VMware Fusion 5 vs 4.1: Should you upgrade?
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

VMware Fusion 5 vs 4.1: Should you upgrade?

MacTech Labs puts the new VMware Fusion to the test to see which is faster

Since we’re MacTech, and we’re known for benchmarks, we get questions like “How much faster is VMware Fusion 5 vs. 4?" Even though this new version shipped several weeks back, we often like to wait a bit as the updates for virtualization software that follow a major release often make a significant difference in performance.

In testing VMware Fusion 5, we specifically compared version 5.0.2 to version 4.1.4, the most current update of 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 2.3GHz Intel Core i7, with 4GB of RAM, 500GB 5400RPM hard drive, and dual graphics configuration (Intel HD Graphics 4000 and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 512MB of GDDR5 memory). In addition, given the big differences for SSD drives, we also added in a MacBook Air 13-inch, 1.8GHz Intel Core i5, with 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD.

VMware Fusion 5 comes in two versions: standard and professional. Since the difference between these two is in features not performance, we tested using the standard version.

The test was performed on OS X "Mountain Lion" 10.8.2 with all the current updates from Apple applied, and VMware Fusion 5.0.2, and VMware Fusion 4.1.4 running Windows 7 with all current updates applied.

And, because it can make a difference on the overall performance, we had not only Windows installed in the virtual machine, but also Microsoft Office 2010 (something so many users commonly use virtualization for) along with updates.

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, resuming a suspended virtual machine, compressing files, File IO, and, of course, graphics.
In most cases, VMware Fusion 5.0.2 was a bit faster. In other tests, version 5 is about on par with the previous version. In particular, the VMware Fusion experience on a machine with an SSD and plenty of RAM (in our case, the example was the MacBook Air) is a great experience.

What was faster?

• Graphics. 3DMark06 scores were a bit faster overall, but some of the individual tests were significantly faster. Overall, the 3DMark score was a few percent higher.

• Other individual graphics -- in particular, HDR, Fill Rate, Pixel Shader, Perlin Noise, and Triangles -- were anywhere from 10% better scores to as much as twice as fast.

• Resuming a suspended virtual machine took 10% less time on the MacBook Pro, and 23% less time on the MacBook Air. Both, noticeable improvements.

• Disk performance, which we measured by duplicating a 1GB file with randomly generated data, was 7% faster on the MacBook Pro (nearly identical on the MacBook Air’s SSD, however).

What wasn’t?

• Full Windows boot starting at the Finder, all the way to a launch of Notepad were fairly similar to the previous version. It appears that VMware has changed their installer to satisfy Apple’s newer standards for launching apps (which is slower for virtualization products). So, being on par is actually a “win” here. Booting the virtual machine was a bit faster after VMware Fusion was launch.

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

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, and version 4 made significant improvements.

VMware Fusion 5.0.2 is markedly more stable with graphics being drawn correctly and quickly. Even better, there’s a noticeable speed increase in certain areas of graphics performance. And, overall, VMware Fusion 5.0.2 is a few percent faster than VMware Fusion 4.1.4 in graphics.

Conclusion

In answer to the question "Should I upgrade?”, VMware Fusion 5.0.2, in general, performs similar to the previous version (4.1.4). But, there are noticeable improvements in resume from suspend, as well as on the graphics side where we could see the difference. Overall, the new version’s interface felt snappier and smoother. If that makes a difference for you, then great. If not, then your decision on upgrading comes down to the new features, including those offered in the Professional version. Just look at which things are most important to you.

VMware Fusion 5 is $49.99. VMware Fusion 5 Professional Edition is $99.99. VMware Fusion 5 Professional with Support + Basic Support/Subscription for 1 year is $120.99. Upgrades from Fusion 3, 4 or 5 to Fusion 5 Professional is $49.99. See http://www.vmware.com/fusion for more information.

By Neil Ticktin, editor-in-chief/publisher, MacTech

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

VOX 2.8.28 - Music player that supports...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more
beaTunes 5.0.3 - Organize your music col...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
Numi 3.17 - Menu-bar calculator supports...
Numi is a calculator that magically combines calculations with text, and allows you to freely share your computations. Numi combines text editor and calculator Support plain English. For example, '5... Read more
LibreOffice 5.4.0.3 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
Chromium 60.0.3112.78 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 60.0.3112.78: Security Fixes High CVE-2017-... Read more
NeoFinder 7.1.2 - Catalog your external...
NeoFinder (formerly CDFinder) rapidly organizes your data, either on external or internal disks, or any other volumes. It catalogs all your data, so you stay in control of your data archive or disk... Read more
Arq 5.9 - Online backup to Google Drive,...
Arq is super-easy online backup for Mac and Windows computers. Back up to your own cloud account (Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Cloud Storage, any S3-compatible server... Read more
beaTunes 5.0.3 - Organize your music col...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
Arq 5.9 - Online backup to Google Drive,...
Arq is super-easy online backup for Mac and Windows computers. Back up to your own cloud account (Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Cloud Storage, any S3-compatible server... Read more
LibreOffice 5.4.0.3 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Knight Fever Beginner’s Guide - how to h...
Knight Fever is a thrilling new mobile RPG from Webzen, featuring colorful pixelated sprites and some of the most innovative combat we’ve seen in modern RPGs to date. It’s full of swords and sorcery and other fantastical feats. Given the game’s... | Read more »
MU Origin celebrates its first birthday...
A year ago, Seoul-based publisher Webzen added to its MU franchise with an MMO for the mobile platform. MU Origin features elements from its 2003 predecessor, updated to fit in amongst other modern freemium fantasy-action apps. You loot dungeons,... | Read more »
Galaxy of Pen & Paper has landed on...
If you enjoyed Knights of Pen & Paper and its sequel, you're in for a real treat, as Galaxy of Pen & Paper has officially launched on the App Store. Galaxy takes us far from the irreverent fantasy setting of Knights of Pen & Paper to a... | Read more »
Big changes are coming to Fire Emblem He...
Nintendo just revealed what players can expect from Fire Emblem Heroes in the coming weeks, with a good deal of fresh goodies arriving just in time for the game's six-month anniversary. The announcements arrived in a 15-minute FEH Channel stream... | Read more »
Aero Effect (Games)
Aero Effect 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Race an aerodynamic thingy through a maze of animated, geometric peril and plunge into a mysterious grid of pixels, all while... | Read more »
Linelight (Games)
Linelight 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Linelight is an elegant, minimalist puzzle game set in a universe of lines. Its puzzles will awake your mind as the music flows... | Read more »
Fighting Fantasy Legends (Games)
Fighting Fantasy Legends 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Create your own adventures in a dangerous land of monsters, treasures and traps. From renowned authors Steve Jackson... | Read more »
Knight Fever is a new take on the classi...
Knight Fever lands on the Google Play, and you won’t want to miss it if you’re a devoted RPG fan. Developed by indie creatives Buff Studios, the game looks like a retro RPG with some exciting new twists. | Read more »
Steam Panic (Games)
Steam Panic 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Steampunk puzzle in which you spin the playfield to put yourself back together. Dear Reader,Enclosed is a copy of my bizarre 1935... | Read more »
Time Crash (Games)
Time Crash 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Time is about to Crash! It’s up to you to save the city! Time Crash is a 3D first person runner which lets you play as a powerful... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Retrofit Your MacBook Air 13.3 For Touchscree...
Apple famously refuses to make touchscreen support available in its MacBook family of clamshell notebooks. There is no indication that Apple is going to relent anytime soon, but you can now still... Read more
Apple Stores Are Retail’s Most Profitable Squ...
A Marketnewsupdates.com (MNU) News Commentary release distributed by PRNewswire says that according to research provided by CoStar, sales per square foot at all but a few public retailers have... Read more
Sale! 15-inch 2.8GHz MacBook Pros for $100 of...
B&H Photo has the new 2017 15″ 2.8GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray: $... Read more
2016 13-inch MacBook Airs available starting...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 13″ MacBook Airs available for up to $150 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MMGF2LL... Read more
Clearance iMacs available for up to $400 off...
B&H Photo has clearance 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs available for up to $400 off original MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: – 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $1899 $400 off... Read more
27-inch 3.5GHz iMac on sale for $100 off MSRP...
Adorama has the new 27″ 3.5GHz iMac (MNEA2LL/A) on sale for $1899 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Adorama charges sales tax for purchases in NY & NJ only. Read more
Seven Cities, One Phone: OtterBox Sends iPhon...
Plenty of people have trekked around the world, but what about a globe-trotting iPhone? OtterBox is sending an iPhone around the world to capture the adventures of a diverse set of global ambassadors... Read more
L-Card Pro App May Spell End For Paper Busine...
OrangeTreeApps, LLC has announced the release of L-Card Pro 1.1, an update to their business app for iOS and Android devices that introduces eco-friendly, affordable, electronic business cards on the... Read more
Clearance previous generation iMacs, Apple re...
Apple has previous-generation Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available starting at $849. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are... Read more
27-inch 3.4GHz iMac on sale for $1699, save $...
MacMall has the new 2017 27″ 3.4GHz iMac (MNE92LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1699 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more

Jobs Board

Frameworks Engineering Manager, *Apple* Wat...
Frameworks Engineering Manager, Apple Watch Job Number: 41632321 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jun. 15, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Summary Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple Inc. (U...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
Senior Software Engineer, *Apple* Online St...
Job Summary The Apple Online Store is looking for an experienced, self-driven, detail-oriented software engineer who can join our team to help build highly scalable Read more
Frameworks Engineering Manager, *Apple* Wat...
Frameworks Engineering Manager, Apple Watch Job Number: 41632321 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jun. 15, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Summary Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.