uTorrent Mac vs. Azureus Mac

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uTorrent will be available on the Mac very soon and two weeks ago we wrote an early review. Today we read that anonymous statistics show that uTorrent will be twice as fast as Azureus, but is this really the case?

utorrent mac
In our review of uTorrent we concluded that we got slightly higher download speeds than in Azureus. However, it’s wasn’t a big enough difference to conclude that it was significantly faster than Azureus.

Slyck posted an article in which they publish statistical data they received from an anonymous source. According to these statistics uTorrent is more than twice as fast as Azureus, something that I find hard to believe.

Here’s what Slyck’s source reports:

Azureus Mac
Max Rate Seen: 297 KB/s
Average Rate: 235 KB/s
Consumed RAM: 155 MB
Average CPU: 20%

µTorrent Mac
Max Rate Seen: 840KB/s
Average Rate: 698 KB/s
Consumed RAM: 14 MB
Average CPU: 6%

Slyck received these stats from an anonymous source. Probably someone working at BitTorrent Inc because these stats are a little subjective to say the least. It is hard to get differences like this without cheating the protocol, something that Gilles BianRosa, CEO of Azureus, agrees with:

“We are not aware of any such stats, and clearly would doubt their validity. BitTorrent is a standard, and clients have, by design, limited ways to optimize transfer speeds. We have implemented features to optimize “around” the protocol, such as PeerExchange, but getting such wide variations without “bastardizing” the protocol beyond recognition (and making it not compliant/compatible in the process) make these numbers look VERY suspicious, if not ridiculous.”

I’ve been in the position to test an Alpha version of the Mac version of BitTorrent and I also tested Azureus’ Mac version and I came up with figures that clearly favor uTorrent, but not as dramatically as the statistics provided by BitTorrent Inc the anonymous source.

I decided to run my own comparison test using the exact same setup for both clients. The results are based on downloading 3 .torrent files that differed in swarm size and file size. Here’s what I found :

Azureus Mac
Max Rate Seen: 1.42 MB/s
Average Rate: 769 KB/s
Consumed RAM: 130 MB
Average CPU: 18%

µTorrent Mac
Max Rate Seen: 1.28 MB/s
Average Rate: 788 KB/s
Consumed RAM: 16 MB
Average CPU: 7%

The results are quite clear. It is hard to conclude that downloads will go faster with Azureus or uTorrent. Perhaps a difference can be found in a scientific and controlled setting, but no significant difference is observed in a real-life setting. One thing is clear though, the huge difference in download speed reported by Slyck’s anonymous source doesn’t make sense.

What we can see from both comparisons is that uTorrent for Mac, just like its Windows counterpart, uses less CPU and RAM. This is definitely a reason for me, and probably a lot of other BitTorrent users with me, to try uTorrent as soon as it’s released.


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