Parallels Desktop And VMWare Fusion Compared
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story
MacTech Magazine has posted a new article detailing recent benchmark testing of Parallels Desktop and VMWare Fusion running on Intel based macs. Comparing performance on MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models the tests covered performance, differences running Windows XP and Windows 7, the impact of multiple processors, and comparisons of 64 vs 32 bit.
GamesClick over to the links below to read the full report.
MacTech Magazine: Virtualization Benchmarks
One of the most frequent questions that we were asked after our last virtualization benchmarks was "What about games?" The 3DMark06 testing did give us good insight and excellent data, but we also wanted to try some games and see how they worked.
Devil May Cry 4:
Devil May Cry 4 is the fourth in the Devil May Cry series of action games by CAPCOM. In the game, you fight enemies in close combat using firearms, swords, and other weapons. High speed, high action.
We looked at Devil May Cry 4 (from DVD, not Steam) in part because it has some very nicely reproducible frames per second (FPS) tests built in. But ultimately, we dropped this game from the benchmark results. While each of the virtualization environments performed better in terms of FPS at times (e.g., sometimes Parallels Desktop was faster, and sometimes VMware Fusion was faster), FPS really didn't matter here because the displayed result was nowhere near comparable.
While I'd like to see smoother graphics (e.g., faster FPS), Parallels Desktop was quite playable, and the game worked well.
Under VMware Fusion however, Devil May Cry 4, at best, was a struggle to run. The VMware Fusion machine was often unresponsive, loading time for the game was very, very long (several times longer than Parallels Desktop), and even quitting the application under VMware Fusion took several minutes. Most importantly, VMware Fusion did not render many things properly (see the startup screen capture below as an example) which in our mind made the FPS test irrelevant.
Portal is an incredibly enticing "action/puzzle" game developed by Valve Software. As described by Valve, "The game is designed to change the way players approach, manipulate, and surmise the possibilities in a given environment: players must solve physical puzzles and challenges by opening portals to maneuvering objects, and themselves, through space."
After installing the game through Steam, we tested the game by measuring frames per second while running a consistent demo mode.
In short, the speed difference in FPS was noticeably faster in Parallels Desktop when compared to VMware Fusion. As expected, both environments took advantage of the extra graphics hardware of the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro, but Parallels took greater advantage of it.
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