When measuring the time to compress a 256MB file using LZMA, the fastest configuration on both notebooks was when using Debian GNU/kFreeBSD with the 8.0 kernel. With the ThinkPad R52 and its slower IDE hard drive compared to the ThinkPad T61 with its 7200RPM Serial ATA hard drive, the slowest configuration was Debian GNU/Linux 2.6.32 but with the better hardware, FreeBSD 7.3 was the slowest followed by FreeBSD 8.0.
Looking at GnuPG across the Linux and BSD configurations, the fastest on both Lenovo notebooks was Debian GNU/Linux 2.6.32. For both notebooks, FreeBSD 8.0 was the slowest and it was noticeably regressed compared to FreeBSD 7.3. GnuPG is another test where the two FreeBSD operating systems were much slower than Debian.
With POV-Ray, an industry-standard ray-tracing program, the fastest performer on the R52 notebook was Debian GNU/kFreeBSD 8.0 while with the T61 it was Debian GNU/Linux. The performance when running a FreeBSD kernel -- regardless of whether it was on Debian or FreeBSD itself -- led to about the same POV-Ray results, but it was with the Linux kernel where its results were dissenting.