September 20, 2007 ·
As I've blogged in the past, I like Parallels Desktop for Mac a lot. I relied very heavily on it for a while. But then I bought Vista and it ran like a dog on Parallels. So I switched to VMware Fusion. Parallels just released build 5160 which they claim is faster, uses fewer resources and adds interleaved Windows / Mac windows and the ability to use Expose etc while Parallels is in the foreground (all minor reasons that contributed to my switch to VMware). Well, their claims are definitely true: Parallels 3.0 5160 is much improved in terms of both performance and usability and it would almost be enough to switch me back from VMware. Almost... because whilst performance has improved, it hasn't improved enough. Parallels still uses about twice as much CPU as VMware when Windows is "idle". That's definitely better than it was and all existing Parallels users should definitely upgrade. The Parallels Transporter is a very impressive way to import an entire PC - or even another virtual machine - into a new Parallels VM. I commented that I'd tweaked Vista pretty heavily to get it to perform well on Parallels so to compare apples to apples, I used the Transporter to import my VMware Vista image into Parallels and it worked flawlessly although Vista then insisted it was on new hardware and now it wants to be activated again (I went through this when I switched from Parallels to VMware - see my previous blog entry!). Overall, Parallels is still the slicker product (now that Expose and interleaved windows are implemented) because the controls and preferences are more sophisticated and, if you need it, it has unlimited snapshot / restore functionality. The downsides are that the performance just isn't as tight and the 3D / graphics support is still lacking (the Vista Windows Experience Index process will not run at all on Parallels - it does run on VMware).