Under The Wire

Under The Wire

Monday, April 21, 2008

Leopard vs Vista: the OS war is back

It is strange to say but, once in his life, Steve Ballmer is right.

Recentely he said that "Vista is still a work-in-progress OS"; today Popular Mechanics has posted a comparison between Mac OS X Leopard and Windows Vista.
The result is that Apple's operating system has blown away the unsuccessful and much criticized competitor: on Macs every tasks is performed faster, programs run quicker and even Windows Vista becomes more responsive than on a PC with the same technical specifications.
Last but not least, Popular Mechanics shows that Macs are even cheaper than most PCs!
Here is their verdict:
The Verdict

: In both the laptop and desktop showdowns, Apple’s computers were the winners. [.....] In our speed trials, however, Leopard OS trounced Vista in all-important tasks such as boot-up, shutdown and program-launch times. We [...] found that both Apple computers ran Vista faster than our PCs did.

PC: Simply put, Vista proved to be a more sluggish operating system than Leopard. [.....] the Gateway One actually costs $300 more than an iMac. That means for the price of the Gateway you could buy an iMac, boost its hard drive to match the Gateway’s, purchase a copy of Vista to boot—and still save $100.


Filippo Sironi

Actually I can't build a superior PC without spending less money than buying a Mac, I think there are some errors in that articles.
On the other hand I think Leopard is a "work-in progress OS" too especially if we are talking about security!


You'll never admit it!!
We want Vista (only) on your Mac!


Wow, a site about mechanics talks about computers.


I thought you were reserving "wow" for windows vista!!

Clearly there's no more "wow" for vista.

Enrico Giordani

The usual bullsh*t.
"Average shutdown 44.3 sec." is completely made up, shutdown on my two Vista machines (a Dell Inspiron and a MacBook with Penryn) takes about 8 sec and on the Dell there is SQL Server running, so for sure is not a clean install.

So far in 2008:
- Vista crashes: 0
- Leopard crashes: 3
and I use Vista way more then Leopard...and I could keep going on...

Filippo Sironi

Hi Enrico, I completely agree with you. i had 2 kernel panic with Leopard and 0 with Vista. If we consider Tiger too then the number of kernel panic gets even higher.


If Leopard sucks so much, well, stop using it.

Vista has a big big problem: drivers; clearly they're badly programmed: it's not MS fault, but it's MS choice to support so may hardware producers.

I had the opportunity to work with Vista for one whole day and I can say it's not for me and not for anyone who deals with important data: I had data losses because of crashes (one when trying to connect to a wireless network and one using a USB stick); not funny when you work for hours on RAW images.


Clearly I'm not saying that Leopard is perfect: it has bugs to fix and things to change.
But at least the OS is slim and fast: it runs on "crappy" powerpcs!
And on newer hardware... it is just as fast as light speed.

Enrico Giordani

tciddaniw don't put in other's people mouth words not said, I didn't say that Leopard sucks, I said that in my personal experience is less stable than Vista.
Clearly you are such a fanboy that can't even undestand what other people say.

Beside bad drivers, the major issue I see with Vista is all the crapware that come pre-installed, on a Dell like mine Google Desktop was killing performances using up to 60% of the CPU for most of the time, after removing it things went back to normal.
Similar problem with Norton Internet Security that was killing POP3 connections making Outlook run horribly.


Enrico, I don't think I'm a fanboy since I truly think that Vista is the best Windows ever.

I also think that Vista is huge and heavy while Leopard runs on very old hardware and, in general, is fast and a pleasure to use.

Certainly Leopard has some defects: Spaces sometimes works in a not-natural way, Safe Sleep is broken, etc... but I think that the basis are very good and hopefully Apple will the bugs.

Vista, on the other hand, (in my opinion) should be (deeply) revised: the interface can be a pain to use (where is a nice expose-clone?) and the badly-written-drivers problem must be fixed asap; I guess it could be enough to have all drivers running in user-space (didn't they already?).


Filippo Sironi

tciddaniw, I've beta-tested Vista since Beta 2 release on my old Pentium 4 1.8 GHz with 1 GB of RAM and I think Vista runs smoothly than XP on that machine for every day activities. It's a 5 years old PC!

I don't think Vista need a deep revision if we are talking about performance, the most painful defect of Vista is, in some use case, usability. Using UAC and Control Panel to manage system option is a real pain, OS X "lock" is a wonderful solution and the lack of an Exposé/Spaces like function is very important too.

Talking about drivers I can't complain at all obviously there are some devices that suffer of chronic stability problems but it isn't Vista's fault as you said before.
Speaking about user/kernel space model driver only audio drivers run in kernel space, a system which use so much user space drivers, like Vista, doesn't definitely exist!

NB: there are some critical drivers that can't be loaded in user space.


So badly-written drivers running in user-space can still freeze the system...
The advise would be: buy good hardware with good, tested drivers.
As an alternative, buy a Mac ;-)

Filippo Sironi

Are you sure that the drivers you're referring to are loaded in user space?!


No, I'm not.
That's because I was asking...
How do I know where drivers are loaded in Vista?

PS: they were usb and wireless drivers.

Filippo Sironi

You need to search the Web in order to discover where Vista loads drivers. On the other hand the USB controller itself is loaded in kernel space while the peripheral driver is loaded in user space.
I don't know anything about network driver. :(

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