It seems counter-intuitive to think that applications streamed over the network could run faster than the same applications installed locally. If the circumstances are right, it could happen!
Here is a Systems Manufacturing example. We ran a series of key tasks across a variety of configurations to collect performance metrics. Our script opened a work order in our ERP system, created packaging labels using a bar code generation program, looked up label part numbers for our product bill of materials and ran work order activity reports in three custom web-based applications.
Our baseline was a Pentium 4 desktop system (3.0 GHz). Our trial system was a Celeron 215 desktop system (1.33 GHz). Both had 1 GB RAM. The baseline system had applications installed locally on its hard drive. Applications and the OS were delivered to the trial system via streaming. Throughput time of our script on baseline system was 6 minutes 15 seconds. The same script executed on the trial system for 2 minutes and 45 seconds.
Two things come to mind to explain the difference. First, our script contained a good mix of local and remote processing to maximize our trial processor. Second, the nature of the computing model provides explanation. Applications are broken up into execution blocks so we only need to load and execute the portion of the application that we need. Further, since virtualization was used in conjunction with the application streaming, the virtual software layer makes things like registry settings easier and faster to access.