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Parallels 11 Benchmarks vs. Parallels 10 and Boot Camp

Posted by Jim Tanous on August 20, 2015
parallels 11 benchmarks

parallels 11 benchmarks 3dmark06 header

3DMark06

3DMark06 is an old benchmark. No, seriously, it’s so old that creator Futuremark recommends that you don’t even use it anymore because it wasn’t designed to handle today’s latest and greatest graphics technologies. So why is it in our Parallels 11 benchmarks suite? Well, it may still have some value for comparative purposes between the different versions of Parallels, but it’s really here as preparation for the next VM Benchmark Showdown when VMware Fusion 8 is released. That’s because the current version of Fusion, Fusion 7, only supports DirectX 9, and we’re not sure if DirectX 10 support will be included in the next update.

Update: We want to clarify that last statement, because we didn’t word it correctly. The current “Technology Preview” builds of VMware Fusion do list support for DirectX 10 and OpenGL 3.3. We haven’t tested the latest release, which was made available in late July, but as of the prior Technology Preview build, we couldn’t get games and benchmarks to recognize the DirectX 10 support. While we also assume that the current Technology Preview track will form the basis of the final “Fusion 8” release, we can’t be sure if all features will be included, or if DirectX 10 will work as advertised. Therefore, until we have the final verison of Fusion 8 in our hands, we need to prepare for a scenario in which accurate DirectX 10 comparisons won’t be possible.

Therefore, as a DirectX 9 benchmark, 3DMark06 is one of the few tools that we can use to compare GPU performance between Parallels and Fusion, although some may argue that Parallels wins automatically based on the fact that it supports DirectX 10 at all.

Moving to the benchmark, 3DMark06, like its successors, attempts to test both raw graphics power in addition to combined graphics and CPU capabilities. In the chart below, “Overall” is the combined score best used for comparative purposes, while “SM2.0” indicates the graphics-heavy Shader Model 2.0 tests, and HDR/SM3.0 is a combined graphics and CPU test.

parallels 11 benchmarks 3dmark06

As we teased in the previous section, Parallels 11 doesn’t provide any results worthy of writing home about, with numbers virtually equalling Parallels 10 and falling far short of native performance in all but the CPU-related tests.

Table of Contents

[one_half padding=”0 5px 20px 0″]
1. Introduction
2. Parallels 11 Feature Overview
3. Hardware, Software, and Testing Methodology
4. Geekbench
5. 3DMark (2013)
6. 3DMark06
7. Cinebench R15
[/one_half]

[one_half_last padding=”0 0px 20px 5px”]
8. PCMark 8
9. Passmark PerformanceTest 8.0
10. x264 Encoding
11. x265 Encoding
12. File Transfers
13. Virtual Machine Management
14. Conclusions
[/one_half_last]

8 thoughts on “Parallels 11 Benchmarks vs. Parallels 10 and Boot Camp”

Asheesh says:
Hi Jim! Thanks for the detailed article however.

I have bought a Macbook Pro (i7, 16 GB, 500 GB) and have got a Parallels free. I want to use MS Visio and Project which only run on Windows. I wanted to check if there would be considerable difference in performance if i were to use in MS Visio and Project on Parallels, instead of using Boot Camp?
Also, i am planning to buy the Office 2016. Should i be buying the Mac Version or the Windows version (that has Access and a couple of other softwares at the same price ) and run it on Parallels?
Much appreciate your guidance.

Reply
Jarrel Benedict says:
Hi! I’ve used Visio on both Boot Camp and Parallels and there aren’t substantial performance difference although it appears to run a little (and I mean a little) faster on Boot Camp (probably because Boot Camp utilizes all of the Mac hardware–RAM, CPU–at its disposal. For the Office Suite, I recommend the Windows version. It comes with more software and features. You can search for a spec comparison of the different versions of Office 2016 to see the difference among them.
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wimver says:
I’ve been a Parallels 9 user and was about to upgrade to VMWare Fusion 8 after reading several reviews. Also because I did not like it I had to pay to upgrade my Parallels license if I wanted to upgrade Mac OS to OS X El Captain… I don’t like this kind of “you have to”‘s. So I was holding my credit card ready in my hand, ready to pay for Fusion 8. Especially with their Parallels to VMWare upgrade offering. But I thought: let’s try it fist; so I installed the trial of Fusion 8… This was so disappointing for me… First I imported the existing Parallels virtual machine and converted it which went really smooth. But then… Starting up time: disappointing by all means. I first thought: OK, maybe VMWare tools have to be installed first; but no: even after rebooting several times: boot-up time kept on being disappointing. Then… opening a Visual Studio project: disappointing. I’m not even talking about compiling some code: very disappointing. It just took so much much much longer time then it did in Parallels 9! So now; I just upgrade to Parallels 11: I love it! Boot-up time, Visual Studio performance, … I love it. It’s even better than Parallels 9. The only thing I don’t love is that I had to upgrade. But for my point of view it’s obvious: Parallels beats VMWare Fusion.
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Yiannis Tsentas says:
How to Install Windows 10 from iso on old MacBook running El Capitan

http://tsentas.net/install-windows-10-from-iso-on-old-macbook-running-el-capitan/

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Simon Cook says:
I’m not upgrading Parallels any more. I’ve always done it begrudgingly as they withhold updating old versions for new OS compatibility so if you stay current with your OS X installation you are forced to upgrade every two years. But now they have reduced the capability on Parallels Desktop 11 with only 8GB VMs to try to force users to an expensive subscription model, it is the last straw for me and I’ll be switching to VMWare. I run Revit for uni and it is useless with 8GB of RAM and as a student being forced to a pro subscription edition is outrageous.
Reply
Bob Kresek says:
WARNING BEFORE UPGRADING. In the past, Parallels would allow a limited number of activations on one license, such that you could install it on your desktop and laptop. They have changed that policy with Parallels 11, so that you only get one computer activation per license. So if you have multiple computers, you might want to hold off as long as possible before upgrading unless you want to purchase a license for each machine. I have heard that VMware allows three machines per license, so you might want to look at that before purchasing Parallels.
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batmobil says:
Great feature, thorough and interesting. I have been using Parallels 10 for a long time, and I did notice the performance increase in Parallels 11 during regular usage (Windows 7/64 on MacBook Pro i7/16GB RAM early 2015), so the improvements translates to more than just numbers. 🙂
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WillCroPoint says:
Don’t you think that the Parallels 11 “graphics engine” may be optimized for Metal and might get quite better results on El Capitan?
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TekRevue says:
It’s possible, but I think they would have pointed that out in either their marketing materials or press briefing. Either way, we’ll definitely test Parallels 11 further on the final version of 10.11 and publish results if they’re notably different.
Reply

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