applications that can take advantage of only a limited number of CPU sockets.
You can configure a virtual machine with ESXi 6.7 Update 2 and later compatibility to have up to 256 virtual CPUs. A virtual machine cannot have more virtual CPUs than the actual number of logical CPUs on the host. The number of logical CPUs means the number of physical processor cores or two times that number if hyperthreading is enabled. For example, if a host has 128 logical CPUs, you can configure the virtual machine for 128 virtual CPUs.
You configure how the virtual CPUs are assigned in terms of cores and cores per socket. Determine how many CPU cores you want in the virtual machine, then select the number of cores you want in each socket, depending on whether you want a single-core CPU, dual-core CPU, tri-core CPU, and so on. Your selection determines the number of sockets that the virtual machine has.
The maximum number of virtual CPU sockets that a virtual machine can have is 128. If you want to configure a virtual machine with more than 128 virtual CPUs, you must use multicore virtual CPUs.
For more information about multicore CPUs, see the vSphere Resource Management documentation.