I really don't think that gnome has changed for the better - because a complete rewrite would be necessary.
All these tests are very subjective. the plain desktop means nothing. For example was nautilus compiled with tracker or beagle support? Did gnome-panel used eds etc. Under my gentoo I can for example build a Gnome system which can use 40% lesser RAM or 80% more than the current one I use. The same for KDE. The matter is for the things I need my system to support, Gnome is a bit lighter. But as I said before that's just a personal experience and should stay like that when I have to present tests in the public. The DE should be relevant just when we benchmark desktop environments. When we run a general benchmark in Ubuntu and Mandriva, the matter is the performance with its default enviroments and not when we change Gnome to KDE in Ubuntu and KDE to Gnome in Mandriva.
look at the date. 2006. Was anybody using tracker or beagle back then? did pulseaudio even exist?
I mentioned some examples, I'm bored to check what options had Gnome and KDE back then. There are thousands of things in Linux that can make your desktop environments fly or crawl, from the compiler's flags to support of bluetooth and multimedia. In general you can make even XFCE to perform "heavier" than Vista (well, overexaggeration ofcourse, but you get the picture )
Come on, you're a gentoo user, you know that very well
Many servers run at runlevel 3 so the desktop does not even matter. I want to see benchmarks of server performance: nfs, openldap, postgresql, samba.
I want benchmarks with tweaked configurations. Anyone who cares about performance is going to tweak, so benchmarks with default parameters are not very interesting.
I would like to see benchmarks for routing. I want to use el-cheapo hardware for routing and I want to know which is the best kernel to use. I want to see IPv4 performance versus IPv6 performance.
I want to see benchmarks for network cards. I want to know which cards will slurp up a saturated gigabit network without dropping packets.
I would like to see benchmarks for virtualization products. Centos 5 in VMware versus Centos 5 in qemu, for example.
I want to see benchmarks for supported products. I don't care about gentoo or opensolaris or opensuse because they do not have professional support. In my business the only two distributions that matter are RedHat and SuSE. This is not my choice but it is reality.
The desktop is more than fast enough for me already. I don't care if a text box draws 1.4% faster on one distribution than another.