Mac OS X or Linux?

Joseph Landman landman at
Mon Apr 7 14:33:39 EDT 2003

On Mon, 2003-04-07 at 13:57, Robert Latham wrote:

> You'll spark a massive flame war, but there is a dearth of real data
> showing how good or bad mac os X is in a cluster environment (where
> the benefits of "good user interface" and "i can watch quicktime
> trailers" aren't important) compared to linux on the same hardware.

Happens with everything though...

> please note that you'll need a quite recent linux kernel to support
> the xserve hardware
> I can show you lmbench numbers that show linux outperforming os x in
> *operating system specific* tasks, but real applications carry more
> weight than microbenchmarks.

Numbers I have seen for bioinfo apps seem to indicate that the hardware
is faster when code is redone for the built in vector registers (gcc
compiler doesn't automatically do this).  Then again, this is comparing
non-SIMD to SIMD, and I would expect that the SIMD could be faster at
specific code patterns/fragments.  Single CPU (non-SIMD) to single CPU
(non-SIMD) the performance comparison seems not to favor the current
Apple PPC hardware against current IA32 machines.

I am curious about other apps as well.  Please summarize the lmbench
microbenchmarks.  I would be curious about heavy FP/memory codes.  I
would think that the PPC would have some interesting performance there.

> ==rob
Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Scalable Informatics LLC
email: landman at
phone: +1 734 612 4615

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