Tech News: Parallels Desktop on M1 Macs now supports ARM Windows 10 at ‘native speeds’.
You now have a reliable and fast way to run Windows 10 on an M1-based Mac, provided you’re willing to compromise. Parallels released Desktop 16.5 for Mac with full Mac M1 support and promises “native speed” for the virtual machine when you run Windows 10 ARM Insider Preview. You can also run Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora.
In some cases, the M1 may outperform a theoretically more powerful Intel native configuration. Parallels claims you’ll get up to 60% better DirectX 11 performance on an M1 Mac than an Intel processor MacBook Pro with a Radeon Pro 555X GPU and 30% better virtual machine performance than Intel MacBook Pro with even higher specs. The company also claims that the power consumption of an M1 MacBook The air is expected to improve by 250 percent, even if you compare it to a 2019 MacBook Air (as the footnotes indicate) and not the latest Intel model.
But as mentioned above, you will have to compromise. An internal preview is not inherently stable. You may face crashes or anomalies. And although Windows 10 for ARM emulates 64-bit x86 programs, you’ll only get that vaunted performance with the fewest ARM native Windows programs. Don’t expect a favorite game or productivity tool that you need to run to run as well as on a comparable x86 PC.
However, this still makes many Windows programs available and is a considerably more elegant (not to mention universal) solution than CrossOver’s emulation-over-emulation approach. Think of Parallels as a crutch that can save you from keeping a Windows PC (or an Intel Mac) only to run legacy software.