updated 05:45 pm EDT, Thu August 16, 2007
Fusion vs. Parallels
In a new set of benchmarks comparing SWsoft's Parallels Desktop 3.0 for Mac, Apple's Boot Camp 1.3 Beta, CrossOver Mac 6.0 from CodeWeavers and VMware's Fusion, Boot Camp (as a native Windows environment) unsurprisingly shows the best performance overall, but VMWare's Fusion shows a dramatic advantage over other virtualization solutions, including Parallels. The tests, performed on an eight-core, 2.66GHz Mac Pro running Mac OS X 10.4.10, show VMware completing a set of multimedia multitasking routines in about a quarter of the time of Parallels; 874 seconds vs. 3,260 seconds. Photoshop CS3 performance was almost twice as fast under Fusion relative to Parallels Desktop, completing a series of tasks in 271 seconds vs. 516 seconds.
One of Fusion's primary advantages in the test is that it takes advantage of two CPU cores, while Parallels only takes advantage of one.
We recently published an in-depth look at Fusion along with commentary from Pat Lee, product manager of at VMware. Lee said that VMware generates "less overhead, and puts less strain on your Mac than other solutions." Lee also said that only VMware supports more than 1.5GB of RAM in a virtual machine (in fact, it supports up to 8GB).
Designed to rival Parallels' "Cohesion" functionality, VMware's Unity let's users run Windows applications like Mac applications. They can be minimized to the Dock, and adhere to other Mac-compliant application standards. You can also drag and drop files from the Finder to a Windows app running under Unity. For instance, if you are running Outlook in Windows, you can drag an attachment to into a newly created email message.