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)

 
AAPL
$97.57
Apple Inc.
+0.54
MSFT
$44.55
Microsoft Corpora
+0.15
GOOG
$590.40
Google Inc.
-2.95

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

TinkerTool 5.3 - Expanded preference set...
TinkerTool is an application that gives you access to additional preference settings Apple has built into Mac OS X. This allows to activate hidden features in the operating system and in some of the... Read more
Audio Hijack Pro 2.11.0 - Record and enh...
Audio Hijack Pro drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio with Audio Hijack... Read more
Intermission 1.1.1 - Pause and rewind li...
Intermission allows you to pause and rewind live audio from any application on your Mac. Intermission will buffer up to 3 hours of audio, allowing users to skip through any assortment of audio... Read more
Airfoil 4.8.7 - Send audio from any app...
Airfoil allows you to send any audio to AirPort Express units, Apple TVs, and even other Macs and PCs, all in sync! It's your audio - everywhere. With Airfoil you can take audio from any... Read more
Microsoft Remote Desktop 8.0.8 - Connect...
With Microsoft Remote Desktop, you can connect to a remote PC and your work resources from almost anywhere. Experience the power of Windows with RemoteFX in a Remote Desktop client designed to help... Read more
xACT 2.30 - Audio compression toolkit. (...
xACT stands for X Aaudio Compression Toolkit, an application that encodes and decodes FLAC, SHN, Monkey’s Audio, TTA, Wavpack, and Apple Lossless files. It also can encode these formats to MP3, AAC... Read more
Firefox 31.0 - Fast, safe Web browser. (...
Firefox for Mac offers a fast, safe Web browsing experience. Browse quickly, securely, and effortlessly. With its industry-leading features, Firefox is the choice of Web development professionals... Read more
Little Snitch 3.3.3 - Alerts you to outg...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activityAs soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more
Thunderbird 31.0 - Email client from Moz...
As of July 2012, Thunderbird has transitioned to a new governance model, with new features being developed by the broader free software and open source community, and security fixes and improvements... Read more
Together 3.2 - Store and organize all of...
Together helps you organize your Mac, giving you the ability to store, edit and preview your files in a single clean, uncluttered interface. Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop functionality,... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Modern Combat 5: Blackout Review
Modern Combat 5: Blackout Review By Brittany Vincent on July 25th, 2014 Our Rating: :: LESS QQ, MORE PEW PEWUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The fifth entry into the blockbuster Modern Combat series is what mobile... | Read more »
Watch and Share Mobile Gameplay Videos W...
Watch and Share Mobile Gameplay Videos With Kamcord Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 25th, 2014 [ permalink ] iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad | Read more »
THE KING OF FIGHTERS '98 (Games)
THE KING OF FIGHTERS '98 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Series’ masterpiece “KOF ’98” finally joins the battle on iPhone! FEATURES:■ The best game balance in the “KOF”... | Read more »
LEX Goes Free For One Day In Honor of Ne...
LEX Goes Free For One Day In Honor of New Update Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Thomas Was Alone Goes Universal, Slashes...
Thomas Was Alone Goes Universal, Slashes Price to $3.99 Posted by Ellis Spice on July 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Meerkatz Challenge Review
Meerkatz Challenge Review By Jennifer Allen on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FONDLY PUZZLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Cute and challenging, Meerkatz Challenge is a fun puzzle game, particularly for fans of... | Read more »
Book Your Appointment with F.E.A.R. this...
Book Your Appointment with F.E.A.R. | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Epic Skater
For all the hate that it gets for being a pastime for slackers, skateboarding really does require a lot of skill. All those flips and spins take real athleticism, and there’s all the jargon to memorize. Fortunately for us less extreme individuals,... | Read more »
Cultures Review
Cultures Review By Jennifer Allen on July 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SLOW-PACED EMPIRE BUILDINGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Cute it might seem, but Cultures is a bit too slow paced when it comes to those pesky timers to... | Read more »
More Paintings Have Been Added to Paint...
More Paintings Have Been Added to Paint it Back! Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Mac minis on sale for $100 off MSRP, starting...
Best Buy has Mac minis on sale for $100 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup. Prices are for online orders only, in-store prices may vary: 2.5GHz Mac mini: $499.99 2.3GHz... Read more
Global Tablet Market Grows 11% in Q2/14 Notwi...
Worldwide tablet sales grew 11.0 percent year over year in the second quarter of 2014, with shipments reaching 49.3 million units according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation... Read more
New iPhone 6 Models to Have Staggered Release...
Digitimes’ Cage Chao and Steve Shen report that according to unnamed sources in Apple’s upstream iPhone supply chain, the new 5.5-inch iPhone will be released several months later than the new 4.7-... Read more
New iOS App Helps People Feel Good About thei...
Mobile shoppers looking for big savings at their favorite stores can turn to the Goodshop app, a new iOS app with the latest coupons and deals at more than 5,000 online stores. In addition to being a... Read more
Save on 5th generation refurbished iPod touch...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 5th generation iPod touches available starting at $149. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Many, but not all... Read more
What Should Apple’s Next MacBook Priority Be;...
Stabley Times’ Phil Moore says that after expanding its iMac lineup with a new low end model, Apple’s next Mac hardware decision will be how it wants to approach expanding its MacBook lineup as well... Read more
ArtRage For iPhone Painting App Free During C...
ArtRage for iPhone is currently being offered for free (regularly $1.99) during Comic-Con San Diego #SDCC, July 24-27, in celebration of the upcoming ArtRage 4.5 and other 64-bit versions of the... Read more
With The Apple/IBM Alliance, Is The iPad Now...
Almost since the iPad was rolled out in 2010, and especially after Apple made a 128 GB storage configuration available in 2012, there’s been debate over whether the iPad is a serious tool for... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale starting at $799, free s...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. They also include free copies of Parallels... Read more
Apple 27″ Thunderbolt Display (refurbished) a...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 27″ Thunderbolt Displays available for $799 including free shipping. That’s $200 off the cost of new models. Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Sr. Project Manager for *Apple* Campus 2 -...
…the design and construction of one building or building components of the New Apple Campus located in Cupertino, CA. They will provide project management oversight for Read more
WW Sales Program Manager, *Apple* Online St...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.