In Houdini you can not only edit the parameters of a surface node, you can reselect the geometry the operation applies to.
You can mark a chain of compilable SOPs as a compiled block which can execute much faster in parallel.
Many geometry (SOP) nodes allow you to use them in Python scripts to generate geometry programmatically.
Some nodes use a library that gives a speed boost for floating-point operations but can make the output vary between different computers. You can control how much the library tries to guarantee reproducible results.