Run Windows on Mac OS X with no reboot!“Parallels has released its answer to VMware’s Fusion 3, bringing Snow Leopard compatibility as well as support for Redmond’s latest OS [Windows 7]. Parallels Desktop 5 adds Crystal Mode to its Coherence OS integration and offers a serious advantage in graphics performance,” Chris Foresman reports for Ars Technica.

“The latest version of Parallels’ solution to run Windows on a Mac—hey, it runs Linux just fine, too—boasts 70 new features, most of which are related to OS integration and speed improvements. Users can now choose from several levels of running a VM, from full-screen all the way to a ‘Crystal Mode’ enhanced Coherence, where Windows applications integrate with running Mac OS X applications, similar to the way Classic worked for Mac OS 9 applications,” Foresman reports.

“In the performance area, Desktop 5 claims a 300 percent performance increase in VM operations over Desktop 4. Parallels also says that Desktop 5 has a 22 percent speed advantage advantage over VMware Fusion [version 2] in ‘productivity application performance.'” It offers support for 8 virtualized CPUs, and fully supports 64-bit Snow Leopard and Windows variants,” Foresman reports.

“Graphics is an area where Desktop 5 seems to have the biggest performance gains. It supports OpenGL 2.1 for Windows WDDM and DirectX 9Ex with Shader Model 3 for full Aero support in Windows Vista and Windows 7,” Foresman reports. “It also supports OpenGL 2.1 for Linux VMs. The beefed-up graphics support in version 5 resulted in a 700 percent improvement in 3DMark 2006 Pro benchmarks over Desktop 4. This updated support is especially important if your use of Windows is primarily for gaming.”

Read more in the full article here.

Parallels Desktop for Mac 5 in action:

Direct link via YouTube here.

More info about Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac here.