Macworld review: Parallels Desktop 8 vs. VMware Fusion 5

Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac is lets you seamlessly run Windows and Mac applications side-by-side

“Virtualization apps for the Mac have matured a lot. There are now four main options: two commercial virtualization apps (Parallels Desktop for Mac and VMware Fusion), an open source alternative (VirtualBox), and another solution that lets you install Windows apps without installing Windows (Crossover). Those first two options are the most popular—and, for most users, the most sensible—alternatives,” Rob Griffiths reports for Macworld.

“I’ve reviewed many generations of Parallels and Fusion, so I’ve seen them develop. The advances they’ve made have been amazing. The two developers have pushed each other hard, and their products have leap-frogged each other to introduce new features and improve performance, resulting in two excellent alternatives,” Griffiths reports. “Running the current generations of these two virtualization programs — Parallels 8 Desktop for Mac and VMware Fusion 5 — on one of today’s ultra-fast Macs, only the most hardcore Windows users will feel the need to reboot into Boot Camp to run Windows natively.”

Griffiths reports, “Given the similarities in features and performance between these two programs, deciding on one or the other isn’t easy. If your needs include gaming in virtual Windows installations, Parallels is the preferred option. Similarly, Fusion is the one to get if you love experimenting with lots of different virtual OSes…”

Tons more in the full review – recommended – here.

Related articles:
Macworld UK reviews Parallels Desktop 8.0: – September 20, 2012
Mossberg reviews Parallels Desktop 8: Works well; superior to VMWare Fusion – September 13, 2012
CNET reviews Parallels Desktop 8: New features put it above competitors – September 6, 2012
Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac now available – September 4, 2012


  1. Unless you want to fork out $50 to upgrade every 18 months, don’t waste your money! From my experience Parallels needs constant attention and updates! Do you really want to continually pay for the luxury (lol) of running Windows on your Mac. I finally decided that I’m not giving Parallels another dime, when boot camp is stable and much faster! Obviously, the only advantage is running the two OS’s concurrently, but the truth is how many times do you really need to resort booting up Windows anyway?

  2. Parallels is only worth it with 8GB of RAM or an SSD. I’ve bought 4, 5, and 7, and have seen no improvements on my 3ghz iMac with 4GB RAM and spinning HDD. It’s almost unusable.

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