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Mac µTorrent: Smaller, Faster than Azureus?
July 10, 2007
Thomas Mennecke
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µTorrent has shown itself to be one of the most popular BitTorrent clients available, outpacing the competition in low memory and CPU consumption. Although shorter on features than its chief competitor, Azureus, µTorrent’s lightweight characteristics helped propel this client to near instant stardom. Sound great, as long as you’re using a PC.

When it comes to P2P, Mac uses have historically had fewer choices. They were largely overlooked during the days of FastTrack and Napster; however the days of Gnutella and BitTorrent have been kinder. LimeWire and Azureus, both Java-based applications, ensure cross platform compatibility and enjoy considerable popularity within both Mac and PC crowds.

µTorrent has proven that lightweight applications are in high demand. Transmission, a BitTorrent client designed for Linux, BEOS and Mac, has also capitalized on this high demand and in the process become one of the most popular alternative OS clients. But in a crowded P2P market, isn’t there always room for another client?

News leaked last month that µTorrent for the Mac OS was in beta testing. Since µTorrent was bought by BitTorrent, Inc., in December of 2006, the company has been working feverishly to bring this client to the Mac environment. The competition in the Mac environment is already tough; Azurues, Transmission and xTorrent all rule the roost. If µTorrent wants to make an impact, it has to bring the same attributes it did when it hit the Windows environment in 2005.

Slyck was anonymously given a statistical comparison of the Mac µTorrent with the Mac Azureus from a source close to the development. The stats reveal the maximum/average download rate and resources dedicated to memory and CPU consumption.

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

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

If these numbers are correct, it shows that µTorrent is not only significantly faster, but also much less resource hungry than Azureus. Slyck.com talked to Azureus’ CEO Gilles BianRosa, who disputed the validity of the findings - especially the download speeds.

“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.”

“People should choose BitTorrent clients based on their feature set. On a similar note, although internet browsers claim to be faster than others, who actually can notice the difference? Again, features and ease of use is what make the difference”

According to our source, the test was conducted via the Vuze portal by downloading an identical Transformers HD trailer. The download speeds do appear extraordinary, however this could be attributable to the fact that µTorrent coexists with the mainline DHT network overlay. Azureus maintains its own DHT network overylay, which is smaller. Additionally, the torrent in question likely has an excessive number of seeders and peers, leading to a plethora of download sources. This coupled with the large number of mainline DHT users could explain the high download speeds. Such an advantage may not be so easy to obtain with more conventional material.

Without an official release of the Mac µTorrent, it’s difficult to verify the numbers provided. But they hold a fascinating insight into what might be just around the corner.


This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
BitTorrent :: BitTorrent Clients

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