Why is Windows so much slower at most everyday tasks than OS X?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by JamesDV, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. JamesDV macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2009
    Most people here know that if you have two computers, both with the same hardware, and one is running Mac OS X and one is running Windows, the Mac is usually faster in most aspects.
    I know that Windows is, in general, a much less efficient OS, but specifically, why?
    I've heard that a lot of it is due to the fact that Windows will try to do 100 useless things if you ask it to do one simple thing, also I've heard that Microsoft wrote Windows by getting loads of people to go off and do different parts of the OS, then they would just paste it together rather than taking off the useless parts, fitting each part together and optimizing it.
    I just need a more straightforward answer as I will be using it in an essay.

    Thanks in advance
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    No it isn't

    That's news to me

    That makes no sense, sorry
    Recognize that they are not the same OS

    Windows is far better than OSX in many respects just as OSX exceeds Windows in other areas
  3. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Lol it really isn't but I forget what forums I am on apprently so of course "it is" *wink* *wink*
  5. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    Overall, from using Windows 98 in 1999 through 2001 a lot, it was slightly slower than running Mac OS 9 on just about everything during the same time period.

    Later on, when I ran Jaguar and Tiger, in the mid-2000s, it certainly put Windows XP to shame and the speed gap widened. Since the Mac then used PPC architecture on the machines I had and Windows was running on Pentiums, it's probably not a fair comparison. As far as cost goes, the Macs and PCs were at the same price point. I never used XP on a core duo or core 2 duo so it's hard to say if XP ran faster, but I suspect it would by a good margin over regular Pentiums of old.

    My only guess is that Windows is just not as efficient.

    As a PC tech for ten years, I found ways to speed up Windows, the best being yearly re-installs and watching for viruses, and with that, XP seemed OK. As far as reinstalls for Macs, it was only a rare circumstance where I thought it would need that. But any reinstall, freshens up the computer and things run faster.

    That being said, when I worked with Apple Works word processor or MS Word for Mac, it ran just like Word did on a PC. The speed seemed the same with basic tasks like saving, printing to my Epson, changing fonts, etc.

    As far as Vista, and since I am not a techie anymore, it's slow but only because I don't know where everything is and how it's laid out. Vista seems to be a dog with lipstick compared to XP or Windows 98. ;)

    From most reports, Windows 7 is snappier and easier to use than Vista. But if I were starting with computers with a new machine with Vista, I probably would not find anything terribly wrong with Vista since it's what I would have learned on. A lot of this is personal preference but if you look through the history of this forum, I think you will find OS X to be much more popular than Windows XP/Vista/98/200 and there are a lot of cross platform users out there on this site.
  6. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
    Please see the link I added. OS X is faster. Linux is also more efficient & faster than Windows.
  7. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    Oh yeah!
    The boot time is a real indicator of the machines speed. Right!
  8. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    Boot times are affected by many factors and is not the only indication of what os is better/faster

    I use 7 and SL and they both boot up right away on my machine. Each have pro and cons. It is not a simple black and white anser to say SL is faster than 7 in every thing

    In my experience, quite a few apps open much faster on windows than SL, namely office and CS

    Hey hey, boot time is all that matters!
  9. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Ok, what your about to hear is coming from a PC technician who has been in IT many years working on computers and servers....

    Yes, your right. OSX IS much faster then windows when running on the same hardware. If you hear otherwise the people you heard it from never bothered to test it for themselves.

    Why is this? Many reasons.

    First, if your talking about a CLEAN install without any extra programs the two OSs will feel about the same, although things will be a little faster on OSX.

    Now, for real world stuff, in Windows you are going to have an antivirus and or antispyware running. That slows the system down. OSX, you will not.

    Windows does have a ton of crap that runs in the background. All OSs do but windows is quite excessive. Compare your list of running processes on windows and mac once.

    From a programming standpoint, windows is a sloppy OS. Microsoft has even stated that they need to re-write windows. There is so much bloat to it and rediculous unused features. Mac OS has been refined and built off of unix. Unix is very fast and stable and has been around over 20 years (maybe its 30 years I forget).
  10. Winni macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2008
    No, everybody knows that exactly the opposite is true. Just install Windows 7 64-Bit on your precious Intel Mac and you will see immediately just how much faster Windows is -- and how much better it handles multi-tasking and multi-processing than OS X. (You could also run good old Windows XP or even 64-Bit Vista to get the same result.)

    One of the main reason for the better performance of the Microsoft OS is the Mach kernel architecture used in OS X - it requires too much communication overhead. NT originally also used a Mach kernel design, but Microsoft successively dropped it for performance reasons.

    Also, Windows has much better memory management than OS X. And to add insult to injury, it is also a much better optimized 64-Bit operating system.

    The performance difference between the two platforms was even worse for Apple when Macs still used PowerPC CPUs -- those sluggish beasts didn't stand a chance against the Intel CPUs. Guess why Apple dropped them.

    In terms of stability and robustness, Windows NT-based systems blow OS X out of the water without even thinking about it. I still see the rotating beach ball in OS X quite often. But I have forgotten what a blue screen looks like.

    Now with Windows 7 around, Microsoft also gives OS X a run for the money when we're talking about usability.

    And when you need an enterprise-ready platform, only one of the two is going to cut it. And it's not OS X.

    Well, since you obviously haven't read the news in the last seven years: Windows Vista -is- a complete re-write, and Windows 7 is the optimized version of that re-written Windows. And old code-bases tend to contain tons of unnecessary legacy code - and Linux and Unix are included in that statement. But for the sake of compatibility, people --WANT-- and even --NEED-- that bloat in a platform. No big company wants to spend a couple of million dollars on re-writing their own software just because fancy Uncle Steve Jobs decided to drop some features just to push his hardware sales. That's why you don't find Macs in corporate environments, but tons of PCs with Microsoft software on them.
  11. Horus macrumors regular


    Mar 5, 2009
    Thanks, you made me laugh.
  12. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Running 7 and Leopard side by side on my iMacs, I would say 7 is faster overall. Its faster at file IO, faster at interprocess communication, faster at responding to user input. Don't know about SL but 7 definitely has an edge over Leopard on identical hardware. Boot time and shutdown are good indicators of boot time and shutdown. Nothing else. FWIW, Windows 7 sleeps faster on my iMacs than Leopard.
  13. joe.pelayo macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2009
    Mexico City

    (How much are they paying you? :p )
  14. bkap16 macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2009
    40 years, actually. It was originally released in 1970.

    Back when Unix was originally released, environments were written for efficiency and security, not for ease of use.See this XKCD for what I'm talking about. Linux right now is similar to BSD Unix in the 70s and 80s in this case.

    OS X built on BSD's security, such as not running anything with full permissions unless absolutely necessary, and then added the ease of use on top of it. Like other Unix distributions, there's a huge separation between the low levels of the operating system (Linux, BSD, or Darwin in the case of OS X) and the upper levels (Quartz/X11 and Aqua/Gnome/KDE) as opposed to Windows where everything is thrown together (#include <windows.h>). This is part of what gives it the efficiency- tight coupling of components is considered very poor design, leads to a lot of redundancy in the programming, and opens up a lot of security holes.
  15. bkap16 macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2009
    1) Vista is not a complete rewrite of the OS. They just threw features on top of the NT kernel and rewrote a lot of protocols that didn't really need rewriting (SMB2).

    2) The reason Windows is used in corporate environments is that Microsoft basically gave the OS away in the 90s and got such a huge market share that they have vendor lock-in. It's not that Windows is necessarily a better enterprise OS. It's just that businesses all need software that is Windows only (though not necessarily written by Microsoft)
  16. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2008
    Booting faster does not mean it is faster at everything. Windows is faster at certain tasks and Snow Leopard is better at others. Neither is better at everything. Saying OSX is faster at everything is just blind fanboy speak.

    You are also forgetting that macs have to emulate bios in order to run windows, and that slows things down quite a bit, iirc. I may be incorrect on that.
  17. macrem macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2008
    Yeah I would check that because there has been a lot of tauting how fast Windows runs on Macs compared to other PC hardware. I realize that boot time is only an indicator but notice how many of the tests show the speed to open a browser & load a web page, which is also faster on Macs, & OS X stays fast.

    I realize some software is (poorly) ported from Windows to OS X, like MS Office, & runs faster on Windows but there are better alternatives for OS X.

    Winni: thanks for the laugh! :D One of the fastest super computers in the world is a cluster of Mac Xserves, but most of them are Linux machines & the 1-2 Windows machines are buried so far down the list good luck finding one.
  18. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Oct 19, 2009
    Cedar City, Utah
    Windows is great and fast. I just got sick of it after a decade.
    Buying a computer with oodles of trial and shareware is a joke.
    So is having to perform mass uninstalls of your "Ebay ad friend,
    yahoo toolbars, norton 120 day bazillion trial!". Crap like that
    annoyed me.

    So did Windows vulnerabilities.

    I know because I used to exploit a lot of systems. I can say it now
    because it was in the past ^_^. Windows based systems never had
    the raw power you could tap into like you could in Linux, or OSX.
    Ask your average Windows user how to control his ports. Granted
    network security is a lot better in 7 from what I have heard.

    I also don't like the variety. I take heart in knowing my Macbook Pro
    is about the same one as the newscaster on Fox News, or the legal
    aid in court. Just different program. Uniformity with customization,
    and stability is OSX's strong points. That goes for the Apple brand too.

    When you look at marketing results and see that Apple makes up over
    half of all desktop revenue sold, you know it isn't from 100+ different
    manufacturers or system configurations. That is how the Windows
    side of the pie chart can be broken down to such major hitters as: Dell,
    Gateway, Acer, etc.

    I love having something that just works, and doesn't have viruses. Sure
    OSX systems can be exploited (albeit by user stupidity), but out of the
    box Windows systems are not as secure as OSX.

    Who knows though. Use what you want. Windows 7 64 bit is not slower
    than OSX after bootup! I installed it and I was wowed by its responsiveness
    compared to OSX. On my 2 gig DDR3 2.26 ghz MBP it was just as snappy
    in every respect I could tell.

    Use whatever OS you will use. But this thread is wrong in the respect
    that it is not much slower than OS X. /Facepalm
    Like Winnie said, install 64 bit on your system, default configuration OEM
    Windows7 official Disc install (so no added trials get put on), and try and
    make that same statement.

    Way to go Microsoft, you made something decent. The past few years
    were rough with Vista.
    Vista ate memory like a fat kid ate cake.
  19. SpeedFleX macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2009
    For me Windows is faster on my macbook. And the last couple of weeks it's has been beach balling all the time in osx I have no clue why. It is very annoying waiting sometimes up to 70 seconds just so you can do something, because when that beach ball is spinning, that is all you are going to do, watch it.
  20. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Oct 19, 2009
    Cedar City, Utah

    Exactly. That was Vista's downfall. They just threw crap on it. That created
    more memory holes than swiss cheese. Hence Vista's craptastical memory
    management. Thankfully 7 seems to be going in the opposite direction.

    Maybe Microsoft actually hired coders!
  21. JamesDV thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2009
    Wow, thanks for that great answer, first serious one that helped.
    I guess I was a little biased when I said Macs are faster, I meant they are faster in considerably more everyday tasks like installing most programs, launching most applications and they seem to always be faster in boot/shut down speeds by quite a bit.

    Winni that post was saddeningly hilarious.

    Thanks again to everybody who is trying to help as opposed to those who are spending their free time getting angry over a forum.
  22. JamesDV thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2009
    I've decided to edit my post to be more accurate and avoid even less accurate "PC fanboy" comments.
  23. FieryFurnace macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2008
    Berlin, Germany
    If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't throw the word "fanboy" around that much. Most people would consider this whole thread a Mac Fanboy thing.
  24. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    A fresh installation of Windows is lightning fast. Really responsive, no lag. Then a couple of weeks later, things feel a bit sluggish - opening Internet Explorer takes 5 seconds as opposed to nearly instant because the CPU is rattling away in the background doing god knows what..

    My Windows 7 installation is heading down the same route. Fresh installation was great. Now it's been a couple of months and I've installed a fair few bits and bobs, the OS just feels laggy and generally frustrates me.

    Don't get me wrong, OS X also frustrates me (Safari beach balling etc) but on a whole, OS X is much cleaner and stays cleaner longer compared to Windows.

  25. mac2x macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2009
    "Follow the money" :rolleyes:

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