Since last month's articles on VMware Virtualization With OpenGL Still Smacks Oracle VirtualBox and VMware Fusion Stuns VirtualBox In CPU Tests, many Phoronix readers have been writing in about VMware Fusion 5.0. Since conducting those tests, Version 5.0 of Fusion made it out the door with some mighty improvements.
VMware Fusion 5.0 is optimized for the new OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and enhanced support for Microsoft Windows 8 guest virtual machines. Other features include USB 3.0 connectivity support, faster reboots, SDXC and Thunderbolt connectivity support for guest VMs, and "next-generation performance." On VMware's feature page, the company writes, "With a highly optimized 64-bit engine and multicore processing power that makes the most effective use of the latest Intel processors found in new Macs, VMware Fusion 5 will let you run Windows and Mac applications side-by-side faster than ever. Leveraging the Mac's faster memory, faster SSD performance and greater power under the hood, VMware Fusion 5 will make running Windows faster than on an old PC."
The 3D graphics of Fusion 5.0 are also said to be better. "With faster 3D graphics and support for OpenGL 2.1 and DirectX 9.0c Shader Model 3 graphics, VMware Fusion 5 will make running highly demanding 3D applications like AutoCAD 2012 a breeze."
Due to these improvements, of course, I've been interested in running some benchmarks. To date I've run a few from an older Apple MacBook Pro (the late 2010 model as used in other Phoronix articles).
For those curious about the VMware Fusion 5.0 performance for this Apple Core i5 laptop, see this OpenBenchmarking.org result file. The system was the same between tests as was the VM and the VM settings, but it was a matter of just comparing VMware Fusion 4.1.3 to VMware Fusion 5.0.1.
There are some OpenGL graphics improvements for the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS guest, but also at least one regression.
The other tests didn't illustrate much change.
While the new VMware Fusion virtualization release has yet to be tested on the new Apple Retina MacBook Pro with its newer Intel "Ivy Bridge" processor, from this Core i5 MacBook Pro there wasn't much change in performance at all. The performance of VMware Fusion 4.1.3 is already great for this hardware on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, and beating Oracle VM VirtualBox as shown in previous Phoronix articles, but it didn't budge much with the 5.0 upgrade aside from a couple of the tests.
Again, see 1209029-RA-VMWAREFUS57 on OpenBenchmarking.org for full details and more results.