Parallels 4.0 Promises Significant Performance Improvements

Parallels has announced the immediate availability of Parallels 4.0. Parallels allows Intel-Mac users to run Windows alongside Mac OS X.

The latest update to their Windows-virtualization software for Intel Macs promises new performance, security, backup and power saving features. Performance is said to be "up to 50% faster".

Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac introduces support for DirectX 9, DirectX Pixel Shader 2.0 and OpenGL 2.0, providing fast video performance, while the Adaptive Hypervisor dynamically allocates resources to meet user needs. The responsiveness to all applications is further enhanced as the virtualization engine has been optimized to consume 15-30% less resources than previous versions.

This release also finally introduces support for up to 8 way symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) to take advantage of the multi-core CPUs found in all Macs. Other features include:

- Improved Windows and Mac integration, True Drag & Drop and Copy & Paste, SmartX Technologies and Built-in Installation and Migration Tools.
- Adaptive Hypervisor, FastLane Architecture, up to 8 way SMP and 8 GB RAM plus 64-bit support for each VM, HyperBus and support for DirectX 9.0, DirectX Pixel Shader 2.0, and OpenGL 2.0.
- Parallels Internet Security powered by Kaspersky, Acronis True Image Home backup and restore, SmartGuard, PowerSaver, Full-hardware ACPI support and Acronis Disk Director Suite disk management.
- eMac OS X Leopard Server and Windows Server OS support, VM Directory, CLI and Scripting support, SDK and API, remote control from iPhone, PXE Boot, improved networking and VM Templates.

Version 4.0 retails for $79.99 and is available as a paid $39.99 upgrade to existing Parallels customers. A free trial is also available.

Update: Parallels is offering a $5 coupon through our affiliate partner.