In what is arguably the most hilarious--yet disconcerting--benchmark comparison ever Hal Licino at HubPages has compared a 1986 Mac Plus vs. a 2007 AMD dual-core PC and the antique Mac generally performed better.
The takeaway: Your operating system is obese. Really obese.
Licino's pits a Mac Plus running System 6.0.8 with 1 megabyte of RAM against a modern PC. Let's just say his 2007 PC needs a little more horsepower.
System 6.0.8 requires 1MB, Windows XP requires 1.5GB and Windows Vista 15GB. Yes, Vista needs 15,000 times the hard disk space as System 6.0.8.
System 6.0.8 is not only a lot more compact since it has far fewer (mostly useless) features and therefore less code to process, but also because it was written in assembly code instead of the higher level language C. The lower the level of the code language, the less processing cycles are required to get something done.
When it comes to the chips, the Mac Plus runs on a Motorola chip running at 8MHz. The AMD runs at 2.4 GHz. He splurged on the Mac Plus to give it 4MB of RAM--I used to own one of these Mac Plus systems and the figures Licino tosses around sound prehistoric.
Now before folks start yapping about whether this is a fair comparison, Licino outlines his methodology, which sounds pretty logical to me.
As for the results, here's Licino's money shot:
For the functions that people use most often, the 1986 vintage Mac Plus beats the 2007 AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+: 9 tests to 8! Out of the 17 tests, the antique Mac won 53% of the time! Including a jaw-dropping 52 second whipping of the AMD from the time the Power button is pushed to the time the Desktop is up and usable.
His point: Today's PCs are clearly better and can do more but bloat has killed any productivity gains. Lucino's post is a must read and the comments are a hoot too.