VMware Fusion or Parallels?

MacVault

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 10, 2002
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Planet Earth
Is there a clear winner between the two? VMware Fusion or Parallels? In general and specifically with their respective latest versions, Fusion 8 / Parallels 11? Want to run Windows 7 and/or 10 on my new iMac.
 

jdelgado

macrumors regular
Oct 25, 2009
154
8
Chile
Both have demos available. You can try both and keep what you like best. Personally, I prefer Fusion over Parallels.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,389
33,004
Boston
Age old question, both have advantages and disadvantages.

I prefer Vmware's Fusion but that's it, my personal preference. I think Vmware's support is better and the product is more stable - at least the last time I compared the two.

[MOD NOTE]
I moved the thread to the application's forum as this more of an application question as opposed to help with windows/linux or any other OS.
 
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SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
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I've never tried Parallel's but I've always used VMware and have always liked it. I've used Fusion since version 2.0 I think and I use VMware vSphere at work. They've always had a great product and great support in my experience.
 

firedept

macrumors 603
Jul 8, 2011
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No clear winner. It comes down to personal preference and which has what you need. I run Parallel's and have been with it for many years. It meets my requirements.
 
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BornAgainMac

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2004
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I like Parallels more than VMWare with the interface but I understand why people like VMWare. It is really the standard VM product for business and I can migrate it to a Windows or Linux machine and it will work there perfectly.
 

mac8867

macrumors 6502
Apr 5, 2010
457
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Saint Augustine, FL
I personally use VMWare Fusion. I actually tried both in evaluation/demo mode for a week. The reason I chose Fusion is because they gave me a better deal on the purchase price -- in the end, that was the only criteria I used to make the selection.
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
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Both have their advocates (and reasons) but it is really personal preference
I use VMware Fusion and have for a long time
I have VM's for Ubuntu, Win7, Win8.1 and Win10 and can run them all at the same time with no issues on my rMBP

They both have free trials, and while it may be a pain to test them both, that is the only way you will know which suits you better
Personally, I picked one way back when and just went with it without even testing the other

You can also throw VirtualBox in the mix too...
 

SpinalTap

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2003
205
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Bournville, UK
Another option is CrossOver Mac - run Windows apps without requiring a Windows OS.

I prefer is over Parallels (I own both).

Try the free CrossOver Mac trial software before deciding.
 

Agent-J

macrumors regular
Sep 20, 2014
148
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Fusion's license at least used to let you install it on a desktop and a laptop. That made it half the cost of Parallels for me. Fusion's printing system also failed less often than Parallels. I only use it on my laptop now since the new Office came out, and only to run software for remotely controlling my DSLR on my telescope. Fusion handles USB devices and such nicely, it has not had a single issue with the camera. So, I prefer Fusion over Parallels.
 

Kissmyne

macrumors 6502
Apr 21, 2015
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Another option is CrossOver Mac - run Windows apps without requiring a Windows OS.

I prefer is over Parallels (I own both).

Try the free CrossOver Mac trial software before deciding.
Personally I have had better results with PlayOnMac(Free), but crossover is a viable option as well(or if you feel froggie, Macports + Wine works too)

If you are set on using a VM, try out Parallels, VMWare, and Virtual Box, each have pros and cons and it really depends what the software you are needing is...
 

adib

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2010
215
111
Singapore
Historically VMWare Fusion tend to have better raw performance (faster or less CPU burn) whereas Parallels' Desktop tend to excel in integrating your Windows apps to OS X's features. However each iteration may change the balance slightly somewhat.

However VMWare has a parallel product for Windows. Hence if you ever need to "play" a VM that someone else made, it's probably in VMWare's format and would be less hassle for you to use it.

VirtualBox is probably the least performant and less integrated player in this scene. However it's popular among web/server programmers to run development versions of their server software – mostly Linux-based – inside a self-contained VM. Moreover this is probably the most-supported VM for this purpose since it's the default setup that Docker uses when running on OS X.
 
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Oldmanmac

macrumors 6502
Mar 31, 2012
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Edmond, OK
I started withParallels, then moved to VM Fusion and haven't looked back. I agree the support seems better and have had little/no problems with VM.
 

St-knaus

macrumors newbie
Jul 27, 2015
11
0
I like parallels 9 and 10..actually didn't upgrade yet, but previous versions are OK. also support was great..
Not sure about VM Ware, but years ago I tried it and my VM run slow, then install Parallels and it worked just fine for me.
BTW sometime I use Boot Camp too :)
 

Wando64

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2013
645
746
I use Parallels and it works very well for me, however they have a nasty habit of charging for new versions which you will need if you want to retain compatibility with new OS versions (both Mac and Windows).
I am so annoyed about this that I am considering changing.
Can anyone confirm if VM Ware also charge for new versions?
 

Evren Carven

macrumors regular
Dec 16, 2014
238
21
Is there a clear winner between the two? VMware Fusion or Parallels? In general and specifically with their respective latest versions, Fusion 8 / Parallels 11? Want to run Windows 7 and/or 10 on my new iMac.
I'm running Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac now. I haven't used Fusion for a long time. I change VM Fusion to Parallels just due to the interface if i remember correctly. I like its interface and UI.
 

OcelotWreak

macrumors member
Jul 20, 2011
39
7
Canada
I've used Parallels since the first version but recently switched to VMWare Fusion.

When it works, Parallels works just fine. However, I have had several experiences of 'losing' my VM images - twice after OS upgrades, and once during a disaster recovery full disk restore from Time Machine backup. Parallels worked fine, but my VM images just 'could not be found' by Parallels, meaning I had to recreate the VMs from scratch. Now, this may have been through some odd stupidity on my part, but I have 35+ years of IT experience and a fair understanding of the apps, restore and upgrade processes, etc. so my experience in this regard was not 'normal' or expected.

i have no idea if Fusion will be more robust for me going forward, but I decided I was tired of 'surprises' from Parallels.
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,313
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As others have said, in general they are so close that its a matter of subjective preference.

Only thing I will say is if you are doing Windows gaming, use a dual boot into Windows and not screw around with virtual Windows. No matter what may be advertised, virtual on the game front cannot compete with booting into Windows in the greater scheme of types of games.

As for me, I have both. I find I really don't care which one I engage as long as the software that requires Windows runs well enough. I have been familiar with VMware from the workplace so nothing about Fusion really relates all that much to make that a reason to pick Fusion over Parallels. - Just an opinion and completely subjective.
 

happycadaver

macrumors regular
Sep 1, 2012
191
61
Germany
I have switched from Parallels to Fusion as well. Fusion is not as overloaded and feels "smoother". In the matter of performance of the guest OS they are more or less identical.
 

sevoneone

macrumors 6502
May 16, 2010
489
398
Fusion. Others have mentioned it, but I will echo: Fusion is made by VMWare. VMWare is the de facto standard when it comes to virtualization for everything from desktops to large enterprise. At the core of Fusion you are getting the same code to run your install of Windows that is used in their other products to virtualize entire datacenters.

IMO, price being equal, it just makes sense to go with the tool that is proven, trusted and backed by the a large number of industry professionals.
 
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UKgaryb

macrumors regular
Dec 13, 2013
149
62
Manchester, UK
To me, Parallels seems geared to integrating EVERYTHING windows has with OSX... No, I don't want that let it run self contained. I use VMWare for this reason. Also Parallels has a very sketchy history of pushing ads for upgrading into their software. Scumbag company.
 

Oldmanmac

macrumors 6502
Mar 31, 2012
445
14
Edmond, OK
"I started withParallels, then moved to VM Fusion and haven't looked back. I agree the support seems better and have had little/no problems with VM."

Me too. Also, Fusion hasn't been as bad as Parallels on update costs. Which is important to me.
 

Wando64

macrumors 6502a
Jul 11, 2013
645
746
"I started withParallels, then moved to VM Fusion and haven't looked back. I agree the support seems better and have had little/no problems with VM."

Me too. Also, Fusion hasn't been as bad as Parallels on update costs. Which is important to me.
Is it possible to move virtual machines from Parallels to Fusion without having to recreate them from scratch?
 

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