Why is XP faster?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by B@SS_SHOCK, Jun 4, 2003.

  1. B@SS_SHOCK macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2003
    Perth, WA
    It dosen't worry me the bit but when friends say that XP is faster overall than X, unfortunately, it's true. I remember someone told me that most microsoft programs on XP are intergrated on the OS level, so that probably explains why IE is so slow on Mac (even though Microsoft promised it would be no different to the Windows. Well, I think the sooner they intergrate BeOS (probably never happen), the fatser OS X would be. After all, that OS was heaps faster than the Mac System OS's of the time.
  2. Wardofsky macrumors 65816

    Aug 6, 2002
    I'll have to disagree, in my case at least.

    We have a family member who owns one of the latest Toshiba Laptops with Windows XP Pro.

    It is schockingly jaggered in refresh rates (despite being LCD, you get that slow frame rate feel) and rough edged.
    It would be dependant on the hardware configuration, but it may be different in you case.
  3. Zaid macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2003
    XP tends to be really fast after a clean install, but like with all windows, unless you take maticulous care of your OS, it slows down, fast.

    What also makes XP seem fast is that it has a snappier interface. It doesnt do any real work faster. Copying files etc for example is about as fast as on os x (on similar hardware); BUT OS X remains more responsive than does XP during the copy of really large file, or of a large number of files.
  4. maradong macrumors 65816


    Mar 7, 2003
  5. groov' macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2001
    no, it's not.

    On all my machines, XP and X, I have login-lists with thumbs + names.

    And, sorry to agree, XP is faster.
  6. maradong macrumors 65816


    Mar 7, 2003
    xp certainly is a SINGLE USER os !
    It is also certainly faster. If you think that the swich user feature is a argument for the os to be multi user, IT IS NOT !
    Infact the processes of the different users are not running at the same time through the cpu, but in alternance.
    and, once more , xp is certainly not a multi user os. - period
  7. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    XP's got some multi-user functionality, but it certainly wasn't designed to be multi-user in the first place (look back at NT 3.1). Having said that, it implements multi-user much better than 95/98, since they're stuck in the 80s (DOS) :p

    On the other hand, Unix has been designed for multi-user environments. Since OS X is a Unix descendant, a lot of that multi-user functionality is still there.
  8. amnesiac1984 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2002
    You say XP is faster. Have you tried doing more than 1 thing at once in XP? Yes maybe windows open faster in XP than in OS X and there is a little less lag in redraw but try this. Open about 7 or 8 applications, copy some files, set a cd burning and listen to some tunes, now try to browse the web with all that going on, OS X will still be responsive in the front application, XP will slow to a crawl and you cannot do anything. Its called crap multi-tasking.

    OS X Rules, nuff sed brah!!
  9. Porshuh944turbo macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2003
    Agree with Zaid

    After building PC's for a while now, I have noticed this very much.. when I first build and instlal XP pro on the machine, then install all the updates and reboot.. wow... it is very fast.. but after a month or so of using it (after selling it and the customer using it) it has lost the clean install feel and just lags on nearly anything.. I know that this is due to crap software out there that destroys the OS, but that shouldn't be so easy to do. the OS should have more control over what is installed where.. etc.. i don't know.. the whole registry thing in windows always seemed to be a problem with installing/uninstalling programs.. entries would get left behind and bog down the system... bad design I think.. not that i could do better.. I'm just glad Apple did... ;)
  10. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2001
    west of Philly
    Hmmm, I've WMP playing, and ripping a new cd, a render going in the background, email, word, a couple of explorer windows open. Visual Studio .Net going with the occasional compile, typing this in IE, no problems. It's not even a particularly new machine, just an old 933 PIII, so about 2 1/2-3 years old.

    I hop back and forth each day between XP and OSX and don't really notice any particular advantage based on the OS itself. To me it seems that it's more tied to a single vs. dual configuration. The dual CPU boxes always seem to absorb more processes and stay responsive even if the dual has a much lower clock rate. My dual 800 PIII feels more responsive than my single 2.26 P4 when there are lots of processes even though if I just hit render on both the P4 will beat the PIII by 50%. The dual 800 G4 falls right in line with that.

    Oh, and BTW for maradong, not sure how Home behaves, but at least XP Pro is a multiuser system, though two users cannot see the UI at the same time. If you do a switch user, the applications on the previous user are still running they are not suspended. Just tested it. If you bring up task manager, you won't see those apps in the list but if you've got it working on something CPU utilization will be where it should be and when you switch back that task will have done work. If you want multiuser all getting a UI at the same time, I you need to move up to server and enable terminal services or use Citrix.
  11. benixau macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    heres proof of XP Pro multi-user capabilities.

    If i log into an XP Pro system from my mac via RDC it logs the current user out, logs me in and locks the screen (or if you don't like security, shows the welcome screen).

    Wow, i wish OS X would do that - interrupt a user's session because someone wants to log in remotely.


    Circumventing the profanity filter is a fast way to get threads closed. Keep it clean people.

  12. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2001
    west of Philly
    We get your sarcasm, and that function is actually very handy for getting to your machine from anywhere, I wish OSX had this out of the box. I use this feature all the time, I find it especially nice that MS released RDC for OSX so when I'm working on the Mac I can log into my XP laptop sitting in the kitchen with the full UI, not some shell, kick of new tasks, check mail, etc. without leaving my office. I VPN into work and control my XP machine there. I would love to have the same thing on my PowerMac included with OSX, control the full UI, no shell, while sitting at the coffee table on my XP laptop. I'd probably spend more time doing Mac development if I could.
  13. hvfsl macrumors 68000


    Jul 9, 2001
    London, UK
    XP is only faster because it runs on faster hardware. To better compare the OSs compare a 1Ghz (single) Mac with a 1Ghz Windows XP PC, Mac OS X is so much faster.
  14. the future macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2002
    Exactly! And just wait how fast OS X 10.3 will be on PPC 970 based RAM-ed up desktop machines! XP will seem very slow then, clean install or not...
  15. F/reW/re macrumors 6502


    Dec 30, 2001
    Re: Why is XP faster?

    Opera and Mozilla FireBird is both browsers for Xp with no integration, but they are both faster than Explorer.
  16. AppleMatt macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2003
    The areas where XP is faster, such as UI, boot and log-in times, Apple have admitted and are working on for Panther.

    Remember XP is built on the Win9x and WinNT kernal, OS X is essentially new ground for Apple, there was always going to be issues.

    Multitasking wise, it depends what you are doing, but generally copying on a Windows machine DOES pretty much kill it, this just doesn't happen on a Mac.

  17. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    this whole X vs. XP thing is dumb. what's "faster"? UI is faster on XP, sure. X is better at multitasking, perhaps. but the bottom line is, who cares? it's highly subjective. there's no inherent reason, so to ask why is kind of pointless.

    to me, the biggest drawbacks of XP are: 1) the inherent feel of instability. XP seems to "hang" a lot more programs more often and attempts to terminate them can result in XP itself hanging up... X is nice because even if Finder hangs, it can be relaunched fairly consistently and if that fails, i can pull up a terminal and kill the process manually.

    2) gradual degration of OS performance under normal usage as time passes

    little snappiness in UI doesn't compensate for these "bigger" problems, as far as I'm concerned.

    apple will take what's good about XP and incorporate into Panther. MS will be trying to "catch up" to Apple on other aspects. nothing new here...
  18. pellucidity macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2003
    memory management

    There are a few bad *nix apps that assume you have virtual memory, and these are bad. In the windows world, bad use of memory is standard.

    However my Athlon box, when booted into XP (rather than BSD) hangs and pages on things it really shouldn't. I checked the taskman, and it is using the pagefile all the time. This seems odd since I have 768MB of memory in the box, and only half of it is used! My iBook 800 has 640MB, and I don't get the feeling of waiting for paging (I'm waiting for the G3:mad:).

    With regards to 'integration', the fact that IE is built-in in all sorts of ugly ways mostly affects its initial loading time- and it is surely faster than Opera7. Good thing Opera stays open for days. Note, as i typed that, XP shuddered for a second and didn't display the 'op'. Typical.

    (First post...Hi. ex-lurker)
  19. Zaid macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2003
    XP is a multi-user OS. Its built on the Win2000 base rather than 9.x base. I can log into my xp box from my mac, while my flat-mate continues to use the xp box logged in under his account without interruption. You can have muliple users logged on to an XP box at the same time and using the comp at the same time. Just coz they cant do it at the same terminal at the same time doesnt make it single user.

    XP's interface is faster than OS X even on similarly specked hardware. (i have a 1Ghz PC laptop and a 900Mhz iBook, they both have a similar amount of ram) The eXPerience, however, degrades through normal usage unless the machine is maticulously cared for, (i.e no installing and unistalling of aps etc.) OS X on the other hand doesnt degrade in speed.

    Also interface speed doesnt mean the XP box (on similarly specked hardware) will do anything faster. (Copying/moving files, running scripts etc) OS X also remains more responsive during heavy tasks than does XP.

    XP's interface is also less eye-candy heavy than OS X, much fewer and lower quality animations and effects. None of those shadows and transparent bits and bobs. So its hadly suprising that it feels snappier(TM). I like the eye candy tho :) If you skin xp (using 3rd party apps) to have all the animations etc it is much much slower.

    XP is still bad about releasing mem. Its a lot better than 9.x but still behind OS X. after a few days use, (launching and using word, excel, photoshop etc, ) XP benefits from a reboot, whereas OS X doesnt.

    Just my own experiences. I used an XP laptop as my main machine for about a year.
  20. Schiffi macrumors 6502a


    May 22, 2003
    Well, somewhere in the SysPrefs(OSX) there is a setting for spring opening folders and by default the speed is medium, but I wouldn't know if that'd speed up anything. True, after a clean install XP is faster, but in my experience only a second or 2 faster. With the exeption of Premiere which has to load the slow Quicktime capture. Maybe I'm underprilvilged, but my Mac is the fastest computer that I have ever touched.
  21. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    well, as for XP being a multi-user platform...

    the very fact the system performance degrades as the machine is used tells us something.

    --> the system is being modified

    be it registry or DLL files, something is changing in the system.

    in OS X, the only user who can do this is root. otherwise, system files are basically untouchable. if all users are somewhat "root"-ish in XP, it's a very poor design to base a multi-user OS.
  22. ColoJohnBoy macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    I own a PC running Windows XP and a couple Macs, both running 10.2.6. Both my Macs (An 600 MHz Graphite iMac, 800 MHz TiBook) both run much much faster than my 1.8 GHz Dell, even though the Dell has 1 GB RAM and such. The iMac has only 256 MB and the TiBook 512 MB, and they are faster for EVERYTHING. The iMac even blows away the Dell in video editing, without Altivec or tona of RAM. I hate (Yeah right!) to say it, but OS X is much faster than XP.

    As far as Multi-User OS goes, I'm not sure if I'm thinking in the same vein as others, but XP and X are both Multi-User OS. They are both capable of supporting several different users with greatly differing settings.
  23. Sayer macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    OS X is slower overall

    Mac OS X uses a much slower binary executable than previous versions of PowerPC-based Mac software.

    Add this to the multitude of layers of functionality in Mac OS X (UNIX on the bottom, Core Foundation, Carbon, QuickTime, Cocoa/Java on top) and the ongoing tansition from legacy APIs to "modern" APIs like HIView/HIObject and you get a big lag in processing of various tasks.

    If you ever see a crash log for any Apple app its amazing to look at the list of recently executed code, simply clicking on a control fires off a huge list of functions all layered on top of each other, to emulate a behavior.

    The Finder lags tremendously because its actually trying to be faster (I know that doesn't make sense). The Finder apparently tries to cache as much info as possible because the underlying OS functions so slowly to return various bits of meta info.

    When you eject a disk there is some kind of purging going on, thats why disks take so long to clear from the Computer column (left-most). How do I know? Finder crashes occasionaly when ejecting Zip disks and I read the crash log, which showed the "work" the Finder was doing to merely eject a disk.

    There's really nothing that can be done with Mac OS X to make it run as fast as Mac OS 9 on the same hardare, its just too different and has too much going on. Lets just hope CPUs will be so powerful that Mac OS X will be very snappy in the next year or two without resorting to code trickery or dimished capabilities.

    When you insert a disk every installed filesystem runs a command line utility on the disk until one of them claims that particular format. Boy that must be efficient!

    And the mechanism that OS X uses to notify user-level apps about mounted disks is buried deep inside the OS and is not meant to be seen/understood/or used because you might break something! Heaven forbid you might want to know when someone inserts blank media in a drive so that your app can pop up and ask to format it before the Finder gets to it (which apparently handles the high-level notifications sent to other apps, which means if Finder isn't running you never hear about disks being mounted or unmounted).

    Incidentally isn't it ironic a web site run by someone working (in the past/present) for the ACLU closes down threads with certain words in the posts!
  24. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    Re: OS X is slower overall

    What are you referring to here?
  25. springscansing macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2002
    New York
    The OS "integration" has nothing to do with it. I'm glad my programs aren't built into the OS. That sucks.

    They're faster because they're running on 3.06ghz P4s with hyperthreading with fully-utalized DDR RAM. Period.

Share This Page