TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Head-to-Head: Parallels Desktop for Mac vs. VMware Fusion

Volume Number: 26
Issue Number: 01
Column Tag: Virtualization

Head-to-Head: Parallels Desktop for Mac vs. VMware Fusion

How do VMware Fusion 3 and Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac compare?

By Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher

Start | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

On the 3DMark06 Performance chart, you'll see a variety of places where there is no data. This was specifically where VMware Fusion, running Windows 7, was unable to run part of the tests, and therefore there's no data at that point on the chart. VMware Fusion ran the tests fine, however, on Windows XP. Parallels was able to run all the tests on both XP and Windows 7 without a problem.

Here were the results:

  • 3DMark06 Overall Score

    • XP: Parallels Desktop 74.7% faster

    • Windows 7: Parallels Desktop 74.9% faster

  • SM2.0 Score

    • XP: Parallels Desktop 136.5% faster

    • Windows 7: Parallels Desktop 178.9% faster

  • HDR/SM3.0 Score

    • XP: Parallels Desktop 18.2% faster

    • Windows 7: Parallels Desktop 8.4% faster

  • CPU Score

    • XP: Parallels Desktop 5.9% faster

    • Windows 7: Parallels Desktop 10.6% faster

Figure 15: 3DMark06 Performance

Games

One of the most frequent questions that we were asked after our last virtualization benchmarks was "What about games?" The 3DMark06 testing did give us good insight and excellent data, but we also wanted to try some games and see how they worked. (Ok, maybe it was just a good excuse ... you got me. <g>)

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is a first-person shooter video game, and is the follow-up to Quake 4. As such, we were excited to play (I mean, er, test) it. There are a variety of versions, including one for the Mac. See http://www.activision.com/

Figure 16: Enemy Territory: Quake Wars on Parallels Desktop runs well

On the MacBook, both VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop struggled. We believe that this is primarily due to the hardware limitations. VMware was not smooth on any of the machines, and some of them were not fully rendered. VMware Fusion was completely unable to run this game under Windows 7.

While this game ran well under Parallels Desktop 5, because of VMware's problems with the game, we removed it from the benchmarking comparisons.

Devil May Cry 4

Devil May Cry 4 is the fourth in the Devil May Cry series of action games by CAPCOM. In the game, you fight enemies in close combat using firearms, swords, and other weapons. High speed, high action. See http://www.capcom.com/

We looked at Devil May Cry 4 (from DVD, not Steam) in part because it has some very nicely reproducible frames per second (FPS) tests built in. But ultimately, we dropped this game from the benchmark results. While each of the virtualization environments performed better in terms of FPS at times (e.g., sometimes Parallels Desktop was faster, and sometimes VMware Fusion was faster), FPS really didn't matter here because the displayed result was nowhere near comparable.

While I'd like to see smoother graphics (e.g., faster FPS), Parallels Desktop was quite playable, and the game worked well.

Under VMware Fusion however, Devil May Cry 4, at best, was a struggle to run. The VMware Fusion machine was often unresponsive, loading time for the game was very, very long (several times longer than Parallels Desktop), and even quitting the application under VMware Fusion took several minutes. Most importantly, VMware Fusion did not render many things properly (see the startup screen capture below as an example) which in our mind made the FPS test irrelevant.

Figure 17: Devil May Cry 4 Startup Screen, Running on VMware Fusion

Figure 18: Devil May Cry 4 Startup Screen, Running on Parallels Desktop

Civilization IV: Colonization

While this game has been recently released on the Mac natively, we've tested with it before, and wanted to see how well it worked. This game is built on the well-established Civilization IV engine. Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization is the third offering in the Civilization IV series. It's essentially a modern re-make (Firaxis calls it a re-imagining) of the classic Colonization game Sid Meier created in 1994. Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization is a conversion of the Civilization IV engine into a game experience in which players lead a European nation on their quest to colonize and thrive in the "New World." Players are challenged to guide their people from the oppressive motherland, discover a New World, negotiate, trade and fight as they acquire great power and battle for their freedom and independence. As you can see from the overview screen shot, the graphics provide an amazing experience.

Figure 19: Civilization IV: Colonization, Overview of game running on PC

To benchmark, we loaded the same Civilization IV: Colonization scenario on each machine, and used the built-in tools of the game to measure frames per second. The results showed Parallels Desktop winning the FPS test across the board. In addition, it was with the full quality graphics.

By contrast, however, VMware Fusion had issues running it Civilization IV: Colonization on either the MacBook or MacBook Pro under Windows 7. It would launch, but not make it past the splash screen.

Either way, if you have an interest in this period of history, they both played well in virtualized environments, and you should check them out. http://www.firaxis.com/

Portal

Portal is an incredibly enticing "action/puzzle" game developed by Valve Software (http://www.valvesoftware.com). As described by Valve, "The game is designed to change the way players approach, manipulate, and surmise the possibilities in a given environment: players must solve physical puzzles and challenges by opening portals to maneuvering objects, and themselves, through space."

Figure 20: Portal


Start | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

VueScan 9.5.75 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Opera 44.0.2510.1449 - High-performance...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Opera 44.0.2510.1449 - High-performance...
Opera is a fast and secure browser trusted by millions of users. With the intuitive interface, Speed Dial and visual bookmarks for organizing favorite sites, news feature with fresh, relevant content... Read more
Skim 1.4.29 - PDF reader and note-taker...
Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Skim includes many features and has a... Read more
FontExplorer X Pro 6.0.2 - Font manageme...
FontExplorer X Pro is optimized for professional use; it's the solution that gives you the power you need to manage all your fonts. Now you can more easily manage, activate and organize your... Read more
1Password 6.7.1 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
Vivaldi 1.9.818.44 - An advanced browser...
Vivaldi is a browser for our friends. In 1994, two programmers started working on a web browser. Our idea was to make a really fast browser, capable of running on limited hardware, keeping in mind... Read more
Vivaldi 1.9.818.44 - An advanced browser...
Vivaldi is a browser for our friends. In 1994, two programmers started working on a web browser. Our idea was to make a really fast browser, capable of running on limited hardware, keeping in mind... Read more
Skim 1.4.29 - PDF reader and note-taker...
Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Skim includes many features and has a... Read more
1Password 6.7.1 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Fire Emblem Heroes event announces new m...
As reported yesterday, Nintendo was gearing up a live press event for their popular mobile game,Fire Emblem Heroes. While the stream revealed a lot of new things, the event was entirely in Japanese. Luckily we have a rundown of what was announced... | Read more »
Best games we played this week
Another week, another slate of new mobile games. Although there weren't as many big name releases as last week, there were plenty of unique video game titles that came out that's sure to keep you interested over the weekend. Everything from classic... | Read more »
Olli by Tinrocket (Photography)
Olli by Tinrocket 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Get drawn in with Olli by TinrocketOlli instantly turns your everyday moments into hand-drawn art and animations. • Watch... | Read more »
Penarium (Games)
Penarium 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Fire Emblem Heroes is way more profitabl...
Profits for Nintendo's mobile game Fire Emblem Heroes are apparently impressive enough to beat out other Nintendo titles likeSuper Mario Run, despite having 10 times fewer downloads. [Read more] | Read more »
Classic series Robot Unicorn Attack 3 no...
The classic Adult Swim browser game, Robot Unicorn Attack, branched off into a series of popular mobile games. Now, the latest entry into the series, Robot Unicorn Attack 3, is available for iOS and Android mobile devices. [Read more] | Read more »
Sudoku Sweeper (Games)
Sudoku Sweeper 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A minimalist mashup of Minesweeper and Sudoku. Logic puzzle perfection. Every row, column and zone contains a bomb and one of... | Read more »
Under Leaves (Games)
Under Leaves 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Journey into the forest, the jungle or the depths of the deep blue sea. Find chestnuts for the pigs, a caterpillar for the... | Read more »
Ninja Pizza Girl (Games)
Ninja Pizza Girl 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: In the not-so-distant future, rampart traffic congestion has resulted in only one way to deliver pizzas across town in thirty... | Read more »
SCRAP (Games)
SCRAP 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: That day, for no apparent reason, SCRAP decided to wake up and run. He had to, because his activation was a mistake the "Factory" could... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro, Apple refu...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pros available for $200 off MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB... Read more
13-inch Gray 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar MacBook P...
Amazon has the 13″ Space Gray 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro (model MNQF2LL/A) in stock today and on sale for $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray... Read more
15-inch 2.7GHz Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook P...
B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.7GHz Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook Pro in stock today and on sale for $2599…$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
13-inch 2.9GHz/256GB Space Gray Touch Bar Mac...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.9GHz/256GB Space Gray Touch Bar MacBook Pro in stock today and on sale for $150 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/256GB Touch... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $151 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $151 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 3.1GHz iMac 4K: $1348 $151 off MSRP - 21″ 2.8GHz iMac: $1199.99 $100 off MSRP... Read more
Weekend deal: Up to $420 off new MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros available for $230 to $420 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2.6GHz... Read more
Price drop: 15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro...
Amazon has dropped their price on 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros (MJLQ2LL/A) to $1709.99 including free shipping. Their price is $290 off MSRP for this model. Note that stock may sell out quickly at... Read more
2.8GHz Mac mini on sale for $899, save $100
B&H Photo has the 2.8GHz Mac mini (model number MGEQ2LL/A) on sale for $899 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
New System Clock for macOS by B-Eng Now Avail...
Fehraltorf, Switzerland based B-Eng has announced the release and immediate availability of System Clock, the company’s new system monitor and information app developed exclusively for macOS. System... Read more

Jobs Board

Product Manager, *Apple* Platforms - Viacom...
…Product Manager to drive the execution of its iOS and AppleTV experiences. The Apple Platform Product Manager will be a leader in our Agile/Scrum environment and Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**493714BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 001024-Weatherford-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master Read more
*Apple* OS X Server Administrator (Active Se...
** Apple OS X Server Administrator \(Active Secret Clearance\)** **Description** Come be a part of a top notch team, apply today\!\! Tuva TUVA provides turnkey Read more
*Apple* Mac Computer Technician - GeekHampto...
…complex computer issues over the phone and in person? GeekHampton, Long Island's Apple Premium Service Provider, is looking for you! Come work with our crew Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**501846BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Location Number:** 001126-South Bay Center-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.