Two days ago, I installed Windows XP on our Intel iMac. Let’s see how Windows XP compares to Mac OS X on the same hardware, shall we?
So here are a couple of tasks I tried.
|Task||Win XP||Mac OS X|
|iTunes rip a CD AAC 128kbps||3:20 min||3:20 min|
|Copy 5 files (446.2MB) from CD to harddisk||3:18 min||3:18 min|
|Convert QT file to iPod format in QuickTime Player||12.4 s||17.5 s|
|Boot to login||35.3 s||19.5 s|
Note that all that is hand timed.
QuickTime on Mac OS X with Intel seems to be slower than QuickTime for Windows. Well, I had the suspicion that maybe the QuickTime for Mac/Intel is not optimised yet when I did a comparision in January between iMac G5 and Intel iMac and found that QuickTime on the PowerPC is still a bit faster. Let’s give them a couple of weeks, and QuickTime should be at least as fast on Mac OS X as on Windows.
Booting to login is different for both OSes and not entirely comparable.
Overall it seems as if Windows and Mac OS X in theory can both get about the same performance out of the hardware. Some tasks might be better programmed on Windows, others on Mac OS X, but there is no principal speed advantage or disadvantage to either of them in the areas I tested.
Although I would have wished for Mac OS X to be clearly in the lead, at least I am relieved that it does not lack behind either.
One thing that stands out however is the performance of the browsers. IE on Windows feels so much faster than Safari on Mac OS X that it is spooky. I hope the Safari team will not quit in frustration when they see that.
I am sure further down the road, some people will make more intensive tests and get some more refined results, but for now, my curiousity is satisfied and I can get back to business.