Parallels Desktop, the virtualization software that allows you to run Windows on a Mac alongside macOS, now offers DirectX 11 support using Apple Metal, meaning it can render 3D graphics up to 15 percent faster. The new functionality comes as part of version 15 of the software, which MacRumors notes will also add support for Catalina’s upcoming Sidecar feature, as well as improved drag and drop and Apple Pencil support.
No virtualization software is going to be able to match the performance of running a game natively, but it’s still nice to see the feature given some attention. The last time we checked in with Parallels was back in 2016, when we noted that version 12 of the software couldn’t handle enough games well enough for us to recommend it to gamers. As well as better gaming performance, the improvements made to Parallels Desktop 15 mean that the software can open Microsoft Office apps up to 80 percent faster, and it also supports a wider range of non-gaming applications including Autodesk 3ds Max 2020.
Beyond DirectX 11 support, Parallels Desktop 15 will also support macOS Catalina’s new Sidecar feature. This means you’ll be able to use Windows apps on an iPad when you’re using it as a second screen for your Mac, and it also includes improved Apple Pencil support. There’s also a new share option to let you send Mac files from your default Windows mail application, and the software’s drag and drop feature now supports images from Safari, Photos, and other macOS apps. You can read a complete list of the software’s new features here.
Parallels Desktop 15 is available now for a one off cost of $99.99, or you can subscribe to the Pro or Business features for $99 a year. If you have an older version of the software, then you can upgrade for $49.99. The software requires you to be running the Mojave, the current version of macOS, or later, while its Catalina-specific features are expected to be launched around the same time as the new macOS version launches later this year.