Can you provide a link? To compare a scalar numerically, Perl needs to check the flag that says it's okay to use as a number, convert it to a number, stow the number in the SV, set the okay to use as a number flag, and perform the comparison.
Of course, to compare it as a string, it has to do the same sort of thing with the okay to use as a string flag.
Besides all that, if mangling your program to use numeric equals really speeds it up, you're either a better programmer than anybody I've known or you should probably consider dropping to C. Please program for accuracy, not speed.
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