Windows on Mac Benchmarked: Boot Camp vs. Parallels vs. Fusion

Illustration for article titled Windows on Mac Benchmarked: Boot Camp vs. Parallels vs. Fusion

The three methods for running Windows on a Mac (Boot Camp, Parallels and Fusion) have been around for a while, but Mactech's numbers seem to be the first we've seen on how the three stack up on Leopard. The results weren't that surprising.


Boot Camp won out for overall speed, where Parallels won for virtualization (running Windows at the same time as Macs) performance. VMWare Fusion, on the other hand, "wins" by keeping your OS X and Window environments separate, which isn't really a feature but more of a lack of a feature—Parallels does a much better and faster job cross-integrating applications and documents. But if you're into keeping up the wall between the two operating systems, there's an option for you. [MacTech]



From personal experience, I'd say Parallels is just more convenient, especially when setting up systems for casual users.

I've installed a few Macs with Parallels and XP because that's what an employer had decided on and bought licenses for.

It's a neat program, crashes are fairly few, and cross-platform integration (opening PDFs from the XP virtual drive with Previews on the Mac desktop) is pretty smooth.

Parallels snapshot feature also worked like a charm on a few borked machines (there's no end to what some people can mess up).

VMWare is just more tweak-able overall. If you know what you're doing, you can probably get better performance out of Fusion. The tweaking part is the part that matters, though. Not an option for most casual users.

A word of warning, though, especially if Parallels with a Windows virtual machine is run on less spec-heavy machines (like a standard MacBook): Forget about working on both the VM and the Mac desktop at the same time (like using MS Office on one and OpenOffice on the other). Parallels eats relatively more resources than a regular system would. OSX will quickly grind to a halt.

Coherence mode doesn't help, either.