Parallels Desktop 17 introduces support for M1 Macs

Probably still the best way for regular users to enjoy the best of both worlds.

by Justin Choo

Whenever Apple launch new silicon on their Macs, the boys and girls running Windows on their Macs will sweat a little. Well, any anxiety is gone – for now at least – as Parallels Desktop 17 (PD17) for Mac has just been released.

The new Parallels supports both Intel and M1 Macs and has been optimised for the upcoming Windows 11 and macOS Monterey. PD17 will support Monterey as host and guest operating systems.

Parallels lay claim to considerable performance improvements, such as up to 38 per cent faster when resuming from sleep. Open GL graphics perform up to six times quicker while 2D graphics are up to 25 per cent faster in Windows. On Intel Macs, you will get up to 60 per cent faster network connection when using macOS Big Sur (and newer) virtual machine.

But it’s the M1 that we’re interested in, and in this case, Parallels says we can get up to 33 per cent faster Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview startup, up to 20 per cent faster Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview disk performance and up to 28% better DirectX 11 graphics performance.

Other improvements include:

  • An improved display driver for smoother Windows UI, reduced lag for video playback, and higher frame rates in 2D games.
  • Windows 10 in virtual can enable battery saving features when the Mac battery is low.
  • The new virtual TPM chip lets you use BitLocker and Secure Boot features in Windows 10 and Windows 11
  • Multichannel sound support and jack presence detection with native drivers in Linux VMs.
  • Windowed view mode with dynamic resolution support – easy drag to resize – for Linux virtual machines.
  • Windows shutdowns, updates and sign-in screens are all windowed in Coherence Mode (run Windows applications and Mac applications side by side, without seeing the Windows desktop).
  • The new Automatic Resource Manager evaluates and advises on the optimal amount of Mac hardware resources for virtual machines.
  • You can drop any text or image between Mac and Windows applications, including between Windows applications and macOS Monterey Quick Note when available.
  • PD17 now supports USB 3.1.
  • You can now see how much disk space your VM snapshots take up.
  • [Pro Edition] Convert a Linked Clone to an Independent Virtual Machine in just two clicks.
  • [Pro Edition] Simplified installation for Visual Studio 2019, and the plugin now works with the M1 chip.
  • [Business edition] IT administrators can now specify download links and descriptions in Parallels My Account for both Intel and Apple M1 chip Macs and Parallels Desktop will automatically download the proper image for each station.
  • [Business edition] Universal, single package deployment (via Mac Management tools and Self-Service Portal).

Parallels Toolbox has also been updated with new tools: Barcode Generator , Barcode Reader , Recognise Text , Focus on Window (Mac only), Transform Text (Mac only), Measure Colour (Windows only). This brings its extensive library of everyday utilities to over 30. Parallels Toolbox comes free with Parallels Desktop subscriptions.

Availability and Pricing

Parallels Desktop 17 is now available from their website or authorised resellers worldwide. It also includes complimentary concurrent subscriptions to Parallels Access 6.5 and Parallels Toolbox 5 for Mac and Windows.

Parallels Desktop 17 for Mac

  • Upgrade to a perpetual license – US$49.99
  • New subscription – US$79.99 annually
  • New perpetual license – US$99.99

Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition

  • Upgrade from any edition – US$49.99 annually
  • New subscription – US$99.99 annually

Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition

  • US$99.99 annually