I use Parallels on my iMac and Macbook Pro. It seems to run fine on my iMac but kind of causes my MBP to become a little sluggish and fans to get pegged. I was speaking with someone that runs several VMWare VMs on their Macbook without any problems at all. They mentioned my MBP should have more than enough resources to handle several VMs.

Does VMWare generally perform outstandingly better than Parallels on Macs?

Here are my machine specs (both running OS X 10.10.3):

iMac 3.2 Ghz Intel Core i5 16GB DDR3 RAM NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M 1024 RAM 500GB SSD w/25GB free space VM is allocated 2GB of RAM

Macbook Pro 2.7 Ghz Intel Core i7 16GB DDR3 RAM Intel HD Graphics 4000 1024 RAM 500GB SSD w/47GB free space VM is allocated 2GB of RAM

  • Please include in your question screenshots/stats on your resource allocation for Parallels on both machines. Also, take a look at this: kb.parallels.com/en/112091 – zerohedge Apr 20 '15 at 6:16

Parallels on Mac has a better performance. It integrates with OS X in a way which is not possible with VMware. I am using parallels with multiple VMs without any problems or sluggishness. I have allocated 3 GB RAM to each VM. Check how many CPU cores you have allocated to your VM.

  • As the user has asked about the performance of VMware compared to Parallels, I have given the correct answer. And also I have explained why. I do not see an one-liner here. – Pratik Apr 20 '15 at 8:57
  • There are 4 CPUs allocated to MBP VM an only 1 to the iMac. I guess that is why the MBP is sluggish? I'll back the MBP down to 1. How many do you allocate? – 4thSpace Apr 20 '15 at 15:50
  • @4thSpace That might be the issue. I allocate maximum 2 as it is sufficient for my need. Unless you are playing 3D games or using heavy graphics applications, there is no need to allocate 4 CPUs. By the way I use a 15" Late 2011 MBP which is older than yours. Also do not allocate more than 4 GB of RAM to each VM to get your Mac running smooth. – Pratik Apr 21 '15 at 1:10
  • Parallels really save my days.. before it I was using VMWare Fusion 8 – bitmind Apr 7 '16 at 17:40

I have run both VMWare & Parallels on 11" MacBook Airs - and on my current 12" MacBook.

(with 2, 4, then 8gb). Then only performance problem I have had - which is ongoing - is when I switch to retina mode in the VM (on my 12").

This is substantially slower - especially on Parallels - often locking up for 5-10 seconds. I don't know if this is a driver thing - or if retina displays just require a lot more horsepower which lower end macs (and even higher end laptops) just don't have.

I may try a new high-end MacBook Pro to see if this fixes it.

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