Home > Uncategorized > OS X Leopard vs Windows Vista: FIGHT!!! (Part 1)

OS X Leopard vs Windows Vista: FIGHT!!! (Part 1)

As of the end of last week, I have been dual booting my Mac Pro with Windows Vista Business edition. My primary reason for doing so was gaming since, as we all know, there is little support for gaming on the Mac. Now that I’ve had a little time with Vista and Leopard, I want to give you my opinion on the two operating systems. If you have read any of my previous posts, you may be quick to think I’m an Apple fan boy, but you have to remember I was primarily a Windows user until January of this year and a vigilant defender of the OS until then as well.

Both Leopard and Vista were released in 2007 about 10 months apart, Leopard being the most recent release of only a few weeks. Both are clean installs, not upgrades, and neither of them have received a major update. Leopard 10.5.1 was seeded to developers last week and Service Pack 1 is due out for Vista hopefully in January of 2008. Until then, we might as well take what we can get.


Windows Vista 60 Seconds
OS X Leopard 22 Seconds

While this is pretty quick for Windows, it’s nothing compared to 22 seconds for OS X. I even took 5 seconds off for the time it took to type my password into Windows. As experience tells us, as more and more stuff finds its way onto the operating systems, these times will slow down.


Windows Vista systemstats
OS X Leopard istat

You’ll have to maximize these pictures. Vista is using about 660MB of RAM whereas the Leopard system is using 390MB and Adium and Firefox are making up the 455MB after 5 hours of usage. It’s hard to say who wins here because the Vista RAM meter isn’t broken up per application or system resource and OS X has been on for 5 hours. (I’ll provide an update to OS X RAM usage soon).

Both computers recognize 4CPU’s and the only thing I am actively doing at each time is taking a picture. Vista is using 2, 3, 0, and 8% of processors while Leopard is using 0% across the board. While I am sure it’s not perfectly 0%, Leopard does a much better job of throttling and processor distribution than Vista and I still can’t for the life of me figure out what Vista is trying to read from my HD half the time. Even when it puts the monitor to sleep, it begins grinding away. And again…only 2GB of RAM being recognized in Vista. If you look at the Leopard stats, you can see I have 3GB in the machine. I’m really eager to find what the cause of this is. It’s looking like a Mac Pro issues but hopefully an update will come along from either Microsoft or Apple.

Although not really easy to tell what the hard drive footprint of each OS is, Leopard was about a 6GB install when I got rid of the language packs and printer drivers and Vista was around 10GB. I used to installed Windows 98 between 350 and 400MB. My how things have changed.


Windows Vista

Desktop Window

OS X Leopard

Desktop Finder

Vista came with some extremely high resolution back ground that I think are gorgeous. I’m using a different one than you see here. Apple comes with some backgrounds but prefer to leave most of that process up to you. I do like the new visual stylings of folder icons in Vista better, but it’s impossible for Vista to match the look and ingenuity of Coverflow and Quicklook (pictures coming). (Keep in mind for both drop shadows, the alpha layer doesn’t show up in screen shots and will appear MUCH lighter on the desktop).

Since I am a visual person, I find the transparent windows in Vista a welcome pleasure over the Fisher Price stock look of XP (Green and Blue bubble theme…blech!). It doesn’t assist me in knowing what window I am on, but it is a nice look. I switched back to a classic theme for a short time, but instantly went back to Vista stock.


Gadget Gadgets for Vista


Widgets for OS X

These are strictly a matter of personal preference visually and some people have complained they don’t like hitting a button to bring up widgets in OS X. OS X users would complain having Gadgets on top of apps all the time would be a problem and as far as I know, there isn’t an easy way in Windows to map Gadgets to a mouse button. However, Windows offers a much easier way to shut down Gadgets than OS X does to shut down Widgets. I find Widgets to be much more convenient and practical. The stats and screen grab widgets are by far much easier to use in OS X and are overall much easier to access with a mouse wheel click.


The taskbar in Windows and the dock in OSX serve two completely different purposes. Except for quicklaunch, the taskbar is for programs you have open whereas the dock is for easy access to your most used programs and ones you are presently using.



The Dock


Both look pretty good, can be hidden, and both can show previews of what you’re looking at presently. However, the dock is a lot more functional. Everything you need as soon as you need it and with the inclusion of stacks, the clutter can be reduced even more while adding new functionality. Getting to everything you need in Windows is still a series of steps, although made a little more convenient by the new program menu in Vista.

CONTINUE to the next part in the OS saga when I get more in depth with the operating systems to see how they handle stuff like wireless, Bluetooth, system restores, etc.

If there is anything you would like to specifically know the differences of, please post in the comments and I will do whatever I can to answer your questions.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 14, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    I used to be a Windows fanboy until I experienced Vista. OSX is much better.

  2. November 15, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    OSX is way better than windows…nice work done by you….

  3. Nicola
    July 15, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    I have windows and it was the first i used. I use OSX at college and i prefer it. Kinda bummed that i spent money on windows when OSX is so much better.

  4. Karoly
    November 20, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    I worked many years with windows and I am at that stage of frustration that I would switch. But I have a……
    Question: can anybody tell me how vista and leopard compare as ram usage. I am not speaking open an mp3 and see each how much uses, but pricewise/job
    I mean $1299 gives you a vista with 8 gb Ram and lots of other hardware , but for Mac $1299 gives you 1 GB ram, limited disk space. Now these ones how they compare as performance? Would they perform the same? Or mac will be surpassed?
    Thank you for

  1. November 13, 2007 at 9:30 pm
  2. November 16, 2007 at 6:13 pm

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