Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, OS, Switchers Like it or not, lots of us who own Intel-based Macs have to run Windows from time to time. Although Boot Camp is pretty fantastic if you need to run a processor intensive application (or you want to play games), virtualization is the more attractive solution for users who need to access productivity applications, like Microsoft Office 2007, but don’t want to have to live in the Windows environment. The two big players in the virtualization field are VMWare’s Fusion and Parallels’ Parallels. Both applications let you install a Windows XP or Vista virtual machine on your Intel Mac without having to leave OS X, both offer a level of integration between the two operating systems and both retai for $79.99 (USD). So, which virtualization program is the fastest? Well, that’s what MacTech attempted to find out in their exhaustive benchmarking trials, comparing Fusion 1.0 (build 51348), Parallels 3.0 (build 5160) and Boot Camp head-to-head-to-head in a variety of different computing tasks.So what’s the bottom line? Because of how the software if designed to integrate between the two platforms, Parallels came out ahead in many of MacTech’s tests. For certain more processor heavy uses, VMWare, thanks to its ability to take advantage of both cores, came out the best. For networking performance, Boot Camp was king. While I found the benchmarking tests very interesting - and useful - prospective buyers should be aware that in the middle of MacTech’s testing procedure, all three Windows options for OS X were upgraded. With the release of Leopard, Boot Camp came out of beta and VMWare is now at version 1.1 and Parallels was updated on December 5 to build 5582. I know just from my own unscientific experience, Fusion 1.1 improved significantly in speed and overall performance from version 1.0 and while I was a big fan of Parallels under Tiger, I have “switched” to Fusion for Leopard.Trial-versions are available for both programs. Remember that in order to use Windows XP or Vista, you need a valid user license.Thanks, Rich.Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments