Parallels Desktop 5 Boosts Performance, More

| Product News

Parallels announced the immediate availability of Parallels Desktop 5 for the Mac on Wednesday. The new version of the OS virtualization application offers up to a three times performance improvement, and video performance that's up to seven times better compared to previous versions of the application.

Parallels Desktop is an application that runs additional operating systems, such as Windows and Linux, along side Mac OS X. Users can open and use applications in Mac OS X and OSes running in the Parallels Desktop virtual environments, and share data between the apps as if they were all running natively in Mac OS X.

Parallels Desktop 5

Version 5 includes trackpad gesture support, support for eight virtual CPUs, Aero and Aero Flip 3D support in Windows 7, OpenGL 2.1 for Windows WDDM and DirectX 9Ex support, copy and paste for Linux, and the ability to copy and paste text and graphics between operating systems with formatting intact. Virtual machine sizes are automatically optimized through the new Parallels Compressor feature, and virtual machines automatically pause when Windows applications aren't running.

The new version also include full multi-monitor support, a Crystal mode that hides the Windows interface when using Windows apps, the ability to completely hide Mac OS X when running Windows applications, 64-bit Windows and 64-bit Snow Leopard support, and more.

Parallels Desktop 5 for the Mac is priced at US$79.99 and includes a one-year subscription to Parallels Internet Security 2009, Acronis Disk Director Suite 10, and Acronis True Image Home 2010. Upgrades cost $49.99, or are free for customers that purchased Parallels Desktop 4 on or after October 1, 2009.



I hope it improves performance with Windows 7. I have side by side comparisons of XP and 7 running under Parallels 4 and so far, XP is winning hands down in performance. (never installed Vista, won’t touch it)

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I can’t wait to try this. I’ve run Parallels on my Mac Mini since before it was cool. I don’t run it on my MacBook Pro, which is my main machine since I usually work away from my desk. I may try again on the MBP and see if performance is where it needs to be.


Win 7 is fast, as is it’s “up conversion” to the new format. Can’t say the same for the XP version. It’s stuck in some sort of limbo right now as it HOPEFULLY completes the up conversion. I had to force crash it once and restart.


I love how Parallels “invites” you to beta test, then charges you $49.95 to upgrade after it’s too late to go back to the previous version without major hassles.

Laurie Fleming

It definitely looks good, but continually BSODed. Thus is a known issue apparently and can be fixed by only running on a single processor. I look forward to their fixing this, but in truth it doesn’t seem to affect performance much. 

The graphics drivers have had a boost: it’s now possible to run Aeon, if that’s your thing.

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