The Apache configuration in the benchmark isn't great, using values of;
Apache has nearly 20 year old configuration defaults - because it's best not to break things on users who rely on them. Properly configured, and sanely built, Apache can easily perform as well as nginx or lighttpd. These days 99% of web-server performance is in the kernel and the SSL/TLS libraries. The user-space code is almost completely irrelevant (and those configuration knobs I mentioned really just control how often certain system calls are called).
But it hardly matters; "apt-get install nginx" just works, and you really don't have to worry about it; you get a relatively small binary with some sane defaults. Apache is awesome, but I run nginx on my own EC2 micro instance. It's less hassle.