New MBA is coming with Lion installed. Should I upgrade to ML?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by HarryWarden, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. HarryWarden macrumors 6502a

    Oct 27, 2012
    I've read some things that say that staying one OS behind the current one is more stable because it isn't constantly being updated and most, if not all, of the problems have been ironed out. Windows XP is still more stable than Windows 7 or 8, for example.

    That said, should I upgrade to ML when I receive my Air? It comes with the free upgrade program. Speaking of which, if I do upgrade, how is it done using the free program? How does Apple know you qualify for it and how do you initiate it?
  2. Johnny Alien macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2012
    I think Mountain Lion is snappier and a bit more refined than Lion so I would recommend the update. I don't buy into the one OS behind thing. Windows 7 is as rock solid as XP easily. And would you suggest someone staying on Vista instead of 7? :)
  3. HarryWarden thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 27, 2012
    Are there a lot of differences between Lion/ML? My current MBP has 10.5 installed. Other than the App Store inclusion for downloading updates and stuff, are there a lot of things I won't recognize from Leopard?

    Also, the Air I'm getting comes with 4 GB RAM. Will it still be snappy on ML with that much RAM?
  4. mikeray macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    4GM Ram is fine, though as low as I would wanna go these days. Go for it!
  5. JoelBC macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    I am curious as I am in the same boat as you...I would think that a new MBA / MBP would ship with Mountain Lion rather than Lion so what makes you think it will ship with Lion?

    Also, what is the cleanest /easiest way to upgrade from Lion to Mountain Lion?


  6. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Am the in school that the Latest may not necessarily be the Greatest, but OK I don't hear major issues with ML. Either way, I would perform a back up so I can GO BACK if needed. An insurance.

    The cleanest way is to install from scratch, use the SEARCH button here or Google. Scratch = u run installer from an external drive, delete the current boot drive content, THEN run OS installer. OF COURSE you have backed up your data somewhere.
  7. HarryWarden, Nov 25, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012

    HarryWarden thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 27, 2012
    How do I perform a backup? Would performing a Time Machine backup be sufficient or does that not revert to a prior OS and instead just save files? Since the computer will be shipping with Lion, would Cmd+R after erasing the drive restore to Lion or ML (assuming I've already upgraded to ML)?


    I bought mine from Amazon and the description lists it as shipping with Lion with ML available via free upgrade.
  8. in2tech macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2012
    I have a mid June/July 2012 MBA I bought about 6 weeks ago in October 2012, and it had Lion and I had to register some where on Apple to get Mountain Lion for FREE! I triple checked as I thought maybe Best Buy had sold me an old machine since it had Lion on it. But it is the new 2012 model!
  9. BRyken macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2008
    I think ML is a bit more refined and has some nice features. I would do the free upgrade while you can.
  10. Johnny Alien macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2012
    I am using 4GB right now and it feels very snappy to me.
  11. cedwhatev macrumors 6502


    Oct 22, 2011
  12. Lucianrider macrumors member

    Jan 1, 2012
    St. Lucia, West Indies
    I purchased a 13" base model two weeks ago from Best Buy in Florida City, Florida and it came with Mountain Lion. As soon as I started using it, I upgraded all my other Macs to Mountain Lion.... Two iMacs and a 13' Macbook Pro.
    Definitely worth the upgrade!
  13. yanksrock100 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2010
    San Diego
    I think you should upgrade. ML has many features and refinements to Lion. I wouldn't consider it as big ads a leap from XP to Vista, for example. Its just refinements.

    May I ask, where did you buy yours? I bought mine from Best Buy (not opened yet), and I assume it comes with ML....
  14. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2012
    B'more or Less
    Here is the link for Apple's Up To Date program:

    I bought an iMac last year from Amazon which shipped with Snow Leopard rather than Lion (out a month or two at the time) and I used the Up To Date program linked above. You fill out an online form including such things as serial number, date purchased, PDF of purchase receipt, etc. and Apple confirms by email whether you qualify. You receive a code to download the OS from the Mac App Store. The MAS will place the ML OS X installer in your Dock (and Applications folder) and you double-click to initiate.

    Please note that there is a time limit, I think you have 30 days from purchase to apply (from memory, please double-check that).

    I didn't expect to get Snow Leopard on my iMac but it was fortuitous because I still wanted to run a couple older programs not supported by Lion, so I partitioned my hard drive and installed Lion to the new partition. -Now updated to Mountain Lion. In your case, the difference in OS X is more incremental and there's no real benefit to having both, I'd go with Mountain Lion.
  15. checkitout macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2009
    While it is true that brand-new things (as in a couple of days old or less) often have interesting bugs, the above argument is mostly made by people who are rationalizing that they haven't upgraded yet. That need for rationalization is one of the most powerful ways one's thinking gets distorted, so they will make angry arguments that they are right...

    Mountain Lion actually mostly is a bug fix release to Lion, which includes important performance bug fixes. There are good reasons to stay at Snow Leopard (Rosetta…), but rarely for Lion.

    4 MB is fine. I have one MBA at Mountain Lion that runs fine even with 2 MB, but its main user doesn't run 10 applications at the same time (and the MBA has a fast SSD). Another MBA with 2 MB, with almost as fast an SSD, runs Lion (too old for ML), and not nearly as well.
  16. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    I upgraded from L to ML and have a major issue with sleep on my 2011 MBA. 10.8.2 makes it worse and if 10.8.3 doesn't fix it, I'm going back to Lion.

    Deep sleep w/o the mains plug causes a kernel panic on wake-up and restarts. Other instances don't have this problem. After 6 months of troubleshooting I'm convinced it's a ML bug. (Lots of forum posts on this subject).

    All I would really miss is Messages, but since I have an iPad and iPhone also I'm still going to downgrade.
  17. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    Odds are that it actually will come with Mountain Lion installed. A friend just got a refurb Air last week which wasn't supposed to include ML but did.
  18. HarryWarden thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 27, 2012
    I wouldn't mind that. Hopefully, you're right:)

  19. AppleAlfred macrumors member


    Nov 23, 2012
    I would definitely upgrade to mountain lion: notification center, icloud compatibility are enough on their own to warrant it. Not to mention a bunch of smaller things that overall make it nicer to use. And in my experience there hasn't been very many stability issues.
  20. JoelBC macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    I dropped into the local Apple store between meetings today and noticed that the MBA 13" that they had on display had OS X 10.8.2 installed which is Mountain Lion...I hope that this is the case because being new to Mac I do not want my first experience to be upgrading from Lion to Mountain Lion as I ahve always done clean installs when upgrading O/Ss...

  21. brbubba macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2006
    Lion on my MBA was a total turd for me, major major random issues. Once I upgraded to ML I haven't looked back. That isn't to say I'm issue free, but at least now things run much more smoothly.
  22. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I wouldn't worry about it. Any new Mac sold now would have Mountain Lion. However, the upgrade from Lion to Mountain Lion is pretty seamless and I wouldn't worry about performing a "clean install." It isn't like upgrading from Windows XP or Vista.
  23. OldStevenick macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2012
    Northeast US
    I bought one from Amazon a 2012 model, it said it had Lion, but it actually had Mountain Lion.

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