Apple’s macOS High Sierra on older Macs really does boost performance

“Folks have been saying that installing macOS High Sierra on older Macs provides better performance, so I decided to test that theory,” Jeff Butts writes for The Mac Observer.

“While my daily driver is Valtur, the TMO Hackintosh, I also have a mid–2010 Mac mini,” Butts writes. “From my testing, I can confirm that High Sierra provides a modest improvement in performance.”

“macOS High Sierra performed modestly better in all categories,” Butts writes. “Regardless of whether the test was single-core or multi-core, High Sierra provided consistently better performance in the analysis.”

More info, including benchmark results, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Another free performance boost from Apple, courtesy of The World’s Most Advanced Operating System!


  1. Yeah great if you’re using only office programs, not so great when doing video editing, graphics, etc..

    Gonna wait until middle of next year to prudently upgrade from Sierra and issues have been ironed out with software upgrades and the new filing system. And looking forward to it once the all clear is given.

    1. Fair enough, Fesarius. But it is nice to know that Apple often improves its products over time with new software releases. People often complain about new OS releases, but you have the option to stick with the current version, if you choose.

      Personally, I have a hard time criticizing Apple if my seven to ten year old Mac does not perform quite as snappily as I would prefer. Software is not magic – it cannot change the internal video card or update the CPU, although there are still quite a few people who would like to have that option.

      I like to tinker. In my experience, however, relatively few Mac users do more than upgrade the RAM and replace the HDD/SSD. Back around 2000, I cost-effectively squeezed some extra years out of my PowerMac by swapping in a G3 card. But, in most cases, it makes more sense to buy a new Mac and sell the old one. Even with the addition of the G3 card, I still had an older and slower bus and RAM and video. If I can get 7 to 10 years out of a Mac (and I always have), then I consider that to be a great value.

  2. My 2010 MacBook Air is booting up in 25 seconds vs 45 in Sierra. It’s running better/faster overall in High Siera compared to Sierra. And that’s with 2gb of RAM.

  3. My old 2011 iMac now and runs software via an SSD drive attached to it using a Thunderbolt 2 port. I keep my data on the internal HD that came with the Mac. It’s much snappier than the HD drive the iMac came with.

    I am hoping the High Sierra will install easily on the SSD drive and work as smoothly as the current setup does.

  4. I would refrain from updating to High Sierra until Linux can read drives formatted as APFS. Since that seems unlikely to occur, I would probably sooner install Debian on my Mac than upgrade to High Sierra if I wanted a speed boost.

  5. MacBook Pro mid-2012 w/16gb & Samsung SSD… Bootup is slower but overall performance is fantastic. File Copying thanks to APFS Is Blazing Fast.. Instantaneous! All Apple & Adobe Pro Apps 2017 all work Lovely! Hope they fix Startup though, used to be 8.5 seconds.. now it takes 16-20 seconds!

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