Currently it is kind of expected. In fact in a lot of real world apps SDM is slower than classic DevMode because recompilation takes too long. For example one of our apps re-compiles in ~35 sec in SuperDevMode where as using DevMode it takes ~2-4 sec to reload the browser.--
However Google guys are working on modular / incremental compilation which can speed up SDM quite a lot. I say "can" because if I understand it correctly, your app must use lots of smaller GWT modules instead of one large GWT module to see great benefits. That way the compiler can figure out which small GWT modules need to be recompiled based on which files you have changed.
I think on GWT.create conference the incremental compilation has been showcased and maybe some attendees can give you some more impressions.
One big plus for SDM is that you can develop GWT apps for mobile devices because these devices do not support classic DevMode. Also in the near future it is very likely that classic DevMode does not work anymore in Chrome and FireFox: http://techcrunch.com/2013/09/23/say-goodbye-to-npapi/
So if you want to be on a safe spot then you should slowly begin preparing your code for SDM + incremental compile by introducing smaller GWT modules in your app. Also if you use GWT generators then you might need to modify some of them in the future because during incremental compile they most likely do not have the "whole world" knowledge they have now.
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