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DirectX 11 Now in Testing with VMware Fusion Tech Preview 20H2

The VMware Fusion and Workstation team is excited to announce the release of our 20H2 Technology Preview featuring the first drop of our DirectX 11 support!


Quick links to the bits:

Fusion Pro for Mac


What‘s New with the Fusion 20H2 Tech Preview

105FPS on a DX11 Benchmark is kind of nice!

Benchmark ran with Radeon 5500M with 4GB of video ram assigned to the VM, Window was 2560×1440 on a 4K external display

DirectX 11 Support

  • Provides support for DirectX 11 (Direct3D v11) and OpenGL 4.1 graphics capabilities in the guest operating systems! Obviously DX11 is Windows guest only, but OpenGL 4.1 applies to Linux guests as well.
  • Hundreds of new games and applications can now run in Fusion and Workstation!

Increased Hardware Maximums: MONSTER VMS

  • Both Fusion and Workstation Tech Preview 20H2 support up to 32 processors and up to 128GB of RAM per virtual machine, as well as 4GB of shared graphics memory

Sandboxed Graphics Processes

  • We’ve dramatically enhanced virtual machine security by using a special non-root “sandbox” process for rendering 3d hardware assisted graphics. This further isolates the Guest VM operations from the Host, significantly reducing the viability of privilege escalation to the host.

Improved External GPU support

To get started with DX11, VMware Tools needs to be upgraded, and the Virtual Hardware Compatibility version must be set to v18. Existing VMs can be upgraded by adjusting the virtual hardware compatibility while the VM is powered off.  After power-on, you can then upgrade VMware tools as you normally would. With new VMs you may need to manually set the virtual hardware version to v18 before installing, so double check.

Committed to our users, we’ve been working hard on this feature for many years, and so we welcome your feedback!

Let us know your experience! Does your favourite game work? Glitchy? Looks perfect? Help us improve by sharing in our Fusion Tech Preview Community Forums or our Workstation Tech Preview Community Forum


15 thoughts on “DirectX 11 Now in Testing with VMware Fusion Tech Preview 20H2

  1. Sander

    This sounds very exciting. But, I am a long-time VMWare Fusion user who only runs macOS inside VMs, not Windows. With every update I am hoping that that will get better this time, but it never does. The subtitle of the VMware Fusion Blog hints at why that is. I develop native macOS software, supporting it for 10.11 – 10.15+, and although macOS VM clients work, it could be so much better if:
    – The UI inside the VM wouldn’t be so sluggish.
    – There wouldn’t be UI drawing glitches in the client.
    – Fusion would be capable of reclaiming unused disk space for macOS clients, like it does for Windows.

    These issues go back all the way to when Fusion started to support OSX clients. I understand why the focus is on Windows, but why not also for once enhance it for macOS VM clients?

    1. Michael RoyMichael Roy Post author

      Thanks for sharing. I too use macOS VMs quite regularly (honestly to test Fusion mostly lol)…
      Working on Windows guest (and Host) OS features is much different than working with macOS. Microsoft has a very open culture, largely because of the broad OEM relationships they have with hardware and software vendors, and that relationship and transparency has helped us move forward. DX11, for example, is a very well documented set of APIs.

      If it were something that a team like ours could do on our own, it would have probably been done it by now.
      But you’ll notice that there are no hypervisor vendors with this capability in the market today.

      I can say that I am hopeful, however. 🙂

  2. Jerry Joe

    I use a laptop with two graphics card, one is Intel(R) HD Graphics 530, and another one is NVIDIA Quadro M2000M. If I set VMware Workstation VMX to use High-performance NVIDIA processor by NVIDIA Control Panel, my Windows 7 VM will start faild and throw an error, which is called “VMware Workstation 不可恢复错误: (svga) ISBRendererComm lost connection to the sandbox”.
    The distribution of my laptop:
    CPU: Intel i7-6820HQ with Intel(R) HD Graphics 530 Driver version:
    GPU: NVIDIA Quadro M2000M Driver version:
    OS: Windows 10 2004 build 19041.264

  3. Sebastian Cabrera

    I just bought a license today will this update come to the version I bought or is this a paid upgrade as I literally purchased it based on the software I’m using in it only works on this version.

  4. Michael Castano

    I have reinstalled VMWare tools several times on my guest Windows 10 (Mac OS host), but when I go to change the hardware compatibility, version 18 is unavailable. How do I fix this?

    1. Michael RoyMichael Roy Post author

      Are you using the Tech Preview?
      Have you posted this question in the Tech Preview community forum?
      Our engineers are keeping an eye out there, they can help.

  5. Ryan West

    Great! Do we have any idea when DirectX 11 will also come to VMWare Fusion for Mac?

    1. Michael RoyMichael Roy Post author

      If you’re asking when this feature will be available in the commercial version of Fusion, unfortunately I can’t comment on that.

  6. Bob McCapherey

    How long until this is implemented in ESXi? Will DirectX 11 support extend to the Intel integrated GPU or is a discrete AMD/Nvidia GPU required?

    1. Michael RoyMichael Roy Post author

      We can’t comment on ESXi.
      Should work with the Intel GPUs, but do let us know if you hit a bug.
      Of course we’d expect performance to not be as great as with a discreet GPU, but things should render and not crash at the very least!

  7. Evan Katz

    Hi Michael.

    I hope that all is well with you.

    Just a quick question: Does VMware Fusion v. 11.5.3 fully support the new Microsoft Windows 10 May 2020 version (a/k/a” 2004″) that is being released this week? Or will support for Windows 10 May 2020 require a new updated version of Fusion (perhaps v. 11.5.4 or 11.6)? And if so, when will that be released?

    FYI, I Googled and searched all over VMware, but the answer is not posted. And when I spoke with two people in VMware licensing, they did not know the answer either.

    So, when you have a moment, could you please let me know about the above. Thank you! Much appreciated.

    Best regards,

  8. Eric

    Can I install Fusion 20H2 Tech Preview alongside VMware Fusion 11.5.5? If so, are there any special instructions? Thanks.

  9. Eric Williams

    Beauty. Once this is ready for prime time, you’ll get at least me as a new customer.

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