The virtual machine compatibility setting determines the virtual hardware available to the virtual machine, which corresponds to the physical hardware available on the host. You can review and compare the hardware available for different compatibility levels to help you determine whether to upgrade the virtual machines in your environment.

You can add up to 10 PVRDMA network adapters to a virtual machine when using vSphere 7.0 Update 2 and later.

For more information about the virtual machine compatibility and the supported hardware versions, see the VMware KB article at: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2007240.

Table 1. Supported Features for Virtual Machine Compatibility
Feature Feature Availability by Virtual Hardware Version (HWV) Recent Hardware Versions
20 19 18 17 15 14
ESXi compatibility See KB 2007240 ESXi 8.0 and later ESXi 7.0 Update 2 and later ESXi 7.0 Update 1 and later ESXi 7.0 and later ESXi 6.7 Update 2 and later ESXi 6.7 and later
BIOS firmware (1)
  • HWV 4 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
UEFI firmware (1)
  • HWV 8 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Secure Boot
  • HWV 13 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Maximum number of logical processors (2)
  • 768 for HWV 18 or later
  • 256 for HWV 17 - 15
  • 128 for HWV 14 - 11
  • 64 for HWV 10 - 9
  • 32 for HWV 8
  • 8 for HWV 7
  • 4 for HWV 4
768 768 768 256 256 128
Maximum number of cores (virtual CPUs) per socket (3)
  • 256 for HWV 20
  • 64 for HWV 19 - 9
  • 32 for HWV 8
  • 8 for HWV 7
  • 1 for HWV 4
256 64 64 64 64 64
CPU Hot Add support
  • HWV 11 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Maximum memory (GB) (4)
  • 24560 for HWV 20 - 18
  • 6128 for HWV 17 - 13
  • 4080 for HWV 11
  • 1011 for HWV 10 - 8
  • 256 for HWV 7
  • 64 for HWV 4
24560 24560 24560 6128 6128 6128
Memory Hot Add Support
  • HWV 7 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Virtual NUMA Topology
  • HWV 20 or later
Y N N N N N
Maximum PCI passthrough devices
  • 32 for HWV 20 or later
  • 16 for HWV 19 - 13
32 16 16 16 16 16
PCI Hot Add support
  • HWV 13 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Virtual PMC support
  • HWV 9 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Dynamic DirectPath
  • HWV 17 or later
Y Y Y Y N N
Enhanced DirectPath I/O
  • HWV 20 or later
Y N N N N N
Vendor Device Groups
  • HWV 20 or later
Y N N N N N
AMD SEV-ES
  • HWV 18 or later
Y Y Y N N N
Virtual Hyperthreading
  • HWV 20 or later
Y N N N N N
Virtual I/O MMU for Intel hosts
  • HWV 14 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Virtual I/O MMU for AMD hosts
  • HWV 18 or later
Y Y Y N N N
Virtual SGX device
  • HWV 17 or later
Y Y Y Y N N
Nested virtualization (5)
  • HWV 9 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Microsoft VBS for Intel hosts
  • HWV 14 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Microsoft VBS for AMD hosts
  • HWV 19 or later
Y Y N N N N
Communication Interfaces
Maximum Serial ports
  • 32 for HWV 11 or later
  • 4 for HWV 10-4
32 32 32 32 32 32
Maximum Parallel ports 3 for all HWV 3 3 3 3 3 3
USB 1.x and 2.0
  • HWV 7 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
USB 3.1 SuperSpeed
  • HWV 8 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
USB 3.1 SuperSpeedPlus
  • HWV 17 or later
Y Y Y Y N N
VMCI
  • HWV 7 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
DataSets Service
  • HWV 20 or later
Y N N N N N
vMotion App Notification
  • HWV 20 or later
Y N N N N N
Networking
Maximum NICs
  • 10 for HWV 7 or later
  • 4 for HWV 4
10 10 10 10 10 10
VMXNet3 version
  • 8 for HWV 20 or later
  • 7 for HWV 19
  • 6 for HWV 18
  • 5 for HWV 17 and 15
  • 4 for HWV 14
  • 3 for HWV 13
  • 2 for HWV 11
  • 1 for HWV 10 - 7
8 7 6 5 5 4
VMXNet2 version
  • HWV 4 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
VMXNet version
  • HWV 4 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
PCNet32 (6)
  • HWV 4 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
E1000e
  • HWV 8 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
E1000
  • HWV 4 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
PVRDMA RoCE versions
  • RoCEv2 for HWV 20-14
  • RoCEv1 for HWV 19-13
RoCEv2 RoCEv1, RoCEv2 RoCEv1, RoCEv2 RoCEv1, RoCEv2 RoCEv1, RoCEv2 RoCEv1, RoCEv2
Maximum PVRDMA NICs
  • HWV 13 or later
10 10 1 1 1 1
PVRDMA native endpoints (7)
  • HWV 18 or later
Y Y Y (7) N N N
ATA Storage
Maximum Floppy Devices
  • 2 for all HWV
2 2 2 2 2 2
IDE nodes
  • HWV 4 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Virtual IDE Disks
  • HWV 7 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Virtual IDE CD-ROMs
  • HWV 4 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
IDE Hot Add support
  • Not supported
N N N N N N
Virtual SATA disks
  • HWV 10 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Maximum SATA controllers
  • 4 for HWV 10 or later
4 4 4 4 4 4
SCSI Storage
Virtual SCSI disks
  • HWV 4 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Maximum SCSI controllers
  • 4 for HWV 4 or later
4 4 4 4 4 4
VMware Paravirtual SCSI controllers
  • HWV 7 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
LSI Logic SAS SCSI controllers
  • HWV 7 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
LSI Logic SCSI controllers
  • HWV 4 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Bus Logic SCSI controllers
  • HWV 4 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
SCSI passthrough
  • HWV 4 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
SCSI hot add support
  • HWV 4 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
NVMe Storage
Virtual NVMe disks
  • HWV 13 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Maximum NVMe controllers
  • 4 for HWV 13 or later
4 4 4 4 4 4
NVMe version
  • 1.3c for HWV 20 - 19
  • 1.0e for HWV 18 - 13
  • See (8)
1.3c (8) 1.3c (8) 1.0e 1.0e 1.0e 1.0e
Persistent Memory
Virtual PMEM disks
  • HWV 14 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Maximum NVDIMM controllers
  • 1 for HWV 14 or later
1 1 1 1 1 1
Maximum NVDIMM devices
  • 64 for HWV 14 or later
64 64 64 64 64 64
Graphics
Maximum vGPUs
  • 4 for all HWV
8 4 4 4 4 4
Maximum SVGA displays
  • 10 for HWV 7 or later
  • 1 for HWV 4
10 10 10 10 10 10
Maximum video memory (MB)
  • 256 for HWV 18 or later
  • 128 for HWV 17 - 11
  • 512 for HWV 10 - 9
  • 128 for HWV 8 - 4
256 256 256 128 128 128
Maximum 3D graphics memory (GB)
  • 8 for HWV 18 or later
  • 4 for HWV 17
  • 2 for HWV 15 - 11
8 8 8 4 2 2
SVGA 3D hardware acceleration
  • HWV 8 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
WDDM version
  • 1.2 for HWV 20 or later
  • 1.1 for HWV 19 - 17
  • 1.0 for HWV 15 - 7
1.2 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.0 1.0
Direct3D version (9)
  • 11.0 for HWV 19 or later
  • 10.1 for HWV 18 - 17
  • 10.0 for HWV 15 - 13
  • 9.x for HWV 12 - 7
11.0 11.0 10.1 10.1 10.0 10.0
OpenGL version
  • 4.3 for HWV 20 or later
  • 4.0 for HWV 19
  • 3.3 for HWV 18 - 13
4.3 4.0 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.3
Other Virtual Devices
Memory ballooning
  • HWV 4 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Virtual TPM 2.0
  • HWV 14 or later
Y Y Y Y Y Y
Virtual Precision Clock device
  • HWV 17 or later
Y Y Y Y N N
Virtual Watchdog Timer device
  • HWV 17 or later
Y Y Y Y N N
  • (1) - By default, for each combination of hardware version and guest operating system, vSphere will use either UEFI or BIOS. Some guest operating systems require either UEFI or BIOS firmware, or support both firmware types. If the guest operating system supports BIOS and UEFI, change the default firmware type of a virtual machine before you install the guest operating system. Otherwise, you must reinstall the guest operating system.
  • (2) - UEFI firmware required for more than 128 logical processors.
  • (3) - UEFI firmware required for more than 64 virtual CPUs per sockets.
  • (4) - UEFI firmware required for more than 6 TB of virtual memory.
  • (5) - For more information about the nested virtualization support limits, see the VMware KB article at https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2009916.
  • (6) - 32-bit virtual machines only.
  • (7) - PVRDMA native endpoints for virtual machines of hardware version 18 do not support vSphere vMotion.
  • (8) - By default, Windows virtual machines of hardware version 20 use NVMe version 1.0e.
  • (9) - Derect3D requires VMware wddm driver in the Windows guest operating system.