When timing how long it took to convert several RAW image files to PPM using the open-source dcraw project, Snow Leopard was decisively faster. This is another real world test that should please those that do a lot of image conversion work under Mac OS X. The older Mac Mini with the 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo processor running Mac OS X 10.6 was as fast as the new Mac Mini with the 2.00GHz Core 2 Duo processor when it was running the older Mac OS X 10.5.8 release.
Seeing how well the Xcode-provided GCC 4.2 worked on both Mac OS X 10.5 and Mac OS X 10.6, we measured how long it took to build Apache 2.2, which is one of the compilation test profiles accessible through the Phoronix Test Suite. The GCC builds between Leopard and Snow Leopard are not too different, but there was a slight improvement in the compilation time under the newer OS release.
We also timed how long it took to build PHP 5.2 on each distribution. While Apache built slightly faster on Mac OS X 10.6, PHP built slightly slower, but the difference was quite small for both systems.