Skip to main content

M1 MacBooks can now run Windows 10 up to 30% faster than Intel Macs

Parallels Desktop for Mac, the popular program used to run virtualized versions of Windows 10 on Apple’s Mac devices, has gotten even better. Version 16.5 of the app now lets Mac users enjoy a seamless Windows 10 on ARM experience on Apple’s newest Macs featuring the M1 silicon.

According to Parallels, with version 16.5, Mac users can enjoy improved performance compared to when running Windows through the program on Intel-based macs. When running Windows 10 on ARM Insider Preview virtually through Parallels 16.5, users with M1 Macs can enjoy 2.5 times less energy consumption and 60% better DirectX 11 performance.

More specifically, Parallels says running Windows 10 on ARM on Parallels Desktop 16.5 with an M1 Mac performs up to 30% better than a Windows 10 VM running on an Intel-based MacBook Pro with Intel Core i9 processor. That’s because the Parallels team worked to reengineer the app under the hood for the M1 silicon. Over 100,000 M1 Mac users also tested the Technical Preview of Parallels Desktop 16.5 for M1 Mac, according to the company.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Parallels Desktop 16.5 also supports features catered to the M1 Mac. You can run Windows applications on your Mac as if they were native Mac applications, without managing two separate desktops or rebooting. You also can share profiles, enjoy Touch Bar controls and customize Mac keyboard layouts.

A 14-day trial of Parallels Desktop for Mac is available for prospective users, and anyone with Parallels version 16 can update to 16.5 for free. A perpetual license for upgrading from older versions of Parallels is available for $50, and new subscriptions cost $80 a year, with new perpetual licenses costing $100 a year. Then there are Parallels Desktop for Mac Pro Edition and Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition, too.

Along with QEMU and ACVM, Parallels remains the only way to run Windows 10 on Apple’s new M1 Macs. That’s because Microsoft has yet to offer the ARM-based flavor of Windows 10 for Apple to use in Bootcamp (which isn’t available on newer M1 Mac models.) At the end of last year, Apple’s Craig Federighi said that this is up to Microsoft to support and that Macs are “certainly capable” of running Windows 10.

Editors' Recommendations

Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
Apple could fix the MacBook lineup with this one change
An open MacBook Pro on a table.

I was as surprised as anyone when Apple killed off the 13-inch MacBook Pro in October 2023, but at the time, it was definitely a pleasant revelation rather than a nasty shock. Now, though? There’s something I wish Apple had done differently.

Looking at Apple’s MacBook Pro lineup today, it’s almost perfect. How can Apple achieve that just-out-of-reach perfection? Maybe it should think about dropping the M3 MacBook Pro. I know, I know, it’s only just been released, but trust me -- it needs to go.
In an awkward spot

Read more
Everyone who should (and shouldn’t) buy the M3 MacBook Pro
The MacBook Pro on a wooden table.

I was delighted when I first heard that the M2 MacBook Pro 13-inch was being replaced by the M3 MacBook Pro 14-inch. Finally, an entry-level MacBook Pro that actually felt "pro," thanks to the screen, ports, and premium design.

But after considering it, I have to admit that even the M3 MacBook Pro 14-inch remains bewildering. Sitting in-between the Air and Pro, it will undoubtedly make some buyers curious due to its name. But as far as I can suss out, it's hard to deduce just who exactly this laptop is for. Peel back the layers, though, and you'll see a product that's always been key to Apple's strategy and branding.
A performance mismatch

Read more
I’m finally ready to stop recommending Apple’s cheapest MacBook
Apple MacBook Air M1 open, on a table.

Apple’s MacBook lineup is a bit all over the place at the moment. It’s full of fantastic machines that trounce the competition, yet picking the right Mac for you has never been more confusing. But amid all the uncertainty, one thing is for sure: I can finally stop recommending the M1 MacBook Air.

For years now, the M1 MacBook Air has been a great choice for anyone looking to dip their toes into the world of Apple laptops. But three years after its launch, it’s no longer looking like the solid purchase it used to be.
A strong debut
M1 MacBook Air Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Read more