Is a clean install faster than upgrade?

mikezang

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 22, 2010
772
1
Tokyo, Japan
I have a Mac mini 2009 late, this is also my first Mac. I upgrade it from Maverick to El Capitan, I think its speed is too slow and I want to know:
If I clean install El Capitan again, will the speed be faster than now in general?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,402
6,711
"If I clean install El Capitan again, will the speed be faster than now in general?"

It might become -a little- faster.
But honestly, probably not going to increase speed that much.

Questions:
What kind of drive is inside the Mini?
Is it the original, platter-based hard drive?

If so -- that's what's slowing things down, and there's not really much you can do to speed it up -- other than perhaps replace the drive with an SSD.

El Capitan just "runs slower" on platter-based drives than did old versions of the OS.
Again, the only real solution is to use an SSD instead.
 

chabig

macrumors 604
Sep 6, 2002
6,732
3,950
If it's 4GB, upgrading it will improve performance.
The SSD should be the first upgrade, and it will make a HUGE difference. Adding RAM won't make any significant difference, even though you are correct that it will improve things. Putting a bigger gas tank in your car doesn't make it go faster.
 
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mikezang

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
May 22, 2010
772
1
Tokyo, Japan
"If I clean install El Capitan again, will the speed be faster than now in general?"

It might become -a little- faster.
But honestly, probably not going to increase speed that much.

Questions:
What kind of drive is inside the Mini?
Is it the original, platter-based hard drive?

If so -- that's what's slowing things down, and there's not really much you can do to speed it up -- other than perhaps replace the drive with an SSD.

El Capitan just "runs slower" on platter-based drives than did old versions of the OS.
Again, the only real solution is to use an SSD instead.
It is still the original HDD:(
By the way, is it difficult to change to SSD? I am afraid that I can't finish replacement...
[doublepost=1538699065][/doublepost]
SSD and max the RAM out (or at least 8 GB)
I found there is some free memory in system info, though there is only 4GB.
 

chabig

macrumors 604
Sep 6, 2002
6,732
3,950
I have a Mac Mini. Rather than open it up I just run High sierra off of an external Samsung T5 SSD. It’s fast.
 

upandown

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2017
676
512
SSD makes a bigger difference than RAM. You can find YouTube videos with that exact experiment.
 

chabig

macrumors 604
Sep 6, 2002
6,732
3,950
It’s 2009 late?
No. It’s 2014 with 4GB RAM. Not the same I know. I USB 3 ports at 5Gbps. You have ports at 480Mbps and FireWire. I suspect that an external drive on either port will still be faster than the slow spinning hard drive. FireWire would be better than USB. I recommended external to avoid the hassle of oprimindo the machine but if you’re willing to go inside it’ll be better.
 
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