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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6c1452
Member since:
2007-08-29

Mac OS X was designed first and foremost as highly responsive desktop operating system. There are sacrifices when you focus on latency and responsiveness over throughput; and yes, when it comes to responsiveness, Linux doesn't even come close to Mac OS X. If I counted the number of times my netbook came bogged down and poorly responsive with a couple of applications open versus Windows on the same machine - I'd be here all day.


It sounds more like you need to upgrade your ram than get a kernel optimized for desktop use. It's not exactly a secret that current mainstream Linux distributions are less memory efficient than XP

I find OS X to be downright viscous -- as though there is perceivable latency between the input devices and the screen. It's possible I'm just imagining things because of the way desktop effects slow down some other actions, but that's how it feels.

Reply Parent Score: 1

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

It sounds more like you need to upgrade your ram than get a kernel optimized for desktop use. It's not exactly a secret that current mainstream Linux distributions are less memory efficient than XP


Woah, hang on - it has nothing to do with efficiency of memory; this was running ArchLinux whose total memory foot print was less than Windows XP - so it has nothing to do with the memory consumed. What it has to do with is the algorithms that are used to balance processes/threads to ensure that the end user gets a responsive system.

I find OS X to be downright viscous -- as though there is perceivable latency between the input devices and the screen. It's possible I'm just imagining things because of the way desktop effects slow down some other actions, but that's how it feels.


Pardon? nothing is slow to me; maybe it takes a second to load up the window to display the contents of the drive, or it takes a couple of seconds for an application to load by clicking on the dock but what I am talking about is smoothness when running 3-4-5-6 applications at the same time. For me, I couldn't care less about the speed of one application all by its lonesome self; what I am talking about is a system under a reasonable load and getting some decent responsiveness from it.

Edited 2009-05-13 06:07 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

6c1452 Member since:
2007-08-29

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

Reply Parent Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Pardon? nothing is slow to me; maybe it takes a second to load up the window to display the contents of the drive, or it takes a couple of seconds for an application to load by clicking on the dock but what I am talking about is smoothness when running 3-4-5-6 applications at the same time. For me, I couldn't care less about the speed of one application all by its lonesome self; what I am talking about is a system under a reasonable load and getting some decent responsiveness from it.


Funny, as repsonsiveness is one of my biggest gripes about Mac OS X. I've used the most powerful Macs you can imagine, and even those that herald the coming of the starborn ones (to paraphrase Yahtzee) have noticeable delay when launching applications or interacting with them (buttons, menus, etc.).

This is absolutely intolerable. Mac OS X is smooth, yes, but not when it comes to responsiveness.

Before I get the usual group of Mac fans on my bum: the above does not imply, in any way, that Windows does this any better.

Reply Parent Score: 1

bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23


It sounds more like you need to upgrade your ram than get a kernel optimized for desktop use. It's not exactly a secret that current mainstream Linux distributions are less memory efficient than XP

I find OS X to be downright viscous -- as though there is perceivable latency between the input devices and the screen. It's possible I'm just imagining things because of the way desktop effects slow down some other actions, but that's how it feels.


I haven't seen that kind of performance since version 10.4.x, even when it's short on available real memory, though I've had stuttering from the virtual memory system when an application tries to implement its own system.

The graphics card has a lot to do with it, though, since OpenGL is used in many places. The early Intel-based machines with the early Intel graphics chipset lagged a lot but then, they weren't able to access 226 MB of shared RAM in Mac OS X the way that they could under Windows.

Reply Parent Score: 2