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

Kill the Plumber World guide - How to ou...
You already know how to hop around like Mario, but do you know how to defeat him? Those are your marching orders in Kill the Plumber, and it's not always as easy as it looks. Here are some tips to get you started. This is not a seasoned platform... | Read more »
Planar Conquest (Games)
Planar Conquest 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $12.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: IMPORTANT: Planar Conquest is compatible only with iPad 3 & newer devices, iPhone 5 & newer. It’s NOT compatible with... | Read more »
We talk to Cheetah Mobile about its plan...
Piano Tiles 2 is a fast-paced rhythm action high score chaser out now on iOS and Android. You have to tap a series of black tiles that appear on the screen in time to the music, being careful not to accidentally hit anywhere else. Do that and it's... | Read more »
Ultimate Briefcase guide - How to dodge...
Ultimate Briefcase is a simple but tricky game that’s highly dependent on how fast you can react. We can still offer you a few tips and tricks on how to survive though. Guess what? That’s exactly what we’re going to do now. Take it easy [Read more... | Read more »
SoundPrism Link Edition (Music)
SoundPrism Link Edition 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ***Introductory price for a the first few days after launch - if you're reading this, get it while it's fresh out of... | Read more »
Pre-register now for hack and slasher An...
Fincon, which won Facebook's Studio to Watch award in 2015, has announced that pre-registration is now open for the massive 3.0 update for its award-winning hack and slasher Angel Stone. Angel Stone is a post-apocalyptic action RPG in which the... | Read more »
Google has named Piano Tiles 2 as its Be...
Google has named Piano Tiles 2, which launched back in August last year, as its Best Game of 2015. If you're yet to play it, now's a good time to do so. It's a sequel to the hugely successful viral hit Piano Tiles (Don't Tap the White Tile) but... | Read more »
Sago Mini Trucks and Diggers (Education...
Sago Mini Trucks and Diggers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Drive a dump truck with Rosie the hamster! Pile dirt high and dig deep in the ground with diggers, cranes and... | Read more »
Day One 2 Journal + Notes (Lifestyle)
Day One 2 Journal + Notes 2.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Lifestyle Price: $4.99, Version: 2.0 (iTunes) Description: **New Release Sale—50% off for a Limited Time!** Capture life as you live it. From once-in-a-lifetime events to... | Read more »
Pull My Tongue (Games)
Pull My Tongue 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Meet Greg. A hungry little chameleon that loves popcorn! Help feed Greg by pulling his tongue through a series of fun puzzles... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Watch Super Bowl 50 Live On Your iPad For Fre...
Watch Super Bowl 50 LIVE on the CBS Sports app for iPad and Apple TV. Get the app and then tune in Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 6:30 PM ET to catch every moment of the big game. The CBS Sports app is... Read more
Two-thirds Of All Smart Watches Shipped In 20...
Apple dominated the smart watch market in 2015, accounting for over 12 million units and two-thirds of all shipments according to Canalys market research analysts’ estimates. Samsung returned to... Read more
12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for up...
B&H Photo has 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $180 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.2GHz Gray Retina MacBook: $1499 $100 off MSRP - 12″ 1.2GHz Silver... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook on sale fo...
B&H Photo has the 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook on sale for $1199 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model... Read more
Apple now offering full line of Certified Ref...
Apple now has a full line of Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are... Read more
Free GUI Speedometer – The Ultimate Digital D...
Miami, Florida based RMKapps has announced the official release of GUI Speedometer 1.0, their digital dashboard display developed for iOS devices. GUI Speedometer allows users to track their precise... Read more
FutureCalc: Ergonomic iOS Calculator App For...
London, United Kingdom based Independent software developer and entrepreneur, Hovik Melikyan has announced the release and immediate availability of FutureCalc 1.0, his new ergonomic calculator app... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
Apple’s ‘Next Big Thing’ Drought And Mature M...
Apple’s first fiscal quarter 2016 financial results yielded both good news and bad news. In the positive column, Apple made another boatload of money, reporting record quarterly revenue of $75.9... Read more
Lifeproof NUUD For iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus...
LifeProof NUUD was designed to defy more than the elements. It defies logic itself by combining legendary four-proof protection and screenless technology to survive mountaintop missions and seaside... Read more

Jobs Board

Restaurant Manager - Apple Gilroy Inc./Apple...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer of Apple products in the nation. In order to support our growing customer base, we are currently looking for a driven Read more
*Apple* IOS / OS X Level 3 Support Analyst -...
Needed: Apple Support Analyst (OS X / IOS); 50k-60k/yr +…Horizon Technology Partners has an immediate opening for an Apple IOS / OS X LEVEL 3 Support Analyst. Your Read more
*Apple* - Software QA Manager - Apple Inc. (...
Changing the world is all in a day's work at Apple . If you love innovation, here's your chance to make a career of it. You'll work hard. But the job comes with more than Read more
Restaurant Manager - Apple Gilroy Inc./Apple...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.