For the heck of it I tried installing the Linux SMP client (version 6.34) through VMware player, just to see how it runs.
It's at least a couple of minutes per frame faster than my Windows version was folding a P6900. The only problem with it now, like always with Linux and the third party software that is Samba running on it, is that I can't get it to do file sharing right, yet. I'm running 10.04.3 LTS Ubuntu, and all the info on Samba is for some reason not applicable to my older than the current 11.04 version. I'll find out in a day and a half or so if it works out. I can't find any info on any virtualization software that will allow 8 cores (and the VMware player forces me to edit the config file manually to allow 8 cores, during setup it only offers 1, 2, or 4 cores) that doesn't have some other problem like memory hogging, bad performance, or something.
If I can find a way to make the client run as a service, which I imagine will mean different virtualization software, that would be nice. After this WU finishes, or one that finishes during daylight hours, anyway, I'll try to see what running notfred's ISO does for performance. One thing I know it will help with is the file sharing since he set it up to work sensibly. I'll have to manually change some things after it starts, but that won't be a problem since it's a one-time thing.
Edit (20110805): Well, some odd things have happened since this post. I'll put the details in another thread to keep from filling this sticky with crud.