@stefano or your friend was perhaps using an older version of Max which had no retina support and thus always in low resolution mode. This is a very recent feature.
As for the performance differences with the phys.multiple.mesh.maxpat, it looks like there are some OpenGL problems with performance of displaylists on those machines under 10.9.
I was able to speed up that patch significantly to match older machine/OS performance or better with jit.gl.model @cache_mode vbo @displaylist 0. I’m not sure if it is an OpenGL bug which Apple will address at this point, but your problem for that patch is definitely the displaylist issue.