How is MacOS Sierra running on the older Macs?

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by andreyush, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. andreyush macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2015

    I am wondering how MacOS runs on the older machines? Many people say that Macs can work decent between 3 and 5 years, after that upgrading the OS can be a little difficult.

    How is your Macbook/Imac/MacMini running with MacOS ? And what heavy tasks do you perform on them? :D
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I believe the critical factor on how well it runs is whether or not the Mac in question has a platter-based hard drive, or an SSD or fusion drive instead.

    With an HDD, Sierra may run, but from the viewpoint of the user the experience may seem more like it's "walking" instead of "running".

    With either an SSD or fusion drive, the user experience will certainly be much more pleasing...
  3. infernoguy macrumors regular


    Jun 24, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Working good with my min 2012 rMBP 15. The battery life is meh and percentage miscalculations are annoying but overall so far so good.
  4. neliason macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2015
    I agree. I have a the top end mid 2011 27" iMac. I upgraded the RAM to 16GB but it still has the hard drive. Sierra runs decently. It takes a while to boot and apps take a while to load. But once loaded I don't notice any noticeable lag. I also have a 2011 MacBook Air with an SSD. The MacBook boots and loads apps more quickly. I'm sure a SSD would make a world of difference in the iMac because it would fix the things that are noticeably slow. Also Sierra isn't noticeably slower then the more recent previous versions of macOS.
  5. baas, Dec 20, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016

    baas macrumors member

    Dec 20, 2016
    I've got a Macbook Pro 13" early 2011 with 8GB of RAM. I was running El Capitan smoothly on my Crucial M4 128 GB SSD. Last week I bought a larger SSD (Crucial MX300 525GB) and decided to do a fresh install. I went with sierra after 12.2 was released and transfer my old user account and settings to the new drive.
    After letting it run for a couple of days (spotlight indexing and photo's-id) I can say I don't notice any difference in performance compared to El Cap. Only booting seems to take a bit longer. I've done a Geekbench 4 before and after and my machine is faster but that might also be because of the faster SSD. Since my macbook doesn't have bluetooth 4 the only real new features I use is the storage manager (although I've got plenty of space on my new drive) and the option sort folders on top of files in Finder. I disabled Siri from the beginning.
    It fixed the one and only issue I had with El Cap; when my external hard drive was connected through my 24" Cinema Display, it ejected the drives as soon the macbook woke from standby. I've had this from the beginning since I installed el cap last year.

    Bottom line: if you have a SSD and 8gb of ram you'll probably be fine but on the machines with bluetooth 4.0 there aren't any real new features. Oh and I lost my battery time remaining indicator..

    It's nice though that my macbook supports Sierra so'll I'll probably keep using this machine for 2-3 years!
  6. WarHeadz macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2015
    Long Beach, California
    I'm running it on a 2009 iMac that's not even officially supported to run it, and it runs beautifully. I've upgraded this computer to an SSD so I'm sure that has a lot to do with it.
  7. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I have a mid-2010 27" iMac, but I retro-fitted an SSD to make a fusion drive (and put in more RAM and a bigger HDD). Sierra runs just fine - I don't notice any lag at all anywhere - so that goes to confirm your hypothesis that the SSD is the trick.
  8. jwolf6589 macrumors 65816


    Dec 15, 2010
    I have the same experience. Mac takes a while to boot and load apps for the first time, but once loaded it runs swell. Thats why I have not upgraded my MacBook pro 2012 to a SSD hard drive.
  9. dmblue macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2008
    2009 iMac 27: Runs perfectly with 16GB RAM and a Samsung Evo 500GB SSD
    2010 Mac Mini: 8GB RAM, Stock HDD. Runs horribly, I am going to try a SSD or roll back. Totally unusable.
  10. BarracksSi Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    Mid-2012 13" 1TB HDD. Runs fine.

    The only complaint I have is when autocorrect/autocomplete decides to take a few seconds to do something. Might be another issue, though; it's been slow to boot lately. I'll be poking around some more to figure out what's up. I might turn off autocomplete, too, as I get impatient when I'm typing.
  11. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX

    You might want to try increasing the RAM. Sounds like it's being slowed down swapping data in and out.
  12. BarracksSi Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    RAM pressure has been fine, according to Activity Monitor; but yeah, if it's swapping a lot, I can see how it'll slow down for stuff like this. If I can swap its 8GB for some more space, I'll be able to push purchasing a new laptop even further into the future. (plus it's got the optical bay I can swap for an additional drive.. yay)
  13. lexvo, Dec 27, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016

    lexvo macrumors 65816

    Nov 11, 2009
    The Netherlands
    Runs good on my 2012 27" iMac (1 TB HDD, 8GB RAM). Booting is slower, but that was already slower with El Capitan and Yosemite.

    Heavy programs like Lightroom also take a long time to start. But this is also due to the fact that these programs have become larger. After startup, Lightroom runs well (speed is the same as with previous OS-X versions).
  14. Jack Neill macrumors regular

    Jack Neill

    Sep 13, 2015
    San Antonio Texas
  15. BarracksSi Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    Update: Turned out that my HD was dying (which Disk Utility had reported a couple months ago, but it said it was fine early this week), so I got it replaced along with the flex cable.

    Much better now. Good enough that I'm not planning on buying a new one for a while longer.
  16. thadoggfather macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2007
    I think my rMB 2015 runs better on el cap 10.11.6 than Sierra,

    even with 8/256, its still using a mobile proc,
  17. mszilard macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2012
    my late 2013 27" imac definetly runs worst with macos sierra. with only minimal number of programs installed, youtube hd playing is choppy/stuttering, scrolling in safari is stuttery, even the screen saver, i'm using flurry, is stuttering sometimes, isn't as buttery smooth like on el cap.
  18. border terrier macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2013
    Runnng well on my 2009 4.1 flashed to 5.1. 20gb ram and Samsung 840 EVO SSD.
  19. Apple 26.2 macrumors 6502a

    Apple 26.2

    Jan 1, 2011
    What up, 212?!
    Just installed Sierra on my early 2011 MBP 15", but on a brand new SSD, along with 16GB RAM, and a new battery... I'm still tweaking the battery, but it's like I have a brand new machine! I'm hoping to squeeze another 1-2 years out of it.
  20. lovewd macrumors 6502


    Aug 28, 2013
    Had it running on an early 2011 13" MPB with a 256GB SSD, 2.7GHz i7 and 8GB of ram. Ran smoothly there, made the fans run at times when El Capitan didn't. Now I have it running on an early 2013 15" MBP with a 750GB SSD, 2.8GHz i7, and 16GB of ram and it runs very smoothly as it did on the other machine, I just don't hear the fans unless I run FCPXq
  21. coghlan macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2011
    See the thread about how Sierra causes MBP screens to become blurred at lower resolutions.
  22. CreativeSeoul macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2017
    I have an MBP Early 2011 15'' and facing the problem with the blurred screen when I reduce / change the resolution size from standard to a lower one. I don't have this problem, when I have the standard scaled resolution. I tried everything from PRAM to SMC Reset, restarting, quitting all apps. Nothing worked. Also I never used Photos before, but i started and quit it by myself. Still the blurred screen / fonts are there since I updated from El Capitan to Sierra (10.12.2). In El Capitan and also before I never had this kind of problem. It is very frustrating and I cannot use my setup like before. Aynonelse facing these issues or has other suggestions?

    Also in the Apple forum 2011 MPB owner are reporting this problem. (
    --- Post Merged, Jan 3, 2017 ---

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