Snow Leopard has been out for quite sometime now while Windows 7 is coming out in a few days. Once both operating systems are in the market, comparison videos and lengthy benchmarks articles will inevitably flood the internet -- But as usual, CNET has done it ahead of everyone else again.
Testing both Snow Leopard and Windows 7 on a Macbook Pro, Dong Ngo of CNET found out that Apple's new OS beats Microsoft's in terms of speed.
Both operating systems were tested on a 2008 MacBook Pro machine by CNet, and each was given its own, separate, clean hard drive. The 64-bit version of each OS was included in the test, which measured a variety of speed and performance related tasks. Snow Leopard was given true, full 64-bit support with most of its native applications taking full advantage of modern processors.
Each OS had the same software installed: iTunes 9, QuickTime, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and Cinebench R10. In the test, Snow Leopard booted and shut down significantly faster than Windows 7. [via Apple Insider]
Here's the bar graph showing the results of the test:
Credit: Dong Ngo, CNET
As you can see on the graph, Snow Leopard pretty much trumps Windows 7 in terms of boot time, shutdown time, multimedia multi-tasking and iTunes encoding. The results were a bit close for other categories but Snow Leopard is the clear winner in multimedia multi-tasking,
Converting a movie from M4 format to iPod in Quicktime X on Snow Leopard took 444.3 seconds, while Windows 7, with QuickTime 7 (the latest version available) took 723 seconds.
CNET also found out that, on a Macbook Pro, Snow Leopard gives more battery life vs. Windows 7. But this could be caused by BootCamp Drivers weighing Windows 7 down.
One area, though, where Windows 7 clearly beats Snow Leopard is in rendering graphics. Macbook Pro's 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT graphics chip just seems to become more powerful under Windows 7 as shown in this Cinebench R10 benchmarks results graph:
Windows 7 clearly outperforms Snow Leopard in the 3D image rendering benchmark.
Credit: Dong Ngo/CNET
So what's CNET's conclusion?
First all of all, you'll get much better battery life running OS X on Mac laptops than running Windows. Secondly, performance-wise, Windows 7 is probably a better choice if you are a gamer (there are more games developed for Windows, anyway), even on Mac hardware.