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Benchmarks: Parallels Desktop Version 6 versus Version 7

Several members of the tech-recipes team are huge fans of the Parallels virtualization software. Each time we upgrade to the latest version, we all hold our collective breaths that we are going to get some speed improvements. With the release of Parallels 7, we benchmarked to explore any performance gains in this latest version.

If you follow tech-recipes, you already know that we enjoy benchmarks. If new versions are loaded down with new features, often performance sags instead of improves. As our Parallels 5 vs 6 benchmark demonstrated, prior upgrades have shown performance boosts in addition to additional features. Will this upgrade do as well?

Interestingly enough, the claims for thi new version did not stress direct performance gains like previous versions. However, several performance-based features are highlighted such as better Lion support, more available graphics memory, and better 64-bit implementation.

Once again we used the standard benchmarking program 3dMark06 for our tests.

Virtual Testing System:

Processor: Intel Core i7-2820QM CPU @ 2.3GHz
Memory: 2048 MB
Video Memory: 256MB
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Overall Results:

Version 7 (Version 6) Percent Change

3DMark Score: 7,459 (6,653)    +12%
SM2.0 Score: 2,845 (2,805)    +1.4%
HDR/SM3.0 Score: 3,078 (2,386)    +29%
CPU Score: 3,113 3,107    +0.1%

SM2.0 GT1: 21.9 fps (21.9 fps)    +0%
SM2.0 GT2: 25 fps (24.8 fps)    +0.7%

SM3.0 HDR1 - Canyon Flight: 29.952 fps (22.152 fps)    +35.2%
SM3.0 HDR2 - Deep Freeze: 31.6 fps (25.57 fps)    +23.6%

I repeated the tests multiple times with various alias and filter settings. The improvements demonstrated above remained within 1-2 percentage points.

Additionally, I pulled out the specific frames per seconds details for the Shader Model game scores as a practical example. Just like the previous upgrade, all the improvement in gaming improvements will be seen in games using SD3.0. Older games using SD2.0 (or below) once again are unlikely to see any additional improvement. However, a 20-35% improvement in frames per second is a worthwhile bump up SD 3.0 games.

David Kirk
David Kirk
David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
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