Compare Mojave vs Catalina in performance?

CLS7

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 13, 2016
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24
Malmoe, Sweden
Is it worth upgrading to Mac OS Catalina? I using Mojave today. I'm not interested of the new features in Catalina, such as connecting iPad to mac, nor the TV app.

So the only thing that might make me upgrade is if Catalina has better performance than Mojave. I tried to find answer about this but could not find anything that tells if Catalina has better performance.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
13,048
5,906
Hong Kong
Is it worth upgrading to Mac OS Catalina? I using Mojave today. I'm not interested of the new features in Catalina, such as connecting iPad to mac, nor the TV app.

So the only thing that might make me upgrade is if Catalina has better performance than Mojave. I tried to find answer about this but could not find anything that tells if Catalina has better performance.
It's almost impossible for Catalina to perform better than Mojave at this stage.

Mojave is a very very mature OS now. Catalina is just early beta.

Just running benchmarks, may be tiny to no difference. But actual usage, Mojave is definitely smoother.
 

dwig

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2015
665
246
Key West FL
Is it worth upgrading to Mac OS Catalina?...
If you have to ask then the answer is "no", primarily because there is no "mac OS Catalina". What exists is "macOS Catalina beta", an unfinished and buggy early build that may well have extra tracking/logging code for error reporting that would totally prevent any meaningful benchmarking.
 

J.Gallardo

macrumors 6502
Apr 4, 2017
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Spain
(Found this thread with a "search").
Why no more answers? I wanted to open a thread with just the same question:

Is it worth upgrading to Mac OS Catalina? I using Mojave today. I'm not interested of the new features in Catalina, such as connecting iPad to mac, nor the TV app.

So the only thing that might make me upgrade is if Catalina has better performance than Mojave. I tried to find answer about this but could not find anything that tells if Catalina has better performance.
Well, Catalina is no more a beta. Not even a ".0" version.
We have lots of "small" problems, nobody seems to really understand new disk structure, we're prone to lose 32bit compatibility, no more fiddling into system, e-gpu's fail, Time Machine could go wrong, etc.

Please, somebody!: ANY PERFORMANCE GAIN????
 
Last edited:

Jack Neill

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2015
501
293
San Antonio Texas
On unsupported macs and 1 supported mac I have tried, it actually feels a bit snappier than Mojave, but I would say its rather even and the island has nothing on the desert in terms of being stable.
 
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J.Gallardo

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Apr 4, 2017
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Thanks for your answer.
It seems strange to me the absence of comments about this topic. And, strangely, no many detailed tests exposed on web (couldn't find any).
Yeah... System "feels" snappier... That's all I've read.
BUT: What about intensive work apps? Do image processing, rendering, transcoding go faster? Or... Is there a noticeable gain in normal workflows? Browsing feels snappier? More frames in games?

(I believe there must be a lot of people like me: everything is working fantastic with Mojave in my iMac, have a few 32bit apps in use, and don't need Catalina novelties. Benchmarking & comparatives should exist).
 

Jack Neill

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2015
501
293
San Antonio Texas
Thanks for your answer.
It seems strange to me the absence of comments about this topic. And, strangely, no many detailed tests exposed on web (couldn't find any).
Yeah... System "feels" snappier... That's all I've read.
BUT: What about intensive work apps? Do image processing, rendering, transcoding go faster? Or... Is there a noticeable gain in normal workflows? Browsing feels snappier? More frames in games?

(I believe there must be a lot of people like me: everything is working fantastic with Mojave in my iMac, have a few 32bit apps in use, and don't need Catalina novelties. Benchmarking & comparatives should exist).
I haven't really done any benchmarks, I don't really do a lot of video editing or heavy lifting, Pixelmator Pro is the most intensive thing I use.
 

StoneJack

macrumors 65816
Dec 19, 2009
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My impression is that Catalina outperforms Mojave, but I don't have any benchmarks, just a user feeling.
 

J.Gallardo

macrumors 6502
Apr 4, 2017
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OK.
So, performance gain in Catalina is just a feeling. Upgrading is a sentimental decision, and just going with the times?

(Don't let me be misunderstood: I thank your answers. But still noticing a BIG emptiness about this essential info, considering how many tech-wise Apple users exist).

I keep being interested in my original query, but a new question arises: is Apple driving media to ignore this info in order to promote Catalina?
(Perhaps a big title in big letters saying "Catalina: no measurable performance gain" is forbidden for tech journalists?)
 
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h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
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(Found this thread with a "search").
Why no more answers? I wanted to open a thread with just the same question:



Well, Catalina is no more a beta. Not even a ".0" version.
We have lots of "small" problems, nobody seems to really understand new disk structure, we're prone to lose 32bit compatibility, no more fiddling into system, e-gpu's fail, Time Machine could go wrong, etc.

Please, somebody!: ANY PERFORMANCE GAIN????
In my understanding, having measurable performance gain by upgrading the OS is rare. Same hardware, same max / potential performance.

For upgradable Mac (e.g. Mac Pro 5,1, or the coming 7,1), upgrade the OS means "can use some newer hardware" (e.g. RX 5700XT can only works in Catalina, but not Mojave), therefore, better performance (measurable).

So, unless Mojave has some serious performance bug for your hardware (e.g. driver issue), otherwise, Catalina shouldn't bring any noticeable performance improvement to your Mac.

However, it is possible to have snappier experience even no measurable performance gain. e.g. the newer OS can have better coding for finder, or handling the OS UI, etc. For example, the older OS need 500 line of codes to handle "file coping", but the newer OS only need 400 line of codes to handle the same input. Then, end up same hardware, same driver performance, but still can have 20% improvement in handling the user input. So, the user may able to feel that "the UI for file copying" pop up quicker, in other words, feel snappier (but the actual copying speed most likely still the same, because same hardware, same speed. So, disk speed test won't shows any improvement).
 

J.Gallardo

macrumors 6502
Apr 4, 2017
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Spain
Nice contributions; thanks.

Yes, I forgot: new hardware is supported, and that's a big gain. (Will Apple bring those new drivers to Mojave?).

And, of course, better compatibility with iOS 13 (that's why my interest in Catalina hasn't totally died).

Yes: every new OS takes more and newer hardware, and is usually slower in older hardware. Another reason for more serious testing from tech communicators.
So: software is more efficient by dropping 32bit code (and in my case, losing a few apps I need). How nice would it be just having the typical "HandBrake" job comparative!! We could know if we get something beefier than a snappier Finder.

Another big insight would be to know if new apps designed with Catalina in mind will perform better than in Mojave.
(At this time, upgrading to Catalina is a loss for me, and gains keep being marginal; and this forum is full of new annoyances and users going back to Mojave...).
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
13,048
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Hong Kong
Nice contributions; thanks.

Yes, I forgot: new hardware is supported, and that's a big gain. (Will Apple bring those new drivers to Mojave?).

And, of course, better compatibility with iOS 13 (that's why my interest in Catalina hasn't totally died).

Yes: every new OS takes more and newer hardware, and is usually slower in older hardware. Another reason for more serious testing from tech communicators.
So: software is more efficient by dropping 32bit code (and in my case, losing a few apps I need). How nice would it be just having the typical "HandBrake" job comparative!! We could know if we get something beefier than a snappier Finder.

Another big insight would be to know if new apps designed with Catalina in mind will perform better than in Mojave.
(At this time, upgrading to Catalina is a loss for me, and gains keep being marginal; and this forum is full of new annoyances and users going back to Mojave...).
From memory, never.

Once reach the latest "version" (version, not build, e.g. 10.14.6 is a version number). No new function or driver will be added to this version anymore. The newer builds are just for security update, and may be some bug fix.

For me, Mojave is also better than Catalina at this moment. I still have few softwares that are 32bit, and no replacement yet.
 

Jack Neill

macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2015
501
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San Antonio Texas
From memory, never.

Once reach the latest "version" (version, not build, e.g. 10.14.6 is a version number). No new function or driver will be added to this version anymore. The newer builds are just for security update, and may be some bug fix.

For me, Mojave is also better than Catalina at this moment. I still have few softwares that are 32bit, and no replacement yet.
Correct, and Mojave is a lot more stable than Catalina for me anyways, but that will change and it will get better as .2+ updates drop. I have loved Mojave since .0 as its been rock solid for me the whole time.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
13,048
5,906
Hong Kong
I keep using the latest macOS in the last 10 years, I also just Mojave since beta stage. The .0 version has occasionally KP (seems APFS related). But since .1, it's stable and performing. Literally the best OS I've ever use.

But this time, I only install Catalina on my test drive, not replacing the primary boot drive. I occasionally test it, but still have no intention to use it as my primary OS.

I simply can't find any advantage to migrate to Catalina.
 

J.Gallardo

macrumors 6502
Apr 4, 2017
281
68
Spain
... I've even bought a NVME & usb 3.1 gen 2 planning to use Mojave from external just to use those few apps I need. I was thinking about upgrading to Catalina in my iMac 2017 main internal (1TB SSD) when OS reached a more stable and mature version.

I'm losing interest in my original plan...
And integration with iOS 13 (I use phone and pad a lot) is sufficient and good; Apple has tempted us with new Notes and Reminders... but "kindly" kept main interaction (iCloud, Files, Pages, etc.) totally functional.

I also liked using latest macOS since long ago (hey, Apple even made admirable efforts to help me at that, like "Rosetta" when going Intel).

I could also have a try with Catalina (my new fast, external ssd sits unformatted in a drawer), but seems totally needless... !

...Perhaps somebody points to a really good reason to upgrade... (?)
 

SalisburySam

macrumors member
May 19, 2019
81
62
Salisbury, North Carolina
Yeah, 27” 5K iMac 18,3 running quite well (not flawlessly though) on Mojave. Don’t have any 32-bit apps, and also don’t need the touted new features on Catalina. Previously I’ve updated within days of the software becoming available. Now I just see no need. Threads like this one reinforce the more cautious wait-and-see approach. Given the lack of excitement by the trade press about Catalina and their highlights of esoteric functions as opposed to core needs, Catalina with meh new facilities and no support for 32-bit apps seems more like the iPhone7: same as the 6s but without a headphone jack. Not a compelling update for me.
 

J.Gallardo

macrumors 6502
Apr 4, 2017
281
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Spain
Yeah, 27” 5K iMac 18,3 running quite well (not flawlessly though) on Mojave. Don’t have any 32-bit apps, and also don’t need the touted new features on Catalina. Previously I’ve updated within days of the software becoming available. Now I just see no need. Threads like this one reinforce the more cautious wait-and-see approach. Given the lack of excitement by the trade press about Catalina and their highlights of esoteric functions as opposed to core needs, Catalina with meh new facilities and no support for 32-bit apps seems more like the iPhone7: same as the 6s but without a headphone jack. Not a compelling update for me.
It's even worse:

- You can't totally trust "System Profile" to identify 32-bit apps. Some 64-bit apps have some code in 32bit (codecs in sound apps) and complete info is missing. Try Go64 (free) for a detailed report.

- I use an iPhone 6s (I need a headphone jack), and I believe iOS 13 allows me to plug new hardware (like usb mem.), and everything's a gain. Apple could help 32-bit users machines to support new hardware; but they won't.

People have a tendency to upgrade operating systems too quickly. If you haven’t found a compelling reason to update, don’t.
For sure!
I won't follow my computer maker recommendation, and I'll ignore the red tag in System Preferences. And I have unchecked automatic actualisations. Seems Apple wants people to upgrade operating systems too quickly.
 

fisherking

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2010
6,800
1,722
ny somewhere
not seeing any real-world difference in catalina, over mojave... but not having any real issues either (except some quirks with stickies, which i've abandoned).

am happy to move forward, and to be in a fully-64bit environment. but whatever works for someone, works.
 

Yester5

macrumors regular
Nov 26, 2009
218
38
Pittsburgh, PA
My experience with Catalina has been strange, to say the least. It runs great on my new MacBook Air, but on my 2014 5K iMac, it’s totally screwed up my iCloud account. It constantly requires me to “log in” to my iCloud account, even though I’m already signed in. Sometimes takes over 12 attempts involving iCloud password, iMac admin password, iPad passcode, text authorization code, then repeats. I’m rolling back to Mojave on my iMac 😡
 

J.Gallardo

macrumors 6502
Apr 4, 2017
281
68
Spain
sudo softwareupdate --ignore "macOS Catalina".

defaults write com.apple.systempreferences AttentionPrefBundleIDs 0
Red tag it's not a problem...

I'm not a Terminal user (so not completely sure), but an interesting fact is that these kind of intrusions in System apps are impossible in Catalina. You can do a thing like that in Mojave, for last time.
The "system" container is blocked in Catalina for security. All those tricks to adapt system to special requirements are finished.