MacOS High Sierra vs MacOS Big Sur


Apple’s Mac OS is always evolving, and macOS High Sierra and Big Sur have taken things to a whole new level. Whether you’re an experienced Mac user or brand-new to the platform, these two operating systems offer something for everyone. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between High Sierra and Big Sur so that you can make an informed decision about which one will provide your desired performance and features.

Overview Of Mac Os High Sierra And Big Sur

Mac OS High Sierra and Big Sur are like siblings-born of the same lineage, yet with unique characteristics. The former is a veteran in its field, while the latter stands as an ambitious newcomer. From their looks alone, one can appreciate how Apple has worked hard to make sure they each stand out in their own right.

High Sierra’s sleek user interface was designed for easy navigation: it keeps all your applications organized within reach and offers search functions that allow you to find what you’re looking for quickly.
It provides access to various services including iCloud Drive, Messages, and FaceTime so you can stay connected even when remote working. And its built-in security features ensure maximum protection from any threats lurking online 😉

On the other hand, Big Sur marks a notable upgrade from High Sierra; it boasts improved graphical capabilities that promise more vivid visuals than ever before – perfect for gamers or those who enjoy watching movies on their computers! Its efficient optimization process helps speed up performance times too, making everyday tasks faster than ever without sacrificing quality.

Plus, users get access to state-of-the-art privacy tools that give them full control over which apps have permission to use certain data sources. With these advancements in tow, Big Sur promises a level of power and versatility unprecedented in MacOS history. Transitioning into the next section now we look at compatible devices available between both MacOS versions..

Compatible Devices

Mac OS High Sierra and Big Sur are both incredibly powerful operating systems, with the latter offering a range of new features. But which one is compatible with your device? Let’s take a look at what you need to know in order to make sure that either OS works for you.

High Sierra

The list of compatible devices for High Sierra and Big Sur according to Wikipedia are:

  • iMac (Late 2009 or later)
  • MacBook (Late 2009 or later)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2010 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2010 or later)
  • Mac Mini (Mid 2010 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Mid 2010 or later)

Big Sur

  • iMac (Mid 2014 or later)
  • iMac Pro
  • MacBook (Early 2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2013 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (Late 2013 or later)
  • Mac Mini (Late 2014 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 or later)

Other System Requirements

High Sierra requires 14 GB free disk space for installation, whereas Big Sur needs 20 GB of free disk space. Also, if you’re running 32-bit apps on your computer, then they won’t be supported by Big Sur – so make sure all your applications are 64-bit compatible before making the switch.

So when deciding which Operating System to go with, it really comes down to how powerful your machine is and what type of programs you plan on using it for. If you’ve got a relatively new model with plenty of RAM and want the latest features available in Apple’s software lineup, then upgrading to Big Sur may be the way forward. But if your machine isn’t quite as powerful or your workflow doesn’t require any newer features offered in Big Sur specifically, then sticking with High Sierra should serve you just fine 🙂

These points about Operating System Requirements provide some important context for considering which one might work better for individual user needs – now let’s take a look at some of the unique features found in MacOS Big Sur.

Features In Big Sur

The Mac OS Big Sur is like a shining beacon of possibility. It’s the perfect combination of modern design and powerful capabilities that make it stand out from its predecessor, Mac OS High Sierra. With features such as improved visuals, better performance, more secure browsing and enhanced privacy protection, Big Sur is an upgrade for any level of user.

  • First off, the visuals are stunning in Big Sur. From redesigned icons to bolder fonts, everything looks sleeker and sharper than ever before. And thanks to Apple’s Metal technology, apps now run faster too! Plus with support for Dolby Vision HDR video playback and external displays up to 6K resolution, you can enjoy cinematic experiences on your desktop.
  • Second, security has been taken to a whole new level with Big Sur. Not only does it come with built-in malware detection but also includes additional protections such as Firewall options and App Privacy Reports that let users see how their data is being used by third-party applications. Additionally, Safari now offers comprehensive tracking prevention so no one can track or follow you online without your knowledge.

Big Sur brings a lot of exciting new features – making it an attractive option for those looking to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to hardware upgrades and software enhancements alike. As we turn our attention towards ensuring our digital safety, this latest version of macOS will help us do just that while enjoying all the great things this operating system has to offer. Now onto exploring how these improvements provide us with even greater levels of security…

MacOS High Sierra vs MacOS Big Sur: Security

Moving on from the exciting new features that Big Sur introduces, it is also important to consider a Mac’s security. As we’ve seen in past versions of macOS and other operating systems, cyber attacks are becoming more frequent and malicious. In this section, let’s look at how High Sierra and Big Sur compare when it comes to security:

  • High Sierra – This version has an improved Safari browser with advanced web tracking prevention using machine learning techniques such as pattern recognition. Other improvements include better encryption for file-systems and built-in support for VPN protocols.
  • Big Sur – The latest update includes many enhancements to Apple’s existing security measures as well as introducing additional ones. These include enhanced sandboxing which runs application processes inside isolated environments; strengthened privacy controls; expanded transparency reports; stronger password management features; and systemwide protection against malware threats.

Another key difference between High Sierra and Big Sur is their support for different types of hardware authentication tools like secure USB keys or smart cards. While both platforms have the ability to recognize these devices, Big Sur provides full integration so users can easily sign into websites or unlock encrypted files without having to manually enter passwords every time.

In addition, Big Sur offers greater control over app permissions allowing users to choose exactly which parts of their data apps can access rather than blanket consenting all requests. With this increased control over user data, people can ensure that no one else has unauthorized access to sensitive information stored on their device.

It’s clear then that while both versions offer strong levels of security, Big Sur goes above and beyond its predecessor by providing even greater levels of protection for your data and your device itself. Now it’s time to explore how these two OSes measure up when it comes to performance…

MacOS High Sierra vs MacOS Big Sur: Performance

Performance-wise, Mac OS High Sierra and Big Sur are both remarkable. With their modern architectures, they deliver greater speeds and better performance at the same time. To start with, High Sierra is powered by Apple’s Metal graphics technology which allows for a smoother experience when it comes to gaming or other intensive tasks like 3D rendering.
On the other hand, Big Sur takes that up a notch; its improved power efficiency makes sure you get more out of your Mac for longer periods of time.

Moreover, both operating systems come with the latest version of Safari web browser pre-installed which provides faster page loading times and enhanced security features such as sandboxing and tracking prevention tools. In addition to these improvements, High Sierra also boasts an updated file system called APFS (Apple File System) while Big Sur offers even more options in terms of security with its built-in Secure Enclave protection layer – making data safe from malicious attacks.

Overall, there’s no doubt that both versions of macOS have plenty to offer when it comes to performance and speed optimization. Now let us take a look at how they compare in terms of user interface changes…

MacOS High Sierra vs MacOS Big Sur: User Interface Changes

The UI of Mac OS High Sierra and Big Sur are quite different.

  • Firstly, in Big Sur the control center has been completely redesigned making it easier to use and navigate than ever before. The apple menu is also more intuitive with quick access to all your apps and settings. Moreover, a new notification center was introduced which provides an overview of what’s happening on your device.
  • In addition to these changes, many subtle tweaks have been made that make navigation simpler. For example, windows now resize when you drag them from corner to corner rather than having a fixed size. And the dock icon sizes can be changed depending on how much space you want between each one. Furthermore, there’s now a dark mode option for those who prefer working at night or in low light environments.
  • Overall, the user interface of Big Sur is incredibly clean and easy-to-use while still allowing users full control over their experience. With its modern aesthetics and advanced features, it offers a vastly improved level of customization compared to previous versions of macOS. Transitioning into this environment feels like entering a whole new world filled with possibilities for exploration and growth.

Notable Additions To Big Sur

Big Sur has been the talk of the town since its release, and with good reason. It’s no secret that Apple wants us to upgrade so we can experience all the ‘improvements’ they’ve made – but what are these improvements? Let me tell ya!

  1. A new design featuring a bolder color palette, custom wallpapers, and app icons
  2. Refined Safari browser for faster page load times and improved privacy features
  3. Improved Messages app lets you express yourself in more ways than ever before
  4. Widget support adds greater personalization options to your Home Screen

With Big Sur making such a big splash, it was only natural that battery life would be an area of focus for this latest update. Fortunately, Apple didn’t disappoint!

MacOS High Sierra vs MacOS Big Sur: Battery Life Improvements

When comparing Mac OS High Sierra to Big Sur, there’s no doubt that the battery life improvements are a major factor. Big Sur offers many significant advancements in this area, making it easier than ever for users to get more out of their Macs without sacrificing performance or power 😉

The first improvement is the introduction of “Power Nap”. This feature allows your MacBook to stay up-to-date and respond quickly while still conserving energy. It does this by downloading updates, syncing data and backing up files when you’re away from your computer – all without draining too much battery life.

Another great addition is the new system-wide power management optimization. This helps manage how frequently apps access resources and keeps them running even when they’re not active – resulting in increased efficiency and less strain on your device’s battery. Together with Power Nap, these two features make Big Sur an excellent choice if you want longer lasting productivity throughout the day.

Big Sur also brings built-in support for Apple Silicon devices like the M1 chip. Thanks to its advanced architecture and optimized software integration, Apple Silicon devices offer improved performance at lower power consumption levels, giving you better battery life overall. With all of these features combined, Big Sur can help keep your Mac running smoothly for hours on end 🙂

These battery life enhancements illustrate just how powerful Big Sur can be for those who need extended use out of their Macs each day. A few simple changes have resulted in a dramatic increase in efficiency – something everyone can appreciate! And with Siri enhancements coming soon, things are looking brighter than ever for Mac users across the board.

Siri Enhancements

The age-old story of the tortoise and the hare comes to mind as we compare Siri enhancements in Mac OS High Sierra versus Big Sur. The former was a plodding, reliable companion that got you where you needed to go eventually, but with an occasional hiccup or two along the way. Meanwhile, Big Sur is like the hare – fast and agile, making short work of tasks while still offering helpful guidance when asked 🙂

With Big Sur’s improved natural language processing capabilities, users can ask more complex questions than ever before. Siri understands context better now too; if there’s something it doesn’t understand right away, it will offer suggestions on how to phrase your request for better results. Additionally, Apple has opened up access to third-party integrations so that Siri can control even more aspects of your computing experience from within one platform.

Siri isn’t just faster and smarter now either – she’s also much more entertaining! With features like personalized jokes and riddles based on user preferences, fun sound effects when giving feedback, and integration with popular streaming services such as Spotify, Siri highlights many of the advantages offered by Mac OS Big Sur over its predecessor.

It’s clear that macOS Big Sur offers significant improvements over High Sierra in terms of what it brings to the table regarding support for voice commands via Siri. Yet this is only scratching the surface of what Apple Silicon-based computers are capable of…

Support For Apple Silicon-Based Computers

The difference between Mac OS High Sierra and Big Sur is most evident when it comes to support for Apple Silicon-based computers. Here are just a few of the features that make this upgrade stand out:

  • Native support for Apple’s M1 processor, which makes switching from Intel processors easier than ever before.
  • Optimized performance on all devices running macOS with up to 50% faster boot times.
  • Improved compatibility with iOS apps so users can enjoy their favorite titles without any issues.

In addition to these changes, Big Sur brings many other improvements such as improved security protocols and better management tools for IT professionals. This means businesses can benefit from increased productivity while still being protected against potential threats. The new version also gives developers access to powerful APIs and frameworks designed specifically for macOS development projects, allowing them to create amazing experiences that take advantage of the latest hardware advances available in Apple products.

Big Sur is an impressive update that provides significant improvements over its predecessor, making it the perfect choice for anyone looking to get the best out of their Mac experience. With its advanced features and superior performance, there’s no doubt that upgrading from High Sierra will be worth every penny. Now let’s delve into how App Store enhancements in Big Sur help you find your desired applications more quickly and easily than ever before!

App Store Enhancements

The App Store has vastly improved on both Mac OS High Sierra and Big Sur. On each operating system, the store is easier to use and more organized than ever before.

High Sierra was a giant leap forward in terms of the design of the App Store – it featured an intuitive layout with larger images for apps and games, as well as a better search function that allowed users to quickly find what they were looking for. The addition of categories made navigation simpler too.

Big Sur then took things one step further by adding even more features such as auto-updating apps, app recommendations based on user activity, and new widgets for tracking downloads. All these improvements make downloading applications from the App Store much quicker and smoother than before.

With all these advancements in mind, it’s clear that Apple have taken great strides towards providing customers with an enjoyable experience when using their devices. This makes finding and utilizing the right apps a breeze! As we move onto our next topic – cost comparison – let us explore how much value can be found within these two systems.

Pros And Cons Of Upgrading From High Sierra To Big Sur

Upgrading from Mac OS High Sierra to Big Sur comes with both pros and cons. If you’re considering making the switch, it’s important to weigh these carefully before deciding what’s best for your needs.

The first pro of upgrading is increased performance. The new operating system offers improved speed and efficiency compared to its predecessor, meaning that tasks can be completed more quickly than ever before. Additionally, Big Sur boasts an array of enhanced security features which provide better protection against malicious software and hacks.

On the other hand, there are some drawbacks associated with switching from High Sierra to Big Sur as well. For example, many older applications may no longer work on the newer version of macOS due to compatibility issues. Furthermore, certain hardware components may not be supported by the latest release either; so make sure you check this in advance too!

Fortunately though, if neither option seems right for you then there are alternatives available: non-Apple operating systems such as Linux or Windows 10 offer powerful capabilities without sacrificing usability or user experience – a great solution if you need something different.


In conclusion, there is no denying that Mac OS Big Sur is the superior operating system. It’s a huge upgrade from High Sierra and takes your user experience to an entirely new level. There are so many incredible features, security enhancements, and App Store updates that it feels like you’ve gone back in time to when Apple first released the original Macintosh! Not only does Big Sur offer much better performance than High Sierra, but its cost isn’t too high either – making it a great option for anyone looking to get the most out of their Mac. So if you’re still running on High Sierra, don’t wait another second and upgrade today-you won’t regret it! Trust me; upgrading from High Sierra to Big Sur will change your life forever!

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...