I remember going from Leopard to Snow Leopard was a huge performance boost.

Going to Lion, is it going to be the case? Read so many reviews yet none of them discussed this (many discussed gestures and mission control, etc).

I'm running Core 2 Duo 2.0 Ghz with 4GB RAM and Nvidia GeForce 9400. Late 2008 Macbook unibody.

EDIT (for future me doing google search): It works very well. Performance is quite the same as Snow Leopard. Should wait a bit for spotlight indexing, and don't plug in time machine drive while spotlight index!

  • I don't have enough info to answer, but I suspect it will be the same with this upgrade, since the whole OS is 64 bit now. Snow Leopard seems to boot a 32 bit kernel on the MacBook systems.
    – Moshe
    Commented Jul 21, 2011 at 8:40

4 Answers 4


All of the press / industry coverage is focusing on the huge usability changes (and that mirrors the marketing that Apple is doing).

Some notable exceptions are the new Safari which runs some benchmarks like web app and JavaScript significantly faster.

The major changes under the hood speak more to security, sandboxing and plumbing the new multi-touch interface, encryption, auto save, auto revisions rather than speed.

It is too soon to tell if speed is much better, but once people adapt to the changes, the idea is we will be much more efficient with the computer waiting for us less than the other way around. I would expect your experience with the hardware you mentioned to be a minor speedup in pure numbers but a major speedup as your brain becomes free from worrying about saving, window management and revisions (assuming you adapt to the changes and like them)

I get the feeling that with mission control and full screen apps, that the UI is incredibly fluid and optimized but I'm running on some faster macs than yours.

Fun times, huh?


I have definitely noticed an increase in the speed of safari and Xcode, and this article seems to confirm that others have had the same experience. Also, everyone else that I have spoken to has noticed a speed boost as well in many applications. This discussion also proves that isn't just me and select friends:


Though I cannot cite any numerical proof, it is noticeably faster for me.


I have a MacBook with exactly that configuration. Lion is de-facto faster in some areas (World of Warcraft, for instance, runs 10-15 frames faster), but may "feel" slower in others (e.g. opening a window sports a new animation and gives the impression that it's delayed a bit). This "feeling" is of course not specific to that machine. Anyway, Lion is certainly not slower than Snow Leopard on a Late 2008 MacBook.


I have a 2011 quad-core i7 15" MacBook Pro with 8G RAM, and Lion is noticeably faster than Snow Leopard in all areas.

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