Using the multi-threaded C-Ray benchmark certainly leads to a different outcome than POV-Ray. With C-Ray, the FreeBSD 7.3 and 8.0 operating systems were measurably faster compared to running Debian, but Debian with the kFreeBSD kernel did not share such benefits. However, these C-Ray results are not particularly surprising as in our other Linux vs. FreeBSD testing we have found the C-Ray ray-tracing engine to favor *BSD operating systems.
With John The Ripper, there was barely any difference at all in the results between the different software platforms; but very strangely, this open-source password-cracking platform suffers a major performance penalty with the newer Intel Core 2 Duo notebook that in reality is generations faster than the Pentium M notebook.
When running the dcraw image conversion program, Debian GNU/Linux pulled another win on both notebooks. The performance between Debian GNU/kFreeBSD and FreeBSD itself were similar, and with both, the 8.0 kernel was faster than the 7.3 version.