Parallels vs Fusion


maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,851
30,367
Boston
which one is better?
Neither, rather which one best fits your needs.

I prefer Vmware, but I've used Parallels in the past as well. Here's my thoughts.

Parallels usually has faster upgrades, and offers more features with the upgrade. Plus it performs faster for some games (though I still wouldn't play games in a VM). The downside is that Parallels tends to be buggier and more unstable. Plus there tech support has been lacking in the past. One of the knocks on Parallels lately is that you are required to upgrade every year. Somehow it doesn't work with the next version of OS X.

Vmware Fusion is a more stable product, its tech support is top notch. It too generally comes out with annual upgrades but the scope is smaller and generally less buggy. Unlike Parallels you can generally stick with an older version of Fusion while upgrading to a newer version of OS X. I don'y upgrade every year but every other or every third version.

It all boils down to personal preference, both offer free trials, so go and try both.


[MOD NOTE]
Putting on my moderator hat, I moved this thread from the MacBook Pro forum to the Mac Apps forum as this is the proper location for such discussions.
 

JoelTheSuperior

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2014
366
206
London, UK
Which one is better is hard to say - VMware imho is the more mature product but I'm currently using Parallels just because it feels a lot smoother in my experience, especially when running Windows in high-DPI mode.

It has some minor issues that bother me but on the whole I prefer it to VMware, even though I'm quite happy to run it on my servers (ESXi).
 

airlog

macrumors newbie
Aug 23, 2012
10
6
UK
One advantage of Fusion is the license, which states:
You may install and use the Software for personal, non-commercial use on any Apple-branded products running Mac OS X (“Mac Computer”) that you own or control.
 

shaunp

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2010
1,736
1,309
The answer is, it depends. My advice to you would be to download the trial version of both and try them out for yourself and decide which one best meets you needs.

I've used both and used to prefer Parallels because at the time the integration with OS X was better. Now I need better compatibility, reliability and the ability to run ESXi in a VM. I don't tend to virtualise a Windows desktop to run a specific app any longer, but instead I use it to build test environments and I push it quite hard. VMware is a a more mature product in this respect and works for me. Your requirements may be different.
 

randyattradewinds

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2017
5
0
I need advice from developers that have used both. I'm using Parallels pro edition to run windows 10 on my mac in coherence mode. I'm a power user with the displays. My problem has been for a while and seems to be getting worse, is that Parallels cannot keep my Windows applications in the correct order on my desktop. For instance, I may launch an application and it may appear behind something else, minimized or some other funky way. I may use a drop down on a Windows app, and the drop down list appears behind the parent screen. It's like it can't figure out what layer you are looking at. Many times I've got to shut down coherence mode, gather the screens of icons and applications onto one window, a voila, there it is. Once I've found what I'm looking for, I can go back to coherence mode. So in a nutshell, no matter how much I pay, update, reinstall parallels tools, my user experience is simply not good. The Mac apps seem to work ok. My questions is, has anybody else worked with both Parallels and Fusion and had the same problems. Parallels can't seem to figure out the problem. Each new update fluctuates in that some are better and some are worse. Version 13 is really having trouble. I'm ready to jump ship. Does Fusion work better?
 

HDFan

macrumors 65816
Jun 30, 2007
1,496
363
After a complete data loss with Fusion many years ago due to Fusion snapshot corruption I switched to Parallels and have not had any problems. I also use Parallels access which is great when configuring my upstairs Apple TV from my Mac which is downstairs. But I am a very light user, basically just running Quicken and generating virtual account numbers from my Bank's app.

After the Kaspersky revelations by the Wall Street Journal I do have some uneasiness.
 

randyattradewinds

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2017
5
0
After a complete data loss with Fusion many years ago due to Fusion snapshot corruption I switched to Parallels and have not had any problems. I also use Parallels access which is great when configuring my upstairs Apple TV from my Mac which is downstairs. But I am a very light user, basically just running Quicken and generating virtual account numbers from my Bank's app.

After the Kaspersky revelations by the Wall Street Journal I do have some uneasiness.
My snapshots have never worked properly with Parallels. I'm hoping my time machine will retrieve them, should I need to.
 

djnigelchung

macrumors member
Jun 20, 2015
96
45
Silicon Valley
I never use none of them. I own windows gaming rig. I like to install ubuntu on my macbook pro non-retina.
hahaah I find this first response really funny for some reason.

I like parallels, but IMO having windows installed on bootcamp is the best, it doesn't take long at all to reboot into OSX,