Linked by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Wed 13th May 2009 01:18 UTC
Benchmarks Phoronix, known for their various speed tests and reviews, compared the latest in Ubuntu and what, until recently, used to be the lastest in Mac OS X with 29 different benchmarking tests. Some of the results were rather interesting.
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If we're talking about running multiple cpu-intensive applications on a single processor core I'll have to concede the point; I don't specifically recall the effect you described, but I can't test it.

Out of curiosity, have you tried switching to desktop-optimised kernel and seeing what happens? I would be hesitant to declare that the scheduler is the major factor in performance differences between two operating systems, but very interested to see what difference it makes.

As for OS X, my understanding is that low latency means a negligible delay between user input and the output appearing, which is exactly what I haven't noticed while using it.

Edited 2009-05-13 06:39 UTC

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