Virtual Host vs rewrite for subdomain

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http://serverfault.com – Is there a best practice (for performance reasons or otherwise) for choosing between using a Virtual Host or rewrite for pointing a subdomain to a folder in the root directory? I.e., www.domain.com -> public_html/domain.com/ sub.domain.com -> public_html/sub.domain.com/ The above can be accomplished by setting up two virtual hosts or by using a single virtual host and just having a rewrite set up to point to the correct sub directory. My question originally concerned Apache, but I would be interested in knowing if there's a best practice for Nginx's Server Block as well. (HowTos)