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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 14, 2014
Hi all,
Since mid 2010 I've been using my MacBook pro 15"(i5 2.4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Geforce GT 330M, 256MB VRAM) as my all-round notebook. However, I never took the effort to upgrade it from its native OSX 10.6.8 Snow Leopard. As I'm now four versions of OSX behind since the Yosemite release, I'm wondering if I should update it by now.

With some minor upgrades (8 instead of 4 GB RAM, 750GB hybrid HDD) it's still running fast and smooth as the day I got it. I would like to keep it that way for as long as possible. But with all the horror stories of older models getting slower and slower with the OS updates, I'm a bit hesitant to upgrade to Yosemite.
Would you recommend to upgrade it to Yosemite, or it it possible to update it to an earlier version of OSX if that suits this model better? Why should or should I not update from Snow Leopard?



macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2013
London, UK
If you like the performance of your Macbook now then you should keep it on Snow Leopard. Upgrading the OS is bound to slow down your computer one way or another with all the new features added and etc. However, based on your computer specs I doubt there will be a noticeable decrease in performance for you not to upgrade.

Personally, I think Yosemite is still pretty immature right now if performance is key for you. You might be better suited to upgrade to Mountain Lion or Mavericks (I would skip Lion if I were you). If I'm not wrong, I think you can still buy Mountain Lion on the online Apple store. For Mavericks, you'll have to download it in other ways (Google is your best friend) although some might say it's not very safe. Try using a MD5 hash check if you can.

If you want the most changes then go for Mavericks since it includes all the major feature additions such as timer-coalescing, app nap, OpenGL 4.1 and etc. Yosemite IMO is more like a new coat of paint and continuity for iOS so you're not missing out on much if you don't find either of them important.
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macrumors 65816
Aug 15, 2006
A400M Base
Mavericks all the way

Got the same MBP with two more Inches. Went through all OSX Versions. Mavericks is the best so far in my opinion. Yosimite will work, however it might need/use more Ram and battery. My advice: Start with Mavericks. Once the Major bugs are ironed out of Yosimite, you have a nice future upgrade left.


macrumors member
May 23, 2013
Midwest US
I have the same setup as you. Personally, the fastest relase for me was Snow Leopard, it screamed with a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. I currently use Yosemite as my daily driver but still have Mavericks installed on a second partition in case of weird issues with 10.10.


macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2010
Mavericks will make you think seriously on adopting Safari as your only browser. SL's Safari is unusable these days.

I can't see any reason for not updating to Mavericks, unless you have a license of some app stuck on Snow Leopard.


macrumors regular
Jul 4, 2013
Bedford, UK
Everybody seems to have their own preferences but the majority would say Mountain Lion. Snow Leopard is really fast and probably still the best if you dont need all the IOS nonsense. You will find that Yosemite works perfectly after spotlight has finished all its spying on your system.


macrumors regular
Mar 20, 2013
At least 4GB of ram and an SSD and your macbook will be fine on mavericks or Yosemite


macrumors 6502
May 24, 2014
Snow leopard is probably the best OS ever. I remember how my machine used to shut down in 3 seconds and I laughed so hard at PCs taking an hour to just shut down and now apple is following PCs lead with their latest OS. My machine now takes like 20-30 seconds to shut down!

The only reason I use Mountain lion is cause of Mail allowing me to use my yahoo and hotmail emails and ofc my new .me account which wont work on snow leopard! Other than that i would really love to downgrade!


macrumors 68020
Aug 28, 2009
It's seriously time to move on from Snow Leopard.

It does not get any security updates whatsoever any more, but uses the same Intel platform as current versions of OS X. Therefore it is at risk. That said, there aren't many security issues with OS X, but you can bet they are being looked for.

Now with that said, you have to look at what is available.

If you want to be legit, (unless you have already purchased Mountain Lion and Mavericks from the App Store - Mavericks was free), then the only options available to you are buying Lion on a USB key, (available via eBay - look for a sealed retail package or Yosemite. Lion, Mountain Lion and Mavericks are no longer available from the App Store.

Pirated versions of all versions of OS X are no doubt available, but I won't go into details of where as I'm not into that.

So down to my recommendation. I'm going to give you two, and will assume you have the choice of any of the currently supported versions.

If you want a solid, stable OS with support for a couple of years, it's Mavericks It's had all it's point releases and will have security updates for a couple of years (Lion is still getting updates, but will be dropped next year).

If you want the bleeding edge then it's Yosemite. Go and try it out in an Apple store first if you can, because visually it is different and not to everyone's taste. In a couple of point releases time, it should be stable.

For both, check your apps for compatibility before updating. Both Parallels and VMWare will need to be updated if you run VMs and haven't updated them since Snow Leopard. Any apps that were developed for PowerPC architecture will need updating since Rosetta is no more. Don't do this blindly or you may be very disappointed.
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