Parallels 3.0 versus VMware Fusion

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by mark-itguy, Jun 8, 2007.

  1. mark-itguy macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2007
    I'm sure this is an old topic, but I have some questions that may not have been discussed. I'm an IT engineer, so I can read the specs for myself, and could make a decision based on specs and features. But I need some real-world feedback. I have used VMware products for many years. So, VMware already has an edge it than I have templates for all the OS's I have to support. Fine, almost seems a no-brainer, but...

    VMware Fusion just "feels" different than it's Windows products. Before I try to justify Parallels, and all of the work to make all new template images, I was wondering if anyone has used both enough to know:

    1) Which product handles host memory and CPU best?

    2) If you setup identical guest VM's in both, with identical RAM allocated, which guest VM will run better? [No gaming].

    3) Does either product have rumored features in the works that are sure to make it beat the other?

    How to decide... Any feedback would help a ton!
  2. Nuc macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2003
    #1: From my experience VMWare used much less memory and CPU. This may have changed in Parallels v 3.0 but I doubt it.

    #2: Not sure about all the rumors (you may want to check out their forums). I've used unity on VMWare and it's pretty awesome. Much better than coherence...

    #3: I think VMWare will be the best. Parallels support is horrible from what I've heard. Plus VMWare seems to be one step ahead in most cases.

    I would try out VMWare the beta 4 lasts until August. And VMWare won't charge you until the beta's are through. Parallels have pretty much charged since the beginning. And I wouldn't call all of their releases a major update but general beta releases...

  3. pengu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2005
    Diddily Daddily...
    i believe vmware supports 64bit client OS and more ram (for clients).
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    1. VMware.

    2. VMware.

    3. VMware. Why PAY for software that feels like beta anyways?

    PS Yes, I have tried Parallels too.
  5. avalys macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2004
    I would definitely stick with VMWare. VMWare is a large, established company - I think they're owned by EMC now. They are competent and experienced, and they're not going anywhere.

    Parallels has always seemed like a fly-by-night operation to me. Their UI design is shoddy, and their hardware configuration panel is a blatant ripoff of VMWare's under Windows.
  6. djstarrock macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2006
    UK, Scotland, Glasgow
    Well I have tried both and I would say VMware is much better than Parallels but thats just my view.
  7. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I haven't install Parallels 3 yet (I've paid for the upgrade) but I have both Parallels 2 and Fusion on my iMac (first gen 17" Intel, 1.83GHz Core Duo, 2GB RAM).

    Idling, Parallels takes up about 18% CPU and about 100MB real memory. Fusion is currently idling at about 30% CPU and 592MB real memory. Both are running XP Pro with 512 MB assigned RAM.

    The Windows UI in Parallels feels snapper to me. There's a sluggishness about Windows in Fusion that's absent from Parallels. And yes, I disabled debugging some time ago.

    Both Fusion's Unity and Parallels Coherence are excellent, although Unity looks better with the drop shadows. But it's easier to launch applications in Parallels since Unity gets rid of the task bar (adding a launch application item in the Mac Menu bar).

    One thing that annoyed me about Parallels was the lack of Linux support. Parallels Tools existed only for Windows, which made working in Linux a problem. Fusion has had tools for Linux from the first beta I tried. Parallels has, I believe, caught up with VMWare in 3.0 (I'll install it when I get a chance, maybe later this evening). Also Parallels 2, and from what I hear Parallels 3, has some problems installing later *nix distros. I wasn't able to install Ubuntu 7 or Fedora 7 in Parallels 2, and Solaris 10 never seemed to work right for me, while Fusion worked right from the start.

    It remains to be seen how VMWare works when it's released. It's still in beta, there's no hint as to pricing ... if VMWare does it like their Linux and Windows versions, there'll be three versions - a free player that you can't install VMs into and which supports only 1 CPU and is missing snapshots and other "pro" features, a fully featured and expensive workstation, and a free VM server that's ... well, I've never used VMServer and all I know is, it's free.

    But again, there's no hints that VMWare will be doing that. It's more likely it'll release Fusion as a single product, that's priced more than Parallels, but I'd be surprised if it cost more than $120.

    Currently, I'm leaning towards Fusion in its final version (although it all depends on pricing etc) ... if only because here at work we have a number of Linux VMs for VMWare that we use for development and testing.
  8. longmover macrumors member

    Apr 24, 2006
    Wales, UK
    You can pre-order Fusion from for $39.99
  9. pengu macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2005
    Diddily Daddily...
    i use VMWare server (the freebie version) at work on XP and it works a charm. Not quite all the bells and whistles of Workstation, but it supports multiple CPUs and is fairly fast. for what i use it for(testing screen designs in MSIE7) (probably my biggest use of a VM when i get my new MBP too) its fine. Unity would be great for this..

    anyone have stats on speed/resources used when using Unity/Coherence and not?
  10. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Yes, I was going to post his. It's going to be $40 pre-order before August and $80 after release. It will make Fusion the front runner for virtualization on Macs.

    Will VMWare be able to continue to charge $190 for a VMWare Workstation license for Windows or Linux? I haven't used VMWare Workstation much (I use VMWare Player at work with our company supplied VMs) but as far as I can see both Workstation and Fusion have the same features.

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