MacTech Publishes Major Report on Virtualization with Benchmarks

MacTech Magazine published a major research report on Wednesday comparing the results of Windows XP and Vista running MS Office apps on a PC, on a Mac in Boot Camp, under Parallels Desktop and under VMware Fusion.

Neil Ticktin, the publisher and editor-in-chief of MacTech magazine summarized the work:

  • Over 2,500 tests performed to measure Windows on Mac solutions
  • Compares Boot Camp, Parallels, and VMware Fusion
  • Tests include baseline PC, MacBook, MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro
  • Tests compare Windows XP and Vista
  • Tests focus on Microsoft Office 2007, File IO, IE, and cross-platform integration multi-step tasks between Mac/Windows apps

The full report bears reading for its thoroughness. Here are some excerpts from the conclusion:

Boot Camp, VMware Fusion and Parallels are all very good, each in their own way. You should make your decisions based on what your needs are as a result....

If you want a virtualization product (that allows you to run Windows alongside Mac OS X), and you want the best performance for the types of things that we tested, then clearly you need to run XP and not Vista. Furthermore, in our tests, both VMware Fusion and Parallels performed well, and were a good user experience. That said, Parallels was somewhat faster in general than VMware Fusion for XP.

If you want the best virtualization performance for Vista, then VMware Fusion is your choice. And, if you want to keep your Mac OS X and Windows environments completely separate, VMware Fusionis design may be your better choice.... If your goal is tight integration between one or more Windows applications and Mac OS X, Parallels is the clear winner when running either XP or Vista. And, as we said before, if you want the best XP performance with the types of applications tested here, Parallels is not only faster than VMware Fusion, but itis faster than Boot Camp on average for the applications that we tested.

The full report is on the MacTech Website.