VMWare Workstation 9 vs 12: Quick Card

 

A quick information card comparing VMWare Workstation 9.0 with Workstation 12.0 Pro.

The Old Version (9.0)

Usability

  • There are many modal dialogs which often get in the way (example, the virtual network editor)
  • Too many clicks required to get some basic information (like NIC mac addresses)
  • Too many clicks to add extra hardware to VMs
  • limited ability to scale virtual machines to fit monitors.

Performance

  • Performance for my use case (Linux dev and test boxes, enterprise networking and Web App Firewall virtual machines, Windows Server and windows 7/8/10 VMs  for test and experimentation) is more than satisfactory. All I had to do was fully load my core i5 3570K box with 32GB of RAM (which I have yet to exhaust), and replace the spinning disk with SSDs (1.5TB worth for both bulk storage and VM disks).

Guest OS Compatibility

  • As far as my experience goes, I’m able to deploy everything I want on Vmware workstation 9.0. This includes Windows Server 2012 and Windows 10.

What’s Changed?

(this is not an exhaustive list):

  • It still looks and feels mostly the same as version 9.0
  • The virtual network editor no longer appears to be modal which is nice
  • It no longer assigns Floppy Disk controllers to new VMs — hurray!

What Hasn’t Changed?

  • It still takes too many clicks to add hardware to VMs (VMWare ESX is easier in this aspect)
  • Still too many clicks to find a NIC’s MAC address
  • Still limited scaling options it seems (it either adjusts the VM resolution, or adjusts the window size of the hypervisor). It would be nice if it allowed you to resize a window in the hypervisor by scaling the guest OS.

What would it take for me to upgrade?

  • A lower asking price

Caveat

  • My use case is probably a narrow one. You should make sure you consider your own needs when evaluating version 12.0

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GPU for Dual 4K Display

I’m looking towards updating my desktop to two 4K displays, and it appears that two good choices of GPUs that support this kind of setup (I don’t really care about gaming on this rig) are:

  • Nvidia NVS 510 – £220+
  • AMD Firepro W2100 — £120

I’ll probably go for the AMD as it has a lower power consumption profile (hence lower cooling needs) and looks on paper to support exactly the features I need.

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