How to test your Mac performance

How to monitor your Mac’s performance and tell that your computer works at its full? How to compare it to other machines with similar specifications? The answer is simple — use Mac benchmark tools. 

Luckily, many apps can help you measure how various components of your Mac work. It will help you know that there are some issues with your Mac should you think that it has slowed down. And in this article, we’ll look at seven tools that can help you test your Mac performance. You’ll know how they work and what they can measure. So let’s roll!

What are Mac performance benchmarks?

Benchmarking can help you understand the performance of your Mac’s software and hardware, including the disk speed, memory, and graphics card performance. This information is very useful, as you can see the weak spots in your system that can be enhanced. 

There are several indicators to measure: 

  • Disk speed. In this case, the idea is to test how fast the storage inside a Mac is. Disk speed test for Macs is about read/write speeds. Simply put, it is about how fast (or slow) data will copy from your Mac to an external drive and vice versa. Also, if it is low, you may not be able to run some apps, and it may indicate that an upgrade is needed. 
  • Memory (or RAM). Random-access memory is where everything your Mac currently uses is stored. It is a short-term memory that apps and components of macOS need to function properly. Measuring it is essential in order to know if the system and applications will work in a way you need them to. 
  • GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). This indicator helps measure the graphics performance of a Mac. It is what predetermines if you can run and play graphically rich games on your Mac or work with such apps as Photoshop and video editors. 
  • CPU (Central Processing Unit). It is responsible for executing system instructions and commands. Basically, if CPU stress is high, it may mean that system tasks won’t be performed as expected. For example, app crashes may occur. 

Best Mac benchmarking apps

Now that you know why measuring Mac performance is important, let’s proceed with benchmarking apps. We’ve selected 7 best apps for you to try out. 

1. CleanMyMac X

We would like to begin with an app that can not only measure Mac performance but also improve it. A utility like CleanMyMac X can optimize your Mac and improve its efficiency.

CleanMyMac X keeps you up to date on all the important stuff going on inside your Mac:

  • Storage space
  • Memory usage
  • Processor load
  • Battery health
  • Potential threats

You can zoom in on either of these sections and get a comprehensive view of your Mac. These menus are so well designed you’ll immediately understand your Mac better.

For example, you can see the Health score for your HD drive. And all these monitors are available in the free version of CleanMyMac X — download it here.

If there’s a problem with your Mac, the app will let you know immediately and help you with the fix.

You get alerts when apps stop responding, disk temperature is high, memory use is unusually heavy, and battery status is critical. With CleanMyMac X, you always know if your Mac is running well and can fix the problem as soon as it arises.

CleanMyMac X also has the Maintenance module that gives you access to all Mac optimizing goodies: running maintenance scripts, repairing disk permissions, verifying startup disk, running Mail speedup, and reindexing Spotlight.

All those things may sound a bit complex, but don’t worry — CleanMyMac X is extremely easy to use. Just run a scan of your whole system, and the app will tell you what should be removed to boost your Mac performance. The scanning and cleaning process requires just 2 clicks and less than 5 minutes. Impressive, right?

Good news, CleanMyMac X is free to download. So give it a try and boost your Mac’s performance!

2. Apple Diagnostics 

It is a benchmarking tool developed by Apple. Formerly known as Apple Hardware Test, it is designed specifically for checking your Mac for hardware issues. It means that if you suspect that any drop in performance is due to a hardware failure or some components do not work properly, you can run it. 

What you should know, though, is that the steps for running it differ for Apple silicon and Intel-based Macs. 

Apple silicon

  1. Start up your Mac.
  2. Continue to press and hold the power button as your Mac turns on.
  3. Release the power button when the startup options window appears.
  4. Press Command-D to run the Diagnostics.

Intel processor

  1. Start up your Mac and press and hold the D key while it turns on.
  2. Release the key when the progress bar appears or when you’re asked to select a language.

Once the check is complete, you’ll see test results presented as reference codes. You can find what they mean here

The best thing about Apple Diagnostics is that it not only determines which hardware component is at fault but also suggests solutions and offers to contact Apple Support if needed. 

3. Blackmagic Disk Speed Test

As you have already understood from its name, the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test measures your hard drive performance, particularly its read/write speeds. It was designed to help video editors determine if their hard drives can handle various video files.

Blackmagic Disk Speed Test is extremely easy to use. It consists of a single window and a big Speed Test Start button. If you have a single hard drive, simply click the Start button and Blackmagic will test your hard drive and show the results.

If you have multiple hard drives, you need to choose which one you want to test. To do that, go to Blackmagic’s settings by opening the File or Stress menus from its toolbar. Once you’ve chosen the hard drive, you may click Start to run a test.

If you are looking for a good hard drive speed test on Mac, feel free to use Blackmagic Disk Speed Test. It is free to download from the App Store, so take advantage of this tool whenever you need it.

4. Geekbench 6

Geekbench 6 is a useful app for measuring the CPU performance and memory speed on your Mac. It includes different tests that were designed to estimate how well your Mac can run everyday tasks.

To start the Macbook performance test, you need to install the app (you can find it here), open it, choose your processor architecture, and click Run CPU Benchmarks.

When the test is completed, you can compare your results with other users. Don’t miss this great opportunity; it is really useful to see whether users on the same computer get similar results. This may suggest that there is a problem with your Mac and what you should really expect from your particular model and hardware.

You can try Geekbench 6 for free, but you need to buy it from the App Store to get the full version.

5. Cinebench

Cinebench is a platform used to test two things: CPU and graphics card performance. It may be interesting for you to know that Cinebench is based on MAXON’s Cinema 4D animation software used for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in different popular movies, including Iron Man 3, Prometheus, and Oblivion.

You can use Cinebench to test:

  • Main processor performance. Cinebench uses all your system’s processing power to test how quickly your processor can render a complex 3D scene that contains more than 2,000 objects, a great number of shadows, sharp reflections, and more. And the higher number you get, the faster your processor.

  • Graphics card performance. This test uses a 3D car scene that shows the car chase. And to test the capabilities of your graphics hardware, Cinebench uses a great variety of different effects and textures. The higher the numbers, the faster your graphics card is.

Cinebench is free to use, so if you need to run a CPU speed test on Mac or measure your graphics card performance, try it out.

6. Novabench

Novabench is a free tool that provides a Mac benchmark test for your whole system, including CPU, RAM, and graphics performance.

You can test your whole computer in minutes and even compare results with thousands of other systems. To run the Mac speed test, do the following:

  1. Open the app.
  2. Click the Start All Benchmark Tests button. Novabench will start running different tests.
  3. Wait 1-2 minutes for the tests to run. Don’t use your computer during the tests.
  4. Get the results of each test along with the Novabench score (the higher the number you’ve got, the better).

Once you’ve run Macintosh performance test using this tool, you can add results to your profile or keep them private. If you want to share results with others, click the Submit and Compare button.

Novabench is easy to use and provides a quick way to test Mac performance.

7. PerformanceTest

This benchmarking app comes with a variety of tests. Developers claim that it will help obtain an objective measurement of your Mac’s system. The main focus is on CPU tests and Macintosh memory tests, with almost 18 tests available. 

To check this app out, download it from the App Store and select which test you want to run. It indeed will help you understand the performance of your Mac because you can compare your results with those of the users online — there is a large database of test results that can be accessed from the app. You can even compare the results with those collected from the users of Windows computers. 

That’s it. We hope our article was useful and you’ve chosen a Mac benchmark tool that works best for you. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned!

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