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

Duet 2.0.5.1 - Use your iPad as an exter...
Duet is the first app that allows you to use your iDevice as an extra display for your Mac using the Lightning or 30-pin cable. Note: This app requires a $9.99 iOS companion app. Version 2.0.5.1:... Read more
Monosnap 3.5.6 - Versatile screenshot ut...
Monosnap lets you capture screenshots, share files, and record video and .gifs! Features Capture Capture full screen, just part of the screen, or a selected window Make your crop area pixel... Read more
Sketch 53.2 - Design app for UX/UI for i...
Sketch is an innovative and fresh look at vector drawing. Its intentionally minimalist design is based upon a drawing space of unlimited size and layers, free of palettes, panels, menus, windows, and... Read more
Adobe Acrobat Reader 19.010.20098 - View...
Adobe Acrobat Reader allows users to view PDF documents. You may not know what a PDF file is, but you've probably come across one at some point. PDF files are used by companies and even the IRS to... Read more
iClock 4.6.7 - Customizable menu bar clo...
iClock replaces the old Apple's default menu bar clock with more features, customization and increases your productivity. Features: Have your Apple or Google calendar instantly available from the... Read more
VueScan 9.6.32 - 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
Dropbox 67.4.83 - Cloud backup and synch...
Dropbox is an application that creates a special Finder folder that automatically syncs online and between your computers. It allows you to both backup files and keeps them up-to-date between systems... Read more
Opera 58.0.3135.68 - High-performance We...
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
Microsoft Office 2016 16.22 - Popular pr...
Microsoft Office 2016 - Unmistakably Office, designed for Mac. The new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote provide the best of both worlds for Mac users - the familiar Office... Read more
Slack 3.3.7 - Collaborative communicatio...
Slack is a collaborative communication app that simplifies real-time messaging, archiving, and search for modern working teams. Version 3.3.7: What’s New  From today, you'll notice a shiny new app... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The best games for iPhone and iPad that...
Well, once again we've reached Thursday, which means it's time to have a look at the awesome games that have popped up on the App Store over the past seven days. We've got horror, we've got vampires, and we've got at least one game we still don't... | Read more »
The AAF app could be the only fantasy fo...
Fantasy football is massive, which is something the AAF understands. It's a new American Football league that's two weeks into its first season. It's designed to serve a number of different masters - for one thing it's positioned itself as a second... | Read more »
Everything you need to know to win in Ja...
Jaws.io is one of those games that just shouldn't be as much fun as it is. But it is as much fun as it is, so there you go. It's a game all about eating things, shooting a giant shark, and trying to score as many points as possible. And if there's... | Read more »
Everything you need to know to win in Kn...
Knights of the Card Table is a really clever, solitaire dungeon crawler that's not just crammed to the gills with monsters to fight and loot to find, it's also got one of the biggest hearts of any game we've seen on the App Store. We definitely... | Read more »
A quick beginner’s guide to Final Blade
Final Blade was developed by newcomer SkyPeople studio, with help from localisation guru Glohow. After two years exclusively in the hands of South Korean and Chinese players, the game is now celebrating its global launch. Hurrah! But if you’re a... | Read more »
The best games for iPhone and iPad that...
How is it already Thursday again? My oh my, doesn't time fly when you're playing the very best mobile games out there? We certainly hope it does, because we've gone ahead and written a list of what we think are the top 5 best games for iPhone and... | Read more »
Three games for iPad and iPhone to keep...
On Monday we told you that Apex Legends is, all being well, eventually going to end up on the App Store. That means you'll be able to play one of the best new battle royale shooters in months in the palm of your hand. However, it hasn't happened... | Read more »
Why you should be excited about Apex Leg...
You've no doubt heard of Apex Legends by now. It's a new take on the battle royale genre developed by Respawn, and published by EA. It went live on EA Origin, PS4, and Xbox One last week, and it's already been generating a lot of buzz around the... | Read more »
Epic fantasy RPG Final Blade celebrates...
Now is a great time for RPG fans the world over as Final Blade has, well, finally got its global release for iOS and Android. The grand-scale RPG developed by Skypeople Inc in association with Glowhow, the has been quite the hit over in Taiwan and... | Read more »
Airheart launches on Nintendo Switch, de...
You’d be forgiven for thinking a game about harpooning fish and fighting pirates would be set on the high seas. But the action in Airheart is entirely airborne. Following up on its PC and Playstation release last year, this award-winning game has... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Get the 21″ 3.4GHz 4K Apple iMac for $1399 to...
Abt Electronics has the 21″ 3.4GHz 4K iMac on sale today for $1399.99 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model: – 21″ 3.4GHz 4K iMac... Read more
iMac sale! Get a new 27″ Apple iMac for $200...
B&H Photo has new 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for $200 off MSRP, starting at $1599. These are the same models offered by Apple in their retail and online stores. Shipping is free: – 27″ 3.8GHz 5K... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished 4K Apple...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 32GB and 64GB 4K Apple TVs for $30 off the cost of new models. Apple’s standard one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: – 32GB... Read more
Save $50-$62 on a new Apple Mac mini at Abt E...
Abt Electronics has the new 2018 4-Core and 6-Core Mac minis on sale for $50-$62 off standard MSRP, with prices starting at $749. Shipping is free: – 3.6GHz Quad-Core mini: $749 $50 off MSRP – 3.... Read more
13″ Dual-Core 2.3GHz non-Touch Bar MacBook Pr...
Apple resellers B&H Photo and Amazon are both offering sale prices on new 13″ Dual-Core 2.3GHz non-Touch Bar MacBook Pros, ranging up to $150 off MSRP, with prices starting at $1199. Shipping is... Read more
Could These Be The Products That Apple Will B...
NEWS: 02.20.19- Apple, Inc. is widely expected to be releasing a number of new products in the pipeline this year but just what exactly will those items be and who is the source of all of that... Read more
B&H has 42mm Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + C...
B&H Photo is discounting 42mm Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular models by $60. Shipping is free: – 42mm Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular: $349 $60 off MSRP Their price is the lowest... Read more
Get $50 off an iPhone 8 at Verizon with this...
Looking for a discount on a new Apple iPhone 8 at Verizon? Use coupon code VZWDEAL to save $50 on a new iPhone 8 through February 28, 2019. Excludes upgrades & online only. Read more
Jet offers the 12″ 1.2GHz Silver Apple MacBoo...
Jet.com has current-generation 2017 Apple 12″ 1.2GHz Silver MacBooks on sale today for $290 off Apple’s price. Shipping is free on all orders over $35 at Jet: – 12″ 1.2GHz Silver MacBook: $1009.65 $... Read more
New 11″ Apple iPad Pros on sale for $50-$100...
B&H Photo has the new 2018 Apple 11″ iPad Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free: – 11″ 64GB WiFi iPad Pro: $749 $50 off – 11″ 256GB WiFi iPad Pro: $900 $50 off... Read more

Jobs Board

Temporary Associate - *Apple* Blossom Mall...
Temporary Associate - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States- Apple Blossom Mall 1850 Apple Blossom Dr Job ID:1041589 Date:Tomorrow Job Read more
Operations Associate - *Apple* Blossom Mall...
Operations Associate - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States- Apple Blossom Mall 1850 Apple Blossom Dr Job ID:1044618 Date:February 18, Read more
Cashier - *Apple* Blossom Mall - JCPenney (...
Cashier - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States- Apple Blossom Mall 1850 Apple Blossom Dr Job ID:1042611 Date:Tomorrow Job Description Read more
Sephora Product Consultant - *Apple* Blosso...
Sephora Product Consultant - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States- Apple Blossom Mall 1850 Apple Blossom Dr Job ID:1056553 Date:February Read more
Omni-Channel Associate - *Apple* Blossom Ma...
Omni-Channel Associate - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States- Apple Blossom Mall 1850 Apple Blossom Dr Job ID:1074107 Date:February 18, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.