Sensei Review: Gorgeous Mac Performance Utility Hindered by Thunderbolt

Before the arrival of Mac OS X in 2001, software to monitor CPU usage, manage extensions, or even double the available virtual RAM allowed advanced users to monitor or modify system performance. While such hacks are largely useless on modern Macs, some apps still carry a flashlight for this bygone era.

Mac optimization utility Sensei is the last, which delves into the competitor’s already complete data in real time IStat menu, also providing a generous toolbox of disk cleaning capabilities. The result is an app that manages to pack a lot of information into a beautiful and well-organized user interface.

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Sensei is a feast for the visual senses, packing a lot of hardware data within an attractive and well-organized user interface.

The main window provides an overview of your Mac’s hardware, with model specific details including serial number, manufacturing date, and identifier at the top. Below, the sections are grouped by RAM, processor, graphics and memory; MacBooks also display the battery indicator, health and remaining time. A left sidebar provides one-click access to four built-in utilities (Optimize, Uninstaller, Clean, Cut), along with shortcuts to view more detailed hardware details (Storage, Graphics, Battery, Cooling).

Although the Dashboard view is a sight for sore eyes, Drobo and Thunderbolt-connected RAID storage devices have made Sensei behave in a schizophrenic way. On iMacs and MacBook Airs used for testing, the app rarely showed all local volumes, and even when it did, the capacity gauges were blank across the board. This bug extends to the storage module in Sensei’s Hardware sidebar, where the Benchmark tool bizarrely suggested us to manually select a writable volume, despite it being already authorized, then erratically displayed read / write results in real time.


Thunderbolt storage devices cause Sensei to behave erratically, displaying disk capacity indicators for all attached volumes.

Clean and optimize

Running Sensei with Thunderbolt drives attached also pushed the fans to the next level. If the extra system noise wasn’t sufficient confirmation, a quick glance at the app’s cooling module provided detailed analysis as the built-in thermal sensors increased. On the plus side, Sensei includes Trim Enabler, previously sold as a $ 15 standalone utility. This optional feature optimizes and maintains the performance of the internal SSD – turn it on, reboot, and the Apple certified driver will take care of the rest.

Also included is a full three-pronged assault to deal with the accumulated clutter on the disc. The Optimize utility reduces the work of logon items and launches agents, while the uninstall utility deletes installed apps along with their system files. The Clean utility frees up space occupied by larger files and the old cruft system. While it’s a shame there aren’t any scheduling options, the available disk cleaning tools are otherwise on par with popular CleanMyMac X.


Uninstalling old or incompatible apps is a breeze, and Sensei removes media, preferences, and other related files at the same time.

While it’s free to download, Sensei requires a one-time purchase of $ 59 or an annual subscription ($ 29 per year) to be used beyond a 14-day trial period. The price is quite reasonable, especially since the license covers up to three computers, but the app only works on macOS Catalina 10.15 or higher, an unfortunate limitation for families with older hardware.

Bottom line

Sensei provides one of the nicest ways to view nearly all of the hardware activity going on inside your Mac along with tools to keep your system drive clean, but an unfortunate incompatibility with Thunderbolt-attached storage devices makes it less useful than it should be.

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