File Transfer Speed
In addition to the aforementioned synthetic benchmarks that test virtual machine disk performance, we wanted to run a real-world test to compare the virtualization platforms’ file transfer capabilities. Our test file was the Windows 7 Professional install ISO, weighing in at 3.32GB. We tested two scenarios: a copy and paste of this file from within each VM (copying the file from the Downloads folder to the Windows Desktop, for example) and a copy and paste of the file from within the VM to the OS X host. We timed each transfer five times with a stopwatch and averaged the results. To avoid caching that might contaminate the results, a full shutdown and restart was performed in between each test.
The results below measure the time it took to transfer the file in seconds, with shorter bars equalling faster performance.
Parallels 10 and Fusion 7 offer roughly the same level of performance when it comes to large sequential file transfers, with Parallels one second faster within the VM, and Fusion one second faster when transferring to the host operating system. As we saw before in the Passmark PerformanceTest, VirtualBox lags significantly behind its commercial competitors when it comes to disk performance, taking more than twice as long to transfer the file in each scenario.