Myths about Macs' performance

Macs have never been about spec sheets and higher processor speeds and yet have always outperformed their comparable PC counterparts for years and continue to do so. But as an aware Mac user, it is important to understand the specs of different core components of your Mac and their effect on your usage and the machine's performance in general and there are a lot of myths waiting out there to be debunked or proven right. 

All Mac computers (Source - Apple.com)

All Mac computers (Source - Apple.com)

Macworld recently put an article together with the top six myths and have done DIY kind of experiment on trying to analyze the effect of certain Mac components like the processor, RAM and the hard disk on system performance. While some of the results (at least for me) were straightforward, like more processor cores do not mean better performance if the software you are trying to use does not take advantage of it (like better multi-threaded optimization), some of them were good to know, like using an external monitor does not slow down your Mac (at least not to a discernable level), a couple of results related to the SSDs (Solid State Disks - hard drives) were new to me. 

The 512GB Samsung EVO 840 was 39 percent faster than a 256GB EVO 840 in our 10GB large file write test and 26 percent faster in our 10GB files and folders test. Read speeds, however, were unaffected by the capacity. It’s also worth noting that the smaller drives were wildly erratic in their write times... On the other hand, the larger capacity drives were highly consistent in their read and write speeds throughout our testing.
— Macworld

The first surprising result was how larger SSDs (in terms of capacity) were better in performance, both in terms of speed of operation (write speeds and not read speeds) and in terms of reliability, than their smaller capacity counterparts. The second result also related to the SSDs, was that the traditional (rotating magnetic) drive slowed down when filled more (closer to its full capacity) and the SSD did not, even when filled almost 90% of its capacity. 

We ran the tests again at 97 percent of capacity. This time the baseline (when disk was filled to only 5% of its capacity) results were nearly 21 percent faster in the copy test and almost 35 percent faster on the unzip test.
— Macworld