TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Head-to-Head: Parallels Desktop for Mac vs. VMware Fusion

Volume Number: 26
Issue Number: 01
Column Tag: Virtualization

Head-to-Head: Parallels Desktop for Mac vs. VMware Fusion

How do VMware Fusion 3 and Parallels Desktop 5 for Mac compare?

By Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher

Start | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Footprint Tests

One of the most interesting things in the virtualization market is how little overhead virtualization takes today compared to what it used to. To assess this, we measured in a variety of ways. Specifically, we focused on CPU usage (overall for the Mac), and how long the battery would last. CPU and memory usage were measured using "top" (a command line tool that's part of UNIX with a minimum of 50 continuous samples averaged for the result).

We ran three CPU usage tests. The first test was to boot Windows and let it sit for a few minutes to finish up its startup activities. Once done, CPU use was measured while both the Mac OS X and Windows were sitting idle. The next test studied the same thing except both Microsoft Word and Microsoft Outlook were launched and left sitting idle. The last test explored CPU usage while playing a 720p HD Video in Windows Media Player.

For the two idle tests, both virtualized environments did very, very well with only 2-5% of the CPU being used. So, while one may be 1/4 faster, it's not a significant difference to the user in real terms.

  • CPU use for sitting idle (in %)

    • XP: Parallels Desktop 12.8% less CPU use (0.4% less use, best: 2.95 CPU use)

    • Windows 7: Parallels Desktop 8.6% less CPU use (0.3% less use, best: 2.79 CPU use)

  • CPU use for VM sitting idle with both Word/Outlook (in %)

    • XP: Parallels Desktop 2.9% less CPU use (0.1% less use, best: 4.19% CPU use)

    • Windows 7: Parallels Desktop 22.6% less CPU use (1.2% less use, best: 4.02% CPU use)

  • CPU use for play 720p HD Video (in %)

    • XP: Parallels Desktop 14.8% less CPU use (3.8% less use, best: 21.73% CPU use)

    • Windows 7: Parallels Desktop 17.1% less CPU use (4.7% less use, best: 22.84% CPU use)

Figure 9: Virtual Machine CPU Usage

For the exhaust battery test, we ran an "endless loop" macro in Excel that generated random numbers. When approaching the end of battery, both virtualization products go into a hibernate mode saving off where things are at.

  • Exhaust Battery: Endless Macro in Excel (on MacBook)

    • XP: Parallels Desktop lasted 2% (3 minutes longer for 149 minutes total).

    • Windows 7: Parallels Desktop lasted 0.9% longer (2 minutes longer for 216 minutes total)

  • Exhaust Battery: Endless Macro in Excel (on MacBook Pro)

    • XP: Essentially equal. (For 130 minutes total).

    • Windows 7: Parallels Desktop lasted 3.7% longer (5 minutes longer for 135 minutes total)

Figure 10: Virtualized Machine Battery Performance


Start | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

 
AAPL
$99.18
Apple Inc.
-1.57
GOOG
$568.27
Google Inc.
-9.09
MSFT
$45.90
Microsoft Corpora
-0.46
MacNews Search:
Community Search:

Latest Forum Discussions

See All
view counter

view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter

Banner Saga (Games)
Banner Saga 1.0.17 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0.17 (iTunes) Description: NOTE: The Banner Saga does NOT run on iPhone 4. iPhone 4S and more modern devices recommended. | Read more »
Beatbuddy HD (Games)
Beatbuddy HD 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: **IMPORTANT** Beatbuddy runs only on iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 5, 5c, 5s, iPad 4, iPad Mini Retina and iPad Air. | Read more »
iKeywi - Customizable 5-Row Keyboard (U...
iKeywi - Customizable 5-Row Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Want to add an extra row to your iPhone/iPad? One of the most popular keyboard extension in iOS communication is available on AppStore now!Features:- Extra row for keyboard- Customizable keys- Input... | Read more »
Manage Your Cloud – Wunderlist Now Suppo...
Manage Your Cloud – Wunderlist Now Supports Dropbox Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 1st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Nexticy Review
Nexticy Review By Jennifer Allen on October 1st, 2014 Our Rating: :: IDEAL FORM CREATIONiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Nexticy allows you to make your own forms for research purposes or to organize your business better. It’s very useful.   | Read more »
Tiny Troopers: Alliance Marches onto the...
Tiny Troopers: Alliance Marches onto the App Store Tomorrow Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 1st, 2014 [ permalink ] Tiny Troopers: Alliance, by Kukouri, is a | Read more »
HeroCraft Introduces Unlimited Sequel to...
HeroCraft Introduces Unlimited Sequel to WW2: Sandbox. Strategy & Tactics Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 1st, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
RGB Express Review
RGB Express Review By Jennifer Allen on October 1st, 2014 Our Rating: :: DELIGHTFUL PUZZLINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Guide trucks along their delivery routes in RGB Express, a testing but charming puzzle game.   | Read more »
The Sagas of Fire*Wolf (Games)
The Sagas of Fire*Wolf 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
BuggyFun Review
BuggyFun Review By Amy Solomon on October 1st, 2014 Our Rating: iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad BuggyFun allows children to create their own tracks for bugs to interact with for a unique open-ended experience.   | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.