Running Windows on Mac: Parallels Desktop 8 vs. VMware Fusion 5

“Running Windows 8 or Windows 7 on a Mac or a MacBook is simple with virtualisation software, so you need never have to reboot to switch operating systems again,” Andrew Harrison reports for PC Advisor. “There are three clear options: the open-source and free but limited VirtualBox, or one of the two commercial packages, Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac or VMware Fusion.”

“Either of the latter are easier to work with than VirtualBox, with broadly similar qualities and very decent performance,” Harrison reports. “In performance terms, Parallels continues its lead over Fusion with consistently faster results in our benchmarks. Using near-matched configurations of Windows 7, two active processor cores and 2GB of memory, Parallels scored 4,305 points in PCMark 7, 8.6 percent faster than Fusion’s 3965.”

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Harrison reports, “Graphics performance shows the largest difference. Fusion hit a playable 52fps in Stalker: Call of Pripyat, while Parallels added almost a third more frames at 69fps. These results were achieved using a MacBook Pro with nVidia GeForce 650M graphics, 1280×800 resolution and Medium detail… Both VMware and Parallels offer solid performance and useful features when running Windows on a Mac. If you need the fastest performance, Parallels still edges out VMware Fusion, although the latter is available for half the price.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Parallels Desktop, not VMware Fusion, is the best virtualization software for most Mac users – January 30, 2013
Parallels Desktop 8 updated with expanded support for Windows 8 – November 8, 2012
Macworld UK reviews Parallels Desktop 8.0: Does a slicker job than VMWare’s Fusion – 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. Having used both over the years my impression is that VM Ware tends to be more stable and better behaved while Parallels seems more oriented to the PC Gamer crowd with more emphasis on the graphics speed needed for that niche.

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