Thursday, Apr 15, 2021, 13:34 Mac: Software

Run Windows And Linux on M1 Macs: Parallels Desktop 16.5 Released

At the presentation of the first Macs with M1 processor, Apple emphasized that the computers with the powerful new architecture are particularly well suited for virtualizing other operating systems such as Linux. The Californian company also demonstrated this with a practical demonstration during the virtual event. Until now, however, users of Mac mini M1, MacBook Air M1 and MacBook Pro M1 had to rely on Technical Previews if they wanted to use the feature.

Parallels Desktop 16.5 is available now
As of today, the wait for the final version of virtualization software is over. Parallels Desktop 16.5 supports both M1 Macs and Apple machines with Intel processors. The additional apps "Parallels Access" and "Parallels Toolbox" also run natively on Apple Silicon. The new version is available immediately from the company's online store, and users of Parallels Desktop 16 will receive the update free of charge.

Windows games run on M1 Macs
With Parallels Desktop 16.5, various Linux distributions can be virtualized on M1 Macs, provided they are ARM versions. Windows 10 for ARM processors also runs seamlessly on Apple Silicon using the app. According to Parallels, all supported operating systems and applications benefit from the outstanding performance of the M1 CPU. This is also true for Intel versions of Windows apps, which can run on the ARM variant of Microsoft's operating system thanks to built-in x86 emulation. According to Parallels manager Nick Dobrovolskiy, numerous popular games can also be used on M1 Macs, such as "Rocket League", "Among Us" and "The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim".



Significantly faster and much more efficient
With Parallels Desktop 16.5 for M1 Macs, applications run significantly faster than on an Intel-based MacBook Pro with Radeon GPU. According to the manufacturer, the virtualization solution for Apple Silicon offers up to 60 percent higher DirectX 11 performance. For Windows 10 for ARM, performance is up to 30 percent higher than a virtualized x86 Windows on a MacBook Pro with Intel Core i9. In addition, the M1 version of Parallels Desktop consumes considerably less energy than the Intel version, savings of up to 60 percent are possible. The only downside is that macOS cannot be virtualized with Parallels Desktop so far. However, the manufacturer hopes to be able to support macOS Big Sur before the end of the year. Support for older versions of the Mac operating system is not possible for technical reasons, since they can only run on Intel CPUs.

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