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Is Catalina Sluggish? (Hackintosh)

Jules Lee Jules Lee Follow Oct 30, 2019 · 4 mins read
Is Catalina Sluggish? (Hackintosh)
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As a developer, technically, not yet, but I’m trying to become an iOS developer. I have been giving SwiftUI some thought. I want to try it because the declarative way of developing apps is trending and the canvas besides the code is tantalizing. Maybe it’ll be a lot faster than using a storyboard.

Let me give you an idea about my specs:

  • Dell Optiplex 9020 micro
  • 2 GHz Intel Core i5
  • Ram: 12 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
  • Quadcore
  • WiFi Dongle: DWA-123 11n Adapter

I’m running a Mojave on this Hackintosh, and I have split my partition into two to try out Catalina. I used dosdude1’s patcher to install Catalina because it failed when I try to update using App Store or the connection gets interrupted when downloading. So far installation went fine. It took some time and I thought I was stuck in a loop of spinning wheel. Glad it went on after a while.

After importing all files and settings from Mojave, it said something like it can’t copy Realtek driver or something. Too bad I didn’t take a photo of it so I could search for whatever was happening. I just skipped it and my desktop was then shown.

To my disappointment, I couldn’t get the internet to work. I tried installing the driver from https://www.dlink.com.ph/dwa-123-d1/, and I also tried installing IO80211Family.kext. All with no luck. I’m giving up at this point because somehow my audio output doesn’t work anymore as well. Although Initially, right after installation, I can listen to songs with iTunes.

What You Came Here For

No, it isn’t sluggish as I’ve read randomly from YouTube commenters on reviews regarding Mac OS Catalina. Or maybe it is, but it was negligible. I tried using Xcode 11.1 to test if it were to slow down. It didn’t really slow down. I can still use it with ease the way it is in Mojave.

2nd Attempt

I just bought a Samsung EVO SSD to replace my external hard drive where my Mac was booted from. So, I created 2 partitions because apparently Catalina requires an APFS volume. I used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone my Mojave into the APFS volume. Since I still have the Catalina installer, I gave it another shot.

Everything works like before but with all my files from Mojave intact. The audio works as well. The only thing that doesn’t work was my WiFi USB dongle. It seems that my PC can’t detect it.

I don’t know why I haven’t seen this before, but the solution is readily available on the internet. I only had to download Wireless USB Adapter Clover-V10 and install it. Good lord, my WiFi works now.

What doesn’t work well?

My keyboard is so slow when typing. It takes a while to see the letters, numbers or symbols. Considering that I’m using a wireless keyboard, maybe it really does make a difference if I had used a wired keyboard.

After some time being of being back in Mojave, I installed Bluestacks to play MU Origins 2. Eventually, when there is not enough free RAM, my keyboard also went slow like it did in Catalina.

So, it’s definitely not an OS problem, but a RAM problem. However, if it’s a RAM problem, then Catalina must have occupied a lot of RAM.

3rd Attempt

I’m not sure what it was last time about the RAM, but hey, it’s almost Christmas and I just had to give it a try again.

Why is there even a third attempt? It so happens that my keyboard lagged in Mojave, and then I checked my RAM to see if it’s the culprit. Well, no it’s not.

Now that I’m trying it again, I’m actually using Catalina to type this blog post. It is now working well. And I can now venture into SwiftUI. As to why my keyboard went haywire the last time, I’m not sure about it but I know for a fact that something is throttling.

Another thing I like about Catalina is that my default audio output in Mojave is always my headphones, even though it’s not connected. Now, even though headphone is still on top of the list in my audio output list, the default is now my DP monitor, where I prefer my audio to come from.

Jules Lee
Written by Jules Lee
Hi, I am Jules, the author of iOS Junkie. Demystifying complex instructions from the internet.