I’ve had this nagging feeling that the computers I use today feel slower than the computers I used as a kid. As a rule, I don’t trust this kind of feeling because human perception has been shown to be unreliable in empirical studies, so I carried around a high-speed camera and measured the response latency of devices I’ve run into in the past few months. Here are the results:
These are tests of the latency between a keypress and the display of a character in a terminal (see appendix for more details). The results are sorted from quickest to slowest. In the latency column, the background goes from green to yellow to red to black as devices get slower and the background gets darker as devices get slower. No devices are green. When multiple OSes were tested on the same machine, the os is in bold. When multiple refresh rates were tested on the same machine, the refresh rate is in italics.