Every new release of Mac OS X makes old hardware faster; the opposite is true of Windows

“We’ve been waiting over five years already for the successor to Windows XP, so we might as well wait a few more months for Microsoft to ship a secure, reliable operating system. The problem isn’t trying to meet the January 2007 release date. The problem is that after such a long delay, Microsoft must absolutely make sure Vista works. There’s nothing worse than taking five years, only to release a buggy operating system that just offers marginal improvements over Windows XP,” Wallace Wang writes for CNET.

“Rather than try to yank out more features to insure Vista ships on time, Microsoft should work on optimizing Vista. Every new release of Mac OS X from version 10.1 to 10.2 to 10.3 to 10.4 actually added new features while making my ancient G3 iBook faster at the same time. With Mac OS X, it’s a no-brainer to upgrade the operating system since you speed up an old computer while getting new features at the same time,” Wang writes.

“With Windows, the opposite is true. Each succeeding version of Windows needs more hardware and still runs sluggishly. Don’t even think about running Vista on a machine originally designed for Windows 98 or even one designed for Windows XP. Ultimately, no matter how long Microsoft takes to ship Vista, the fact that it won’t run on existing machines already means Vista is a failure,” Wang writes.

Wallace Wang is a freelance computer journalist and author whose books include “Microsoft Office for Dummies” and “Steal This Computer Book.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Macintosh. The truth shall set you free.

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54 Comments

  1. I have been keeping detailed performance records of each Mac OS X update and this is what I found out.

    Overall Mac OS X has been slowing down, but the biggest slowdown occured in the last few updates of 10.3, which made early installs of 10.4 seem faster in the user interface department.

    There was a slight CPU performance increase in G5 based Mac’s with 10.4 because it’s a 64 bit processor. As you know Intel Mac’s are currently 32 bit, a step backward.

    Mac OS X performance “feel” is very very dependant upon the amount of RAM and the I/O speed of the boot drive. If your not getting over 100 MB per second 4K writes under X-Bench, your crawling.

    I run a RAID O pair of 10,000 RPM Raptors as a boot drive, I have edited my /etc/hosts file with huge list of blocked/banned ad servers, click registers and the like, plus using Safari Enhancer and other tricks (like a 6MB download cable) to have web pages appear almost instantly.

    I never see a SBBOD.

  2. I had an 800Mhz iBook G3 years ago, and it ran 10.2 very well. 10.3 was snappier still.

    Before 10.2, it wouldn’t have had Quartz extreme, so it would have had a far less snappy interface.

    Mac OS 10.0 was a shaky beta release, 10.1 was a bug fix that made it suck less, and 10.2 was a pretty nice and usable operating system – even on G3 hardware. Mac 10.3 was faster still. Mac OS 10.4 added features that slow it down on older hardware (the background tasks that always run for Spotlight, mds and mdimport, the dashboard widgets eating up RAM in the background), but the convenience of them makes for a more productive computer as long as it isn’t really old and underpowered.

    Mac OS 10.3 was probably the best version of Mac OS X for older hardware.

  3. WOW…

    Someone to speaks their mind and tells the truth – could it be that the M$ community is at long last getting feed up the the whole Windows thing and see it for what it is – A POOR COPY OF OS X (EARILY VERSION) AT BEST AND A LOT OF CRAP AT WORST!

    I liked the line -“Don’t even think about running Vista on a machine originally designed for Windows 98 or even one designed for Windows XP”.

    Dell is going to love that that one!

  4. Of course Leopard will run on a PPC. PowerMac G5s are still shipping today as there is no Intel replacement for them yet. Apple would NOT cut off it’s pro line to OS upgrades. When the last pro PPC Mac ships, rest assured that the following five years of OS upgrades will be available to those machines.

  5. I have Tiger (10.4.7) on my ibook 800mhz with 640mb of ram and on my 1.8ghz MBP with 1.5gigs of ram. I swear sometimes (as does my gf who uses the ibook and mbp sometimes) that the ibook actually runs certain apps (safari, finder, ichat, iphoto, etc) faster than my new MBP!! That little ibook is about 4yrs old and been through hell and back and still rocks. I find myself looking for the ibook sometimes cause the MBP just seems to be running too slow. That one reason is what has kept me from selling that thing…..that plus it was my first mac. =)

  6. I have a blueberry 500mhz G3 imac on 10.3 and a g4 lampshade 700mhx on g3. Same ram on each. I swear on certain things my gh3 runs faster.

    Not everyone is rich. We can afford the upgraded system but not a new computer. Thats why mac’s are great. My imac is old and I still use imovie all the time!!!

  7. What I feel like is gonna happen with the Leopard release, is that the G3 will be cut off, and it will require a G4 of 400-500 MHz to run (for PPC of course).

    Is there gonna be two different versions for Intel and PPC? I would think they would save on putting both on one DVD.

  8. To answer the fairly neive question of “Will Leopard run on PPC products?”

    25 – 30 million Macs up and running in the world.
    75% of those Macs are OS X capable.
    >5% of all Macs are Intel-based.

    Do the math – There are about 20 million PPC Macs out in the wild which could run a PPC Leopard OS. Assume 20% upgrade to Leopard at an average of $100 per copy. That’s 4 million x $100, totalling $40 million bucks in virtual profit waiting for Apple to claim.

    Keep in mind these are not completely accurate numbers, just estimates, and probably conservative, as my best guess is on the table.

    So to answer the question whether OS X will be PPC as well – Duh.

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