Whereas the earlier 3DMark benchmarks are focused on gaming, Futuremark’s PCMark benchmark aims to measure overall system performance in a variety of “real world” usage scenarios. The test automates tasks such as Web browsing, video chatting, creating complex spreadsheets in Excel, and editing images in Photoshop. We conducted three of PCMark’s tests: the Home test, the Microsoft Office test, and the Adobe Creative Cloud test, hoping to give us a look at some workflows that are more commonly virtualized. The results are reported in arbitrary “points,” with a larger number of points representing better performance.
Of note, PCMark by default runs each test three times per benchmark cycle, so each test was only manually initiated once per Windows installation.
With PCMark, we see how close in performance Parallels 11 and Fusion 8 truly are when it comes to real world usage scenarios. In the Microsoft Office test, which focuses on creating and modifying documents and spreadsheets in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Parallels scores about 2.5 percent higher, while the scores for the Creative Cloud test, which looks at Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and After Effects, are effectively equal (a 0.2 percent difference).
There is a wider gap (about 17 percent) between Parallels and Fusion in the Home test. This test includes portions of light 3D gaming, and Fusion’s lead here is primarily due to its superior performance this year with games, as we saw in the earlier 3DMark and FurMark tests. VirtualBox unsurprisingly takes a distant last place in all three tests, owing mostly to its poor 3D capabilities and low efficiency when scaling up to multithreaded workloads.