Regardless of whether you're an Apple fan or not, by now you've likely heard the information about Mac OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" that began making its rounds on the Internet since last week. But how's the performance of Mac OS X 10.8 and how will it compare to the competition on the Linux side, namely Ubuntu 12.04 LTS? In this article are our first benchmarks of the developer preview release of Mac OS X 10.8 compared to Mac OS X 10.7.3 and then Ubuntu 11.10 plus the latest Ubuntu 12.04 LTS development snapshot.
This article isn't going to talk about the new features of Mac OS X 10.8 that try to make it more secure and more like Apple iOS, but rather this is strictly about the raw benchmark results of Mac OS X 10.7/10.8 versus Ubuntu 11.10/12.04 x86_64 on the same hardware.
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS "Precise Pangolin" will officially be released in April while Mac OS X 10.8 "Mountain Lion" is slated for release this summer as an incremental but noticeable upgrade over Mac OS X 10.7 "Lion" from last year.
This initial Mac OS X 10.8 benchmarking is being done from a mid-2011 Apple Mac Mini with an Intel Core i5 2415M CPU, Sandy Bridge (GT2+ / HD 3000) graphics, and 2GB of RAM. The Mac OS X 10.8 build being used was 12A128p with the Darwin 12.0.0 x86_64 kernel, and a Journaled HFS+ file-system.
The performance was compared to Mac OS X 10.7.3 (build 11D50b) with the 11.3.0 Darwin x86_64 kernel on the same hardware. Ubuntu Linux was tested from the same Mac Mini platform with Ubuntu 11.10 and its Linux 3.0 kernel plus stock graphics driver and then an Ubuntu 12.04 LTS development snapshot from 2012-02-19. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is using the Linux 3.2 kernel with Mesa 8.0-rc2 at present.