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Mac OS X vs. Windows XP: A Performance Comparison on an Apple Mac Mini

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Conclusions

Based upon the tests and the results, it appears that the Windows XP operating system is actually a better performer when it comes to running the applications compared to the Mac OS X operating system. This performance gap can be as much as 34% faster in two similar applications. Having said that, there are a number of caveats that I wish to point out.

First and foremost is the fact that many of the applications in this test were running under the Rosetta emulation due to lack of Universal Applications. When a Universal Application such as iTunes is used there is no performance difference. This means that the performance gap will likely be closed between the two operating systems as more applications are ported over to the Universal binaries. Because of this, I hope to revisit this test in about 6 months or so when many of the applications have been converted to see what performance difference exists then.

Second, there is the difference in operating systems and usability. While windows does perform better in many of the test, the amount of text and menus that a user needs to go through to accomplish a task is far easier on Mac OS X compared to the Windows XP interface. This may make the performance difference negligible for those who can't figure out how to use the applications.

Finally, the process of installing Windows XP onto a Mac is not an easy process and not recommended at this point for those that aren't very knowledgeable on computers.

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