Best Mac OS X for MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jpmarques, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. jpmarques macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2014
    Hey guys,

    First time I'm posting here, so bear with me.

    I currently own an MBA (A1237), running Mac OS X 10.7.5, and sometimes I feel the computer becomes a bit sluggish, especially when running multiple software at the same time.

    My question is, would an older version of Mac OS X be lighter on my MBA, or even better, what is the best version (performance wise) of Mac OS X for this specific Macbook Air.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. Steve121178 macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    10.9 as it's the most optimised version of OS X.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Your MBA is limited to the oldest version it came with. Instead of going backwards, I'd recommend going forward. 10.9 has some good memory management improvements that should help your computer.
  4. jpmarques thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2014
    Thank you so much for the quick replies!

    However, when I go to the app store and try to upgrade to Mavericks, it says that Mavericks cannot be installed in my computer.

    Any idea on a possible solution? Maybe skip the upgrade and go for a clean install?

    Thanks again,
  5. studIOS5 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    Oregon, OH
    After a little digging it seems your model number is no longer supported for osx updates. If you want a perfemance boost it seems your only option is to get a newer macbook unfortunately.

    After looking up your model number you seem to have an early 2010 MacBook Air
  6. jpmarques thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2014
    Is there anyway to circumvent this situation? If not, what's the newest OSX my MBA will support?

    Thanks guys,
  7. cyber16 macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2013
    Not sure if it will work but maybe you could try target mode install from a newer mac onto your air drive
    or a time-capsule restore from a newer mac
  8. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Op I would look at the guides to install mavericks on unsupported systems as there is no good reason why your system won't run it.
  9. DeltaMac macrumors 604


    Jul 30, 2003
    The major difficulty (and there's your good reason why not) with running Mavericks on unsupported Macs, is the video drivers. The folks that make the software to install on unsupported Macs (the Mavericks PostFactor (whatever :D ), if it ever exists.) seem to have given up on getting the older integrated vid chips (Intel GMA 950 or X3100) to ever work on Mavericks. Other Macs, such as MacPro 1,1 - which can have upgrade vid cards installed, have other easier solutions.
    And, the MBAir has the additional challenge of somewhat limited RAM, which can't be upgraded, either. The limited RAM would be one challenge with Lion on that older MBAir. Snow Leopard would be a better fit, IMHO.
  10. jpmarques thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2014
    I've googled for the possibility of running mavericks, but the video drivers make it impossible.

    Im determined to downgrade from 10.7.5 to 10.6.8, as that seems to be a lighter OS. Any tips on doing this?

    Thanks guys,
  11. Drew017 macrumors 65816


    May 29, 2011
    East coast, USA
    OP if your model is an A1237 (2008 I believe?), it fully supports Snow Leopard (10.6). You can obtain a copy from Apple's site. You will need to have an external CD drive to install it.

    Also, what are the specs?? Go to the  menu and select "About This Mac" and post the information.
  12. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Your major problem is the 2GB. Look at your Page-Outs, I'd bet you are getting a big number. Page-Outs=swap to SSD to due to ram shortage.

    OS is only one item, Apps are the other culprits AND ever-increased complex web pages (turn off Flash and Java if u can).

    Start saving for a new machine.
  13. Msail30bay macrumors regular


    Jan 4, 2014
    Penn., USA
    I recently upgrade to Mountain Lion on this MacBook Air. Still using SL on the older MacBook which works very well. This is my Air: Late 2010, 10.8.5, 1.86 GHZ, Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB of memory….

    It handled SL VERY WELL and now ML is awesome as well. Zero problems what-so-ever, except of Contacts syncing with my iPhone via iCloud. I wouldn't upgrade to Mavericks with this computer….. that's me. Avoid Leopard and Lion…. RUN, as far from them as you can.
  14. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    I'm still running SL 10.6.8 on a 2010 13" 2.13GHz MBA, no issues, think I'll keep using it.
  15. ignoble.yeti macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2013
    Snow Leopard (10.6.8) + CoolBook remains your best bet. With every other OSX, my mid-2009 core 2 duo MBA runs hot and sluggish, and gives poor battery life (<3 hours).
  16. polee macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2008
    I think SL was one of the best Mac OSXes. I am on ML for my 2013 notebook. Have not upgraded to Mavericks yet. Do not see the need to do so as ML is so stable. So is SL.
  17. trewyn15 macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2013
    MacBook Airs aren't that old and already can't run Mavericks?

    *shakes head at apple*
  18. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Sep 25, 2007
    Upstate NY
    Mavericks. Hand's down, or load a distro of your favorite linux and duel boot
  19. jpmarques thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2014
    Hey guys,

    Sorry for the late answer, but I had a busy weekend.

    I use my MBA just for writing and web browsing, so an upgrade on this machine isn't really on the map for me.

    Anyway, my next question is how do I downgrade from 10.7.5 (my current OS) to 10.6.8? Please keep in mind that i do not have an optical drive, so I would have to boot it via USB stick.

    Thanks for the ongoing support, really appreciate it.
  20. Boyd01, Jan 20, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2014

    Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    The best way would be to just restore the backup you made while running 10.6. But I assume you don't have such a backup.

    Otherwise, you can still buy 10.6 on DVD:

    You should be able to copy it to a USB stick using someone else's computer with a DVD drive. Otherwise you would need an external drive, and they are terribly expensive.

    What I don't know, however, is whether this old software would install on your MBA.
  21. michaelsviews, Jan 20, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2014

    michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Sep 25, 2007
    Upstate NY
    this mite be a starting point
  22. szw-mapple fan macrumors 65816

    szw-mapple fan

    Jul 28, 2012

    Get Mavericks for better performance. It's great in terms of speed.
  23. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    Lion sucks... I am really enjoying Mavericks ( 10.9 ). I highly recommend it if you use an external monitor. If you are worried about going that far, please at least move to Mountain Lion ( 10.8 ).

    Seriously, Lion is the worst OS Apple has released in quiet some time. I had system crashes, poor performance and some other problems with both my MacBook and Mac Mini.

    EDIT: If not, go back to Snow Leopard ( 10.6 ) like others have suggested. Lion is not cool.
  24. coldjeanzzz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 4, 2012
    His Macbook Air is from 2008, that thing didn't even come with an SSD. If I were him I would have just stayed on Snow Leopard instead of going to Lion. The first Macbook Air was a pretty weak machine
  25. trewyn15 macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2013
    Still... it's pretty sad and it's a relatively new machine lol

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