Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to Upgrade from Fusion 2.0, Oversized toolbar needs work., October 31, 2011
This review is from: VMware Fusion 4 [Old Version] (Software)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I had been using VMware Fusion 2.0 for about 2 and a half years before upgrading to Fusion 4.0. I mainly use it to give me a virtual Windows (XP) environment on my iMac [4.0GB RAM, 3.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor] so I can connect to work remotely from home. The new version still lets me do that, but there's a quirk or two with the view modes.

-- View Modes -- Like version 2.0, 4.0 has three view modes: Single Window (the PC is in one window), Full Screen (the PC is in one window that fills the screen), and Unity (each PC program runs in its own window, without a Windows desktop). For my purposes, Single Window has been the best because I can easily slide Windows out of the way if I want to check email or look for something on my Mac. However, Fusion 4.0 has made Single Window mode less useful because they have an oversized title bar at the top of the window. It's mostly blank, except for a set of small buttons for pause, snapshots, etc. On the plus side, the toolbar is customizable, and you can hide it all together -- that's what I did.

-- Installation -- Install was easy. The software was provided on both a DVD and a 1.0 GB USB thumb drive. I used the USB drive and just dragged it into my Applications folder (after trashing the old version first). There's an upgrade button for going from version 3 to 4, but it seems unnecessary. At first launch, it saw a version 4.0.2 was available online so I accepted the download.

-- All my old VMs were still usable -- My Windows Virtual Machine and half a dozen snapshots were recognized and correctly presented in the new version. Also, version 4 has better snapshot management than version 2 -- it's easy for me to remove old snapshots that I don't need -- and it freed up a lot of disk space on my Mac in the process.

-- The retail box claims performance improvements over version 3, but so far I haven't noticed any. I took a few timing samples (such as launching a VM, suspending a VM) before upgrading and the same tests took about the same time in version 4.0. I realize that's not a comprehensive test, but just my experience. I used to notice that my Windows VM would crawl when Time Machine was backing up my disk, but I haven't seen that happen under Fusion 4.0.

I had been holding off upgrading my Mac to Lion because I wasn't sure if Fusion 2.0 would support it, so I'm glad to have Fusion 4.0 so I can go ahead with Lion.

UPDATE (March 2013). I recently moved this from my iMac to a Macbook Air and I am happy to say it runs *VERY* fast on the MB Air. I attribute this to the SSD (solid state drive) and the faster processor (but mainly the SSD drive). My MBA has only 4GB RAM but if it needs to swap out to disk, it's fast because of the SSD. Also, moving the VM was a snap -- I just copied the VM file over the network and it launched on the MBA no problem.
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