OS X 10.9 the last "fast" version of OS X on old macs?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by SystemSettings, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. SystemSettings macrumors newbie


    Sep 25, 2016
    United States of America
    For me it seems that way. I am curious if anyone else has problems on 2012 and older macs. I have a iMac '07 with 4 gigs of ram, and a Mac Mini from '11 that has 2 gigs of ram. Think they could run Yosemite okay or should I stick with OS X 10.9?
  2. prisstratton macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2011
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    I installed both Yosemite and El Cap on my MBP (see my sig). Yosemite was just awful and although El Cap was an improvement over that, it still could not compare to the snappy response that I get from my Mavericks installation.

    I am now firmly and happily back with Mavericks and do not see myself moving from this anytime soon.

    I think you should stick with Mavericks.

    Hope it helps.
  3. asoksevil macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2010
    Taipei, Taiwan
    I'm on a 2010 MBA and I won't be updating from Mavericks anytime soon.
  4. Ebenezum macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2015
    I have similar iMac and I don't recommend updating if speed is your priority. Yosemite was much slower and while El Capitan was slightly faster Mavericks is faster than both of them.

    I suspect the reason is more background processes and more demanding graphics.
  5. SystemSettings thread starter macrumors newbie


    Sep 25, 2016
    United States of America
    Thanks everyone for your replies! I think I will stick with Mavericks then. Thanks guys!
  6. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    El Capitan is actually a better experience on my low end late 2008 MacBook Air with 2 GB RAM. When I had 10.9.5 installed the RAM was already filled up on a clean login, RAM usage was worse than later versions of Yosemite in fact. 10.8.5 or even 10.6.8 are probably most ideal for that Mac, but both are really showing their age. However, lately I've been pushing that hardware to run the latest MacOS (Sierra) which is not even supported by Apple and its been running ok with a few issues.

    My MacBook Air does however have an SSD, this is important to note. Best upgrade you can do to improve performance on any OS version after Snow Leopard.
  7. comda macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2011
    OP what CPU is in your machine? I took a shot in the dark and followed the MacOS Sierra guide on my older machine. It was running Mavericks but using the net it was getting a bit slow. Even in Firefox.

    I have a 2009 Macbook Pro 13". Has a Core 2 Duo P7550 2.26Ghz, 4Gb DDR3 RAM, and a 500GB Seagate 7200RPM Hard drive. (It did have a SSD from Kingston but i used it on a different machine)

    Anyways, this machine has been running Sierra fully supported and its Very snappy and MUCH faster then el cap ever was on it. Very impressed. Although Mavericks on it was much faster then el cap, and Yosemite Sierra tops them, and my main machine is a 15" Macbook Pro i7 2012 with 16Gb ram and a 1tb SSD.
  8. comda macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2011
    Just realized this machine doesn't have the proper CPU to run Sierra. Pointed out by Lightbulbfun. It can be upgraded and then it can run sierra.
  9. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    Funny I always thought of Mavericks as the first slow version (for Intel Macs that is). Anyways while El Capitan is very slow. I was surprised to find that a 2009 iMac felt pretty fast on Sierra. They must have improved HD performance. As OS X was getting horrible on hard drives.

    In fact the 2009 iMac with 4GB RAM and a hard drive felt faster on a clean install of Sierra than a new iMac Core 21.5" i5 with a hard drive felt on El Capitan I setup a while ago.
  10. Woodcrest64 macrumors 65816


    Aug 14, 2006
    My wife has a 2011 17" Macbook Pro running Mavericks. I'm debating on upgrading her to El Capitan for the security support from Apple till 2018. She only has 4gb of memory so I'd likely upgrade that to 8GB. She has an SSD so that's good. Just wondering if its safe to keep her on Mavericks for another two years.

    She doesn't want to get a new machine mainly for the fact Apple doesn't sell the 17" screen size anymore and her machine works fine.
  11. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Upgrade her to 16gbs of ram as well...
  12. Floris macrumors 68020


    Sep 7, 2007
    Maverick performs quite well on my iMac 2009.
    El Capitan does as well, at areas even better! But there are things like lets quickly check this in ChrooooooOoooOoo [makes coffee] annnd we're there, and finally it is all fast again.

    Some actions just seem to slug along, while the normal operation is snappy fast. Maverick was either all sorta sluggish, or all snappy enough.
  13. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    I've been wondering if Mavericks would run better than El Cap on my 2010 17" MacBook Pro i5/8GB with SSD.

    El Cap is bearable for most of what I do with it. But the animations/scrolling are really chunky and 1080p YouTube playback in Safari gets really gummed up easily, even when it's the only thing running.

    I know it's the OS because I can boot into Win 7/10 and play two 1080p videos simultaneously from YT in 2 tabs, and scrub back and forth through the videos no problem.

    Would I notice an improvement in Mavericks? I can still download it in the App Store as I downloaded it in the past for the s/o's '13 MBA (on which she still runs Mavericks).
  14. Eithanius macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2005
    Didn't know 2010 MBPs can run Windows 10... I seriously wanna try Windows 10 to live a secret double life...
  15. Altis macrumors 68030

    Sep 10, 2013
    It runs it like a champ. Beautiful performance.

    However, having said that, the auto updates are brutal. I've found it downloading large updates while I'm tethered to my phone. It can eat up data, battery life, and CPU.

    If you disable it (which can be tricky) along with the telemetry junk, then it does run really well.

    It's nice to know that the machine can keep going until the end of Windows 7 at least, probably the end of Windows 8/10.

    The 17" 1200p is glorious. I wish I had the '11 i7 quad with 16GB, but the logic board plague makes it too risky a buy.

    I might have to try Mavericks to see if performance is better without losing too much app compatibility.

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