For most purposes, MacTeX is the Mac distribution of TeX Live. As with all other platforms, groups of volunteers compile new binaries for TeX Live every year, and the MacTeX group is responsible for compiling the binaries for the Mac. They also choose to distribute some other useful GUI program along with the TeX Live distribution including TeX Live Utility, BibDesk, and TeXShop and TeXWorks. These programs plus the TeX Live distribution constitute what is called MacTeX.
This year, because of increasing difficulties in providing compiled binaries for eight different versions of the OS (including versions that still ran on PPC machines), the group decided to support only versions of the MacOS for which Apple is still releasing security updates. At time of writing, this means that they will support Yosemite (10.10), El Capitan (10.11), and Sierra (10.12) and the upcoming High Sierra (10.13).
So there is no MacTeX compiled TeX Live that you can install on such an old machine, I'm afraid.
However, it seems that binaries for older versions of the Mac are still being compiled, and therefore it does seem to be possible to to install a current version of TeX Live using the TeX Live net installer.
The basic directions for the Mac are found here:
However, since so few Mac users install MacTeX this way, there seems to be very little other information about how this works. Having never used the net installer, I don't know how it goes about identifying the correct binary for your machine. There may also be issues with getting an up-to-date Ghostscript as well.
@egreg confirms here that he has managed to get TL2017 binaries running on OS 10.7 (Lion) in a preliminary test.
As for the part of your question regarding "No editor component found", try to install:
fink install katepart4-mac
That should solve your error message and get Kile up and running.
It's not as simple an answer, and I'll divide my answer in two parts...
Upon researching internet for a latex benchmark and a site that maintains/publishes benchmark results, I found one: benchmark, and its corresponding results page. The steps are mentioned on the benchmark page. I repeated the same steps on Apple's new ARM based M1 Mac mini and my old Intel based MacBook Pro (relevant specs below), with all the following engines: latex, pdflatex, xelatex, and lualatex.
2020 Apple Silicon M1 Mac mini specs and results (using ARM binaries):
2014 Intel based MacBook Pro specs and results:
As can be seen from the results page, the best performing latex numbers are from Intel's chip with specs:
0.20sit outperforms Apple M1 chip's
0.35sin this very short benchmark test. And that is Intel's discontinued 6th generation chip from Q'3 2015 as per their website. As of writing this post, Intel has recently released their 11th generation chips. If there is a consistent 10-20% improvement in performance of Intel chips per generation, one would guess that the latest 11th generation Intel chip should finish this test in around
0.10s(though one cannot really say without testing, and as can be seen in updates below, it seems unlikely).
The latex benchmark (used in this answer) needs to be taken with a grain of salt though for a bunch of reasons: 1) we only have one test file, 2) test is too short considering speeds of modern processors (and length of time it takes for them to throttle down).
Intel processors in laptop chassis throttle down quite a lot within minutes as per videos I have seen comparing Cinebench repeat-loop performance tests; while Apple M1 gives never-ending consistent performance as it doesn't generate heat at a fast rate as Intel CPUs. Unless one does a really long test, one cannot know for sure.
While working, latex is not the only application I keep open & work on. So I wouldn't just look at latex command line time performance of some small test file as it doesn't tell the real story if I am looking for a primary work computer.
Part-2: "User experience"
First "huge" noticeable difference, and improvement in quality of life that I see from switching to M1 Mac is it is dead silent, dead cold, with snappy-fast user interface.
I have installed fresh copy of MacTeX/TeX Live on 2014 MacBook Pro every year since I have had that computer. It has been a consistently horrible experience that I preferred avoiding each time as the loud fans would be blowing hot air by the end of the process (downloading and installing 5/6GB of data, and doing package updates worth another GB). On the contrary, M1 Mac was dead silent, and the little air it blew (which wasn’t audible even close to the device) felt colder than my room temperature (other users on YouTube have reported a similar experience).
Power consumption As per this article on Anandtech (the most reputed source in CPU benchmarking industry), this device sips an idle power of just 4.2 Watts with peak 14.7 Watt under heavy Single thread workloads (latex runs single threaded). From the YouTube videos I have seen, Intels CPUs in laptop chassis easily operate at 35 (or above) watts for benchmarks where M1 remained well under 15W and gave comparable or better performance. This means more cost saving on electricity bills. Having such a low idle power (with wifi, and bluetooth on) means that it opens up other use cases like keeping it always on, and running CI/CD latex builds (among other things) on this device. The price point of $699 for base model of M1 Mac (8GB unified memory, and 256GB SSD) is also lucrative. Similar mini desktop "NUC" devices from Intel are more expensive.
Everything on software side (so far) in my testing looks fine, including programs that run under Rosetta 2. I did have initial bluetooth connectivity issue as also reported by some reviewers, though that doesn't really affect me as I use a Logitech Keyboard/Mouse setup that comes with its own tiny USB wireless dongle.
The Magic Trackpad is another user-interface/user-experience device that simply has no rival in industry, their keyboard is good too.
To wrap up, it depends on what you want to do with your next device. If you want to just get raw latex performance, then overclocking an Intel CPU with nitrogen cooling would give the best performance results. If you want a machine with good tradeoffs and comparable performance, M1 seems a better option.