Newer versions of OS X much more resource intensive?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by sdrk92, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. sdrk92 macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2013
    I sometimes think about installing a newer version of OS X than 10.6 but it seems even Windows 7 runs faster on a Mac than OS X at times.

    My sister has a Core i5 MacBook Pro 13" from 2012 and it runs deplorably slow on Yosemite 10.10.

    I have a Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro 13" from 2010 running 10.6 and it still runs really fast for everyday tasks like loading the web browser or using basic applications.

    When she tries to open the web browser the icon bounces up and down for centuries.

    I don't know. It's probably obvious. But are newer versions of OS X much more resource intensive? Is Apple not keeping computer resource use in check on purpose because they want you to buy a new Mac and one with an SSD? 10.6 works just fine and fast off a traditional HDD.
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Windows 7, 8, and even Windows 10 work better on "older" hardware than Mountain Lion and Yosemite do.

    It's called "planned obsolescence", and Apple is the king of it.
  3. crazzapple Guest

    Oct 19, 2014
    Yep, SL was the last really good version of OSX, imo. The key is that it was out for 2 years, giving apple plenty of time to fix all the bugs.

    I would rather pay $100 (like windows) and get a version of OSX that is supported long term than the yearly bug filled versions we have now.
  4. xWhiplash macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    I have heard the opposite. Everybody I know said Snow Leopard was Apple's Windows Vista.
  5. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Early adopters of SL had multiple problems, as with any upgrade release. The previous poster's point was that Apple developed it for two years, a relatively long period, and thus worked out a lot of the bugs.
  6. stapoz macrumors member


    Dec 18, 2014
    Not sure about processor, but for sure OSX needs much more memory then Windows to smoothly running. It doesn't really help the Apple innovative memory compression system. The absolute min is 4GB, but if you'll try to work with Photoshop or XCode with less then 16GB you must be prepared waiting for most commands. Windows works quite good with 2GB, with 4GB user can smoothly play most games...
  7. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    It's also called "pushing the envelope", or "building for the future". I'm glad Apple does it.
  8. AlecZ macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2014
    Berkeley, CA
    The future of high RAM usage and rampant disk access? :p

    My experience is that Snow Leopard is the fastest OS on any Intel Mac, but Mountain Lion is also OK. Mavericks is crap if you don't have an SSD for whatever reason; putting an SSD in my Mac Pro is what made it decent. It still seems to use more CPU cycles. Haven't tried Yosemite, but it's probably the same as Mavericks.

    Newer OSs are usually more resource-intensive, but I've found that Snow Leopard is faster than Leopard and that Mountain Lion is faster than Lion.
  9. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    The thing is that Microsoft does it too (you may disagree with their direction, but that's a different story), but their future gets leaner and slimmer...
  10. Rodster macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2007
    I agree that Windows has gotten better performance wise with the new releases. Hell, i'm running Windows 8.1 on my 2007 ThinkPad T60 with only 3 GB's of memory and it's super smooth.

    That said I have had good luck with Yosemite on my base late 2012 Mac Mini. I find that Yosemite opens apps and boots a little quicker than ML and Mavericks.
  11. alex0002, Dec 26, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014

    alex0002 macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2013
    New Zealand
    I suspect that the newer versions of OS X are optimised for use with an SSD. If you are not a heavy user you can get by with 4GB of RAM. Just go to your local apple store and try a base model Macbook Air with 4GB RAM and an SSD. It will be fast enough on OS X 10.9 or 10.10.

    Loading programs means accessing many small files including executables, libraries, fonts and bitmaps from disk. More RAM will only help if those files are already cached in RAM.

    Options ...
    1. Stick with OS X 10.6 ... who need security updates anyway?
    2. Install Linux - I'm running Linux on a desktop pc and using less than 2GB of RAM right now with about 60 tabs open in the browser and a music project running in LMMS. Of course you can't use iTunes, Logic Pro or Xcode and a bunch of other other applications with Linux.
    3. Get an SSD. It will probably make a huge difference.
  12. sdrk92 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2013
    Thanks for all your interesting replies guys. It just confirmed what I think.

    To be honest it seems extremely sneaky and manipulative of Apple to do what they're doing. While Windows is going in the opposite direction and becoming less resource-intensive.

    I suppose Windows can afford to do that and should do that because Microsoft isn't also a major PC hardware manufacturer. I think Apple being primarily a hardware but also a software manufacturer presents a conflict of interest/disincentive to keep their operating system lean and available for use on a wide range of hardware. Which is kind of bad.

    But I suppose in the future we could all just use Ubuntu/Linux on our older Intel Macs, at least just to be able to run the latest browser and media players. Or even Windows? (the horror, sacrilege, abomination!) (Joking.)
  13. crazzapple Guest

    Oct 19, 2014
    I'm going to be looking into Win 10 this year after 6+ years of mac use. I use my mac for work and the direction of throwaway sealed desktops (new mac mini) doesn't interest me. The fact is apple's bread and butter is their idevices. Macs take a backseat to that and you are right about them purposely adding bloat to OSX in order to sell new hardware.

    Sad really, but I prefer a well engineered, efficient OS to the bloatware coming out of Cupertino. I also prefer a desktop that doesn't have its ram soldered down :facepalm:.
  14. sdrk92 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2013
    Yeah the planned obsolescence thing just isn't cool. But when it comes down to it Apple is just another quintessential capitalist corporation. They gotta do what they gotta do. But you wish they'd be a little bit more conscionable about it. The idea that you will probably be able to run Windows 10 smoothly on older hardware but not Yosemite 10.10 presents a bit of a dilemma.
  15. Eithanius macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2005
    It's not a dilemma... It's a conspiracy on Apple's part... Think about it, the prospects of attracting Windows over by making sure even the upcoming Win 10 may be able to run smoothly on older hardware, and at the same time downgrading Yosemite into some Windows-Android hybrid ****** kinda interface just to make Windows users feel at home and at the same time a planned obsolescence to force Mac users to upgrade... All Apple smell is more $$$ and market share... simple as that...

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