Wired.com has published a piece titled "Why Do New iMacs Surf So Slowly?" As the title suggests, Wired.com says that Macs are much slower when surfing the Internet than comparably equipped Windows PCs, and even much cheaper PCs. From the article:
Tests conducted by Wired News confirmed reader complaints that a new 800 MHz iMac takes an average of twice as long to render Web pages as a comparable or cheaper PC running Windows XP. Even on broadband networks, the iMacis default Internet Explorer browser took an average of 10 seconds per page to render several popular sites, including CNN.com and the Apple Store homepage [sic].
Tests on other Apple platforms showed a similar performance gap between a $1,500 Dell notebook and a freshly unboxed, $3,000 PowerBook G4.
The article also included a cheap pot shots at "Mac zealots":
Several correspondents asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation by Mac zealots, who have been known to e-mail 1,000 or more harangues to the work addresses of those who criticize the huggable device.
The article then goes on to say that the problem lies not with Appleis hardware, but rather with Mac OS X
The culprit, it turns out, isnit the new iMacis hardware, but its operating system, which Apple focused on getting to market first and bringing up to speed later. In order to let OS X support as many existing software applications as possible, "Apple supported a number of legacy technologies designed to ease their transition to the new operating system," said Nathalie Welch, the companyis public relations manager for hardware. As a result, Welch said, "We are merely at the beginning of the performance opportunities in Mac OS X."
Jimmy Grewal, Microsoftis program manager for the Mac version of Internet Explorer, agreed that the problem lies with OS X, not the browser. In particular, he said hardware graphics acceleration was largely missing from OS X at this stage in its development. "The effort of drawing something to the screen (on Windows) can be offloaded to a graphics card, but in OS X the CPU is heavily involved," he said.
Grewal defended Appleis strategy of releasing a slow version of OS X now rather than a faster one later. "That was a conscious decision Apple made," he said. "They optimized for user experience rather than raw performance."
There is more information, including additional quotes from developers, in the Wired.com piece that we did not quote, and we encourage you to read it.