New macOS versions usually mean better performance on Apple’s latest hardware, but they’re rarely optimised for anything older (even last year’s models). So what’s the consensus on macOS Mojave, Apple’s latest operating system, when it comes to older machines?
Just as a reminder, Apple says that macOS Mojave is compatible with the following desktop and laptops:
MacBook introduced in early 2015 or later
MacBook Air introduced in mid 2012 or later
MacBook Pro introduced in mid 2012 or later
Mac mini introduced in late 2012 or later
iMac introduced in late 2012 or later
iMac Pro (all models)
(You can try installing macOS Mojave on other systems if you use this unofficial tool. I don’t recommend it for most users because you won’t see many benefits from the optimizations designed for more modern hardware, and in some cases it will actually make your older hardware less stable.)
As for how well macOS Mojave performs on older Macs, we’ve seen a number of reports that users with older systems (2012–2015) are experiencing smoother performance and less lag using the latest version of macOS. That’s a ringing endorsement compared to some of the problematic reports we’ve seen for previous macOS updates.
— Dave Môrgan (@pugnaciously) September 24, 2018
Successfully updated my Late 2012 MacBook Pro to Mojave. So far, so good.
As things go, this might be the last update this sweet old machine can handle. Still a great daily driver.
— Randy Murray (@cptnrandy) September 25, 2018
That said, Mojave hasn’t been the smoothest sailing for all. For example, consider Reddit user DHhdhdhdh377411112's saga:
“I’m very frustrated. I have the same setup as you [mid-2012 Macbook Pro] but 10gb RAM and Mojave is unusable. Startup takes 5-15 minutes, typing in my password takes 5 minutes of that time, it thinks my WiFi hardware is not installed, and anything I try to do takes minutes if it’s even possible. I can’t even load let alone change my network settings.”
Reddit user Aero_Z reports a similar experience:
“I tried Mojave (one of the latest betas) on my mid-2012 MBP. The boot time was considerably longer than HS (which is considerably longer than Sierra etc). Also after logging in it takes quite some time before the the system gets responsive. My personal experience is that with every new version of macOS it gets slower on older hardware. So you have to figure out if you want better performance or newest features. I recently upgraded from El Capitan and it ran a lot better than High Sierra and I’m afraid the same is true with Mojave.”
If you have an older Mac, what has your Mojave experience been like? Let us know in the comments: Tell us what Mac you’re using and whether you’d consider naming macOS Mojave to macOS Molasses (or macOS Megaspeedy).