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.