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Operating Systems Technology

OS Performance — Snow Leopard, Windows 7, and Ubuntu 9.10 688

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the but-how-do-they-run-as-vms dept.
BeckySharp writes "With the nearly simultaneous release of Apple's Mac OS X 10.6 'Snow Leopard' (available right now) and Microsoft's Windows 7 (available Oct. 22), you get the inevitable debate: Which is the better operating system, Windows 7 or Snow Leopard? To help determine that, Computerworld's Preston Gralla put both operating systems through their paces, selected categories for a head-to-head competition, and then chose a winner in each category." Relatedly, Phoronix has posted Snow Leopard vs. Ubuntu 9.10 benchmarks. They ran tests from ray tracing to 3D gaming to compilation. Their tests show Ubuntu 9.10 winning a number of the tests, but there are some slowdowns in performance and still multiple wins in favor of Snow Leopard, so the end result is mixed.
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OS Performance — Snow Leopard, Windows 7, and Ubuntu 9.10

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  • Dock/Taskbar design (Score:5, Informative)

    by alain94040 (785132) * on Monday August 31, 2009 @04:57PM (#29266347) Homepage

    The most thoughtful article I read that truly explains what the technical tradeoffs are with dock/taskbar design: here [arstechnica.com].

    On a similar topic, if you want to work on the home page GUI for Android, there is an on-going project [fairsoftware.net] as well.

    The good news for consumers is that both Windows 7 and Snow Leopard are great-looking OS. Computerworld is just wrong to give a point to Apple on price :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by plasmacutter (901737)

      The most thoughtful article I read that truly explains what the technical tradeoffs are with dock/taskbar design: here [arstechnica.com].

      On a similar topic, if you want to work on the home page GUI for Android, there is an on-going project [fairsoftware.net] as well.

      The good news for consumers is that both Windows 7 and Snow Leopard are great-looking OS. Computerworld is just wrong to give a point to Apple on price :-)

      30 bucks..

      a proprietary OS for 30 bucks deserves 5 points on price.

      apple releasing a version of osx for 30 bucks is metaphorically equivalent to an 2010 infiniti M slapped with a 20k(US) sticker price.

      • by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:07PM (#29266493)
        Or $10 if you bought a mac after June 15th of this year. :) Still, I know people are saying that Windows 7 is a great OS (and I'm inclined to agree), I think it's more Snow-Leopard-esque in terms of upgrade than a whole new OS. I can't be entirely sure, though. Ah well... at least we're getting decent and more stable OSes around. And that is indeed a good thing. :)

        When Windows 7 settles down a little bit, I may put it on my Mini via boot camp. :)
        • by JCSoRocks (1142053) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:14PM (#29266567)
          I'm really enjoying Windows 7 (aside from audio troubles in L4D). Thus far I've been impressed with the stability, performance and compatibility. I do, however, wholeheartedly agree with the assessment regarding price - it's absurd. Yes, Win 7 is a big improvement. It's also the sort of polished product one would have expected when they first bought Vista. We all know Microsoft is desperately hoping to win back some respect with Win 7. You'd think they'd have the brains to fix the pricing / packaging issues at the same time. Apparently, that's not the case.

          Would I recommend it to a friend? Absolutely. Would I suggest that it's actually worth the retail price? I'm not so sure. It may be if you're upgrading from Windows XP, but if you're upgrading form Vista you're getting shafted.
          • by BikeHelmet (1437881) on Monday August 31, 2009 @07:29PM (#29268021) Journal

            Would I recommend it to a friend? Absolutely. Would I suggest that it's actually worth the retail price? I'm not so sure. It may be if you're upgrading from Windows XP, but if you're upgrading form Vista you're getting shafted.

            My opinion: No. If it was just $60 or $70, I'd get it, but $200+ is a bit steep.

            And what do I actually get from it, that wasn't available in XP? (either in the core of from third party programs) Just about nothing.

            It's plain to see when you actually read the entire article. Most of the points are fawning over GUI elements. Where's the miraculous new features that are supposed to wow me? :P I have preview panes in XP, too - not only that, but I have labels in my taskbar!

          • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday August 31, 2009 @07:55PM (#29268219) Journal

            >>>Win7 may be if you're upgrading from Windows XP

            I don't think so. I have XP. It costs about $200 to do the upgrade, but why bother? For just a little more I could walk into Walmart during a sales event, and get a whole new PC with the Win7 OS included "free". Yes that PC would be bottom-line, but it's still better hardware than the single-core P4 I have now.

          • by bemymonkey (1244086) on Tuesday September 01, 2009 @03:56AM (#29271171)

            I just deleted my Win7 partition and went back to my trusty XP Pro Sp3 x86. - mainly because, IMO, Windows 7 _isn't_ a decent upgrade for XP users who (by now should) know what they're doing. However, I would recommend it to Vista users looking for a speed boost, or people new to Windows.

            What's nice about 7 is that there's a lot less mucking about in driver control panels when using bog-standard hardware, which makes it a lot easier for beginners to slide in and start working without much fuss. The "find drivers online" function actually works now (at least for popular hardware - obviously stuff like the fingerprint reader and HSDPA adapter on my Thinkpad weren't found off the bat), and things like display drivers are automatically installed with no fuss at all (and actually work right away).

            Other advantages over XP include:

            -Hooking up an HDMI monitor now automatically enables it too (in XP you'd need to plug in and then activate the secondary display manually in the Display Properties or a program like Ultramon. Little tweaks like this are obviously nice.

            -Per-Application volume mixing, just like Vista... I'm still wondering if there's a way to add this to XP - that would pretty much take care of my needs for the next few years or so :)

            -Aero Snap - very useful, and the XP addon (AeroSnap) that does this is sadly pretty unstable.

            -Mobile Device Center - didn't try it out, but it's GOT to be better than the steaming pile of crap called ActiveSync

            Other than that, it was pretty much just filled with annoyances... the interface has become far too user-friendly :)

            Disadvantages over Windows XP:

            -Audio engine is still laggier with ASIO, at least with my E-Mu interface and with on-board. Latencies are roughly twice as high as in XP, and very unstable (In-Out 7ms in XP, ~10-20ms in Win7).

            -Aero drains battery life like crazy, and Aero basic without translucency is the ugliest crap I've ever seen on an OS. Windows 3.11 looked better than that... Sure, you can just switch to a standard XP visual style, but having installed the required DLLs for that on a Vista installation before, I didn't feel like going to the trouble of that...

            -Aero causes my graphics chip to run very hot - with power management enabled, or the performance locked to Standard 2D mode, I get about 45 degrees C at idle. Since the CPU and GPU are all cooled by the same big heatsink/fan assembly, the CPU runs nice and cool (30 degrees) when the GPU is under 50 degrees - but when running Vista, the CPU idle temperature climbs to 45+ degrees, because the GPU is idling at almost 60C...

            -Once again, driver availability. My laptop is less than half a year old... You'd think that manufacturers would have released working drivers for at least Vista 64-bit by now - at least for hardware that's still on the market today... but it's still the same old problem. I'm assuming 32-bit support is better.

            All in all, upgrading from XP isn't worth it, IMO... Causes more problems than it's worth.

            New users, on the other hand, or people sick of Vista's crawling speed (although it seemed to me that Win7 just makes certain processes, which used to lock up the system, low priority), should definitely be encouraged to use Windows 7. The benefits (speed, ease of use) are pretty much no-brainers, and the learning curve (as far as I can tell) is far less steep than that of 2K/XP.

        • by FlickieStrife (1304115) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:18PM (#29266649)
          or $2,000+ if you don't have a mac and want to switch. Why has NO article mentioned the overwhelming price of mac hardware, but they mention having to replace hardware for Win 7 machines? WTF?
      • 30? Try 130. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Shivetya (243324) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:17PM (#29266613) Homepage Journal

        Its only 30 if you forked out 130 for the last one, so you could really call it 160.

        The place where I do give them kudos is the family pack, I can upgrade five machines for $50... only have two currently.

        OK, so I have a second kudo, they don't have some weird multiple available configurations locked to a DVD like windows, I can install SL on a fresh machine using the same disc as I did for the upgrade without giving it a second thought.

        But giving it points for being only $30, look if it is such a minimal upgrade; for some its a total no go as they cannot install it because they run PowerPC; makes me wonder, why didn't it just download and install like the patch it comes across as?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:26PM (#29266765)

        Well, the price of either is a matter of what you already have :).

        If I have the immediate previous version of the software:
        Leopard-->Snow Leopard: $30.
        Vista Home Premium-->Win7 Home Premium: $120 (if you want Ultimate, then $220)

        If I have the second-previous version:
        Tiger-->Snow Leopard: $170 (bundled with a couple other items)
        XP-->Win7 Home Premium: $120 (Ultimate is $220)

        Even earlier version (rare):
        Mac: you're SOL
        Windows: $200 ($320 for Ultimate)

        If I have a very recent computer:
        Leopard-->Snow Leopard: $10
        Vista (any) --> Win7 (same): $0

        If you're getting a new computer:
        Generally bundled; pricing delta is defined by hardware prices of Apple vs any OEM that will bundle Windows, which in turn depends on your precise needs.

        If your current computer is anything other than a Mac: you need to buy a Mac to be legal, or do hackintosh (at which point you could throw in that you can get illegal copies of either OS free, but maybe your personal ethics permit a breach of law in one case but not the other).

      • by oldspewey (1303305) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:42PM (#29266959)

        apple releasing a version of osx for 30 bucks is metaphorically equivalent to an 2010 infiniti M slapped with a 20k(US) sticker price.

        To extend the car analogy, it's like getting a 2010 Infiniti M for $20K after you trade in the 2008 Infinity M you bought 18 months ago ... and you got that one after trading in your 2007 M ... and you got that one after trading in your 2006 ...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Qubit (100461)

        30 bucks..

        a proprietary OS for 30 bucks deserves 5 points on price.

        Sure, $30 isn't much money, but would you pay $30 for the latest release of Debian or Ubuntu? I mean, the use of having a powerful operating system on a new laptop is certainly worth $30 in productivity after only a day or two of work. I don't know if you use or fund FOSS, but it's funny how in general how people are so willing to pay $30 for a proprietary piece of software, and so reticent to donate even $10 to a Free Software project whose program they use every day.

        Saying that a proprietary OS for $30 de

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JaredOfEuropa (526365)

        a proprietary OS for 30 bucks deserves 5 points on price.

        Not just that, but doesn't Apple offer a nice discount for families upgrading several machines? Windows 7 is not too expensive (especially since I always get an OEM version), but Microsoft's bulk discount is a joke. If you're a family upgrading 4 computers (or a single basement dwelling geek upgrading 4), you'll be paying 4 times the full price.

    • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:42PM (#29266961) Journal

      Not really. It wasn't a fair fight. QUOTE: "Windows 7 Ultimate.....with 1GB of RAM and Snow Leopard.....with 2GB of RAM." I have no great love for either MS or MAC, but we all know Windows on just 1 gig is going to lots of hard-drive caching and slower performance. He should have either upgraded the Win-PC to 2 gig, or downgraded the Mac to 1 gig, in order to make the test as identical as possible.

      • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday August 31, 2009 @06:20PM (#29267411) Journal

        Win7 actually runs fine on 1Gb - like Vista, it will use the RAM that is there, but unlike Vista, it doesn't insist on it.

        Anyway, this is pretty irrelevant here, because the comparison wasn't about performance at all (despite the title of the Slashdot summary). It was just one person's very subjective opinions on certain aspects of OS X and Win7, without any attempt to quantify. There's not a single objective measure in the whole review.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The most thoughtful article I read that truly explains what the technical tradeoffs are with dock/taskbar design: here.

      While it startd off as a nice read, it is flat out wrong in a lot of places (at least for Windows). For instance:

      Windows needs a window for each application, and this need doesn't go away just because there are no documents open. So, Word has little choice but to display this ugly application window. There's simply nowhere for the application to exist without having a window--the windo
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mikael_j (106439)

        You're missing the point, you're focusing entirely on the technical side by arguing that a process on Windows can run just fine without a winform, and that just wasn't what the article was about.

        The article was about design philosophies and the implications of choosing an application-centric or a document-centric GUI design.

        /Mikael

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          >>>the implications of choosing an application-centric or a document-centric GUI design.

          The implication is that when I'm using my Mac and I close a window, I think the RAM has been freed, but in reality the application is still running in the background. That's kinda annoying.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 31, 2009 @06:10PM (#29267307)

        Then there is this shiny bit:

          The common response is to use the notification area (often incorrectly called the "system tray") to provide ready access to these running-but-windowless applications.

        Orly? You DO know that the it was called the "system tray" up until Windows XP, don't you? It was even instantiated by a process called systray.exe. Even MSDN is littered with its own references to it being the "system tray", like here [microsoft.com].

        That's wrong [msdn.com].

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mrcaseyj (902945)

          While the author of the page you linked to was trying to say that it's not called the tray, one of the commenters fired up spy++ and found that in fact the Microsoft named window classes down there still (as of 2003) have names like "Shell_TrayWnd", "TrayNotifyWnd", and "TrayClockWClass". Microsoft might not like it to be called the tray, but even Microsoft is stuck using the name themselves.

      • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Monday August 31, 2009 @07:25PM (#29267973)

        "An application doesn't need a window AT ALL. For ANY REASON. Windows are used for GUI I/O, and occasionally, message passing."

        You write that an application doesn't need a window, at all, for any reason (in all caps yet), then immediately give two reasons why an application needs a window.

        Yeah, I know what you mean. I can decipher it if I try. But you're being needlessly dense regarding what the author was getting at too. An app in Windows needs a window for another reason - to display a menu bar. An app in OS X does not - the menu is displayed at the top of the screen. So when you start Word in Windows it pops up an empty window (or a window filled with useless stuff) just so it can give you a File | Open menu. On the Mac it doesn't need to open a window until it's got a document to display in it.

  • Lets not forget (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dayofswords (1548243) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:01PM (#29266403)
    the freedom involved in using ubuntu (or other distros) over mac and windows
    • Yeah and (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ArchieBunker (132337) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:13PM (#29266555) Homepage

      99.997% of the people using these computers don't care.

      • by KingSkippus (799657) * on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:33PM (#29266835) Homepage Journal

        99.997% of the people using these computers don't care.

        First of all, I think that number is way too high. While it may seem that way sometimes, people do care. Maybe not even a majority of them, but enough that it does make a difference.

        Second of all, those who in theory don't care, when explained why it's important, start to care. When you add up the cost of upgrading from Windows 95 to Windows XP to Windows Vista to Windows 7, along with all of its associated applications (I'm looking at you, Microsoft Office), versus the cost of upgrading through the various versions of Ubuntu or any of the other popular distributions and their associated applications, people really start to notice. One of my favorite things to do when I'm showing off Ubuntu to people is to open the package manager application. I tell them it's like the "Add or Remove Programs" applet, except that you can actually add programs. "All this stuff is available to you for no cost. Just click it, and you're good to go."

        When you explain to these people how there is absolutely zero technical reason why they can't have a movie or song play on the DVD player in their living room, their iPod, their computer, and anywhere else (and anyway else) they want to play it, but that thanks to DRM systems incorporated into Windows 7 and Mac OS X, they are artificially restricted from doing so because some third party has decided to "manage their digital rights" for them, it definitely gets their attention.

        When you explain to these people how honest competition from really smart people doing really smart things just because they can and because they feel that others should benefit from their collective knowledge is one of the reasons why a lot of commercial closed-source software these days that might otherwise cost hundreds or thousands of dollars is sold for really low cost or given away for free because of how hard it is to compete with volunteer work, it also gets their attention.

        When I show people my web browser (Firefox with AdBlock) and how I don't see particularly onerous ads on web sites because the person who wrote my browser isn't beholden to financial interest or corporate mandates, it has raised a lot of eyebrows.

        I could go on, but hopefully you see my point. Free and open source software benefits everyone, even people who don't otherwise care, even people who shun it in favor of commercial and/or closed-source options. And sitting back and saying that people don't care isn't very productive. It's in our best interest to actually educate people so that they will care.

  • by palegray.net (1195047) <philip.paradisNO@SPAMpalegray.net> on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:01PM (#29266421) Homepage Journal
    These sorts of comparisons are fun from a head-to-head desktop performance perspective (with all the skewing that can bring, regardless of how impartial the tests might claim to be), but they're rarely reflective of how each OS would perform in mixed environments. I'll keep Mac OS X on the desktop, Ubuntu on the server (along with Debian), and Windows on someone else's computers, thank you.
  • by Lord Ender (156273) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:02PM (#29266431) Homepage

    The first category of their "comparison" is the OS name? Really? That's enough for me to stop reading. The article doesn't even take itself seriously.

  • by BondGamer (724662) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:05PM (#29266475) Journal
    : For testing Windows 7, I did a clean install of Windows 7 Ultimate Edition RTM on a Dell Inspiron E1505 notebook with 1GB of RAM and a 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo processor. To test Snow Leopard, I did an upgrade from Mac OS X Leopard on my MacBook Air, which is loaded with a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB of RAM. So the Windows machine is worse in just about every way. It doesn't even have the same type processor (Core Duo vs Core 2 Duo). He should have just installed both on the Macbook with Bootcamp.
    • by beuges (613130) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:17PM (#29266627) Homepage

      Not only that, but he gives Snow Leopard a point for doing a 'flawless upgrade' while Windows 7 didn't pick up his video card during installation, but it was rectified immediately afterwards when it pulled it from Windows Update. Then later in the article he goes on about how Apple controls the entire hardware platform and Microsoft has to battle with countless configuration combinations. Why didn't be bring that point up in the installation/upgrade section? Microsoft can't include every possible driver on the disc, but the fact that all his hardware was working as soon as he visited Windows Update is a feather in MS's cap in my opinion. Apple only had to care about a handful of different setups, and they control them all.

      It seems the author went out of his way to make sure that the 'test' resulted in a tie, to prevent being flamed from either side. I mean really... giving a point based on the name... that's just ridiculous.

      • I agree that the "comparison" was largely bull, but I also have to say that I've been using Windows since there was a Windows to use, and Lord how I've suffered. The fact that the video card was usable after the installing updates is nice, but usable doesn't necessarily equal stable. That's one of the biggest problems with Windows; everything under the sun works, for varying definitions of "works." Note that I'm not bashing Microsoft for this; I'm simply saying I've learned my lesson over the years, and I'll be sticking to MacOS on the desktop and Linux on the server for the forseeable future.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Aurisor (932566)

        Then later in the article he goes on about how Apple controls the entire hardware platform and Microsoft has to battle with countless configuration combinations. Why didn't be bring that point up in the installation/upgrade section?

        The end-user doesn't see these distinctions; they just know if their computer works or not.

        Furthermore, given the *massive* market share that Microsoft has enjoyed, it's fair to partially blame them for the state of consumer hardware drivers.

    • by mlts (1038732) * on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:18PM (#29266645)

      Perhaps the tests should have been done on the same hardware, having two separate hard disks, and installing Vista directly, only using the OS X media for drivers. Vista understands EFI machines and can boot on an x86 Mac without the MBR emulation that BootCamp offers. I wonder if this would make any performance difference, especially on I/O.

  • by ultrabot (200914) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:06PM (#29266491)

    It pretty much shows Ubuntu 9.10 beating Snow Leopard most of the time.

    Yay, we've come a long way. Unfortunately Karmic also displays a few significant regressions from Jaunty, hopefully someone is trying to do some profiling for those...

  • Performance, where? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:09PM (#29266517)

    The article linked to in the quote block is a terrible little summary of Snow Leopard and Windows 7, split unnecessarily over 5 pages, with nary a benchmark to be seen. Most of the comparisons are subjective, vague, and really not very useful to anyone.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:09PM (#29266519)

    The only benchmark I care about is porn downloading performance. My porn folder has several thousand files. In Windows, the "Save Image" dialog in Firefox always opens snappily. In Ubuntu, the same dialog somehow takes several seconds when there are many files. This makes porn downloading very painful. Until Ubuntu fixes this bug, I'm afraid I can't use it seriously.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gmhowell (26755)

      I used to have this problem with Windows XP. Since I started using Mac computers, I just masturbate while looking at them. They're so sexy, no porn is required.

      Yes, I DO wear an extra tight turtleneck to get that autoerotic asphyxiation going...

  • by 0racle (667029) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:10PM (#29266523)
    I don't care about Ubuntu, but it's users seem happy. Anyway, Windows 7 and Snow Leopard are both performing very well for me on less then bleeding edge (3 years old) hardware and have fixed various irritations in their predecessors. Both MS and Apple seem to have created OS's that are well worth the cost and time to upgrade from earlier versions.
    • by Naturalis Philosopho (1160697) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:38PM (#29266915)
      I think you've just about nailed it. Computer's and OS's are now mature with the differences being mostly on the fringes. We've hit the point where computers are like cars; everyone's got one, and you buy (for home at least) based more on personal style than real differences. Now if MicroSoft would just wake up and sell their upgrades accordingly I wouldn't have to explain to friends that no-you-need-the-version- that's-$150-more-expensive to use the fax capabilities in your modem (is it me or is that like having to pay extra for a car with windshield wipers?). Apple did it right for a commercial OS by giving everyone the same thing and making the server version different mainly through the support you get for the cost. Ubuntu, of course, goes that one step further in that direction and makes all support ala carte so you really only pay for what you need help with. Interesting that it's the free OS that has the most market driven model (you pay only for what you use, in terms of support anyway).
  • I love this quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Major Blud (789630) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:14PM (#29266563) Homepage

    "Windows 7, on the other hand, remains the corporate standard"

    That's fast, considering it was just RTM'd a few weeks ago and won't see a general release until Oct. 22nd.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by norminator (784674)
      And considering that its predecessor, Vista, is still not the corporate standard after almost 3 years.
    • by David Gerard (12369) <slashdotNO@SPAMdavidgerard.co.uk> on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:50PM (#29267061) Homepage

      It's August, the best of times when you're a space-filler generator in IT journalism, as every other media outlet turns into a gaping void at least as bad as ourselves. This leads to the inevitable debate: which is the best operating system, Windows 7 or Snow Leopard?

      To help determine that, I've put both operating systems through their paces, selected categories for a head-to-head competition, and then chosen a winner in each category.

      Operating system name: Windows 7 gets lots of page hits and comments from individual Microsoft fans who, it's true, just happen to be employed by Microsoft's PR company, but are completely independent in their thinking. Snow Leopard attracts Apple cultists, freshly charged from reading a novel-length apologia at RoughlyDrafted and all set to refute perceived calumnies and smite the unbeliever. Tie.

      Upgrading: Windows 7 has an insanely complicated upgrade graph, whereas Snow Leopard's is: "put the disk in the computer." The former is way better for extended articles on how it's even easier to do a complicated Windows upgrade process by hand than it was going from XP to Vista and saves us lots of work thinking of things to write. Apple just fail to provide us material. Advantage: Windows 7.

      Presentation: Windows 7 has the thoroughly reworked taskbar and the beautiful fonts and polish of Vista. Mac OS X has minor variations on the same interface it's had for eight years. Windows 7 looks just way more exciting in screenshots in tech press articles. Advantage: Windows 7.

      Improvements: Microsoft made Windows 7 as backwards-compatible with Vista as possible, down to application performance and memory usage. They did dazzling things with the presentation of all this functionality, putting everything you use every day into exciting new places, with helpful new names. Apple, on the other hand, focused largely on internal plumbing and security. It's just dull, boys. How are we supposed to puff this up? C'mon, meet us half way here. Advantage: Windows 7.

      Price: The Windows 7 Home Premium upgrade is $120 on Amazon, whereas Snow Leopard is $29. Apple just aren't putting enough value on their products. Do you want people thinking it's just cheap garbage? Advantage: Windows 7.

      Enterprise readiness: No-one ever got fired for buying Microsoft. If you get a Mac, however, your co-workers will conspire against you and probably steal it. With Windows 7, you can be sure no-one else will ever want to touch your computer. Advantage: Windows 7.

      System configuration: Microsoft gave me this laptop with only eight CPU cores and 16 gigabytes of memory to show just how good Windows 7 was on such low-end hardware. We had to buy a Mac to do this test on, because Apple just didn't understand the promotional advantages of giving me a shiny new 17" MacBook just because I wanted one. So I got a second-hand Mac Mini for a fair comparison. It's clear that Microsoft understand the needs of modern information technology journalism perfectly. They also sent over their PR people Candy, Brandi and Bimbi to help me with my Windows setup all last night. Apple just completely don't get it Advantage: Windows 7.

      (just posted [today.com])

  • GCC comparison (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rmdir -r * (716956) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:17PM (#29266621)
    According to tfa, Apple's GCC beats Ubuntu's quite handily- though Snow Leopard seems to be using 4.3, and Karmic Koala 4.4. Does anyone know if this is a difference between GCCs, or between operating systems?

    Is Apples GCC 4.3 significantly different from a vanilla GCC 4.3? I know they've been doing a bunch of work on llvm, so they can get a compiler not under the gplv3, is this part of the difference?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by slyn (1111419)

      Read that section again, 10.6 beat 9.10 on the Apache compile, but lost by as much as it had won on the PHP compile. As with most of the tests they used, its a toss up between OS's.

      In reality, both of these "benchmark" articles blow goats. The Computerworld one is extremely subjective and takes a whole lot of artistic license in determining the winners in a few categories. The Phoronix one gets points for being more objective, but in reality it really doesn't tell you anything. Unless you use your computer

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by speedtux (1307149)

      Apple knows what hardware things will run on, so they can enable a lot more CPU-specific options when they compile.

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:18PM (#29266655) Homepage Journal
    How many people are still upgrading their systems often enough for this to be relevant to them anyways? I was a pathological upgrader for years, but I honestly have spent on average less than $100 on hardware per year over the past 5 years. Granted this is partially because of how my financial situation changed in that time, but also because from my vantage point it doesn't seem that there has been any great progress made in the past 5 years in terms of hardware or software that requires new hardware.

    Honestly, with the exception of the gamers that want to run Half Life 7 or Quake 9, are many people really bothering to upgrade anymore? From my vantage point it will be surprising to see Windows 7 do well commercially - not because of vista - because there haven't been great reasons to upgrade from the hardware and software of 5 years ago.
  • Comparison?! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stokessd (89903) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:19PM (#29266665) Homepage

    Given that the license terms for OsX force (by the terms, nothing else) the user to run it on Apple hardware, the comparison is really one of hardware. Where we have two camps:

    camp 1: Apple hardware; expensive and nice, and able to run all three operating systems as the user needs or desires. This provides the user with the ability to run all software on tidy but expensive hardware. Price is the barrier to entry.

    camp 2: Windows vs. Ubuntu on anything other than Apple hardware. This opens up the low end of hardware as well as other form factors and styles of hardware that Apple doesn't think you need.

    These articles suck because they assume that you CAN do the same task on other operating systems. For many tasks that just isn't so. I can't do serious CAD on my shiny Apple under Snow leopard or any other non-domesticated cat. There are a TON of applications that don't work or are painful under Linux. I love Linux and use it frequently, and I also love my Mac, but there are and always will be a need for the mainstream OS, and today that is Windows.

    Sheldon

    • by Uberbah (647458)

      The whole point of this test was to show how well Windows, SN, and Linux perform on similar hardware. Talking about old or cheap stuff is kind of...pointless.

    • by myowntrueself (607117) on Monday August 31, 2009 @09:01PM (#29268705)

      Given that the license terms for OsX force (by the terms, nothing else) the user to run it on Apple hardware

      Thats not strictly accurate.

      The OSX EULA specifically states that it must be run on "an Apple labeled computer".

      Since the OSX disks come with a sticky "Apple" label one must assume that they intend for the end user to stick this label on the machine that they install OSX onto. And that sticking this label onto that computer is a EULA requirement.

      Its when you DON'T stick the label onto the machine which you install OSX on that you violate the EULA.

      The EULA does NOT say "Apple *manufactured* computer".

  • by Errtu76 (776778) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:19PM (#29266677) Journal

    It's sole purpose is to spawn comments saying it's flawed and discuss totally off-topic matters. Sounds like your average slashdot poll to me!

  • Fact checking? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by VGPowerlord (621254) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:33PM (#29266837) Homepage

    In the Snow Leopard vs. Windows 7 article, I ran across this gem:

    By way of contrast, Microsoft has made the decision in Windows 7 to strip out many of the extras in Windows. For example, Windows Movie Maker and Windows Mail -- both very good programs -- shipped with Windows Vista, but will not ship with Windows 7.

    That's because they're in the Optional section of Windows Updates on Windows 7, bundled as "Windows Live Essentials."

    It's not hard to miss, seeing as it's the only entry in the Optional section (because although Virtual PC and XP Mode are also optional, but they're still release candidates [microsoft.com]).

    Windows 7 does include a usable backup program -- finally -- but it's not up to the standards of Time Machine.

    Also, why is Previous Versions not mentioned here? It's not new [lockergnome.com] either, Windows Vista had the Previous Versions functionality.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647)

      Also, why is Previous Versions not mentioned here? It's not new either, Windows Vista had the Previous Versions functionality.

      Previous Versions is THE reason to use Vista (and now 7). No other OS takes delta snapshots of your disk daily (sometimes more often, like when you install software), by default, and exposes them in a user-friendly interface.

      Time Machine requires a second disk, which is OK for a desktop but bad for a laptop.

      There are versioning filesystems in Linux, but they are more difficult to use

  • by Xaroth (67516) on Monday August 31, 2009 @05:49PM (#29267043) Homepage

    "With the nearly simultaneous release of Apple's Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" (available right now) and Microsoft's Windows 7 (available Oct. 22)..."

    You heard it here first - August 28th is the new October 22nd. Update your calendars appropriately!

  • by FranTaylor (164577) on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:27PM (#29269301)

    Really, this is just silly.

    How much time do you spend working with a computer during its lifetime? What does that work out to, in dollars?

    Now how does that compare to the price of the hardware?

    How much of your time will you expend in terms of the price difference in the hardware?

    If you think that a better system will save you that much time in the life of the computer, it's a no-brainer.

    People who work with their tools every day do NOT go scraping the bottom of the barrel when they shop for their tools. They go for the good stuff.

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