I am a Mac user and Chessbase is not available. Instead I purchased Hiarcs. I would like advise as to whether there's added value to Chessbase that should motivate me to install Chessbase on Parallels or even to buy a cheap laptop for this. Note: my question is not related to engine usage as I don't believe that should matter so much, but rather for DB management, meaning availability of DBs, ease of management, etc... Any pointers would be appreciated!
By far Chessbase is the most popular one, it has been there for a long time. But there is other software that can do more or less what Chessbase can do, like Chess Assistant.
When you compare software, you should consider comparing for example Fritz vs. Hiarcs or Chessbase vs. Chess Assistant, because Fritz or Houdini or Rybka are mainly engines with the capability of full game analysis and Chessbase is more of a database with special feature for the pros.
In terms of opening encyclopedia or other products, they could be read with almost any professional chess software. So, no problem here.
Finally, if you are not a professional chess player, any software like Hiarcs, Shredder or even Stockfish with a GUI could help you and you don't need to buy such expensive software.