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zowenso

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 2, 2011
273
15
MA
Hello. Quick question. I’m still on Big Sur 11.7.10 and I’ve never upgraded, obviously lol. Is there any benefit to me upgrading to Sonoma which I recently got an upgrade alert for? Here is what I’m running and the upgrade offered. I use my Mac very lightly, basically for photo stuff and Safari searches. Thanks.
 

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padams35

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2016
479
314
"AirPlay to Mac" is a really cool feature in Monterey and newer if you have multiple Apple devices. Otherwise upgrading is mostly for long term software support and security updates.

Personally I find you start running into compatibility issues after about 4 years if you stay on an old OS. By that logic Big Sur should still have another year of life before I would expect software support issues to become problematic.

If you plan to keep your iMac for more than another year you ought to go ahead and upgrade to something newer. For maximum stability I would suggest either keep waiting for Sonoma 14.6 or else installing Ventura (currently 13.6.7).
 
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zowenso

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 2, 2011
273
15
MA
Ok thank you so much. Yeah I’ll be keeping this Mac for as long as I can. So you can choose which upgrade to do? You don’t have to do the newest? How would I find the Ventura 13.6.7 upgrade and bypass the Sonoma? Thank you again.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,606
12,729
Do you have any problems with the software you use now?

This would probably be most noticeable with Safari (or other browsers).

If not, I don't see any "pressure" to upgrade.
 
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jb310

macrumors 6502
Aug 24, 2017
264
595
I use my Mac very lightly, basically for photo stuff and Safari searches.
As web standards change, the version of Safari you're using will have more and more difficulty displaying websites since it won't support the latest version of web technologies. You could try getting a third-party browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc) but they'll eventually stop supporting Big Sur too.

(I think currently, you need macOS 10.15 to install both Chrome and Firefox, and 10.15 is only one year older than Big Sur.)

So there's no urgent need to upgrade, especially if you don't notice anything wrong with searching for things on Safari, but eventually you'll start to notice some problems.
 
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Bigwaff

Contributor
Sep 20, 2013
2,074
1,375
Is there any benefit to me upgrading to Sonoma which I recently got an upgrade alert for?
I won't regurgitate what others have said but only mention if you decide to upgrade to Sonoma, you should consider upgrading your memory from 8GB to 16GB for $50.
Install is stupid easy.
 
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Howard2k

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2016
5,389
5,232
No security updates since September 2023. I'd be upgrading to a newer platform for sure. I just moved from Ventura to Sonoma. I don't think you can go wrong with either.
 
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zowenso

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 2, 2011
273
15
MA
I won't regurgitate what others have said but only mention if you decide to upgrade to Sonoma, you should consider upgrading your memory from 8GB to 16GB for $50.
Install is stupid easy.
Is there something I can put in to make it faster too? I remember seeing a video about inserting something in the back. I think I have two empty slots? Or is that what you’re talking about? lol
 

gilby101

macrumors 68030
Mar 17, 2010
2,638
1,409
Tasmania
I won't regurgitate what others have said but only mention if you decide to upgrade to Sonoma, you should consider upgrading your memory from 8GB to 16GB for $50.
Is there something I can put in to make it faster too? I remember seeing a video about inserting something in the back. I think I have two empty slots? Or is that what you’re talking about? lol
Yes that's correct. You have two empty slots.

I agree with a RAM upgrade, but be aware that the 2020 iMac is picky about RAM. Make sure you get RAM guaranteed to work with 2020 iMac and most reliable if all occupied memory slots have exactly the same RAM modules.
 
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zowenso

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 2, 2011
273
15
MA
Yes that's correct. You have two empty slots.

I agree with a RAM upgrade, but be aware that the 2020 iMac is picky about RAM. Make sure you get RAM guaranteed to work with 2020 iMac and most reliable if all occupied memory slots have exactly the same RAM modules.
Could you potentially show me what you’d suggest for a 2020 iMac if I wanted to fill all 4 slots? I guess you said to make sure all 4 have the same ram cards or whatever they are called? So I can’t keep the 2 i have in there and just not 2 more?
 
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gilby101

macrumors 68030
Mar 17, 2010
2,638
1,409
Tasmania
Could you potentially show me what you’d suggest for a 2020 iMac if I wanted to fill all 4 slots? I guess you said to make sure all 4 have the same ram cards or whatever they are called? So I can’t keep the 2 i have in there and just not 2 more?
As I said the iMac 2020 can be picky. You may have no issues keeping your existing RAM modules and adding an another pair, though quite likely they will work but run at a reduced speed. The safe option is to get 2 or 4 identical new RAM modules and remove the existing. The iMac forum has multiple threads with issues about iMac 2020 RAM upgrades.
 
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Ben J.

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2019
733
411
Oslo
Is there a video somewhere that will show how to install once it’s downloaded? For example where I’ll find it and what exactly to do once it’s downloaded? Or does it all happen automatically? Thanks again!
You mean how to upgrade to any macOS version, not the latest?
You need to create a bootable installer on a USB drive or volume. Not difficult.
Not a video, but this guide on apple support is extremely clear and consise:

 
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