How to Test and Benchmark Your Mac Computer’s CPU Performance

Testing and benchmarking your Mac’s CPU performance is important to ensure your computer is running efficiently. This allows you to identify any performance bottlenecks and determine if upgrades are needed. There are several free tools available to test CPU performance on a Mac.

Why Benchmark Your Mac’s CPU

Here are some key reasons to benchmark your Mac’s CPU performance:

  • Evaluate overall CPU speed and power
  • Compare performance between Macs
  • Determine if CPU is bottlenecking system performance
  • Decide if a CPU upgrade is worthwhile
  • Check CPU temperature and cooling system function

Benchmarking establishes objective metrics to measure real-world performance.

Tools to Benchmark Mac CPU Performance


Geekbench by Primate Labs is the most popular free benchmark utility for Macs.

  • Cross-platform – Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android
  • Tests Integer, Floating Point, Encryption, Physics performance
  • Single and Multi-Core CPU testing
  • GPU Compute benchmark
  • Free and paid versions available

Download Geekbench from the Mac App Store or Primate Labs Website.


Cinebench by Maxon tests CPU and GPU performance using a 3D rendering engine.

  • Real-world CPU and GPU test
  • Multi-core CPU performance
  • Compare different systems
  • Free download

Download Cinebench from the Mac App Store.


Novabench provides an overall system benchmark with specific CPU testing.

  • Free Mac performance benchmark
  • Individual CPU, GPU, RAM testing
  • Compare with Novabench’s database of systems
  • Easy-to-use

Download Novabench from the Official Website.

How to Benchmark Your Mac’s CPU

Follow these steps to benchmark your Mac’s CPU performance:

  1. Download Geekbench, Cinebench, or Novabench
  2. Make sure no other CPU-intensive apps are running
  3. Run the benchmark test (5-15 minutes)
  4. Note single and multi-core CPU performance scores
  5. Compare scores to other systems
  6. Determine if CPU upgrade is recommended

Close all non-essential apps before benchmarking for accurate results.

How to Monitor Mac CPU Usage

You can monitor real-time Mac CPU usage with the Activity Monitor utility:

  • Located in Applications > Utilities
  • Shows current CPU load percentage
  • CPU usage per application
  • System vs User processes
  • CPU temperature

Activity Monitor provides insight into apps consuming CPU resources.

Tips for Improving Mac CPU Performance

Here are some tips for improving CPU performance on a Mac:

  • Close unused apps and browser tabs
  • Add more RAM for better performance
  • Use Activity Monitor to find resource-hungry apps
  • Upgrade to an SSD storage drive
  • Make sure fans and vents are not blocked
  • Consider upgrading the CPU if needed

Eliminating background tasks can significantly improve Mac CPU performance.

By benchmark testing your CPU and monitoring usage, you can optimize your Mac’s performance. Identify any problem areas causing bottlenecks or slowdowns. Use the data to determine if upgrades to RAM, storage drives, cooling systems or the CPU itself will provide worthwhile improvements.