Ever since Leopard came out, I have heard the fanboys rage. Which is the better, Vista or Mac OS? Which is a blatant rip-off from the other? Which is faster, stronger, lighter? If only there were a quantifiable way to prove, now and forever, which OS is the One OS To Rule Them All.
Fortunately, I have found the way.
Vista Home Premium and Vista Ultimate come with Chess Titans. Leopard comes with the Chess App. If set the Mac Chess App to play as white, and the Vista Chess Titans to play as black, and I shuttle the moves back and forth between the two computers, then we shall see which OS is can conquer the other upon the mental battlefield of chess.
I did this once before, you’ll remember, pitting Vista against Tiger, and Tiger won soundly. Well, it’s time for a rematch! How will Vista fare against Tiger’s successor?
For our combatants, we have a PC running Vista Ultimate, with a Core 2 Duo T6600 processor running at 2.4 Ghz with 2 gigabytes of RAM. The Mac is running Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.1, with a single-core 1.8 Ghz G4 processor and 3 gigabytes of RAM. For the ultimate battle, I set the difficulty sliders on both chess programs to maximum, and then I let the struggle begin.
Because I set the difficulty slider to maximum (and only moved the pieces when I had a free moment), this took the better part of three days. It took quite a long time for the computers to grind out the moves. On the PC, it quite commonly maxed out one of the processor cores.
On the Mac, it wasn’t uncommon for the Chess App to use about 90% of the processor’s time. In fact, sometimes it stayed at 90 for so long the fan kicked up to a higher level.
But in the end, Leopard prevailed. And convincingly. Not quite so lopsided a victory as Tiger won, but still a victory nonetheless.
You can see the same thing here on the Mac side (Chess Titans might have lost, but it does have prettier graphics).
So it has been proven. The Mac has overpowered the PC at last. I expect Microsoft will go out of business any day now, and the great migration to the all-conquering Mac will begin presently.*
Still, to be fair, the Mac uses a modified version of GNU Chess, which has been in continual development since 1984 or so. Chess Titans is only a few years old at best, and its chess engine obviously lacks the power of GNU Chess.
But. Windows 7. Rematch!
(The complete game transcript is here, for those who are interested.)