If you have been reading about Mac improvement, the obvious question is this: how can you tell how big a difference there is between before and after the Mac optimization took place?
Of course, there are various ways of boosting your Mac’s performance, such as switching from an HDD to an ultra-fast SSD, adding more RAM, tweaking your system or using third party optimization software. But no matter which you choose, the question remains the same: is there any way to get hard data on whether these changes have made your Mac faster or slower?
The short answer is yes.
With the help of free benchmarking tools you can get exact measurements of various Mac components and your system as a whole. In that vein, we’ve tracked down the best free tools that let you test your Mac’s performance.
One of the best ways to get real data on how your Mac is performing is to run the Geekbench software. The Ontario, Canada-based Primate Labs has four versions of this software and, depending on the CPU architecture of your computer, you might need to run Geekbench 3 (32-bit) or Geekbench 4 (64-bit). Geekbench is partially free: when it is launched, a prompt will inform you that it is in tryout mode that comes with limitations, but you'll still get a complete picture of the overall performance of your machine.
Geekbench results are often cited when new Macs appear, and one of the best things about this software is that it keeps a database of previous benchmarks on a public website that can be accessed to compare your Mac model’s results with others. The key figures are the two displayed at the top: Single-Core Score and Multi-Core Score.
Blackmagic Disk Speed Test
Getting information about the speed of your hard (or flash) drive is easiest with Blackmagic Disk Speed Test. Available for free in the Mac App Store, the app will test and display the read and write speeds that your Mac’s built-in disk is capable of with a nicely designed user interface. Just hit the “Start” button and watch the numbers, and after the results try changing the level of stress for the disk speed test.
As a free benchmarking app available in the Mac App Store, Novabench will test your Mac CPU’s integer arithmetic speed, perform a general CPU test, check GPU performance, RAM read and write speeds as well as the disk write speed. The results can be uploaded to the app’s website, where you can browse a list of top Macs, for example. The top list is compiled based on the average score obtained after running the Novabench tests.
Mac Optimization Apps
All these apps can measure and confirm your suspicion that your Mac is sluggish. But you know what? None of them offer a solution. This is the job of Mac optimization software, which not only scours your computer to determine what the cause of the slowdown is, but also provides a solution to address the matter.
We have tested the majority of available Mac optimization software to help you determine which offers the best value for the money. Is it CCleaner, Machanic or MacBooster? Or was it MacKeeper or CleanMyMac? Of course, free variants such as OnyX are always appealing too, but even those just mentioned offer free services too.