Preview: Parallels Desktop for Mac vs. VMware Fusion
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Preview: Parallels Desktop for Mac vs. VMware Fusion

NOTE: The full article is now available here.

Preview: Parallels Desktop for Mac vs. VMware Fusion

How does VMware Fusion 3.1 and Parallels Desktop 6 for Mac compare?

PREVIEW

For the past several weeks, MacTech has been working on its latest benchmarks for virtualization. Rather than look at the ‘version-dot-oh’ release, we typically wait for versions to settle down a bit so that we can give our readers results that are relevant for a longer period.

We’ll shortly be releasing comprehensive results on our tests of VMware Fusion 3.1 vs. Parallels Desktop 6 and our January issue of MacTech Magazine in print will be talking more about virtualization. <blatant marketing>If you want to get that issue delivered to your door, now is the time to subscribe. See http://macte.ch/subscribe now. Virtualization is also one of the key topics at MacTech Boot Camp in San Francisco on January 26th, 2011</blatant marketing>

This benchmark suite, as it has been in the past, is made up of several thousand tests, many of which are done with a stopwatch to give you real world results. It gives you, the reader, an even-handed assessment as to performance for the areas that we cover (virtual machine actions, file I/O, CPU footprint, IE and Microsoft Office, and of course, 3D graphics and games).

To be clear, this article is not a product review; it's a benchmarking analysis. You should use it as part of your decision combined with other factors such as product features, interface preferences, and support to make your product choice.

We’re double-checking things and putting the final touches on this large scale analysis now. In the mean time, in advance of the holidays, we thought we’d offer you up a preview of how the tests went.

BIG PICTURE PREVIEW

We won't keep you in suspense. When we look at the “big picture” of all the testing, Parallels is the clear winner. If you count up the general tests (including one 3D graphics score), Parallels won 61% of the tests by 10% or more, and was also a bit faster on an additional 23% more of the tests. In other words, Parallels Desktop 6 beat VMware Fusion 3.1 in 84% of the general tests we ran.


Test Tally: General Virtualization Tests

If you focus exclusively on 3D graphics, as measured by 3DMark06 version 1.2, Parallels won by an even larger margin. Specifically, Parallels won 73% of the tests by at least 10%, and was also a bit faster on an additional 19% more of the tests. In other words, Parallels Desktop 6 beat VMware Fusion 3.1 in 92% of the 3D graphics tests we ran.

When VMware Fusion was faster in 3D graphics, it was typically on the HDR/SM3.0 Score and the Batch Size tests (e.g., triangles). But, as you can see from the test tally, Parallels Desktop was overwhelmingly faster in graphics, and in working with real games, it was easy to see confirmation of the 3DMark06 scores.


Test Tally: 3D Graphics Tests

There are a handful of places that VMware Fusion is consistently faster than Parallels Desktop. In Microsoft Word 2010, VMware launched (adam or first launch after boot) faster, and was faster on large, global search and replaces. It was also consistently faster running under Windows 7 doing file compression, and loading SSL pages.

Overall, VMware Fusion won 6% of the tests by at least 10%, and was also a bit faster on an additional 4% more of the general tests. For the 3D tests, VMware Fusion won 3% of the tests by at least 10%, and was also a bit faster on an additional 3% more for a total of 6%.

VERSION COMPARISONS

The versions that we tested for these benchmarks were VMware Fusion 3.1.1 and Parallels Desktop 6.0.11828.615184.

Since the last time we did comprehensive virtualization benchmarks, Parallels had a major upgrade from version 5 to version 6. With a major upgrade, we expected to see some nice benefits. We only tested a few things to get a sense, but we saw:

  • On XP, 7% faster on compression and 37% faster graphics (3DMark06 score)
  • On Windows 7, Full Windows boot more than twice as fast, and graphics almost twice as fast


Since the last comprehensive benchmarks, VMware had a minor bump from 3.0 to 3.1. We were curious how these versions differed on the current hardware and OS for the same types of tests, and saw these benefits:

  • On XP, 8% faster on compression. 3DMark06 tests crashed virtual machine (3.1.2 fixed this, but was slower on graphics).
  • On Windows 7, Full Windows boot almost twice as fast, and 3DMark06 tests crashed virtual machine (3.1.2 fixed this, but was slower on graphics).

MORE TO COME

If you want upgrade or other information, see VMware Fusion 3.1 and Parallels Desktop 6 for details on these products.

To be clear, this article is not a product review; it's a benchmarking analysis. You should use it as part of your decision combined with other factors such as product features, interface preferences, and support to make your product choice.

The full version of the study will allow you to have better insight into the areas most important to you whether it’s virtual machine operations, file IO, application speed, CPU footprint, specific types graphics performance, and more. This will give you the best performance information for your specific situation -- as each user's needs are different.

Furthermore, the full article will give you insights to Windows 7 vs. XP performance -- so you can decide whether to upgrade there as well. (Information on upgrading to Windows 7 is at the Microsoft Store.)

Look for the complete study when it comes available, and virtualization coverage in the January 2011 issue of MacTech Magazine. And, for discussion at MacTech Boot Camp on January 26th, 2011 in San Francisco.

Read the FULL article which details results of more than 4,000 benchmark tests of Parallels Desktop 6 vs. VMware Fusion 3.1 by clicking here. (link)

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Model 15 (Music)
Model 15 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Music Price: $29.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The Moog Model 15 App is the first Moog modular synthesizer and synthesis educational tool created exclusively for iPad, iPhone and... | Read more »
How to deal with wind in Angry Birds Act...
Angry Birds Action! is a physics-based puzzler in which you're tasked with dragging and launching birds around an obstacle-littered field to achieve a set objective. It's simple enough at first, but when wind gets introduced things can get pretty... | Read more »
How to get three stars in every level of...
Angry Birds Action! is, essentially, a pinball-style take on the pull-and-fling action of the original games. When you first boot it up, you'll likely be wondering exactly what it is you have to do to get a good score. Well, never fear as 148Apps... | Read more »
The beginner's guide to Warbits
Warbits is a turn-based strategy that's clearly inspired by Nintendo's Advance Wars series. Since turn-based strategy games can be kind of tricky to dive into, see below for a few tips to help you in the beginning. Positioning is crucial [Read... | Read more »
How to upgrade your character in Spellsp...
So you’ve mastered the basics of Spellspire. By which I mean you’ve realised it’s all about spelling things in a spire. What next? Well you’re going to need to figure out how to toughen up your character. It’s all well and good being able to spell... | Read more »
5 slither.io mash-ups we'd love to...
If there's one thing that slither.io has proved, it's that the addictive gameplay of Agar.io can be transplanted onto basically anything and it will still be good fun. It wouldn't be surprising if we saw other developers jumping on the bandwagon,... | Read more »
How to navigate the terrain in Sky Charm...
Sky Charms is a whimsical match-'em up adventure that uses creative level design to really ramp up the difficulty. [Read more] | Read more »
Victorious Knight (Games)
Victorious Knight 1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.3 (iTunes) Description: New challenges awaits you! Experience fresh RPG experience with a unique combat mechanic, packed with high quality 3D... | Read more »
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game (Gam...
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Someone’s been spying on Gumball. What the what?! Two can play at that game! GO UNDERCOVERSneak past enemy... | Read more »
Runaway Toad (Games)
Runaway Toad 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It ain’t easy bein’ green! Tap, hold, and swipe to help Toad hop to safety in this gorgeous new action game from the creators of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Price drops on clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs by up to $250. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799, $200... Read more
Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $449 $50 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $649 $50 off MSRP - 2.8GHz Mac mini... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $130-$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1169 $130 off MSRP - 13″ 2.7GHz/... Read more
Apple price trackers, updated continuously
Scan our Apple Price Trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers. We update the trackers continuously: - 15″... Read more
SanDisk Half-Terabyte SSD Optimized for Every...
SanDisk Corporation has announced the SanDisk Z410 SSD, a cost-competitive, half-terabyte solid state drive (SSD) that enables manufacturers to design for a broad range of desktop PCs and laptops.... Read more
Churchill Downs Racetrack Selects VenueNext t...
Churchill Downs Racetrack has announced an agreement with VenueNext to implement its technology platform for the start of Churchill Downs 2016 Spring Meet, which includes the 142nd running of the... Read more
Record 700 Million Pounds of CE Recycled in 2...
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) reports that a record-setting 700 million pounds of consumer electronics (CE) have been recycled under the eCycling Leadership Initiative (ELI). According to... Read more
Price drops on clearance 12-inch Retina MacBo...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on leftover 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $999. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros available for $20...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
Target offers Apple Watch Sport for $50 off M...
Target has Apple Watch Sports on sale for $50 off MSRP for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer of Apple products in the nation. In order to support our growing customer base, we are currently looking for a driven Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.