Parallels 16.5 is now available with native support for Apple Silicon M1 chip. This version of Parallels Desktop supports both Intel and M1 Macs. Thanks to M1 chip support, users can run Windows 10 on ARM and ARM-compatible Linux virtual machines with near-native speeds.
Parallels 16.5 is officially released with native support for M1 chips
Parallels was released as a Technical Preview back in December 2020, with support for Windows 10 on ARM. Initial impressions were very positive as users found out that Windows in Parallels on M1 Mac runs faster than it does on Surface Pro X, which is powered by a Qualcomm SQ2 processor. Other tests showed how well games perform in Windows 10 in Parallels on M1 Mac. This just highlighted how powerful M1 chips are, and that native support would bring the best results for virtualization.
After spending some time in testing phase as a Technical Preview, Parallels 16.5 is now available for all users. It takes full advantage of the benefits that Apple Silicon M1 chip provides, and as expected, it is a lot more faster and efficient compared to Intel Macs. Here are some improvements as shared by Parallels:
- Up to 250% less energy used: On a Mac with an Apple M1 chip, Parallels Desktop 16.5 uses 2.5X less energy than on a 2020 Intel-based MacBook Air computer.
- Up to 60% better DirectX 11 performance: Parallels Desktop 16.5 running on an M1 Mac delivers up to 60% better DirectX 11 performance than on an Intel-based MacBook Pro with Radeon Pro 555X GPU.
- Up to 30% better virtual machine performance (Windows): Running a virtual machine (VM) of Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview on Parallels Desktop 16.5 on an M1 Mac performs up to 30% better than a Windows 10 VM running on Intel-based MacBook Pro with Intel Core i9 processor.
Parallels 16.5 is available now as a free upgrade for users with an existing Parallels 16 subscription, while new license costs start from $80.