Parallels or VMware Fusion?

Mabus51

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
1,333
817
I've used VMware in the past but have been curious about the bundle. Since it ends in 7 hours I'd love to hear your thoughts on both if you have used both or your thoughts on Parallels if you use it currently. :D
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
15,925
1
Portland, OR
Parallels 5 > Fusion 3.

I've installed both for folks lately and I'm finding Fusion 3 to be slow and clunky with Windows 7.
The same hardware specs with Parallels 5 and Windows 7 is much faster.

Seems to me that Fusion is an afterthought for the VMWare folks. Most of their people work on server virtualization.
For Parallels, I think the Mac version is really the driving force behind their $$, which means they work hard on it.
 

Lixia

macrumors newbie
Aug 16, 2009
26
0
Somewheretown, Canada
I tried them both (with windows XP, didn't get windows 7) and they are pretty close, I decided to keep parrallels and I don't regret it. Might as well get it since it's so cheap with the bundle!

I mostly use it to run autocad 2009 and it runs flawlessly, even in "crystal mode".

Can't wait for the next version, I'm hoping for better 3D support for games.
 

Robb.Penoyer

macrumors member
Mar 8, 2010
69
0
Florida
I evaluated both for a couple of weeks back in January. I ended up buying VMWare Fusion because I had a coupon. Buy whichever one you can get for less $$. They are effectively exactly the same.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,851
30,367
Boston
VMware fusion all the way. I've tried and used both and while parallels has an edge on performance, its at the expense of stability. VMware is a very stable and solid application.
 

Mabus51

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
1,333
817
Sounds like I should stick with VMware for stability. Which is fine by me. I use their products at work for server virtualization anyway. I have fusion 2.0 somewhere around here but have been thinking about upgrading to 3 for windows 7.

As for gaming I have a PC for that with an ATI 4870x2 can't really beat that yet. Mobile gaming I use my iPhone or PSP. Sadly all I use my PC for nowadays is gaming. After I switched to mac I have had a strong displeasure working on Windows. Hate to make that sound so biased but I'm sure you guys understand what I mean.

The only reason I've been thinking about using a virtual PC on my mac was for the few work apps I need to use. Or even dumping an image of my workstation on my macbook so I can telecommute better without the need for citrix.
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
15,925
1
Portland, OR
I should note, I use Parallels 5 and Windows 7 everyday for work since P5 came out and I've never had a "stability" problem.
 

SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,079
470
Takamatsu, Japan
I absolutely recommend Parallels 5.

I was using Fusion until I bought Parallels with the MU Promo Bundle (GREAT deal!) and Parallels is far faster to start and run applications. With both products I am accessing my Boot Camp installation of Windows 7 Ultimate x64. Fusion was constantly blue screen crashing with no warning whatsoever.

I initially had some problems with Parallels that in the end turned out to be the VMWare Tools I had forgotten to uninstall and the Parallels Support team was responsive and ultra helpful both by e-mail and on their forums.
 

yensteel

macrumors regular
Aug 17, 2009
103
2
+1 for Parallels 5 here.

No problems or instability problems at all. Runs some old games well as well as being very snappy and responsive.

I haven't tried VMWare Fusion 3 though.
 

Mabus51

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
1,333
817
Thanks for all the input guys, I ended up buying Parallels because the deal was so good. I figured I already have Fusion 2 so if I didn't like Parallels I could just keep using that. But I'm digging it. It is more responsive and I haven't had any stability issues either.
 

wilsonhaven

macrumors member
Oct 12, 2009
66
0
I find that they serve different markets. The VMware interface resonates well with users with a technical focus. Building a VM in fusion is like building a computer; pick the OS, pick the memory, pick the processors, setup disks, etc. Parallels, to my thinking, follows the mac approach of hiding the sausage making. It works well for users that just need to run a copy of windows so they can use a windows only application. I like VMware because it has a mature user community that is used to pushing the envelope with virtualization products. An example is that Parallels may offer an option to segment the disk into 2gb files that grow as you need them, but it wasn't obvious. The disk creation option came so far down the line, I thought it wasn't going to let me set it. They both offer trials. I also tried VirtualBox. It has a lot of features. I couldn't use it because it didn't identify my macbook pro keyboard and mousepad. It seems very stable and get's good reviews.
 

Buzz Bumble

Guest
Oct 19, 2008
802
2
New Zealand
I evaluated both for a couple of weeks back in January. I ended up buying VMWare Fusion because I had a coupon. Buy whichever one you can get for less $$. They are effectively exactly the same.
Yep. The UK MacFormat magazine reviewed both Parallels and VMWare together a few issues ago. According to them VMWare had slightly better 3D graphic support and Parallels was slightly faster, but not enough to worry about (I think they also said VMWare was slightly more "polished" in it's set-up). At the end of the review they concluded that bother were pretty much the same and eithr is a good product, but out of personal choice they picked Parallels.
 

SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,079
470
Takamatsu, Japan
Yep. The UK MacFormat magazine reviewed both Parallels and VMWare together a few issues ago. According to them VMWare had slightly better 3D graphic support and Parallels was slightly faster, but not enough to worry about (I think they also said VMWare was slightly more "polished" in it's set-up). At the end of the review they concluded that bother were pretty much the same and eithr is a good product, but out of personal choice they picked Parallels.
Actually, according to this recent comparison on MacTech, Parallels 5 is 30-43% faster than VMWare Fusion 3.01 so I don't think that's the case anymore.

Also, Parallels is especially faster with gaming.

From the article:

In the majority of overall averages of our tests, Parallels Desktop 5 is the clear winner running 30% faster than VMware Fusion 3.0.1 with Windows XP, and 43% faster with Windows 7. And, the difference is even more apparent when looking at graphics. If gaming, graphics, and 3D are your thing, you have no choice. Parallels Desktop 5 has so much better graphics support, and is so much faster in most of the comparisons, there's simply no contest.


Having tried both, this is also my own personal experience.
 

seasurfer

macrumors 6502a
Dec 12, 2007
648
129
For those who use Parallel 5, do you guys feel that the Mac OS shut down time is significantly slowed whether you start Parallel or not. This is the problem I am having, therefore I gave up on Parallel and use VM Fusion.

My Mac OS shut down time is less than 5 secs before installing Parallel 5, after installing Parallel 5 it is more than 15 secs. This happens even if I never run Parallel.
 

Buzz Bumble

Guest
Oct 19, 2008
802
2
New Zealand
The MacFormat review was for Parallels Desktop 5 and VMware Fusion 3. I guess it shws how people's opinions vary. The conclusion to their three page review is:
If much of this review sounds like we've reviewed the same app twice, that's because, to some extent, we have. In their efforts to better their rivals, VMware Fusion and Parallels Desktop have ended up becoming rather similar. Even one of the features Parallels boasts about regarding version 5 of its app - the ability to copy and paste styled text across systems - appears present and correct in VMware Fusion. Therefore, the best virtualisation product to buy largely rests on whether you would prefer the speed of Parallels Desktop over the more refined, polished and Mac-like experience offered by VMware Fusion.

For our money, Parallels Desktop's extra speed perhaps affords it the edge by the slimmest of margins, but objectively this race is now a dead heat - both are impressive and even their shortcomings aren't major. As such, we no longer recommend that anyone using one product should switch to the other - stick with what you know and upgrade to the latest version.

Parallels Desktop
Four stars out of five
"Fast with good graphics support, but a little awkward and intrusive."

VMware Fusion
Four stars out of five
"Polished and highly usable, but slightly slower than its rival."
 

SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,079
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Takamatsu, Japan
The MacFormat review was for Parallels Desktop 5 and VMware Fusion 3. I guess it shws how people's opinions vary.
Are you sure that review was for Parallels Desktop 5 versus VMware Fusion 3? I can understand the varying opinions on the features and more aesthetic aspects but it's hard to argue with the benchmark data and I think 30-43% is quite a considerable advantage for Parallels.

That said, I'm pretty sure VMware will close the gap with future versions so if you already own Fusion 3 I don't know that I would recommend dumping it in favor of Parallels just yet.
 

Buzz Bumble

Guest
Oct 19, 2008
802
2
New Zealand
Are you sure that review was for Parallels Desktop 5 versus VMware Fusion 3?
That's what they SAID they were reviewing (I can only go by what they say and there was nothing in the next issue about a typo). Of course, magazines often review pre-release versions, so there may have been some tweaking before the public release. Plus it will depend on what Mac model they installed the applications on.
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
15,925
1
Portland, OR
For those who use Parallel 5, do you guys feel that the Mac OS shut down time is significantly slowed whether you start Parallel or not. This is the problem I am having, therefore I gave up on Parallel and use VM Fusion.

My Mac OS shut down time is less than 5 secs before installing Parallel 5, after installing Parallel 5 it is more than 15 secs. This happens even if I never run Parallel.
No, I don't see that problem at all, but maybe I'm used to it. Shutdown time is around 30-45 seconds.

In either on a Mac Pro running 10.5.8 Server running Parallels 5 w/ Windows 7 x64.. or on a PGP full disk encrypted MacBook Pro (SR) running 10.6.3 with Parallels 5 w/ Windows 7 x64.

However, I shut down my VMs before shutting down my Mac.
 

BryanA

macrumors newbie
Feb 19, 2010
2
0
Nottingham, UK
Parallels Desktop 5 - very stable

Sounds like I should stick with VMware for stability. Which is fine by me. I use their products at work for server virtualization anyway. I have fusion 2.0 somewhere around here but have been thinking about upgrading to 3 for windows 7.

As for gaming I have a PC for that with an ATI 4870x2 can't really beat that yet. Mobile gaming I use my iPhone or PSP. Sadly all I use my PC for nowadays is gaming. After I switched to mac I have had a strong displeasure working on Windows. Hate to make that sound so biased but I'm sure you guys understand what I mean.

The only reason I've been thinking about using a virtual PC on my mac was for the few work apps I need to use. Or even dumping an image of my workstation on my macbook so I can telecommute better without the need for citrix.
Been using Parallels 5 since Dec 19, 2010 on my i7 and not using the supplied virus checker, Kapersky, it has been 100% and without problem. Running XP Pro, MS Office 2003 Pro and various amateur radio programmes under Windoze 100% Ok and Ubuntu 9.10 and Fedora Linux 12 again problem free and certainly fast enough. No I don't play high speed games that is what XBoxes are for ;)

Bryan
 

BeSweeet

macrumors 68000
Apr 2, 2009
1,566
1,247
San Antonio, TX
Parallels 5 > VMware Fusion 3.

Parallels 5 is helluvalot faster than VMware Fusion 3 in every possible way. Graphics performance is also a lot faster.