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VMware Fusion 3.1 focuses on big performance gains

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Today, VMware released VMware Fusion 3.1, a substantial under-the-hood update to the virtualization software for Mac OS X. VMware said the update increases graphics performance by a factor of 5 over Fusion 3.0, improves general performance by 35 percent, and increases the speed of various tasks. The new version also improves use with Boot Camp, fixes problema with Migration Assistant that readers had reported, and includes over 20 other improvements.

Readers have complained that the previous version, Fusion 3.0, was slow. However, VMware said that Fusion 3.1 is faster on many of the areas have been issues. It said that performance of games is up to ten times faster than Fusion 3.0, when using the latest Mac OS X release. Fusion 3.1 is faster at suspending virtual machines and launching Windows applications. The company also said that the Windows 7 and Vista Aero features are ?much faster? than previous versions, as is scrolling in those guest OS when running on Mac OS X 10.6.3.

Performance of Windows virtual machines installed in Boot Camp partitions is also improved, with up to a five-fold increase in disk performance. Version 3.1 also fixes an issue that prevented Office 2010 activation in Windows installed in Boot Camp partitions.

Vmware also increased the maximum size of virtual hard disks to 2 TB, up from 960 GB. Version 3.1 now includes support for eight-way symmetric multitasking--support for eight virtual CPU cores.

There are also several new user feature enhancements. Windows applications in Unity mode (which hides the Windows desktop) now work with Exposé and Dock Exposé. Windows applications run in Unity mode now display their contents when minimized to the Dock. A new USB EasyConnect feature simplifies assigning a USB devices to a virtual machine or to the Mac host, and remembers preferred settings for each USB device.

VMare Fusion 3.1 fixes several issues with the Migration Assistant, a utility for moving a physical PC into a virtual machine. MacWindows readers had reported problems with the Migration Assistant in Version 3.0. VMware said that Fusion 3.1 clears up problems with port conflicts that may have caused these reported problems, as well as fixed problems with Mac OS X guest accounts that had resulted in a failed migration. There is also now an option to show converter logs and to display troubleshooting steps on the PC if a migration fails. The migration software on both Mac and PC have a number of user interface improvements, including more information displayed.

If you've tried the Fusion 3.1 update

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