Parallels vs. VMWare Fusion (Which do you prefer?)

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by steiney, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. steiney macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2009
    Hello All,

    I am getting ready to purchase either Parallels or VMWare Fusion, and before I spend hours reading reviews of them and reading about them on their respective websites, I was wondering: Does anyone have experience with both?

    If so, which would you recommend and why?

    I've been using Virtual Box by Sun Microsystems, and I personally think it is very slow and not very user friendly.

    Any advice or pros and cons regarding Parallels and VMWare Fusion would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
  3. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2009
    Hellhammer: Thanks. I saw that. I didn't know they offer free trials. I'll check them out, however, I was hoping for someone with experience with both to give me their opinion.

    GGJstudios: Thanks also. I'll probably find the comparisons I'm looking for in those links.

    Still, if anyone has some experience with both and wants to give their two cents, I would appreciate it.
  4. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    Its like Ford and Chevy, each one will have their fans and their critics
    One user's experience will differ from another
    Your mileage may vary
    That's why testing them with their trial versions is the best way

    I use VMware Fusion, but I know others who prefer Parallels
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You'll find a lot of those posting in those links have experience with both. Using MRoogle to search the forums will frequently find answers to your questions faster than posting and waiting for responses, which are usually repeats of the same responses to the same questions already posted in other threads.
  6. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2009
    MacDawg: Good point. I like the analogy. I was thinking that maybe one was better than the other in some areas and vice versa. I guess they're all probably able to do all the same things for the most part, just a little differently.

    GGJstudios: True. I've never heard of MRoogle until now. I'll check it out. Thanks.
  7. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    VirtualBox. It's the best because its FREE. :D

    (Actually, I'm not too crazy about the performance of any of the three, so I usually just use BootCamp if I have to do anything even remotely heavy.)
  8. tom1992 macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2010
    I'm gonna second virtualbox. It's free, very comprehensive and does most of the important things that the others do.
  9. circularforward macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2010
    Parallels is good and has been performing faster in the newer releases, but I prefer Fusion. I have read quite a few times in these forums that Parallels hacks the Mac OS kernel, which may result in better performance but at the expense of stability. I also dislike the frequency of Parallels' updates that they charge a good deal for---consider that though it has been out only about a year more, Parallels has twice as many versions as compared to Fusion. Though I do see how the many updates can be a plus too. I am glad there are a number of great VM options. =)
  10. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    I use VMWare Fusion because VMWare is a company that I trust to produce a solid product.
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I use vmware, because in the past I found parallels to buggy. They're generally the first with a major update that includes some great feature, except more often then not that feature produces more headaches then benefit.

    Parallels support is another point of contention, with vmware, I entered a ticket and got a resolution in under 24 hours, from vmware not some forum (which they has well). My point is tech support from the vendor was swift, accurate and helpful. I cannot say the same with Parallels.

    with that said, I agree with others, its really personal preference. Try both out and see which one suits your needs
  12. Ainze macrumors regular


    Feb 28, 2010
    I'm a Parallels guys, though not entirely happy about it. It's true what's being said. It's all a matter of taste. I go for Parallels because I find it far more user-friendly, faster, and much better for gaming (my primary reason for having it).

    That said, and the reason I'm not completely happy, Parallels do have terrible user support and upgrade fees that quite frankly are insulting.

    I own both Parallels and Fusion, latest versions, so I'm not just going along for the ride. I choose Parallels because those Pros outweigh the Cons, for me. I find myself leaning towards my needs more than my wallet, and in that respect only, Parallels has never let me down.

    But yes, it's a choice everyone must weigh up themselves.
  13. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    VMWare, because it's easier to build a machine on my MBP and move it to another computer.
  14. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2009
    Wow. Thank you everyone!

    After reading what everyone has said, I have to say I'm leaning pretty heavily towards VMWare Fusion. User support is pretty important to me. I can usually figure things out on my own by tinkering, but I hate to be completely stuck with nowhere to turn (although I'm aware there are help forums out there).

    I'm going to continue reading the previous threads posted by GGJstudios in post number 3 and see how I feel.

    Thanks again everyone!

  15. Reham18 macrumors newbie


    Jun 16, 2010
    Parallels vs VMWare Fusion

    I currently use VMWare Fusion, i dont have experience with Parallels but all i know is that VMWare is a resource hog and you will need to learn how to get the windows programs running. But once running its very fluid and user friendly. I personally like the unity feature.
  16. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2009
    Hmm, that might be an issue. I currently have some serious "resource hog" issues with Safari. When I have more than 20 tabs open, it starts taking up at least 75% of my RAM.

    It sounds like I'd have to get that worked out before I try using Fusion.
  17. smoked macrumors regular

    Feb 25, 2009
    With either you need lots of ram. None of my machines stock would run either one well enough to be useful, except for the MBA with ssd, without a ram upgrade. Also we've noticed parallels to be really bad with network connection being flaky.
  18. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2009
    Hmm... well I have a MBP 2.33 Intel Core 2 Duo upgraded recently to 4 gb ram. It seemed to speed things up a bit, although I read something recently about the thermal paste getting cracked and brittle after a few years and slowing things down by letting the computer overheat, so I'm thinking about taking the comp to a Mac specialist, since it's out of warranty.

    I think if I can get Safari under control, 4 gb will be enough to run everything as well as Fusion.
  19. tpg macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2010
    Virtualbox - it's free, so you might as well try it. It is also (in my experience) by far the easiest to run Linux guests with, and is capable of running with 3D acceleration on older hardware than either VMWare or Parallels support.
  20. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2009
    tpg: Yeah, I've used VirtualBox a bit. I wasn't too impressed. It seems to be pretty slow, and it won't let you view your VM in full screen or anything bigger than a about 50% of the screen (unless I'm missing something). Also, I tried using Ubuntu (Linux), but I don't know anything about that OS and couldn't even figure out how to install applications (embarrassingly noobish, I know). Anyway, I gave up on Linux.
  21. mankymanning macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2008
    Well I am a long time user of VMWare Fusion and am getting a little sick of it recently. The integration of keyboard shortcuts isn't as nice as Parallels and I can't get it confgured to be as good.
    There is an intermittent issue since v3.0 where the CPU will max out on my MBP making the VM unusable. It is the VM host process on the MBP which is maxing out but the guest CPU is quiet. No AV installed and no help from VMWare or their forums.

    I ran my software inside a Parallels VM instead and everything just seemed a little "easier". I think the integration with Mac is a little more polished.

    I originally chose VMWare in order to be able to port the VMs between Windows and Mac but the truth is that a lot of the different VMWare products have slightly differing emulated hardware versions. I have ported a lot of VMs only for them to break in some way or bluescreen.

    I am going to rebuild the main VMs I use for work in Parallels and see how I get on with that for a while.

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