Review: Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac

Parallels has released 7: Whenever a new Apple Mac operating system brings to the market, pushing behind the virtualization professionals with a new version of Parallels Desktop, expensive new or upgrade license included. Meanwhile angelagt with version 7, has to Parallels users ask more than ever, whether he needs any foreign operating systems or software on the Mac.
Because the software selection is thanks to the increasing popularity of Apple computers and software sales grew the app store model in the past 24 months clearly – there are hardly any programs that do not exist in one form or another Mac version. Even the times when Windows converts were necessarily depend on virtual machines are almost over, and just in case there are – in addition to Boot Camp – yes, even the free VirtualBox, which basically provides the same functionality as Parallels available .

Who needs it
Who needs more then that is Parallels Desktop? All those who do not want to use for the Mac available software solutions, without sacrificing the comfort Mac. Gamers looking to play on OS X for Windows PCs certain games without starting over each time the computer. And last but not least all those users who need safe and compact entire computer networks with different operating systems on a Mac so developers and administrators. For all three groups, Parallels Desktop 7 over the competition and previous versions, one clear advantage: Parallels 7 now allows the virtualization of Mac OS X, but only under Lion Lion. Parallels 7 was also accelerates according to the developers and will massively-suited to play than ever. But what does this mean in practice?

OS X as a virtual machine
Parallels Desktop 7 works on Snow Leopard and Lion, Lion-only users will enjoy the new OS X virtualization: With the help of the Recovery partition on the new Mac system, we can finally connect the normal desktop version of OS X a virtual machine. This is made possible by a change in the licensing model of the Apple operating system, while ensuring that it can not be virtualized on Snow Leopard Lion, just as Snow Leopard or older Mac OS X versions below Lion. As in previous versions, but it is still possible that much more expensive OS X Server editions of 10.5 and 10.6 to virtualize.

The restriction ensures that the idea of ​​a virtual Macs basically only for power users is interesting to establish a secure environment for testing purposes Lion Lion on a system. Average consumer, which is about the use of older, under Lion by eliminating Rosetta no longer executable software, looking into the tube. Try also the Lion of the window on a Mac using the older OS X 10.6 is not possible, so that the function for the majority of users who are not software hobbyist, really useful free. Parallels away doing an excellent selling point. After all, OS X works very round in the window, especially after installing Parallels Tools, which is now also available for guest systems running OS X.

Significant acceleration
Otherwise it will look at the virtualization of other operating systems, especially Windows: will stop virtual machines from the previous version adopted easily, then the performance gain shows already on startup of the virtual Windows system, which starts much faster than it was sixth under Parallels Desktop Especially users of 64-bit versions of Windows will benefit greatly from switching to the 64-bit technology in OS X Lion. What previously worked poorly on Snow Leopard runs more than right now to even weaker hardware largely liquid. Particularly impressive is the significantly improved speed of Coherence function, unlike in previous version of Parallels to switch quickly between windows and the use of Coherence, Windows programs to run around and finally on less powerful systems. However, memory is a must: With less than four gigabytes of RAM in the Mac Parallels will quickly become all-encompassing system, brakes, because they require Windows and Mac OS X at least two gigabytes. SSD is also recommended as a system disk to get the most out of a Parallels VM.


Also, Parallels Desktop for players 7 is a real treat: The virtual graphics memory can now be up to one gigabyte, which of course is only useful when high performance graphics hardware is used on the host system. Unfortunately that is built only in the more expensive Apple-lines, so the gaming capabilities of the host Windows stops right there, where the power limit of the Mac is. Modern Windows games firecrackers that have not already run into some bootcamp will rise under Parallels, of course, hardly to new performance heights. Nevertheless, the system performance significantly better served by the virtual machine in Parallels than it was six, which is also apparent.

Many small improvements
The installation routine for guest systems has been revised, now provides a wizard to automatically correct basic hardware settings for each operating system. This course can be changed later. Also new is the convenience store in which users Windows Parallels software and Windows order themselves.

Overall, Parallels Desktop 7 significantly faster and more comfortable than its predecessor. That’s not very fair upgrade from version 6 is worthwhile only for gamers and power users, the Lion virtualize or want to work with multiple VMs. Users of older versions of Parallels, which often use a virtualization should definitely think about an upgrade. An upgrade option is new with Release 5

You can grab it for $79.99 ($49.99 upgrade) from or Apple stores now. You can also get a free trial from


4 comments on “Review: Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac

  1. I cannot understand why one should soil, tarnish, the wonderful Mac with Windows in any shape.
    If one procure a Mac – isn´t the reason to free oneself from Windows??? Why, then, take the trouble of having Windows as a part of the Mac hard-disc? That must by crazy!
    I have used Windows, all versions, more than 20 years! And – I am really happy now being a Mac user! 😀

    • I’ve used Windows, but I noticed that Mac is better. That moved me to buy a MacBook Pro. But some Windows programs are not available for the Mac, so I needed a virtualization software like Parallels Desktop.

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