2010 MBP 17 - Considering High Sierra vs El Capitan

Kevenly

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 22, 2008
141
66
The wrong planet.
I have a late 2010 MBP 17" (6,1) custom build with the 2.8G i7 upgrade option and 8G RAM. I recently had my entire system go belly up (it was on Mavericks). I replaced the Apple installed 500Gb SSD (they charge me something like $500 for that build upgrade in 2010 if you can believe it) with a new Samsung EVO 1TB. I've been afraid to ever leave Mavericks because of all my music production software and other apps possibly no longer being compatible, but I went ahead and installed El Capitan and to my surprise it seems to run everything okay plus it is WAY faster. I suspect it's more because I have gotten used to using a very slow and apparently long-failing SSD than that El Capitan is actually faster than Mavericks, but I don't know. In any case it's turned out to be quite a refreshing change. I am pretty appalled by Photos app vs. iPhoto and a few other things. iTunes removing iOS App Store access and my iDevice management is super irritating. Of course it's Apple so it's just a long road of removing features and oversimplification. The computer no longer lets me boot from my BootCamp partition though so I'm stuck there. Oh well.

Here's the thing though, as long as I've made it this far, and considering how well El Capitan seems to perform, and considering there's several apps I would very much like to use that seem to now require 10.12 at the very least, I'm wondering how much trouble I'd be in if I went ahead and updated to High Sierra. Would it pretty much cripple this old Macbook Pro even though El Capitan seems to run very quickly? Would the new file system make it impossible to go back to El Capitan? Is High Sierra as stable as El Capitan? Is there a way to tell how many apps on my system would no longer work under High Sierra? Would it mess up my Time Machine backup of this El Capitan system so that I couldn't go back if it turned out to not work?

It takes almost 24 hours to do a drive wipe, new system install and Time Machine data restore through USB 2.0 so it would be quite an endeavor. I have only tracked down some old threads regarding El Capitan to Sierra with relatively negative opinions on that, but haven't seen anything from any recent upgrades from Capitan to the final High Sierra revision on what is now an older Mac.

The benefits could possibly be - better performance in general with the AFS system versus HFS. Improved Photos app supposedly. Able to use the latest versions of some software I find important (but possible loss of compatibility with some of my older apps), security and itunes support until Sept 2020, apparently.

Thanks for any experiences or opinions
 

LuisN

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2013
286
283
Torres Vedras, Portugal
I have a late 2010 MBP 17" (6,1) custom build with the 2.8G i7 upgrade option and 8G RAM. I recently had my entire system go belly up (it was on Mavericks). I replaced the Apple installed 500Gb SSD (they charge me something like $500 for that build upgrade in 2010 if you can believe it) with a new Samsung EVO 1TB. I've been afraid to ever leave Mavericks because of all my music production software and other apps possibly no longer being compatible, but I went ahead and installed El Capitan and to my surprise it seems to run everything okay plus it is WAY faster. I suspect it's more because I have gotten used to using a very slow and apparently long-failing SSD than that El Capitan is actually faster than Mavericks, but I don't know. In any case it's turned out to be quite a refreshing change. I am pretty appalled by Photos app vs. iPhoto and a few other things. iTunes removing iOS App Store access and my iDevice management is super irritating. Of course it's Apple so it's just a long road of removing features and oversimplification. The computer no longer lets me boot from my BootCamp partition though so I'm stuck there. Oh well.

Here's the thing though, as long as I've made it this far, and considering how well El Capitan seems to perform, and considering there's several apps I would very much like to use that seem to now require 10.12 at the very least, I'm wondering how much trouble I'd be in if I went ahead and updated to High Sierra. Would it pretty much cripple this old Macbook Pro even though El Capitan seems to run very quickly? Would the new file system make it impossible to go back to El Capitan? Is High Sierra as stable as El Capitan? Is there a way to tell how many apps on my system would no longer work under High Sierra? Would it mess up my Time Machine backup of this El Capitan system so that I couldn't go back if it turned out to not work?

It takes almost 24 hours to do a drive wipe, new system install and Time Machine data restore through USB 2.0 so it would be quite an endeavor. I have only tracked down some old threads regarding El Capitan to Sierra with relatively negative opinions on that, but haven't seen anything from any recent upgrades from Capitan to the final High Sierra revision on what is now an older Mac.

The benefits could possibly be - better performance in general with the AFS system versus HFS. Improved Photos app supposedly. Able to use the latest versions of some software I find important (but possible loss of compatibility with some of my older apps), security and itunes support until Sept 2020, apparently.

Thanks for any experiences or opinions
Make a copy of your system ssd to an external disk using carbon copy cloner or superduper, boot from the external disk and upgrade to High Sierra, test during some time to see if it works as expected. APFS is NOT mandatory in High Sierra. If all goes well upgrade your internal drive
 

Kevenly

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 22, 2008
141
66
The wrong planet.
Did they end up putting a user-friendly option in the installer to choose that or do you still have to go the route of terminal commands and a USB boot installer to avoid APFS conversion?
 

LuisN

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2013
286
283
Torres Vedras, Portugal
Did they end up putting a user-friendly option in the installer to choose that or do you still have to go the route of terminal commands and a USB boot installer to avoid APFS conversion?
AFAIK High Sierra Installation NEVER converts HFS to APFS. Just install on HFS formatted disk or SSD or, if you are not confident enough, try it with an external disk just for testing
 
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