Parallels Desktop just added native support for Apple's M1 Macs
You can now run Windows 10 in a VM using Parallels Desktop 16.5, making use of all the hardware and software improvements that Apple Silicon Macs offer over their Intel-based counterparts
Apple’s new M1 chips made their way to the company’s Macs last year, bringing radical improvements to performance and battery life to the company’s devices. A few months later, several apps such as Adobe Photoshop, Disk Drill, VLC Player, Opera browser have now been ported to run natively on the new processor. Now, owners of Apple Silicon Macs can run Windows 10, thanks to a virtualisation tool Parallels Desktop 16.5 adding support for M1 Macs.
While Macs already have a lot of software that is designed for the platform, there are certain Windows-only tools that can only be run by running Windows in a dual-boot setup (which requires you to reboot to switch) and using virtualisation software like Parallels Desktop. The latter is a much better solution, since your Mac can remain on macOS while you work on other apps. Here’s how native support for Apple M1 Macs will improve the experience for Apple Silicon Mac users.
According to the developers, the new version of Parallels Desktop will use up to 250 percent (or 2.5 times) less energy than a 2020 Intel-based MacBook Air. Meanwhile, users will experience up to 60 percent better DirectX 11 performance than an Intel-based MacBook with a Radeon Pro 555X GPU. If you’re running Windows10 on the ARM Insider Preview of Parallels Desktop 16.5 on an M1 Mac, you should see up to 30 percent better VM performance than on an Intel-based MacBookPro with a Core 19 processor.
While Parallels is not a free application, the support for Apple’s latest M1 Macs means you can even run some Windows apps in place of apps that have not been ported with native support for the new chipset. With the possibility of Apple’s Rosetta (an emulation layer to run macOS apps for Intel machines on M1 Macs) being disabled in certain regions, using the latest version of Parallels Desktop might just be the best option for many users, at least until more apps get updated with native Apple Silicon support.