Parallels Desktop
Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac Run Windows applications without switching between Windows and Mac OS X! Best integration of Mac and Windows. Windows apps now work with Lion feaures, including Mission Control, Launch Pad, Resume, and all trackpad gestures. Supports Windows 7 Aero, with peformance even faster than before. Now runs OS X Server in a virtual machine!

"Parallels Desktop 7 beat VMware Fusion 4.0.2 in 74.9% of the general tests we ran, and Parallels was double the speed or more in almost a quarter of the top-level tests."
--MacTech Magazine


Reader benchmarks Parallels 7 vs VMware 4 running Win XP

Monday, September 26, 2011

John Protopapas ran a set of synthetic benchmark tests on Parallels Desktop 7 and VMware Fusion 4 running Windows XP SP3. He ran an older copy of SiSoftware's Sandra benchmarking tool in Windows. Parallels Desktop 7as faster in two out of the three tests, while VMware Fusion 4 edged out Parallels 4 in the third test. It is difficult to extrapolate how this translates into actual usage, but it is roughly consistent with real-world tests on previous versions of Parallels and VMware. In Protopapas' tests results, higher numbers indicate faster performance.

Protopapas also found that assigning the maximum number of cores to the virtual machine produced faster benchmark results. Protopapas' report:

I have both Parallels and Fusion (current versions). I have a MacMini Lion Server with the 4 cores and 8GB RAM. Both benchmark faster with 8 Cores selected rather than a 4 physical core option. Menu meters shows eight cores four of which are virtual cores. The benchmarks using SiSoft Sandra (2001se) under WIN XP PRO SP3 are as follows:

Parallels 7 Fusion 4
Dhrystone 41631 MIPS 37,287 MIPS
Whetsone 25,098 FPU 18,262 FPU
45,459 MFLOPS 46,136 MFLOPS

One problem with Fusion - it sees to want to reinstall VMware Tools on each boot.

Parallels seems to have a somewhat quicker response than Fusion. Overall, I prefer the ergonomics of Parallels, although I mostly use full screen or windowed mode as I am used to it from my work environment: Win PCs. I hope that someday Apple allows the desktop version of Snow Leopard to run on a virtual machine. Right now I have to use my old MacMini with Snow Leopard integrated with my Lion server to run my few PowerPC apps via Rosetta through a two port KVM.

Have you tested Parallels 7 and VMware Fusion 4? your results.

Reader updates Parallels/Fusion test report

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

John Protopapas updated his previous report on speed comparisions between Parallels Desktop 7 and VMware Fusion 4. He also described how he uses a single monitor keyboard to run old and new Mac OS's together. He said:

Addendum: One thing that I have noticed is before you do a benchmark whether it be Mac or Windows is to wait until your CPU activity is at a minimum. If there are additional processes going on in the background it will skew the results (this is a"no-brainer").

One other observation: Snow Leopard Desktop (10.6.X) does not run properly on the Mac mini Lion Server. It runs at around half as fast as it does on my Mac min early 2009 2 GHz Core 2 Duo, and the cursor shape behavior is erratic.

On another topic, I have an interesting solution to run all my apps from Classic ones to the latest OS X using a 2-port DVI KVM switcher coupled to a two-port HDMI monitor with auto switching on the inputs, a USB switch and a G5 (Leopard and Tiger [Classic] OS's) a Mac mini running Snow Leopard and the new Mac mini Lion Server. I get max mileage from my old Macs and am able to run all my apps dating as far back as 1986. My HP LaserJet 5MP allows me to at least print the output in BW from the classic era. The Classic apps really fly in Classic mode on the G5, which happens to be a used Quad core that I picked up couple of years ago.

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