Performance, Speed Lion Vs SL,Leopard ?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by dumb, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. dumb macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2009
    With all the talks focused on Lion's UI's and new features. I wanted to know if there were any performance improvements.

    When I switched from Leopard to SL, the boot time and shutdown times were noticeably faster and overall feel was snappy.
    Also, one of the difference from Leopard to SL to me was amount of free memory. SL seemingly uses more memory and does not want to

    So those using Lion, is it relatively faster ?
  2. WeegieMac Guest


    Jan 29, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    Lion is blazingly fast on my mid 2008 iMac.

    2.4GHz Core 2 Duo and 4GB DDR2 800MHz RAM.

    Safari is far quicker than it is on Snow Leopard, the loading times of web pages are blindingly quick.

    However, even system UI navigation is quicker. Everything within the OS is 64-bit when you check the Activity Monitor (inc iTunes if running 10.5 beta), and it shows. Everything loads quicker, animates smoothly, and it really does just scream.

    I recorded a video for a good friend who wanted to see Lion, but the YouTube link is a private one as it contains some in-jokes only he would get. Either way, his comments in return were as follows:

    "You know how when you watch the keynote, and they demo the features, you think to yourself "I wish my Mac was that fast" ... well now it is"!

    Even on DP4 this thing flies, which is why it's now on my internal and Snow Leopard is on my external as a "back up just in case".
  3. dumb thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2009
    64 Bit iTunes and blazing fast experience. Exactly what I wanted to hear.

    I was feeling guilty of buying a new mac last month knowing I would not qualify for the up-to-date program..but your post will definitely make me upgrade.

  4. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    i also find an extreme speed boost overall in lion...not just safari
  5. BLACKFRIDAY macrumors regular

    May 23, 2011
    Lion is definitely faster than Snow Leopard on the same hardware.

    The developer previews are still not complete; so one might find a lot of glitches. For e.g. Desktop switching is not seamless. It's not the best experience you would want to have on your machine.

    But its looking better day by day. I'm sure Lion is going to be a great release.
  6. Atarikid macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011
    Sorry to say but I totally disagree.
    Lion feels a bit sluggish at some points. Especially graphically wise it is slower compared to SL.
    Some typical OSX animations are jerky (opening folders, resizing of apps, dock animations, resizing of performance sheets, ...)

    Both my Macbook Pro 2011 i7 (with SSD) and iMac i7 have this little annoyances.
    Not sure if they can improve those for GM but I really hope they do!
  7. limo79, Jun 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011

    limo79 macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2009
    You forgot about the most important factor - what about temperatures (especially bottom case) comparing OSX Leopard 10.5.8 vs OSX Snow Leopard 10.6.7 and OSX Lion 10.7 DP4??? What about battery time?

    I compared OSX 10.5.8 vs OSX 10.6.7 - even if monitored temps are generally similar - Snow Leo seems to generate slightly more heat (almost the same like Windows 7 in idle). Everything seems to run faster on SL, but this is not revolution. On the other hand OSX 10.5.8 seems to require less resource. I can compare like XP vs Windows 7 on older machine.
  8. jeanlain, Jun 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011

    jeanlain macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2009
    Lion's interface is generally slower for me, and I don't think it's related to a bug in my system, as it has been affecting my 2 macs (a laptop and a tower) on independent clean installs, form DP1 to DP4.

    Scrolling is worse and uses more CPU. You don't get the perfectly smooth (sustained 60 fps) scrolling you get in 10.6 with apps like Mail (viewing a message), Safari, Preview, and others. It's a bit jumpy too. I invite anyone doubting this to check with Quartz debug. The lower performance isn't surprising, as redrawing is much less parsimonious in Lion compared to Snow Leopard (also checked with Quartz Debug).

    Resizing is also a bit less smooth, at times. For instance, if you activate the new sorting options in a Finder, resizing gets a bit more choppy. Same thing in the new dual-pane view in Mail. The windows resizes more fluidly in the old list view.

    Yeah, I'm obsessed with scrolling and resizing. I've checking this in all DPs to see improvements (that haven't come yet).

    Otherwise, Lion is generally as fast as 10.6, and much faster to boot. But it uses much more RAM. 4Gigs seems the bare minimum.
  9. ScubaCinci macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2008
    Cincinnati OH
    I was wondering about this since there was no mention of speed improvements in the keynote or elsewhere. This is good to hear.
  10. jeanlain macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2009
    My previous post may suggest that Lion is generally slower. The UI may be a bit slower, but some system apps have got considerably faster. Safari is indeed one of those.
    It now uses hardware acceleration for HTML5 content, and it really shows. :eek:
  11. Atarikid macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011
    I am glad I am not the only on this. :) I too find those issue annoying and that is why I do not like Lion atm.
  12. BlackMangoTree, Jun 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011

    BlackMangoTree macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2010
    No more blazing that it is right now on Snow Leopard.

    I have a 2011 iMac and 8gb ram and i honestly don't notice much if any improvement in speed. ON my 2007 Macbook 2gb ram it's definitely slower. 2010 MacMini 4gb ram is slower as well.

    Safari 5.1 beta on Snow Leopard is just as fast as Safari Lion.
  13. Atarikid macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011
    I did a lot of testing with Quartz Debug.
    The reason why Lion isn't doing well graphically wise is because of the graphic drivers for the Intel i7 build-in graphics of my MBP i7 17" aren't very good.
    With the Intel build-in graphics it get around 30-40fps which isn't smooth like SL.
    But when you disable the onboard Intel graphics (= enabling the fast graphics mode) you get very smooth results (60fps all the way).

    So, in the end Apple needs to update the graphics drivers for the Intel graphics and it should be back on par with SL.

    Fingers crossed if they will do this in time for release.
  14. jeanlain macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2009
    I don't have an intel GPU, and I don't think the GPU is even used for scrolling or resizing. The difference really seems related to the fact that in SN, the view isn't fully redrawn at each increment, while it is in Lion. But that depends on the windows. Some (that supposedly don't use the native scroll view) fully redraw even in 10.6, and for those, there is no difference in performance. So Quartz is inherently slower in Lion. Drawing is just less parsimonious. I've checked that on my 2 Macs with different GPUs (nVidia and AMD), so I don't think it relates to drivers.
    Regarding resizing, lower performance in Lion seems to correlate with new designs (again, checked on 2 Macs). As I say above, Finder windows resize smoothly unless the new sorting options are activated in list view or column view. Show you apps in list view and sort them by category. You'll see that the window doesn't resize as smoothly as it does when apps are not sorted (sorted with the column header, as in pre-10.7, to be more precise)
    Likewise, the Mail window resizes as smoothly as in 10.6 if the legacy list view is used. Not so much for the new 3-pane view.
    So I suppose they haven't optimized the new designs yet, and that things will improve. But I'm a bit puzzled about the non-parsimonious scrolling mode. That looks like a regression to me.
  15. Atarikid macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011
    It also seems not to switch between graphic modes when needed
  16. Yamcha macrumors 68000

    Mar 6, 2008
    I don't notice any difference, I think the animations make Lion appear faster, and If there were performance improvements I think it would've been mentioned..
  17. kristoffers4 macrumors member


    Oct 3, 2009
    In my opinion Lion DP4 is way slower. Boot up time is a disaster! It takes over one minute now on my 2011 MBP.
    My 15" core i7 MBP is now unable to play a video without stuttering, (but video becomes smooth when I force the graphics to the AMD).

    But animations such as when switching desktops and going in Mission Control or Launchpad run quite smooth... And other things like flash in Safari runs like it should.

    Edit: Mail seems to crash every few minutes since I registered for an @me email address.
  18. jeanlain macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2009
    There must be a problem with you install, because Lion boots blazingly fast here. Way faster than Snow Leopard. 15 seconds or so, and that includes reopening all windows. :eek:
  19. Atarikid macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011
    My Macbook Pro with SSD and a Lion partition boots in less then 8 seconds.

    But graphics with onboard Intel GPU is much slower compared to the dedicated graphics mode. Manually switching between those too reveals a massive differences in al-round graphics performance (window animations, scrolling, ...)
    I still hope they will improve the onboard graphics mode for MBP's.
  20. Atarikid macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011
    I have installed DP4 11A480e (previously I had 11A480b) and the graphics speed issues are gone. It is now on par with SL !
    Everything is working very smooth now on my Macbook Pro 2011.

    To download the new version:
    Remove the Lion installer and download it again via App Store. You will automatically download the latest DP4 version.
  21. BlackMangoTree macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2010
    Lion is performing differently on all Mac's. Works well on one of my Macs are rubbish on the other 2.

    Overall it doesn't seem faster at all.

    Lion is full of so many bugs still i can't see how they can have a reliable version out in July.
  22. duyvan82 macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Sydney, Australia
    Lion is definitely faster on my iMac (27" late 2009 model), apps opening/closing seem snappier than Snow Leopard.

    However animations (scrollings/window resizing/mission control/app going to/from fullscreen) are not as smooth as they were on Snow Leopard. Safari is still quite buggy for me, especially the Top sites page, none of the previews is showing, all I get is a bunch of black/empty tiles lol.

    I think Apple still have a lot to do if they are to release Lion in July, the below error message just sums it up nicely lol

    Attached Files:

  23. wesleyh macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2007
    You would think that opening apps would be slower, since it also opens all documents from the previous usage. Is this not the case?
  24. dumb thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2009
    Not having used Lion, I probably don't have the rights to say it but, Lion Cannot possibly be slower than Snow Leopard. I mean apple would not ship it as such. However, since performance was not highlighted at WWDC, I'd say its not going to be screaming fast.
  25. Yamcha macrumors 68000

    Mar 6, 2008
    Based on what everyones posting, I think people are having different performance experiences because we are still running a developer preview, I bet when it is officially released we'll see some the issues fixed..

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