The New Beta
Recently VMware released a new beta for their OSX based Virtual Machine Fusion. This beta offers something no one else has previously offered, 3D graphics. This release of Fusion includes an experimental software that includes support for DirectX 8.1. This allows users to play their windows based games while still running OSX. Download Fusion Beta 2 over at VMware's site (Registration Required).
As an Intel iMac user I was extremely excited at the thought of not having to boot into XP through bootcamp to run the various games I played including Counter-Strike: Source which I play often and I know runs at the directX 8.1 level. If VMware can deliver with 3D graphic support I would only load up Windows in a virtual machine when I wanted to play games.
Installing the Beta
After downloading the beta files I quickly installed the application, Windows XP, and started downloading Steam and then Counter-Strike: Source. This process was as if I was installing Windows onto any other machine and once installed it functioned well. Steam and Counter-Strike: Source also installed easily.
Turn on 3D Acceleration
VMware doesn't have 3D acceleration running by default. You have to turn this on by going to Settings, Display, and Checking the Enable 3d Acceleration box. NOTE: The virtual machine must not be running while you do this. The system will not allow you to check the box until the machine is stopped.
After turning on the acceleration I booted up the virtual machine and ran dxdiag to test the 3d acceleration. It passed the 8.1 test. I was excited and hopeful that this virtual machine would have what it takes to run CS:S.
Crash and Burn...
I setup Counter-Strike: Source to run in directX 8.1 mode by adjusting the launch options to include the command - dxlevel 81 and attempted to run the game. It gave me a warning that my graphics card wasn't supported, I clicked passed it and at first everything seemed to be going ok. The game started to load and I got a quick flash of the Counter-Strike: Source logo but then something terrible happened. A Blue Screen of Death ruined my excitement and I was left with a crashed Windows in VMWare.
It is true that VMware doesn't list CS:S as a supported game at this time, but I was still hopeful give the listed support for directx 8.1. Hopefully future releases of their software will include the support for all Windows games.
Monday, March 5, 2007
The New Beta