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Parallels 8 and VMware Fusion 5 go head-to-head in benchmark testing

Over the past two weeks, both VMware and Parallels released new versions of their flagship virtualization software for the Mac. First on the scene was VMware Fusion 5 (US$49.99 - $99.99), and last week Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac ($79.99) arrived. Both offer faster performance, compatibility with Mountain Lion and Windows 8, and new features for ease of use. Now MacObserver's Jim Tanous has done a side-by-side comparison of the two virtual machine apps, complete with detailed benchmarks of their performance in a variety of conditions.

Tanous' detailed analysis shows that at least for the current incarnations of these two virtualization applications, Parallels Desktop 8 has the edge in terms of performance. He did see some anomalous results when running benchmarks on Windows 8 under Parallels Desktop 8, and chalked up the "too good to be true" performance figures to the way that Windows 8 is virtualized in Parallels 8.

There are a plethora of charts to illustrate the results, and I suggest that you look at them over at MacObserver. Tanous brings up a final point that "Consumers may not be happy with the yearly paid update cycles, but the fierce competition between Parallels and Fusion has led the market to a mature and capable state and consumers of both products will likely be satisfied with their performance."

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