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Parallels 4 – Offers More for Mac CAD/3D Users

Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac Opens Up More Windows and Linux CAD and 3D Applications to Mac Users


Parallels has a great slogan on their website but I’m not sure they officially have it as their slogan. It reads…”The programs you need. The computer you want.”

For many years the dilemma of not having a key program run on the Mac has been the bane of existence for many a CAD or 3D software user. But since Apple went to Intel and since Intel brought out support of virtualization to its desktop processors (…for years IBM and big-iron boys have been doing this using specialized and very expensive microprocessors and systems) things have been looking very hopeful for these users. And now with Parallels 4.0 they are starting to look downright rosy.

Of chief importance in version 4 is the new expanded DirectX 9 and DirectX Pixel Shader 2.0 support and more importantly to most professional Windows CAD and 3D applications, OpenGL 2.0 support. 

What Works – All These Are New

In terms of what is new and working Parallels has a complete list of applications that work under it. Some of the applications also have native Mac versions so I’ll omit those and concentrate on just the Windows-only stuff. Here it goes:

  • Adobe Acrobat 3D 
  • Autodesk AutoCAD 2009
  • Autodesk AutoCAD 2008 (ran previously)
  • Autodesk Inventor 2009 (2008 ran previously)
  • Autodesk Revit Structure 2009
  • Avid Softimage XSI 7
  • CATIA V5R18
  • Delcam FeatureCAM
  • ESRI ArcGIS 9.2 and 9.3
  • Microsoft Virtual Earth (not really a pro 3D app but what the heck…)
  • NASA World Wind 1.4
  • Pro/Engineer Wildfire 3.0 (ran previously)
  • Solidworks 2009 (2007 ran on Parallels 3)
In addition to the new and greatly expanded list of professional Windows-only applications for 3D and CAD professionals, not only will these applications run on your Intel Mac but will run even faster in general thanks to Parallels’ overall 50% performance speedup. Parallels 4 supports an Adaptive Hypervisor technology which enables your computer and Parallels to get the resources they need on the fly. The virtualization core engine has been improved to consume 15-30% less system resources. 

“Mac OS X is the world’s most advanced operating system and its ability to run Windows on a Mac is yet another reason users are switching to the Mac at a rapid rate,” said Ron Okamoto, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations. “This rapid adoption is supported by applications like Parallels Desktop for Mac, which enables users to get the most from their hardware.”

“The growth, in both performance and ease of use, of desktop virtualization software is making it easier for Windows users to adopt Macintosh computers. The availability of this technology is one of many factors driving growth in the adoption of Mac desktops and notebooks, for which shipments have grown 46.6% between the first half of 2007 and the first half of 2008, according to our data,” said Michael Rose, Industry Analyst at the research firm, IDC. “Those users leveraging virtualization software on their Macintosh hardware will find that many of the new capabilities in Parallels Desktop 4.0 represent another step forward.”

Some Details – Manage Windows from your iPhone

One of the coolest new features is the ability to manage your Windows XP virtualized machine from your Apple iPhone. Yes, with your iPhone you can remotely start, stop and manage your Windows VM from your favorite phone. Parallel’s new FastLane architecture supports 8-way multiprocessing with support for 8GB of RAM. There is also a new Clips tool to capture screenshots across both Windows and Mac. 

Availability and Pricing

Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac is available in English, and localized versions will be available soon. The standard retail price (SRP) is 79.USD and new users can fully test drive a full version for 15-days free. Upgrade price is 39.99.USD. 

To learn more go here.

Reader Comments

  1. […] Architosh created an interesting post today on Parallels 4 – Offers More for Mac CAD/3D UsersHere’s a short outlineOne of the coolest new features is the ability to manage your Windows XP virtualized machine from your Apple iPhone….Some Details – Manage Windows from your iPhone…Yes, with your iPhone you can remotely start, stop and manage your Windows VM from your favorite phone…. […]

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