MacOS High Sierra vs Mojave Performance on Hackintosh


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Introduction

Before the final release of MacOS Mojave, there was much speculation on the Web regarding the performance increase over High Sierra, with some websites claiming up to a 20x increase in certain operations. Now that the final version is with us, we can find out just how much faster Mojave actually is compared to MacOS High Sierra, when running on the same hackintosh hardware.

We ran a set of benchmarks, along with some real world tests, to find out.

Specifications of the machine used in testing:-

Intel Core i5-8400 (2.8Ghz)
Asus Z370i Strix Mini-ITX Motherboard
Gigabyte Aorus Radeon RX 570 4GB
Kingston HyperX 16GB DDR4 2666Mhz RAM

The following benchmarks were used for testing:-

Geekbench 4.3
Cinebench R15
Unigine Valley 1.0
GFXBench Metal
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Total War: Warhammer
BruceX 5K (Final Cut Pro X)
Final Cut Pro 10.4.3
Handbrake

Here are the results, with the faster score highlighted in red.

BenchmarkHigh SierraMojave
Geekbench 4.3 CPU (Single-Core)52555279
Geekbench 4.3 CPU (Multi-Core)2100121893
Geekbench 4.3 OpenCL123393126025
Cinebench CPU943945
Cinebench OpenGL121.32 fps121.63 fps
Unigine Valley 1.044.5 fps43.5 fps
GFXBench Metal Aztec Ruins (High Tier)74.9693 fps74.9872 fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2560×1080 High Preset)73.00 fps73.49 fps
Total War: Warhammer (2560×1080 High Preset)62.6 fps66.4 fps
FCPX – BruceX 5K21.61s20.69s
FCPX – 2 minute 4K Stabilization3m 51s2m 19s
Handbrake h.264 Encode13.21s13.14s

As can be seen from the results, Mojave was faster in all of the tests but one. In most tests, the speed increase was small (as would be expected on the same hardware), but two tests stand out – Total War: Warhammer, one of the few games released thus far which use Apple’s Metal API rather than the now deprecated OpenGL, increased from 62.6 frames per second under 10.13.6 High Sierra to 66.4 fps under 10.14 Mojave – an increase of almost 6%.

A far larger increase was seen in the Final Cut Pro X stabilization test. In FCPX 10.4.3, stabilizing a 2 minutes long 4K clip took 3 minutes and 51 seconds under High Sierra, whereas under Mojave it took just 2 minutes and 19 seconds, making Mojave a full 60% faster that its predecessor.

The one test in which High Sierra was faster was the Unigine Valley benchmark. This is an older benchmark, and uses the OpenGL API which has now been deprecated by Apple in favor of Metal. The difference was only 1 frame.

So, is it worth upgrading?

If you’re still on the fence about upgrading from High Sierra, and you use a Radeon card, then yes, absolutely. As well as the speed increase, the whole OS seems much smoother in everyday use, and the new Dark Mode looks beautiful on a 4K display. However, if you’re using a Nvidia card, there are currently no drivers available from Nvidia for the new OS, so it’s best to wait until they’re available before upgrading. Nvidia have stated that they are currently working with Apple to provide drivers for Mojave so hopefully the wait shouldn’t be too long.