VMWare Fusion 6 vs. Parallels Desktop 9

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Sinophile, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. Sinophile macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2011
    Which one do you like better?

    I've tried both on my 2011 MBA and haven't noticed much of a difference. I have a hunch that VMWare Fusion is a little bit faster, but I have no data to prove it. Parallels is definitely more user-friendly and has a nicer, cleaner look
  2. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    I tried Parallels several years ago and hated it. It tried to integrate my Windows virtual machine too much with OS X. I wanted to sandbox Windows as much as possible. Then when I tried to remove Parallels, I found that it installed stuff all over the place and ruined my Bootcamp drive to the point that I had to reinstall Windows. Needless to say, I never tried Parallels again.

    After my disastrous experience with Parallels, I tried Fusion. I found it easy to make the settings to sandbox my virtual machine and performance has been very, very good. It has worked as advertised and that's all I wanted.
  3. laurihoefs macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2013
    I have tried Parallels 9, and VMware Fusion 6, and settled for Fusion.

    I had some strange stability issues with Parallels, but absolutely no such issues with Fusion. These might have been caused by something specific to my configuration, so YMMV. I reasoned that the issues would eventually get worked out either by updates to OS X, Parallels or Windows. But Fusion worked right away, so I chose it instead of waiting.

    I also didn't like Parallels way of putting shortcuts of Windows application to my dock or anywhere else by default. Or the strange glitch of having the red Parallels logo appear on every single OS X app icon in Spotlight (because the Windows app shortcuts were also indexed, I had to always look carefully not to launch a Windows version of any app I had in both OS's).

    Performance seemed quite similar. Parallels would have offered support for DirectX 10, but I had no need for that.

    If you want to find out more of the performance aspect, Ars Technica has a good review with benchmark data:
    The latest virtualization showdown—Parallels Desktop 9 vs. VMware Fusion 6
  4. K6-III macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2010
    Toronto, Canada
    It's great how VMWare Fusion is cross-platform, so your OS images can be opened under VMWare in both Windows and Linux.
  5. squeakr macrumors 68000


    Apr 22, 2010
    I have never tried Parallels but it is supposed to have the better performance of the two, however this above is the reason that I use Fusion. Since it is VMWare I can share my VMs with my other colleagues that use Windows systems and ESXI servers, etc. It is just nicer to know that I can build them an image and they can use it without necessary changes. Parallels doesn't afford me this option. I have also had several colleagues in the past suggest VMWare over Parallels and wished they had bought VMWare instead (but this was several years ago and since Parallels has made great advances).
  6. elgrecomac macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2008
    San Diego
    Another vote for Fusion

    I've tried both and I, as other have done, settled on Fusion. But I think that at this point in their evolution, you really can't go wrong with either.

    But be warned, make sure you are running 8GB or RAM or you can experience some significant performance lag depending on what apps you are running in both environments.
  7. Candlelight macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2011
    New Zealand
    Parallels munted my machine so I never went back.

    I'm still using Fusion 5 on Mavericks and not having any issues.
  8. SkeeterHarris, Nov 14, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013

    SkeeterHarris macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2012
    Parallels - The Benchmark in Mac Virtualization

    I started with Parallels back in the early days, went to Fusion for version 3, then looked at Parallels when version 4 came out and switched back to Parallels. Each year as I go back and compare the two products I have continually found that Parallels offers better features, runs faster, and offers a seamless integration with Windows.

    The current version Parallels 9 continues this trend over Fusion 6, and if you are a game player the testing that I have been doing show more games work with Parallels Desktop 9 over Fusion 6. Games such as Borderlands 2 in fact just crash the Fusion 6 Virtual Machine!

    While I have not completed my analysis yet of 9 verse 6, here are the last two videos comparing the two for you to take a look at:

    F5 verse P8 - http://youtu.be/GkWlmWLOzXU
    F4 verse P7 - http://youtu.be/8CSc_Je7YVg

  9. SkeeterHarris macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2012
    Parallels has come along way over the past 4 years and you can either choose to have Windows and the Mac integrated or completely "sandbox" your Windows VM from your Mac. Both products play well together on the same computer at for testing and comparing both. You might want to take a look at the current version.
  10. dean1012 macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2008
    I used VMWare Fusion at work for a few years and Parallels Desktop at home.

    I never had any issues with either but I think I remember Parallels Desktop having better graphics performance (but if that's what you are looking for, you should be doing bootcamp anyways).

    With that said, I now use VirtualBox which is totally free and works great.
  11. SkeeterHarris macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2012
    That's too bad you had issues with Parallels I have found it rock solid on my iMac and Mac Mini, and with Fusion when I first tried to install an OSX Mavericks VM my whole iMac reset. At least that seems to be fixed now with a patch I got from VMware.

    The integration issues are simple configuration changes you can make in the product to turn off the both the Windows folders from appearing in your OS X Dock as well as both Mac and Windows Apps showing up together in both searches and the Windows Start Menu.

    I think both products have come along way with Parallels offering I feel more for the consumer along with a better Windows gaming experience. These are the elements I have been testing and need to get pushed out on this years video review of both products. Cheers!
  12. jpeezy macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    One nice feature with Fusion is that it dynamically loads and unloads the kernel extensions. Just my 2 cents.
  13. buddyspencer macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2005
    And what about parallels? It doesn't?
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I haven't upgraded to the latest version but I found in the past that Vmware Provides a more stable product and has superior support. I was disappointed in some of the prior versions of Parallels being unstable. Perhaps this has changed in the later releases but my experience has not been positive. I tried reaching out to support and was disappointed in that attempt as well.

    I think for the most part though, choosing between the two is more of a personal preference. Both offer their own strengths and weaknesses.
  15. RUGERMAN macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2010
    Mavericks/parr vs8

    I installed Mavericks on an external drive that I had used CCC to create a clone BU and could not run Parallels vs 8. I also tried a trail vs of vs 9 and could not run that either.
  16. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    Parallels solely aims at Windows and that's where it shines in terms of 3D performance for gaming. The other performance things are similar to VMware Fusion. Non-Windows is something that Parallels does on the side and it is very noticeable. If you run mostly non-Windows operating system look into Virtualbox or VMware Fusion because Parallels will disappoint you. That's why I picked Fusion. It can run Windows about as good as Parallels can but it can run other systems like OS X, FreeBSD and various Linux distros just as well (unlike Parallels).

    Do look at the operating systems you are using and/or planning to use. If that is just Windows then Parallels might be the best choice with Fusion being a close second. If you want to do more than just Windows Fusion will be the best overall. If you don't want to pay, go Virtualbox. Since Parallels and Fusion have trial versions and Virtualbox is completely free there is no excuse in not trying them all and see which one works best for you ;)
  17. Gymchick macrumors newbie

    Apr 6, 2014
    VMWare Fusion 6 worked for me

    I am not sure what happened, but I had some performance issues with Parallel Desktop 9. It was very slow both in Windows and Mac when you run the virtual machine. Fusion 6 worked out fine.

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