Older Macbook downgrading to Maver or upgrading to El Cap

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by STC1709, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. STC1709 macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2009
    Hey guys have a couple of quick questions.

    My girlfriend has an older mac which has yosemite on it now. She uses the mac for law school so it gets lots of use. Theres tons of files and everything looks like a mess. Shes been complaining how it runs like crap and hard disk hums. (It's never had a clean install just osx upgrade after osx upgrade). I think the mac needs to be wiped out (moving important data to an external first) and do a clean install. My question to you guys would be since its an older mac would I be better off doing a clean install of Mavericks or just going up to El Captain. It's an older mac which is reason I ask this. I have an iMac home and I have mavericks saved on an external from when I did a clean install after having snow leopard.

    Do you think her mac will run smoother with Mavericks or should it be fine with El Captain since it'll be a clean install no matter which osx I choose? Reason I'm saying 10.9 or 10.11 is I dont have a copy of yosemite on an external and not sure if the installer is even available anymore. Secondly I feel bc its bit of an older mac that Mavericks might help the computer run smoother since its running like crap now (which may just be due to the fact that it needs a clean refresh).

    Thanks in advance guys
  2. simon lefisch macrumors 6502a

    simon lefisch

    Sep 29, 2014
    What kind of Mac is it (year)? Also, not all apps are compatible with El Cap yet so you might want to check compatibility with the apps she uses mostly.

    Regardless, a clean install of the OS could help so maybe do that with the OS currently on her system and once you feel comfy that all apps used are compatible, then you can update to El Cap.
  3. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    Depends on how old her Mac is. If its 2008-2009 model I would recommend making a clean install of Mavericks because:

    1. Most of features in 10.10 or 10.11 won't work on old Mac.
    2. While El Capitan is faster than Yosemite I doubt its faster than Mavericks on old Mac because part of the speed increases is due to Metal which won't work on older Macs.
    3. El Capitan has just been released and you are much more likely to suffer from bugs compared to solid Mavericks. After 2 or 3 updates most of bugs are probably gone (this is assuming Apple improves its record from Yosemite which took 4 updates before I would call it usable).
  4. Partron22 macrumors 68020


    Apr 13, 2011
    Old, like 2009? I'd go Mavericks.
    After clean install, beware Migration Assistant. Sometimes it drags along the craziest stuff from the stone age.
    Total manual xfer is painful, but at least you don't get Logitech mouse drivers from 2005 tossed onto your System.
  5. STC1709 thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2009
    Yes guys older mac 2009 I believe, shes had it since start of undergrad which was like 5.5 years ago

    My iMac is 24in model from 2009 and I'm not going any higher than mavericks. It runs perfectly smooth, which may just be the case for her laptop.

    I dont have the installer for yosemite even if i wanted to use the same osx. All i have on my external is snow leopard and mavericks.
  6. wlossw macrumors 65816


    May 9, 2012
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    You could try installing both ( after cloning your main drive) and evaluate.
  7. vista980622 macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2012
    If the machine runs super slow, check if there's any hard drive or SATA connection cable defects. Especially cable defects!

    Also, your best bet would be install both Mavericks and El Capitan on the machine, use each of them for a few days, then judge for yourself. It really varies from device-by-device. My Mac mini 2011 runs El Cap more smoothly than a 2014 MacBook Air in extended period of time, perhaps due to some issues of Metal driver for HD5000. Comments about El Cap only improves performance for Metal-enabled GPUs is not right. Even existing OpenGL rendering pipelines became more efficient and animations are snappier. El Capitan seems to run better on HDD drives than Mavericks, although neither is as good as Snow Leopard in terms of efficiency on HDD.

    Congratulations on getting another Mac!
  8. Isamilis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2012
    If you have no specific features or compatibility need from mavericks, get the mountain lion. Memory compression in mavericks takes a while (make lag) in old Mac. I tested in 2010-2011 with standard HDD.
  9. vista980622 macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2012
    The lag in Mavericks is not caused by memory compression... Compressing memory when running out is faster than swapping/paging to disk.

    It is more likely to be caused by memory leaks in WindowServer or IconServicesAgent, or more frequent Spotlight indexes. Those have nothing to do with memory compression.
  10. Partron22 macrumors 68020


    Apr 13, 2011
    I liked Mountain Lion a lot.
    The last Apple Security update for it was 09 Mar 2015.
    So that's not too bad yet.

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9 October 14, 2015