What Impact Virtualisation?

The shift by Apple to Intel processors and the increasing availability – and streamlining – of virtualisation software has led many to herald the MacBook as the best of both worlds for users wanting to keep a foot in both OS X and Microsoft camps.  Yet rarely reported is the real-world impact of virtualisation, so it's interesting to see a new Apple user experiment with the software options available.  Kevin Tofel has been trying to quantify the massive drop in battery life he sees when using Vista in Parallels on his MacBook – down from almost three and a half hours to just one and a half – and has found that both RAM and CPU are hammered when the Microsoft OS is running.

MacBook as standard:

MacBook running Vista in Parallels:

MacBook standard memory use: 

MacBook memory use running Vista in Parallels:

 

Does that put a dampener on virtualisation?  No, probably not; the productivity benefits of being to run applications from both environments likely outweigh the power costs for the average user.  What's surprising is the hardware impact just having Vista running, without any Windows applications on the go.  Kevin has the best advice, I think; make sure you know where your next recharge is, because you'll need it twice as quickly!

Parallels virtualisation: great for productivity, bad for mobility [jkontherun]