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Phoronix Test Suite

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Early Benchmarks Of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

Michael Larabel

Published on 2 March 2011
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 3 of 3 - 5 Comments

A few disk tests are also indicating some modest performance improvements for the Journaled HFS+ file-system, but again we will reserve final judgment until Mac OS X 10.7 is officially released this summer.

Now onto graphics...

Our tests of this first public build of Mac OS X 10.7 do not indicate any major changes in the OpenGL performance, at least for the older NVIDIA GeForce 9400 graphics. Hopefully a second round of graphics improvements, similar to the Snow Leopard Graphics Update from last year, will deliver more underlying optimizations. At least for Intel graphics, the Mac OS X Intel driver stack is still slaughtering the Intel Linux driver.

Overall, there is not much to say right now about the Mac OS X 10.7 Lion performance since the single-threaded kernel we were left to use in the current development build certainly provides a capped perspective. However, the switch to the 64-bit kernel by default for Lion will certainly result in a faster "out of the box" experience for many users, as today's tests begin to show. It also looks like there may be some file-system (Journaled HFS+) improvements in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion too, but we will wait for a clean kernel before saying for sure. In terms of the Mac OS X graphics performance, it doesn't appear there are any significant changes in Apple's OpenGL stack at least with this initial developer preview. Mac OS X 10.6 brought a number of speed improvements over Mac OS X 10.5 and hopefully Mac OS X 10.7 will do the same to be faster than Snow Leopard.

When Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is released this summer, we will be back with many more benchmarks, including a comparison to Linux, Windows, and BSD. If any other interesting development builds surface before then, we may look at those too. For those interested in the complete set of benchmarks (circa 60 tests) that were executed on this initial 10.7 build, they can be found at OpenBenchmarking.org, but again keep in mind the current kernel limitations in this development build.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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