Parallels Desktop for Mac

Version: 5 || Release Date: 2009-11-04 || License: Commercial with demo ($79.99) Developer: Parallels, Inc. | App Owner: marcus

Parallels Desktop for Mac is the first solution for Intel-Macs that give you the flexibility of running Windows on a Mac seamlessly without rebooting. The upgraded 3.0 version delivers 3D Graphics Support to play the hottest games and run the most popular applications, cross OS application & file integration with SmartSelect, control the levels of integration and isolation with Security Manager and bulletproofing your VMs with SnapShots.

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20 Opinions

Boot camp or Suns free VirtualBox compare well to this.

I'm surprised by the mixed reaction this is getting, it just works.

I've run this at the same time as Photoshop, Illustrator, iTunes, Safari and Coda on my 3ghz iMac with no problems whatsoever.

That said, it's naive to think that you can fork out the money for a Mac, buy Parallels Desktop and think you can run graphics intensive games or heavy 3D modeling programs through it.

Parallels performs well with Windows XP on my new Apple Air. I have tried Fusion but that was confuding for me to switch my windows machine to mac and the only solution was Transporter from Parallels. Also Parallels represent a great integration between OSX and Windows, so I really enjoy it.
As for VMware I can say that their performance on Vista is a bit higher but lack of compatibility and features for me sound bad.
So, I'd stay with Parallels.

Bought version 3 in the recent MUPromo bundle, and am kind of regretting my purchase. I had trialled it a few months ago, but didn't give it a proper shakedown in CPU/graphics-intensive applications, and the performance on my 2.2ghz macbook turns out to be quite poor for most of the things I'd actually want to do with it (games, graphics apps, file-processing utilities). Windows itself behaves sluggishly, using both recommended and maximum memory settings - even dragging an explorer window around has noticeable redraw lag.

There's also significant problems using non-US Macbook keyboards with it. Parallels represents the keyboard to windows as a standard 101-key windows keyboard - but the layout of special characters (e.g. \, |, ", {}) can be very different on the Macbook keyboard. There seems to be no way to tell Windows to use a more appropriate keyboard driver either, as the bootcamp drivers don't match the phony hardware that Parallels presents to the VM. So you'd better have a really good memory of where the special characters are on a full-size 101-key keyboard in your chosen language.

There's quite a few interface niggles too. Parallels can't seem to figure out whether it's a windows app or a mac app - there's egregious OK/Cancel buttons in every dialog, and they even swap positions from window to window. You can't view the configuration settings of a VM without suspending it - and then actually viewing them will automatically shut down the VM from suspend mode, even if you don't modify any settings. Parallels will also let you allocate more memory to a VM than the total memory allocation limit, then refuse to start the VM until you change the total memory limit too. Who wrote a warning dialog for that without it occuring to them to warn the user sooner or just take care of it automatically? Meanwhile, there's a preferences pane for what type of animation to use for full-screen transitions, and even what speed to play the animation at.
For a Mac-only app that's up to version 3, I expected these kind of obvious design errors to have been fixed - it feels like nobody read the HIG.

I also trialled VMWare Fusion a while ago and, while it shares much of the same UI clunkiness, the performance was better in Windows itself and the configuration interface was at least less obstructive. I am looking forward to parallels 4, which I hope will bring better performance and a more mac-like UI sensibility. If it doesn't, then VMWare for me.

Basically, if you're expecting to do anything related to multimedia or graphics, don't use it. As I use 3d animation in my workflow daily, I require a lot of power. Parallels is crap for that. If you need to use lightweight Windows programs, great, it'll work. But anything remotely data-intensive: forget it. And games? If it's been released since 2004 it probably doesn't work well. At all.

This was a bummer for me. $80 down the drain. Reviews had led me to belive that OpenGl worked well on it. Guess what. It doesn't.

I never realized how much Parallels was destroying my system. Even with 2GB of ram in my MacBook, I experienced >600k pageouts and RAM troubles constantly (with 312MB RAM devoted to my windows VM). Translation: constant disk activity and a slow machine. I thought this was just life in the world of virtualization until I tried VMWare Fusion 1.0. much better! I'll have to live without the (actually wonderful) parallels app-sharing for now.

I was so excited about getting 3.0, but I get to the same spot in the installation every time and it freezes. It makes it all the way to installing devices and "WHAM!" it stops, never to move again. I wish I could figure out what's wrong, but the Parallels Desktop Bug Report never gets anyone to contact me and the Parallel Blogs show many people having the same problem.

I'm hoping that I can reverse my dissatisfaction soon.

What can I say, I can't live without it!

How it compares to what? Boot Camp?

has anyone played any GAMES yet? To see how it compares? Thats what I want to know.

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