Parallels Desktop 8 vs 7: should you upgrade?
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Parallels Desktop 8 vs 7: should you upgrade?

MacTech Labs puts the new Parallels Desktop to the test to answer this question.

One of the most frequent questions we've been getting recently is "Should I upgrade to Parallels Desktop 8?" Even though this new version shipped several weeks back, we generally like to wait a bit as the updates for virtualization software that follow a major release often make a difference.

We decided to put Parallels Desktop to the test and compare version 8 to version 7, the previous version. This comparison is only about speed, and not about features.

The test was done on the current model MacBook Pro. Specifically, the MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.3GHz Intel Core i7, with 4GB of RAM, 500GB 5400RPM hard drive, and dual graphics configuration (Intel HD Graphics 4000 and NVIDIA
GeForce GT 650M with 512MB of GDDR5 memory). In addition, given the big differences for SSD drives, we also added in a MacBook Air 13-inch, 1.8GHz Intel
Core i5, with 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD.

The test was performed on OS X "Mountain Lion" 10.8.2 with all the current updates from Apple applied, and Parallels Desktop 7, and Parallels Desktop 8 running Windows 7 with all current updates applied.

And, because it can make a difference on the overall performance, we had not only Windows installed, but also Microsoft Office 2010 (something so many users commonly use virtualization for).

General Virtual Machine Performance

We wanted to see how the virtual machine performed in several areas. These included: launching the virtual machine with a full Windows boot, resuming a suspended virtual machine, compressing files, File IO, and, of course, graphics.

In most cases, Parallels Desktop 8 is faster. In particular, the Parallels Desktop experience on a machine with an SSD and plenty of RAM (in our case, the example was the MacBook Air) is a wonderful experience. Overall, Parallels Desktop 8 was noticeably faster than Parallels Desktop 7 – and it just felt “snappier” across the board.

What was faster?

• Launching the virtual machine with a full Windows boot took 17% less time – which in real world terms, means 6-7 seconds faster on a MacBook Pro.

• Launching the virtual machine from suspend took 15% less time if Parallels was already launched (33% less time on the MacBook Air).

• Compressing files, normally a difficult item to improve, took 11% less time to complete on a MacBook Pro. It took 7% less time on the MacBook Air which, given the performance of the SSD, gives a good indication on processing capabilities.

• File I/O (1GB file duplicate on the virtual hard drive) took 8% less time to complete on the MacBook Pro, and an astounding 18% less time on the MacBook Air.

• Overall Graphics (3Dmark06 Score) on both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro was about 10-11% faster.

• Many of the individual graphics measurements were 25-30% faster (HDR, Vertex Shader, Shader Particles, Triangles, etc…).

What wasn’t?

• If you were launching a suspended virtual machine from the Finder (i.e., Parallels Desktop application wasn’t already launched), then it took 10% more time. It appears this is due to requirements from Apple related to Apple’s push towards the App Store. (Parallels Desktop is not yet available on the App Store, but it appears they are preparing for someday that current App Store limitations that affect virtualization software will be resolved).

• Launching the virtual machine with a full Windows boot was nearly identical on the MacBook Air.

3DMark06/Graphics Performance

If you've never heard of 3DMark, it's the most popular 3D game performance benchmark. Specifically, "3DMark06 is a PC benchmark suite designed to test the DirectX9 performance of your graphics card.” A 3DMark score is an overall measure of your system's 3D gaming capabilities, based on comprehensive real-time 3D graphics and processor tests." Often, PC gamers will use 3DMark06 to tune their gaming platform. See http://www.futuremark.com/ .

The most important result is the "3DMark Score," which is an aggregate score that judges the overall 3D graphics performance. As you may remember from previous benchmarks, Parallels Desktop 7, and version 6 before it, were very fast. Parallels Desktop 8 builds on that platform with additional graphics speed increases. In some cases, some tests took 2/3 less time to complete. And, overall, Parallels Desktop 8 is about 10-11% faster than Parallels Desktop 7 in graphics.

Conclusion

In answer to the question "Should I upgrade to Parallels Desktop 8?" In short, if you are using virtualization regularly, the answer is a resounding yes. There’s a feel to the environment that is just smoother across the board, and the faster boot time, disk performance, and graphics are both welcome and noticeable.

Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac is $79.99. Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac (2 License Pack) is $119.99. Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac Upgrade (from Parallels Desktop versions 6 and 7) is $49.99. See http://www.parallels.com/products/desktop/ for more information.

By Neil Ticktin, editor-in-chief/publisher, MacTech

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka (Gam...
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Skateboard Party is back! This third edition of the popular sports franchise features professional skater... | Read more »
Cubious (Games)
Cubious 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubious – How smart are you? How high is your IQube? Solve the impossible puzzles to find out, and help a lost little cube find his... | Read more »
Goat Simulator Waste of Space (Games)
Goat Simulator Waste of Space 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICESiPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better.** | Read more »
Wildfulness - Unwind in nature and calm...
Wildfulness - Unwind in nature and calm your mind with nature sounds and illustrations 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Healthcare & Fitness Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Spending time in nature helps you to... | Read more »
Dr. Panda Racers (Education)
Dr. Panda Racers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: STEP ON THE GAS, RACE AND WIN!Fasten your seat belts and get ready to race! Speed your way to the finish line while doing... | Read more »
ROMANCING SAGA 2 (Games)
ROMANCING SAGA 2 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $17.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Romancing SaGa 2, originally released only in Japan in 1993, has been completely remastered and now receives its first... | Read more »
WRIO Keyboard (Utilities)
WRIO Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Utilities Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: 40% OFF DURING LIMITED INTRODUCTORY OFFER | Read more »
Hatoful Boyfriend (Games)
Hatoful Boyfriend 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The hit PC game that everybirdie loves has now migrated to your mobile device! Now you are free to explore the wonders of St... | Read more »
Warp Shift (Games)
Warp Shift 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: [ CHECK YOUR HARDWARE: Warp Shift does NOT run on iPhone 4, iPad 1 and iPod touch 4G or older devices! It requires at least iOS8... | Read more »
Lifeline: Whiteout (Games)
Lifeline: Whiteout 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: Alone in a frozen wasteland with no memory of how he got there, a lost adventurer’s only hope is his last line of... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Goal Zero and OtterBox Partner to Expand iPh...
Goal Zero, specialists in portable power, have announced a partnership with OtterBox, brand smartphone case protection, to offer the Slide and Slide Plus Batteries as modules compatible with the new... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
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
Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $250 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799... Read more
Apple refurbished Apple TVs available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 32GB and 64GB Apple TVs available for up to $30 off the cost of new models. Apple’s standard one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 3.1GHz iMac 4K: $1379.99 $120 off MSRP - 21″ 2.8GHz iMac: $1189 $110 off MSRP - 21″ 1... Read more
Kanex Introduces GoPower USB-C Rechargeable B...
Kanex has announced its GoPower USB-C portable battery for the USB-C MacBook, featuring the new industry standard connector and cable used for connectivity and power. Providing users with a new... Read more
Convertible and Detachable Devices Winning Ov...
According to the latest figures published by International Data Corporation (IDC), Western European shipments of ultraslim convertibles and detachables posted positive growth (44.7%) to account for... Read more
New MacBook Pros And Will MacBook Air Be Upgr...
With my mid-2013 13-inch MacBook Air closing on its third anniversary come November, I’m in system upgrade mode. Actually the Haswell CPU equipped Air is still doing a fine job, but my good wife is... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free, and... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999,...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more

Jobs Board

Editor, *Apple* News - APPLE (United States...
Job Summary The Apple News team is looking for a passionate and knowledgeable editor with experience covering entertainment/pop culture and experience running social Read more
*Apple* Nissan Service Technicians - Apple A...
Apple Automotive is one of the fastest growing dealer...and it shows. Consider making the switch to the Apple Automotive Group today! At Apple Automotive , Read more
ISCS *Apple* ID Site Support Engineer - APP...
…position, we are looking for an individual who has experience supporting customers with Apple ID issues and enjoys this area of support. This person should be Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
*Apple* Support Technician II - Worldventure...
…global, fast growing member based travel company, is currently sourcing for an Apple Support Technician II to be based in our Plano headquarters. WorldVentures is Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.