From SL to ML?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Krauser, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Krauser macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    #1
    I picked up a new retina 15" MBP but soon after getting it I encountered issues. It was refusing to wake from sleep, the keyboard backlight created an annoying audible buzz, and there were issues with the unibody creaking loudly. Needless to say, I returned it. But as I waited for my refund contemplating other upgrades, I just ended up going back to using my old workhorse of a laptop, picked up a new battery, and joined the whole "waiting for Haswell" clan.

    That said, since I'm with this laptop now, I'm contemplating bumping up to ML. I skipped Lion and I'm pretty happy I did hearing the stories I heard about it, but for the short time I had with ML, I realized what I was missing with regards to iCloud support and general user interface updates (for example, I kept finding myself swiping from the right of my touchpad maddeningly wondering why my notifications weren't appearing, only to realize I don't have them on this machine with SL).

    My main concern though is that it will cripple my machine. SL on this machine has been wonderful... I've never enjoyed using a computer more in my lifetime, but my ML experience was great and one of the best things I learned from it was that many of the apps I worried weren't going to be supported worked flawlessly, further making me question dumping SL for ML. I'm just scared, as this is my workhorse. I have no desktop and this is my main machine. It has served me well for the last 5 years and SL has been letting it run like an absolute top. Mostly I don't want to sacrifice battery life, as I am mobile with this machine a lot, so if I'm going to be losing a substantial amount of runtime, I'll hold off.

    I can always make a clone of my current system on SL (as I have a bare drive in an enclosure) if things aren't good, but I don't exactly want to waste 20 bucks if someone can easily tell me some good/bad news regarding ML on my model.

    Thanks a bunch guys, and my computer's specs (a 2008 penryn model) are in my signature!
     
  2. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    In the core of a black hole.
    #2
    What about having both ML and SL on two separate partitions, or maybe a VM and run SL in it, might be a good temporary solution for you.
     
  3. Krauser thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    The only drives I have right now (including the 500GB one in my Mac) are full... well, at least enough to not give me ample room to partition and then do work. Plus, I've never really done something like that before (what with running two operating systems at once like you would with VM) though I have dual-booted Windows on this machine in the past. Essentially, ML is something I would really like to have on my machine, but I'm not going to lose sleep over not having it until Haswell comes rolling around. It's more something that would be nice that I'm not really willing to dual boot or partition for... like an added bonus as long as it doesn't compromise my rock solid SL performance and battery life.
     
  4. justperry macrumors 604

    justperry

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    #4
    If you run or ML or SL in a virtual machine it will most likely impact battery life.
    Haswell shouldn't be too long and we might see new MPB sooner than most people think.
    Dual booting on a mac is easier than on windows, example, if you had another partition you could then install the other OS on it, hold option at startup to get into the bootup selection screen or use startup disk in System Preferences to select it from there.
    Another option is to install an OS on an external disk and boot from there.
     
  5. Krauser thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 19, 2009
    #5
    I'm not really willing to spend all the time messing with dual booting and all that jazz just to see if ML will give me issues :p not saying I'm lazy, it's just that I don't know if I want to do all that just for an OS running on a machine I'm going to have for about 6 months longer. I was just more concerned with whether or not anyone could confirm performance on my machine with ML because I can't really find anything that confirms how it runs on the original pre-pro unibody's like mine.
     
  6. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #6
    I believe yours is the oldest MacBook that will actually run ML. Since you don't have an SSD and you might be getting a rMBP later this year, my inclination would be to leave well enough alone. That said, it isn't a costly upgrade. If you do, I'd strongly suggest cloning your existing setup to an external drive so you can quickly revert back if you find the Aluminum MacBook isn't quite up to snuff. See if there is any feedback in the MacBook forum.
     
  7. Krauser thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 19, 2009
    #7
    I've been thinking about just leaving well enough alone myself. If ML wasn't so cheap, I'd just do that. And yeah, I believe this is the oldest MacBook to support ML and even with that, I have the lower end processor (there was a 2.4Ghz option too), so that shouldn't help things. I might just carbon copy clone my drive (as I have another 500GB WD Blue that I always keep my machine cloned with as a bootable drive just in case I completely crash my current drive) and just swap out the drive with SL on it if it gives me any issues or I'm unhappy with the performance. I'll keep searching the MacBook forums though and see if I can get any more info.
     
  8. el-John-o macrumors 65816

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    Location:
    Missouri
    #8
    From everything you're saying it sounds like the best thing would be to just try it. Make a clone to your external drive, and fire away! If all fails you're out $20 and a couple of hours... not the end of the world right?
     
  9. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

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    Feb 5, 2011
    #9
    Running ML (or SL) in a VM might be a bad idea. You can only go up to 6GB RAM max in your system.

    For me (YMMV), 4GB is the absolute minimum I would leave for ML, which will only leave 2GB (assuming you've upgraded to 6GB) for SL in a VM (or vice versa), which again, isn't a whole lot. You won't have anything left for hardly any apps at all. I would suspect that in such a scenario, you will have a significant amount of page outs happening, and unless you have an SSD, they will hurt. The whole experience in that scenario will most likely leave a huge bad taste in your mouth, and you will probably end up deciding to stop waiting for Haswell and upgrade your system sooner.

    My advice is to go with that clone idea if you really want ML, otherwise grit your teeth and hold on for Haswell.
     
  10. el-John-o macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Even WITH an SSD the page file will hurt. You're talking about access times NO SSD can even come CLOSE to, and read speeds (assuming DDR2, not sure if there is DDR3 on those or not, which is even faster), of about 8.5GB/s, the fastest SSD's folks are using in their MBP's are running 500MB/s or so. I have two in RAID 0 (which basically doubles the speed) and I'm seeing around 980MB/s. 1/8th the speed of DDR2 ram, 1/12th the speed of DDR3-1600!
     
  11. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

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    Feb 5, 2011
    #11
    Indeed. With a mechanical drive it will be a knock-out punch to the system. SSD's ... probably just a few sucker punches, and maybe a slap or two for good measure. Either one won't be very pleasant.
     
  12. Krauser thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 19, 2009
    #12
    My system can go up to 8GB of RAM. I have 4GB in it right now. A firmware update allowed the max RAM to go from 6GB to 8GB shortly after SL was released for it.
     
  13. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

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    Feb 5, 2011
    #13
    Oohhh, it's a Unibody. Gotcha. Thought you meant it was an early-2008. (I have sig display turned off in my preferences.) So, ok. 8GB. You'll have a bit more wiggle room in the VM scenario. Although not as potentially bad, still not an ideal one. Clone option or hold out for Haswell imho. ML will like 8GB a lot more than 4GB, though, which makes me want to suggest holding out.
     
  14. Krauser thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Well I'm definitely holding out for Haswell at the least. I picked up a new battery for that purpose (my old one was the original with 700+ cycles on it, so it had seen more than its better days :p ) And no offense meant, but you're making it sound like 8GB is a bare minimum kind of thing for ML... that's (besides the retina 15") the most RAM you can get in a MacBook from Apple, so it's not like it's a just-enough-to-get-by amount. Hell, even the Airs ship with 4GB and run ML no problem, so it's not my biggest concern. I'm more worried about CPU and iGPU (9400m) slowdown than anything else, partially because that's going to eat battery if they need to churn just to render some simple UI goodies like blurring and interface animations.
     
  15. el-John-o macrumors 65816

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    Missouri
    #15
    He's referring to a VM scenario. 8 gigs is enough for many applications in Mountain Lion, for most users (certainly one on a C2D and 9400m!), it's plenty. But when you start pushing stuff like Virtual Machines at it, it gets a bit different.

    If you just want to bite the bullet and upgrade, then 8GB will be plenty. If you intend to run both SL and ML simultaneously using a VM, it's doable, but it won't run as nicely within 8GB of RAM and you are running the risk of paging out, which will slow you down a lot. The whole PURPOSE of RAM, after all, is to move the files you are using right now into a high speed workable space of data. If your OS has to spill those files over into the Hard Drive, then performance REALLY suffers.
     
  16. duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

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    Feb 5, 2011
    #16
    Yeah, I was talkin' about the VM scenario (it's late here). If you want to run SL and ML at the same time, with one as a VM, 4GB on the host won't be enough.
     
  17. Krauser thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 19, 2009
    #17
    Oh no yeah, my bad. I'm not planning on using a virtual machine, I'm just going to run it as the sole OS. I'll probs try it out tomorrow on my other drive and if it gives me issues, I'll go back to the drive I'm using now with SL on it. And as far as RAM goes under ML, I would imagine it's definitely more hungry than SL, because when I do some of the editing I do now on my machine, I come close to using up all of my available RAM when moving large video files and large lossless audio files and such, so doubling up on RAM is something I'll end up doing anyway (what with 8GB being as cheap as it is nowadays anyway).

    EDIT: Also, just a thought, but if I install ML (let's say on my hard drive that I'll refer to as HD1) and don't like the performance and subsequently swap it with my other drive that still has SL on it (HD2), can I go back to using HD2 as my clone of HD1 (so that both have SL on them again) but still not have to pay for ML again in the future if I, for whatever reason, want to reinstall ML on my MacBook? In other words, if I don't want ML and go back to SL, did I just completely lose my 20 bucks, or will the purchase of ML be tied to my Apple account if I ever need/want to download it again in the future?
     

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