Downgrading OSX

Discussion in 'macOS' started by sparky256, May 18, 2015.

  1. sparky256 macrumors newbie

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    May 18, 2015
    #1
    I have a late 2010 13" Macbook Air (2GB, 128GB SSD).

    I "upgraded" to Yosemite last year, and regret it. It's much more unstable than in the past, and while when I first got it I barely remember seeing the spinning wheel of doom, it's now a frequent visitor. I noticed a marked performance drop after the upgrade.

    I'm not ready to upgrade yet. In fact given what I use it for (light web browsing, Pages, some light web development in Textmate) I essentially intend to keep it till it dies. I am therefore thinking abut downgrading.

    My question is, how far should I go? Should I just go back to Mavericks, or might I as well go back to Mountain Lion? The Mavericks upgrade is long enough ago that I can't really remember whether there was much of a difference between the two performance-wise, so am interested in opinions.

    From a features point of view, i can't think of anything that I'd miss, and I don't use any software regularly that won't run back to 10.7, so it really is just about what will perform best.
     
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #2
    Try a re-install first. Some people report issues after doing an upgrade.
     
  3. sparky256 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 18, 2015
    #3
    Sorry, should have said, Yosemite was a clean install, not an app store upgrade
     
  4. Bruno09, May 18, 2015
    Last edited: May 18, 2015

    Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #4
    Hi,

    the problem is you only have 2 GB of RAM. You can't upgrade the RAM on this model.

    Therefore Mavericks would be the best choice (Memory compression).
     
  5. Isamilis macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I would suggest to go with Mavericks. You may get benefit on Memory Compression features - 1st introduced in Mavericks for your 2GB RAM.

     
  6. sparky256 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 18, 2015
    #6
    Sadly is a macbook air, not a pro, so the RAM is not upgradeable.


    That was my thought. I suspect Snow Leopard is the fastest on this machine, but it's not had any security updates in over a year. I think Mavericks is probably a little quicker than Mountain Lion as you say due to memory compression. Looking back at old forum posts from when Mavericks was released, people were reporting some performance boosts.
     
  7. Eithanius macrumors 65816

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    #7
    2010 MBP here, still rocking on SL... To hell with security, as long as you practice safe browsing... It's not that everyone's hacking you every minute of the day...

    Inb4 yjchua95 says those who refused to upgrade their software are bozos...
     
  8. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #8
    You can't confirm that without memory stats from Activity Monitor.

    OP - what colour is the memory pressure graph when you have a typical set of applications etc open?
     
  9. sparky256 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 18, 2015
    #9
    Prob true. But I'd have to pay £15 to downgrade to SL, ML/Mavericks would be free ;)

    Red if I have a typical set of apps (Chrome, textmate, a terminal, todoist, telegram for example). Even if I close everything, it's still amber. And yes, I know that Chrome is a memory hog, but for whatever reason, Safari is the worst culprit for the spinning wheel of doom.
     
  10. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #10
    Why would you have to pay? A 2010 MBA would have shipped with Snow Leopard.
     
  11. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #11
    I can confirm that because I do have tested Mavericks and Yosemite on Macbooks with 2 GB of RAM : memory pressure is amber with NO applications open.
     
  12. sparky256 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    It did - but 5 years on, I have no idea where the USB key it came with is (I might actually have used it to do a fresh install of Mountain Lion at some point actually) and you can't download SL from the the App Store. It is still available as a paid product in the apple store as it's the upgrade path for 10.5 and before - it's the first release to come with the app store - but it costs £15
     
  13. redheeler, May 18, 2015
    Last edited: May 18, 2015

    redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #13
    I have Snow Leopard, Yosemite, and Mavericks installed on my 2 GB MacBook Air ordered from least to greatest RAM consumption. They all seem to do ok if tasks are kept light and the amount of tabs/programs open is kept down.

    Also, unlike Mavericks, Yosemite boots to a Memory Pressure colored green on a clean login. Edit: And here's proof for those who need it. 10.10.3 has definitely been slimmed down a bit.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Bruno09 macrumors 68020

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    #14
    The SL DVD sold by Apple is a 10.6.3 version : it will not work on your Macbook Air that originally shipped with 10.6.4 or .5.
     
  15. Isamilis macrumors 6502

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    #15

    Basically you can still update it after 10.6.3 install. I have MBP 2011 and use Snow Leopard even though officially support only from Lion.
     
  16. redheeler, May 18, 2015
    Last edited: May 18, 2015

    redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #16
    Nearly all Macs will not boot at all from a copy of the OS that is an older version than the version it originally shipped with, but the late 2011 MBP is a special exception.

    To get Snow Leopard on the 2010 MBA, the OP would have to do one of these things:

    Purchase or find compatible restore disks for the 2010 MBA.

    Purchase a retail copy of Snow Leopard 10.6.3 and install/update it using an older Mac which can boot from it.
     
  17. sparky256 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 18, 2015
    #17
    All v helpful thanks. Snow Leopard sounds like it's going to be a pain unless I'm willing to trust a torrent (which I'm not). I think I might try clean installs of Mavericks & Yosemite over the next few weeks and see what works best.
     
  18. TheRainKing macrumors 6502a

    TheRainKing

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    #18
    A few weeks ago, I got fed up with Yosemite and went back to Mountain Lion. I couldn't be happier. Everything is faster and visually much nicer.

    I would have gone all the way back to Snow Leopard, but it doesn't have Notes and Reminders or iCloud support, which I use quite a lot.
     
  19. Eithanius macrumors 65816

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    #19
    For the record, Notes is part of Apple Mail on Snow Leopard, and as long as you sign in Mail with your iCloud email, you can have your Notes sync via iCloud...

    As for the rest of the iCloud features, I never trusted it to sync properly since day one. Hence, I'm still using iTunes to sync, and still rocking Snow Leopard.


    Inb4 yjchua95 says those who don't update their software are bozos...
     
  20. chrfr macrumors 603

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    #20
    The problem is that the 2010 Macbook Air has only USB 2.0 for connectivity and there's no Target Disk Mode available, so to start with a 10.6 retail disk, it'd be necessary to install on an entirely different computer, then clone that disk over to the Air. Far from an ideal or simple scenario.
     
  21. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #21
    I forgot the 2010 only has Mini DisplayPort and not Thunderbolt, like my 2008, which I agree is a pain. Luckily my 2008 is old enough that a retail Snow Leopard disk will install, but if I ever wanted to try Leopard on it I would have to go through that process.
     
  22. TheRainKing macrumors 6502a

    TheRainKing

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    #22
    I vaguely recall that from OS X Lion as well, I dunno I just prefer having a dedicated app for Notes.

    True.. but there is a downside to syncing stuff through iTunes. When you update something on one of your devices, it doesn't get updated on the other devices until they've all been synced through iTunes. That's a pain if you have more than one iOS device.
     

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