I sometimes long for the performance of the BeBox. My memory is that it was incredibly fast and responsive no matter what you asked it to do. Of course, as Dan says, memory is a poor judge against empirical data. Luckily, Haiku OS Project exists and could provide some empirical data. I had both an actual BeBox and a fast x86 architecture machine running BeOS for Intel.
As with many things computer-related, faster is better. I wonder if the tight coupling, or affection, with Apple devices is partially due to their responsiveness to the user. I think back to Jakob Nielsen’s study from 1993 on responsiveness and user experience. Anything on Dan Luu’s tables at or less than 100 ms should be responsive enough for the user.
I frequently find myself frustrated waiting for computers (laptops, desktops, phones, etc) where I use a touch screen or type something and I wait for the computer to show some sort of response. Most often, this is on my mobile phone. The longer I have to wait for it to catch up with my inputs, the more frustrating the experience. I then end up timing out on the phone and moving along with the task at hand, since I have better things to do than wait for technology to catch up with me.
Putting an Android phone into Battery Saver mode makes the interface incredibly snappy. This is because the background apps are suspended and not consuming as much cpu and ram as “normal’ mode. Sure, you use lose background sync and such, but the apps are single-tasking and incredibly responsive.
Dan Luu’s research is interesting nonetheless.