When comparing VMWare Fusion vs Parallels Desktop, the Slant community recommends VMWare Fusion for most people. In the question“What is the best VM applications for Mac?” VMWare Fusion is ranked 2nd while Parallels Desktop is ranked 3rd.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Fast, reliable, flexible
Pro Seamless or Isolated Modes
These modes are fantastic and allow the user to choose what kind of environment the operating system runs in.
Pro Lots of administrative features
VMWare Fusion supports accessible network devices, limiting USB device connectivity, adjusting memory configuration and encryption of VMs.
Pro Can create powerful Virtual Machines
VMWare Fusion can create VMs with up to 16 CPUs, 10 network adapters, 8TB disks, and 64GB of RAM.
Pro Performance comparable to Parallels
VMWare Fusion has the best-in-class multi-core performance and trails slightly to Parallels in single-core and memory tests.
Pro Best-in-class gaming performance
Compared to other VMs, Parallels has the best gaming performance. Still, a good framerate can only be achieved with games that have very low resource requirements. A much better option for resource intensive games is dual booting Windows (via Boot Camp).
Pro Easy to use
Parallels has an easy to learn and use UI. All important features are wizard based. It requires only a few clicks for the wizard to download and set up the latest Chrome OS, Windows or Linux build.
Pro Can run Windows apps as native OS X apps
Parallels has a "Coherence View" mode that allows running Windows applications as if they were native OS X apps. In this mode Windows is virtualized in background and Windows features like Jump Lists, Taskbar, Start Menu, etc can be embedded directly within OS X.
Pro Best integration ever
Con Performance comparable to Parallels
Con It's not free
VMware Fusion is a proprietary software that costs $79.99, although it is very good.
Con Gaming performance is lacking
VMWare Fusion's gaming performance is slightly below that of Parallels Desktop.
Con Very expensive
Parallels upgrades are very expensive. Even if I bough several versions of Parallels I will switch back to free VirtualBox as they even "invented" the Pro version - mainly doubled the price you have to pay each year to have the software updated.
Con Can't import OVA files
OVA files are useful because they include all of its supporting files. Unfortunately, Parallels doesn't support these useful files.
Con Requires buying a new version of the software with each new OS X release
Chances are that the same version of Parallels won't work with different OS X releases, requiring a separate purchase of Parallels for each OS X version.
Con Home edition doesn't work with Vagrant or Docker Machine
Make sure you purchase the Pro edition (the subscription) if you need command-line access to the hypervisor.
Con Can't export OVA files
One you use parallel you get trapped into a proprietary format.
Can't share disk blocks on two unrelated virtual machines (KSM for disk) too.