Parallels or VMWare

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Starbuckpga, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. Starbuckpga macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2009
    Any advice on which is better to run on my new rMBP so I can switch to Windows 7 when needed for gaming or applications.

    I've used VMWare before in the past, but not Parallels.
  2. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    Parallels has a trail, just try it before you buy.
  3. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    Ford vs. Chevy, Coke vs. Pepsi. There are minor differences in the products but your previous experience with VMware might be a benefit in using it. I use Parallels and it does a good job but I'm using Windows less and less these days. I think I've run Windows about 4 times in 2013.
  4. hutch34 macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2012
    I use Parallels...but it's more expensive for updates which really sucks. Most benchmarks I've seen have shown Parallels ahead though.

    I guess it depends on what you're using the VM for. Processor/Memory intensive apps should probably use Parallels. If your programs are not that intensive just use VMWare as it is cheaper in the long run.
  5. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    I ended up choosing parallels because it had, in a couple different reviews online, performed better in benchmark results. It was the only 'objective' advantage I could find for either.

    Next time Apple updates OSX though, you'll be paying a pretty penny for the required Parallels update!

    It does work well though. I'm able to play games, certainly run MS Office with ease. VMWare and Parallels both have modes that allow applications to work as if they were native mac apps (click the app on the dock, app opens up, no windows desktop or start menu, etc.). The UI of the app itself is windows but it works otherwise; as if it was a native mac app.

    Here's what I mean;


    Ultimately it is a 'coke vs pepsi' debate, and you'll probably be happy with either one.

    Unfortunately I need MS Office compatibility. Rather than shelling out for Office for Mac, I just used my existing licenses for both Office and Windows 7 I had available and installed Parallels. Then I get perfect compatibility (I've heard some issues with compatibility in powerpoint between Office:Mac and 'regular' office, and PPT is where I need compatibility).

    If not for MS Office though, I would never use Windows. For anything that doesn't need to go on a Windows PC, I use iWork. Pages, numbers, etc; and far prefer them.
  6. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    I prefer Coke and VMware, works well and I had an easy run when migrated VMs in the past from Linux VMware server to Mac VMware Fusion. No desire to change at this point. But also not too heavy user; no games at all.

    Ah, I don't drink Coke anymore ... Oolong tea instead. :p
  7. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    If it's for gaming, and you play something other than Minesweeper or Solitaire, then I'd say... neither.

    Go Bootcamp.
  8. vatter69 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2013
    Parallels also handles the Retina display better according to some reviews i read beside a better performance for games as you already figured out.

    My only reason to run Windows is to use some Developer Tools for EQEmulator and connect to a Server to test - so no brainer for me to use Parallels on my Retina.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I prefer Vmware because of its stability. It boils down to personal preference though.
  10. Stella macrumors G3


    Apr 21, 2003
    Parallels for me - the performance is just so much better than VMWare.

    Though I never pay full price for the next new version because within a few months it will always be apart of some $49 bundle.
  11. ReneR macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2008
    Berlin, Germany
    I trust VMWare "Designed in California" a tad more than Parallels "Made in Russia", ... you never know what they do in kernel mode to your Mac, ...
  12. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    It's Parallels man, not some obscure hackers, Parallels has offices all over the world.
  13. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Parallels is a solid product, it doesn't matter where the company is from. I prefer VMware because its more stable and I think their support is better. I've used Parallels and its a fine application as well. As I mentioned at this point, it boils down to personal preference.
  14. Quotenfrau macrumors 6502


    Mar 6, 2011
    That's racist :mad:

    You should think opposite, because we have in Germany a lot of nice and friendly Russian people. Much more than Americans.
  15. oldguru macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2012
    I used both VM and PD before, currently using Parallels.

    Before VM 5 and PD8, stability side: VM > PD, usability side: VM < PD
    For today: Stability side, VM = PD, suability side: VM < PD

    So I am using PD comfortably.
  16. mm201 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2013
    Both have long standing bugs which will annoy you.
    Parallels seems snappier to me but this is subjective.
    Parallels messes around with Windows guests a lot to try to make them feel more "Mac-like," whereas VMware provides a more authentic experience.
    Overall, it seems Parallels tries too hard to do extra things and ends up being an annoyance. (No, I do NOT want to do a presentation on my secondary monitor!)
  17. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    I own both the latest version of VMWare and the latest version of Parallels. Both are very good, both are very snappy and fast. Previous versions of Parallels was faster then VMWare but did so by cutting corners and thus crashed a bit more often. With the latest version both work the same, and yes, performance is almost identical -- Parallels faster in some areas, VMWare in others.

    The ONLY feature that I can say is better on either of the two is that VMWare supports cross platform. This is what makes it killer for work. I can build an image on my Mac, and have it work on my PC. I build things that require specific versions of tools that we distribute across the company / to our customers. Thus we can maintain versions and such without much trouble.

    If you don't need this feature, then there is really isn't much difference between the two products.

    One minor technical difference. In parallels the controls are on the bottom, in VMWare they are on top. What happens with me in Parallels is that I often end up getting the dock instead of the controls. Only really an issue if you run in unified mode (stand alone individual machine with it's own window).
  18. trigonometry macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2010
    South Carolina
    I tried both and they perform the same. Good but wonky. At least with the Linux distro I was using. Crashes, freezes, etc. It was livable but not ideal.
  19. dbroncos78087 macrumors regular

    Feb 27, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    We use VMWare at work so that is what I went with because I had more experience with it.
  20. kgs macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2012
    VMware is the least sleazy in my mind. That advertising in a paid product thing was pretty shady in Parallels
  21. chevman macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2010
  22. MacLovin78 macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2008
    I'll second Virtual Box. I use it exclusively because I upgraded and Parallels wanted me to buy another version of their software. It works flawless. Can't comment on benchmarks but I am running it on my '09 MBP 2.66 C2D w/ 8 GB RAM and have nothing but good things to say about it.
  23. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its not bad, but it does lack the performance and features of parallels or Vmware. Still free is nice and if your needs are basic office type apps then it may be worth looking into.
  24. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    That was one reason for my switch to Fusion.

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