Best OSX version for 2013 rMBP 13"?

cappo3

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 3, 2014
94
25
Hi people!

My 2013 rMBP 13" is still running OS 10.9.5.
I fear the newer versions are less optimised/heavier for my ageing laptop, and I don't want to lose performance. I'm very satisfied with the machine right now!
Unfortunately it is getting increasingly difficult to stay on OS 10.9, because of apps that don't support it.

What should I expect if I update to a newer version?

Thanks a lot!
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,467
24,211
Update to El Cap or Sierra. My housemate has a 17" 2011 and it runs Sierra fine. I'm still on El Cap with my 2012 15" cMBP, which again runs fine. I wouldn't worry about updating. :)
 

esk

macrumors member
Sep 26, 2016
77
239
I'm running el capitan on my macbook pro 13 late 2011. And it runs better than yosemite. Sierra should run fine on your macbook because it ain't that old.
 

el-John-o

macrumors 65816
Nov 29, 2010
1,362
508
Missouri
There's no reason not to run Sierra. You have more than enough horsepower to take advantage of everything. Sierra is actually more optimized than older versions.

It's not quite like smartphones or other devices. Your 2013 rMBP is not as 'old' as you think it is. It's very capable and more than capable of running Sierra flawlessly.
 

KALLT

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2008
4,920
3,000
2013 rMBP 13 ... ageing laptop
:D

It is not like you have much of a choice unless you were wise enough to purchase Yosemite in the App Store. I am not even sure if you can get El Capitan on that machine either. In any case, El Capitan and Sierra are your options. Make a complete backup with Time Machine and try it. You can always go back. Alternatively, install it on a separate partition or another drive (although this will be slower and might not give you an accurate impression of the system performance).
 

cappo3

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 3, 2014
94
25
Hi all, and thanks for your answers!
My first concern would be battery life: I don't do anything complex with my laptop, but it needs to stay running 10 to 12 hours a day on a single charge. And it does, on Mavericks. Which build would offer me the best battery life?

I actually do have Yosemite in my purchase history, I installed it on an iMac... But I heard quite often that Yosemite was not that good of a release. Glitchy and heavy... Is this correct?

Another point would be the eternal "clean install or upgrade" dilemma: I never updated an OS, always did a clean install.
Does that make that big of a difference in the end?

As I understand it, every major release of OSX comes with some improvements: Sierra has Siri, but what do Yosemite and El Capitan have to offer?
 

KoolAid-Drink

macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2013
1,343
322
USA
But I heard quite often that Yosemite was not that good of a release. Glitchy and heavy... Is this correct??
Nah, I preferred Yosemite over both El Cap and Mavericks. Such an improvement over both releases, but then again, I tend to trust the even-numbered releases of OS X/macOS. Sierra's a bit too early to say, but so far, I'm impressed with Sierra at its .0 release.
 

iAVERY

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2016
108
68
Hi people!

My 2013 rMBP 13" is still running OS 10.9.5.
I fear the newer versions are less optimised/heavier for my ageing laptop, and I don't want to lose performance. I'm very satisfied with the machine right now!
Unfortunately it is getting increasingly difficult to stay on OS 10.9, because of apps that don't support it.

What should I expect if I update to a newer version?

Thanks a lot!
I can personally say that MacOS Sierra runs flawlessly on my late 2013 MacBook Pro with retina. It's a 2.9 i7 and 8GB ram. I definitely prefer it over other versions because of the continuity features! I can't say I have noticed bad battery life. But definitely no lag at all! You should be fine! Especially considering it was available to some macs forms 2010.
 

cappo3

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 3, 2014
94
25
Okok guys, you kinda convinced me :p
I'll make the jump to Sierra...
Only one last question! I'd love to perform a clean install, but I don't have enough external storage to perform a complete backup... Should I just follow the normal upgrade path through the Mac App Store?
 

bbnck

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2009
565
303
You really need to take a full backup using Time Machine before upgrading your operating system. Invest in an external USB hard drive - they are not that expensive and having a Time Machine backup handy will make it easy to downgrade back to OS X Mavericks if you later need to - you never know what might happen after upgrading.

I usually always do a clean install (with backups) when I'm upgrading to a major new release of OS X, because I have had experiences before when upgrading 'in-place' has resulted in weird bugs or performance issues that don't seem to happen with a clean install. Last time I encountered problems like this was after upgrading from OS X Mavericks to OS X Yosemite.

That is my experience - not at all suggesting you'll have the same experience but the point is there are many reasons why you may need to roll back your upgrade, so it's best to be prepared for it.