Apple's Snow Leopard bests Windows 7 in speed tests

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
When both Mac OS X 10.6 and Windows 7 were tested on a MacBook Pro, Apple's new operating system clearly beat Microsoft in terms of speed, a new test has shown.



Both operating systems were tested on a 2008 MacBook Pro machine by CNet, and each was given its own, separate, clean hard drive. The 64-bit version of each OS was included in the test, which measured a variety of speed and performance related tasks. Snow Leopard was given true, full 64-bit support with most of its native applications taking full advantage of modern processors.



Each OS had the same software installed: iTunes 9, QuickTime, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and Cinebench R10. In the test, Snow Leopard booted and shut down significantly faster than Windows 7.



"In time-based tests, Snow Leopard consistently outdid Windows 7," the study found. "It took only 36.4 seconds to boot up, while Windows took 42.7 seconds. In a shutdown test, Snow Leopard took only 6.6 seconds, while Windows needed twice the amount of time: 12.6 seconds. Both computers, however, took just about 1 second to return from sleeping. For this reason, I didn't actually test the wake-up time as it was too short in both operating systems to produce meaningful numbers or even allow me to measure the difference."



The Mac software also unsurprisingly ran Apple's own native applications more efficiently. Converting a movie from M4 format to iPod in Quicktime X on Snow Leopard took 444.3 seconds, while Windows 7, with QuickTime 7 (the latest version available) took 723 seconds. Similarly, converting 17 songs in iTunes from MP3 to AAC took 149.9 seconds in Snow Leopard, while Windows 7 required 162 seconds.







The test also found that Mac OS X 10.6 had better battery life on the MacBook Pro than Windows 7. The 2008 model has a removable battery. But author Dong Ngo said he believes Boot Camp drivers were mostly responsible for the Windows 7 battery life, as many PC laptops fared much better than the 77 minutes the Microsoft OS fared.



One area where Windows 7 was able to easily trump Snow Leopard was in graphics performance. The system's 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT graphics card helped the system score much better in the latest version of Windows, earning a 5,777 3D rendering score in Cinebench R10. Snow Leopard scored 5,437.



In testing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Windows 7 again came out on top, with an average 26.3 frames per second performance, compared to 21.2 frames per second within Snow Leopard.



Ngo's conclusion: Unless you are a gamer, get a Mac.



"If you can get by with just software designed by Apple and if money is not a big issue, you will be happy with a Mac," he said. "Examples of these software choices are iTunes, iLife, QuickTime, Safari, iChat, and so on (and you probably won't need much more than those for daily entertainment and communication needs). Finally, if money is not an issue--and it definitely is for most of us--you should get a Mac anyway. It's the only platform, for now, that can run both Windows and OS X."



See also:



Windows 7 vs. Mac OS X Snow Leopard



Exploring Windows 7 on the Mac



Inside Mac OS X Snow Leopard
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 168
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Hardly surprising. OS X is designed for Apple hardware.
  • Reply 2 of 168
    A Apple OS is faster on a Apple machine.. WOW I did NOT expect that! /sarcasem I'd say that a Windows 7 is faster on a Windows laptop. But oh wait, os x can only run on Apple stuff.



    I find this test a waste of time for something we already knew.
  • Reply 3 of 168
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Unless you are a gamer, get a Mac.



    Groundbreaking work they're doing over there at CNET.
  • Reply 4 of 168
    actually, windows runs faster on my mac then on a regular pc.



    but i think they really need the same version of itunes for a fairer result.
  • Reply 5 of 168
    hattighattig Posts: 830member
    This is barely a test! There are so few test points, and the ones that are chosen are dubious because they favour one manufacturer (iTunes, Quicktime, using MacBook Pro with suspected dodgy Win7 drivers).



    If iTunes used Grand Central to dispatch encoding tasks, or OpenCL for the tasks themselves, I could see why it would be faster on Snow Leopard. Clearly it doesn't.



    The gaming result isn't unexpected, and is probably due to lack of platform optimisation in the game itself, and possibly slightly less performant drivers and using OpenGL instead of DirectX (I don't know what this game uses on Windows, but if it is DX, then porting to OpenGL quickly would be less than optimal). We can't expect improvements here rapidly however, however the rise of console gaming vs windows gaming is allowing the Mac's graphics hardware to be competitive with the fixed hardware over lifetime consoles, and hence the games that are written.



    How long is the wake from sleep, when it includes reconnecting to the wireless network?
  • Reply 6 of 168
    ...that historically Apple Hardware has been shown to run windows more quickly than "PC" laptops. Let's also not forget that for all intents and purposes a Mac is essentially a PC, down to the intel processor. I think this is a fair test between the two OS's given the afore mentioned items.
  • Reply 7 of 168
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Anyone with common sense can see this is biased. How about comparing Office versions?
  • Reply 8 of 168
    hutchohutcho Posts: 132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zeasar View Post


    actually, windows runs faster on my mac then on a regular pc.



    You have a PC with exactly the same specs for as your Mac? Unlikely.



    What would be more fair is getting a PC running Windows 7 for $2000, and a Mac running OSX 10.6 for $2000 and see which is faster. The Windows machine would win convincingly.
  • Reply 9 of 168
    lorrelorre Posts: 396member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post


    Anyone with common sense can see this is biased. How about comparing Office versions?



    Indeed. Or iTunes encoding on Snow Leopard vs WMP encoding on Windows 7. WMP o, modern hardware is much more snappy than iTunes on the Mac is...
  • Reply 10 of 168
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Hardly surprising. OS X is designed for Apple hardware.



    No, it thrives in spite of Apple Hardware. Also, there is no such thing as Apple hardware anymore, they died with the PowerPC. They design ways to cram other people's parts into pleasant looking forms.
  • Reply 11 of 168
    This report assumes that the applications are fully optimized for each operating system and the only difference is the OS itself, but in the real world this is obviously not the case. There are a lot of additional factors here that are being ignored.
  • Reply 12 of 168
    it would be interesting if they gave these computers to actual users and ran the same tests after 1 year



    would like to see how the windows computer performs with a bloated registry and viruses



    these tests are a joke
  • Reply 13 of 168
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post


    You have a PC with exactly the same specs for as your Mac? Unlikely.



    What would be more fair is getting a PC running Windows 7 for $2000, and a Mac running OSX 10.6 for $2000 and see which is faster. The Windows machine would win convincingly.



    i can tell you first hand, a windows on a 4-core processor will not outperform snow leopard in a 2-core processor...this is just from my everyday use...
  • Reply 14 of 168
    hudson1hudson1 Posts: 800member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post


    You have a PC with exactly the same specs for as your Mac? Unlikely.



    What would be more fair is getting a PC running Windows 7 for $2000, and a Mac running OSX 10.6 for $2000 and see which is faster. The Windows machine would win convincingly.



    OK, but make sure that Windows machine has equivalent software installed (including the version of Windows itself) for a grand total of $2000. You're not looking at a "$2000 Windows computer" anymore.
  • Reply 15 of 168
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Just goes to show how hard it is to compare the two platforms. You have to use Apple hardware, since you can't legally use anything else, and you have to use apps common to both, many of which are written by Apple. It will inevitably be called unfair to Windows but how else could you do it?



    Edit: actually a better way might be to make a common list of tasks a home user might perform and then do them on both platforms using whatever apps are available on both platforms.
  • Reply 16 of 168
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lorre View Post


    Indeed. Or iTunes encoding on Snow Leopard vs WMP encoding on Windows 7. WMP o, modern hardware is much more snappy than iTunes on the Mac is...



    ...or surfing the internet using Flash sites.
  • Reply 17 of 168
    hutchohutcho Posts: 132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by doyourownthing View Post


    i can tell you first hand, a windows on a 4-core processor will not outperform snow leopard in a 2-core processor...this is just from my everyday use...



    What speed processor and running what? Your blanket statement means nothing. Of course, in apps that don't take advantage of multicore processors, then a 3ghz Dual Core is going to be much faster than a 2.4ghz Quad Core. But when the program does, the Quad Core is going to kill the Dual Core (in CPU intensive tasks).
  • Reply 18 of 168
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    ...or surfing the internet using Flash sites.



    Actually, using click2flash ignoring all the pointless ads, my Mac runs Flash sites much faster then my windows machine. And YouTube is using my built in H.264 capabilities, not the resource hog that is your beloved Flash.
  • Reply 19 of 168
    bucetabuceta Posts: 141member
    Despite the naysayers, this is a fair test. In fact it is biased towards PCs because it has been PROVEN windows and applications for windows runs faster on a Mac than PC.



    It is a fair test for the PC. It still does not answer the bigger questions: i) which is the most productive and satisfying computer to use?



    For instance, the test does not take into account the ridiculous amount of time you will be spending upgrading each and every 3rd party app including antivirus on your windows box. Something that does not happen in a mac since applications are fewer (since they accomplish more with less) and the upgrade path is unified (via Software Update...)



    Quote:

    Ngo's conclusion: Unless you are a gamer, get a Mac.



    Correct again. I have been saying this all along.
  • Reply 20 of 168
    what would the results be if Apple delivered Windows-7 optimized and compatible drivers?
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