Coming from 10.6.8: Lion vs. Mountain Lion vs. Mavericks

Discussion in 'macOS' started by logicstudiouser, May 15, 2015.

  1. logicstudiouser macrumors 6502


    Feb 4, 2010
    I may finally be at a point where it is time to move on from snow leopard (sadly) and I am looking to update to an OS that is (almost) as good as snow leopard.
    Between lion, mountain lion and mavericks, which is most:
    1. reliable
    2. stable
    3. most battery friendly
    4. App compatible (I still have logic pro 8 and adobe cs6 and I rely on both heavily. Will that be an issue with any of the OS choices mentioned)
    Not a fan of Yosemite which is why I haven't included it here as an option.
  2. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    Mountain Lion is the only version of OS X which I don't have experience(I'm serious about that-I have a computer loaded public beta and then 10.0-10.5, along with another loaded with all four developer previews plus Rhapsody and OS X Server 1.0v3). The only thing I've done in it is boot into single user mode on my BIL's Unibody Macbook to change the password(he bought it used and didn't get the password with it).

    With that said, Lion was the first version of OS X which I used extensively. A lot of folks complain about "iOSification" in it, although admittedly it didn't bother me a lot, but after using older versions(Leopard is probably the one with which I have the most experience) I can certainly understand it. After using Leopard a LOT and Tiger quite a bit, I've gotten into the habit of going into finder or using Spotlight to launch apps rather than using Launchpad.

    In any case, I currently have two computers running Lion. One is a polycarbonate iMac, and the other a black Macbook. Lion is the "end of the line" for these computers. I also have two running Mavericks-a 13" late '11 MBP, and an 15" early '08 MBP.

    Mavericks is great on these computers. IMO, the iOS-like features have been polished to the point where they really not that intrusive, but IMO quite convenient. As an example, if you have an iPhone and receive a new iMessage, it shows up in a pop-up in the upper right hand corner of the screen, and you can either ignore it or reply just by clicking on the box. Mail works similarly. I've heard some complaints about it. One of my friends in the PPC forum says that the restructuring of tags has really hurt the workflow they use at their office(in earlier versions of OS X, the entire file/folder name was highlighted in color, while Mavericks and Yosemite use a small colored dot next to the name).

    My 13" has 8gb of RAM, while my 15" has 6gb. Both have platter drives, although the one in the 15" is a hybrid drive(small SSD+big platter drive). When I installed the new HDD in the 15"(it was sold to me as having a failing HDD) I actually cloned the drive in my MBP, so effectively the two computers are set up the same. I find Mavericks to be pleasantly useable in both computers.

    Mavericks is going to remain my preferred version of OS X on computers which can support it for a while-probably at least as long as it continues to receive security updates.

    I have a white Macbook running Yosemite(mid-09, pre-Unibody). It has a cheap 256gb SSD(lightly used computer with SATA I, so I didn't see any point in buying a high end drive for it). Yosemite flies on it and I also like some of the new features it offers. I can't stand the flat UI, though(personal preference) so have not installed it on anything else. I actually bought that Macbook(cheap) in the Public Beta period with the sole intention of installing Yosemite. I have no performance complaints whatsoever, and even like the wallpapers enough that I'm using them on several older versions of OS X(on a casual glance, Tiger actually looks like Yosemite if using a Yosemite wallpaper, although the pinstriped dock and blue Apple give it away pretty quickly). I did see a noticeable speed improvement, however, when I went from the factory platter drive to an SSD(remember that I'm running Mavericks on a platter drive with a similar Core2Duo processor). I really think that you need an SSD to see the full potential of it.

    As far as battery life-I've noticed little difference when changing OS versions on one computer.

    I can't speak to Logic Pro, but have run CS6 on 10.7, 10.9, and 10.10(it was installed on my Macbook when I bought it). It runs great on all. That same Macbook has a version of Logic Pro installed(not sure what version-I never use it) and will test it in 10.10 when I get the chance.
  3. carylee2002 macrumors member


    Jul 27, 2008
    Mountain lion for me

    I've tried Mavericks and Yosemite and found them not as good as Mountain Lion so my main DAW is back to Mountain Lion for now.
  4. HappyDude20 macrumors 68020


    Jul 13, 2008
    Los Angeles, Ca
    Funny, I'm in the same situation only reversed.

    I've owned my mid 2009 unibody MacBook Pro 13inch since it came out and have always had the stock 4GBs of RAM and 500GB hard drive. It originally came with Snow Leopard and I've jumped onto every OS X update since.

    Personally, Lion had a bunch of lag and UI issues when it came to safari. I thought mountain lion would fix these issues and they certainly did go away, however 4GBs of RAM on even Lion or ML is annoying. Then Mavericks slowed down my computer heavily. When Yosemite came along it made me 2009 MBP super slow. Like not abysmally slow, but enough where since I own an iPad and iPhone too that my main laptop felt like an ancient decaying beast.

    I mention all this because a month ago I bought a Samsung SSD and upgraded my RAM to 8GB. These two upgrades (and a Snow Leopard disc reinstall) made my laptop INCREDIBLY fast running Snow Leopard. It literally feels like a brand new machine.

    Then I remembered I wanted to jailbreak my iPhone and needed Pangu, and I remembered Pangu only works on Mavericks or Yosemite so I updated to Yosemite with the new SSD and 8gb RAM and though it isn't terrible slow, it's nothing compared to Snow Leopard.

    This machine suddenly has another 3-4 years with me all because I upgraded the hard drive to SSD, doubled the RAM to 8GBs and downgraded to software to what this machine was meant to run on.
  5. logicstudiouser thread starter macrumors 6502


    Feb 4, 2010
    Thanks everyone for the replies. Turns out after doing some digging that logic pro 8 does not work well in Mavericks and Yosemite. It apparently works flawlessly in mountain lion, so I am likely to go down that route.
  6. Eithanius macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2005
    Make sure you're not caught up with that audio stuttering bug that has been widely reported on certain hardware...

    I know mine does, screwing up music playback on iTunes, so ML is totally out of the question...
  7. ralax macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2013
    after all, what is the best choice for now to MacBook Aluminum 2008 late? Somebody said that mountain lion more stable but another said that mavericks has better battery life and memory compressing ? Can you help me to choose? But I really liked El Capitan so I will install it after final release.
  8. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    I suspect if you are a 10.6 hold-out you will prefer Mountain Lion.

    Lion vs. ML is like Vista vs. Windows 7 - Mountain Lion is what Lion should have been. Lion performance did improve by 10.7.4 if i recall (I still have it running on my Mini because it doesn't officially support ML), but the improvements to full screen, security updates, etc. are well worth upgrading to ML for.

    Personally though I liked Mavericks and don't have any real problem with Yosemite.

    The BIG changes to the way things work vs. Snow Leopard came in Lion. Once you upgrade past Lion things work mostly the same and in my experience performance seems roughly the same so long as you have either SSD or 8 GB of RAM.
  9. ralax macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2013
    also i have ssd 128 gb and 8 gb ram...the problem is some of application already not support mountain lion (10.8) so i don't know what to do...
  10. throAU macrumors 601


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    If that is the case then i'd just go for the latest OS.

    You need to upgrade/change away from apps eventually, and the later OS X releases are actually getting security updates.

    10.7 was a bit of a dog and is no longer maintained (thats the trade off if you decide to run it for compat reasons), 10.8 is no longer maintained (unless I am mistaken) either.

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