A Message to VMware Fusion Users with Macs that have ATI Graphics Cards about Apple’s Mac OS X Update 10.5.7
Apple released the Mac OS X 10.5.7 Update yesterday, and I know many of you are eager to try it out. However, if your Mac has an ATI graphics card (MacPro or iMac), and you rely on VMware Fusion’s 3D Acceleration feature to run either Windows games or other Windows 3D applications in your virtual machines, we recommend that you do not upgrade your Mac to 10.5.7.
We are making this recommendation because the ATI driver in Mac OS X 10.5.7 breaks the 3D acceleration feature in VMware Fusion. You will likely see issues ranging from slow performance, to incorrect rendering, and even crashes, when you run your 3D applications in a Windows virtual machine on Mac OS X 10.5.7.
Both Apple and ATI are aware of this problem and are working to correct it in a future software update. In the meantime, if you have an ATI graphics card in your Mac and need VMware Fusion’s 3D features to work, we recommend that you do not upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5.7.
Many of you asked this so I thought I would clarify. The ATI driver issue only affects 3D functionality in VMware Fusion. If your Windows applications do not need 3D, it will run just fine under VMware Fusion on Mac OS X 10.5.7. If you are sure you do not need 3D, you can turn off 3D Acceleration in Virtual Machine Settings and upgrade to 10.5.7.
To turn off 3D in Fusion:
- Power off your Virtual Machine
- Select “Settings” under Virtual Machine menu
- In the Settings window, click “Display”
- Uncheck “Accelerate 3D Graphics
Other Mac users have also reported issues with the update including their Macs freezing up with a BSOD (blue screen of death) and problems downloading the update in the first place. Messages have posted on Apple’s support forums detailing numerous problems. Many are criticizing Apple for botching the latest update. How quickly Apple will resolve these issues remains to be seen. Best advice is not to install the update just yet and instead keep a close eye on the forums and elsewhere. As regards Parallels, the alternative to Fusion, nothing has been said as yet.