Kool Tools: VMware Fusion 4 vs 3.1
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Kool Tools: VMware Fusion 4 vs 3.1


Since we’re MacTech, and we’re known for benchmarks, we get questions like “How much faster is VMware Fusion 4 vs. 3?" We decided to put VMware Fusion 4 to the test and compare version 4.0.1 to version 3.1.3, the previous version. As is typical of our benchmarks, this comparison is only about speed, and not about features.

The test was done on the current model MacBook Pro. Specifically, the MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.0GHz Intel Core i7 with 4GB of RAM, a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive, and the dual graphics processor configuration (Intel HD Graphics 3000 and AMD Radeon HD 6490M). The test was performed on Mac OS X "Lion" 10.7.1 with all the current updates from Apple applied and VMware Fusion 3.1.3, and VMware Fusion 4.0.1 running Windows 7 with all current updates applied.

General Virtual Machine Performance

We wanted to see how the virtual machine performed in several areas. These included: launching the virtual machine with a full Windows boot, suspending the virtual machine, launching from suspend, compressing files, File IO, and, of course, graphics.

In most cases, VMware Fusion 4.0.1 was a bit slower in some areas and a bit faster in others to VMware Fusion 3.1.3 with one stand-out: graphics.

What was faster?

° Graphics. 3DMark06 scores were noticeably faster in several cases. Overall, the 3DMark score was about 15% higher.

° Other individual graphics -- in particular, Shader Model -- were as much as 34% higher scores.

What wasn’t?

° Full Windows boot starting at the Finder, all the way to an IE web page load took about 10% or five seconds longer (about 55 seconds in 4.0.1 compared to about 50 seconds in 3.1.3).

° Suspending the virtual machine took about 18% longer, but was still fast (6.57 seconds in version 4.0.1 and 5.53 seconds in version 3.1.3).

° Compressing files, considered by many to be a good test of raw CPU, was basically the same in both versions.

° File I/O (285MB file folder duplicate on the virtual hard drive) took about the same time to complete as well.

3DMark06/Graphics Performance

If you've never heard of 3DMark, it's the most popular 3D game performance benchmark. Specifically, "3DMark06 is a PC benchmark suite designed to test the DirectX9 performance of your graphics card. A 3DMark score is an overall measure of your system's 3D gaming capabilities, based on comprehensive real-time 3D graphics and processor tests." Often, PC gamers will use 3DMark06 to tune their gaming platform. See http://www.futuremark.com/ .

The most important result is the "3DMark Score," which is an aggregate score that judges the overall 3D graphics performance. As you may remember from previous benchmarks, VMware Fusion 3.1, and 3.0 before it, were troublesome. VMware Fusion 4.0.1 is markedly more stable with graphics generally being drawn much more reasonably. Even better, there’s a noticeable speed increase. And, overall, VMware Fusion 4.0.1 is 15.15% faster than VMware Fusion 3.1.3 in graphics.

A Bump in the Testing Road

When we first started testing VMware’s new version, we were seeing unexpected results. As experienced testers, we’ve learned to trust our gut on what seems right and what doesn’t. After several days of investigation (and we won’t go into that whole trail, but it was tough to figure out), and talking to VMware, we were ultimately able to track it down. There was a problem with the Windows 7 updates since SP1 was released. Whether this is a Windows issue, or a VMware Fusion issue, we don’t know, but regardless, if you fall into the right set, it could have a significant impact on performance for you. However, you can fix it yourself. Note: This issue exists on both 3.1.3 and 4.0.1.

In short, if you are regularly running Windows Update, you are fine. We found that when we installed SP1 and then ran one month of updates at a time, we ended up with a virtual machine that ran well. But, if you installed SP1 (or earlier) and installed all the updates at once, the virtual machine ran much slower. It appears to be most apparent on disk related activities, so the faster your disk, the less you’ll notice this (and with SSDs, you’ll notice it even less).

Conclusion

In answer to the question "Should I upgrade?,” VMware Fusion 4.0.1, in general, performs similar to the previous version (3.1.3) except for graphics that are enough faster we could see the difference. If graphics doesn’t apply to you, your decision on upgrading comes down to features. If the new features do what you want, then upgrade. Just look at which things are most important to you.

See http://www.vmware.com/products/fusion/overview.html

 
AAPL
$97.67
Apple Inc.
+0.64
GOOG
$589.02
Google Inc.
-4.33
MSFT
$44.50
Microsoft Corpora
+0.10
MacNews Search:
Community Search:

Latest Forum Discussions

See All
view counter

view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter

Reddme for iPhone - The Reddit Client (...
Reddme for iPhone - The Reddit Client 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: News Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Reddme for iPhone is an iOS 7-optimized Reddit client that offers a refreshing new way to experience Reddit on your iPhone. Sporting a gorgeous, intuitive design and packing more amazing features than we can... | Read more »
Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery : Ep...
Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery : Episode 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Jacob Jones is back in Episode 2 of one of Apples 'Best of 2013' games and an App Store Editors Choice.Following the events of Episode 1, Jacob and Biggie set off to the spooky Crackskull... | Read more »
New Trailer For Outcast Odyssey, A New K...
New Trailer For Outcast Odyssey, A New Kind of Card Battler Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 25th, 2014 [ permalink ] Out this Fall is a new kind of card battle game: Outcast Odyssey. | Read more »
Garfield: Survival of the Fattest Coming...
Garfield: Survival of the Fattest Coming to iOS this Fall Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 25th, 2014 [ permalink ] Who loves lasagna? Me. Also everyone’s favorite grumpy fat cat, Garfield. | Read more »
Happy Flock Review
Happy Flock Review By Andrew Fisher on July 25th, 2014 Our Rating: :: HERD IT ALL BEFOREUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Underneath the gloss of Happy Flock’s visuals is a game of very little substance. It’s cute, but not engaging.   | Read more »
Square Register Updates Adds Offline Pay...
Square Register Updates Adds Offline Payments Posted by Ellis Spice on July 25th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Looking For Group – Hearthstone’s Curse...
For the first time since its release (which has thankfully been a much shorter window for iPad players than their PC counterparts), Blizzard’s wildly successful Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft CCG is sporting some brand new content: the single player “adventure” mode, Curse of Naxxramas. | Read more »
Poptile Review
Poptile Review By Jennifer Allen on July 25th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SIMPLY FUNUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Simple yet a little bit glorious, Poptile is a satisfying entertaining puzzle game with oodles of the ‘one more go’ factor.   | Read more »
Modern Combat 5: Blackout Review
Modern Combat 5: Blackout Review By Brittany Vincent on July 25th, 2014 Our Rating: :: LESS QQ, MORE PEW PEWUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The fifth entry into the blockbuster Modern Combat series is what mobile shooters should aspire to.   | Read more »
Watch and Share Mobile Gameplay Videos W...
Watch and Share Mobile Gameplay Videos With Kamcord Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 25th, 2014 [ permalink ] iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.