OK, to give you more data,
Hey isn't this "thinking inside the box"? Don't you have a problem with non-linear logic?
Atom D525 4 Gb DDR3 SO-DIMM - Ubuntu 11.04 64bits - Gnome desktop;
Zacate E350 4 Gb DDR3 DIMM - Ubuntu 11.04 64 bits - Gnome desktop and KDE (Kubuntu)
Sempron LE-1250 4 Gb DDR2 DIMM - Ubuntu 11.04 64 bits - Gnome desktop
From the applications one can benchmark - existing for both Windows and Linux that is -, like VLC, Aptana or Libre/Open Office, Linux under performs hardly on all of them.
What benchmarks were you running, how many runs did you do, what were the results? (The word "hardly" shouldn't be there - "handily" might be the word you are thinking of but idiomatically it's rarely used with "under perform" only "out perform".) Not to mention with the exception of Open Office aren't these poor choices for benchmarks?
With an i5, i7... you probably won't notice differences because those machines have power to spare to out perform you on all levels and OS's. At low end where resources are ratiocinated you can easily see the low performance of Linux when compared to Windows.
Ok, first of all congratulations on using the term "ratiocinated" and further congratulations on using it entirely incorrectly and further fanfare for not realizing it. I think the word you're grasping at is "rationed".
Anyway, so now you're saying that Linux only under performs on slow hardware? Funny how your thesis just keeps changing...not because the data is changing...but rather because you seem to have used misleading terms.