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Snippet: Poor Mac Performance Without an SSD ☇

Shared on November 29, 2018

Michael Tsai compiled a number of anecdotes about this phenomenon that yours truly also encountered:

I spent many years using Macs booted from hard drives, including a 4,200 RPM one in a MacBook Pro. You would think a modern iMac would be faster than that, both because of the CPU and because the larger capacity drives have a higher data density. But it sure seems like macOS performs worse than it used to if you don’t have an SSD.

It seems the newer versions of macOS are especially tuned for SSD use on the boot drive. A family member’s 2012 Mac mini (8GB RAM and an i7) was painfully slow and replacing the hard drive with an SSD restored its performance to like-new (or better). The fleet of 2015-era iMacs at work have also gotten really awful, mirroring what others have said in the linked stories, so they’re getting SSD upgrades, as well.

Apple moving to an all-SSD future is completely reasonable, but making machines that are new or still under their factory warranty run worse than they should seems like a bad look, even if MacBooks are way more popular. It’s especially concerning when other operating systems appear to be fine.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.