Update on Apple vs Windows Graphics Performance

One of the most popular posting on theOpenSourcery.com has been Apple vs Adobe: Are Apple’s MacOS/X Graphics Drivers to Blame.

Well there is a new set of benchmarks as promised by Phoronix [but uploaded to openBenchmarks.org] and they compare MacOS/X Lion vs the latest Windows 7 update. Fortunately the benchmarks are done in the same manner – clean loading the latest versions of  MacOS/X and Windows 7 separately onto the same Apple MacMini hardware. Unfortunately some complications arose because Linux Ubuntu appears not to be able to run on the latest edition of the Mac Mini[tell us why Tim Cook]. Also not all the benchmark apps run on both systems. So the results are mixed:
Windows 7 continues to outperform MacOS/X  by at least double the frame rates open Arena and Urban Terror [but one resolution only]. Then only MacOS/X performs for the Xplane and Xonotics tests. Also MacOS/X outperforms Windows 7 in the Warsow test by 15-20% depending on screen resolution.


With these results it is hard to draw any steady conclusions. MacOS still lags but also has surpassed Windows 7. Here are the reasons why conclusive results are hard to make:
1)GPU and multi-core utilization by both MacOS and Windows 7 and 8 are in a state of   major and rapid change;
2)Software drivers latest editions may not have been picked up and utilized by the graphics vendors;
3)OS use of OpenGL, DirectX and other display software is also in flux.
Also consider the fact that a)Flash routines were  not directly tested and b)Adobe has moved 2 versions beyond Flash Player 10.1 in use last year when Steve Jobs  said Flash  things were too slow[maybe his drivers?].Finally our test of  the new Windows 8 developer version shows graphics software in some cases to be very fast taking advantage of Async and other speed optimization.  So dear readers, ye Editor hates to say it; but wait til next year.

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