vmware fusion 4.0 vs parallel 7.0

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by vance09, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. vance09 macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2009
    I have been testing these 3programs now for about 1 month and have found that vmware fusion is smoother to run ,the parallels was giving me every third run a blue screen of death but the vmware runs quietly in the background ,shuts down easier .The third program being bootcamp win7
    Also this virtual software is really not fast according to the microsoft speedometer ,vmware is running at 4.6 whereas windows 7 bootcamp is running 5.9 limited to the hard drive access,but the ease of vmware is easily looked past as all software is smooth and you do not have to reboot to get windows (few prigs required ) to run
  2. Schismz macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2010
    In my experience Parallels is faster, to the exclusion of every other consideration (like stability). VMware is highly stable, especially v4 which no longer starts up 97 different daemons every time you boot your machine (regardless of whether or not it's running). Bootcamp is fastest.

    I use VMware 4, and if I have a critically important video game that I must play, then Bootcamp it is :cool:

  3. MJL macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2011
    Cannot get Parallels to work properly - as soon as Windwos 7 starts up it gives me a vague error message about requiring to reboot. If not rebooted it hangs. VMware is not much better - no sound at all. This on a 2011 Mac mini i5 with discrete GPU, Lion 10.7.2 and EFI 1.4.

    Did open a support call with Parallels and only seem to get some canned answers - emails appear not to have been read properly and there is no sign that they have even looked at the error log file.

    In their defense (VMware / Parallels) it may be that this is not entirely due to either VMware or Parallels but to the secrecy from Apple instead - not wanting to give anyone a decent pre-release of hardware or software.

    My time and work is too valueable to have to muck about with this and I am not putting up with this for the premium that Apple commands for their fancy looking hardware which under the hood is mediocre for business purposes.

    At present I am running Windows as the only OS on the internal HDD and am not going to invest any more time in mastering OS X or anything else from Apple: next computer will be back to a Windows machine where I know VMware works out of the box. My son has a high end iMac and he has also gone back to windows and has vowed never touch anything Apple again.

    (the 2010 Mac mini was acceptable but not powerfull enough - the 2011 runs far too hot, as soon as something similar powerfull in a small form factor comes out it will be gone)
  4. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I have found both to work well. For the past 3 years I have used anywhere from 1 to 4 silmutaneous virtual machines using both Parallels and VM Fusion, sometimes both at the same time.

    I have yet to encounter a single error on any Apple machine, from older C2D Macbook Pros and Minis, to current i5 Macbook Pros and a hex core Mac Pro.

    The current revisions are working great with Lion.

    I've read the above poster's problems with VMs and have to wonder if faulty hardware is to blame. It most definitely doesn't line up win my years of success, using multiple Apple OS revisions, hardware configs, and VM revisions.
  5. AtmChm macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2010
    I tend to agree with the OP. I had more problems with Parallels than I have with VMware, to the point where now I only run VMWare. As I recall, the virtual machine file size was smaller on Parallels for the same configuration, so that saved disk space, but this was only an issue on my laptop at the time with a 128 GB SSD. Not really an issue now as I have plenty of disk space. I would be willing to try Parallels again, but I don't know what the advantage would be, and I don't want to risk problems as I have had in the past.
  6. t0rr3s macrumors 6502


    Dec 23, 2010
    My experience thus far has been with parallels 6 and now 7 on both my mac pro and 2011 mbp. thus far, been booting up ubuntu and win7 with no problems whatsoever. I can even use parallels (win7) for a spot of gaming (fifa12) with highest resolution and it runs smooth as anything.
  7. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    If you need to (for whatever reason) game on your VM then get Parallels as it's graphics are way faster than VMware. I use my VM's reluctantly for work compatibility.
    If you need corporate inter-support without having to convert everything and like stability get the VMware solution. I use VMware exclusively over many business'. It is slow and steady. v4 is a bit of a performance bump as well.
    The users seem to think Parallels is all there is as if any single person buy's something on their own it is always Parallels so I think they have the mindshare down pat for some reason.
  8. szolr macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2011
    London, UK
    I've always found Parallels faster than VMWare and stable enough for my needs. And I have sampled Parallels from v4-7 and VMWare from 3-4. :cool:
  9. mig2000 macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2006
    Here is what I hate about Parallel. Every time they come up with the Beta, I accept testing the beta - During the installation of the beta, it wipes out your previous production version and when the beta goes to production, you no longer can use the beta as it requires you to purchase the new one. That is why I decided to use the VMware and I do find it a bit smoother anyway.
  10. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2007
    Using VMWare Fusion 4 here.

    Works absolutely perfectly, I can't fault it with Win XP 32 and Win 7 x64, running from my bootcamp disk.
  11. sigmadog macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    near Spokane, WA
    That is the funniest thing I've read all day...
  12. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    <SARCASM>But 7 is bigger than 4, it should be better.</SARCASM> Seriously, VMware has a lot more experience and therefore has had more time to work on smoothing things out.

    Others have found VMware faster. I guess it's all in getting the settings correct. Also, "stable enough" isn't a great recommendation when there are more stable products out there.
  13. ChaosAngel macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2005
  14. dakwar, Mar 15, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012

    dakwar macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2010
    I use Parallels 7 (Win 7 64-bit via black macbook running 10.6.8) and am very satisfied with it - have not yet had a problem with it. Because if that, I've never used VMware.
  15. Mediaformae macrumors newbie


    Nov 28, 2009
    Braga, Portugal
    What about Oracle's VirtualBox?

    I'm currently using Oracle's VirtualBox 4.1.10 with Windows XP.
    So far I haven't had any problems, but since I'm new in this VM world, I would your feedback, extending the comparison to VMware vs. Parallels vs. VirtualBox.

    By the way, VirtualBox is free, so it would be an interesting solution if it's good for virtualization.

    Thanks in advance.
  16. C. Alan macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2009
    I have used Parallels to run Windows XP for a couple of years now. I primarlily use it for running old versions of Autocad, and it works pretty well for that.
  17. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2008
    I agree with the posts in here.

    Parallels: Speed
    Fusion: Stability

    In the end I prefer Fusion because Parallels has several annoying glitches and issues whereas Fusion has none I can think of.
  18. cryingrobot macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2008
    Have only used Parallels and you have to remember the licensing issue. I finally gave up on P4 because I did not want to have to keep buying the program for each mac. Along with the Windows, this gets very costly. On top of this, they make you pay for updates. For instance, my Parallels 3 updated for SL would not run at all under Lions which IMO was a fairly minor OSX update.

    I see absolutely no good reason for Parallels. Speed is pointless since you will not be able to do any serious processing on a virtual machine. It is nice to be able to run Windows on the mac for MS Office but forget gaming or video processing etc.

    I now run W7 on virtual box (free). It was extremely easy to install and can do everything I needed from Parallels...and is actually more stable.
  19. zephonic macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2011
    greater L.A. area
    I got Fusion with the package deal last week. It is no substitute for Bootcamp in terms of performance, but I really like how you can run Windows as an app within OSX. I haven't yet done much with it, but it seems solid and dependable enough.

    I plan to use it for other VM's in the future, but I need to get into some more first.
  20. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Happy Fusion 4 user here.

    I haven't tried parallels, but have heard stories about data corruption and instability. All the performance in the world means nothing if it doesn't work reliably (for me).

    It is no substitute for boot camp for running games, but for running Windows apps (or other operating systems, even a spare copy of lion to experiment with) it is awesome.

    Then again, i have a heavy VMware bias, having been a user of Workstation since version 1.0 on PC, and running a vSphere cluster at work...

    The performance difference between fusion and parallels (at graphics) at the moment is typical of the two different approaches each use. Fusion is implementing the relevant features "properly" to do full emulation. Parallels as I understand it is a bit of a "hack" to make it run fast, for windows (only).
  21. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I have used Parallels with XP almost from day 1. It has been problem-free for me all these years with one exception. When I tried using my boot camp partition as the basis of the VM (can't remember what that is called), all hell broke loose. It was nothing but problems when using both the VM and boot camp.

    I also noticed that their support is essentially nonexistent. If you have a problem, you are on your own to figure it out. Support contact information was purposely hard to find. Email responses were always canned and had no relation to the question asked.
  22. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    I like VMWare. Parallels has always been a little faster, but it's also been more finicky.
  23. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2008
    VMWare Fusion +1.

    It's a great product. Extremely solid. It doesn't do games anywhere near as good as Parallels, but I could personally care less about that.

    There is also the matter of technical support. I had a lot of issues with Parallels before I switched, and I could never get a straight answer or solution out of them (once you got passed all the canned responses).

    VMWare's technical support was totally the opposite. Within two emails I was talking to one of their product engineers. The next day he was sending me fixed files to test out on my end. We nailed down the issue within 72 hours, and the fix (which I already had at that point) was included in their next point release.

  24. codymac macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2009
    I've used VMWare Fusion to run XP for several years now - primarily to run Solidworks, Pro/E, Mechanica, etc. and it's been working pretty well.
  25. throAU, Mar 19, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012

    throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    I feel it is important to mention a third option:


    It is free. It is cross-platform.

    It works pretty well.

    The only minor issue I have ever had with it is PXE booting a virtual machine, it ran very slow during PXE boot, but that bug may be fixed now (was 18 months ago).

    I'd seriously recommend checking it out, it may be enough for you, for ZERO dollars.

    It was originally written by SUN, so don't think it is some dodgy half-assed attempt, it is pretty good. The UI is a little quirky to set up a VM, but its a pretty small price to pay for FREE.


    just noticed it was previously mentioned. consider this a big +1.

    In terms of comparison to VMware, Virtualbox fell short in network performance for me (the PXE-boot problem, i use PXE boot extensively at work), but for home use it is more than adequate; I'd certainly recommend giving it a go before spending any money to see if it works well enough for you. I suspect the PXE boot problem is fixed now as well, anyway.

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