Everything, all the hardware components and the software has an effect on the performance of a system as a whole. And there is always a bottleneck, the component that restricts the performance the most. This can be anything: the used protocol (e.g. ftp > nfs > cifs), the used filesystem (e.g. without journaling > bla journaling > full journaling), the Kernel Version, the cpu, the amount of RAM, the available amount of RAM, the hard disc connection (e.g. eSATA > USB2 > USB1.1 > USB1.0) and so on and so forth.
So if you're talking about
performance, you should comprehend what exactly you mean by that and what not! There are good adequate ways to measure and compare performance and there are completely useless ones. There are good and useful performance values (e.g. time to zip a file) and completely useless ones (e.g. BogoMIPS).
A good program to measure file system performance is