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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Responsiveness is heavily dependant on the machine load.

Under low-load (means less than 100%) conditions Linux is a bit less responsive than Windows. Under full load Linux is by far more responsive than Windows (at least XP).

I had two machines with 4 cores each, the Linux machine even being slightly slower (2.8 GHz vs. 3.0 GHz).
I ran a finite element calculation on each using all 4 cores, both machines needed 1.5 GB RAM for this calculation and had plenty of RAM available for other stuff. CPU utilisation was 100% at both machines, both processes ran with standard process priority. None of the machines had to swap.

On the WinXP machine it was not possible to do anything productive during number crunching. On the slightly slower Linux machine working was slightly less responsive than without load, but still good. And by the way, my work included software like Salome, GIMP and OpenOffice where responsiveness definitely IS an issue.

When looking into desktop performance, the high-load scenario is not the typical one, on the other hand if you sometimes DO saturate your processor, having still good response is definitely a plus.

I think that everybody needs to decide on his own which behaviour is most satisfying to him.

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