Every day I see more and more tech benchmarks. Years ago it was mostly for PC video cards and CPUs. To me that makes sense. You need a relative perspective to see how much you're getting for your money.
Most low-end computers purchased in today's market have far more resources than consumer applications can consume. We have reached a plateau. People are hesitant to switch from Windows XP because it already does everything they want it to. They aren't upgrading their computers as often because their current one is still as faster or faster than they need it to be.
If you want a larger customer base for your audience, speed is not going to give it to you*. I think we would all do well to take a look at the big picture. Focus on what your users want. Give them uncomplicated features they can and will use. Streamline your UI, then streamline it again. Ensure everything works rock solidly and as expected with no unpleasant surprises. Quality is king.
I know Ubuntu uses less resources. I know Chrome is faster. But I will still be using Firefox when my copy of Windows 7 arrives. I have a few seconds to spare, and I'm not afraid to use them. And so will many other people.
* Of course, in the web realm, this is all bunk. If your site doesn't load quickly, people will go elsewhere. Welcome to the new ADD world!