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
$102.50
Apple Inc.
+0.25
GOOG
$571.60
Google Inc.
+2.40
MSFT
$45.43
Microsoft Corpora
+0.55
MacNews Search:
Community Search:

Latest Forum Discussions

See All
view counter

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

Rhonna Designs Magic (Photography)
Rhonna Designs Magic 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Photography Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Want to sprinkle *magic* on your photos? With RD Magic, you can add colors, filters, light leaks, bokeh, edges, blur, texture, & even load in your own images! Follow us @rhonnafarrer for more details &... | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: August 25-29, 2014
Shiny Happy App Reviews   | Read more »
Qube Kingdom – Tips, Tricks, Strategies,...
Qube Kingdom is a tower defense game from DeNA. You rally your troops – magicians, archers, knights, barbarians, and others – and fight against an evil menace looking to dominate your kingdom of tiny squares. Planning a war isn’t easy, so here are a few tips to help you take apart your enemies. Attention All Cube Warriors: Want to know what we... | Read more »
Qube Kingdom Review
Qube Kingdom Review By Nadia Oxford on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: KIND OF A SQUARE KINGDOMUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Qube Kingdom has cute visuals, but it’s a pretty basic tower defense game at heart.   | Read more »
Fire in the Hole Review
Fire in the Hole Review By Rob Thomas on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: WALK THE PLANKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Seafoam’s Fire in the Hole looks like a bright, 8-bit throwback, but there’s not enough booty to make this a compelling voyage.   | Read more »
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwi...
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwide Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Dodo Master Review
Dodo Master Review By Jordan Minor on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NEST EGGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Dodo Master is tough but fair, and that’s what makes it a joy to play.   | Read more »
Motorsport Manager Review
Motorsport Manager Review By Lee Hamlet on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MARVELOUS MANAGEMENTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Despite its depth and sense of tactical freedom, Motorsport Manager is one of the most accessible and addictive management sims around.   | Read more »
Motorsport Manager – Beginner Tips, Tric...
The world of Motorsport management can be an unforgiving and merciless one, so to help with some of the stress that comes with running a successful race team, here are a few hints and tips to leave your opponents in the dust. | Read more »
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Add...
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Adds Lots of New Stuff Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.