Apple macOS Monterey 12 Performance Is Surprisingly Competitive With Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 17 December 2021 at 08:36 AM EST.

Out of more than 120 benchmarks carried out on macOS Monterey 12 and Ubuntu/Clear Linux, Intel's Clear Linux had the most wins with coming in first place 52% of the time followed by macOS 12.1 with first place finishes 30% of the time. Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS and Ubuntu 21.10 combined were in first place just 16% of the time.

While macOS 12.1 came in first place 30% of the time, when it tended to not deliver the best performance it was often in last place... It was in last place 44% of the time followed by Ubuntu and then Clear Linux in last place just 5% of the time. See all the data in full via this result file.

If taking the geometric mean of all the 120+ benchmarks that ran successfully on all tested operating systems, macOS 12.1 was effectively tied with Ubuntu 21.10 on this 2018 Mac Mini powered by the Intel Core i7 Coffee lake processor. Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS was narrowly in last place while Intel's Clear Linux had a ~5% advantage over macOS 12.1 and Ubuntu 21.10 in these tests.

I've been comparing macOS and Linux performance for more than one decade and this round of testing with macOS 12 is easily the most competitive I've seen out of Apple's operating system. Previously Linux would rack up far more significant wins while under macOS 12.1 the performance was actually quite good and came as a surprise in some of the rendering workloads and other areas to see it leading over Ubuntu Linux and Clear Linux.

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About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via