MacOS Ventura on older Macs

Apple MacOS Ventura pictured on an older Apple iMac

Apple gets rid of older Macs in their line-up pretty quickly whenever they release their newest version of their operating system. Right now that means for the most part, devices 2017 and newer will work on Ventura. If you have an older Mac, you can use a third party tool to install Ventura.

Metal GPU Macs

Metal was introduced in Macs from 2012, so that means models older than 2012 cannot currently be patched using the OpenCore Legacy Patcher. The developers will be working on a non-Metal GPU models but the code isn’t ready for Ventura yet, but you can install Monterey (MacOS 12) or Big Sur (MacOS 11)

The video below explains how to do this, as it shows how to download and install Ventura directly from the patcher tool and what to do to create the bootable media.

Ventura on Unsupported Macs

Apple has dropped some key hardware from Ventura that the 2017 Macs don’t use, such as USB 1.1 support, which means that keyboards and mice won’t work, as well as USB Bluetooth modules and all Atheros Wireless adapters and some Broadcom adapters, so if your Mac has them, you will be limited to the Ethernet port for your Internet access should you upgrade to Ventura.

So all Metal GPU Macs will work with Ventura, and the patcher will enable features that would not normally be available to your Mac. Older, non-Metal graphics is currently not supported and you may find your Mac struggles if the processor lacks Advanced Vector eXtensions 2 (AVX2) which is common for Intel processors before 2013/4 era as this provides native hardware acceleration.

Performance issues with certain models

The OpenCore Legacy Patcher modifies the System Management BIOS (SMBIOS) to make changes so that the Mac gets the appropriate updates, but this can cause performance degradation in certain graphics operations. You can change the settings and change the SMBIOS from “minimal” to “none” to see if you gain up to 30% performance increase.

Catalina for much older Macs

For older Macs that cannot be upgraded to Big Sur or Monterrey, the developers recommend using Dosdude1’s original patcher to install Catalina, Mojave or High Sierra on Macs that can’t be upgraded to these.

What is OpenCore?

OpenCore was developed initially for people who wanted to turn their Windows computer into a Mac by installing Mac OS to create a “Hackintosh”. It is technically illegal to do so, because you don’t have a licence as you don’t have a Mac. However, Apple turn a blind eye to people who do this for their own personal gain and don’t sell the computer with Mac OS on it.

Since you already own a Mac that is running an older version, you can use the Legacy Patcher to install the latest or near latest Mac OS, however this will void any warranty with Apple so you won’t be able to use Apple Care or any other support contracts with them. OpenCore developers don’t work for Apple.

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