I’m amazed how well my Macbook Air (June 2012 version) runs Windows in a virtual machine with Parallels. I’ve been doing a bunch of data migration work recently and need to run Windows 7, SQL Server, and Office 2010. Everything is seamless and fast on a second monitor so it feels like 2 PCs on a single keyboard and mouse.
Then I started working with Windows 8 and Office 2013 for a different client and the wheels came off. The VM would stutter like a car climbing snowy Claypit Hill Road in Wayland. The CPU would peg but not even the animated cursor would be spinning.
Frustrated, I launched a case with Parallels support. After a little back and forth, I got an appointment with an engineer who was polite, articulate, and — wait for it — helpful! He indicated he had seen this problem before and adding a 2nd CPU core to the VM resolved the issue.
The change was painless. It required fully stopping the VM, but no other surgery. I haven’t seen the stutter problem since, and don’t notice any adverse performance consequences from the change. Parallels get’s an A for technology and an A for support. Nice to feel that way about a product and company these days.