It has been a while now, are you happy with Snow Leopard?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 9, 2005
I upgraded to Snow Leopard three weeks ago on my rev B MBA but am thinking about downgrading to Leopard again. Reasons:

- Have not seen any 'improvement' from Snow Leopard
- Battery time is slightly worse(!)
- 'Idle' Temperature is also higher compared to Leopard

So I am curious if anyone has seen improvements when going to Snow Leopard or if you are planning to go back to regular Leopard?


I did also take 10.6.1 without seeing any change what so ever...


macrumors 601
Sep 19, 2008
In theory Snow Leopard will be great. The problem is there are no apps taking advantage of Grand Central or OpenCL. When apps take advantage of multiple cores and the GPU, the MBA should improve.

In the meantime, I see ZERO benefit for the MBA. Many have reported overheating and fans blazing. In addition, the MBA isn't truly benefiting from 64-bit kernel; some say doesn't matter because limited RAM, but I feel Apple has mislead us.

I definitely know the app compatibility problems are not worth any minimal short term gain. I have lost a printer, CS3.3 isn't supported, and Apple seems like it wasn't ready for this transition.

I am disappointed. I decided to wait for the next Mac updates to see what happens with the MBA. If no new MBA, I may go back to Leopard. If 10.6.2 helps significantly that might change my opinion too. I just felt like we were going to see results... Other than one second shutdown, I don't see much improvement at all.

Many have been happy, but I think Leopard was really good and SL was a step backwards...


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 9, 2005
I agree, for MBA in particular I don't see the benefits. Will probably roll back next weekend.

For my imac though I noticed it became snappier and actually cooler as well!


macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2008
At first...meh.

Now yeah I guess it is better. not huge but it's an improvement with time zones, wi-fi connectivity and some stability.

Anytime I feel that snow leopard didn't really add much I remind myself that it was only $29.


macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
I don't hate it, but I don't love it either. The so-called improvements have been so marginal that it makes me wonder if it was worth all the time I invested in installing it (backing up all data, reinstalling programs, installing twice, etc).

I did the "upgrade" (or whatever they call it now) first, and had all sorts of problems with MobileMe syncing (Safari wouldn't open, etc). I eventually did the erase and install and everything appears to be OK now.

I see no speed improvements in Time Machine, launching applications, 64-bit, etc that are all touted on Apple's Web site. In some ways, Snow Leopard feels like a step in the wrong direction (Hello, QuickTime X).

Wake on Wireless, OpenCL and QuickTime hardware decoding are not supported on my Mac.

Apple decided at the last minute to pull the organized/application icon contextual service feature. Most contextual services are turned off by default. So, the new services functionality is basically worthless.

The "new" Stacks still does not contain the same functionality that was demoed way back at WWDC 06.

Easy PDF selection doesn't always work.

For me, it didn't live up to all the hype (oddly enough mostly not from Apple themselves, but from Web sites like Macrumors and Mac-friendly media like Engadget, Gizmodo, Wired, TWiT, etc). I don't consider it a must have upgrade for 10.5 users like I would Windows 7 for Vista users.

I really question why they even bothered. It's like they knew they needed to put something out because Windows 7 was coming out, and this was all they could come up with most of their engineering resources diverted to iPhone.

I'll put it this way, I don't think Steve Jobs had much to do with this version of the operating system. From the cheap, oddball packaging to the minimal/incomplete feature set to the buggy gold release, Snow Leopard does not have Apple's signature product polish that I've become accustomed to.


macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2005
I've really enjoyed Snow Leopard. Its not been a great problem with App compatibility and CS3 has worked fine for me in the small time I use it. (Mainly Dreamweaver and Photoshop) All the apps I use have been updated to work great with it now, I think Growl was the last real holdover. Its faster, freed up some space on my 64gb SSD and everything works great here.


macrumors 601
Sep 19, 2008
I've really enjoyed Snow Leopard. Its not been a great problem with App compatibility and CS3 has worked fine for me in the small time I use it. (Mainly Dreamweaver and Photoshop) All the apps I use have been updated to work great with it now, I think Growl was the last real holdover. Its faster, freed up some space on my 64gb SSD and everything works great here.
I think even though CS3 may be working now, it sucks that it isn't supported. I paid a lot of money for CS 3 and then CS 3.3, and I don't care to upgrade to 4. It really sucks and I don't blame Adobe. Apple jumped and switched up Carbon to Cocoa transitions for all apps which apparently ruined Adobe's original work for 64-bit CS 4 (I read that don't really know all facts). So, Adobe has to keep jumping through hoops for Apple. If you think of it Apple really disappointed and left out a lot of customers when it made the Snow Leopard transition. The situation just sucks.

All the problems and lack of support really are attributed to Apple... first they jumped and released OS X 10.6 too early. If Apple would have waited until later as third-party app providers expected, it probably wouldn't have created so many problems. It really shortened the time the developers had to make the software 10.6 compatible. I don't know enough about the rest to make educated statements but it sucks for all of us.


macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
I run Snow Leopard 10.6.1 on my Mac Pro, and saying that I'm disappointed would be an understatement.

The worst issue for me currently is the horrible wireless connection to my router; this worked great with Leopard and still works great with Vista 64 on that machine. But in Snow Leopard, the connection always drops or slows down to a crawl.

Then there are the compatibility issues. Montage still does not work at all and I don't need to repeat the list of known issues with other apps (like CS3, for example).

And besides everything that Apple's marketing machinery boasted about, there are ZERO performance improvements - rather the opposite. I think Finder is now slower than it was in Leopard, especially when you use the more detailed list view and browse through a folder with lots of movies or applications in it.

This "upgrade" is about to convince to cut my losses and fully switch back to Windows. It seems that besides nice designs and religious marketing, there is nothing more to expect from Apple anymore.


macrumors newbie
Oct 5, 2009
Yes I am :) SL is sooo much better than the previous version. Although I don't like that thing what happens when you keep the mouse pressed on top of the program icon (in the dock) and then it makes the screen go all dark and wierd.


macrumors regular
Feb 3, 2008
Mississauga, ON
I personally dont use much of the new stacks and expose features in leopard except for the hot corner to display all windows. Otherwise i actually dont mind the core os update, it improved battery life, but overall laptop preformance seems a bit slower actually.


macrumors member
Apr 12, 2008
My MacBook Air all of a sudden felt so sluggish, I was only surfing and no video, and then the top showed a process WebKitPlugin hogging 80% CPU and only 31MB free.

I had seen this WebKitPlugin before also and seen it go up.
So now I have two candidates to look for
1. WebKitPlugin : What process is causing this? How do I get rid of it?
I could find this info:
2. Swap : How do I find which process is using most of it or what are the most memory hogging processes?

Processes: 59 total, 3 running, 56 sleeping, 283 threads 23:48:55
Load Avg: 1.29, 1.36, 1.15 CPU usage: 40.8% user, 10.93% sys, 48.98% idle
SharedLibs: 7012K resident, 5024K data, 0B linkedit.
MemRegions: 45625 total, 863M resident, 13M private, 248M shared.
PhysMem: 288M wired, 1161M active, 566M inactive, 2015M used, 31M free.
VM: 139G vsize, 1041M framework vsize, 326099(0) pageins, 116529(0) pageouts.
Networks: packets: 1466279/1272M in, 1222211/288M out.
Disks: 492271/5785M read, 853842/14G written.

5287- WebKitPlugin 79.5 20:40.33 6/1 1 162 752 164M 15M 68M
5415 top 18.7 00:11.69 1/1 0 24 33 1036K 264K 1608K
158- DashboardCli 2.1 54:58.53 5 2 315 244 19M+ 15M- 24M
5405 Terminal 0.7 00:01.57 5 1 116- 114- 3884K- 22M 17M-
3854 Safari 0.4 85:36.75 11 2 473 36331 443M 50M 579M
0- kernel_task 0.4 29:28.31 62/2 0 2 525 10M 0B 73M
60 WindowServer 0.2 64:57.64 5 1 352 1356 11M 31M 47M
26- CoolBookSwit 0.2 04:27.15 1 0 17 25 108K 240K 472K


macrumors 65816
Sep 29, 2006
No problems here. I notice a significant speed increase in my Mac Pro in just about every department. I also like the new features in Expose and the Finder. I won't be going back.....

Ivan P

macrumors 68030
Jan 17, 2008
I'm rather happy with it. I always boot up my MBP in 64-bit and it flies (not sure about the technical side of it, nor do I care for it, I only have 2GB of RAM but I know it's a lot faster then 32-bit on my machine). My only gripe is with VMWare Fusion, as it's the only app I have that I have to restart in 32-bit to run, but oh well.
The speed improvements are definitely great, as are most of the little new features... except the "new" Exposé, for reasons people have already documented on this site.


macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2003
It was worth it for me, definitely more *snappy* as most everything got a speed boost. I like the new Dock Exposé and Stacks behavior. I DO like the new Quicktime X even.

Just about all the early adopter 3rd party app issues have gone away, only Photoshop CS3 is a little wonky at times as it tends to beach ball for a few seconds whenever i add a layer style.

Overall a $30 well spent.

I have bigger hopes for 10.7 though. I want a revamped UI and lots of new shiny stuff to play with. :cool:


macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2002
Los Angeles
DEEPLY happy with Snow Leopard and MBA

I have an MBA Rev B and I couldn't be happier with Snow Leopard

A couple minor complaints, but here are the reasons why I am DEEPLY happy -

1. SNAPPIER - the entire computer is much snappier and faster - FINDER, in particular, shows items much more quickly

2. SPACE - I have an SSD and I was running out of space - it is true - before SL, I had around 8 gigs in blank space..... after installing, I had 16 gigs - massive improvement

Overall, I'm much happier - the performance has been much more excellent - I highly recommend Snow Leopard for MBA's

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
Sure of coarse, with changes on the level of OS rewrites like Carbon, the first OS after the changes is a bit buggy ... but the changes under the hood were needed.

Wait, and you'll like what SL makes possible.


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 9, 2005
So, you guys that are happy with SL, did it also improve your battery life?


macrumors 601
Sep 19, 2008
So, you guys that are happy with SL, did it also improve your battery life?
I originally thought it did, but I did a few benchmarks the last few times I used my MBA without power while reconditioning the battery. After a full recondition, I was disappointed with the battery life compared to what I had recorded with Leopard. I am getting a full 13 minutes less on average with Snow Leopard.

The only real improvement I see with Snow Leopard is shutdown time went from three seconds to near instantly. Honestly, I see NOTHING else as a benefit at this time with Snow Leopard.

If 10.6.2 doesn't fix things and get released by the day Windows 7 is released and doesn't fix a whole bunch of common issues and IMPROVE PERFORMANCE, I am going back to Leopard.

I honestly think that Snow Leopard is ONLY advantageous for Macs with greater than 4 GB RAM, that have dedicated graphics cards, and have more cores than 2. In other words, Snow Leopard makes great sense on a Mac Pro, makes less sense on an iMac or MBP, and makes NO SENSE on the MBA and Mac mini.

I think it was overhyped and has been problematic and frankly not worth $29. I would be PISSED if I paid $129 for it.

Going back to something else. You obviously put this in the MBA section trying to get performance and other feedback from MBA users who upgraded from Leopard to Snow Leopard. Why then do some people report their iMac or Mac Pro stats/experience here??? I don't understand why some people think that is giving us any indication of what our MBA's benefits will be from Snow Leopard. Anyways, I am always disappointed when I start a thread and even make a way to report experience with a certain Mac as inevitably people will report systems that don't apply to the study/research that I am trying to record and share with others. I guess the bottom line is people don't read... I guess I have done that, but I always know what section I am in and about what I am replying with info about especially if someone has made a standardized way to report their experience or findings. Enough venting...


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 9, 2005
What do you mean great on your MBA?
Lower temps and longer battery temps or?