VMware Fusion vs Parallels Desktop 3

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Locker, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Locker macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2007
    Staffordshire, UK
    I'll be purchasing my brand new 24" iMac in the next few days (as soon as the Leopard date is announced so I can hopefully claim a free upgrade). In preparation, I was looking to buy Parallels Desktop 3. However, having now seen VMware Fusion I'm torn between the two. From what I understand Parallels offers a few more features but VMware is perhaps more stable and offers dual core support?

    For the purpose of running windows-only programs, some which may be quite intensive, which should I go for?
  2. blackslayer macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2007
    I will use parallel instead of vm fusion for now. ;)
  3. foxxlet macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2006
    London, UK
    I've looked at both programs quite closely - I've been using parallels for about 10 months now, and Fusion for about 1 and a half. To be honest, theres not much in it. Both run the fairly intensive programs I use at a completely acceptable speed (on my macbook 2 ghz and my mac pro 2.8). Just make sure you have enough memory to give the virtual machine at least a gig of ram and still have enough left for your mac apps.

    I don't want to play 3d games on a virtual machine so I haven't even bothered testing the 3d stuff.

    My advice, buy the cheapest one on the day you decide to get it!
  4. Locker thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2007
    Staffordshire, UK
    The feature I'll be using the most is Coherence (Parallels)/Unity (VMWare). I've been doing a little more re-search and it seems that Unity is better than Coherence, offering more stability and easier access for launching windows applications in this mode.

    Does anyone know where I can get these packages from within the UK, at the cheapest possible price? Apple's online store offers Parallels for £49.99, obviously more than the $79.99 you'd have to pay if you bought direct from Parallels own site.
  5. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    I prefer Parallels for right now.

    With my iMac set up, I have an external 15 inch LCD (1024x768). So I start Parallels in Window mode. Drag it over to the external LCD. Then select Full Screen mode.

    So my iMac is my Mac and the external is my PC. Works great.
  6. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    Personally I prefer Fusion...its slower at getting the features, but in my opinion its more solid, and runs noticeably faster...
  7. murfle macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2007
    I agree with psychofreak... VMWare is more solid, and they made the beta's and release candidates free. Parallels has a horrible business model, lack of responsive support, and seem to be more interested in getting people to pay for beta software, by calling it a release.
  8. bigandy macrumors G3


    Apr 30, 2004
    VMWare on my web servers, VMWare on our clusters at work, VMWare on my MBP at home :)

    Parallels is pretty, but VMWare is... well, VMWare. Rock solid.
  9. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    ^^ My experience has been just the opposite.

    For my needs, Parallels has been great. It works well and is stable. I use Parallels in OS Window or Full Screen mode. I don't use coherence mode so I don't know about how it works in that mode. But for the other two, it works great for Microsoft Office and other standard applications.

    I recently tried VMWare on a trial basis and was disappointed compared to Parallels.

    My advice to the OP, is try both and see which one your prefer.
  10. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    My vote goes to Parallels. Fusion crashes on me and Parallels doesn't. Parallels also feels a wee bit faster to me.
  11. user13 macrumors regular


    Dec 22, 2006
    I raise both hands for Parallels - a very good app! I like everything about it. Works fast and is very reliable.
    And, BTW, sushi, great avatar!!! My mouth waters:)
  12. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    VMware has been in the virtualization business for quite some time now. I would think they have the better product. I've tried both, and I do like Fusion a lot better.
  13. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
  14. Lyle macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2003
    Madison, Alabama
    I'm still using Parallels 2.5 because I didn't have any good reason to upgrade to version 3.0, and on the whole it has worked well for me. murfle is right about the support issue, however; my observation has been that Parallels technical support is almost non-existent, and you have to rely heavily on the user-to-user support forums.

    I did try VMware Fusion while it was in Beta, and it also worked well for me. But it wasn't so obviously better that I wanted to buy a license for it (since I already had a license for Parallels).

    And yeah, regardless of which one you go with, make sure to have plenty of RAM. At least 2Gb, maybe more if you can afford it. It absolutely makes a difference.
  15. thestaton macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2006
    Another Vote for me. I've been using Parallels for over a year and it's a nice app and it works, but it seems sluggish.

    VM Ware is straight to the point and man it flys compared Parallels.
  16. powz macrumors regular

    Apr 24, 2007
    I've tried both, and I would highly recommend VMWare Fusion. Parallels slowed down my whole system when I ran it, while Fusion worked much more seamlessly. Parallels may have a larger feature set (for now), but for the "core" feature of running Windows programs in OS X, VMWare is much better.

    Also, you may want to try both when you get your new iMac to see for yourself. Both Parallels and VMWare offer free trials (check their websites).
  17. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    Another vote for VM Ware. Seems more responsive on my Mac.

    Good we have the competition though, keeps both companies on their toes, which in the end is good for users.
  18. mykq32 macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2007
    whenever i run vmware my mb gets really hot. is it bc i have only 1 gig of ram? am i suppose to do something in the settings?
  19. GNice macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2007
  20. mm1250 macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2007
    I'm running VMware 1.1 RC using Leopard and it runs like a champ. I have it setup with my Bootcamp partition. The best feature is Unitiy making windows apps run seemless in Mac OS X.

    While the may be a few features behind from parallels, they are hands down the best virtuallization company in the business hands down.
  21. SilentCrs macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2006
    VMware because they've been around for years and practically invented the current virtualization business model.

    Their code has been written and rewritten repeatedly over the years and is rock solid. They have actual academics working on tangible virtualization challenges and writing white papers, instead of a bunch of guys in a eastern Europe garage writing code (no offense to eastern Europeans). They have knowledgeable support personnel and their products are used in datacenters around the world. Not to mention, Fusion works great.

    In my opinion, the people who run Parallels are either doing it because a) they started with it and are too lazy to switch or b) they somehow feel it's worth supporting the company simply because they ported to Mac first. I think either is an invalid reason to keep using an inferior product.
  22. sixth macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2006
    I am running VMware with my Bootcamp partition. I will NEVER go back to Parallels. I have BEEN running VMware since the very FIRST beta, gotta admit, they know what they are doing.

    Run VMware on all my servers, there is a reason why they have a great product, they know what they are doing.
  23. illustratorDavi macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2004
    North Yorkshire
    Anyone using an OEM version with VM Fusion ?

    I'm upgrading to Leopard and want to blank my hard disc and start again (with a new activation code from microsoft i expect)

  24. sasdaman macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2009
    Battle, East Sussex UK
    Product choice from Apple Employee

    I spoke with an Apple customer service representative before I purchased my iMac. We discussed using either fusion or parallel!? He recommended fusion all day long for it's seemless integration with the desktop using (unity) mode. He also mentioned it performed better over all!

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