Virtualization Technology News and Information
MacTech Benchmark Finds Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac "The Clear Winner" Over VMware Fusion
Parallels today announced that a benchmark study from MacTech found Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac “14-20% faster than VMware Fusion” in the majority of its tests.  The labs pitted Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac against VMware Fusion 2.0.1 in more than 2500 tests examining the performance of Windows XP and Windows Vista on 4 different Mac models: the "White" MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro.  The tests revealed Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac is 14% faster for both XP and Vista on the default and thus the most commonly used configuration:  32-bit Windows OS running under a single virtual processor.   

The benchmark tested performance of running some of the most commonly used Windows-compatible applications, including Internet Explorer, the default web browser for Windows. In these tests, MacTech  found that “VMware Fusion was several times slower than Parallels Desktop in the Internet Explorer tests (across the board)”.  The full report and results can be viewed on the MacTech website.

When examining how both virtualization tools use the resources of the Mac hardware, the benchmark found that: “Parallels Desktop had a surprisingly small RAM footprint … which was actually typically lower than the amount of RAM configured for the virtual machine.”  This is because of the adaptive hypervisor and optimized memory management, both of which were introduced with version 4.0 of Parallels Desktop for Mac. The adaptive hypervisor allocates resources as they are needed in real-time, so the virtual machine will only use the amount of RAM actually required to perform the current processes, leaving the rest for Mac OS X. More memory for Mac OS X results in a better performance of the whole system in most cases.

Regarding graphics support, the report concludes: “In our tests, MacBook users will have a better experience with Parallels Desktop”   The tests were conducted on an early build of version 4.0, which has since been updated to include support for Vertex Shaders 2.0 and bring graphic support to DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 2, enhancing the graphics capabilities even further.

The overview of the report includes the following round up of results:

  • “For 32-bit Windows OSes, running under a single virtual processor (the default when you create virtual machines in either product, and therefore, the most commonly used configuration), Parallels Desktop runs both XP and Vista 14% faster than VMware Fusion.”
  •  “For 32-bit Windows OSes, running under two virtual processors… Parallels Desktop runs Vista 20% faster than VMware Fusion.”
  •  “For 64-bit Windows Vista, running under two virtual processors, Parallels Desktop runs 15% faster than VMware Fusion.”

The results of the benchmark support much of the feedback we hear from our users and we’re delighted to see a well-respected industry voice echoing their sentiments,” said Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Parallels.  “Since the testing began, we have issued an updated build (3810) for Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac and we’re confident that this offers even better performance and graphics support.  This is a free update for existing customers of version 4.0 and part of our ongoing commitment to innovating our products to further meet customers’ needs.  We invite customers to download the free trial on our website if they want to test the product themselves.”

For more information on Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac or to download the free trail, please visit

Published Friday, March 06, 2009 7:26 PM by David Marshall
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