Apache is the venerable old-timer in the http server world. There are many younger siblings like Nginx, Lighttpd, and even Node.js, which are often touted as being faster, lighter, and more scalable alternatives than Apache.
Apache probably looks like this to many Nginx and Lighty users.
Though many alternatives are more lightweight and can be faster in certain circumstances, Apache offers many benefits (not the least of which is abundant documentation and widespread support) and is still a top-notch web server that can be tuned to fly.
Below I describe a few seemingly innocuous Apache configuration settings that can make a huge difference for your site's performance, and help Apache run as fast or faster than alternative servers in many circumstances.