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Phoronix Test Suite

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Mac OS X 10.6.3 vs. Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 Benchmarks

Michael Larabel

Published on 9 May 2010
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 5 of 5 - 72 Comments

While it is a pity we were only able to perform this operating system comparison on two Mac Mini setups -- and with the older Core 2 Duo Mac Mini bearing Intel graphics it would not support Windows 7 x64 -- the results were certainly interesting. With every OpenGL gaming test and at every tested resolution, Microsoft Windows 7 x64 was significantly faster than Mac OS X 10.6.3 on Apple's very own hardware. In many cases, Windows 7 produced noticeably higher frame-rates than even Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx", which was somewhat surprising considering the competitive performance last week in our Windows vs. Ubuntu Linux performance comparison.

With the Mac Mini bearing Intel graphics, Mac OS X 10.6.3 was generally much faster than Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. However, this is not surprising considering the huge margins witnessed last week when comparing the Intel Clarkdale graphics performance between Linux and Windows. The Intel Linux graphics driver is simply not in a state to perform well with 3D acceleration atop its Mesa driver. Had Windows 7 worked on the older Mac Mini, the Microsoft OS would likely have produced even higher frame-rates than Mac OS X 10.6.3, but we're unable to verify this due to the aforementioned problems.

So while Microsoft Windows 7 Professional took the lead in all of these gaming tests on Apple hardware, aside from when using Intel integrated graphics, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx" was a faster gaming platform than Mac OS X "Snow Leopard", which is good news for once the Steam Linux client arrives.

In our upcoming multi-platform performance comparisons we will be using the Mac Mini setups again as we see how the performance of these three operating systems pan out in areas besides graphics. Should we get our hands on more Apple systems, we will be running some extra tests too. For some of the other non-gaming tests that are more OS neutral, we may include results from FreeBSD and OpenSolaris too -- where the Phoronix Test Suite is also fully supported.

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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