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Snow Leopard benchmarks faster, but not OpenGL

updated 05:10 pm EDT, Sat August 29, 2009

Benchmarks - Snow Leopards

Apple's latest release, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, has been benchmarked with positive results by normally Linux-focused The test suites cover over 100 profiles (only 60 were used in this round due to Snow Leopard incompatibilities) that can be applied to both Linux and Mac OS X, ranging from games to video playback and encryption tests. The tests cover two Mac setups, an older 1.83GHz 32-bit EFI Mac Mini with an Intel graphics processor and a newer 2.0GHz 64-bit EFI Mac Mini that supports OpenCL through its GeFORCE 9400M graphics processor. Mac OS X 10.5.8 and Mac OS X 10.6.0 were compared in the test.

Gaming tests exposed some early limitations of Snow Leopard, and apparently, Apple is aware of the regressions and plan to address the issues in the coming weeks. Java 2D testing showed modest gains in text rendering in both Mac systems from Leopard to Snow Leopard, but saw Snow Leopard regress in vector rendering. Another CPU-based game solving test, based on the game Sudoku, saw a regression in Snow Leopard, but the newest OS was nearly 50-percent faster in chess-based AI test.

RAW photo rendering tests saw large gains with both Mac systems putting up much better numbers, with both systems delivering about 14-percent jumps in scoring between Leopard and Snow Leopard. In compression tests Snow Leopard improved about 16-percent over Leopard scores on one test (7-zip), but was basically flat on another (Gzip).

File encryption tests saw another massive performance jump in the newer OS, with a 25-percent leap on the newer Mac Mini system, while the older Mac Mini was better, but at a smaller percentage jump. A ray-tracing engine test showed a 33-percent jump for Snow Leopard, while a multi-threaded ray-tracing engine test saw a near 50-percent jump. summed up its testing by stating that Mac OS X 10.6 is a must buy for users heavy into audio encoding, ray-tracing or image editing or those stressing computational tasks, while gamers may see a performance hit early in the Snow Leopard run. The testers were impressed with 50-percent improvements in a number of tests, and equally pleased to see 10- to 15-percent jumps in numerous other tests.

The primary regressions centered on OpenGL problems. Those should be fixed in a .1 release, but are present on the current shipping product.

In other coverage of Snow Leopard's debut, MacNN has compatibility notes, printer driver info and a list of incompatible apps.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    and this would be news...

    And this would be news if benchmarks for the various versions seeded to developers hadn't already appeared on Geekbench going back months showing what MacNN now belatedly informs us. That is, that Snow Leopard is faster than Leopard. Gee thanks! This just in....Neil Armstrong has just become the first Man to walk on the Moon!

  1. Saint_Stryfe

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I play WoW, and I found that my FPS went up in most areas about 25%. I was very pleased.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: and this would ...

    And yet, as most people know, tests against developer seeds and the final versions are capable of being different, and, as such, a new round of tests are required to be performed.

    Of course, it is interesting that 40 tests couldn't be run as well due to incompatibilities.

    Doesn't matter. Won't run on my G5 tower, and have no desire to deal with the new round of incompatibilities. I'll wait until the kinks are worked out...

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Mr. Fartleberry

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Not much use to me since it will break my printer, scanner, and second monitor. Maybe it will be fixed by update 6 in a year. I guess I will have to stop laughing at Microsoft people.

  1. ocfra

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ha Ha...

    Nothing broke here... works great, iChat Video way better

    I loving it so far...

  1. lowededwookie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Warzone 2100 fixed

    Warzone 2100 had an issue with Leopard since 10.5.7 if you were using NVidia machines.

    The textures wouldn't render or if they did the decals wouldn't which made the game unplayable.

    Snow Leopard has fixed this and everything works nicely.

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