2015 VM Benchmarks: Parallels 11 vs. Fusion 8 vs. VirtualBox 5
Passmark PerformanceTest 8.0
Similar to PCMark, Passmark PerformanceTest 8.0 is another benchmark that aims to take an overall look at system performance. It measures CPU, 2D graphics, 3D graphics, and memory performance to calculate an overall Passmark rating, which forms the basis of the Passmark benchmark database. Results are reported both as an overall score and as individual scores within each testing category. A higher score equals better performance.
Note that our VirtualBox VM would not initiate ether of the Passmark graphics tests, and crashed during the CPU test, leaving us with little in the way of meaningful results. VirtualBox is therefore omitted from the chart below.
Parallels 11 and Fusion 8 achieve similar scores in all tests except 3D graphics, and this gap is the primary factor in Parallels’ overall score advantage. Unlike some benchmarks that end immediately if the system being tested fails or cannot complete a certain part of the benchmark, the Passmark test will allow the benchmark process to continue and merely penalize the score of the system in the failed or incomplete test. In the case of the Passmark 3D graphics test, the Fusion 8 VM wouldn’t enable anti-aliasing when the test called for it, and so Passmark downgraded Fusion’s score, which is the main cause of the difference.
It should be noted that Passmark PerformanceTest also includes a disk test, but we have excluded it from these charts due to an issue that incorrectly deflates disk performance in Boot Camp and our observation of wild inconsistencies in the disk numbers reported for our virtual machines with, for example, one test reporting a result five times higher than a subsequent test, even when all efforts were made to disable or minimize OS caching that could interfere with the test. For this reason, we feel that the Passmark PerformanceTest disk benchmark is unreliable for testing purposes, and we’ve therefore omitted it from our result chart. Those interested in disk performance can check out our dedicated File Transfer testing on page 10.
Table of Contents
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9. Video Encoding
10. File Transfers
11. USB 3.0 Speed
12. Virtual Machine Management
13. Battery Life
14. Mac Pro: Gaming
15. Mac Pro: CPU