MBP 13" Mid 2010 Best OS Version?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NODEraser, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. NODEraser macrumors newbie

    NODEraser

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon
    #1
    Stock configuration; 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM, 250 GB HDD. I had stuck with Snow Leopard for a long time, then was on Mountain Lion for a while until I recently went to High Sierra. Wow, just wow. What a terribly slow and buggy operating system! Not at all what I expect from Apple; if the hardware isn't able to run it, I would expected them to drop support for it by now. But, based on reviews and other posts I've seen about High Sierra, it just seems to be a bad egg. Maybe it will be improved with patches.

    Anyway, I was wondering which version of OS X/macOS would be best to run on this MacBook Pro? It has been a very trustworthy notebook over the years, though I put it away for almost two years before recently breaking it back out. I downsized my computer collection, previously I had been using a 2011 Core i5 iMac with original Sierra, but decided four computers was too many on the desktop.

    Apologies if this is a recurring thread, I did a quick search and didn't find what I was looking for here but I may just not be familiar with this forum's search functions. I'm hoping that I will be able to upgrade to one of the newer MBP's soon (no vanilla USB ports? crazy town!) but have tasks to get done that require a clean and efficient operating system until then. I appreciate the input.
     
  2. Natzoo macrumors 65816

    Natzoo

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2014
    Location:
    Not sure where i am
    #2
    Have you tried Sierra? I would recommend Sierra or mountain lion and also if you plan on using your mac for at least a year or so, change to a SSD from a HDD and maybe upgrade your ram? I have a mid 2010 13" but the battery swelled from me not using it in years.
     
  3. NODEraser thread starter macrumors newbie

    NODEraser

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon
    #3
    Is there somewhere to download older versions? I only have media for Mountain Lion and earlier, and for some reason in the App Store only El Capitan shows up in my purchased items. So I guess I'll give Mountain Lion a go first?
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    OP:

    What's really slowing you down is the platter-based HDD inside the MacBook.
    ANY of the more-recent Mac OS's is going to "run like molasses" with a platter-based hard drive.

    If you plan on keeping the MBP for a while longer (say another year or two), THE BEST improvement you could make would be to replace the internal HDD with an SSD.
    Doing so will TRANSFORM the performance.

    It's a very easy procedure with the right tools.
    Go to ifixit.com to see what's involved.

    If you're getting along with the 250gb HDD, just get a 250gb SSD and you'll be fine.

    I would also suggest that you buy a USB3/SATA adapter dongle like this:
    https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-2-5-...478&sr=1-2-spell&keywords=sabremt+usb3+to+ssd
    (I have one)

    Using an adapter like this, you can "prep and test" the new SSD -BEFORE- you install it.
    That way you'll know it's working and you can use the dongle with the old drive once it's out.

    To do the swap, you'll need THE RIGHT TOOLS:
    - #00 Phillips driver
    - TORX T-6 driver

    You probably don't need more RAM, but if you really wanted more, I'd advise you to get JUST ONE 8gb DIMM, and replace the topmost DIMM (with the back off). It will run the same while saving money.

    As for which OS to use, I'd suggest 10.11.6 "El Cap".
     
  5. NODEraser thread starter macrumors newbie

    NODEraser

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon
    #5
    I did a full hard drive wipe and clean install of El Capitan, much better! I was hoping to be able to afford a new MBP once I get my tax rebate in, but alas things aren't shaping up the way I'd hope and I'm not getting that much back. So, it might be until late summer until I gather up the funds to make the purchase.

    Hopefully Apple will fix High Sierra before then; aside from the user issues, I've been watching the forums for some software that I use and they're having problems with it as well.
     
  6. EugW, Mar 10, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018

    EugW macrumors 603

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #6
    Listen to the others here. You don't really need a new machine. If you're on a budget, just swap the HD for an SSD.

    Sure, El Capitan will be fine with a clean install on an HD. However, if you start installing software and adding data, it will slow right down. NONE of those OSes beyond 10.6 Snow Leopard will run fast on a laptop hard drive. You need an SSD. Also, High Sierra's speed is fine even on a 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo... if you have an SSD. I'm typing on one right now.

    I would recommend Sierra on that machine for now as it will be supported longer and it's mature. High Sierra is still maturing and old legacy software can be buggy on it (and some of that software will never get fixed), but is the most feature rich, like having the best version of Photos by far. However, El Capitan is OK as an OS for now as it's still supported for security updates, but as of this summer, El Capitan will likely no longer be supported.

    tl;dr:

    1. El Capitan won't be fast as your clean install once it gets lots of data and software on that hard drive. You need an SSD.
    2. El Capitan is fine for now, but my preference is Sierra. Sierra is mature, and will be supported one year longer than El Capitan.
    3. High Sierra runs fine too on a 2.4 GHz Core Duo with SSD, but it's still not completely mature, and has new software compatibilities with some old legacy software. OTOH, it has the best version of Photos.

    BTW, all my Macs in my sig have High Sierra on them, including two older and slower than yours, and they run fine. All currently have at least 8 GB RAM, but I ran a couple with 4 GB for a while and it was fine for lighter usage. With heavier usage though 8 GB is preferred, but that's true for Sierra and even El Capitan too.
     
  7. loby macrumors 6502a

    loby

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #7
    I have a mid 2010 13” and it is the one that is able to handle 16 GB of Ram. Put an SSD in it and it works great. I have High Sierra on it also with no problems.

    The issue is your HDD. Put an SSD and upgrade your Ram. If it is not the 16 GB model, than go to 8 GB.

    Many people have said that EL Capitan is the sweet spot for the older systems. I found no issues with Sierra as well as High Sierra, but maybe I am lucky.

    Yes, High Sierra is still a work in progress, so El Cap or Sierra is my recommendation.
     
  8. NODEraser thread starter macrumors newbie

    NODEraser

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon
    #8
    Once Spotlight had everything indexed and my Dropbox downloaded everything, El Capitan actually seems to run pretty speedy. The only thing I have issue with is Office 2016, but that seems to be a common problem.

    I think I am going to take the leap to an SSD, and would be all for upgrading to Sierra--though definitely not High Sierra at this time due to a lot of compatibility issues with software that I use. The only issue is that I don't have the installer; is there a repository in the sky somewhere that I could obtain it from? Seems Apple only wants you to download the newest version from the App store.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    I said it in post 4 above and I'll repeat:
    NOTHING will improve the overall performance as will changing the original HDD for an SSD.
    NOTHING.

    Try it, and get back to us.
     
  10. NODEraser thread starter macrumors newbie

    NODEraser

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon
    #10
    Yeah, thanks for reading my post.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 10, 2018 ---
    Found it:
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208202
     

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9 March 1, 2018