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I am running Windows 7 under VMware Fusion on my Macintosh. What can I be doing to optimize the performance of the games I run under such an environment?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Suggested Settings

  • Processors & Ram
    • Processors
      • Usually just 1
      • If you have a quad core, then you can try setting this to 2 to see if a particular game benefits
      • Always less than the number of physical cores on your Mac
    • RAM
      • At least 2048 MB
      • Upto the recommended maximum (e.g. 3684 MB for a 4GB Macbook Pro)
  • Display
    • Accelerate 3D Graphics - checked
  • AutoProtect - disabled

The remaining VM settings offer no significant performance improvements.

You will want to close as many applications as possible that are running in OS X. This includes all dock applications, and ones in the tray. This is particularly important when you are using the maximum recommended RAM sizes for your virtual machine.

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My advice would be to not use a VM and use Boot Camp instead.

Virtual Machines are inherently a software solution and games are one of the most stressful applications on your hardware. This extra layer between the hardware and the game will certainly degrade your gaming performance.

Using Boot Camp, whilst not being as convenient as a VM, will give you much better gaming performance.

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-1: Does not answer the question. – hobodave Jul 7 '10 at 23:33
I would debate that it provides an alternative. Maybe the OP hasn't considered the use of Boot Camp? – Alastair Pitts Jul 7 '10 at 23:34
Such would be suitable as a comment, or as supplemental information within an answer that addresses a question. – hobodave Jul 7 '10 at 23:36
VMs are not inherently a software solution; Intel has released processors with hardware-level VM-specific functionality as far back as the Pentium 4. – JamesGecko Jul 8 '10 at 1:57

Make sure you have sufficient RAM and under the virtual machine settings. Also, Accelerate 3D graphics should be checked.

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