Mavericks - The worst release of OS X to date?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by Hephaestus, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. Hephaestus macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2010
    So this may sound like a bold statement, however when I look at this version of OSX objectively, I really do arrive at this conclusion. Bear in mind I have been using OSX since Jaguar and the only version I missed was Lion, so I do have quite a bit of experience with OSX.

    I haven't really visited this section of the forum since I wanted to get my own experience with the release over an extended period of time. I think its safe to say that I've had enough usage now to share my thoughts. I will try to explain each criticism in a concise manner, and refrain from letting my personal feelings hinder objectivity.

    Let me start by saying I have been using Mavericks mainly on two Macs, listed below:

    - 2009 15.4" MacBook Pro, 2.66GHz C2D with 8GB RAM
    - 2010 27" iMac, 2.8Ghz i5 with 8GB RAM

    While these machines aren't using the newest chipsets, I've never had any problem with them before regarding performance. In fact, I think I saw a beach ball briefly maybe once a month on my 2009 MBP with the previous releases, now however is a different story. I've never had significant performance issues with either machine, so I simply won't accept any excuses like "your machine is too old".

    1. The most sluggish start up ever
    The one thing which made OSX so superb in my opinion was the lightening fast start ups, once the machine was turned on, you were good to go. You could do anything, immediately. Now, the total opposite is true. When the OS is loaded, it is immensely slow for several minutes until the bowels catch up with the visuals.

    Upon start up, once the dock is loaded, if one clicks an application, it will happily bounce there for what seems like an eternity. Almost nothing responds instantaneously anymore. When clicking an application, it will bounce and bounce and bounce. Right click the app to quit.... the dock will freeze for a couple of seconds and you will have to force close or just wait for the bouncing to stop. Open up multiple apps.. well you might as well go and make a coffee while you wait.

    This is perhaps the most irritating thing about the update; the general sluggishness on start up. I should mention that I am not only talking about a boot up from shut down, these problems occur when awaking from sleep. Very rarely, this will not occur or it will be short lived, it literally occurs every time.

    2. The seaside? Quite literally..
    Ok.. I get that they were inspired by the seaside and surfing, but I think they took this far too literally, because all I see with this release is beach balls. I see so many of them, one would think it's a deliberate visual reference to the beach! It really is abysmal.

    As I said before, on my MBP or iMac, I literally saw a beach ball maybe once a month and that was for good reason, say if I was launching a tonne of apps at once. Now however, I see beach balls everywhere! And every single day! I click on the reminders app, I am greeted with beach balls and bouncing. If I try to switch quickly between multiple apps using fairly minimal CPU power, again there are beach balls. I try to drag a large file into iTunes, well you can guess what happens.

    I could cite hundreds of examples on this issue, but I think people will know what I'm talking about.

    3. Power management?
    So this one is tricky. As I said, I am using a 2009 MBP to judge the power management, so the battery life isn't going to be as great as a new MBP. However, I think its safe to say that the battery performance should not be worse than before. Although my battery is 4.5 years old, it still contains around 75% capacity through deliberate care and maintenance on my part. I have maintained and cycled the battery pretty well to maximise its life.

    Previously, I was getting around 4 hours of battery life on Mountain Lion, from 100% down to about 15%. This was using WiFi with several applications running in the background but nothing that was too taxing on the CPU. On Mavericks, I get around 2.5 hours of usage before my battery is dead. This is quite a significant drop, and occurs when using the same applications.

    The battery life has definitely seen a drop, no doubt about that. Not only that, the power management seems far less secure than it was before. Previously, my Mac would still be usable at 3% battery life. On Mavericks, the computer will literally shut down when it gets below 30%!

    This really is a huge issue, and I'd love to know if other people are experiencing this. It almost feels like once I get below 30%, the computer can literally just shut down at any time. Yesterday, it just went dead on me at 22%. I was working, and it just went black, no warning or notification. I'm very disappointed in this, since they advertised "Power Management" as one of the new breakthroughs, and I was expecting this to breathe new life into an ageing battery, in fact it has made performance worse.

    If anyone with a new battery could comment, it would be interesting to hear about your experience on this.

    4. Airdrop is very selective
    Airdrop in my opinion has never been entirely stable, I've always had issues when sharing with other Macs. On ML, it would work most of the time but sometimes it would not initiate the transfer and get stuck on "waiting to accept". On Mavericks, the same issue occurs but more often. I have never been able to share a file with another 13" 2011 MBP in my house, but for some reason it can share with another 15" MBP in my house.

    What's this all about? Why can it share with some computers, some of time time, but not with others? It just seems buggy and it still does not work as it should.

    5. The ever-changing wallpaper
    I know of others who have experienced this issue so it is definitely not isolated to my experience. Sometimes, the OS will take it upon itself to revert the wallpaper back to the default surfing one. This can happen when opening a new desktop in Mission Control, or when booting up. Not a big issue, but it should not be happening.

    6. Icons getting stuck in the dock
    This one is a little strange since I have never experienced it before. When one downloads a file, it goes into the downloads folder. I personally have this located on the dock for quick access. Sometimes, the icon will get stuck though. The status bar of the download will not disappear from the icon so one has to remove it and re-add it into the dock. It isn't major, but an annoyance nonetheless.

    These are the main six points that I can think of right now, and the first three are pretty huge. There are other issues, however I have discussed quite a bit already and I don't want to bore anyone so I shall leave it at that for now. Overall I would say this is a very disappointing release, not because it is unusable, as it certainly isn't. It is still a usable, however it does not reach the bar of stability that the other releases achieved. It feels rushed, buggy and unpolished.

    Any thoughts or comments on these points would be interesting to hear.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    My 2009 MBP running OS X 10.9 Mavericks had hourly kernel panics.
    I was in the middle of almost nowhere and had to improvise to get Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard back onto the machine.
  3. RV-ABZ macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2013
    Sounds like Mavericks is not for you, so don't use it.
  4. Mr-Stabby macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2004
    It's not far off, but I do think the worst release was Lion. But Mavericks is certainly a close second.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly on Point 1. We have several 2013 iMacs with Mavericks, and our 2006 iMac Whites which have been upgraded from whatever OS they came with several times to Lion startup about 15 seconds quicker than the new ones do, and these are fresh builds of Mavericks. Mavericks is painfully slow to startup.

    Constant beachballs is also an issue yes.

    But I think where Mavericks beats Lion in horrible OS terms is just the sheer amount of bugs it has. I've never had so many show stopping bugs in a Mac OS release. Simple things from sidebar entries randomly dissepearing in Finder all the way to Safari freezing when connecting to any website with Active Directory authentication. Something which worked perfectly in Mountain Lion.

    I really think the yearly OS refresh is a bad idea, as it pulls the focus away from making a stable operating system and forces them to concentrate on new features.
  5. makinao macrumors regular

    Dec 27, 2009
    I could just be lucky, but Mavericks is fine on my 2012 MBP 15" 2.6.

    1. Boot and wake from sleep haven't changed much. The fastest sleep and wake from sleep I experienced was with Tiger on my iBook 12" 1.33.

    2. Beachballs are pretty much the same too. The worst beach ball experience I had was with Safari (can't remember the version) in Snow Leopard on a MB White 2.13. But it got fixed in an update a couple of months later.

    3. Power Management - IS TERRRRRRRRIFIC in Mavericks. My battery life close to doubled, with Usage Information and the Energy Tab in Activity Monitor telling me exactly which app is gobbling up battery life, of which the worst offender Ive seen is Chrome.

    4. Wallpaper, no problem.

    5. Icons, also no problem.
  6. fisherking macrumors 604


    Jul 16, 2010
    ny somewhere
    mavericks is my BEST os x experience so far (followed closely by snow leopard). and i've been on os x since 10.2.

    NOTHING is perfect, but...speed, power. stability. efficiency.... all the things i need from a modern OS are here (and there is lots i don't need, so...i don't use that).

    everybody's experiences and preferences are different. which makes life interesting... :cool:
  7. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
  8. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    No issues with Mavericks for me, and I am sure that is true of a lot of others as well
  9. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Seems like there are more forum posts complaining about Leopard and Lion being the worst releases ever, IMO.
  10. kpgh554 macrumors regular


    Dec 29, 2011
    iver england
    I also found that it slow on startup i also found that after startup if open hdd icon have to wait seems like 2 mins before it shows icons of what's in it to me looks like they trying to get a quick boot [failed]but made it unusable til system works itself out . same as pcs get quickboot then have to wait till comp goes through indexing before it usable. I put a ssd in to see if make any difference but still same and not see any significant speed up on comp at all. i was running 10.6.8 before and was usable soon as bootup then upgraded to lion it was still usable at bootup then upgraded to mavericks it then seemed like it running 2 systems at same time. so did fresh boot of mavs. the only other grouch i have is it keep asking me for password everytime i want to move or delete something from hdd.
  11. nalk7 macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2008
    I put Mavericks as the second best OSX behind Snow Leopard.
  12. LV426 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2013
    No issues with Mavericks for me too, and I am sure that is true of a lot of others as well.

    It's all very well having a good old moan about issues that affect you personally, but you appear to have neglected all the new great features that come with Mavericks, some of which are definitely under the hood.

    IMHO, Mavericks is the best OSX to date, not the worst.
  13. Hephaestus thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2010
    I'm not having a "good old moan", I'm simply pointing out issues that I have experienced, on more than one machine. I clearly stated that the OS is still usable, and that it just doesn't reach the bar in terms of polish that the other releases did.

    I'm happy to concede that I may be in the minority, and that is fine. In terms of "great new features", what are these? All I have seen in terms of features are aesthetic updates to a few apps. The whole point of this update was "under the hood" enhancements, which I have yet to experience.
  14. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    I'm one of them. No problems here, either.
  15. bbfc macrumors 68040

    Oct 22, 2011
    Newcastle, England.
    I love Mavericks - it's given my Early-2011 MBP a new lease of life! The only thing that bugs me is the UI could of done with more polish - yes, i'm looking at you! :D

    The worst release of OS X was Lion, followed by Mountain Lion.

    I remember going back to ML during the Mavericks DPs and noticing the difference straight away - everything was just sluggish. Lion was just an abomination.
  16. colourfastt macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2009
    I would hesitate to call it the "best." SL was probably the best, however 10.9 is what Lion and ML should have been. It's an adequate OS but I could do without the constant beach balls of death. I don't think OS X in its current form will ever mature due to the annual release of "service packs" rather than a 2 or 3 year timetable for the release of a more thorough OS.
  17. Jimmy James macrumors 601

    Jimmy James

    Oct 26, 2008
    I have a 2007 mbp and I'm not experiencing any of the performance issues mentioned.
  18. Ai-apple macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2013
    I have no issue with Mavericks running 2013 rMBP with 16g of RAM. It's pretty fast and responsive.
  19. lexvo macrumors 65816

    Nov 11, 2009
    The Netherlands
    I have a 2011 27" iMac i5. Mavericks runs quite well, apart from two things:
    - slower boot time (not a big problem as I almost never shut down my iMac)
    - SMB shares: the annoying "cannot complete copy because file is in use" error
  20. LV426 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2013
    Well, let's have a look at iCloud keychain, shall we, just for starters. And dynamic memory compression, something which – by the way – makes it practical for Apple's latest and best OS to be installed (for free, I might add) on some pretty old hardware.
  21. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
  22. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    To me, the biggest "under the hood" enhancements are the App Nap and Safari Power Saver features. I get an extra 30-45 minutes of run-time per battery cycle with Mavericks.

    I don't know if this qualifies as "under the hood", but I like how the App Store can auto-update my apps now (vs. me remembering to have to check for that manually). I also like the the "Update Tonight" option, where I can reschedule an update that requires a reboot to automatically run between 2:00 AM and 5:00 AM.

    The Compressed RAM feature is pretty cool, too. More stuff saved in RAM = less trips out to the slow hard drive to get data. But this only works for people who put their Macs to Sleep vs. constantly shutting them down/turning them back on (which clears everything that was buffered/compressed in RAM).
  23. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Your experience is unusual. You may be seeing age-related disk issues, judging from the symptoms you describe. New disks are cheap. I'd say just replace it and expect profound improvement.
  24. ABC5S Suspended


    Sep 10, 2013

    Good for me as well. Must be User Error with some bad programs and or hardware that users installed that got it that way. Too many have good results with Mavericks
  25. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    In addition, I suspect his hard drive is nearly full. It should be replaced with a larger one or an SSD of sufficient size.

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68 February 9, 2014