I should be a bit easier on VM Ware since the main reason games are acting up under Fusion 3.0 can be attributed to my graphics card. My MacBook Pro is running the usual Nvidia 9400M graphics chip with 256MB of ram that now comes stock on all of Apple's MacBook line. Select 15 inch MacBook Pros carry a combo of the 9400M and 9600M GT GPU with only the high end 15 inch and the 17 inch sporting a sweet 512MB of RAM. In the gaming community we call that a great way to tighten up the graphics. While in Boot Camp, games run well if not great thanks to having full access to 256MB of RAM, which I consider to be the sweet spot for video cards in terms of budget and quality, IF, the FSB is at least 1066mhz. To the layman picking up a video card and seeing 1GB of ram on the box may lead to some creamage in the pants but, learn to pay attention to the speed at which the RAM runs and the creamage will be well deserved.  400Mhz will only lead to massive choke points and a Call of Slideshow.

Back to the subject at hand. Virtualization has been neck and neck between Parallels and VM Ware for features like gaming, and really that's all I care about. The only reason I use Boot Camp is to play my PC games. It's kind of a hassle to always have to jump back and forth between Windows and Mac OS. All of my productivity comes from the Mac side via my blogging apps, image editing tools and recording software, so if I read about a patch that's just been released, I have to finish what I'm doing, restart and boot into Windows, download the patch (and wait while it does), apply it and try it, then restart back into Mac OS and do the write up.  I think you see where running a virtual machine can come into play. I can stay within Mac OS while doing all of that. However, at least on my current MacBook Pro anyway, games don't run so well under VM Ware or Parallels. I've tried both and while I currently run Windows XP through Parallels for the simpler things, I decided I'd try Fusion 3.0 to test out Windows 7 and it's gaming features if only to see how much power I was able to squeeze out of it.

VM Ware touts Fusion 3.0 as the first VM software to fully take advantage of Windows 7's eye candy features like, Aero, Flip3D, and ofcourse Open GL 2.1. It really tries to sell itself to gamers by claiming to now run games at full speed. As of this writing and once again, on my MacBook Pro running 256MB of Video RAM, games don't seem to be running so hot. While Left 4 Dead was certainly playable it wasn't necessarily enjoyable. The framerate was a little choppy and I consistently had to change up my video settings in-game. It kept trying to run at 4x Anti Aliasing with a resolution of 1280x960. Native resolution is 1280x800 so go figure. In Unity, the games would always start up on the far left of the screen and glitch out every so often. In full screen I stared at this awesome screen at the most inopportune moments resulting in a complete reboot of the app. I finally got it running somewhat decently under single window mode at a resolution of 800x600. Not the best way to experience games but it worked.

All in all, Windows 7 runs great under Fusion 3.0, and through boot camp games run much better on Windows 7 than XP and the abortion that is Vista. I simply don't see a point in running Windows 7 through virtulization when XP serves it purpose in that department. Funny how even Windows 7 offers XP virtualiztion for those programs that simply wish to stick to their guns and run only on XP. Time will tell I guess. If you have a Mac with a heftier video card that packs 512MB I strongly suggest you give Fusion 3.0 a try. While CodeWeavers does an admirable job with CrossOver Games at specifically targeting gaming, it too fails in many respects, with the most obvious being the game selection. It's picky about what games it will run. While I plan on upgrading to a newer MacBook Pro, if not iMac, I can't say for certian a 17 inch MacBook Pro is in my future. If only I worked for EGM I could justify the upgrade. As of now it's a high price to pay for more "wasted" time. Fuck you responsibility.

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