Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 21:48 UTC
Mac OS X "Has Mountain Lion been feeling faster for you compared to Lion on the same machine? It's probably not just you: Mountain Lion appears to include improved graphics drivers and low-level graphics subsystem improvements. According to our testing, these improvements result in an approximate performance increase of up to 10 percent. Those improvements can make your current hardware feel faster despite the fact that your CPU can't magically crunch numbers any faster. The changes also lay the foundation for Apple to update OS X's OpenGL support in a more timely manner, which could potentially lead to better graphics performance in the future."
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If users feel ML is faster, it's more likely due to using more optimized applications (like Safari 6).

Or placebo. It's a trivial trick to our minds, they are very powerful like that.

Why would the effect be confined only to audio tech improvements? Once I made a small experiment on a buddy of mine, who was absolutely certain he can feel a huge speedup after overclocking his CPU - thing is, in a controlled test, he was unable to tell when it was running at full, and when at half speed; his guesses were no better than chance.
(also and in another field: - a ~"higher version number" changes the way people experience wine)

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