13" VMWare or Parallels?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by linkandzelda, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. linkandzelda macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2010
    I've just got a 13" 1.86GHz with 4GB RAM. I'm wondering which is the best option to go with. I've been using VMWare up until now as my Hackintosh dose not support intel-VTx or whatever. I think parallels looks much better, but don't know how it is with performance.

    So does anyone have experience using both on their machine and can recommend either one? I'm looking for best performance mostly as I run in single window and not Unity.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. j_maddison macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2003
    Nelson, Wales
    I use Vmware, but the general consensus is that Parallels is significantly faster

    If you do use Vmware, make sure you turn the processor down to 1, and not 2. I don't know why this is an issue, but before I did that it ran like a dog. i did a quick google, found the solution and now it runs fine
  3. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Both have their fans and you will reasons from both sides

    It used to be said that Parallels was faster and Fusion was more stable
    I don't know if that can still be said or not

    Both have free trials, so you may want to see which works best for you

    I have always used Fusion and never had a problem
    But there has been a significant rise in Parallels users on the board
  4. uniforms macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2008
    South Orange NJ
    I use Parallels and LOVE it. Works great in my ultimate 13" air. Have had no problems what so ever, works better on here than my 2010 13" MBP. I also find Parallels much more user friendly.
  5. fswmacguy macrumors 6502


    Aug 12, 2009
    VMWare user here. I've always used VMWare Fusion, but I have used Parallels (the latest version). I find that they both do an exceptional job. I found that VMWare is a much cleaner interface, very solid, and Parallels has lots of great features, but I had a number of driver errors when running Windows 7 (probably my fault).

    Go with MacDawg's suggestion. They both have trials available, so give each one an equal go.
  6. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    I own both.

    VMWare is a little more solid still (although the gap has narrowed considerably) but I find Parallels' performance to be significantly better.

    As others have said, try the demos
  7. McRCN macrumors regular

    Nov 19, 2010
  8. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I own both, and I settled on Parallels because I found the performance to be better.

    If you do try both, though, I'd recommend uninstalling the other once you have decided. I was getting occasional system crashes and kernel panics from Fusion 3.1 that so far seem to have gone away after I uninstalled it. Perhaps it wasn't interacting well with the background drivers for Parallels 6.
  9. linkandzelda thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2010
    Thanks for the replies. i see that more people are using Parallels over VMWare. I'll try out both and see which one I prefer. Seems like Parallels if it's better with performance.

  10. bdeitemeyer macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2009
    I've ran both on my iMac and MacBook Air, I definitely prefer Parallels as it is much faster and easier to operate.
  11. sjinsjca macrumors 68010


    Oct 30, 2008
    I've used both. Had some issues with Parallels--this was long ago--and dropped them in favor of Fusion due to abysmal support. VMWare is no champion in that regard, but Parallels totally ignored me as a customer with a problem.
  12. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    VMWare also offers virtualization software that is used in enterprise applications. There is a reason why the Fusion is as stable as it is.
  13. linkandzelda thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2010
    Well i've tried both and consider Parallels to be considerably better with performance and system resources. So i think i'll get myself a copy of that ;)

    Thanks guys.
  14. bamf macrumors 6502

    Feb 14, 2008
    Parallels does as well, but I don't think it's nearly as mainstream (yes, I use VMWare in production in an Enterprise).

    Another thing on the Parallels front. If you have an iPad, they have an app that lets you throw the screen of your VMs to your iPad. It's really cool actually. If you've left your laptop/iMac/Mac Pro/whatever at home, you can start, stop, interact with, etc. your VM with your iPad. I wish VMWare would come out with something similar since I do run both applications.
  15. bdeitemeyer macrumors member

    Nov 10, 2009
    Very interesting. I have Parallels but have yet to actually try this...adding it to my to-do list now. :)
  16. asoksevil macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2010
    Taipei, Taiwan
    And what about Bootcamp? Does anybody use it?
  17. foiden macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2008
    Well. Bootcamp is perfect windows. But usually people asking for Virtualization software want to run their Windows and Mac Apps concurrently, with no need to reboot. You use Bootcamp, if you don't mind keeping your Windows and Mac apps running separately between reboots. However, you will get 100% speed and 100% windows compatibility with all apps.

    I currently use Bootcamp, but that's because I haven't really invested in going to virtualization software. I generally just use Windows for games, nowadays. So considering performance is key, you'll likely go that route if PC-only games are your reasons for Windows. And while the Mac game library is growing quickly (some of it thanks to Steam), there's still a ton of F2P MMOs, among other games, out there that are platform specific, even though all of them would run easily on any Mac sold in the past couple of years. (But uses just enough resources to kind of bog down with Virtualization software)
  18. mm1250 macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2007
    My vote for VMware. Very clean interface, stable and I haven't seen any performance issues on my MBA or MBP. VMware is known for their extensive work in virtualization technology.
  19. EARL97850 macrumors member

    Dec 21, 2009
    So when I do get around to purchasing my MBA and my needs for running Internet Explorer would only be for a couple work programs that can only be accessed through IE which program would you recommend to have...VM or Parallels?

  20. size100 macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2010
    I just bootcamp. Doesn't take that long to switch and I don't need both at once.
  21. Neolithium macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2010
    Wherever the army needs me.
    I've always used VMware Fusion, it's worked perfectly for my needs. Can't comment on Parallels, but people around here wouldn't recommend it if it were garbage. I'd suggest you try both and see which is better, or just buy whatever is cheapest when you're ready. They both tend to go on sale quite often. :D
  22. asoksevil macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2010
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Whoa, I didn't know you had to reboot every time you switch...

    You said that bootcamp has a 100% windows compatibility... Does this mean that if I install some "random program" on bootcamp, it might not work on Parallels or Fusion since they don't have 100% compatibility with Windows?

  23. A Macbook Pro macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2009
    I don't know what he meant with that, all programs that work on VMWare or Parallels work with Bootcamp and vice versa, but some new games that need lots of speed will work best in Bootcamp.
  24. MikePA macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2008
    Hence the name, Bootcamp.

    There's no way to know without trying the program under Parallels or Bootcamp. Instead of referring to a 'random program', mention specific programs and see if anyone else is using them. In my situation, Bootcamp wastes space and is inconvenient. I use Parallels in Coherence mode which makes the Windows program act like a native Mac app. It still starts the virtual Windows machine, but it looks and acts like a Mac app.
  25. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    Before I bought my first virtualization program three years ago, I did a lot of research trying to decide whether VMware Fusion or Parallels would be the better choice for me. I concluded that there was no clearcut answer and, more or less arbitrarily, got Fusion. It has been excellent and I haven't regretted my choice. That said, I suspect Parallels would have proved equally satisfactory. I have kept up with developments of each program since and continue to believe that both are excellent.

    The reason Bootcamp offers more power for both Windows and OS X apps, is that, because only one OS can run at a time, your computer's total resources are available for each. That's a big deal for gamers and others who need a lot of power to run their Windows apps. For those of use who run a mix of less demanding apps, though, a virtualization program's ability to run Windows apps and OS X apps simultaneously from the OS X desktop is a huge advantage.

    Fusion or Parallels will soak up all the resources you can throw at them when you use them to run both Windows and OS X apps at the same time but my 13 inch Ultimate MBA has been up to the task. I feared that its 4GB of RAM might not be enough but, in the event, it is, probably because of the MBA's lightning fast flash storage.

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