Mac OS 10.6 "Snow Leopard" takes 72 seconds to boot! Bwuahaha!

David Pogue well known Steve Jobs fanboy has wrote a gushing article on the New York Times over Apple's new pay-ware service pack.

He writes:

In any case, Snow Leopard truly is an optimized version of Leopard. It starts up faster (72 seconds on a MacBook Air, versus 100 seconds in Leopard). It opens programs faster (Web browser, 3 seconds; calendar, 5 seconds; iTunes, 7 seconds), and the second time you open the same program, the time is halved.

Nice, let's sum that up.

  • 72 seconds to boot
  • 3 seconds to open a web browser
  • 5 seconds to open a calendar and
  • 7 seconds to open iTunes.

I'll now run similar tests on the slowest computer I have. A Dell Mini 9 which was going for £199 when I got mine, about 7 times cheaper than the MacBook Air the above tests were carried out on, its also running the final version of Windows 7.

  • 37 seconds to boot*
  • 2 seconds to open Internet Explorer
  • 4 seconds to open the Outlook Calendar**
  • 4 seconds to open Windows Media Player***

Re-opening applications a second time typically takes a second, even on this netbook (Outlook excluded as on my setup it has to go and talk to Exchange). On a Windows desktop, often they'll be open before you finish letting go of the mouse.

*As David didn't define exactly what boot is, my figure of 37 seconds isn't just boot time until the login screen is displayed, or the time to show the desktop, this is when I could open the Start Menu.

**This test was carried out using the technical preview of Outlook 2010, which is considerably slower than the release version Outlook 2007, plus being hooked up to Exchange costs about a second.

***The player opened in about 2 seconds and playback would start, this also includes opening the Library and waiting for all albums and artwork to be loaded.


Mac OS X is still slower than hell, even with the new optimized service pack.


Comment from: stygyan [Visitor]

Funny thing. I'm reading this on Leopard, on a first generation Core Duo macbook. And it boots faster than that Air. And the calendar thing goes up instantaneously.

Something must be wrong with his computer.

27th August 2009 @ 15:26
Comment from: Fips [Visitor]

More like the Air is just a shmancy cut down piece of interactive glass, and not something you should expect speed or performance out of.

28th August 2009 @ 11:13
Comment from: [Member]

The MacBook Air has got better specs than a Dell Mini 9 netbook.

28th August 2009 @ 11:19
Comment from: david Pogue [Visitor]
david Pogue

I wasn't comparing Snow Leopard to Windows 7. I was comparing it to Leopard. It starts up faster than Leopard.

However, my real beef with your posting is this line: "David Pogue well known Steve Jobs fanboy."

That's offensive--and wrong.

I routinely ream out Apple for its weaker products. Here's a list of 40 recent examples:

We all know that snarkiness makes for entertaining reading, but in this case, you're off base.


28th August 2009 @ 23:10
Comment from: dovella [Visitor]


31st August 2009 @ 04:59
Comment from: Lurch [Visitor]
5 stars

Great article, I enjoy Mac OSX and have been a fan of Apple. I also enjoy using Linux over OSX or Windows XP / Vista.. but Windows 7 is a different beast, quick, runs on just about any hardware (as in it is still quick!) and is a useful tool.

31st August 2009 @ 22:19
Comment from: Samuel [Visitor]  

Snow Leopard isn't a Service Pack...anyway you look at it.

Also (sadly enough) Snow Leopard doesn't boot a 64-bit kernel out of the box (even though its advertised as such) , but when you enable the 64-bit kernel it increases the boot time and performance significantly.
1 thing, the Mac does need an EFI-64 to boot the 64-bit kernel and you do have to edit a system library file to make it always boot 64-bit.

My dad has a Windows 7 PC and it is much, much slower than my iMac with Snow Leopard.
And by the way, recording boot-time correctly starts from pushing the on/off button 2 fully loaded desktop (programs have to be ready loading in your right side of the panel in windows (anti-vir, msn, etc...).


Samuel Rave
(excuse me for my strange grammar, I'm from the Netherlands)

16th June 2010 @ 06:53
Comment from: Samuel [Visitor]
3 stars

BTW, my iMac boots from pushing the on-button too fully loaded desktop in 28 seconds.
When a Mac takes longer, it is because it is searching for the boot-disk.
How do you know this is the case with your Mac:
When it takes very long for the Apple symbol to show up after the chime-sound.

Strangely with those Mac models you once need to select the standard startup disk in 'System Preferences' and after that the booting time will increase significantly.

6th July 2010 @ 13:13

Form is loading...