PC Pro’s Darien Graham-Smith notes that in the publication’s reviews, the MacBook Pro 13-inch with Retina display and the 27-inch iMac both top the A-List in their respective categories – the MacBook Air receiving a Recommended award, and notes tha even in business, Mac desktops have become a viable choice, thanks partly to their ability to run both OS X and Windows.
But which is best? Graham-Smith observes that OS X has the advantage of better security and better integration for things such as multitouch gestures and function keys, but Windows supports more gaming softrware and offers broader support for legacy software. He notes that OS X and Windows are based on different kernels, with different approaches to multitasking and virtual memory, and even when mainstream applications are offered on both platforms, they’re implemented in different ways.
With those qualifications in mind. Graham-Smith set out with a stopwatch to time how long OS X and Windows took to complete a variety of common desktop tasks — his mission to determine out whether OS X provides a performance advantage over Windows, or whether it’s actually slower. Both OSes were tested on on the same hardware – a pair of mid-range Mac systems with relatively limited power, where performance could easily be a real-world issue. Both machines were set up as Boot Camp dual-boot systems, and the Mac was booted from OS X 10.9, Mavericks while the Windows version was Windows 7 Home Premium, running natively on the hardware.
Some of the results were quite dramatic. For examole, Safari on OS X in the iMac was 67% faster on average than Internet Explorer on Windows, and on the MacBook Air around twice as fast overall. Apple’s iWork productivity suite was also speedier than MS Office apps on the Mac. OS X was slower running Photoshop CC on the iMac, and faster than Windows on the MacBook Air. Go figure.
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